Re: Create-another-post!

1

Where am I?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:10 PM
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What are stars made of?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:10 PM
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Will it be possible to prove the existence of levels of cardinality past aleph-1?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:11 PM
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Hey, was that a bunny?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:11 PM
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a. Adorable
b. Foster Care-y

c. Eaters of granola!

max
['We're number negative five!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:11 PM
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Adorable!


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:11 PM
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Adorable! (Shut up, Sifu.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:12 PM
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Adorable!

(I'd take Mariah Carey or Drew Carey over Adorable, but not Foster Care-y)


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:12 PM
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Foster Care-y is adorable. This is a trick question. But fine, fine: adorable.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:12 PM
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Whoa. That worked improperly but correctly.

max
['We demand adorable granola eaters in foster care!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:12 PM
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3: As in physical existance? Or mathematical existance? The latter is pretty easy, I thought.

Now... Proving the physical existance, that seems pretty impossible.

I vote adorable!


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:13 PM
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-- Excluded from voting --

Did they give you noobs any lessons on pacing, by the way?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:13 PM
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Foster care-y


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:13 PM
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I want both. Can't you do two? It may be discouraged, but Labs does it all the time. I don't think you'll be fired.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:13 PM
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Creepy!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:14 PM
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11: I didn't think there was a good proof. Maybe I'm wrong?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:14 PM
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12: They really didn't! I've been wondering if I'm being a good blogger or a bad blogger.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:14 PM
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To the extent I must choose I'll say foster care-y.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:15 PM
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10: 'We demand adorable granola eaters in foster care!'

Exactly.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:15 PM
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I think the vote went 6-1 in favor of Adorable. Be right back!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:16 PM
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17: You're an awesome blogger. Probably I'm a bad commenter, because it there are more than 3 active threads at a time, my head seems to explode.

Although when threads turn to child-raping jokes, I can effectively exclude that from the count.

I wish either the bot worked better or I could find an rss reader that didn't suck for Unfogged purposes. (I.e., it made it easier to keep up with comments.)

Poor me.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:20 PM
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At least I saved foster care-y from a total sweep...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:20 PM
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it if


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:22 PM
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Oh goddamnit, I'm having trouble figuring out how to put a picture in the entry.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:22 PM
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And so fostoer care-y wins by default!


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:23 PM
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16: Ooh, a *math* question I know the answer to. I'm going to try to beat heebie to this. Given any infinite set, you can generate an infinite set of the next higher cardinality by taking the power set of the first set. This has been proven satisfactorily. What you are thinking of is the continuum hypothesis, which is sometimes stated that there are infinite cardinalities between aleph-0 and aleph-1.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:23 PM
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24: I think you put the one thing on the other thing, and do the thing.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:25 PM
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Oh look, there's an upload file button. Let's try that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:25 PM
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26: I didn't think it had been proven satisfactorily for sets of cardinality greater than aleph-1. Also, wouldn't the continuum hypothesis follow if you were able to prove that there were infinite levels of cardinality?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:26 PM
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29: No soap, radio.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:27 PM
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On preview, the image is HUGE. Whatever, I'm going to post. I hope it looks okay.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:28 PM
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Oh god, it's huge here too! What do I do???


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:29 PM
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32: Do the other thing with the other thing! Quick!


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:30 PM
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Oh look, size prescriptions. Be right back.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:30 PM
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WORST POST EVER.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:30 PM
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Huh, foosball.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:33 PM
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On the set theory stuff: this is undecideable.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:34 PM
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Heeber, you should probably actually resize that in an image editing program (the GIMP, say) and then reüpload it, so it'll look non-horrible.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:34 PM
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Oh, and 26: the continuum hypothesis (Cantor) states that aleph_1 is c; i.e. that there aren't any infinite sets of cardinality between the integers and the reals. There have been a lot of related ideas since.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:36 PM
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38: It looks horrible?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:37 PM
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Oh god, it's huge here too! What do I do???

Ummmm, heebie? Um, low-hanging fruit? Big bullseye kinda thing?


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:37 PM
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It's too bad about that thing on her neck (bottom middle picture).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:37 PM
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I'm in love with this chick.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:37 PM
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44

Is this the judgment post?


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:38 PM
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She is adorable.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:38 PM
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40: well, it just looks funny, because when browsers resize images they don't do as good a job as when you resize them in an image editor and save that version.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:39 PM
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Thank you, Sybil! Why do I always seem to post when all the women are being productive and mostly men are commenting?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:39 PM
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47: on the veldt, that was most of the time.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:39 PM
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38: I think the idea is you click over to the site to see the full-size picture.

Which is reasonably adorable, actually. Even if that is a disguised terrorist scarf! she's wearing.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:39 PM
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46: I tried re-sizing it by scaling, and got funny looking pictures. Then I uploaded it to my LiveJournal account, and just used the numbers that they automatically used.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:40 PM
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ok, I guess it is a math question I don't really know the answer to. At one point in my life I was supposed to learn these things, but I never did.

Oh well. Is the thing that Tweety is talking about equivalent to the continuum hypothesis?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:41 PM
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50: By scaling in what? If you're downsizing in a (non-naive) image editor, it will interpolate properly to avoid jaggy resampling artifacts.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:42 PM
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52: I just divided the original numbers in half, and it looked wide and distorted.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:42 PM
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I do like the collage-y thing she does with the images. The cheap chic panopticon!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:43 PM
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OMG I'm such a hater, but while yes, this is adorable, I am so over the cutesy pigeon-toed funky girly girl thing.

Please forgive me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:43 PM
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Is the thing that Tweety is talking about equivalent to the continuum hypothesis?

There is this theory of the mobius, a twist in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop from which there is no escape. Probably not helpful.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:46 PM
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55: Yeah, they ALL do that, all the time. If I filtered based on the too-cute-by-half pigeon-toed stance, I'd have no fashion icons left.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:46 PM
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She doesn't do it much, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:47 PM
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I want to move to CA with this girl and marry her. That is how much I am totally *not* over her thing.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:47 PM
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For heebie.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:48 PM
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52: I just divided the original numbers in half, and it looked wide and distorted.

Right, that's having the browser do the scaling. Ideally, you want to shrink it in an image-editing program.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:48 PM
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60: Sifu, that doesn't look any better.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:49 PM
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51: well technically I'm being sloppy since it depends on the system you are using. Specifically ZFC (ZF + axiom of choice) gets you undecidability (i.e. both C-hyp and it's negation can be added without contradiction). There is a generalized version of the C-hyp too, for relating larger cardinalities.

We're starting to head into deep waters though, if aren't careful playing around with these turtles-all-the-way-down? questions, you'll end up having to invent category theory or worse.

On that note, I should be working.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:49 PM
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Like I said, I'm a bad person and all. But it's just so kawaii. Adult women trying to look five.

That said! I am thrilled to death with having a new female aesthetic on this blog, something that isn't all about the asses of six foot tall model/actresses. So.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:50 PM
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63: you'll end up having to invent category theory

Tee hee! Oh, can we? Pleeeeeease?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:50 PM
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I am so over the cutesy pigeon-toed funky girly girl thing

All the more for the rest of us. More B's style.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:50 PM
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62: you don't look any better.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:50 PM
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66: You gotta admit that's awesome.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:51 PM
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67: I was born with jaggy resampling artifacts. It's not my fault.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:54 PM
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how a browser resized image will look is, well, browser dependent.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:54 PM
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She doesn't look 5. It's a little twee, obviously, but they aren't all so much as the one heebie posted. I don't know, I think she looks like someone I might have gone to grad school with.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:54 PM
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66: tranny trawler trailer time!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:54 PM
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six foot tall model/actresses

I hate to nitpick but it's a terrible insult to the stage to think of Biel (or however it's spelled) as an actor.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:56 PM
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71: True, that look is v. popular with the grad studenty crowd.

I need to go kick my kid out of bed (!!) because he has a dentist appointment in a couple hours.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:56 PM
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I'm not sure it's possible to insult holywood via the term `actor', really.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:58 PM
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73: She's no Meryl Streep, but she did pretty good work in The Illusionist. Her acting is nowhere near Sofia Coppola territory.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 12:58 PM
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IF PK will come over here and teach my kid how to sleep in, I will buy his mom some twee clothes to try out.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:00 PM
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74.2: I need to go kick my kid out of bed

[Your inappropriate comment response has been auto-blocked. If you feel you have received this message in error you are wrong.]


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:04 PM
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77: Keep her up 'til 11:30 reading, is my advice.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:06 PM
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I'm not buying you anything for that, I want hands-on training.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:07 PM
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JP Stormcrow made a [ redacted ] joke! He's in tr-o-o-o-o-ooouu-u-u-u-uble-le-le-le!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:07 PM
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73: Not all key aspects of drama are properly appreciated by everyone. Raquel Welch and Bo Derek were, in their way, very great actresses indeed.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:08 PM
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I think she looks like someone I might have gone to grad school with.

You have to learn to forgive.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:09 PM
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i liked some of her simple looks, not all these cute and folklorish looks, and coz i can understand some words i guess it's in Polish
but fashion, basically i think anything clean and not having holes are ok to wear, so have no strong opinion on anything fashionable


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:10 PM
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I'm glad read approves of my new look.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:12 PM
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47: I think perhaps you mean the men are always kibbitzing.

She is pretty cute. I like the tights & shoe picture.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:13 PM
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85: New?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:14 PM
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is


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:14 PM
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Before I answer about the photos, are we supposed to think that it's adorable, or is it really just too awful and everyone's being ironic?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:16 PM
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81: He's in tr-o-o-o-o-ooouu-u-u-u-uble-le-le-le!

No I'm not.


Posted by: [redacted] | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:16 PM
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85: my new look s/b my new look


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:17 PM
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80: So you want me to send PK to stay with you for a while? I don't think that's true.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:17 PM
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87: yeah the fly broke on these.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:19 PM
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Not your new look apo.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:21 PM
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89: are we supposed to think

Jesus Christ John, the first rule of Unfogged groupthink is, You Don't Talk About Unfogged Groupthink.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:21 PM
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47:all the women are being productive and mostly men are commenting?

Hey, HEY!

I resemble that remark. I am not "mostly" men. I am completely men. ly. Completely manly. Just ask my mother.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:22 PM
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91: I don't think I've ever met a braver man than that one. Wow.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:22 PM
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I must admit, though, that I'm not actually one for fashion blogging. Because I'm never going to be able to pull off that style, whatever it is. Even if I wanted to, I'd never find the giantess clothes to do so.

In my younger days, I occasionally tried to have a style, any style, but in my wise old age I've come to understand that I never will.

(Yes, yes, having no style may be actually having some kind of meta-style, but that's just stupid.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:22 PM
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My new haircut?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:22 PM
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I've got an Ask the Mineshaft Question:

Yesterday, I pulled out of our garage at 8 am and saw a 1 1/2 year old girl standing in the alley. She had walked out of her parents' third floor apartment, down three flights of rickety, wooden outside stairs and was just hanging out in the alley.

With another neighbor, the little girl showed us where she lived. The mom came out and said that her husband was supposed to lock the door. She looked sleepy, but not visibly stoned or drunk.

Report to the proper authorities?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:23 PM
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98: Let's go to Goodwill! FIELD TRIP!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:23 PM
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96 to 97.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:24 PM
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89:

Before I answer about the photos, are we supposed to think that it's adorable, or is it really just too awful and everyone's being ironic?

John - bro - are you or have you ever been married?!

Smile and nod, Dude. Smile and nod.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:24 PM
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In pictures, Sir Kraab looks stylish.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:24 PM
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100: Yikes. I have no idea.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:25 PM
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Report to the proper authorities?

No. The little blighters are sneaky will get out any time they can. One occurence doesn't tell you anything.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:25 PM
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This is the native dress of some foreign land we're talking about here. I'm shocked, shocked, at how casually privileged Westerners are Othering these women. I'm sure you all won't be happy until cutesy pigeon-toed funky girly girls are all forced to live on a reservation somewhere, selling trinkets to passersby to support themselves.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:25 PM
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I went with the soup biscuit theory. I discretely called the neighbors to see if they had ever seen it happen before that day.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:26 PM
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oh, and Kobe: are you trying to sneak heebies foster care-y post into the comments?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:26 PM
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100: I agree with 106. Good lord, man, did your children never do anything that made you look like the world's worst parent?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:28 PM
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108: I went with the soup biscuit theory. I discretely called the neighbors

No continuum hypothesis for you, eh?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:28 PM
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104: Well, sure, in these pictures. But walking around in ghoul makeup is deprecated, even in Austin.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:28 PM
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Also, Will, the woman has a 1 1/2 year old -- of course she looked sleepy.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:29 PM
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2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89, 97:

Uh huh. Uh huh. Yes. Really? Uh huh. Uh huh.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:30 PM
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107: They already are, here. We call them "Amish".

Some of the Amish quilters have adopted New Age themes, like spiritual wolf images, etc.

Oddly, quilting is big here among the generic honky ladies, as is crocheting, etc. The Amish woodworking is fantastic, though, and hard to match.

My 82-year-old neighbor lady is moving, and I'm helping her sell some books on the internet. Shabby little 30-year-old 80-page-long crocheting magazines fetch a better price than your generic literary classic.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:30 PM
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GENERIC LITERARY CLASSIC would be a swell name for a book.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:31 PM
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it's classically generic!


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:32 PM
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82: So true.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:32 PM
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98: A lovely thought, but you really don't know a) how hard it is to find 36" inseams and similarly scaled clothes or 2) how stupid I'd look in a heebie-ish style which you, of course, rock.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:33 PM
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b,

96 to 97.

25 or 6 to 4.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:34 PM
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||

Today I pulled the plug on the disused IRC channel where I met, well, most of the people I know online. This reminded me of Leslie Harpold (whom I met on IRC over a decade ago, and in whose apartment in Hell's Kitchen I once stayed). Her web sites are now down, and they weren't the last time I checked (which was probably longer ago than I think it was, but still). I've gone from being slightly wistful about IRC to being actually depressed that when people die their web sites eventually end up dying too. Blah. And by blah I mean fuck.

|>


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:34 PM
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Oddly, quilting is big here among the generic honky ladies, as is crocheting, etc.

Dude, you live in Minnesota.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:35 PM
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I agree with you completely, Di. One time doesnt mean anything. In addition, child protective services is mostly worthless.

Kraab:

That was the EXACT picture I was thinking about! Kraab rocks the body paint!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:35 PM
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121: I haven't been on irc in probably 7 years. I hear some of the channels I used to frequent are still around; I feel like it would be strange to join them now, like blundering into some reality show where your life has been taking over by youthful idiots.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:36 PM
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Report to the proper authorities?

no. don't be a busy-body.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:37 PM
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119: Menswear section?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:38 PM
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125: Kitty Genovese all over again. You might as well beat the kid yourself.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:38 PM
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Will could hide the kid in his apartment and see if they notice.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:39 PM
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Not that I have any quibbles with your current adorable-ness. But I'm always up for Goodwill.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:39 PM
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With bangs, even Javier Bardem looked adorable.

Scrolled down the whole page, I was so impressed.

But knowing nothing about fashion, and having miserable taste, I still think she dressed consistently great. Mock-twee & mock-peasant? That what was good about it, it felt natural, like she wasn't making a statement or attempting a look. Not quite.

The neck accessories were questionable, but there were a couple picture with/without, and I think I preferred with.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:39 PM
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Report to the proper authorities?

Absolutely. Which you already did -- the mom.


Posted by: Pasota | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:40 PM
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115: Amish

Cool things I learned on an Amish tour - while they may not wear gaudy colors they are free to make gaudy things and sell them to others. Also they went into woodworking when the bottom dropped out of the corn market. I wonder if they'll get back into corn? Their farming pretty much sucks in comparison to ADM though.

Their machine shop equipment was powered by a central shaft powered by a diesel engine, but they won't have diesel cars. Oh, and the young men courting a young woman speed their mustang-powered buggies on the road in front of her house.

Some things never change I guess.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:40 PM
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121: Sorry to hear about your friend, fedward.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:40 PM
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129: not Bad Will, though, that kidnapping pervert.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:40 PM
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Minnesota Amish are western outliers, so John's observations should not be understood to reflect on echt Amish quilting. The gay wheat farmer is probably slipping them weed and designs.

Will, I think your approach in 108 was just right.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:41 PM
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Hey, Franz, suck on this: my shabby little old crocheting manual gets a better price than your fancy-pants "Metamorphosis".

Crocheting is one of the areas of timeless universal truth, like mathematics. there's no history; a pattern that worked 200 years ago still works today. If we lived in a crocheted universe, analytic philosophy would be a useful resource for understanding reality.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:41 PM
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126: Men have no hips. But it would be a fun field trip.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:41 PM
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Crocheting is one of the areas of timeless universal truth, like mathematics.

What's the difference?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:42 PM
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125 and 131 are ridiculous.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:43 PM
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122:

Dude, you live in Minnesota.

What are you trying to say, Sir?! "Mostly" men and "crotchety" women? Is that what you are saying! You besmirch my honor, Sir!

Pistols at dawn.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:43 PM
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If we lived in a crocheted universe, analytic philosophy would be a useful resource for understanding reality.

Specifically.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:44 PM
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Feinman did a thing where he overheard two coeds talking about knitting and thought they were talking about math.

Right afterwards he suggested a threesome, because he was that kind of guy. They wrinkled their noses and said "Ish!"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:44 PM
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I will mention that I look around for Chris Hansen before I approached the kid. Then, I called someone on my cell phone so that they could hear the interaction.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:45 PM
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140: Tripp, you do know that, like Becks, I'm a woman, right? I'm fine with pistols, but I'm afraid it may violate your code.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:47 PM
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while they may not wear gaudy colors they are free to make gaudy things and sell them to others

One finds yellow buggies in Pennsylvania. Among the more conservative Ohio and Indiana Amish, presumably only the pimps and hippies drive yellow buggies, which they would have to import from Bucks County.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:47 PM
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143: What you didn't realize is that the "kid" was really master illusionist David Blaine. You just saw some magic.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:48 PM
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142: they are deeply linked.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:49 PM
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Report to the proper authorities?

If escaped children were a sign of unfit parenting, I and my siblings would have grown up in foster care. From the moment we could walk until we reached the age of reason, our one goal was to get the hell out of the house, and, ideally, out of town. The older ones were constantly being sent out to locate and retrieve the younger ones, who would generally be found pedalling madly down Six Mile on their little tricycles.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:49 PM
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OT:

Is it racist to like the song "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" if I'm glad they drove Old Dixie down and crushed it under their heel? I mean Joan Baez covered it, so that must make it okay.

The playlist at this coffeehouse has just gone from THTDODD to "That'll Be the Day That I Die" to "Grease Is the Word."


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:51 PM
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DS - thanks. Leslie was friend to a bunch of people. I'm sure there are people here who at least knew her advent calendar, if not the rest of her. I had found it easier to mourn her when I knew I could still get to her web sites.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:51 PM
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H N


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:51 PM
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149: Not as long as you're mentally changing the words to "It's Right They Drove Old Dixie Down."


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:52 PM
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Corn is a good crop this year, since Iowa was wiped out by the floods. People may starve, but farmers will do well. Farming is a zero-sum game.

Hutterites used to be more common than Amish around here. They speak mutually unintelligible dialects of archaic German. Hutterites can wear bright colors. They are even more communistic than the Amish, I believe.

A friend of mine, an ex-farmer, says that the Amish are the only people who can survive as farmers in some parts of this area. (About half the land around here is too marshy and/or rocky to be very good). They use neither fuel (not much, anyway) nor credit. He's the shabbas goy for some of them, and comes in and does some of the things they're forbidden to de.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:52 PM
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103: I don't like you any more, Tripp, you sexist.

100: I disagree with everyone else and say yes, report. Here's why:

First, Will, you're a pretty decent parent your own damn self. And you're not a pinch-butt. And your own daughter often does weird things that no doubt freak other people out. So I'm going to assume that your instincts about other parents are pretty astute.

It sounds to me like you're more worried about the mom's reaction, which as you report it is awfully blase, than you are about the situation itself. I don't think it's normal for a parent's reaction to a situation like that to be blase.

I also suspect that if you have a feeling you should call, then you should.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:54 PM
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Damnit, I have a post-nugget about the Amish, but now if I use it, I'll have to source you guys, when I was already thinking about it from some ABC special last night. I guess that one will be tabled.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:54 PM
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125 and 131 are ridiculous.

I see.


Posted by: Pasota | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:54 PM
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150: It's strange how mourning works. I've gotten way too accustomed to funerals and wakes in the last three years but, in the cases of the writers among them, I've deliberately avoided reading their written output since, at least for a while. I wonder if the opposite strategy would have made things easier.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:55 PM
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Re: calling the authorities. If most State DHSs weren't such fucked up organizations with nearly limitless police powers due to judges being afraid of making that one mistake, I would say its an option. As it is, I think placing a family in the system without evidence of actual neglect is unfair and could lead to some seriously disproportionate consequences for the parents.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:55 PM
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The other thing is, people get irate about being reported on, but really, as a parent--wouldn't you rather someone reported something that looked weird to them than that they didn't? I would.

And yes, I realize that may be predicated on my being white, well-off and well-educated, and assuming that if a social worker came out to check on me I could reassure them. Even *though* my house is a fucking pigsty. Still, though.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:56 PM
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144:

140: Tripp, you do know that, like Becks, I'm a woman, right? I'm fine with pistols, but I'm afraid it may violate your code.

I know. The "Sir" thing justs fits in so well with my "Insulted Gentleman" routine.

And personally I don't think shooting someone with a pistol is rude. Do you?

I do my best not to be rude to women but one has to draw the line somewhere you know.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:56 PM
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155: I've been trying to hint subtly, but fuck it: math blog! Math blog! Math blog!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:58 PM
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I think that almost every parent can think of something they did that might be regarded as reportable, and there really are not clear lines. And the system as it exists is very poor at exonerating anyone, so people can end up in limbo for years.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:58 PM
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154: 103: I don't like you any more, Tripp, you sexist.

b,

Uh huh. You're right. Uh huh.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:59 PM
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wouldn't you rather someone reported something that looked weird to them than that they didn't?

I for one would rather they didn't, unless there's something evidently suspicious going on, because otherwise really stupid shit tends to happen, since people's instincts about this sort of thing are rarely all that good no matter how wonderful they are as parents themselves.

Will's already done what he was going to do, I think, but my God, 154.5 is nevertheless utterly wrong and 125 and 131 were absolutely right.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 1:59 PM
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161: That does give me an idea for a post! No kidding.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:01 PM
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Hutterite Manufacturing


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:02 PM
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The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

I don't think I have ever heard the original version of this, but I really like the Baez cover of it.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:02 PM
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160: Gosh, no.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:03 PM
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166: Crystal Spring Colony manufacture hog equipment

Ain't it funny how you just happen to be acquainted with this site.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:03 PM
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148: A kid in our neighborhood had a sign pinned to his shirt every morning ( with their address on it) up to about age 7.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:04 PM
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wouldn't you rather someone reported something that looked weird to them than that they didn't?

JESUS CHRIST, NO. I'd rather they come talk to me about it than getting the fucking state authorities all up in my shit. Look, it's perfectly plausible that she put the kid down to sleep, fell asleep herself, and the kid wandered outside. If you start seeing a pattern of this, that's one thing. But holy cow, don't be that neighbor based on one incident that has multiple possible explanations.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:04 PM
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IN FOOTBALL NEWS:
Hutterite huddle, hutted, hit by Hittite, hushed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:05 PM
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173

171 is sane.


Posted by: Pasota | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:08 PM
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Sifu - I'm with you on math blog! Hence the 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89, 97 in 114.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:08 PM
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120: 25 or 6 to 4.

Every time I see that joke here (hint, hint), I am tempted to post what truly has to be one of the most hilarious album liner notes ever given the context of that and subsequent albums and Chicago's overall direction.

With this album, we dedicate ourselves, our futures and our energies to the people of the revolution. And the revolution in all of it's forms.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:14 PM
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Sir Kraab:

160: Gosh, no.

Well then withdraw your insult to Minnesota or pistols at dawn it tis.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:15 PM
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hhaha I wouldn't report based on this one incident. I have been there myself. Of course, I wouldn't complain if the police were called on me.

Pasota, I just meant that if the mother is neglectful or harmful, then she is not the proper authorities.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:17 PM
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175: I'm with you Stormcrow. They used "it's" when they should have used "its."

Hilarious indeed.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:18 PM
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Tripp, you're the one denigrating the ancient art of crochet, so BACK OFF. Have you seen what a crochet hook can do to a man?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:18 PM
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JESUS CHRIST, NO. I'd rather they come talk to me about it than getting the fucking state authorities all up in my shit. Look, it's perfectly plausible that she put the kid down to sleep, fell asleep herself, and the kid wandered outside. If you start seeing a pattern of this, that's one thing. But holy cow, don't be that neighbor based on one incident that has multiple possible explanations.

This is relatively sane. Of course, if I am a really neglectful parent or a bad parent, I might just take that opportunity to move away before I get caught again.

It is a delicate balancing act.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:19 PM
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I wouldn't complain if the police were called on me.

Would you complain if they showed up with CPS, who took your kids for a month or two for observation?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:19 PM
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I think that we're at that same old then-and-now divide about childraising. In a lot of ways old-time country-style childraising was more easy-going. The savagely punitive authoritarian parents were not typical, I don't think, and in many cases the authoritarian area was restricted to specific topics, rather than every minute of every day.

In particular, old-timey parents seem a bit more accepting of moderately dangerous ways of having fun, and it's more fun for kids that way even if occasionally you break your neck or lose a finger.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:20 PM
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Feinman did a thing where he overheard two coeds talking about knitting and thought they were talking about math.

They were, you sexist.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:20 PM
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Yes, soup, I would. As I mentioned, I do not trust CPS at all.

In fact, I recently won a case with CPS where the hearing officer wrote, "I must say that it is very interesting and convenient that CPS's recording equipment only worked when they were interviewing the defendant, and not when they interviewed any of their own witnesses."

Bastards


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:21 PM
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183 is so, so pwned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:21 PM
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Have you seen what a crochet hook can do to a man?

It's not pretty. Especially if he tries to make one of those hammock things.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:21 PM
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Don't want to fuel right wing storylines too much, but I once did meet some stereotypical man-hating lesbians who were working on children's services careers because they wanted to root out the child abuse that they thought was everywhere.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:23 PM
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Will:

No doubt the mother is "neglectful or harmful" in some situations, and not in others.

So your attribution probably enjoys some confirming instances, no matter how limited your evidence. That's the beauty of global character attributions, isn't it?


Posted by: Pasota | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:24 PM
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179: Tripp, you're the one denigrating the ancient art of crochet, so BACK OFF. Have you seen what a crochet hook can do to a man?

Ah.

Well.

Yes, yes I have actually. A crochet hook together with what I fondly called "Old Sparky." Yup. They call vasectomy a minor surgery, but in my opinion it is only minor in the sense that it happens to someone else.

I take your point.

Perhaps we can start over?


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:24 PM
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Like I said, my answer is predicated partly on believing that Will isn't yer average pinch-butt busybody.

I, *personally*, would rather someone talked to me if thtey thought I was doing some weird shit with my kid. OTOH, I'm not, in fact, an abusive or seriously neglectful parent. And they do exist. And it would fucking suck to be all "oh, I hate the systsem, I don't wanna be a tattletale" and then find out that some kid was fucking being burned with cigarettes or some shit like that.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:27 PM
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That's the beauty of global character attributions, isn't it?

What the ?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:29 PM
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189: The slate is wiped clean.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:29 PM
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Of course, if I am a really neglectful parent or a bad parent, I might just take that opportunity to move away before I get caught again.

They're not going to bother to move away if they can't even be bothered to chain their kid to the radiator at night.


Posted by: Toadmonster | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:30 PM
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Also, I know everyone loves to hate on CPS, but isn't the problem more that they don't followup with real problem cases than that they just go around taking kids away from people willy-nilly??


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:30 PM
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195

187: I think I saw that episode of "Law & Order."


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:30 PM
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194: no, really, it's both.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:30 PM
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The other thing is, people get irate about being reported on, but really, as a parent--wouldn't you rather someone reported something that looked weird to them than that they didn't? I would.

I am not a parent, so I can't answer "as a parent," but I am right there with 171. I would want people to report things that looked like seriously bad news, but things that simply look weird? No.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:31 PM
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pinch-butt busybody.
b,
I like these words. I'm gonna steal them.

In return I'll offer a word I heard last night which I hadn't heard in a long time - lollygagging.

Baseball and softball can be quite charming, don't you think?


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:35 PM
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191: Thanks for making that explicit.

(Can you link that one too?)


Posted by: Pasota | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:35 PM
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200

Kobe was simply confused.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:36 PM
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196: Well, I know the stories about people having kids taken away b/c they were breastfeeding older children, etc. But I assume those are rare anomalies.

I may be overly influenced by my mother's story of having CPS called on her, once, when we were little. She said that she basically thanked them for checking b/c if something bad *had* been happening, she would want them to intervene. My understanding is they came, asked a few questions, looked around, and that was it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:36 PM
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183: Also, "coeds"? Big Man on Campus, please.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:36 PM
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I dont really understand what you are saying Pasota.

I have a child who does freaky stuff in public. Screaming, yelling, breaking stuff. I have to carry her with some regularity. So, I am sensitive to this stuff.

One escape isnt neglectful any more than one bite makes a dog vicious. But, once you know it is happening, you need to take precautions to prevent it in the future.

We do not do children any favors by ignoring signs of possible trouble. But, we should also be forgiving about mistakes that people make.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:38 PM
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Yeah technically it should be "coëds".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:40 PM
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201: Everyone has selection bias on these things.

I suspect the real problem is that there wasn't really remotely enough information in the original to make any kind of objective call. So we can all read into it what we want and proceed.

I do think that going to any sort of outside authority in most situations without first discussion/confronting people about things is a bad idea, in the absence of an obvious problem or a real perception of risk.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:40 PM
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In particular, old-timey parents seem a bit more accepting of moderately dangerous ways of having fun, and it's more fun for kids that way even if occasionally you break your neck or lose a finger

This is an example, there are many others, of the difference a more fatalistic attitude toward life made. There was freedom and joy in some of the spaces because life was risk that couldn't be avoided. There were many deaths, among healthy young people, my friends parents sometimes, and among kids when I was a kid. Things we have the feeling, which may be an illusion, that today wouldn't have killed them did.

So we plan, and protect, and feel that anything else beyond the best that could be is because of our lack of due diligence.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:41 PM
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I would like to discuss Sir Kraab's body-painting skills. Does she self-paint or is it another one of m/tch's long list of skills?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:41 PM
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Also, I know everyone loves to hate on CPS, but isn't the problem more that they don't followup with real problem cases than that they just go around taking kids away from people willy-nilly??

Most definately not. The problem is that the case-workers (1) are cautious to a fault, and (2) have an extremely narrow standard of acceptable parenting. People get their kids removed for periods of time without any evidence or even allegations of physical abuse (i.e. being busted for marajuana and then failing UAs afterwards). Are you ever intoxicated aroung your kid? Well, that's neglect. Be careful.

Also, re Will's situation: given how unlikely it is that these people are shut-ins, there are others in a much better position to observe whether there is abuse or neglect occuring.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:41 PM
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194- The problem is that CPS often have policies driven by highly-publicized, but very rare events. So it's not willy-nilly, but the opposite. Regulations might require extreme solutions from by CPS workers would be punished if not followed.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:42 PM
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I suspect the real problem is that there wasn't really remotely enough information in the original to make any kind of objective call. So we can all read into it what we want and proceed.

New mouseover text?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:42 PM
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201.2

b, great insight. The thing is "Thank you for checking on me" is just what smart people say to authority figures while seething inside, raging against the machine. Or Man. Or whatever.

We don't mean it.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:42 PM
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Face-painting, will. Don't get too excited.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:42 PM
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Has this been posted before? I couldn't find it in the archives.

On the bright side, they were white, well-off, and well-educated.


Posted by: August | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:44 PM
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given how unlikely it is that these people are shut-ins, there are others in a much better position to observe whether there is abuse or neglect occuring.

Not anymore! I put a little microphone on the kid and no have a telescope aimed at their window!

CPS is really messed up. They dont have the resources to take care of things the way that they should so you tend to get very hap-hazard enforcement. They dont do things when they should. They do things when they shouldnt.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:44 PM
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204: Yeah technically it should be "co√ęds".

My high school Latin is kinda rusty but I think when referring to females it should be "coedas."


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:45 PM
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of the difference a more fatalistic attitude toward life made.

If you're comparing to the 1800s, sure. But if you're comparing to the 1980s, say, something else is going on. As far as I can see parents have in aggregate become afraid of all sorts of things all out proportion to actual occurrence. There's been a huge shift into mediated play, higher constraints on kids, etc, over the last few decades with approximately no effect on the oft-quoted risks. Which is odd.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:45 PM
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210: More of a manifesto, I was thinking.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:46 PM
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Face-painting, will. Don't get too excited.

I distinctly remember seeing a painted tail.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:46 PM
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They dont have the resources to take care of things the way that they should.

This is a good point. Insufficient resources plus overzealous enforcement of very conservative norms equals very unjust results.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:47 PM
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I do think that going to any sort of outside authority in most situations without first discussion/confronting people about things is a bad idea

Honestly, I don't know. I think I'd like to agree with this in principle, but in practice I doubt that I'd be in any way effective about discussing or confronting with a parent who was genuinely abusive.

208: I can see the suspicion-of-CPS on mild occasional drug use, okay. But generally I still am going to believe that most social workers are not evil people out to ruin lives.

211: Maybe so. But this is the story she told us, afterwards, as we were growing up--no need to be fakey polite. I think she really meant it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:48 PM
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Which is odd.

soup,

Oooh, oooh, pick me, pick me. I can explain it.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:49 PM
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Let's just say the costumes were a cooperative effort.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:49 PM
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The two times people approached me, I was appreciative that they cared enough to check.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:49 PM
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One escape isnt neglectful ...

Yes it is. The husband forgot to lock the door. And that's OK. It happens.

... any more than one bite makes a dog vicious

Well, actually it kinda does.

We do not do children any favors by ignoring signs of possible trouble.

"Possible" trouble? Yes, we do them a favor by ignoring most of those, as they are generally not actual trouble, and it's almost always none of our business.

Stipulating that no one has defined "neglectful," "vicious," and "possible." The problem was a toddler toddling off, as toddlers are wont to do. The solution is to alert the mother. Absent other information, there is nothing good that can come from reporting this to the authorities. What would they (legitimately) do other than what you already did?

So, good job. You did the right thing exactly.


Posted by: Pasota | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:52 PM
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Ladies, in a Feynman story it's got to be "coeds". He was that kind of guy. I could say "female college students to whom he was condescending in his characteristically sexist 50s way", but that breaks the flow of the prose.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:52 PM
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216: I was thinking of the fifties and sixties, but the phenomenon does seem to have been accelerating beyond any basis in realistic expectations. I think of the sense of control having passed a "tipping-point" even though the trend, both factual and attitude, have been building for a long time.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:53 PM
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B: Not evil, no, but in many cases very risk averse. And from their perspective, "risk" equals "leaving children with their [potentially abusive] parents". Whereas commonsense risk-aversion tilts the other way--better to assume the parenting is okay unless there's some hard evidence otherwise.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:54 PM
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Honestly, I don't know. I think I'd like to agree with this in principle, but in practice I doubt that I'd be in any way effective about discussing or confronting with a parent who was genuinely abusive.

Oh, I don't think I would be either. But I'd say very conservatively 9 times out of 10 in a situation like the one we're talking about, that just isn't the case. And talking to those parents would reassure you (ok, maybe not if they just woke up) and them. Anonymously calling in an authority (which has it's own risks) is fairly going to run the risk of really pissing off said neighbor, with no upside at all.

Maybe this is just because I simply cannot believe that interactions with agencies having any sort of power over you carry no risk of damage, which is my own selection bias.

And also, personally, under most imaginable circumstances having any neighbor call an agency to my door anonymously would make me sad, and distrustful of my neighbors.

I certainly don't believe most social workers are evil either. I do believe most of them are overworked, underpowered within their own beaurocracy, and may be incompetent to the actual tasks they are being asked to perform. I think from what I've seen that CPS is a deeply broken service, and those working within it can't mitigate all of the broken bits.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 2:57 PM
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To extend on 228.3: this in marked contrast to if the neighbors themselves asked me, which would probably (situational, of course) make me feel better about the neighborhood.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:00 PM
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220:
211: Maybe so. But this is the story she told us, afterwards, as we were growing up--no need to be fakey polite. I think she really meant it.

Aw geez, now I need to be serious. In general parents want their children to be protected by society. They want their children to know that. They may also know there is a risk of losing their child by giving that "protective" power to the state, but this is not something they would tell the child.

In my mind the safety of the child comes first but the power of the state is a huge GUN that may be aimed at a person but once you do that everything escalates.

Guns are useful but you don't pull them out first thing. Depending on one's circumstances there may be better alternatives to using the power of the state. Maybe one can help the family in some way?


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:01 PM
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As far as I know, there are no clearly defined, agreed upon, publicly proclaimed standards as to exactly what constitutes abused. No such standards could be agreed upon, and to proclaim and enforce any clear set of standards would inevitably anger some large population.

Examples: spanking and corporal punishment, nudity, tolerance of sexual experimentation and drug experimentation, sexual talk, parental drug and alcohol use, parental sexual activity, very restrictive rules, very indulgent rules, leaving kids home alone, housekeeping.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:01 PM
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228 and 229 are, of course, correct. Yay, will who did the right thing!

In re: 200, I'm still confused. This means Pasota and the previous deployer of the referenced phrasing are the same person, right? Or it's some subtle commentary on the something of something or other that I just can't fathom?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:02 PM
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I still am going to believe that most social workers are not evil people out to ruin lives

Agreed. But, b, you know that structural constraints can easily overtake individual intent. (Witness having to teach to the test.) In most places (and we shouldn't be talking about CPS as a monolith; no doubt it's better in some places than others), social workers have overwhelming caseloads and instructions from above that may limit their ability to carry out their best intentions.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:02 PM
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Oooh, oooh, pick me, pick me. I can explain it.

Ok, let's hear it!


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:02 PM
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CPS works just like the local police deptartment, except instead of quotas on the number in tickets they have to write per month, social workers have a quota on the number of children they have to put into foster care each month. You might be the unlucky family that gets tripped up on a technicality.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:07 PM
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From 213: "But there was really nothing any of them could do, they all said. They were just adhering to protocol, following orders."

I know it has already been said by a dozen people above, but that's the very problem.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:08 PM
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Just last month: tenured professor orders "lemondade" at ball park for his kid, kid receives "Mike's Hard Lemonade". CPS gets involved, disaster narrowly averted.


Posted by: ed bowlinger | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:08 PM
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I'd rather they come talk to me about it than getting the fucking state authorities all up in my shit

Right fucking on. Some passer-by called the cops when s/he saw my girls, who were three at the time, running around naked on my next-door neighbors' lawn. If s/he'd stopped and looked around for a second or two, s/he'd have seen that I was on our own porch watching them. The only plus was that when the cops finally showed up, they went to my neighbors' house, and we'd already left for a walk.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:09 PM
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s/dade/ade, obvs.


Posted by: ed bowlinger | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:12 PM
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In my mind the safety of the child comes first but the power of the state is a huge GUN ...

Yes, it would be good for people to internalize that this is a literal fact, not just a metaphor.

232: It was just a throwaway reference to a comment that came up in another thread just yesterday. It was less obscure in my own mind. Sorry. It has no greater meaning.


Posted by: Pasota | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:13 PM
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disaster narrowly averted.

If by narrowly averted you mean 7-year-old is forcably removed from both his parents and placed in a foster home for two days, and isn't allowed to see his father for a week. That had to be terrifying and emotionally scaring, and it is an experience the kid will no doubt remember for the rest of his life. That made the news because it was a quirky little story, but that type of shit happens all the time.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:17 PM
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237: Pwned by my 213. That's the first time I've ever done that. I'm so happy. Even if nobody even noticed.


Posted by: August | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:19 PM
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I noticed, August. I noticed.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:20 PM
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241. in that particular case, sounds more like larger disaster narrowly averted, yes


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:20 PM
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My brother let his daughters run around naked and roll in the mud up until they were about 5. There were definitely people who were offended. Even in Portland, trouble might have come from that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:24 PM
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But generally I still am going to believe that most social workers are not evil people out to ruin lives.

Self-righteousness, judgementalism, and narrow-mindedness have ruined at least as many lives as "evil" has. And I can certainly believe that many social workers are self-righteous, judgemental, and narrow-minded.

CPS and the foster care system are an argument for becoming a libertarian.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:24 PM
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246: No way. All the social workers I've known personally have been even-keeled thoughtful people. All of them see such huge quantities of crappy, crappy situations and remain somewhat zen in the face of it, trying to incrementally inch the situation in the best direction. I'm sure there are crappy social workers, but it's not group of horrible people.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:27 PM
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||
may I just say OUCH OUCH OUCH shit OUCH ooo. FUCK

(bike spill.)

|>


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:29 PM
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Blogging while biking is just asking for trouble.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:32 PM
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Have we decided who will be raising Apo's kids and Jesus McQueen's kids since Apo and Jesus are clearly unfit?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:35 PM
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jms!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:35 PM
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246: There is no need to attribute negative characteristics to the individuals to have a systemic problem. Plenty of examples where this is not the case. The whole can be more than the some of it's parts, sure, but it can also be much less.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:36 PM
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Will!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:36 PM
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245: Yeah, I can't help but think that the nakedness was what prompted the call. But other parents can perhaps attest that wanting to be naked is just a part of being three years old.

246: That government can provide means to protect the vulnerable is an argument for becoming a statist. Of course there are horror stories associated with CPS and foster care, but are vulnerable kids better served by gutting the programs (not only CPS and foster care) intended to help them?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:39 PM
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Heebie was raised by social workers, in one foster home after another. She bonded like a little duckling, and sometimes she compulsively and inadvertently follows a group of them into one of their conferences.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:39 PM
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... social workers have overwhelming caseloads ...

That's another good reason not to report every possibility of a problem. The fewer false positives they have to check on, the more time they'll have for the serious stuff. Lots of false suspicions are one of the downsides of the mandatory reporting laws.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:39 PM
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It's not the social workers you want to watch out for, it's the psychics.


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:40 PM
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250: My kids survived their childhood trauma of nakedness and are now five years old, well-adjusted and clothed.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:42 PM
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But other parents can perhaps attest that wanting to be naked is just a part of being three years old.

When is that feeling going to stop?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:42 PM
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Jesus' kids do crawl under tables.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:44 PM
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My 16 yr old is not afraid of getting naked in public.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:45 PM
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26: I'm sure this has been covered by now, but

(a) The Continuum Hypothesis is that the cardinality of the continuum (the power set of the natural numbers) is equal to aleph-1, the cardinality of the set of all countable ordinals: the "second smallest infinity," so to speak.

This conjecture has been proved (by Kurt Gödel and Paul Cohen) to be independent of the standard axioms of set theory (ZFC).

The Generalized Continuum Hypothesis is that this holds for all infinite sets: the next highest cardinality after X is the cardinality of the power set of X.

Strangely enough, this came up in the comments at Art of the Possible, where you'll find me making almost the same comment under my real name.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:47 PM
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Your inner 16 year old? My inner 16 year old is afraid to do that, but my inner 26 year old is used to it. *Sigh*

My inner 61 year old won't do it until I've lost the gut, perhaps never.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:48 PM
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All the social workers I've known personally have been even-keeled thoughtful people.

Despite my burning hatrid of the DHS, I agree with this. Social work isn't exactly the type of profession that attracts self-interested, power-hungry assholes. My best friend's wife is a social worker who works exclusively with children. She is a wonderful. caring, thoughtful person who really wants to make a difference in childrens' lives. Nevertheless, we have gotten in several heated arguments about what constitutes neglect and what role the state should play in monotoring parenting. I was really taken aback by how accepting she was of the idea that the state should be in the business of enforcing a conservative, unified cultural norm of proper child rearing. Maybe social workers should be required to take political philosophy courses.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:49 PM
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I admit that the girls were not on their best behavior when they met John. I suspect they sensed his anti-authoritarian leanings and behaved correspondingly, so I blame him for not being a better example.

261: Mercifully, mine are less insistent on nudity now, but summer's just begun, so we'll see how things go.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:50 PM
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100: Of course the Web 2.0 way to deal with this would be to set up a webcam and monitor the situation with a bunch of your imaginary internet friends or at a minimum video it with your cellphone and put it on YouTube. We're here to help!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:50 PM
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I agree with 247.

I also agree that, in general CPS is broken. And that taking kids away from their families is a bad idea in all but the most extreme life-threatening situations.

That said, I don't think that "mind your own business" is good advice, either, if you're a sensible person who sees something funny. The underlying problem, which both "mind your own business" and "take the kids away" share, is the idea that parents are exclusively and solely responsible for kids. I do have a problem with that, not least because it treats the children as property.

I dunno what the problem is, and I certainly haven't called CPS on anyone myself. OTOH, I don't think that doing nothing, if you see a situation that bothers you--as Will clearly did, and again, Will's instincts on this sort of thing are probably far more reliable than most people's--is right, either.

And because we have that "kids are property" attitude, I think very few parents whose neighbors suddenly wanted to Talk to them about their Concerns would be receptive, especially with no prior relationship between the neighbors.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:55 PM
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That is an excellent idea. JP Stormcrow is so much more practical and smart than the rest of you people.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 3:57 PM
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Actually I rather like Will.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:00 PM
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I was really taken aback by how accepting she was of the idea that the state should be in the business of enforcing a conservative, unified cultural norm of proper child rearing. Maybe social workers should be required to take political philosophy courses.

Or maybe social workers, having seen a lot of shit, actually do realize that there is a lot of shitty-ass parenting going on out there. God knows that volunteering in PK's classroom has shocked me.

No, none of his classmates should be taken away from their parents. But goddamn. I wouldn't mind at all if the state were in the business of providing a *lot* more support, information, and education to the average parent than it does now. Kind of along the lines of public health initiatives.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:00 PM
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Wasn't this problem solved nearly 3000 years ago? Will, you take the toddler to the parent and you threaten to saw the toddler in half. If the parent objects, she is a Good Parent, and you let her keep the kid. If she doesn't object, you call CPS.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:00 PM
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except my favorite, Bitch.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:00 PM
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I bet no one here would mind if the state provided "a *lot* more support, information, and education to the average parent than it does now" in the fashion of public health initiatives. Does this have anything to do with calling CPS on a neighbor?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:03 PM
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My mother was a social worker in Salt Lake City for many years. Her main complaint was that there weren't enough people in her department [child sexual abuse] to even investigate all of the reports, as the younger MSWs tended to burn out every few months. Her second complaint was that the [Mormon] DAs wouldn't charge Mormon Elders with abuse, even if they'd been fucking their own underage daughters. I think her enraged Episcopalian soul is what kept her there, long after retirement age.

Sifu, Sifu, Sifu - be aware that "knitting" is not "crocheting". This is crocheting. Chaos crocheting. Or this. Available in school colours.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:05 PM
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I've gone from being slightly wistful about IRC to being actually depressed

I just wanted to extend my sympathies, fedward. I have saved a lot of emails from people who are now gone - far more emails than pictures or hand-written notes or the like - and it's nice to hear their voices again once in a while. If I lost those it would probably reopen a lot of those wounds.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:06 PM
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Also, I am currently really fucking depressed over the little girl in PK's class who couldn't read. I spent a lot of time this year trying to help her out, and promised her that if she tried she'd be reading by the end of the year and I would then take her out for a fun day doing whatever she wanted (she proposed going to the skating rink). Her mom okayed the plan.

Kid tried, sort of--she had a lot of avoidance issues built up around doing things she knew she wasn't good at--and did get better. She's not really "behind" at the age of seven by any reasonable standards; just on the slower end of normal. And she was *clearly* looking forward to going skating. But fuck it, I was gone the last week of class for the media reform conference, and despite talking directly to her mom before leaving town and promising to call when I got back, etc., the mom is now not returning my phone calls. I'm worried that maybe she hasn't paid her cell bill, b/c it keeps just going to voice mail.

And I wanted to talk to the mom, too, who is planning on sending the little girl to PK's old school next year, because I *really* worry about the effect that school is going to have on her. I hear that grandpa's put his foot down and insists she go there because that school has higher scores and "higher standards." But jesus christ, they were stressing *PK* out about being "behind", what with all the homework and the upper-middle-class materialist bullshit and the redshirting. It's gonna suck for that kid (and her mom, who was defensive at the hippy school, is *really* going to be slotted into the "loser" category at the "good" school).

I like the mom. I like the kid. The mom seems to be doing her best. But there's definitely some (not so) benign neglect going on, and I feel really bad for the kid.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:11 PM
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I bet no one here would mind if the state provided "a *lot* more support, information, and education to the average parent than it does now" in the fashion of public health initiatives. Does this have anything to do with calling CPS on a neighbor?

Exactly. The straw men keep coming. No one said social worker's are evil, no one said everyone should just mind their own business, and no one has expressed opposition to the state providing parents with resources to help with child rearing. In fact, if I met a person that held those three positions I'd be tempted to punch them right in the face.

Social norms are surprisingly effective at keeping most people in line. Will was enforcing a social norm by taking the child back to his mother (if she really wasn't worried about the kid this was a hint that others were going to worry so she better pay attention). During the last several decades the state has gotten more and more involved in enforcing those social norms and the range of acceptable deviation has been drastically narrowed. I think this should concern people.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:12 PM
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273: It has a lot to do with why the "mind your own business" attitude sucks. Especially if you're a sensible person who knows the system and still thinks maybe there's reason to keep an eye on a given situation.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:13 PM
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stoopid apostrophe


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:13 PM
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No one said social worker's are evil, no one said everyone should just mind their own business, and no one has expressed opposition to the state providing parents with resources to help with child rearing.

Please see comments 246, 125, and 230 ("the power of the state is a gun", which doesn't sound like an endorsement of the idea of state-provided parenting resources to me).


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:17 PM
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More crocheting math. The Institute for Figuring often does stuff out of machine projects near me, which is where I saw an excellent lecture on sea slugs recently.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:25 PM
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the "mind your own business" attitude sucks

My attitude isn't "mind your own business" (actually it generally is, but not for the purposes of this thread), but rather "calling CPS is a terrible first option".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:26 PM
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what `mind your own business' attitude? B. Seriously. I didn't see anyone suggesting that at all. Talking to the mother was the right thing to do in the given situation. That's not minding your own business.

We're dancing around edge cases here. If there is a real, demonstrated problem, by all means call in the cavalry.

However, if there is only a potential, this is overkill. Either you know the people and the kid or you don't. If you do, you can talk to them or look into it easily. If you don't, by definition you don't have much information and you should be very careful about going off half cocked. Saying people aren't going to be receptive? Obviously. So? They won't be particularly receptive to CPS asking them questions either. That might be easier on you, but that's a cowardly reason to do it if that's the only reason.

Keeping an eye on things makes sense. Being concerned about the kid makes sense. Opening up some sort of dialogue in a pretty natural way can't be that hard, and if you have a real concern, it's worth the effort. Anonymously taking the risk of really fucking with peoples lives on a thin possibility though? Particularly in a situation with little information and no obvious immediate concern? That's bullshit.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:28 PM
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shit. 282 is a shorter better 283.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:28 PM
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"the power of the state is a gun", which doesn't sound like an endorsement of the idea of state-provided parenting resources to me

CPS isn't a parenting resource. I think these two things are almost unrelated acts on the part of the state.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:30 PM
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How many people who mistakenly call in social services are, in their own minds, "not your average pinch-butt busybody" or are "sensible people who see something funny"?

I can't speak to American social services, but I've known several people in social work in Canada -- one of whom worked with homeless families and who actually had the job of calling in Child and Family Services once a certain threshold had been crossed (e.g. the children were in physical danger from abuse or neglect) -- and generally speaking the situation here is that social services are disastrously under-resourced and undertrained, no matter how lovely they may be as people, and that calling them in is a decision to be made by someone who is thoroughly familiar with the family's situation, which generally speaking is not the neighbours save in the most extreme circumstances. I doubt the situation is any better in most states.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:32 PM
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Please see comments 246, 125, and 230 ("the power of the state is a gun", which doesn't sound like an endorsement of the idea of state-provided parenting resources to me).

Comment 246 was specifically disagreeing with the "social workers are evil!" strawman, and pointing out busybodyism can do as much damage as evil at times.

Also, there is a big difference between providing resources that people can use voluntarily and coercive engagement with them using policing powers. If we were serious about helping families tt shouldn't be impossible to create services that overwhelmed parents would actually want to voluntarily use. (As is done in many countries -- e.g. the home visitation services available in France).

With all that said, you obviously have to intervene coercively sometimes. But it seems like mandatory-reporter stuff and various forms of moral panic have pushed abuse and neglect reports way, way up without any corresponding evidence of increases in real child abuse.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:34 PM
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When are the new bloggers gonna get profiled on the left column?


Posted by: Melvin | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:39 PM
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the other day there was a very loud cry coming out from the apartment 2 floors under mine, i couldn't stand to hear it and went there and knocked the door, i thought maybe there's something like child abuse's going on and if the people from that apartment won't respond i'm calling like police
turned out it was a dog, and i thought the owners just left the dog alone or they are lying there unconscious
i knocked the door next to theirs and they did not know anything about that apartment's people
but after some time i heard someone inside the apartment released maybe the dog from whatever it was she was put in and that cry stopped, how one can stand that much noise voluntarily i couldn't get
i so wanted to complain somewhere about pet abuse


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:39 PM
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-'s


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:41 PM
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because we have that "kids are property" attitude

An interesting issue. I do think that parental freedom to make your own child-rearing choices is an important part of adult autonomy. Even if they involve a little bit of risk, as let's face it most child-rearing choices unavoidably do. "Kids are property" would I guess be the negative extreme of that.

That government can provide means to protect the vulnerable is an argument for becoming a statist. Of course there are horror stories associated with CPS and foster care, but are vulnerable kids better served by gutting the programs (not only CPS and foster care) intended to help them?

I distrust procedure-driven agencies as tools for micromanaging stuff, although sometimes they are necessary. I favor state interventions that expand people's capacities to make more decisions for themselves voluntarily. Income transfers are prototypical there, but there are other ways you can offer services.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:43 PM
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When are the new bloggers gonna get profiled on the left column?

Well, see...


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:49 PM
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about fashion, i meant that i appreciate beauty and style in clothes too when people wear them and it suits them, fashion show's podium walks are very nice to watch on tv, relaxing
just can't wear red stockings myself


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:50 PM
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Did the blog just go backwards in time?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:51 PM
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No, the blog stood still while you moved forward in time.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:52 PM
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145 was a long time ago -- evn longer by buggy -- but I feel the need to point out that the Amish live in Lancaster County. Bucks County is known for being rich and bucolic, playing summer host to Algonquin folk (the table not the tribe), and me.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:53 PM
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297

I didn't know we even had a flux capacitor.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:53 PM
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298

creepy
i suspected the eyes of illusion something and refreshed the blog like twice


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 4:55 PM
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BARACK OBAMA IS GETTING RACIALLY PROFILED and you Stalinists want to flush it down the memory hole.

God that comment will be awesome if the post never goes back up.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 5:00 PM
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Really, what happened to the post? There were comments. You can't delete something with comments. That violates all the norms.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 5:01 PM
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I'm scared. Somebody hold me.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 5:05 PM
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newbie driving the site, or shadowy conspiracy?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 5:07 PM
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Ogged, leave the blog alone!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 5:10 PM
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Wow, I dated one person who was mentioned either in the post.comments. (Not Javier Bardem.) Small world.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 7:40 PM
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See what happens when ben's not around? I don't know what my comment means either.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 7:45 PM
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282, 283: All right, all right. I concede the point.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 7:45 PM
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304-306: I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Ben. Ben, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid.


Posted by: Unfogged | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 7:49 PM
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I hate you all.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 7:52 PM
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I have no idea what you all are talking about. I experience a mild curiosity.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 8:15 PM
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Dai...sy, Dai...sy, give me your answer...do...


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 9:24 PM
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"My power, my pleasure, my pain.
To me you're like a growing addiction that I can't deny, yeah
Won't you tell me is that healthy, baby.
But did you know,
That when it snows,
My eyes become large and the light that you shine can be seen.
Baby,
I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grave."


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 10:10 PM
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Crypto-cyrillico-nish.

Hmmh, grumble grumble, grrh.


Posted by: tkm | Link to this comment | 06-25-08 11:04 PM
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The secret oath that all social workers have to swear when they qualify is to try to make everybody act middle class whether they want to or not. That said, child protection agencies are in a no win situation because, if they do fuck up, they are totally crucified, and the media don't give a shit that they're under-trained and under-resourced. The only thing that would help would be to find those resources, and show me the politician who will go to the electorate asking for tax rises to fund social workers.

News item in Britain this morning: a woman asked a supermarket to decorate a birthday cake for her adult son with a picture of him as a baby. Supermarket refused because the picture showed the baby's naked butt. I have lived too long.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 1:29 AM
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The secret oath that all social workers have to swear when they qualify is to try to make everybody act middle class whether they want to or not.

There's probably some truth in that for some social workers. That said, my mother is a social worker* and, I think it's fair to say, my family wouldn't be described as middle class or as leading a middle class lifestyle.

* She came to it late in life, after being among other things, a cleaner, a care-home worker, and a nurse ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:44 AM
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ttaM, I've known several social workers who I would describe as working class (although I'd guess they're a small minority), but the machine they have to become a part of is a structural part of the enforcement of middle class norms in society, whether they like it or not (and I'm guessing that many of them don't).

A social worker in a sensitive area who has a record of not adhering to middle class obsessions in evaluating her clients is likely to be the one thrown to the wolves when something goes tits up. I think the history of the high profile child protection SNAFUs in Britain over the last couple of decades shows that clearly and I doubt it's much different over the water. This is partly due to prejudices within the profession, but of course it's also due to the weakness of the profession in the face of political and journalistic attack.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:18 AM
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PS. Oh god I must be getting senile, I seem to agree with Frank Furedi.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 5:02 AM
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re: 315

Yeah, I probably wouldn't disagree with most of that.

the enforcement of middle class norms in society

Something notably accelerating at the moment, also, with our current government quite keen to enact legislation that legally mandates certain lifestyle choices.*

* some of which are entirely sensible lifestyle choices, of course. The issue is with the state actively enforcing them to the degree that it does.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 5:57 AM
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I really think that both sides are right here. There are some authoritarian CPS people who draw the line too narrowly, and there are also hard-working, devoted people who spend their work day rescuing children from unimaginable hellholes. One of my friends was a bit like ttaM's mom, since she worked her way into the business as an aide without a degree, which limited her advancement. She was not middle-class at all, and I'd certainly trust her.

There's great doubt in my mind that professionalization and credentialization would improve the way things are done, since professionals always assert their autonomy and professions attract ambitious people who want to excel, and who scorn unambitious people which would be most of the clients.

But at the same time public definition of what specifically constitutes abuse might prevent some of the scare stories. And no "zero tolerance", which is a deadly slogan and was probably responsible for the "Mike's Hard Lemonade" disaster.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 5:59 AM
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b,

Isn't it amazing how having children opens one's eyes to so much of the complexity that is life?

"the power of the state is a gun"

I think you know that I meant the power of the state *could* be a gun. As it should be. The question, then, is who controls the gun and when to use it.

It may help to know that you are not alone facing the issues surrounding who can be helped, how to do it, and what tools to use. I imagine you have or will run into the worse problem of what to do when you are powerless to help.

Most people are aware of this stuff in their gut - a nagging worry that, in my mind, accounts for much of the increase in the structuring of our children's lives lately. I think the other part comes from the nagging anxiety we have knowing that our way of life is not sustainable, but those are answers to soup biscuit's question and not yours.

You personally are blessed/cursed with a brilliant mind. (And don't use false modesty. Not here anyway). Your mind allows you to see and articulate things that only nag at other people. Personally I think this is a blessing more than a curse but I'm not always so sure of that.

You have been given above average gifts. Do the best you can with them, and try to make peace with the rest. That is your lifelong struggle.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 8:44 AM
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