Re: Comparisons are odious

1

I have never even idly thought for a single passing second that it might make my life nicer to have a small, rude, incontinent person follow me around screaming and making me buy them stuff for the rest of my life

This amused me (though I disagree). As did the rest of the article. I've definitely been on both ends of the referendum when it comes to mommy-hood.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 11:39 AM
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but for me personally it's from Madeleine L'Engle's The Moon By Night

Which is explicitly citing it as a quote, right? Madeleine L'Engle sure loves her quotes. I remember being so impressed at the foreign language ones in A Wrinkle in Time.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 11:41 AM
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Sometimes I think it's odd to have been with the same woman for five years and engaged for over a year and never once discussed the possibility of whether or not we might possibly have kids.

Articles like this are good reminders that our problems (envying the lives of others) are universal.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 11:46 AM
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Children make you unhappy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 11:49 AM
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That should have included a link to this: http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/01/why-does-anyone-have-children/


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 11:49 AM
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3: Far be it for me to give relationship advice, but you may want to discuss that at some point. Particularly if you have strong feelings one way or the other.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 11:59 AM
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Just to check: Is Heebie comparing herself to the middle-aged?

I'm sure I'm reading too much into the link. Nice link, by the way.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:15 PM
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7.1: I don't think you have to be quite middle-aged - I'm feeling this, in my late 20s. Of course, I have a very domestic group of friends, from high school to graduate school. I should move to the big city.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:20 PM
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I'm feeling this, in my late 20s. [...] I should move to the big city.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Whew, sorry.


Posted by: cautionary fable | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:23 PM
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It was a joke!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:26 PM
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(Now that I think about it, perhaps a successful one, as it elicited laughter.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:29 PM
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Seriously? Young people, for christ's sake, experiment before you go the breeding route. There's nothing wrong with family and children, of course not, and those of us who haven't done it know what we've missed, but there is *a lot* of life ... going forward ... I mean, beyond 30.

The very suggestion that experimentation ends by 30 freaks me the fuck out. The joke didn't work.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:36 PM
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If I had time, follow up on the studies in Apo's link. I am certain a big part of the issue here is how you define happiness, a problem that was really only touched on a little in the article. My guess is that the studies that report low parental happiness measure happiness by having people record at regular intervals how happy they are feeling at just that moment. That method of measuring happiness puts a great deal of emphasis on the day-to-day, quickly forgotten miseries that the article describes.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:39 PM
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If I had time

But you don't! Because you have children! Eating your soul!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:41 PM
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Or at least all of the good snacks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:42 PM
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Speaking of children, PBS has a new kids show called "Dinosaur Train." I'm guessing this is like the "Boobs + Explosions" formula, except hunting for an audience that is 15 years younger.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:44 PM
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I like the metaphor at the end. Not for the pandering-to-me-personally Greek mythology, but because it's actually fresh - I really don't think I've ever seen anyone compare Perseus to Orpheus in that way.

On a related note, Iris and I had a big weepfest last night over the death of Argos. I had to call our dog into her bedroom so that we could shower him with (barely tolerated) affection.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:47 PM
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14: It's true! in 15 minutes I have to run to the grocery store and then hand the car over to Molly so Caroline can go to her nature class. In the meantime, I need to upload the audio for my online courses, which I've fallen behind on, and also my soul has been eaten.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:48 PM
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Seriously? Young people, for christ's sake, experiment before you go the breeding route. There's nothing wrong with family and children, of course not, and those of us who haven't done it know what we've missed, but there is *a lot* of life ... going forward ... I mean, beyond 30.

But some people are tragically stuck, having met a soul mate early in life.


Posted by: Satan Mayo | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:50 PM
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One of my students told me today that her goal in life was to meet the love of her life early so they can have a really big family.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:52 PM
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As for the writer's overall point... I don't know. Maybe I'm deceiving myself, maybe I'm just this self-centered, but I swear that I rarely compare my life with those of others. Occasional, mild professional jealousy of 1 classmate (whose professional life is more or less exactly what I would wish for myself), very occasional envy of Fun Thing X that some peer is doing (my sister and her wife, childless and well-off, spur this more than anyone else), and of course the impression that everyone at Unfogged has a more interesting life than I do.

But I'm really happy with my life, and I'm so pleased with how things have worked out that I wouldn't even change the wasted years with BOGF for fear that it would make me miss AB. My only sense of inadequacy is that other people seem to get more done in their days, but that's because I'm here, and evidently value that.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:52 PM
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6 is right, by the way. Seriously, Ned.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:53 PM
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19: You can still experiment, Satan Mayo. For example, there's probably any number of things you've never put in your butt.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:55 PM
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17: Do not read her the story about the little dog who tries to swim after its family as it sails off to Salamis during the evacuation of Athens (it swims and swims to keep up with its family and then . . . swims no more).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:57 PM
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20: Ack.

I used to work with a woman who was a teen mom, with the great benefit that, by the time she was 34, she was ready to move to the second act of her adulthood. There's definitely something to be said for being young when you become child-free again (AB will be 60+ by the time Kai graduates college).

I realize that this taps into a whole thing about career paths and "mommy track" and stuff, and I don't want to get into any of that. Just making an observation about a path that no one really chooses, yet some end up following.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:57 PM
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24: Do you remember the dog in Little House? Follows the wagon across a raging river, and then.... He turns back up 3 chapters later, but I was an utter wreck.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 12:59 PM
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What about Ol' Yeller?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:00 PM
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25: Mostly it made me think that the articles that have been linked to need a heavy dose of patriarchy blaming. Why don't people recognize that having children makes you unhappy? Because the job gets stuck to women.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:00 PM
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26: Uh, the end of Dances with Wolves. I am fairly sure I still haven't recovered from that one.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:01 PM
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Having kids is stressful sometimes-- ocassionally, nonstop stressful for months on end. Happiness is an incomplete way to assess, IMO. Most of what is fulfilling in life is taxing, and doesn't produce happiness alone. In fact, I would ask whether responsibility ever produces happiness-- to other people, to ideals of ethical or artistic or Confucian integrity.

Having kids encourages stability and sustained giving in a way that a solitary or partenered life do not. Sometimes a net positive for immediate benefit, sometimes not.

Kids are a defence against indifference and solitude, whatever their other benefits or costs. What good is a soul, anyway?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:01 PM
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I am astonished to realize that the name of the tape I've just been rewinding* is "I do not want what I haven't got".

* I like this Sinead O'Connor album enough that I should probably get it on more updated media, eh?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:03 PM
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And eventually they mow your lawn.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:03 PM
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What good is a soul, anyway?

You need at least one piece of it.


Posted by: OPINIONATED LORD VOLDEMORT | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:03 PM
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I am astonished to realize that the name of the tape I've just been rewinding* is "I do not want what I haven't got".

I love Sinead O'Connor, but I have to say that she's far more talented as a singer than as a songwriter, and I think that, in general, that album suffers from a number of weak songs. But I am quite fond of "The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance" and "The Emporer's New Clothes" is one of my absolute favorite Sinnead O'Connor songs.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:12 PM
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This captures why I'm perfectly happy to accept the facebook friend requests of my high school classmates. Surely, these married, paunchy, balding, mortgaged, and child-weary people I can hardly remember are very interested in the minutia of my life! Why, my adventures as an out-of-work, childless and unmarried urban dweller must seem exotic and fascinating to them! Enjoy my reports on farmer's markets, late night drinking, and gang graffiti on my laundry room door, you suburban sad sacks, with your families of loving adorable children and healthy marriages. Suckers.


Posted by: ed bowlinger | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:18 PM
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rob's 13 is right. If happiness were being measured correctly (or even defined correctly, really), this wouldn't be an issue.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:18 PM
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The only true happiness may be found in Christ.

Or so I tell myself when I read the class notes in my college magazine and wonder why my personal and professional lives have concurrently stalled.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:18 PM
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34: Thanks, Nick. I know Sinead O'Connor enjoys some unpopularity around here.

Yes, the songs you mention are extraordinary to me. And some others. I like her in much the same way I like Joni Mitchell in certain of her modes. I listened to "Blue" earlier.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:23 PM
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36: I cannot believe you would turn this into a discussion of whether people's reported experiences of life as it is lived, ongoing, is being correctly measured or defined.

It's about the path not taken. It is not measureable. Don't be silly, now.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:30 PM
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It's about the path not taken. It is not measureable.

It's 72.3 kilometers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:33 PM
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I'm having trouble reconciling rob's 28.last with his other comments here. Your other comments question the input and, thus, output of the studies in question. But 28 seems to accept the output while pointing a finger in a different direction.

Or did I miss something?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:33 PM
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40: or 432 11/16 pecks.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:35 PM
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7-9: I'm 27 and I've been feeling what the NYT article is about off and on since I was 19. That was triggered by a girl I had a crush on in high school, and was stupid, but when I was 21 a cousin of mine, six months older than me, had a son. He seems to be turning out healthy and happy overall, albeit a bit whiny.

Since then, half a dozen different cousins or relatives or longtime friends have also got engaged or married or had kids. My own sister, four years younger than me, has been in a stable relationship for I think it's two years now. She and her boyfriend have both disclaimed any interest in marriage, and anyway they seem pretty young for it, but still. Meanwhile, I'm single, aimless, and living with three guys just as aimless as myself. (Dating occasionally, but a recent relationship fizzled. Nothing at the moment.)

It used to bother me a lot more than it does now. Maybe I've got used to it and have learned better self-esteem and/or coping mechanisms, maybe my station and life is enough improved that the remaining gaps don't bug me as much. Or maybe I just compare myself favorably to my roommates. If the latter, it's not the only time I've related to my friends like that; I think that says something bad about me as a person...

I like how one commenter to the NYT article put it, mostly but maybe not entirely flippantly:

Parenthood gives one the opportunity to live that life s/he didn't. Have your friends never explained that? I'd love it if my son turned into an unmarried, 42 year old cartoonist -- I'd get to see the life I missed. And his life, plus mine, would be greater than yours plus . . . nothing. So, I win!


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:40 PM
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I'm single, aimless, and living with three guys just as aimless as myself.

Does it get tiresome with Judd Apatow always calling up for story ideas?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:41 PM
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You aren't fully adult until your children make you miserable.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:44 PM
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40: I got grumpy. You wanna go do the CSA farm pick-up for me? It's just going to be chard, scallions, lettuce, maybe some leeks, probably apples which are good for baking only, and you can always pick some fresh herbs and the raspberries are still on the bush.

But, anyway, sorry for grumpiness.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:44 PM
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I endorse 122.last.

Also 3 is a recipe for either an acrimonious divorce or horribly fucked up kids or both. Or maybe blind luck will make everything work out just peachy keen.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:46 PM
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Our last CSA box of the season was last Saturday, which makes me sad.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:46 PM
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My wife turned apples and some other stuff into an apple torte (or tart?). Anyway, it was good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:47 PM
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31-4: I do not want is a great, great album. I remember it as remarkably short on filler. Moreso than her other stuff; I like "No Man's Woman" but not much else of what comes later.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:48 PM
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It's 72.3 kilometers.

It isn't 42? Or is that the number of roads a man must walk down?


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:48 PM
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I like how one commenter to the NYT article put it, mostly but maybe not entirely flippantly:

This actually creeps me out -- it seems like it would lead to oppressive over-identification with your kids and smothering parenting as a result. I worry about going in this direction -- Sally has a really intense physical resemblance to me, and sometimes I find myself thinking of her as if "Now I get to see what my childhood would have been like if I hadn't been so weird and unhappy!" Which is screwy and wrong -- it's not another shot at my childhood, it's her childhood.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:48 PM
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I've never really suffered from this affliction. I think about what I would do if I found a magic lamp, and a genie came out. No one is doing that shit. And the difference between what they are doing and what I'm doing, great though it might be, isn't, relative to what neither of us is doing, worth worrying about.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:51 PM
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45: Or maybe you aren't fully adult until you're miserable. And that it will only get worse until you die.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:51 PM
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I hope our CSA continues into the fall long enough to come up with sweet potatoes and winter squash. It's been struggling pretty badly this year, mostly in terms of sheer labor, so there's actually stuff in the ground that's not being harvested.

Okay, though. Leeks!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:52 PM
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Uh, the end of Dances with Wolves. I am fairly sure I still haven't recovered from that one.

Me neither. You can't do that to Two-Socks! You can't! *weeps*


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:52 PM
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55: That reminds me. Last year I planned to make potato-leek soup, but spring came and I never got around to it. I'll have to try this year. It's dank and drizzly, so I have a yen for soup.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:53 PM
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You aren't fully adult until . . .

This may be silly (or useless) but can I request that this not become an unfogged catch-phrase. It just reminds me that I'm sorry both that read is gone, and that she ended up behaving so badly in that argument.

I like "No Man's Woman" but not much else of what comes later.

The live disc in She Who Dwells . . . is probably my favorite of her recordings, but I'm awfully fond of her debut album as well.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:54 PM
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53: Are you saying your fantasies of alternate lives are far greater than the mundane lives of the actual people you might compare yourself to?
I can sort of relate to that.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:56 PM
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she's far more talented as a singer than as a songwriter

This is true. "No Man's Woman" and "The Emperor's New Clothes" are both good songs, but her covers -- e.g., "Sacrifice" and of course "Nothing Compares 2U" -- are amazing.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 1:57 PM
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I think about what I would do if I found a magic lamp, and a genie came out.

One day I'm going to get that gilded beer hall filled with talking panda bear servants.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:00 PM
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I hope our CSA continues into the fall long enough to come up with sweet potatoes and winter squash.

Russell Baker wrote a funny essay in the NYT when I was a kid about having to dispose of excess squash. He claimed to have ultimately contributed them to the cause of juvenile delinquency, his donees being too juvenile and insufficiently delinquent to obtain empty beer bottles for throwing.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:00 PM
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The substance of 53 is good; the substance has substance. Everybody really is working for the weekend (and then during it).


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:02 PM
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43: If you ever do want to start a serious relationship, apparently the thing to do is promise to get married on a roof and have the Dave Matthews Band play. I got married in a simpler time when people got married under roofs (little roofs if Jewish) and had, at best, cover bands.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:04 PM
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I read things like this - people with kids wondering if they shouldn't have, people without wondering if they should - and I think, "Thank Jesus I am gay! Woo!" Then I pump my fist. (I do this even though the queer communities are arguably asking themselves the same question at a cultural level.)

I mean, for Pete's sakes, sometimes I ask myself that about cats. I do not need kids to complicate the situation. That said, I do have a highly detailed fantasy life that starts with finding a winning lottery ticket.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:08 PM
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As it turns out, Caroline's class was at 4, not 4:30. Now I must clean the house as penance for being late.

jroth: You're right, I am contradicting myself. In 13 I was being a scholar and worrying about methodology. By 18, though I had remembered that a parent's life is hell, stopped thinking of issues of the mind, and by 28 I was straight into angry activist mode.

13 is more likely to be right than 28.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:08 PM
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I do have a highly detailed fantasy life that starts with finding a winning lottery ticket.

And ends in a zero-gravity simulator with a private staff of teppanyaki chefs.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:12 PM
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62: On of my life projects continues to be the figuring out of how to keep winter vegetables through to the spring, throughout the winter. It ain't hard, they say. A cool, airy space for the hard-hulled squash is all it takes, they say. This isn't supposed to be rocket science.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:13 PM
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I do have a highly detailed fantasy life that starts with finding a winning lottery ticket.

When a local man won the 129 million dollar lottery recently, my ensuing fantasies became so detailed that I had to keep reminding myself that I had not, in fact, won the lottery.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:15 PM
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Are comparisons more or less odious than analogies?


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:15 PM
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And ends in a zero-gravity simulator with a private staff of teppanyaki chefs.

Sukiyaki, thank you very much. I'm nothing if not a millionaire of the people.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:17 PM
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68: According to Alton Brown, things like beets, potatoes, and carrots should be stored in dry sand in a cool place. I find that letting Whole Foods figure out what to do with food until it gets closer to dinner requires less sand in my basement.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:17 PM
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Cool, airy spaces are hard to come by. Over the winter the basement, where you would expect such things to be true, is full of heat from the furnace and hot water system.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:18 PM
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70: A comparison is to an analogy as a Vespa is to an Explorer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:18 PM
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Keep right on gloating, McManlyPants. I'm leaving you and Rah my kids.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:19 PM
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|| The recent thread that got into how people came to Unfogged: it was Populuxe who pointed the place out to me. He bears no responsibility for anything that followed, obviously. |>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:21 PM
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66: Thanks for the explanation. Although I love blaming the patriarchy, I really dislike arguments of the form, "People don't realize that X sucks, because X is 'women's work'," partly because that argument is so often used in the context of cooking, where it is IME breathtakingly wrong.

Since I generally like and am happy being a parent, I am also not buying 28.last.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:23 PM
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If you leave us your kids, apo, we're just going to have to spend an hour every day reviewing the archives of your blogs so that they have precious memories they can treasure forever. There will be a strong focus on links to videos and photos.

I did once make plans to adopt my nephews if anything happened to my sister but mainly as a way to piss off my parents.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:23 PM
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A family we know in upstate NY designed and built their own house with a large room that acted like root cellar in the middle of the basement. The heat circulation was so perfectly managed that the temperature in the root cellar was a solid 20 to 25 degrees cooler than the rest of the house. They kept the upstairs around 65 degrees with a wood burning stove and effectively had a zero energy walk-in refrigerator.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:24 PM
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One day I'm going to get that gilded beer hall filled with talking panda bear servants. blotto in the grotto with Otto.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:25 PM
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58.1: Message received.


Posted by: DK | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:26 PM
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If I won the lottery It'd be a tossup between spending most of it running evangelical atheist advertising in the bible belt and setting up a floating offshore utopia for all the whiners who talk endlessly about "going Galt" but never get off their asses. Also curing world hunger and cancer and all that shit, of course.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:28 PM
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Keep right on gloating, McManlyPants. I'm leaving you and Rah my kids.

Yeah, kick him to the curb! Hooray for your kids!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:28 PM
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The very suggestion that experimentation ends by 30 freaks me the fuck out.

Lots of people prefer habit. Also, anyone over thirty is dead, as anyone under 20 can tell you. Where's my lifejewel, anyways?

Anyway, this is entertaining and Unfoggy.

I thought it was pretty good when I saw it ... Friday? The child v. non-child thing seems like a distraction. Actually, 'I did this and NOT that makes me really AWESOME' seems like a distraction. Childhood is easy - high grades for small efforts. Adulthood is hard - low grades for massive effort. This tends to come as a shock, until you get used to it... after 20 or 30 years.

In probably totally unrelated news, Yggles has managed to actually turn me on to a band (Tocotronic).

max
['I beat time with my CANE!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:28 PM
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45: Di is back, yay!

I find myself to be both relieved and sad to not have children as compared to almost everyone in my high school class. They chose children; I chose grad school. But now that I'm several years out of grad school, the people in my grad school class are getting married and having kids. Every time I see a new announcement, I panic a little because I feel like I'm being left behind again. Maybe I need to get another degree.


Posted by: Elizabeth | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:29 PM
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73: Cool, airy spaces are hard to come by. Over the winter the basement, where you would expect such things to be true, is full of heat from the furnace and hot water system.

Yeah, I ran into the basement problem the last time I tried this.

There's a lovely spread on storage methods in a past issue of Mother Earth News (I think) which I have somewhere: for hard winter squashes, the author just had them piled around the base of her ficus tree in the corner of the dining room or something. One of the cooler rooms in the house, and the outdoor corner of the house.

It was very sweet, and I believed her.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:30 PM
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79: Great idea. I'm totally going to put that in my back of tricks.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:35 PM
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44
Does it get tiresome with Judd Apatow always calling up for story ideas?

I've never seen a Judd Apatow movie, and based on what I read about him I don't think I'm missing much. Although come to think of it, one friend's recent life actually does seem like fodder for a decent comedy.

53: Oh, that too. I probably just ask "what if" and "couldashouldawould" too much in general.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:38 PM
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The very suggestion that experimentation ends by 30 freaks me the fuck out.

I guess it depends on what you mean by experimentation -- experimentation with laxatives often continues well into your 70s.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:38 PM
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87: My suggestion is to bring back turrets.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:40 PM
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84: Childhood is easy - high grades for small efforts. Adulthood is hard - low grades for massive effort. This tends to come as a shock, until you get used to it... after 20 or 30 years.

Max is smart, and is making me laugh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:42 PM
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81: I do hope that the shift in pseudonym isn't a sign that you feel like I'm trying to push you away. I just don't feel jokey about that particular exchange (just my opinion, etc, etc . . )


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:46 PM
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92: Pardon my cluelessness, but what shift in pseud?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:54 PM
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This.


Posted by: mOBY hICK | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:56 PM
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92: Pardon my cluelessness, but what shift in pseud?

From 45 to 81.

Di Kotimy had, previously, used "DK" when she was unsure about whether or not she wanted to return. I was really hoping that 81 wasn't a signal that she was still ambivalent.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 2:58 PM
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"DK" is too close to "DS."

I think DK should go back to Di Kotimy and DS should go back to Doctor Slack, on Lizardbreathean grounds.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:02 PM
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I'd rather not have this turn into the topic of discussion. Yes, I am still ambivalent. Now, please, back to your root vegetables and sexual experimentation and whatnot.


Posted by: Di | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:04 PM
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You don't need to ask twice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:05 PM
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65: I used to find myself in this situation. Then some close lesbian friends approached me about being their babydaddy, forcing me to actually consider and come to terms with implications of having a child, instead of happily ignoring the issue as I had been. Unfortunately, they changed their mind after I already had a head full of images like introducing my parents to the grandchild they never thought they'd get, and now I drive myself crazy nearly constantly thinking about what if.

91: agreed, that was an excellent formulation


Posted by: piminnowcheez | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:10 PM
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Actually, I'm watching the local news to see how "Hippies vs. Police: The Quest for an Injunction" goes. The police won round 1.
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09265/999987-100.stm


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:12 PM
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No regrets about my own kid, despite the years of sleep deprivation. The real challenges have been with my wife's sisters' kids, who are a great joy but have been a great challenge at times. (And this is one of those times....)


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:14 PM
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It is taking me years and years to stop making comparisons. Not about lifestyles, because I am generally pretty sure what I like and also fairly placid once I've got it, but about any type of comparisons between people. I keep rejecting one class of comparisons and then another. Eventually I suppose I'll learn not to do them at all.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:21 PM
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OT:

Hey, one of the ACORN employees who got taped playing along with the phony pimp did go to the police.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:22 PM
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finding a winning lottery ticket

The key here is finding, not buying.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:25 PM
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And I'm more or less with Charley on comparisons. I don't compare my life to others' lives, but to what I might be doing if I weren't doing this. Right now a cabin, a porch, a rocking chair, and a shotgun are sounding pretty good.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:26 PM
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103: and yet he was fired anyway...


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:38 PM
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103: Talked to his cousin the cop != go to the police.

Nice that he did actually take some steps to deal with the horror of potentially facilitating slavery, but waiting two days and then calling your cousin seems to me a little tepid when dealing with slavery and rape.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:40 PM
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107: Come on, he didn't talk to his cousin the cop and tell him to keep it under his hat, he talked to his cousin the cop who went to a federal trafficking task force guy. You really think that's culpably insufficient?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:43 PM
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Condering he probably thought there was a 95% chance the guy was full of shit*, thinking it over for a few days and then deciding to go ahead and contact the authorities in case that 5% chance proved to be right doesn't seem to be to be irresponsible at all.

*which was, let's not forget, ultimately correct


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:46 PM
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And wasn't the conversation in the form of "So, if we set up this brothel full of underage girls, how would we do the finances" rather than "How can we do the finances for our currently existing brothel of underage girls?" So, two days here and there, not actually allowing for any additional slavery and rape if any such had been going on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:48 PM
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43: Cyrus, you're only 27, chill. Your situation freaks me out a bit by pretty much describing my life exactly up until the moment I met the future Mrs. Chopper. If the parallels continue, don't bother going to business school.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:50 PM
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Maybe the guy didn't go to the police at first because the phony pimp seemed such an obvious fake, but then he later thought "but what if he's real?"


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:50 PM
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107: Mr. Vera claims that there was a fairly severe language barrier. And that he thought he was helping them help the girls. Until we see unedited tape -- and this racist joker has been fingered for unethically editing his gotcha tapes before -- I see no reason to disbelieve Mr. Vera or to believe the grotesque O'Keefe (famous for his "Affirmative Action Bakesale" at Rutgers -- he charged blacks less! Hur Hur!).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:51 PM
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108

... You really think that's culpably insufficient?

Apparently ACORN thought so or they wouldn't have fired the guy.

I think ACORN supporters should get their story straight. If the pimp was obviously phony and the ACORN people were just going along with the joke why would they go to the police at all?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:53 PM
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On the subject of the comparisons game, and child-rearing, I had beers last night with a friend whose son recently entered his teen years. So, so weird. The kid is, naturally, totally embarrassed by everything his dad does. But I kind of agree with the kid! The kid is making his dad move out (they both live with my friend's mom), he's (as a snappy dresser) humiliated by the fact that his dad still wears ratty t-shirts, he wishes his dad had a real job; kid is going to grow up into a responsible adult as a form of rebellion!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:54 PM
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kid is going to grow up into a responsible adult as a form of rebellion!

I've seen it happen more than once.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:56 PM
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Apparently ACORN thought so or they wouldn't have fired the guy.

You keep saying this but I have a hard time seeing it as proof anything except ACORN's feeling the need to perform some immediate and thoughtless CYA.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:57 PM
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I'm not sure what would constitute the minimal set of actions required to not be complicit in the crime (which is what I assume you mean by "culpably insufficient," which sounds like a legal term of art and therefore to be avoided by decent folks non-lawyers). The ideal would be placing a phone call to the appropriate authorities within minutes of the couple leaving, hopefully we can agree on that. Absent details of what he talked to his cousin about, I can't say one way or another. Worst case it was an exercise in personal butt-covering just in case things came unglued, and in the best case it was an inquiry as to the most effective course of action, taken via the indirect route because he knew that a straightforward call to the local police would most likely lead to the cops royally fucking things up and failing to nab the pair.

I'm in a state of heightened insensitivity to human trafficking right now, having just read a book on a closely related subject. Suffice to say that the people who enslave women for the purpose of commercial rape are bad, and I do not like them.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:57 PM
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115: Alex P. Keaton!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:57 PM
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And having said my bit in 118, 112 and 113 seem plausible enough to me.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:58 PM
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I'm in a state of heightened insensitivity to human trafficking right now,

That and antonyms.

having just read a book on a closely related subject.

Not this one? I've got to read that soon and report back to various people -- what'd you think of it?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 3:59 PM
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108: That's awfully confused of you, isn't it? "ACORN supporters" aren't in the position of getting their stories straight -- each individual ACORN employee who interacted with these people has their own different story, because each interaction was a separate event.

This individual guy -- I'm not clear from that article what he says he thought was going on at the time. "Not going to make a fuss with the criminals while they're in my office, I'll go to the cops afterward," seems like one possibility, as does "Man, I thought that 'pimp' was just goofing, so I played along, but now in retrospect I'm not quite sure. Better call the cops just in case."

What makes no sense at all, given that he went to the cops, is that he intended to cooperate with criminal activity.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:00 PM
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119: holy crap.

I tell you, the kid showed up to our wedding wearing a blue blazer, khakis and boat shoes, and you know how 13-year-olds who are dressed up always look kind of slouchy and uncomfortable? He did not look like that. His clothes fit, and he really seemed to be enjoying it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:01 PM
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. Absent details of what he talked to his cousin about, I can't say one way or another.

Well, you know his cousin took it to the federal human smuggling task force guy, so he must have gotten the point across somehow.

And 'culpably insufficient' isn't a legal term of art, I just write like that. I meant something like 'a reasonable response for a decent person under the circumstances.'


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:02 PM
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117

You keep saying this but I have a hard time seeing it as proof anything except ACORN's feeling the need to perform some immediate and thoughtless CYA.

So ACORN fired them as part of a plot to make themselves look bad?

And who said anything about proof?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:03 PM
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So ACORN fired them as part of a plot to make themselves look bad?

Man, does that not follow from what oudemia said.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:05 PM
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On the plus side...


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:05 PM
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99.1: Tempted to go presidential on this, but: my sister and sil had picked out a guy and discussed it and were all ready to go, when it turned out that sil has an inhospitable womb*. My sister is adamantly opposed to bearing a child, so that was that. Still a chance at adoption, but seems unlikely at this point (see 21).

* I know that's not the most sensitive term, but it just kills me that it was an actual medical term.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:06 PM
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This interaction is kind of sweet. JBS is trying to troll LB, but he's a little bit (well, maybe more than a little bit) off his game. LB, noticing him floundering, is trying to help him do it. You can do it, James! You're an excellent troll! C'mon, buddy. Just a little further.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:07 PM
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125: You seem to think it is proof that ACORN thought their employees' actions "culpably insufficient." That's why you brought it up, right? All I know is that they fired everyone who appeared on the (released, edited) video tapes, presumably hoping it might make their problem go away faster. Silly ACORN, underestimating just what a fetish object they are to racists.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:07 PM
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129 to the sweet-natured LB-JBS sitcom, this fall on CBS3.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:07 PM
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121: This one.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:08 PM
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132: that sounds distinctly less rollicking than the one I linked to.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:10 PM
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I saw the article linked in 127 earlier. That would be the happiest-making thing in history. Mice would be too busy orgasming to eat my dry goods and shit in my pantry.

Can we have Grayson replace all the bad Senators?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:11 PM
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LB-JBS sitcom

The Lemmon-Matthau Odd Couple is pretty good.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:12 PM
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131: Maybe unfogged should get an agent. Has there been a "Bridget Loves Bernie" for the hyperpartisan red-state blue-state age? Are LB and JBS already married? Or do they work together, say, at a newspaper? Or is it another update of The Shop Around the Corner, but with a left-liberal bookish blog hostess and her trolling wingnut commenter?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:12 PM
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128.* I'm reminded of the Catholic church's "invincibly ignorant."


Posted by: piminnowcheez | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:14 PM
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136: the public interest lawyer and the old-school shortsleeves-and-narrow tie engineer are forced to interact when he's laid off and takes a job at her beloved local bike store?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:19 PM
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137: Wow, I didn't know that one. I miss pagan babies.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:19 PM
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97: Now, please, back to your root vegetables and sexual experimentation and whatnot.

Ahem: I, for one, have never sexually experimented with root vegetables. I am shocked and disappointed anyone would suggest that I have.

max
['On the other hand, maybe I should conduct sexual experiments involving root vegetables. Ladeez?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:20 PM
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136: Well done. I'm not sure how you get them interacting enough without a coffee shop involved.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:20 PM
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138 cont'd: call it Cranks


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:21 PM
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old-school shortsleeves-and-narrow tie engineer

How I love these guys. My department still has some, but they're a declining proportion. (Because of hiring chicks. Some of them are not engineers at all, but biologists, who are naturally wildly unpredictable and might suggest that we value things that can't be measured.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:22 PM
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132 - It's an easy and fast read, despite being horribly depressing in many places. It's switched my stance on prostitution from "legalize and regulate" to "decriminalize selling, heavily prosecute buying."


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:23 PM
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Long comment on kids and life satisfaction deleted as a self-indulgence.

140.1:Carrots

Much better.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:24 PM
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142: Bravo!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:24 PM
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130

You seem to think it is proof that ACORN thought their employees' actions "culpably insufficient." That's why you brought it up, right? ...

I brought it up as evidence for the proposition that ACORN thought their employee's actions were culpably insufficient and that is why ACORN fired them. I didn't claim it was proof of anything. Nothing is ever completely certain and requiring "proof" is just a way of ignoring evidence you would rather not deal with.

I suppose your alternate explanantion that ACORN fired their employees as a public relations gimmick although ACORN didn't actually believe they had done anything wrong is also possible.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:27 PM
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Nothing is ever completely certain and requiring "proof" is just a way of ignoring evidence you would rather not deal with.

Oh good grief.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:29 PM
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Just tonight I was at a bar with some people of my approximate age, and one baby, and there was some talk of babies and children and domestic things. I felt out of place, and somehow behind the curve.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:37 PM
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On the other hand, tasty alcohol and food, so I must have been in the right place. But, I see people in my age cohort taking lots of different approaches to the problem of starting a career that requires moving around a lot while leading some semblance of a normal life. I think everyone's kind of questioning how to make it work and whether others have it figured out, so it is very much a late 20s thing and not just a middle-aged thing. The parents really do seem to have something irreconcilably different about the way they live life, though, and I don't know whether I envy it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:43 PM
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130
Silly ACORN, underestimating just what a fetish object they are to racists.

In fairness, I think JBS is being disingenuous here, but not actually racist.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:51 PM
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151: Oh nono. That wasn't addressed to JBS -- it was addressing ACORN's naivete that they thought simply firing the staffers involved would satisfy those braying for their blood. Because, while yes I do indeed think the better part of the loony fixation on ACORN is because they register poor folks many of whom are non-white to vote is due to race, I didn't think what JBS was saying right then was racist.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 4:56 PM
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147: I suppose your alternate explanantion that ACORN fired their employees as a public relations gimmick although ACORN didn't actually believe they had done anything wrong is also possible.

The first video I saw implied that a pimp went into an ACORN office and asked for tax advice on how to report the funds received through an illegal occupation. So that part simply involves taking black market pay and bringing it into the system. (The law in Texas used to (and still may) require marijuana dealers to purchase tax stamps to cover their sales.) Nothing illegal about that, unless you want to try to ding ACORN for false reporting. Which would be silly and very Shearer-esque.

Second, 'Mr. Pimpy' apparently asked hypothetically (it didn't come in clear) how to report the income of underagers engaged in an illegal occupation. If Mr. Pimpy asked the question hypothetically, there's no culpability for reporting it, since no crime occurred. A hypothetical disussion of an illegal act is not a crime. It wouldn't be illegal for someone like, say, James Shearer to discuss the construction of a hypothetical nuclear weapon - that isn't an illegal act.

Now both illegal acts Mr. Pimpy presented with, would be reportable if a person knew that those acts were actually occurring. The adult prostitution is minor, and the police would complain about the tip line being jammed up is someone tried to report that. The illegal immigration + sex slavery (?) + plus prostitution angle would be reportable.

Apparently the man reported it. That's what he's supposed to do with an illegal act that is known to be happening.

The end.

Firing him, on the other hand, appears to be faulting the persons involved for the cause of fucking up public relations, which those people surely did. So I expect that they deserved that, since it appeared as though they were enabling prostitution of a nasty variety, even though they weren't.

Please feel free to arrest and prosecute, or at least fire, every banker in New York City, along with a very large number of R-leaning execs in other industries, if that's the standard we're sticking to.

max
['And also, what oudemia said.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 5:08 PM
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I'm flying by the edge of the seat of my pants of the skin of my teeth

:-D


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 5:11 PM
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152
I didn't think what JBS was saying right then was racist.

I don't either, but I do think he's being disingenuous in this thread. I phrased it in a way that drew you in; sorry about that.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 5:23 PM
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the impression that everyone at Unfogged has a more interesting life than I do

We do.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 5:25 PM
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153

Second, 'Mr. Pimpy' apparently asked hypothetically (it didn't come in clear) how to report the income of underagers engaged in an illegal occupation. If Mr. Pimpy asked the question hypothetically, there's no culpability for reporting it, since no crime occurred. A hypothetical disussion of an illegal act is not a crime. It wouldn't be illegal for someone like, say, James Shearer to discuss the construction of a hypothetical nuclear weapon - that isn't an illegal act.

Culpable does not mean illegal, it just means blameworthy. See here .


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 5:26 PM
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156: For certain values of "interesting," that is.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 5:27 PM
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There's no other basement anywhere as interesting as this one.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 5:31 PM
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152 is on target. The bloviating blow-dried blowhards of the right won't be satisfied until ACORN is roasting over an open fire. Incidentally, look for Rush Limbaugh to do a little racist parody of that tune before the year is out, if he hasn't already.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 5:39 PM
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I want to be a basement technician when I grow up, if only to know what a basement technician is.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 5:44 PM
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When a local man won the 129 million dollar lottery recently, my ensuing fantasies became so detailed that I had to keep reminding myself that I had not, in fact, won the lottery.


Dr. Bostrom doesn't pretend to know which of these hypotheses is more likely, but he thinks none of them can be ruled out. "My gut feeling, and it's nothing more than that," he says, "is that there's a 20 percent chance we're living in a computer simulation."

Winning a 129 million dollar lottery may be nice for other people, but if Dr. Bostrom is right then you won the lottery, you got to figure that this would push the percentage chance that we are living in a computer simulation well over 90%. That would suck for all of us, so don't be selfish.


Posted by: Lemmy Caution | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 5:49 PM
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God, John Tierney is such a tool. I wish he didn't have a column in the science section.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 5:57 PM
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$129 million is just asking for trouble. $2-4 million is plenty to walk away with.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 5:58 PM
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156:No 'we' don't.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 6:19 PM
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When you read this thread from about comment 90 or so on, it looks like this place is having a nervous breakdown. I sort of wish Mcmanus weren't holding his tongue.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 6:52 PM
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Hm. On the seeing how your life pans out front: you can control it only so much. Your parents may die at an early age, or you may wind up with a medical condition that precludes having children. You may be gay, or be deaf, or be female, or not of a favored race. You may be born and raised in a country not of the so-called first world.

I want to say that growing up involves learning how not to regret any of these things, but to take them in stride, to the extent possible. Is that too strong, or treacly?

The article linked in the OP, of course, assumes all things being equal. Given this self, what other lives might I have lived? Fair question. I'd say that it should always be an open question. I think that's what we call dreaming. I can't imagine why anyone would want to shut it down.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 7:17 PM
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Given this self, what other lives might I have lived? Fair question.

Incoherent question. Our experiences aren't all that we are, but they're certainly part.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 7:26 PM
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168: Certainly. My reference to "this" self was chiefly to the circumstantial: race, ethnicity, gender, physical make-up, socioeconomic condition.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 7:38 PM
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157: Culpable does not mean illegal, it just means blameworthy.

Shorthand for 'legally culpable'. However, if your only interest is kvetching about two now fired ACORN employees, I'm guessing that you don't think there are other problems to talk about.

Or you're just after poor blacks for some reason, presumably their ostensibly low IQs.

max
['Perhaps you mean to call for mandatory sterilization?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 7:45 PM
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the impression that everyone at Unfogged has a more interesting life than I do

We do.

I knew it!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 7:46 PM
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I want to say that growing up involves learning how not to regret any of these things,

I don't think regretting an inability to have children, or the early loss of one's parents, is a sign of immaturity. What's wrong with regret?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 7:50 PM
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A guy I went to camp with and later worked with at said camp was just busted for soliciting sex from a cop posing online as a 13 year old. I am not envious of his life.
See how I merged the threads there?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 7:51 PM
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163: I entirely agree with Bostrom about the simulation argument. And I didn't see anything wrong with the first page of Tierny's article, though I don't endorse anything else of his.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 7:53 PM
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NON, JE NE REGRETTE RIEN.


Posted by: OPINIONATED EDITH PIAF | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 7:56 PM
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I regret it every time a wavefunction collapses.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 7:58 PM
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173: A guy I worked with grading AP exams was just busted for the same thing! And crossing state lines to do it!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 8:04 PM
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I don't think regretting an inability to have children, or the early loss of one's parents, is a sign of immaturity. What's wrong with regret?

I'd like to banish the references to maturity and immaturity, so it was problematic of me to refer to growing up. I'll just say that, for me, learning, or at least trying, to accept regretful things has seemed a move forward.

You're right: there's nothing wrong with regret. But it reflects a loss: something is lost. It's not coming back.

I can't speak glibly about this, though. A couple of friends of mine have seen their children die, and you can't really say anything about that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 8:07 PM
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From the OP: I'm having a day where I will take a bow tonight if I get through without screwing anything up too major.

[Fist bump.] This describes my week so far but still made me smile. Thanks for wording it heebie-geebily.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 8:27 PM
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Yeah, I was going to say 178 a different way; even though they might seem to be in conflict, I don't see anything in either 167 or 172 to disagree with.

I lost what is, probabilistically speaking, my only chance to have a child - it's not coming back. But on the other hand, my life after that experience looks just like what it did before: I probably wasn't going to have a child, and now that's presently still the case. The difference is only in my perspective. (You can see why this comparison question piques my interest.)


Posted by: piminnowcheez | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 8:35 PM
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170

Shorthand for 'legally culpable'. However, if your only interest is kvetching about two now fired ACORN employees, I'm guessing that you don't think there are other problems to talk about.

Way to move the goalposts.

Actually I think there are lots of problems to talk about. For instance Afghanistan. Why is Obama taking orders from the generals rather than vice versa?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 8:40 PM
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Why is Obama taking orders from the generals rather than vice versa?

Because he didn't just fall off a turnip truck.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 8:42 PM
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181: Speaking of moving the goalposts...


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 8:54 PM
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If people are still going on about ACORN, I'm going to link to this excellent brief firsthand account of working for them:

I worked on the political side. [...] I hired kids off the streets of North Philly and trained them in voter registration and get out the vote strategies. [...] We never asked people to vote for Kerry or to register as Democrats, and we turned in every card (after vetting them for fraud) even when the cards were for Republicans.[...]
Three of my co-workers (people with the same job description) were fresh out of prison. They were relatively young black men from North Philly who had done their time and were happy to have full employment and to give something back to their community. Mainly, they acted as very effective mentors to the at-risk kids that were coming in in response to the jobs we were offering.
I don't think it's possible for most white, suburban people to really understand the culture that ACORN operates in. Just the idea that freshly released felons might be some of the most valuable role models in a neighborhood is too foreign for a lot of people to relate to. These kids didn't have prior job experience. They didn't have other jobs in retail or a union available to them. There were no local banks or available credit. Most of them had no picture ID, and even fewer had a government ID. Just getting their paperwork in order so that I could hire them was a nightmare. When their paychecks were late (as they often were), their heat got shut off.

And also to this Q and A with Rick (Nixonland) Perlstein:

Honoring the perspectives of conservative citizens is an absolute imperative for any newspaper; honoring the perspectives of liberal citizens is an absolute imperative for any newspaper. But there are ways of honoring people with conservative politics without serving the agendas of conservative politicians.

Unfortunately, then he goes on to say some annoying standard journalism claptrap. Still worth reading.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:14 PM
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181: Way to move the goalposts.

What goalposts, James? The ones you choose but failed to define?

For instance Afghanistan. Why is Obama taking orders from the generals rather than vice versa?

Why, that's a good, albeit poorly phrased question. Let's try again: why are the generals so keen on making political maneuvers designed to force Obama to let them stay in Afghanistan? And since they want to stay, what the hell are they trying to do?

My guess is that they like the opportunity for promotion, and further, they're emotionally committed. Too committed to see the strategic situation clearly. On the other hand, as Charlie suggests, Obama is no position to oppose them. What the hell does he know? Which is a problem.

max
['20 miles of bad road.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:23 PM
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Why the hell is Shearer in charge of the conversation now?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:27 PM
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186: because he's so cute trying to fix a broken front derailleur with his crew cut and clipboard all the beardy hipsters looking on and flustering him.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:29 PM
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Because no one will talk about the simulation argument. :(


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:30 PM
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Because no one will talk about the simulation argument. :(

I'm sorry, PA, but Tierney falls into the category of "Do not read; will only exasperate" for me.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:32 PM
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|| A friend of mine who teaches at a public university just proclaimed himself a "tenther." This is stupid.|>


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:33 PM
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A what?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:35 PM
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No need to go through Tierney.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:35 PM
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186 to 166.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:35 PM
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191: A tenth amendment absolutist! No federal expenditure of money is legal -- no highways, no Social Security, no VA, no Medicare, no federal highway system, um, Brown v Board of Ed is questionable! He doesn't believe all of those things, but many 10th amendment absolutists do! He says he is adopting the "tenther" moniker because lefties are using it pejoratively to lump them with birthers and truthers. Oh and "no one serious" is against the highway system.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:38 PM
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191: Tenther = Tenth Amendment absolutist. All powers not enumerated as belonging to the federal governments are reserved by the states, and they mean it literally. The term is new, but the concept has been around for a long time. I remember hearing rhetoric like this from some of my dad's cousins at least 15 years ago.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:39 PM
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194: Please tell me he said this on the DARPAinternet.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:40 PM
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Serves me right for looking for a link.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:40 PM
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I'm a Thirder.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:43 PM
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Ah. I'd heard of the concept, but not the name for it.

federal governments

Careful with the plural there, separatist.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:44 PM
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Careful with the plural there, separatist.

I'm sure the tenthers are equally opposed to expenditures by the federal governments of both the Union and the Confederacy.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:46 PM
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194, 195: Oh. I thought it was like a ten-percenter.

192: Hm. I think I am not the intended audience:

The human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a "posthuman" stage
.

Yeah, I have neither the philosophical chops nor the suspension of disbelief (or something) required to discuss this thoughtfully.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:46 PM
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I'm a Thirder.

Yeah! No quartering troops in my house!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:48 PM
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I suspect quite a few tenthers do not have a sense of ideological consistency. No one does, but it seems especially a problem among absolutists.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:48 PM
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185

What goalposts, James? The ones you choose but failed to define?

LB chose the word culpable. If she meant legally culpable she should have said so.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:49 PM
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I'm sure plenty of tenthers have no sense of ideological consistency (oudemia's friend seems like a prime example), but in their defense, tentherism is at least potentially a coherent and internally consistent ideology, as opposed to, say, birtherism or deatherism. It's still crazy, of course, but it's crazy in a logical way, while the rest of the right-wing fringe ideas getting so much attention these days are just totally insane and incoherent.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:53 PM
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185

... On the other hand, as Charlie suggests, Obama is no position to oppose them. What the hell does he know? Which is a problem.

It certainly is. And suggests Obama was not in fact qualified to be President.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:54 PM
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206: whatup, Heinlein. I would actually go further, and argue that every president should have experience with every single job subordinate to the presidency, that they might instruct those people with authority. "I worked as a forestry manager, and let me tell you, that is absolutely the wrong way to control invasive species."

"Yes sir, Starship Commander President!"

That's how it should be.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 9:56 PM
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Trolling, trolling, trolling
Rawhide

Troll 'em on, head' em up
Troll 'em up, move' em on
Move 'em on, Troll' em up
Rawhide

Troll 'em out, ride 'em in
Troll 'em in, cut 'em out
Call 'em out, ride 'em in
Rawhide


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 10:00 PM
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Well troll on buddy,
Don't ya troll so slow!
Well how can I troll
When my reels won't go?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 10:13 PM
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194: Oh and "no one serious" is against the highway system.

Ask him about that whole 'slavery is a positive good' thing.

200: I'm sure the tenthers are equally opposed to expenditures by the federal governments of both the Union and the Confederacy.

Unless, of course, they're military expenditures.

204: LB chose the word culpable. If she meant legally culpable she should have said so.

Well, given that she's a lawyer, with what other meaning would she invoke 'culpable'? I suppose she could of discussed in terms of entrapment, but then, I guess you'd say she didn't mean legal entrapment because she didn't say 'the legal of theory of entrapment'.

It certainly is. And suggests Obama was not in fact qualified to be President.

Yeah, like Bush the Younger, Clinton the Bill, Bush the Elderly, Reagan the Not Entirely There, Carter the Peanut, Ford the Clumsy, Nixon the Crooked, Johnson the Determined, Kennedy of the Hair and we're back to Eisenhower. Who did know what HE was doing, since he spent seven and a half years not getting involved in armed conflict. And also, WWII.

So I guess we know what Obama needs to do. Of course, if Congress opposes him, egged on by say, Fox News, who seem to spend a lot of time drumming up faux scandals alternating with demands that we bomb the entire earth, then any President would have a problem.

Compared to that, any issues with ACORN are essentially TRIVIAL, perhaps mainly useful for going after poor people.

max
['Perhaps if Fox spent some time doing something other than demagoging we'd get somewhere.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 10:20 PM
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207

whatup, Heinlein. I would actually go further, and argue that every president should have experience with every single job subordinate to the presidency, that they might instruct those people with authority. "I worked as a forestry manager, and let me tell you, that is absolutely the wrong way to control invasive species."

I don't want a President who is intimidated by his generals. I don't think this actually requires the President to have served in the military.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 10:32 PM
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I don't want a President who is intimidated by his generals.

Must've been a tough 60 years.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 10:34 PM
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210

So I guess we know what Obama needs to do. Of course, if Congress opposes him, egged on by say, Fox News, who seem to spend a lot of time drumming up faux scandals alternating with demands that we bomb the entire earth, then any President would have a problem.

If the President can't stand a little heat he is unfit for the office.

And Obama has allowed himself to be put in an awkward situation. If he didn't want to put more troops in Afghanistan he shouldn't have solicted a request for more troops.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 10:38 PM
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Did something bad happen to you today, James? You seem ill at ease.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 10:50 PM
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Tenthers ought to read Luther Martin's closing argument in M'Culloch v. Maryland.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-22-09 10:53 PM
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I think the likeliest explanation is that shearer has been constipated lately, so he's off his game. eat a lot of dates or whatever, and you'll be back to prime trolling form, james.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 3:39 AM
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I think the likeliest explanation is ...

This.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 6:59 AM
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When their paychecks were late (as they often were), their heat got shut off.

See Witt, this part sucks. And you don't have to be from the inner city to have problems when your paycheck is late. I wish that ACORN didn't do this sort of thing. They still do important work, obviously.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 8:54 AM
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218: Wait. You wish ACORN didn't do what sort of thing? Be late with paychecks? I'm sure ACORN wishes it didn't do that sort of thing either.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 8:58 AM
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|| teo, I sent you an e-mail about the unfogged facebook group.


Di--There should be an e-mail in your google account from me.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 8:59 AM
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219: I'm sure they do wish that. It just goes along with the whole "organizations working for social justice don't/or can't treat their employees well enough." It makes it hard for people to go work for these organizations and is an argument for better funding and cash flow management.

The DNC also treats its outdoor solicitors poorly, and while the Democratic party isn't necessarily about social justice, it's totally shitty that they don't offer health benefits when they could afford it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 9:04 AM
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220: And there should now be a reply in yours!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 9:08 AM
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it's totally shitty that they don't offer health benefits when they could afford it.

Like Whole Foods. (I kid, but I really love that store and have no intention of abandoning it as I get 75% better for 10% more money since I found them.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 9:09 AM
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"75% better food"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 9:12 AM
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Uniting the Facebook and the ACORN topics, this story suggests that Peter Thiel, an early Facebook investor, is the money behind the ACORN videos.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 9:14 AM
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The DNC also treats its outdoor solicitors poorly

Even lawyers deserve a roof over their heads.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 9:21 AM
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225: The other video scheme described in that link is sickening and hateful. Oh, and yes!, racist.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 9:23 AM
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Outdoor soliciting combines the thrills of parkour with the challenges of legal work.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 9:25 AM
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220: 10-4. Replied.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 9:29 AM
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225, 227: Christ, what an asshole.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 9:34 AM
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226: In the current economic climate, many solicitors are suffering. Even some who went to schools that came in near the top on the U.S. News rankings.
For only $3 a day, the price of a grande latte, you can help a struggling lawyer pay for his Blackberry's plan or buy a grande latte. For as little as $1,200 dollars, you can help a new attorney get her first leather chair.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 9:36 AM
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OT, but this is some pretty impressive protesting.

http://community.post-gazette.com/blogs/bigstory/archive/2009/09/23/bridge-protest-images.aspx


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 9:55 AM
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231: So that's an extension of this program?

(I can't watch that video in this country because of copyright, and it was difficult to find since youtube excludes results that copyright prevents you from seeing. Thanks youtube!)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 10:26 AM
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Personally, I think the interstate highway system is a great example for the tenthers to use. The excellent system of public transportation that was built up in the beginning of the 20th century was the result of an organic, bottom-up process driven by states and municipalities. The interstate highway system, which decimated both urban centers and rural landscapes, and locked in the car culture and our dependence on oil, was a product of central planning emphasizing the priorities of the powerful over the needs of the communities whose lives were being planned.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 10:44 AM
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234: Are you a birther, too, rob?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 10:49 AM
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rganic, bottom-up process driven by states and municipalities

You mean streetcar magnates who tried to monopolize the lines and use them to promote real estate until the municipal ownership movement successfully took them over?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 10:53 AM
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I'm sort of hoping for a weakening of the car culture (not a collapse). I don't see how Pittsburgh can get back on solid financial ground without people moving in from the suburbs. And I'm close to the bus lines.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 10:55 AM
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Which is not to say that the outcome of streetcar/subway expansion is something I greatly prefer to freeway insanity.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 10:55 AM
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It seems to me that a good tenther could be all in favor of municipal trolley ownership. The issue is about the relationship between two levels of government, not between government and free markets. In any case, I'm not really a tenther (or a birther or a truther and I'm not even sure what a deather is.) .

Generally with social planning the balance between top down and bottom up approaches is a purely pragmatic matter. Go with what is likely to work best given the circumstances. It seems foolish to have strong ideological commitments to things that are only means to ends.

Mostly, I just hate the interstate highway system and have (probably idealistic) nostalgia for the streetcar era.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 11:05 AM
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239: I live in what was once a street car suburb, though I'm back a bit in the area that wasn't built-up until the bus-car era. Street cars make for a nice layout, urban-planning wise. Of course, very few street car communities have a Stuckey's. For that, you need an interstate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 11:09 AM
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I just hate the interstate highway system and have (probably idealistic) nostalgia for the streetcar era.

Interstate highways and streetcars aren't exactly substitutes for one another. I think you mean you're nostalgic for the railroad era.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 11:11 AM
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You know, I went to first through third grade with an heir to the Stuckey's fortune. We played Star Trek. He was always Kirk and I was always Spock.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 11:13 AM
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I HATE THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM TOO!


Posted by: THE (OPINIONATED) OCTOPUS | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 11:13 AM
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241: The urban beltway portions of the Interstate highway system are competing with streetcars, if there were street cars to compete with. And from a strict interpretation of the 10th amendment, building a four lane highway from one state to another is a legit role for the feds as that is pretty clearly interstate commerce. Building a freeway to the same-state 'burbs of a major city, not so much, if you take a strict line. Anyway, Rob's point seems interesting to me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 11:18 AM
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Prague had streetcars as the dominant mode of mass transit until the mid-seventies. It's a system that does not scale well; a lovely, generally, civilized way to get around until some critical density. Car-trolley accidents are bad, and crowded trolleys are pretty unpleasant. The trolleys are still there, but not the main epople-movers on most routes.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 11:19 AM
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I loved the look of the Prague streetcars. None of the images I've found on google search do them justice, however.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 11:23 AM
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(No Justice. No Pics.)


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 11:24 AM
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In the streetcar days, I could have gone from my house to work by trolley. (In fact, I could have gone all the way to Toledo on trolley's). Now I get to work on I-90 (which is also how I'd get to Toledo.)

Actually, today I am supposed to bike home, but it looks like rain.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 11:29 AM
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http://www.flickr.com/groups/12957089@N00/pool/


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 11:31 AM
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Oh god, the apostrophe, I hurt myself with it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 11:31 AM
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I rode a streetcar-ish thing this past weekend (Portland's MAX). Very nice. Would ride again.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 11:33 AM
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248: Not going to Toledo can solve many problems.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 11:33 AM
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Speaking of small cities in Ohio and trolleys, Dayton has (had?) some kind of weird electric bus/trolley system. It has electric lines like for a trolley, but buses than run on the regular road.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 11:36 AM
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||

"You're gonna run into jerk offs. But remember, it's not the size of the asshole you worry about, it's how much shit comes out of it."

I think that is an endorsement of consequentialism over virtue theory.

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 11:45 AM
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Yeah, Portland has put in two extensive light rail systems over the past 25 years, the MAX (a metro-area system that goes out to the burbs east and west, and will soon go to Vancouver), as well as streetcar lines in the city itself. They are indeed very nice; you can use them to get to and from the airport and the train station, and you can take your bike with you. Portland prides itself on being a planning-wonk dream city, and they do transportation pretty well.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 11:49 AM
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Yes, but Dayton is near where the keep the bodies of the aliens who crashed at Roswell.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 12:05 PM
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256: 'they keep the bodies'


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 12:06 PM
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253 You mean like this


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 12:35 PM
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Yeah, the things in 258 are all over Eastern Europe (and probably a lot of other places as well). Trolleybuses.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 12:40 PM
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?

Re discussions on kids being out alone without supervision, I rode that trolleybus into town and then a tram every schoolday for eight years. I survived.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 12:41 PM
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258: Pretty much. Dayton must be the sophosticated part of Ohio.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 12:43 PM
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That one is in Geneva. They're in other Swiss cities as well. The only problem is when they get detached from the wires. Poland doesn't seem to have them, at least not in the cities I am familiar with (Warsaw Krakow, Wroclaw). Tons of trams, plus normal fume belching buses.

Btw, I keep on reading in US papers about how light rail shares road lanes with cars. I've ridden tons of trams all over Europe and never seen that. It's always dedicated lanes.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 12:44 PM
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Pittsburgh has a light rail system, one line of which is sharing lanes with cars. I though that disappeared years ago, but I found out I was wrong while driving one day. Of course, it is pretty rare these days.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 12:48 PM
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Interesting that they don't have trolleybuses in Poland. They're really common in Ukraine, and Russia too IIRC, and I think Prague as of twelve years ago. I always think of them as Soviet, but that's just because I'd never left the Western U.S. before I was air-dropped into Kharkov.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 12:51 PM
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I rode that trolleybus into town and then a tram every schoolday for eight years. I survived.

Ah, but that's because Big Brother was watching over you. Here in the States, all we have is the Invisible Hand, and it's not a very attentive caregiver. No eyes, you see.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 12:59 PM
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No eyes, you see.

and it gets awful grabby in close quarters


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 1:02 PM
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266: "tight quarters", text.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 1:06 PM
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Loosen up, M/tch.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 1:10 PM
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262: Our systems have both: the streetcar shares lanes with cars, the metro-area lines have their own.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 1:14 PM
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quarters can be both close and tight


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 1:17 PM
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269: Yes, but do you have a funicular.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 1:21 PM
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269: God bless the metro-area line that's got its own.


Posted by: B/llie Troll/yday | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 1:23 PM
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270: But the Invisible Hand favors the latter. Because S/He's down with the kidz like that.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 1:26 PM
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San Francisco has had trolleybuses for as long as I can remember.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 1:32 PM
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No funicular, but we do have a sleek aerial tram. As yet, no one's written a catchy tune to celebrate it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 1:32 PM
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Big Brother is the appropriate term. When I was getting my work permit renewed one summer at the Genevan INS, aptly named 'Controle de l'habitant', I inquired about citizenship. Generally favorable reaction because of my being white and having only attended two political demos. A politically active friend got a look at his file. Pics of him around town, fooling around with his gf in a park, reports on what he said at various political meetings. etc.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 1:33 PM
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275: Some aerial trams have catchy tunes associated with them.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 1:39 PM
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CAPARISONS ARE ODIOUS!


Posted by: OPINIONATED TIRED HORSE | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 2:41 PM
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COW PRIONS ARE ODIOUS!


Posted by: OPINIONATED CJD VICTIM | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 2:46 PM
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Campari sips are obvious.

And, not going to the Lido can solve many problems.


Posted by: Gustav von Aschenbach | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 2:56 PM
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Gustav is malodorous.


Posted by: Tadzio | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 2:59 PM
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Well, I am a corpse.

You little minx.


Posted by: Gustav von Aschenbach | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 3:06 PM
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I'm a copse.


Posted by: Opinionated small group of trees | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 3:09 PM
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I'm a little manx.


Posted by: Opinionated small stubby-tailed cat | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 3:12 PM
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I'm a little teapot.


Posted by: Opinionated short, stout ceramic object | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 3:13 PM
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YOU CALL THAT OPINIONATED???


Posted by: OPINIONATED OPINIONATED PERSON | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 3:14 PM
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Companions are odious.


Posted by: Dedicated Emersonian | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 3:15 PM
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I'm a little mink.


Posted by: Opinionated weasel | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 3:17 PM
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CAMO PURSES ARE AWESOMEST!!11!!


Posted by: OPINIONATED SARAH PALIN | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 3:18 PM
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286: Among groups of trees, 'copse' is a very strong insult. We are trying to reclaim it as our own and stop the oppression we suffer at the hand of big groups of trees. (And, no, I won't call them 'forests', because that's just playing into their branches.)


Posted by: Opinionated small group of trees | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 3:18 PM
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CAPONS ARE OTIOSE


Posted by: OPINIONATED HEN | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 3:19 PM
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290: You should taunt big groups of trees by yelling "Run, Forest, Run!!"

That really chaps their bark.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 3:20 PM
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I'm Matilda Monk.


Posted by: Opinionated Ambrosio's pupil | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 3:25 PM
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CAMO PURSES ARE AWESOMEST!!11!!

DID YOU GET YOUR BRAINS FROM THE SAME PLACE YOU BOUGHT YOUR TITS?


Posted by: YOUR MOTHER, THE TROLL | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 3:31 PM
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Trolleybuses are a socialist front. SF, Cambridge (Mass.), and Europe.

Meanwhile, DC was not content to contribute its old streetcars to collections such as SF's heritage fleet. No, DC has skipped the middleman and has its new trams running in the Czech Republic.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 4:28 PM
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We have trolleybuses. They have been saved from the chop by public outrage several times now. I'm not sure how long that will last.


Posted by: wispa | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 4:51 PM
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Vancouver has lots of trolleybuses too. The routes I've been on look pretty clearly like old streetcar routes in certain places. I wonder if they kept the same plan for the wires, but I assume the wires themselves are different for buses than for streetcars.

There are streetcars in the background of some scenes in either Washington Story or Something for the Birds, both set in DC in the 1950s but possibly filmed elsewhere.

The old version of this Los Angeles funicular runs in the background of Act of Violence.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 6:19 PM
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DC closed down its streetcars in the early 1960s. The Day the Earth Stood Still is another great flick for scenes from DC in that era.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09-23-09 6:24 PM
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