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Champagne Rudy

I want to travel with Rudy. The man stays at the best hotels, charters flights for his rich friends, pops into the occasional resort. He's not picky about his lodging, so long as the atrium is at least 20 stories. His vision of America is one in which no one, rich or poor, will ever have to go to bed without one last call to room service.

His campaign has hired a staffer full-time to man the ice bucket. Another is his Salmon Taster (he prefers organic Scottish salmon flown in by charter jet). When the Giuliani campaign hired someone to be in charge of "Rudy's capers" the young fellow didn't realize it wasn't a metaphor.

From today's Washington Post:

Giuliani's spending was elevated at least in part because he traveled in style. He often stayed in luxury hotels, spending $2,010 at the Greenbrier in West Virginia, $4,034 at La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., and $5,370 at the Fairmont in San Francisco. He also spent more than $565,000 reimbursing various corporate supporters for private jet travel and an additional $800,000 on charter jet travel.

Matt Mosk tells us on The Trail that Giuliani's sumptuous Fairmont suite had a fantastic view of the bay, overlooking Alcatraz Island. We can assume that Giuliani, when traveling, always insists on "a prison view."

[I'm told by Matt that the $5,370 was spent on one night at the Fairmont, for multiple rooms. The cheapest room in the place (if you wanted to check in tonight) is $329. A 640-square-foot Tower Suite room goes for $750. Plus you have to throw in those various California taxes.]

[But shouldn't Rudy have stayed in the Penthouse Suite? Here's the description: "The extraordinary Penthouse features three large bedrooms; four baths; living room with fireplace, stereo system and plasma screen television; formal dining room; spectacular library; billiard room and an outside terrace overlooking the City and Bay. This suite accommodates up to 100 people for entertaining."]

More startling news: He opened a campaign office in Fargo, North Dakota. As a New Yorker he may not realize that there are no actual people in North Dakota. With all due respect, North Dakota is essentially in Canada. It's also known as Saskatchewan.

Other places that Giuliani might consider opening an office: Valdosta, Ga.; Kingman, Ariz.; Weed, Ca.; Boone, N.C.; Ulan Bator, Mongolia; and someplace in Kamchatka.

Other suggestions?


Great late-night dispatch from Svrluga on the team of destiny.


More on The Post and Climate Change:

In the Boodle, "B2O2" writes:

Joel, I understand that the Post is not a monolith, and that they are not the biggest GW deniers out there, or even in Washington journalism. But the Post EDITORIAL PAGE is right there with some of the worst. In several months the sum total of their climate change commentary, that I noticed, was:

1. Emily Yoffe, advice columnist and self-described "math moron". She wrote a very serious sounding editorial, clumsily citing misinterpreted studies, and concluding that climate change was really nothing to worry about. This alone should have meritted shutting down the entire paper for a week for a reflective timeout.

2. Bjorn Lomborg, an economist with zero climate study credentials who has been cited for academic dishonesty in his home Denmark. He grudgingly admitted that yeah, it's happening, and yeah, we're doing it, but we really shouldn't go to any great lengths to address it. This put the Post's editorial page right up there with the biggest recipients of Exxon public disinformation campaign money in recent years.

3. A quick rebuttal to Lomborg by the head of Georgia Tech's earth sciences dept. It was linked on the page for about 37 seconds and I can no longer find it.

4. A couple of urban planning folks who think centralized living is bad for global warming because, wait for it... cities are "hot". In their entire two-page ramble did they address the question of how hot cities were PER CAPITA and how that compared with suburbs. It was like saying Judaism is more prominent and culturally dominant in the US than in Israel, because there are a greater number of Jews here (in absolute number). Just sheer, bald undiluted academic dishonesty. That's what the Post is now known for Mr. Achenbach.

Prescription: Joel Achenbach clones himself, and injects the Washington Post with at least a minimum R.D.A. of scientific literacy, to VET these charlatans before they come on and further poison your newspaper's severely compromised reputation on scientific matters. Believe me, I'm not joking (you should hear some of the conversations going on out here).

JA responds:

Dear B2O2: I love the idea of cloning myself (and thanks for the kind words), so that the other JA clones can do my work while I putter around my backyard.

I realize what is said of The Post out there. I view most of it as unfounded. Or at least there is selectivity in the data-set that skews the conclusions.

Here's one recent criticism of the Outlook editors' decision to run the Lomborg piece ("Washington Post feeds global warming disinformation campaign with Bjorn Lomborg feature"):

Just fyi, I suggested Judy Curry as the person to write the rebuttal. Here's the link.

I think having a rebuttal in the paper would have been a good idea. But the fact that it was only online is in keeping with all the previous "rebuttals" that Outlook has arranged.

[FYI, last year Outlook ran a 1651-word section-front piece titled "We're All New Orleanians Now," saying that Global Warming will lead to flooding of Washington and other coastal cities: "Assuming we want to keep living in these cities, we'll have to build dikes and learn to exist beneath the surface of surrounding tidal bays, rivers and open seas -- just like New Orleans."] [Outlook also ran this excellent piece on climate change by Mike Grunwald.]

The Post home page has a link to everything we've written on Climate change. The headline of the link is "The Threat of Climate Change." It's there EVERY DAY on the homepage of the Post.

Click on it and snoop around.

You can also find on that page a link to our our monthly series In the Greenhouse. Here's the latest installment.

I'll repeat that I don't speak for the Editorial pages (or for Outlook or really anyone other than the guy sitting here in my little cubicle), but they seem to have advocated, on more than one occasion, a carbon tax.

For example: "A price per ton of carbon emitted must be imposed in the United States if America is to help slow the advance of global warming."

Does the Post sometimes print contrarian or skeptical viewpoints? Sure. But to perceive some anti-scientific trend is to deceive yourself, I'm sorry to say. [Full disclosure: Actually, I'm weirdly happy to say.] One of the most recent op-eds, for example, was by Bill McKibben, "the Race Against Warming," just a few weeks ago:

"After 20 years of inaction the race is finally underway. Global warming has a huge head start; the sprint to catch up is the story of our time."

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 16, 2007; 8:20 AM ET
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Next: Indignities Across America


"When the Giuliani campaign hired someone to be in charge of "Rudy's capers" the young fellow didn't realize it wasn't a metaphor."


Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 16, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Ulan Bator .... Joel, this is the first time that I have seen that name in the Post outside of the Crossword Puzzle page.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 16, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Boone, NC? Hey, I got a place close to Boone and we don't need any more carpetbaggers in our corner of the mountains. There may be many Repubs among the mountain folks, but they ain't a-gonna vote for that city slicker. He's too d@mn liberal.

Posted by: Slyness | October 16, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

A little champagne to go with your smoke and ash?

Weed is officially recognized as part of the Volcanic Scenic Byway, a 500 mile route beginning in California's Lake Amador basin and ending at Crater Lake in Oregon. The route traverses extraordinary scenery and geologic phenomena and links the four notable volcanoes in this part of the continent.

Hey, we were just off El Camino Real in Oceanside, the city north of Carlsbad, where the La Costa Spa and Resort is located (also just off El Camino Real--the King's Highway). La Costa costa a lotta, nice digs if you can afford 'em.

You know, Joel, I'd like to travel with Rudy, too.

Posted by: Loomis | October 16, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, that Charlotte Observer column seems pretty accurate.

Its comment about the rich living in the past makes me wonder whether attending a college stuffed with rich kids is a good idea--I went to what at the time was a blue-collar university. Parents worked in coal mines, steel mills, shirt factories, grocery stores . . .

Valdosta, apart from onions, has a good state college. I've been there. Same goes for Boone, but they eat ramps, not Valdostas.

Come to think of it, NY Times on Sunday had a long story on catering to the needs of the very rich. Reminded me of standing in line at Publix after the two hurricanes and eavesdropping on a conversation between two women. "It's good starting fresh. Most of my customers were flooded." [interior designer]

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 16, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

An office in Fargo? This must be some scam. Everybody knows that there is no North Dakota.It is a joke that Garrison Keillor came up with about 30 years ago and people have been spinning it out ever since. Just think: Have you ever seen a car with a North Dakota car tag? I rest my case.

Posted by: Lex Pk | October 16, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

The famed evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky studied wild fruit flies during the summer, usually at very nice places in the mountains. All would be excellent places for Giuliani offices.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 16, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Joel you just can't go around slagging dr's home province, in the defense of Saskatchewan I offer this article about how the U. of Sask almost won the contest to design an elevator to space.

Posted by: dmd | October 16, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Rudy ought to be staying at Scotty's Castle in Death Valley if he likes to hang out with the vultures?

From the link to Mosk:

He also spent more than $565,000 reimbursing various corporate supporters for private jet travel. The biggest chunk of those flights came via Elliott Asset Management, a New York hedge fund known by some as a "vulture fund," so-named because they buy debt cheaply from cash-starved countries, and then sue them for the full repayment. The head of the firm, Paul Singer, is in charge of Northeastern fundraising for Giuliani.

Posted by: Loomis | October 16, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

If Rudy really wanted to have an office someplace crazy, he'd put it someplace that's not even a state.

Say, Washington, D.C.

Just a thought.

[Yes, I realize that he probably already has one here. It's possible that he shares it with other GOP candidates, a sort of Ice Station Zebra for those folks.]


Posted by: bc | October 16, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me? No North Dakota? Have you never heard of the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople? I mean, come on. Peter Schickele couldn't say it if it weren't true. Furthermore, I have seen a North Dakota license tag just recently at the Minneapolis airport where yes I did go to the men's room and no it was not THAT men's room (I did ask).

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 16, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Ice Station Zebra - I loved that book!

Mudge, Raysmom and Frosti - thanks for the winery tips. I think we're going to have to try to get to Stone Mountain, it just sounds too intriguing to miss.

dr - loved the pics on your blog.

As far as Champagne Rudy goes, he gives me the willies, big time. He's a mean blowhard, among other things. I don't mean to offend anyone but what really bugs me is that he married a who decided to wear a tiara. I mean, a tiara?

How's that for a well-reasoned, thoughtful critique?

Posted by: Kim | October 16, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

our speaker nuñez travels pretty well:,1,1069266.story

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 16, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Let's face it, running for president is the prerogative of the wealthy. I mean, I doubt that Hillary Clinton stays at the local Comfort Inn or checks out the early bird specials at Denny's.

Still, the argument could be made that Rudy is displaying a profound lack of sensitivity to those of us who must routinely settle for beverages not sanctioned by the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne.

Perhaps, like many exceptionally affluent people, he has forgotten how truly wealthy he is.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Kim, good point about the tiara. These should be the exclusive domain of Royalty, beauty pageant winners, and little girls pretending to be magical fairy princesses. But at least there there was no scepter.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I am ashamed to admit that I too have a thing for capers. Of course, they are dangerous. You have few capers on toast, drink a little Champagne, have a few more capers on toast, drink a little more Champagne, and the next thing you know you find yourself spontaneously denigrating the Huguenots.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I like this quote from Nuñez:
"There's not too big a difference between how I live and how most middle-class people live."

Rudy would probably say the same.

When Howard Dean was campaigning for the Presidency, he used to stay in private homes. I imagine he has a slightly better idea of "how most middle-class people live."

Posted by: kbertocci | October 16, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I always thought it was also known as Manitoba!

Posted by: omni | October 16, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Omni, I think that it is quite common that power boats are required to slow down when they're in the area of a Manitoba.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 16, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

How about an office in my home town of Puyallup, Washington? Cause I'm gonna be visiting next week.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

How about Bug Tussle, Oklahoma? I think Rudy's traveling style is a little lavish for rural Oklahoma, but I don't suppose he'd visit that office any more than he'll visit the one in North Dakota.

North Dakota does so exist. I've met people from there, and seen pictures. Every year my law school would admit one person from North Dakota (as well as one from Oklahoma). We thought it was some secret diversity thing.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

i heard that giuliani's son is helping with (working for?) the obama campaign. does anyone know if that's true?

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 16, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I think Giuliani's daughter was a member of an Obama supporters Facebook group. When the press pointed it out, she quickly unjoined. But I still don't think she speaks to her father.

dr... I finally had a chance to read your blog and see the pictures of your trip. That's the way we love to travel (without the camping, but for sure the meandering). It looked heavenly to me. I'm so glad you got to meet mostlylurking. She's a lot of fun, isn't she?

Posted by: TBG | October 16, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

We must always remember that the rich are different than you or I. For they get to buy a lot more stuff.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

PLS probably already knows this but the VBBE results should be posted on or before the 18th. Funny thing is, when she said that bit about Thur. or Fri. after Columbus day my first thought was 'observed or actual'. I guess its actual.

Posted by: omni | October 16, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

And, RD, after they've bought it they don't have to worry about storage space.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm a big fan of capers, especially the classics like "Topaki", "Asphalt Jungle", "The Killing", "Rififi" and of course Wallace and Gromit's wonderful "Wrong Trousers". The newer "Oceans" series, not so much. Which ones does Hizzoner especially like?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 16, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Don't knock tiaras. I like to wear one around the house sometimes on weekends, along with my housecoat and fuzzy slippers, when I'm doing honey-dos like replacing the flapper valve in the upstairs toilet, or painting the garage door.

K-guy, loved the reference to the U. of Southern North Dakota at Hoople. I once saw P.S. in conert at the Kennedy Center. He's my idol.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

kb, that nuñez quote was repeated a lot because people found it so funny (and ludicrous). nuñez also responded:,1,6056893.story


In the hourlong exchange with reporters, the usually affable Nuñez called the criticism of his campaign spending the worst publicity of his speakership.

"Maybe I put my foot in my mouth a little bit," he said, by telling The Times last week: "There's not too big a difference between how I live and how most middle-class people live."

yeah, maybe...

the rest of the article is interesting, too, because it talks about how california politicians, such as the governor, charge a lot of their expenses to non-profit groups. i have no idea how this works, or what rules this may get around.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 16, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

RD, your 10:40 was a scream. I nearly DID bust a gut trying to keep my laughter in my innards. Please, have mercy on a guy who's had surgery in, um, those certain private places. Now, I gotta go find some dry drawers. Sheesh...

Posted by: Don from I-270 | October 16, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

As far as capers go, don't forget the original "Italian Job," "The Sting," and the original "Thomas Crown Affair (though I am willing to accept the new one with Renee Russo)."

And under the subcategory of Capers Gone Terribly, Cringeworthily, Wrong, you might consier "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels," "Fargo," "Snatch," and "Reservoir Dogs," which offer significant helpings of Bad Things Happening to Bad People.

One *could* think of them as Morality Plays for Gen X and newer, but not me.


Posted by: bc | October 16, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

If Rudi is opening an office on a penninsula he should have one on an archipelago. I suggest the 1000 Islands. It would be in New York but have the advantange of being on the gateway to the World Heritage Rideau Canal. Not to mention the many nearby parks and prisons.

Posted by: Boko999 | October 16, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

RD, Puyallup kept popping up on recent maps as we were traveling. Ever get lost on a map? Mr dr never lets me navigate for a very good reason.

Which is how it is when you come from the now officially sanctioned and recognized as a place, Saskatchewan. You don't need maps there.

Maybe Rudy opened the Fargo office because of the likelihood of border incursions by sneaky Canucks. Its wide open spaces out there, ya know. This whole dollar at parity thing is scary too. Maybe its a really smart move. But I doubt it.

No way will Mr. Guiliani's lifestyle and spending habits impress people who for the most part, live from the land, and whose lives connect with actual earth.

Posted by: dr | October 16, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

The original "Italian Job" failed to get a good review in the NY Times, but Michael Caine's East London accent is a marvel, as are the little Minis. The stunt driving has to be some of the sprightliest ever done. And the movie has a G rating! It must have got that before "incidental smoking" became a concern.

Michael Caine's real East London accent in "Last Orders" (a bit of a caper itself) shows how thoroughly his talk in "Job" was adjusted to be understandable.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 16, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Good choice Boko, there are even a few pseudo castles from which to choose, his wife's tiara would be very appropriate there.

Posted by: dmd | October 16, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

SCC change "but" to "and". I love New York.

Posted by: Boko999 | October 16, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

(Let's see if I can keep from screwing this announcement up, unlike the Navy birthday oops.)

Next Monday, the President will award the Medal of Honor, posthumusly, to a Navy Seal, Lt. Mike Murphy. He is the first Navy servicemember to win the Medal of Honor for combat in Afghanistan, and the first Navy servicemember to earn it for actions in the Global War on Terror.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | October 16, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Here's the caper bush:
Wonder if it's growable around here?

I did a rough calculation of the weight of the gold in the trunks of each Mini Cooper and it's about 1200 pounds. Stupid movie. For once I'd like to see a movie about a gold heist where the stupid writers can actually deal with physical reality.

Posted by: Jumper | October 16, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Actually, 2,300 lbs. or thereabouts. Stupid movie.

Posted by: Jumper | October 16, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

My favorite champagne is beer... Rudy would not approve. Unless maybe if it was that hefeweizen made by Trappist monks that costs over ten bucks a bottle.

One of my favorite capers was "The Hot Rock" with Robert Redford and George Segal: "Afghanistan Bananastan"

Posted by: Gomer | October 16, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow, first Ulan Bator, then Death Valley Scotty. I think that Rudy, and probably every other pol, should open an office in Truth or Consequences, NM. And everyone else should then hold them accountable.

Posted by: ebtnut | October 16, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

If you really want see a very young Michael Caine doing an accent, you chaps should check him out as Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead in "Zulu". Veddy upper class. Good show, jolly good show, and reasonably true to the history.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 16, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

See Michael Caine in the original "Sleuth" and you can hear several good accents.

Posted by: nellie | October 16, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I received this e-mail this morning from my friend, the author Lou DeCaro, Jr., and thought I'd pass it along.

Dear Friends and Associates:

On this day in 1859, a small group of men--so-called white and black--endeavored to launch an authentic freedom movement in what was then the slave state of Virginia (now West Virginia) by rallying enslaved people at Harper's Ferry, the site of the only government armory in the South. This action was led by John Brown the abolitionist, who has been subsequently slandered, misrepresented, and vilified by the gatekeepers of "American history." As we approach 2009, the bicentennial year of Abraham Lincoln's birth, we can expect an outpouring of worshipful propaganda about the 16th President, but probably little will be done to remember that 2009 will also mark the 150th anniversary of the Harper's Ferry action by Brown and his noble little army.

It is well known that Brown's attempt failed, but beyond that there is a great deal of error and mistaken assumption about the raid of October 16, 1859. It was not a terrorist action. It was not a stupid, foolhardy, and ill-conceived effort. It was not overlooked by the enslaved community, nor was it poorly supported by them. By his own admission, Brown failed because of his misjudgment of time and "parleying" with captive slave masters. But beyond that he was personally pleased at the show of support that came from enslaved people and went to the gallows with the personal satisfaction that he was correct about the willingness and desire of the enslaved to rise up against the oppressive system of slavery.

These facts are not taught in the history books or classes of U.S. institutions. Most of what we are told about Harper's Ferry is based on the reports and testimony of the slave masters, relayed through the newspapers and politicians of the day, both of whom had skewed and self-serving reasons for wanting to believe and portray Brown as an utter failure. Following the trustworthy published testimony of raider Osborne Anderson in 1860, scholars like W.E.B. DuBois, Barrie Stavis, Jean Libby, and Hannah Geffert have effectively argued that the slavemaster version is erroneous--that Brown indeed connected with the enslaved black community, even as he connected with the free black community and its leadership in the North and in Canada. Providentially I have also been able to affirm their arguments by recovering and verifying the testimony of Antony Hunter, an enslaved man in the vicinity of the raid, who told a Union officer during the Civil War about the huge turn out of enslaved people waiting on the periphery of Harper's Ferry at the time of the raid. No scholar who has studied John Brown activities with depth and breadth of research will deny these facts.

The significance of the raid at Harper's Ferry is still unfolding and will--and must--be advanced in 2008-09 as we approach the bicentennial Lincoln celebrations, which reflect the interpretation of status quo and "benign white supremacist" thinking. Lincoln thought the Harper's Ferry raid was a delusional tragedy. He did not read or understand the struggle of the oppressed within his own context as a grasp at liberty from the repressive stranglehold of his nation and people, but rather as an inconvenience to the priorities of the great white nation he wished to solidify and rebuild.

We say that John Brown's soul goes marching on, but if this is the case, then there is still a strategic objective to the old man's efforts. His soul remains unsettled because his work is misrepresented, and because the people he sought to collaborate with have yet to be recognized in history books as anything more than "slaves." They were not slaves. They were enslaved. They were, as Malcolm X so eloquently expressed it, "victims of democracy." If we let the high priests of Lincoln sing his praises without our contrasting voices raised to sing "the songs of Zion" in 2009, then we are only adding insult to the injury endured by generations of human beings who worked to enrich the economies of the South and the North without even an official state apology in retrospect, let alone reparations for their stolen labor and human dignity.

The Harper's Ferry raid of October 16, 1859 was not an abortive, quixotic misadventure led by an old fanatic and terrorist. It was rather the highest expression of people working under the banner of a common humanity to ignite a freedom fire that would burn away a system of injustice and force the nation to rebuild itself in terms of justice.

May the spirit of Old John Brown and his noble young raiders haunt this nation until we collectively realize the true significance of the Harper's Ferry raid: NOT as the so-called first battle of the Civil War as some historians suggest, but the first and foremost revolutionary human rights action involving blacks and whites fighting side-by-side on U.S. soil for sheer human liberty.

Yours in truth,

Louis A. DeCaro Jr.
Student of John Brown

Posted by: Loomis | October 16, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Check out the Fairmont link I added to the kit and click on the Slideshow.

I need to do a kit sometime about the Long & Foster's "Extraordinary Properties" magazine that keeps coming in the mail. Humongous, horrifying houses like you wouldn't beleeb.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 16, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the physics of gold in Minis is nonsense.

More gloomily, New Scientist has a story by Guy Brown, author of "The Living End: The future of death, aging and immortality" published in Britain next month by Palgrave Macmillan. His thesis is that life expectancy in the US is still increasing rapidly, while expectancy of healthy life has stopped increasing. Brown expects a future of disability and dementia, something I've had a peek at already. He points out a certain lack of interest in the problem on the part of drug companies and polticians.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 16, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

My cousin's college boyfriend worked at a Fairmont property and regularly put her parents up for free at the Fairmont in SF.

They were reeeeally disappointed when she didn't marry him.

Posted by: TBG | October 16, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I keep getting those "Extraordinary Properties" magazines too.

Their timely arrival significantly reduces my fear of data mining.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

If a person got himself on every junk mail list possible, he could have enough material to burn to keep himself warm through the coldest winters, no?

Posted by: Don from I-270 | October 16, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I scoff at the Fairmont. When I am in Puyallup next week I will be staying in the spare bedroom of my sister's house. This room has Star Wars Clingies on the wall. Does the Fairmont have Star Wars Clingies, or Clingies of any kind on the wall?

I thought not.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, if we wanted to deal with physical reality, we wouldn't be watching movies, would we?

Any movie is at best a distillation, a synthesis, representation of a story, be it factual or complete fiction.

Even a documentary is a shadow of a past (or passed) reality, a bunch of bits or cels on film recorded from photons passing through a lens and impacting some medium. Interesingly, photons are as close to reality as we can get, and then they're subject to really spooky behavior, such as the classic double-slit experiments (Copenhagen versions, double pinhole, double slit, double detector, etc.), which prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that photons can be both particles and waves at the same time, and can be two places at once (or all places at the same time, depending on what theories of QM you subscribe to)...

If you're looking for understandable reality based on what you see on a screen, photons may be a bad place to start.

But unforunately, that's all we've got.


Posted by: bc | October 16, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Don - thanks for the nice compliment earlier. Sorry about causing pain. Usually my "humor" just makes people mildly ill.

(Note the clever use of scare quotes. I learn so much from this place.)

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse


When I read that op-ed piece I thought about when I was in school, and there was a lot of talk about the SAT not being fair to African-American students because some of the questions contained references to vaccum cleaners and dishwashers,none of which families at our segregated school owned. I've mentioned here before we live in two different worlds in this land called America. I can understand why this piece might cause an uproar and why the person talked about(the first one) might not appeal to folks.

Talk that leans toward my people being different is unacceptable for the simple reason racist individuals use that talk as a reason for so much of their activities, and not many of those good. I think common sense should be used and accepted, but that is hard to come by. Many of the school systems have a majority of White teachers, some very young, without experience in dealing with children living in poverty. It is frustrating for them, so much of the time they either let the kid slide by or flunk him or her.

And let us not forget that the emphasis in the school system now seems to be on test taking and everything hinged on the score. We all know that isn't a conclusive means of measuring the intelligence of children or their potential. It has its place, but it is not the Holy Grail that some make it out to be.

I work with children that live in poverty and everything else, and what I've found is that they are children first and foremost, and they love to play, and want to succeed in school, just don't know how. Success in school is not something that is lived in their neighborhood. Many of them don't see it as a way out of poverty. There isn't the connection that should be there. They believe it to be too hard because school is hard. The expectation level is set very low for them, and this should not be.

The second individual is a bit more in touch with what I'm trying to say here. If you've lived it, you can speak on it. My parents tried to get me to go college, and I went for one year, but it was so hard, and I just gave up. The poverty is grinding, and being in a new place, alone, was just too much for me. I said the heck with it, and left. My sister went to the same school and graduated, but then, I worked so that she could do that, but it was still hard. Later I did go back to school, and didn't want to leave.

Whatever will work has to be done through the parent or parents. The parents have to be a part of any solution. And in my work here, I find that elusive at best. No one worries until the end of the year, and time for the test taking.

Thanks for the op-ed piece, Slyness. And thanks for asking.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 16, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Here's Bob Herbert today, Cassandra.

I hadn't ever read or heard the distinction between "slave" vs. "enslaved" as mentioned in the long post about John Brown. I think it's a good one.

Mudge, Did you write this under a pseudonym?

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 16, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"Front page alert"...


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 16, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

bc - good point, but different people have different pressure points when it comes to suspension of belief.

For example, years ago I watched "The Terminator" with my mother. You know, that movie where an android from the future travels back in time to kill the mother of a potential rebel before said rebel is even conceived.

There is a memorable scene when The Terminator emerges all nekkid from the virtual temporal gateway. He quickly puts on the punk garb taken from two hoodlums.

My mother's major criticism of this film was that she couldn't understand how that big guy could wear clothing taken from such skinny men.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Now I would like for someone to tell me why in the world would someone like me that lives on a fixed income, less than what Rudy spends on hotel bills, a whole lot less, vote for someone like Rudy.

How is he going to help me? And why would he? He would not know how to talk to me, much less do something for me. Dollars to donuts, he cares absolutely nothing for me or anything that looks like me? And that applies to some of the other candidates too. These folks want your vote, and the next day you are forgotten, sort of like a one night stand?

Rode hard, and put up wet. Somebody said that.

If he wasn't born with a sliver spoon in his mouth, he certainly does not want to remember that time now.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 16, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

ScottyNuke and BadSneaks,
I vow NOT to watch the Red Sox tonight. I can't take it anymore. My father is laughing at me from on high for my naivity. Imagine thinking that they could win.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 16, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra - I suspect that Rudy, and politicians like him, are hopeful that you and others will vote against your financial best interests. They are counting on riding to victory on the issues of abortion, gay marriage, and a fear of terrorism.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I understand that the Post is not a monolith, and that they are not the biggest GW deniers out there, or even in Washington journalism. But the Post EDITORIAL PAGE is right there with some of the worst. In several months the sum total of their climate change commentary, that I noticed, was:

1. Emily Yoffe, advice columnist and self-described "math moron". She wrote a very serious sounding editorial, clumsily citing misinterpreted studies, and concluding that climate change was really nothing to worry about. This alone should have meritted shutting down the entire paper for a week for a reflective timeout.

2. Bjorn Lomborg, an economist with zero climate study credentials who has been cited for academic dishonesty in his home Denmark. He grudgingly admitted that yeah, it's happening, and yeah, we're doing it, but we really shouldn't go to any great lengths to address it. This put the Post's editorial page right up there with the biggest recipients of Exxon public disinformation campaign money in recent years.

3. A quick rebuttal to Lomborg by the head of Georgia Tech's earth sciences dept. It was linked on the page for about 37 seconds and I can no longer find it.

4. A couple of urban planning folks who think centralized living is bad for global warming because, wait for it... cities are "hot". In their entire two-page ramble did they address the question of how hot cities were PER CAPITA and how that compared with suburbs. It was like saying Judaism is more prominent and culturally dominant in the US than in Israel, because there are a greater number of Jews here (in absolute number). Just sheer, bald undiluted academic dishonesty. That's what the Post is now known for Mr. Achenbach.

Prescription: Joel Achenbach clones himself, and injects the Washington Post with at least a minimum R.D.A. of scientific literacy, to VET these charlatans before they come on and further poison your newspaper's severely compromised reputation on scientific matters. Believe me, I'm not joking (you should hear some of the conversations going on out here).

Posted by: B2O2 | October 16, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, Rudy doesn't expect your vote. I agree with you that I don't even think he cares about your vote. That's okay, he doesn't expect or care about mine either. We're in good company.

The title "Champagne Rudy" reminds me of a Willie Nelson song which I remember, or misremember, as starting:

Champagne Willie sits around in his underwear, Champagne Willie sits around in his underwear - and then I remember the scansion and rhyme scheme but not the lyrics. Vivid mental image though.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I rarely read Bob Herbert. I don't agree with all his conclusions about Black people. At some point, he can get out there just as much as Ann Coulter.

As for Bill Cosby, some of the stuff he talks about is just plain old common sense, but then he sometimes seems to roll it all up as one. Yet, Micheal Dyson brings a worthy arguement to the table also.

Dr. Pouissant(?), I've read one of his books I believe, and he and I are not on the same page concerning his ideas about Black women. There's a parting of the way in that area. He makes some good point about some areas.

There's a certain amount of truth to some of it, but we may disagree on the reasons for those truths. And I've never really wanted to beat people down, when they're already down.

Everybody wants to make it simple,and simple it is not. One has to delve in a lot of history, and much of that history is not good, especially slavery, and how that has impacted African-American's lives. Some folks don't want to go there, but it is a serious consideration, not the whole picture, but part of the picture, a big part. And the impact of that lingering racism that we all know exist in this country. See we were prisoners of war,and when the war was over, we never left our captors, did we?

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 16, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, I regret to say I don't think very much of your pal Louis De Caro. Among other things, he is totally unable between things which are "facts" and to some extent verifiable, and things which are "opinions." For instance, whether the raid was "stupid, foolhardy, and ill-conceive " isn't a question of fact; it is purely a question of (quite legitimate) opinion. ["These facts are not taught in the history books..." he says. "No scholar who has studied John Brown activities with depth and breadth of research will deny these facts." Well, I don't deny people held these opinions, but I specifically deny they are "facts."]

He also exhibits a high degree of paranoia, in my view, and has the usual conspiracy theorist's chip on his shoulder: "they" are all out to get me. ["John Brown the abolitionist, who has been subsequently slandered, misrepresented, and vilified by the gatekeepers of 'American history.'" Uh-huh. Those gatekeepers get together every year in San Diego to decide who they want to slander and villify next.]

He writes: "because the people he sought to collaborate with have yet to be recognized in history books as anything more than 'slaves.' [Vehemently disagree, but his point is necessary to his argument]...

...They were not slaves. They were enslaved.... [I don't know what the hell this is supposed to mean. I have a hunch it is supposed to indicate some profundity, which has escaped me.]

...They were, as Malcolm X so eloquently expressed it, "victims of democracy." Well, yes, maybe MX said it, and to some extent these particular people were indeed victims of this particular democracy. [I realize here my argument is with Malcolm, more so than with either Brown or De Caro.]However, I don't think the case can remotely be made that slavery itself is necessarily attached to the concept or institution of "democracy" in general. Slavery existed in many, many places and over thousands of years, and has nothing whatsoever to do with "democracy," viz. the Romans, Russian serfs, Maya Indians and oh, hundreds of other examples. Slavery was not and is not an institution peculiar to the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries, so I'm not quite sure what MX's point was.

(Among other things, one could also say they were victims of capitalism. Or victims of an agrarian economy. Or victims of racial prejudice. Or victims of, hell, pick something. Man's inhumanity to man. They're all true to some extent. I also think that although they may have been victims of democracy, it was democracy itself that abolished the practice, though it took a war to do it. )

In general, I think De Caro has his head up his... . But he's entitled to his opinion.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I particularly love this from your last.

"they love to play, and want to succeed in school, just don't know how. Success in school is not something that is lived in their neighborhood."

Utterly eloquent Cassandra. In a lot of ways. You can gain the affluence, you can change your circumstances in many many ways, but its almost impossible to lose the deep cultural traditions you were born to.

I was watching something about the deep cultural roots that we carry, on the weekend. Ah yes, the documentary, 'The Man Who Studies Murder'. He talked a bit about how certain cultural things must be playing a very big part in the different rates of the topic between The US, Canada, and Britian.

While the topics are different, his idea about differences in a deeply rooted cultural tradition can make huge differences in our circumstances are on target.

Posted by: dr | October 16, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

If global warming is such a farce and there is no truth to any of it, why are some people paying huge amounts of money to discredit it? I mean if there's nothing there, why bother? Time will eventually set the matter right, correct?

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 16, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, that last line from your 2:15 made me choke. I'm still laughing.

dr, I don't know if I should say, thanks, or not. You won't come back and hang me with that will you?

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 16, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Cassandra thanks for making me go back and read that 2:15 again. My reading filter made me fix it and totally didn't notice that.

Posted by: omni | October 16, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

SCC: totally unable to distinguish between

No, Maggie, I didn't write it, but I liked it. Over on the Weingarten chat, though a lot of women are hating it. I think Gene's analysis of it is correct--and that the dislikers are missing the self-parody, humor and exaggeration-for-effect aspects of it. [That...and they never wore girdles, and so have no real idea what Hunter was talking about.]

Got a phone call a minute ago from my wife...a friend of our family, age about 43 or 44 and who was a bridesmaid at our wedding, just died of cancer yesterday. She'd been battling it for some time, thought it was beaten, then had a relapse. Her younger sister, who was also a bridesmaid and our oldest daughter's best friend, died of lymphoma 10 or so ago, age about 30. Their mother, the woman who introduced me to my future wife, died of throat cancer about 8 years ago, too.)

They say things come in threes.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Such sad news Curmudgeon.

Posted by: dmd | October 16, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm so sorry, Curmudgeon.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh Mudge, such sad news.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 16, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

My deep condolences, 'Mudge -- to you, Mrs. M., and your friend's family.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 16, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

The urban planning guys in Outlook are clueless about the relation between urban heat islands and global warming. I think it's been demonstrated that dense cities are usually pretty energy-efficient, 'burbs not so.

There's a lot to be said for building better 'burbia, but most of what I've seen in Florida is pretty discouraging.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 16, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm so sorry to hear that, Mudge. Peace be with them.

Just back from taking lunch to a friend who had a knee replaced three weeks ago. She's doing well, and we had a great time. She needed to make a run to the bank, so we took her, and she walked well, using the walker. The wonders of modern medicine are worthwhile, if one can afford them.

Cassandra, I suppose the place to start is with the family. How do we strengthen families to ensure that children can succeed? That's the real question, I think.

Posted by: Slyness | October 16, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

So sorry Mudge. I hope you get some solace from our collective Boodle Hug here.

Posted by: TBG | October 16, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Mudge: My condolences on your loss. Hopefully, it is three and out.

Posted by: ebtnut | October 16, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - Condolences on the loss. It is especially hard when sad news comes in clusters.

Loved your analysis of the De Caro bit, especially your mention of the meeting of the historical gatekeepers. I think they are having brunch with the Associated Brotherhood of Government Conspirators.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I seldom pay attention to the ads cluttering these online pages but one just caught my eye: "You've earned a week without shoes." I assume they mean this in a good way. Hmmm. A shoeless week, sipping champagne and chomping capers and salmon. Just please not with Rudy. Or in North Dakota.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 16, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra and Slyness, one way to increase achievement in little children is to help create a "reading home." Children need to see their parents and beloveds read. Children also need to be read to. Books-on-tape have been studied as a way to help exhausted families -- poor families are doubly-tired -- boost the vocabulary quotient or VQ.

Having a large VQ at 3,4,5 correlates strongly with school school achievement and love of learning.

Oh Mudge, passings are very hard. Look on the horizon for some weddings and a baby announcement or too. Any sour cherry concoction hidden away? Sending rhubarb compote, forthwith. Apply liberally. Heartsease to you, dear Blue Bottom.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 16, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear of your loss, Mudge.

Posted by: Gomer | October 16, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Re: Scare Quotes for Halloween


Posted by: "Wilbrod" | October 16, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Want some fur therapy, Mudge? I'll even moisten your lap and help you watch what you eat, you know. I'm here for ya, big cheeseburger guy.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | October 16, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey, y'all. Omni, when I said the Thursday or Friday after Columbus Day, I meant observed. I was *really* surprised when they didn't come out last week because from everything I've heard, it's been around the 12th or 13th for years now. Guess they just want to torture us for a few more days this year. :-)

Interesting piece about Rudy's hotel spending spree. You've got to wonder, though, how many rooms was he getting every night? I'm actually going to be staying at La Costa next week (for work, I'm not paying) and I think it's about $350/night.

Posted by: PLS | October 16, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'm so sorry - that's really sad news. And so young, too! My condolences.

Posted by: PLS | October 16, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"but its almost impossible to lose the deep cultural traditions you were born to."


Posted by: Probationboy | October 16, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, very sorry to hear about your friend. . .

Weingarten is wrong. I get the self-parody, humor and exaggeration-for-effect aspects of it. It's still very creepy, as GW is himself on occasion.

Posted by: dbG | October 16, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog, I'm a big believer in fur therapy, and some would be welcome right about now. These are the kinds of days when I wish we still had a dog.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The obvious spot for Rudy's next campaign office is Xanadu, Titan. Nevermind that you think it's presumptuous for us to be naming continents on other celestial bodies.

I think the round trip takes something like 24 years. And the tie-in with Kubla Khan is irresistible.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man

Down to a sunless sea.

* * *

That sunny dome ! those caves of ice !
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware ! Beware !
His flashing eyes, his floating hair !
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Posted by: WFH | October 16, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"Shotgun Willie runs around in his underwear, bitin' on a bullet and pullin' out all of his hair. Shotgun Willie's got all of his family there." (Willie Nelson, the answer to one of the best trivia stumpers ever: Who wrote Patsy Cline's timeless hit "Crazy"?)

Posted by: slimpickins | October 16, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh that is so sad Mudge. My prayers are with them.

No Cassandra, we don't do that up here. Well we haven't since 1962. And hopefully won't again. Ever.

No what he was comparing was essentially the attitudes. Great Britian has a very law and order attitude where the government took control of societal retribution in the 1300's. The American culture is born of revolution, and there is a strong sense that bearing arms are the right of an inidvidual to decide. Canada is wishy washy, with a cultural heritage born of parliament and laws, but deeply influenced by our neighbours. He was saying these deeply rooted attitudes must be part of what affects the drastically different murder rates beyond how we deal with guns and gun control.

I think that deeply rooted personal culture ends up doing the same thing. My mother-in-law, growing up with no central heating and a well a long way from the house, even as affected as she is by Alzheimers, still comments that you are wasting water if the bath water is more than an inch deep. She gets deeply upset at the thought of it. Not the energy and expense to heat it mind, just the idea of waste, which she forever associates with being scolded for using too much. My running to legumes when the world turns to crap (or at the first sign of winters cold)is the same sort of thing. And my never remembering birthdays. My sister and I have birthdays just 9 days apart right after Christmas. We seldom had a cake, we often got one gift between the 2 of us.

If as a child you are surrounded by poverty, that poverty affects eveything in your outlook all your life. Not just Black people but all very poor people. (Thinking here of the Shelby Lee Adams documentary about Appalchia, 'The True Meaning of Pictures'.)

'Success in school is not something that is lived in their neighborhood' Utterly eloquent.

Each and every one of your kids needs to really feel successful at some small simple thing. They need to feel like they landed on the moon because they did it, and then they need to know how to own that little success. Then they need to have those small feelings of success happen again and again so they step out each morning with the idea in their head that they can. Since its very very hard to make an adult change their belief in themselves, you have to start with the kids. I can't think of a better way than how you do it, one small thing for one person at a time. You teach even grander things than reading and math, Cassandra.
You teach believing in yourself.

Which reminds me, I saw a biography of Dolly Parton. (I was knitting and crocheting and I had not seen a tv for a week. I saw a lot of stuff.) She sponsors a program called the Imagination Library. This link talks about them and a host of other book programs. You've probably heard of some of them, but just in case.

Posted by: dr | October 16, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

dr, you said this so well

"Each and every one of your kids needs to really feel successful at some small simple thing. They need to feel like they landed on the moon because they did it, and then they need to know how to own that little success. Then they need to have those small feelings of success happen again and again so they step out each morning with the idea in their head that they can. Since its very very hard to make an adult change their belief in themselves, you have to start with the kids."

Those words continue their importance even in adulthood.

Posted by: dmd | October 16, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Hostory gatekeepers change over time and so does the gate. I assume you, Mudge, and Padouk have read the Reynolds, DeCaro and Robert Penn Warren biographies of John Brown? Just as I thought.

I point this out, too, because one of the books I bought recently is the 2006 tome, "God's War"--the history of the Crusades. The author Christopher Tyerman deliberately points out in the preface how very different his version of the Crusades is from the three-volume set written by Steve Runciman between 1951 and 1954.

Tyerman writes, "All historical investigations remain contingent on surviving evidence. One of the regular temptations seducung historians and their audience is to imagine knowledge of the past. Most has been lost by nature, accident or design. The muddle of existence is simplified both by the historians' craft which is at root that of selection, and by the gaps in evidence."

He continues, "Thus any modern historical account can only be to some degree tentative. If the requirements of the narative obscure the delicacy of the interpretive choices reached here, this in no way suggests they were easy, simple, straightforward, necessarily incontrovertible or even conclusive. They merely represent wha the author, to the best of his understanding, now thinks."

Posted by: Loomis | October 16, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

dr, I think you are saying that success is an early-ingrained habit. And you are right. Also early-ingrained is the habit of taking (appropriate) risks. That's necessary for children to grow up straight and true; they must take risks in a safe environment, which their family and their school provide for them.

Expectations mean so much, as Cassandra says. I remember being teased about taking a bottle to college, as I had a bottle at bedtime till I was 4. Even as a preschooler, I learned the expectation that I would succeed in school and go to college.

dr, did your mother-in-law have to carry the water from the well to the house? That was back-breaking work for women, and yes, I'd be cross if somebody wasted the water I had to carry. Wouldn't you?

Posted by: Slyness | October 16, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Thank you dmd. But only the part about owning the successes. That's the hard part.

Probation boy, almost indeed. I might be screwed up, but I live in hope.

I must accept that I am never gonna be a success with power tools.

Posted by: dr | October 16, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

It isn't remotely necessary to have read the Reynolds, De Caro and Penn Warren biographies, LL, in order to have an opinion about De Caro's clear agenda and conspiracist bent.

Both as a working (albeit amateur, though published) historian as well as veteran newspaper ink-stained wretch, I'm well aware of how both history and historians change over time.

None of this has anything to do with having a reasonable, informed opinion about whether John Brown's raid was "foolhardy" or "quixotic." Nor do I need to read those three books to be able to distinguish between "facts" and "opinions" of "theories." I'm certainly not opposed to "opinions" and "theories"; I rather enjoy them. But I know the difference between a fact and an opinion, and how to label them, and De Caro, at least in my judgement of the excerpt above, does not.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

There's a reason why Rudy and the rest of the evolution-denying Constitution-hating Red Bushies are far far behind in both fundraising and cash on hand.

First, America has rejected their spendthrift ways and their anti-American hatred of our core values of Truth, Justice, and the American Middle Class way of life - they work only for Lies, Torture, Fear, and the Ultra-Rich while ripping off the Middle Class.

Secondly, being incompetent Red Bushies, they spend like fish. So even if they weren't a distant third and fifth in fundraising behind Obama and Clinton, they fritter away what funds they raise.

Never ask a big spending big deficit Red Bushie to balance a checkbook or budget wisely. They just can't do it.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | October 16, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Yup, and out again, in those days, slyness. Absolutely.

As a kid, we always had a handy dandy pump in the house, but we had a huge cistern and a lot of people didn't. My mother-in-laws childhood home was where my aunt lived when I was a kid, and I was around when they got running water, and a septic system.

Even I carried water for a time. My dad had hogs in a barn at a neighbours place, where the well was miles away (not really maybe a couple hundred feet - it just felt like miles) and one of our jobs was carrying water while he cleaned pens.

Did I ever mention that I don't like pork much, because of the day of the long handled poop scraper, the water. And in the same way, and really horribly - avert your eyes if you are vegetarian - (I know my bad) I always liked watching butchering time.

In a way believing is deeper than habit, it's more fundamental. It functions even when you really work against allowing it to function. Closer to instinct, I think.

See and back to the beginning, no way would Mr. Giuliani ever understand anything about long handled poop scrapers.

Posted by: dr | October 16, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow...Red Bushies. Ya know, that phrase is kinda growing on me. I like it. It has a nice double entendre going for it, too-- red as in Red State, but also red as In Reds, implying not so much Leftists, Communists or Socialists per se, but just wild-eyed, crazoid revolutionaries in general, which the NeoCons are (IMHO). That's how I see Bill Kristol and Wolfie, and a lot of the pundits--kinda Trotskyites of the far right.

Nicely done, Will.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... how about checking out some fur this Saturday?

Posted by: Wilbrodog | October 16, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Let me second Mudge here on the De Caro. As I have stated before, anyone who treats a diverse community, like historians, as being a monolithic community with a single fixed "gatekeeper" agenda has automatically lost my intellectual respect. Claiming a conspiracy against the "truth" is far too facile a way to justify a poorly-thought out or ideologically motivated conclusion.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Joel, excellent rebuttal. But for, like, the zillionth time. We're working the cloning bit just as fast as we can.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 16, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Mudge and Mrs. Mudge -- you have my deep condolences, as well. It's never easy to lose someone you love, and it's even harder to lose them when they are so young. I join the collective boodle-hug, as TBG so eloquently put it.

My mother was inexorably poor when she was growing up, and she would walk miles and miles to school to avoid paying all of 5 cents for the streetcar fare. While my father eventually did well professionally, I witnessed that my mother never, ever was able to feel comfortable -- she always had the mindset that she would never know where her next meal would come from (although she would deny herself food and other comforts and not splurge at all on anything ("not needed" she said)). She never forgot -- until Alzheimer's told her she could forget everything.

Coming full circle here, to Cassandra's eloquent comments -- I think the very best thing we can give to children (and, indeed, adults who can take it in) is *resilience* -- that's what will help them not only to survive but to thrive. It's the ability to sway and bend, like willows in the water, to life's inexorable disappointments and difficulties and sorrows and still have the ability to stand upright when the storm has passed. Resilience is the ability to give *ourselves* the parenting and nurturing that either we never got or which was not enough. It is, in essence, at the center of the collective boodle-hug. Now, whether that center is chewy or chocolate-cream is up to us individually, but it can, indeed, be whatever we want it to be.

Kids most definitely need resilience and adults need it, too. It gives us the ability to recognize the canary in the mine -- to know when to get out of the way, and to know when to come together. There are adults whom I know personally who would rather, and stubbornly, hold onto their passionate hatreds and disappointments and misery than to see another way of living. They tend to have shorter lifespans and miserable lives (even though they may very well be happy in their misery).

People respond to warmth and love at any age, even though the acceptance may be fleeting and even though they may not feel the ability to reciprocate. When we start with the kids, we can teach them that giving gets -- that if you give, you will get back in abundance, even if entirely different people are involved on either side of that equation.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 16, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Excellently and eloquently said, FTB. Thank you.

Posted by: Slyness | October 16, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

One more thing -- to Cassandra. I don't know how this can be done, but I do know that you are definitely among the people who can do it: to instill in the minds of the children (and adults) you interact with, that education and learning belongs to *them* and nobody (*nobody*) can take that away from them. In the African-American communities it appears that many young kids think that getting an education is "acting white" -- conveniently forgetting (if they ever knew) that under slavery, slaves were punished to the point of homicide if they tried to learn to read and write. Why would these kids want to behave like the slave-owners? Is it because they think it would give them power? It is education and learning which gives power. The feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can be replaced -- it's an enormously difficult task, I don't deny that. But education and the thrill and the love of lifelong learning is the ticket to absolutely everywhere you want to go in life. It is to be embraced and to be shared and to be exalted.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 16, 2007 6:21 PM | Report abuse

My last sounds bloodthirsty. I really am not that way at all. It is part and parcel of farm life, that's all. My perspective is going to be very different than those not exposed. It was meant to be just a wee bit silly, and that does not come across at all.

Cassandra, FTB, slyness et al, thought provoking conversation today. I salute you.

And Joel. How on earth did they ever manage the front page without you?

Posted by: dr | October 16, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow. NBC's Brian Williams just reported that Lynn Cheney this afternoon announced that Dick Cheney and Barack Obama are eighth cousins.

So I guess that means BOTH of 'em must be related to Loomis in some way or other.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Forget that, 'Mudge...

Is this brilliant self-parody or a tragic mistake?

*confused as always* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 16, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Maggie O'D, I was talking with "S" about the Red Sox tonight and he said that he's not going to get upset if they don't win. They won the WS a few years back and it was especially dramatic because of the way they came back against the Yankees. The actual World Series being anticlimatic. So this might just be Cleveland or Colorado's year. It's ok with "S" and it's ok with me too. Be happy the Sox won the one they did. (And pray that Dice K and JD Drew are better next year than they have been this year!) Besides, we've got the Patriots to get emotionally involved with now.

Mudge, I am so sorry about your losses. Let's hope that it stops at three.

Cassandra, you are doing your part to help the children learn and to enjoy the process. If they can retain the hunger to learn, and understand the empowerment of it, they will be on the right road. ftb said it all much better than I could.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 16, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Wow! You're really living the Serenity Prayer!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 16, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I meant to add that I admire your Buddha-like detachment.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 16, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

FTB... I'm so glad you came up with the word I've been looking for: resilience. I've seen such resilience firsthand... My dad made me so proud the way he lived after losing the love of his life, his home of 46 years, his independence--his entire way of life.

He happily moved into a retirement home, made friends, chaired committees, went on every excursion and activity the place provided, had a weekly lunch date with a long-lost pal from kindergarten. He did miss my mother so (even telling me once, "I didn't cry today"), but accepted her death and realized it didn't mean his, too.

I don't think many things have made me so happy as watching him move into that new phase of his life so ready to take it on.

It's a lesson my sisters and I--and more important, my kids--will not forget. Just one of many wonderful lessons my dad passed on to us.

Posted by: TBG | October 16, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

This morning Diane Rehm also interviewed Lynn Cheney. I don't know if they talked about the 'link' or not.

Posted by: daiwanlan | October 16, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Ha, ha! Well Maggie, to be truthful, I am a much bigger Pats fan than I am a Sox fan. Or maybe more accurately, I like football more than baseball. I have no Buddha-like detachment about the Patriots. But yes, I have reached that Serenity Prayer state with the Sox. Must be my AA background. ;-)

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 16, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

To the Red Sox fans, I watched a bit of baseball while we were away, the Boston game was on and I noticed Riviera(?), wearing some sort of pajama like outfit - never thought of myself as a traditionalist until I saw that uniform, I thought it looked goofy (Just me?).

TBG thanks for sharing that memory of your Dad, my grandfather lived 17 years after my grandmother passed, it surprised everyone how well he did on his own, he even learned how to become quite a good cook. Role models to be proud of for sure.

Posted by: dmd | October 16, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Joel and boodlers,

We stayed in Kingman, Arizona one night on this R&R trip. The Hampton Inn was actually very nice and we had a suite. But Rudy probably wouldn't like the scenery...very deserty.

However, the Meteor Crater, which was so cool I can't stop talking about it, might give him the perfect photo backdrop. If you take the tour around the rim there is a stop at "picture rock." As long as no one tells Rudy ..."just step back a little bit."

Hey, there are pink jagged rocks all over the place down here. I know...duh. We took an air boat ride down the Colorado River. The river is very can see the bottom quite readily. It's beautiful around here.

One last comment (I have to walk to the business center to use the old-fashioned)...GO ROCKIES...!!!!

Posted by: birdie | October 16, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

dr and firsttimeblogger, you expressed your thoughts beautifully. Thank you.

And yes, ftb, some kids consider it "acting white" to study and make good grades. I think that comes from a place of intense dislike for the history between the races. A feeling that is deep, lacking expression, and the practice of covering it up. A rejection of slavery and its impact on our people from those that we have to live with that were the participants of that history. I know it sounds like rambling, and I can't bring the words to mind to express what I'm trying to say more clearly. I hope you understand.

Also, understand that many of our children don't have a clue about their history in this country. So many of them believe that African-Americans always went through the front door, and took meals in the same restaurants as Whites. They don't understand the back door or the separate drinking fountains or any of that. That history isn't taught in schools or colleges for that matter. The full history, no.

Slyness, the director of the Center constantly tries to figure out ways to involve parents in what we do. I think parents are bogged down with trying to take care of their families. And many of these families are headed by females. A job that I would not wish on my most hated enemy. Been there, done that.

Ivansmom, I realize that Rudy is not trying to get my vote. I, and folks like me, have nothing in common with him, and that's the case for many of the candidates. No one wants poor people, and that maxim isn't just here in America, but it is a world view. Poor people are killed and used badly. If it was left up to some people, all the poor people would be rounded up and dumped in the ocean. I suspect somewhere they may be doing that very thing, in some form or other, somewhere in the world now.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 16, 2007 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'm only going to watch the Red Sox until 9 pm when The Unit comes on.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 16, 2007 8:36 PM | Report abuse

birdie... Son of G and I stayed in Kingman this summer, too! We didn't have even the luxury of the Hampton Inn, choosing instead to experience the Hotel Brunwick, which faces the railroad tracks. On our bedside were two pairs of earplugs.

The hotel was cute; the restaurant's food was incredibly delicious. The one tiny double bed was a little hard and pretty uncomfortable; my son complained about sharing it, but I reminded him that the next night on the red-eye home he'd be wishing he was in it again.

Posted by: TBG | October 16, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

TBG, SonofG coulda slept on the floor! Nice of you to let him has part of the double bed...;-)

Yes, Cassandra, been there, done the single parent thing myself. More a lack of time and parenting skills than bad intentions for most of us, wouldn't you say? I think that's true of all parents who must work to keep food on the table and a roof over little heads.

Posted by: Slyness | October 16, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

So very true, Slyness, so very true.

I'm reading something about Cheney and Obama related, as in cousins. And Mrs. Cheney announced this information. I'm still trying to find my teeth, eyes, what I have left of ears, whole body parts missing here. Is this true information? I started to ask how, but I won't go there.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 16, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

TBG and birdie, my mother-in-law (now deceased) lived in Kingman. I assume you know if you stayed in the Hotel Brunswick/Hotel Beale (next door) was where Clark Gable stayed the day he married Carole Lombard in Kingman, (that evening they honeymooned at the Hotel Oatman in the nearby town/ghosttown of Oatman). Also, the actor Andy Devine when he was a kid growing up there fell of a balcony there and injured his throat, which gave rise to his famous raspy voice.

Clay Aikman in Spamalot. The mind boggles.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I cam see the billboards on Broadway now:

Clay Aikman *is* Othello.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I forgot. So sorry to hear about the sadness in your family. Please tell Mrs. Mudge, I am sorry.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 16, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

dmd, that goofy pajama outfit wearer is Manny Ramirez. He doesn't like restrictive clothing and because he is one of our two best hitters, he can wear his uniform any old way he wants. Around here, his choice of uniform, and some other odd things, are just referred to as "Manny being Manny."

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 16, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I suppose by the time I figure out there's a game on, it will be over. I missed the Rockies altogether. Ha - that's funny about Manny Ramirez. I thought his uniform had a generous cut!

My condolences, Mudge.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 16, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Back boodling and catching up.

Add me to the list of people expressing condolences, mudge.

I had to double check the url to make sure it was NYT reporting the Aiken news and not The Onion. The irony potential is nearly limitless.

I'm as smutty minded as the next guy and perhaps much more so, but I found Stephen Hunter's paean to female flesh tasteless not matter how tongue-in-cheek it was done.

I want to see the pink rocks. People have told me I should have skipped the Grand Canyon and seen Sedona instead.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 16, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

7-0 Cleveland. Sorry, folks.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 16, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Saw the story on NBC News tonight. Lynne Cheney, doing research for her next book, apparently uncovered a common ancestor for Barak Obama and Dick Cheney--they're 8th cousins, it was reported.

Just got home from hearing Jenna Bush talk about and read from her book about an HIV-positive 17-year-old mother Jenna met with her recent work through UNICEF. The mother's real name isn't disclosed in the book, nor the South American country where the story takes place. Loomispouse got pictures of Jenna from a distance with his telephoto lens.

We did not buy the book for a variety of reasons. The book's type is 12 point, I believe, and the story is simply told. Having come from the Bay Area, we are all to familiar with the story of AIDS. I really don't need any more books in which I have a passing interest, so passed on standing in the long line to have the book autographed and opted for dinner at Red Lobster instead.

The Secret Service were doing their jobs--a thorough serach of my purse, and both Loomispouse and I were wanded, as was everyone else who came to the event. Only the first 100 people who bought books got seats. The rest of us were restricted at some distance, and the public address sytem was poor within this particular Barnes and Noble.

Sorry, Mudge and Padouk, about your opinions about DeCaro. Where you see conspiracy, I see euphemism as regards the "gatekeepers." Where you see paranoia, I see point of view. Louis DeCaro is the only African-American historian I know of who has taken on the John Brown biography. No doubt, his perspective figures into the use of the term "enslaved" rather than "slave" as Maggie pointed out.

Posted by: Loomis | October 16, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'm sorry to hear of your loss of your friend. Please pass along my condolences to your family, and the family and friends of the lady who passed.

Thanks to all for the good discussions today.

Mudge, I liked your special triple endendre of "Clay Aikman." That should cheese off a lot of Cowboys fans and country music fans alike.

If you think that the WaPo has been ignoring Global Warming, you haven't been reading it enough.


Posted by: bc | October 16, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry to hear of your loss, 'Mudge. I will keep you and your wife in my thoughts.

Posted by: jack | October 16, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

mudge, sorry to hear about your family friend.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 16, 2007 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh G*d, I just peeked in for a minute, and it was 3/7; then after another minute, I peeked again, and they lost it. It's my fault; I'm so sorry.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 16, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Well, there are slaves, there are those who are enslaved, those who have been unslaved, and those with the wisdom to know the difference.

Sorry Loomis--hate to disagree with an 8th cousin thrice removed--but I agree with with Mudge. DeCaro wrote a polemic not a history, one totally bereft of evidence for the thesis presented. That doesn't mean he's necessarily wrong, it just means that his method is more like those of Rush Limbaugh than they are of Polybius, Livy, Gibbons, Mommsen, Mudge, and Ferret.

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | October 16, 2007 11:50 PM | Report abuse

ER, yello, I just went back and re-read "Stephen Hunter's paean to female flesh" which you called "tasteless no matter how tongue-in-cheek it was done."

I didn't find it tastelss, nor was it tongue-in-cheek. It was the truth about that far off era. And really well written.

Posted by: nellie | October 16, 2007 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Heck, even cannibals love their daddies.

Posted by: Medallion of Ferret | October 17, 2007 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I am indeed sorry to hear about your friend. Too much illness and death going on recently. We just heard of the death of the son-in-law of dear friends; he was just 41 and died of melanoma.

Posted by: nellie | October 17, 2007 12:08 AM | Report abuse

I'm kind of confused personally by De Caro. What he claims is not taught, has been taught in Virginia history. I've been to Harpers Ferry, I know the song, "John Brown's Body."

There is no doubt there was a strong abolitionist movement back then. The underground railroad, Frederick Douglass, Soujourner Truth, and all that. I don't know that I needed De Caro leading me by the hand on those points, especially when it was clear John Brown and his many sons went to start a slave rebellion.

Maybe some details were left out, of course. I doubt those people who were supporters of Brown's rebellion came forward until well after the civil war.

Well, John Brown got a full page or so in my book. You know how much coverage the Whiskey rebellion got?

You just can't do everything in complete detail in a history textbook. Heck, the detail that Virginia nearly voted to abolish slavery before the civil war sure got left out too. What role Brown's rebellion played in that, I don't know.

I do know the bill did not pass because blacks simply outnumbered whites and many feared massacres and reprisals.

Given that this was the period where such massacres in fact occured on the Indian frontier (1840's) between settlers and american Indians, as well as various slave rebellions, it must have seemed a serious possibility. That is a story that has to be told, of which John Brown may be only an example of.

I do not consider myself that much of a student of American history at all, but before he goes believing what people have or have not been taught, he needs to do his homework on that point. It's an rhetorical strawman intended to puff up his argument.

A historian is taken most seriously when he does not rage against what was not told, but focuses on reworking the historical accounts and original documentation and reconstruction of the situation in Virginia and/or Maryland during that period.
Also, if he wants to differentiate between the enslaved and slaves, he has to explain what he means-- indentured servants? Illegally enslaved slaves? A metaphor for all that suffered by slavery? Word games are not history.

And a refresher on that song...

Yeah, it sounds like John Brown's story was always suppressed, eh?

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 17, 2007 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Mudge... Wilbrodog already did his condolences, but I meant to speak up earlier and extend mine as well.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 17, 2007 1:51 AM | Report abuse

a-mouldering is a funny word.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 17, 2007 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, so sorry to hear about your family friend ...

I play catch up in the boodle everyday. When I miss a couple of days, I play catch up catch up.

Slyness, as to your question about no more fasts during the day, the answer is yes. Fasting month was officially over at around 6:10pm on 12 Oct. But for most women, ladies and young girls, they should "pay back" (fast) the 4 to 7 days that they couldn't fast because of their monthly. Those who were sick during that month and couldn't fast should "pay back" as well. They have a whole year to do that, i.e. before the next fasting month begins.

Posted by: rainforest | October 17, 2007 2:52 AM | Report abuse

Hello martooni!

Posted by: rainforest | October 17, 2007 2:55 AM | Report abuse

*focusing-on-the-Patriots-now-but-still-keeping-the-Sox-in-my-field-of-view Grover motions*


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2007 5:46 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. 'Morning, Cassandra. Scotty, I'll be happy to do the morning Grover waves so you can get an extra 40 winks, if you want. I know the Red Sox loss last night must be taking a heavy emotional toll on you. G'head--roll over and go back to sleep for a few minutes. [""G'head" being said in Horshack's voice.]

BTW, and FWIW [for what it's worth], I was unaware that De Caro was black until LL pointed it out. I don't see what a historian's race has to do with anything. I can understand how race would influence a historian's field of interest and topic, etc., and that's fine. But it shouldn't influence the conclusions he comes to as he shifts evidence. Either the evidence is there, or it isn't. I'm inherently suspicious of any historian who brings an agenda to the table.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 5:48 AM | Report abuse

Ooops, sorry, Scotty, I should have posted a few minutes earlier and let you stay in bed.

The "Frontline" show on PBS last night about "Cheney's War" was excellent, by the way.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 5:51 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Joel, next time you see Giuliani, you might suggest to him he might be able to get a better rate at the Fairmont in SF, or some of the other hotels he stays in, if he checks with Priceline first. I'll bet he can do better than $329 (or $750 for the Tower Suite) at the Fairmont.

Also, suggest he use his AARP or Hertz discounts. (Since he no longer works for the government, I doubt he'd be allowed to use his govt. rate discount.) He might also see if he can save some money but booking his hotel AND his air travel as a package.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 6:01 AM | Report abuse

Also, Day's Inn often offers a free breakfast.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 6:06 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. She's back! The g-girl is back and still sleep. I don't want to wake her up, she seems to be resting so good. We have to meet the bus.

Loomis, is this history found at the library? I would love to read it, and form my own opinion.

Morning, Mudge, Scotty, Slyness, and all.*waving* while coughing.

Busy day today, as Wednesdays always are. We're suppose to get rain. Every one seems to be real sure of this. I hope so.

There is something about Jerry Seinfield's wife giving Oprah a bunch of shoes, designer shoes, and this writer is taking a poll asking if Oprah should give the shoes back. This person admits she does not like Oprah, yet she wants the public's opinion about whether she should give back this gift. I hope Oprah does not have as many shoes as she has dollars.

I think this touches me because I love shoes. When I lived in DC, I used to window shop for shoes, all the time.

I guess we need something to write about, and if it's dirt on a famous person, why not. Of course, I don't think shoes would fall under that category. It just seems so nothing to me, and yet, I guess it is something because I can't seem to stop talking about it. *pulling my foot out of my mouth*

Feet have a bad taste. Time to get the g-girl up, so we can argue about toothpaste and who gets to squeeze the tube.

Have a great day, friends. I know you think I have stop praying for all of you, but I have not. I still pray for you. One and all. And my prayer is that you all come to know God, through His Son, Jesus.

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 17, 2007 6:12 AM | Report abuse

OK, now that I'm somewhat more caffeinated...

I would think there are several Boodlers who would have a well-informed view of the whole Ellen DeGeneres "I adopted a rescue dog but didn't really think I needed to abide by the rescue group's rules" affair:

I would only add this: If Ellen didn't have the foresight to consider that a "high-energy" dog and her cats might need a LOT of socialization before deciding whether they can coexist, has she then demonstrated the skills needed to determine whether her hairdresser's family is a good home for the dog?


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2007 7:20 AM | Report abuse

G'morning, everybody, you especially, Cassandra. It's cloudy here, maybe the forecast will be correct and wet stuff will fall from the sky. I don't have my hopes up too high, though.

Cassandra, it's good when the grandchild is with you, because then we know she's going to school.

This is the day I volunteer at the place where people from out of town can go when they have family in the hospital. When we built a new hall at my church 15 years ago, we added this facility along with it. It has six rooms and capacity to sleep 15 people. The organization is building a new facility, though, and we are in the process of working with another non-profit to turn the area into a halfway house for women who have graduated from a substance abuse recovery program. I'm glad to be involved.

Posted by: Slyness | October 17, 2007 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, you and Cassandra never cease to amaze and delight me with your giving, caring ways.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2007 7:35 AM | Report abuse

You are very kind, Scotty, but I'm not in Cassandra's league by any stretch of the imagination. I'm trying, though.

Posted by: Slyness | October 17, 2007 8:01 AM | Report abuse

And then again, there are people such as the government officials here...


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2007 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Morning all...

Slyness said "When we built a new hall at my church 15 years ago, we added this facility along with it."

That's why I stopped giving money to the church I grew up in. They just use the "building fund" money to add more gold to the mosaics.

Cassandra... I told my son that the g-girl was pretty much living with you these days and he said, "Good! I bet that's really good for the little girl." This is from a boy whose grandparents helped raise him (they only lived about a mile away and took care of my kids while I was at work). It was time that was precious to him. He says "hi" to you, by the way.

Speaking of Son of G... he's getting a kick out of the Charlotte accent. He was asking for a pin the other day (to reset his iPhone) and kept getting handed a pen.

Posted by: TBG | October 17, 2007 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, aren't you thanking your lucky stars you aren't the official spokesman for Mutts and Moms right now? What a PR disaster. I don't think even Karl Rove could spin ripping a puppy away from a couple of kids as a particularly good policy. And DeGeneres loosing it like that on her No wonder the pet store is getting murder and arson threats. How tone deaf can somebody get?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I read that Ellen DeGeneres bit and have mixed feelings. Yes, a contract is a contract, and the adoption agency is certainly well within their legal rights.

But something about it smacks me of zealotry on the part of the adoption agency. The requirement for home inspection and the notion that any family with small children is not appropriate for a small dog seems absurd to me. I think somewhere along the way someone lost track of common sense.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 17, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Exactly, Padouk. And the agency's age limit is 14. The kids are 11 and 12--pretty close, in my view, and certainly old enough to satisfy whatever imaginary "concern" the pet shop people might have about "young children." If the kids were 2 or 3 or something, one might be able to understand it. But 11? They want to take a puppy away from an 11-year-old, who is now heartbroken?

Did you see the clip from DeGeneres's show? Man, if that doesn't seal the case, nothing does.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, that is a pretty intense clip of Ellen DeGeneres. I have a lot of respect for rescue organizations, but like lots of people, sometimes those involved can lose sight of what's truly important and what is not.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 17, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

S'Nuke, I like everything I know about Ellen, but this was a stupid thing to do. :-)

Every rescue (and reliable breeder) I've worked with has a clause in the contract you sign to get the dog which stipulates you must return the dog if you can't keep it. Ellen's rescue just stipulated you had to inform them. I'm sorry she went onto her show and cried, but my sympathies are with the rescue.

Rescues are almost always 100% volunteer. When you're donating $ and hours/days a week, you're doing it for the animal. You don't want to see them end up somewhere you haven't checked out, you want to know they're in a place suitable for their permanent home, not where someone who's decided not to keep the dog has decided is suitable. Rules tend to be created out of experience--rescues get a lot of dogs because a family is having a second (++) child, an elderly relative has moved into a nursing home or passed away, younger children have trouble respecting the animal's boundaries--and the animal ends up homeless again. If it's lucky, it ends up back in a rescue instead of a high-kill shelter. Many dogs which end up in rescue have already been through several homes before reaching the rescue (2 of my labs were in at least 2 previous homes/ shelters, passed from family to family). What if Ellen's one-off family didn't work out?

Currently, I foster and have a say in whom among all the applicants would work the best with the dog. In the past, I have not allowed a young, boisterous lab to go to an elderly woman (who was outraged. The dog went to a family of 3, all interested in showing the dog in obedience. They had the strength and resources to handle the lab, who had a tornado's energy level, she's still there 4 years later, they *work* with her at least an hour a day, and she runs daily with the dad. The other lady's proposed 1/2 hour a day stroll wouldn't have been nearly enough). When I was doing home evaluations, there was at least 1 home I wouldn't have put a *bear* into because of an uncontrollable younger child (9 yo) (they said it was okay if the dog bit him because it would teach him a lesson, but no blood could be drawn); again, they were outraged the Board turned them down. The lady was able to get a young dog from a breeder and someone was happy to give the other family a puppy from an accidental litter from their unspayed female. People aren't always choosy enough about where a dog goes. If the rescue's rules bother you, go elsewhere.

I'm rambling here, but when Ellen put the puppy into a home of her choosing, did she check personal and vet references? Did she ask if they'd ever left a pet at a shelter and why? Did she consider the animal's temperament vs. the family's? As you pointed out, her judgment was suspect.

It's possible if the rescue had had a chance to evaluate the new home that they'd have approved those specific children and that home. They didn't get a chance, and they'd taken the responsibility for the dog when they took him on.

PR disaster? Nah. It'll probably up their adoptions.

(jumping off soapbox in search of caffeine)

Posted by: dbG | October 17, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I believe DeCaro's book should be in a library near you--or available through interlibrary loan, if you're interested.

Sorry, Mudge, no "French Connection" for me to Mareen Devall, the Obama-Cheney antecedent.

On the topic of racism, we had a big Metro story break yesterday--a utility company manager had a noose hanging in his office for 10 years. Says it was a gag gift, but was asked to remove after someone complained recently. The person who complained has been reassigned, the noose has come down, and perhaps the utility will revamp its sensitivity training classes.

Posted by: Loomis | October 17, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Here's a little geek humor for you...

Posted by: TBG | October 17, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

I see that Stephen Colbert has announced his campaign for the Presidency, and that it looks like the Post website is flooded with folks trying to get more info on that, which is why I haven't posted a link.

Colbert *might* be able to sway my vote.

But for me, it's *still* Error in '08.


Posted by: bc | October 17, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

The results are in. There's only one PLS on the list, so I hope that's good news

Posted by: omni | October 17, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Wow TBG - never realized the humor potential of SQL...

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 17, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Can't reach it from work. I can use all the funny SQL I can get.

Posted by: dbG | October 17, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

and condolences to Mudge etal

I'm also playing catch-up due to some screwy work related issues.

I was able to read the humor chat yester evening. Tried to post, but apparently my posts are too geeky. Something about the dancer.

Posted by: omni | October 17, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I read a few articles on Colbert's announcement this morning bc, pretty funny. So far he is only running in S. Carolina on both tickets.

Posted by: dmd | October 17, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I know it's fashionable to bash the unreliability of Wikipedia (done it myself more than once), but I have to say its discussion of John Brown as well as the histroian kerfluffle over Brown's reputation at is very well done and even-handed (always assuming that ya like balanced, judicious, even-handed analysis, as opposed to wild-eyed special-pleading polemics, as I do). Among other things, it quotes DeCaro's work extensively. But it also (at least in my judgement) debunks the notion I got from the DeCaro clip that only he, and he alone, had an appreciation for Brown's work and was the lone voice against the gatekeepers of history, blah, blah, blah. The piece names and quotes at least half a dozen historians who have reappraisals of Brown, dating back to 1989, if not earlier. So much, then, for all that crap about defying the gatekeepers, etc., who in fact don't and never did exist, most especially in the Brown case from the day he was hanged. Cassandra, I think you'd enjoy the Wikipedia entry.

PLS? You out there? Are congrats in order?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

TBG : Your son has discovered that, in the Queen City, pen is pronounced pin. Tell him that he needs to specify ink pen, but that he needs to say it ink pin, assuming he wants a pen. OTOH, if he wants a pin, he needs to specify that he needs to stick something with a pin. Wait'll some one asks him if they can hold a pin.

Posted by: jack | October 17, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I got the Blue Screen of Death twice on my laptop yesterday, so it is home with Ivansdad today. It kept nattering on about a Stop Error (there's that name again) which most likely resulted from my installing new hardware or software. Great, except I didn't install anything. Grrrr. And sbcglobal won't let me check my email. I am isolated and bereft, I tell you.

Well, maybe not.

Thanks for the great discussions, particularly on children, poverty and education. I would add to it but y'all have already said all the good stuff so well.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 17, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

jack... when my sister was in school in Chapel Hill, she ran down the hall to see for herself when someone said there were some girls singing with toboggans on their heads.

"This I gotta see!" she cried, only to find the girls were wearing ski caps.

Posted by: TBG | October 17, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I did see Giuliani this morning -- speech at the Grand Hyatt downtown to the Club for Growth -- but he ducked in and out of the place before I could suggest that he might get a good deal at Comfort Inn.

Here's a rave review of Atkinson's book:

Posted by: Achenbach | October 17, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Mudge thanks for the link, I finished a book a while ago, written by a Canadian writer, it was fictional but part of the story included the visit of John Brown to Chatham and the Oakville area to recruit people for his rebellion and then followed them down to Harper's Ferry.

Posted by: dmd | October 17, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The Grand Hyatt--Rudy's slumming today, is he?

= = =

Re: pen/pin, that's one of the traumas of my life. Newly arrived in Boston, getting settled into my first dorm room, I asked a new acquaintance if she had an ink pen I could borrow. She was puzzled, thinking maybe I meant a fountain pen or some other special kind of pen. When the whole situation became clear to both of us--that I was from a place where "pen" and "pin" are homonyms so that the "ink" was necessary to clarify (this was all a revelation to me as much as it was to her) -- well, then everybody was satisfied with the explanation: their new roommate was a hick, a rube, a hillbilly. Oops! Charlotte Simmons, I feel your pain, girl.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 17, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Woo hoo!!!

I am SO relieved - I passed the bar exam!

Much celebrating will be in order this weekend.

Posted by: PLS | October 17, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Interesting piece by Tom Friedman at That Other Paper about the difficulties and possibilities of being both Black AND Green:

The New York Times October 17, 2007
The Green-Collar Solution
By Thomas L. Friedman

Van Jones is a rare bird. He's a black social activist in Oakland, Calif., and as green an environ-mentalist as they come. He really gets passionate, and funny, when he talks about what it's like to be black and green:

"Try this experiment. Go knock on someone's door in West Oakland, Watts or Newark and say: 'We gotta really big problem!' They say: 'We do? We do?' 'Yeah, we gotta really big problem!' 'We do? We do?' 'Yeah, we gotta save the polar bears! You may not make it out of this neighbor-hood alive, but we gotta save the polar bears!' "

Mr. Jones then just shakes his head. You try that approach on people without jobs who live in neighborhoods where they've got a lot better chance of getting killed by a passing shooter than a melting glacier, you're going to get nowhere -- and without bringing America's underclass into the green movement, it's going to get nowhere, too.

"We need a different on-ramp" for people from disadvantaged communities, says Mr. Jones. "The leaders of the climate establishment came in through one door and now they want to squeeze everyone through that same door. It's not going to work. If we want to have a broad-based envi-ronmental movement, we need more entry points."

Mr. Jones, who heads the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland, which helps kids avoid jail and secure jobs, has an idea how to change that -- a "green-collar" jobs program that focuses on underprivileged youth. I would not underestimate him. Mr. Jones, age 39 and a Yale Law School grad, exudes enough energy to light a few buildings on his own.

One thing spurring him in this project, he explained, was the way that the big oil companies bought ads in black-owned newspapers in California in 2006 showing an African-American woman filling her gas tank with a horrified look at the pump price. The ads were used to help bring out black votes to defeat Proposition 87. That ballot initiative proposed a tax on oil compa-nies drilling in California, the money from which would have gone to develop alternative energy projects. The oil companies tried to scare African-Americans into thinking that the tax on the companies would be passed on at the pump.

"The polluters were able to stampede poor people into their camp," said Mr. Jones. "I never want to see an N.A.A.C.P. leader on the wrong side of an environment issue again."

Using his little center in Oakland, Mr. Jones has been on a crusade to help underprivileged Afri-can-Americans and other disadvantaged communities understand why they would be the biggest beneficiaries of a greener America. It's about jobs. The more government requires buildings to be more energy efficient, the more work there will be retrofitting buildings all across America with solar panels, insulation and other weatherizing materials. Those are manual-labor jobs that can't be outsourced.

"You can't take a building you want to weatherize, put it on a ship to China and then have them do it and send it back," said Mr. Jones. "So we are going to have to put people to work in this country -- weatherizing millions of buildings, putting up solar panels, constructing wind farms.
Those green-collar jobs can provide a pathway out of poverty for someone who has not gone to college."

Let's tell our disaffected youth: "You can make more money if you put down that handgun and pick up a caulk gun."

Remember, adds Mr. Jones, "a big chunk of the African-American community is economically stranded. The blue-collar, stepping-stone, manufacturing jobs are leaving. And they're not being replaced by anything. So you have this whole generation of young blacks who are basically in economic free fall." Green-collar retrofitting jobs are a great way to catch them.

To this end, Mr. Jones's group and the electrical union in Oakland created the Oakland Apollo Alliance. This year that coalition helped to raise $250,000 from the city government to create a union-supported training program that will teach young people in Oakland how to put up solar panels and weatherize buildings.

It is the beginning of a "Green for All" campaign ( that Mr. Jones -- backed by other environmental activists like Majora Carter from Sustainable South Bronx -- is launching to get Congress to allocate $125 million to train 30,000 young people a year in green trades.

"If we can get these youth in on the ground floor of the solar industry now, where they can be in-stallers today, they'll become managers in five years and owners in 10. And then they become inventors," said Mr. Jones.

"The green economy has the power to deliver new sources of work, wealth and health to low-income people -- while honoring the Earth. If you can do that, you just wiped out a whole bunch of problems. We can make what is good for poor black kids good for the polar bears and good for the country."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

* launching many skyrockets into the air in celebration for PLS*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Seems our Canadian soldiers were overlooked in the invasion of Sicily - saying British troops is not enough!!

Posted by: dmd | October 17, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations PLS

Posted by: dmd | October 17, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

*raising my Diet Pepsi in honor of PLS's upcoming first billable hour*


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

That's great PLS! We're happy for you... but not surprised. :-)

Enjoy your celebration!

Posted by: TBG | October 17, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Attempting to repost:

Mosk, in his WaPo blog "The Trail" has an entry about Cheney's eight degrees of family separation from Barack.

Cheney family history--our VEEP descends from number 4):

A more exhaustive (considered first draft) Cheney genealogy, showing the #4 from above and the Obama-Duvall link (sorry for the misspelling last night of Duvall, but I was picking up the spelling from early reporting by Reuters). Can someone tell me why or how the Duvalls were prominent in Maryland history?

What I've provided here is simply a Q&D internet search. The latter link shows, at the far bottom of the material, other connections which may show some family in common--not necessarily on the Cheney bloodline, which will take longer for me to peruse and to digest.

The first link shows that some children of the colonial settler William Cheney (but not #4 on the Vice President's line of descent) moved to Medfield, Mass., where the town's pastor was Rev. John Wilson, Jr. my antecedent.

William Cheney, the colonial settler, plunked down in Roxbury, Mass, the town founded by William Pynchon (before he upped and moved to Springfield), my best friend's antecedent.

What sublime irony--colonial William Cheney settles in the town founded by Pynchon, yet descendant Vice President Dick Cheney drums up a war in Iraq in which Pynchon's descendant down the line--12 or 14th, I could pull out the genealogy file on my friend and look it up--fights during two tours.

My husband and I had lunch with my best friend's eldest son in Old Town San Diego about an hour after getting off the plane and getting the rental car in San Diego last Tuesday. The good news (I hope it's good) is that his younger brother, Staff Sgt. Ryan, about whom I've been so worried for so long, will not be returning for a third tour in Iraq, but is beginning training in Alabama to learn how to fly a helicopter. The trade-off? He had to re-up for six more years.

So. I'm uncertain yet if there is relatedness to Vice President Cheney, but there certainbly appears to be proximity and possibly comingling of antecedents.

Congrats, PLS!

Posted by: Loomis | October 17, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

That's great, PLS!

Posted by: nellie | October 17, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, everyone! :-) And thanks for all the encouragement along the way, too.

Posted by: PLS | October 17, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Drinks for the whole boodle are on PLS. I'll have a Diet Coke, if you please.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | October 17, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

TBG and kb: I crack up at the way hold is used. You holdin' a dollar? Tobagga HA!

Congratulations, PLS. *phweeeeeeep* That was the curly paper party horn with the feather at the end, FYI.

Posted by: jack | October 17, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Congrats, PLS!


Posted by: bc | October 17, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

May it please the court, indeed.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Get this, Vice President Dick Cheney and Barack Obama are related to Robert Duvall, the actor, and other historical notables... according to this website, the Society of Mareen Duvall Descendants. It also gives the Duvall history in early Maryland.

Posted by: Loomis | October 17, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

PLS, wonderful news, but as someone else notes, no surprise.

In honour of your first billable hour, I'll put in my 2 cents.

Well actually its your 2 cents. I don't think we had 2 cents. I could post a Canadian penny link twice, but could I have .0372 cents in change please?

Forgive the fluff, just celebrate hearty. That is my real 2 cents worth.

Posted by: dr | October 17, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

dr, don't you British Commonwealth sorts call two cents "tuppence" anymore?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

PLS -- hey, hey, hey, and a double helping of WOO-HOO to ya!!!

Welcome to the Bar. Don't pay any attention to those who think there are too many lawyers. While there are undoubtedly many too many reasonably bad lawyers, there are never enough good ones. Enjoy!

See, it wasn't so bad after all, was it? Ivansmom and I are pleased as punch to have you with us.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 17, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Congrats PLS. Condolences Mudge.

*Going back into up-to-my-a$$-in-alligators work mode*

Posted by: Raysmom | October 17, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Congrats PLS.

Posted by: omni | October 17, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Yay, PLS!! Congrats!

Posted by: ebtnut | October 17, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

*faxin' Raysmom some stilts*


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Oy. Up to your ... in alligators in work. That bites, Raysmom.

Posted by: jack | October 17, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

PLS I have a collection of old coins inherited from my Grandpa/Dad, included I believe is a US 2 cent piece, for sure there are several Indian head 1 cent pieces. Might even have a tuppence for Mudge.

Posted by: dmd | October 17, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, firsttimeblogger! It's been a long time coming for me (did night school while working full time and having a baby) so to have this last piece of the puzzle complete is a major deal. Whew!

Posted by: PLS | October 17, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting that link to Atkinson's book, Joel. It's going on the list of things I need to get read before I become unacceptably senile.

By the way, I have the curious distinction of being equally related to to young men who died in the Italian campaign. One fought on the British side, the other fought on the Italian side.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 17, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

PLS - let me add my congratulations!

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 17, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

And just in time for Halloween --

A haunted quiz!

8/10, although I have to quibble over "the bloodiest battle in the Civil War."


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of scary, check this out:

Perhaps it is time for me to reconsider my position on compulsive hand washing.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 17, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations and welcome to the Law, PLS. I'll be among the first to say I TOLD you you'd pass! Breathe and relax, then go ye and generate billable hours.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 17, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

RD keep washing the hands just skip the anti-bacterial soap and washless cleansers, and if possible avoid hospitals, that is where my Dad got his infection from.

Posted by: dmd | October 17, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

9 for 10 on the quiz--guessed wrong about the Winchester House. And I agreed with Scotty's quibble about the Civil War battle.

Went 2 for 2 on submitting chat questions: got one each in the Rick Atkinson and Cheney's Law chats.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

oooh, 10/10 and two guesses (q7 and q9)(though I had a gut feel about q9).

Posted by: omni | October 17, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I thought that was you over at the Cheney discussion. Although I was a bit surprised. Normally they don't allow language like that.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 17, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, I don't like the sound of that RD.

That is just what Stickman has, garden variety staph infection, and is still on some very powerful drugs. Drs. extended his treatment cycle and are not sure where it will end.

He slept about 22 hours straight the other day, and I admit, I kept checking him through the night. He never heard me at all.

Occasionally I worry. Yarn helps me keep that in control, but I seem to be developing a serious sock knitting addiction.

Posted by: dr | October 17, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

what quibble? I don't get it

Posted by: omni | October 17, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse


Gabriel Duval was a planter in colonial Maryland. His federal service included Comptroller of the United States Treasury and as an acting Supreme Court Justice.

He was a slave holder, like his compatriots. You can read more about his historic house here.

You can see a portrait-image of him on the website of our local high school named for him.

I live on land that abutted Duval's holdings, but belonged to the Calvert family, descendants of Lord Baltimore, of England and Ireland who founded Maryland.

Incidentally, the Duvall (original spelling) family were French Huguenots who came to Annapolis for religious freedom. Most MD settlers were English.

Mudge may have more Maryland ephemera.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 17, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

DR notes: Occasionally I worry. Yarn helps me keep that in control, but I seem to be developing a serious sock knitting addiction.

But DR, this is a good addition......I share it. But, too hot to knit here in MD...I need me a fire-cider-pie day for that knitting obsession to re-emerge.

Posted by: College Knitian | October 17, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

With eight degrees of separation between Obama and Cheney, I wonder if this says more about the tenacity of the researchers than the ties that bind.

Posted by: Jumper | October 17, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

This discussion will give away the question for anybody else, so everybody else who takes the test from here on out should disqualify that one from their totals.

The question asks about the bloodiest battle in the Civil War--which any Civil War buff knows without batting an eye--it's Antietam, the single bloodiest day in U.S. history, badda-boom badda-bing, a no-brainer. But then it goes on to say the battle was in Penna., fought over three days in July, etc., which said buff also knows is Gettysburg, another no-brainer, badda bing. So which no-brainer do you pick? The Penna./3-days-in-July is clearly G-burg-- but Antietam was clearly the bloodiest battle.

Although estimates vary, most people say the KIA at G-burg was about 8,000 (3,155 Union, 4,708 Confed). And the generally agreed figure on Antientam was about 22,000 --and all in a single day, which is what gives Antietam its horrific reputation.

But then, sometimes when people talk about "casualties" they include wounded *as well as* killed. So it can get to be an apples-and-oranges question.

But conventionally, Antietam at 22,000 easily tops G-burg at 8,000.

Hence our quibble.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Mudge I am taking the point on Antietam and upping my score to 8/10.

Posted by: dmd | October 17, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

We have students that have the Mercer infection in our building. I teach one of those carrying the infection and found out about it after the student had been in and out, at his desk, for two days prior to getting the news. I am but a the great game of life.

Posted by: jack | October 17, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

SCC: the 22,000 or 23,000 at Antietam was killed AND wounded. The killed-and-woulnded at G-burg was about 46,000, but over three days.

There's an estimate that about 7,640 died at Antietam.

There's one chart that lists it as fifth highest Civil battle in terms of casualties, while another ranks it as 8th, so there's disagreement. What is clear is that all that are higher were multi-day battles.

And you also run into references such as this: "To view the magnitude of the losses, consider that Antietam resulted in nine times as many Americans killed or wounded (23,000 soldiers) as took place on June 6, 1944--D-day, the so-called "longest day" of World War II.* Also consider that more soldiers were killed and wounded at the Battle of Antietam than the deaths of all Americans in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, and Spanish-American War combined."

So Antietnam's rep is well known and commonly understood to be our worst battle.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like quibbleS

Posted by: omni | October 17, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Didn't we say that? :-)

Jack, we are ALL pawns in the game of life. The point is not to get sacrificed, or exchanged for a queen if you're not comfortable with tiaras.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

PLS, this formerly working mother congratulates you on your achievement. It's a major one, indeed!

Posted by: Slyness | October 17, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

So PLS.. which bar will you be working at? Maybe they need help at McCormick & Schmick's.

Posted by: TBG | October 17, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Pardon me, but I missed the WBTS thread. Which battle was the one in the corn field that was such a mess? And wasn't it Fredricksburg where there were something like 2K dead and wounded in the first minute of the conflagration? *madly scrambling for my tiara in all of the confusion*

Posted by: jack | October 17, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Jack, I'm shooting from the hip, without benefit of Wiki or anything (talk about going into a battle of wits totally unarmed), but I took away from my visit to Antietam that Lee was also a civil engineer, and had a far better appreciation of the science of topography than any other civil war general on either side. He used the literal lay of the land, which was rolling hills of cornfield, to his tactical advantage.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | October 17, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I guess I saw Pennsylvania and went for the quick and picked my answer.

Posted by: omni | October 17, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, CP.

Jumper writes:
With eight degrees of separation between Obama and Cheney, I wonder if this says more about the tenacity of the researchers than the ties that bind.

*lol* That's why Obama's campaign organization is calling Cheney "the black sheep" of the family. ABC's Good Morning America passed the story along on this ayem's broadcast.

Posted by: Loomis | October 17, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Duh. Of course the cornfield and Antietam are one in the same. I was thinking of Sharpsburg and didn't bother to take time to make the right connection. All of this stuff googled up quite nicely. I always get teary eyed when I hear the lonesome fiddle tune that accompanied Burns' Civil War.

Posted by: jack | October 17, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Off topic--updates from the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting, including some stuff relevant to Homo floresiensis (the hobbits):

Posted by: Dooley | October 17, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Jack, Antietam was the cornfield.

At Fredericksburg, the Union got whupped, and lost a total of about 1,280 KIA and some 9,600 wounded over about four days. There were no 2,000 killed in the first few minutes, though.

Yes, Lee was a civil engineer, and did have a great appreciation for topography. But so was Meade--and Meade picked the better ground at G-burg, and consequently won. I'd have to say Longstreet and Jackson also had excellent grasp of terrain. Jackson's six marches up and down the Shenandoah Valley are probably unparalleled genius in his use of ground and maneuver. And Grant was no slouch.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

0.3 Back-boodling during a break; heartily congratulating PLS on her achievement (particularly as she had additional challenges); waving hello to all

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 17, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Actually, on reflection, it was Reynolds who picked the better ground at G-burg. The he got killed a minute later.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to make a joke with "black sheep" and "black ops" but all I get is "op sheeps." Back to the drawing board.

Posted by: Jumper | October 17, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Howdy Dooley. Also to SonofCarl; hope the trial is going well.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 17, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Black sheep, have you any wool?
If I tell you I'll have to kill you.

Something like that, anyway.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 17, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Easy, Jumper, don't strain yourself. Ewe'll hurt something.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 17, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Dangit, I can't come up with a good "Howdy Doody" reference...

Does Dooley have red hair and freckles??


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 17, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Mudge would never, ever, pull the wool over your eyes, right guys?

Posted by: Don from I-270 | October 17, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey everyone...

Just a quick drive-by to let you all know I haven't "crossed over" or anything serious. Still kicking, covered in sawdust and wrasslin' demons.

I came across this and just had to share:

Stephen Colbert sits in for Maureen Dowd

After reading it, all I could think was either Maureen needs to let Joel guest-write a column, or Joel needs to let Colbert guest-write a kit.

If someone has already posted this link, sorry... been a bit out of touch (been lurking and back boodling, but there's only so many minutes in an hour).

Peace out :-)

(btw... my condolences, Mudge)

(btw2... hope this finds all of you and yours healthy, happy and free of itchy bugs or other irritants).

Posted by: martooni | October 17, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line on the Civil War is that "Let's all walk across this open field while the opposition stands behind a wall\in a ditch\up on a hill\among the trees and fires every weapon they've got at us" is a recipe for LOSING!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 17, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, PLS. (Lifting a water goblet here). How will you celebrate?

dmd, you go! :-)

Ivansmom, the check is in the mail; sorry there's not a note with it, but apparently that's beyond me @ 5 a.m. . . Saturday, Monday at the latest.

Posted by: dbG | October 17, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The John Brown comments remind me of Marilynne Robinson's new book,
Balm in Gilead. John Brown is an important character in it.

Here's what I read in the Critical Mass website about it.

Like ''Housekeeping,'' ''Gilead'' is a lyrical evocation of existential solitude. But it is also a provocatively sympathetic account of the abolitionist movement and of John Brown -- whose attack on Harpers Ferry helped bring about the Civil War. In Robinson's mind, American progressives have lost the ability to ''take hold'' of an issue to mobilize change the way that radical reformers once did. And so ''Gilead'' differs from ''Housekeeping'' in one crucial way: it is an explicit corrective to what Robinson calls ''cultural amnesia.'' The explicitness of this ambition makes Robinson an anomaly in a literary landscape still more given to postmodern pontification than to old-fashioned political arguments.

In a sense, Robinson is a kind of contemporary George Eliot: socially engaged, preoccupied with the environment and the moral progress of man (especially as catalyzed through art) and preoccupied with the legacy of John Calvin (a misunderstood humanist, by Robinson's lights). Robinson, who has no television and doesn't drive, offered a scathing indictment of contemporary America's materialism and frivolity in her essay collection ''The Death of Adam''; all told, the book offered an almost anachronistically stern view of the moral failings of humankind. The curious part, then, is the degree to which readers of all persuasions find Robinson's strenuous vision a welcoming -- and welcome -- one.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 17, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how future generations will look at how (and why) we fight wars. Will we just push buttons, or have robots fight for us? I think it was Einstein who said, "I don't know how WWIII will be fought, but WWIV will be fought with sticks and clubs."

Posted by: Don from I-270 | October 17, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, good to hear from you. Howgozit?

Posted by: Don from I-270 | October 17, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Congrats PLS! What is it going to cost for me to keep you on retainer?

9/10 on the quiz. Like many I guess on the Winchester Mystery House, but I have seen it on the Discovery Channel.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 17, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh, for crying out loud, that was transparent.

Posted by: Jumper | October 17, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Hi, Jumper, howzit be like?

Posted by: Probationboy | October 17, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Technically on topic:
Maureen Dowd today took Rudy to task for Very Mean Things he is saying about Arabs and Muslims.
Hmmm, it seems the actual blogpost title is deemed too offensive for the WaPo Filter.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | October 17, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I agree. Mudge's joke was shear pun-ishment.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 17, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

It goes, Don... as the Talking Heads once sang, "Same as it ever was".

At least not sinking any deeper into the abyss.

Just trying to keep nose to the grindstone and out of trouble (not an easy task, but doable).

Now I must be off to the fairy door factory for another shift ... elves are on strike, y'know. They think the pixies got a better pay raise than them, but they forget that pixies *bite*.

Posted by: martooni | October 17, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I think I'm having an allergic reaction to the huge bouquets of flowers from my mother & husband! Someone send some antihistamine! :-)

Seriously, though, I'm going to happy hour with some co-workers and then dinner with my family tonight. I will also be a generous patron of Nordstrom this weekend. Then it's a week of training in California next week and back to the grind!

Posted by: PLS | October 17, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, maybe you need that Travelocity Gnome?

Posted by: dr | October 17, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, dbG! I look forward to it!

Hey martooni, good to hear from you.

PLS, a week's training in California? Remind me again why I went into public service instead of private practice.

I have something in my head about the Boodle population - animal shearers, word and computer shearers, knitters, and secret-information types - mixed up with black sheep and black ops, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Time to go see whether the Blue Screen of Death is gone. Y'all sort this out for me.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 17, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, because you have a bigger heart than I do. Or less student loans, possibly.

Ironically enough, the site for our training happens to be a place at which Mr. Guiliani has stayed recently.

Posted by: PLS | October 17, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

No red hair, no freckles...

I'm probably a carrier, though :-)

Posted by: Dooley | October 17, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Dooley, I was visting your blog today - I'm stuck in mind numbing steel pipe inventory numbers - I was wondering if you are pooped? It reads like a lot of traveling lately.

PLS, doesn't that just make you want to say 'aw shucks'?

Oh, and for CP/Knitian, faxing some mildly cooler weather so that she can once again knit socks.

Also for CP, I'm reading Peter Ackroyds ' Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination ' I'm wondering if the book is less of a stinker when aquainted with most of the numerous works he quotes. Have you read it? Or tried it?

Posted by: dr | October 17, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

PLS - congratulations!

Mudge - so sorry to hear about all of your sad news. It's dispiriting, I know. We've got to embrace every day. It's the only answer.

Martooni - glad to hear from you!

The Atkinson book is one of the things I picked up as an anniversary gift for the hubby. He loved the first one. I haven't read much WWII history, but I have read a lot of Civil War history, which is why I was quibbling on the quiz question, as well. My father was a Civil War buff and the summer before he died, we went to Antietam and spent the day there. I will always treasure that memory.

I only worked half the day today and both my kids had after school things so I called a friend on a whim and we went to see "The Jane Austen Book Club" and thoroughly enjoyed it. The casting was very good and I'm a sucker for a happy ending so it was a good afternoon!

Posted by: Kim | October 17, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you should get yourself a sock monkey, PLS. One of the Philly BPHers swears by them. I particularly like the one with earrings and blue dress:§ion_id=5144144 (see removable tail)

My knitted favorites? The apple jackets and coffee sleeves:

Posted by: dbG | October 17, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for setting me straight, 'Mudge. Any time you need any other history trivia addressed, I'll be here. With my dunce cap on.

Posted by: history jack | October 17, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of history. How's about this date: October 18, 1987. Baby Jessica.

Yep. It's been 20 years,

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 17, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Be careful with that stuff, RD. The network news might pick that up and just roll with it for the next 45 days.

Posted by: Jumper | October 17, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I just got an email from my sister. I made some socks for my dad, you see, and this is what my sister said he told her.

"Dad said he hadn't even tried them on. They are too much of a treasure for him to even try on. He went to get them and came out with a pair of mitts as well as the socks. I don't know if you ever knew about the mitts.

They are quite a dark brown wool. Really very nice. He said Grandma S gave them to him (and it sounds like to at least all the sons-in-law) for Christmas one year. Mom and Dad guessed it would have been sometime in the 70's. Grandma had spun the wool and knit them. He said he caught Mom wearing them so they've been washed once, and only once. They are, just like the socks, in his words "too much of a treasure" to wear. "

I swear to heavens, I've been bawling liberally off and on for the last half an hour. I'm kind of verklempt.

I am just like a little girl who has been given the moon.

Posted by: dr | October 17, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

dr, I'm pooped, and I still have four days to go!

Posted by: Dooley | October 17, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

dr, how very nice to think someone I know, even tangentially, is holding the moon in the palm of her hand.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 17, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh, dr, doesn't it make you feel great to have a gift treasured like that?

RD, Baby Jessica's emergency was a watershed event for the American fire service. I heard the firefighter/EMT who went down in the hole and got her out talk about the experience. It was an on-the-edge-of-your-seat kinda presentation, even though we knew the outcome. Sadly, he committed suicide some years later.

Posted by: Slyness | October 17, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh so far behind I can't even claim I've boodle skimmed. However, there is so a North Dakota-and some days I'd like to escape to Fargo for the excitement (though Grand Forks will always hold my heart, and a Pulitzer winning newspaper).

Posted by: frostbitten | October 17, 2007 8:35 PM | Report abuse

dr, absolutely. Precious and beloved. That is how they are.

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I've seen Bismarck, N.D. with my very own eyes.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 17, 2007 9:02 PM | Report abuse

\\At least not sinking any deeper into the abyss.

So glad to hear that, martooni.

Congratulations PLS!

Hello Yoki!

Posted by: rainforest | October 17, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

dr, that is so sweet!

Congratulations, PLS. I never doubted you would pass.

We drove through North Dakota long ago - in February, during a ground blizzard. Spent the night in Bismarck.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 17, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

I have never been to North Dakota, but I've seen Fargo. The movie, that is.

Glad to hear from you, Martooni. That's really wonderful to hear how much a gift is appreciated, dr.

Typing has become a challenge, as my laptop's shift key split in half and fell out. I now have a shift key that is 3mm wide, the little rubber button that was under the real key.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 17, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Hello rainforset!

Posted by: Yoki | October 17, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

howdy, everyone. hey, martooni. pls, congrats!

*tim, just drop the caps. trust me, you'll like it.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 17, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

this cracks me up. the ca legislature passed a law that mandates a public list of the 250 most delinquint tax payers.



Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 17, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

L.A. lurker - made me laugh!

Have a great day, rainforest.

Very nice story, dr.

Good night all!

Posted by: Kim | October 17, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Condolences Mudge.

Congrats PLS.

Loved Froomkin today on the concept of whether 43 is still relevant.

Sorry can't participate more. Try to keep track when I can.

Posted by: bill everything | October 17, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Kim. We have sunny morning, rainy noon, sunny afternoon and rainy evening these few days. I like the rainy evening cuz that would mean less fireworks (I call them bombs) being played. Fireworks started a month ago and won't end until 1 mth into aidilfitri, around 11th Nov. My poor dogs are going crazy.

Posted by: rainforest | October 17, 2007 11:17 PM | Report abuse

L.A. lurker... I thought of your posts when *Tim said his shift key was broken.

rainforest... I, too, thought of you when I saw the slivered crescent moon the other night. It's nice to have friends around the world.

dr... loved the story about your dad and the socks. I can understand his feelings; I have gifts that I've always thought were too precious to use. And judging from what I see on your blog, they must have been beautiful, too.

Posted by: TBG | October 17, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Dbg, as an experienced rescuer, thanks for sharing your POV.

Let me see, Ellen found a home with a person she knew and was friends with and saw regularly, as opposed to sending the dog back to the rescue to be placed with strangers. Has it crossed anybody's mind that Ellen didn't want to give the dog up at all? She showed poor judgement, but I'm guessing she'd have been rather sued for breach of contract than lose track of Iggy completely. She spent a lot of money on that dog. Just like a rescue did. She spent time on that dog. Ditto.

I find it difficult to see why a rescuer has a greater moral claim on the dog here.

Legal, fine. Some shelters are stipulating such contracts now, which I think is a poor move because shelters are not very good environments for a dog to return to if a suitable home can be found directly.

I'm very fortunate I did not adopt Wilbrodog under such a contract because there is no way in H*** I'm seeing him back in a shelter. He nearly melted down mentally from kennel depression his first go. I have already decided who may have him if for whatever reason I die or I can no longer keep him.

That WILL be people he knows well and get along with very well and loves and will take care of him, not strangers who have no obligation to me.

I am, realistically, looking at the fact that I could raise and train my next service dog only to find he is not after all suitable for the job. My first ideal is to rehome with people who know and love that dog and who I consider trustworthy, and that I can visit. Yes, there are sad surprises in life.

If I got the dog from a breeder, I should think I would consider the breeder such a caring person, as well. That doesn't always happen.

There'd fewer dogs straining the resources of shelters and rescues if people did the work to create new homes for their dogs.

Ellen mistakenly treated this dog as a dog she owned free and clear by rights of affection, care... instead of a dog belonging to a rescue that she was paying the lodging bills for.

While I agree Ellen is legally in the wrong here, I have questions whether she is morally in the wrong here.

Right now, contracts can be written allowing you to buy a dog if you breed it to a dog designated by the breeder, or show it. If the dog isn't bred or you don't show it, you may have to pay an additional penalty as a result. If your dog dies while whelping, too bad. Them were the terms you agreed to in order to get the dog you wanted.

I have problems with the legal concepts involved. You can get a service dog on a contract that means the agency owns the dog (which is OK) and they can take the dog back in cause of abuse or clear unsuitablity(which is also OK), and be notified of any situations.

However, too often such contracts are used for lesser situations.

Here's such an example:

While it's good to ensure the dog's safety and health, don't we already have laws on the books that do that, that could be enforced instead?

Finally, while the point about the cost involved is good. Would it be different if they had raised the money themselves for their dog?

That agency also runs an owner-trainer assistance program with field trainers. Does helping the person train their dog give them the right to "own" that dog? I have no idea.

Privilege means "private law", and that's what those organizations are insisting on.

It's no longer fee simple ownership anymore, with animal welfare guided under public law. That such a change is necessarily for the best interest for the dog is doubtful.

In theory, you can be contracted to feed your service dog only a certain brand of dog food, even if it becomes allergic to it and seriously ill. (Many guide dogs are supposed to only eat specific brands).

How do you alter the contract without losing the dog because it's no longer fit... or live with that and watch the dog be too ill to work?

Suppose a breeder makes you sign a contract specifying you will breed and give a pup to a third party. YOU agree, then find that third party is a dogfighter. Do you live by the contract, or do you renege?

Contracts are the foundation of a civil society. From a lawyer's viewpoint, the answer is yes, always follow the contract.

Give the pup to the dogfighter and then call the cops on that dogfighter, and risk whatever happens to that pup as a consequence.

No renter would willingly accept a contract that insisted he be responsible for every single bit of the house's upkeep out of his own pocket, including all catastrophic damages (flood, etc.) involving defects the house may or may not have. All of this would be the renter's responsibility, including the costs of inspections and so forth.

But wait, the renter must follow the landlord's rules, and they still can be evicted at will, regardless of his personal situation, without any due process. They maintain ownership throughout.

Does that or does not smack of a "royal screw-over?" Yet, as Eleanor Roosevelt never quite said, "nobody can screw you over without your consent."

Ellen will... live with losing her dog because she didn't check the contract. I'm also betting she never adopts another dog again without careful vetting of all contracts. The girl will eventually recover.

A hard lesson to learn. An even harder lesson to ignore.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 18, 2007 12:00 AM | Report abuse

The Pack is the Law.
The Law is the Pack.


Baloo's song from Chapter XVI of the Second Jungle Book:

For the sake of him who showed
One wise Frog the Jungle-Road,
Keep the Law the Man-Pack make--
For thy blind old Baloo's sake!
Clean or tainted, hot or stale,
Hold it as it were the Trail,
Through the day and through the night,
Questing neither left nor right.
For the sake of him who loves
Thee beyond all else that moves,
When thy Pack would make thee pain,
Say: "Tabaqui sings again."
When thy Pack would work thee ill,
Say: "Shere Khan is yet to kill."
When the knife is drawn to slay,
Keep the Law and go thy way.
(Root and honey, palm and spathe,
Guard a cub from harm and scathe!)
Wood and Water, Wind and Tree,
Jungle-Favour go with thee!

Posted by: Wilbrodog | October 18, 2007 12:13 AM | Report abuse

One blog I sometimes check, Cassandra, has a comment on racism. You may like it.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 18, 2007 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the gatekeepers of history -- there is a little bit of that in the real world, but it is passé. I remember that when we went to Harper's Ferry back in the early 70's, when we first moved to Maryland, John Brown was painted as a wild-eyed (kind of acccurate) troublemaker who was sticking his nose where it didn't belong and doing bad things, even though his motivation was good. The road to hell, good intentions, yadda yadda. These days, Brown is given less judgmental analysis. More like reporting determinable facts and letting the audience decide how they feel about it.

Posted by: HistoryTim | October 18, 2007 3:06 AM | Report abuse

Already, I see that I need to clarify myself. I meant that the description of him as wild-eyed was kind of accurate.

Posted by: HistoryTim | October 18, 2007 3:07 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I appreciate your take. I wasn't aware that service dogs were under contract, and those 2 situations you cite in the URL seem uncalled for.

However, in the situation we're discussing, Ellen had the dog for fewer than 10 days. Returning a dog to a rescue, where it will go to a foster home and be adopted out again, is very different from returning a dog to a shelter.

Feel free to take this offline.

Posted by: dbG | October 18, 2007 5:14 AM | Report abuse

One final update: The LA Times is reporting Ellen adopted a first dog from Mutts & Moms, returning it when s/he didn't get along with Ellen's cats, and then took Iggy almost immediately as a second attempt.

While most rescues wouldn't send in a 2nd dog without knowing it was good with cats, still.,0,7868154.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california

Posted by: dbG | October 18, 2007 5:39 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. PLS, I am so happy for you. Congratulations, good work. Thanks, Loomis for the link, I will check it out, and thanks Mudge for the suggestion.

Slyness, you do great work, and please, I don't do as much as I used to, not now. I often wish I had more takers, but many times that's just not the case. I keep putting myself out there because one is a good number too.

This morning's headlines in our local paper: Our county has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the state. In one family, a teenager has a child that is pregnant! This is so not good.

I read this morning where a lady took a hammer to her cable company. I feel the exact same way about the one I'm dealing with, but I hope I don't resort to a hammer. My cable boxes keep acting up, and they keep bringing rejects. The latest one makes the television pop. It's a nightmare. And don't try customer service, that's even worse.

I saw the clip of Ellen's show, and boy, did she cry. I felt so sorry for her. I know how it feels concerning pets. I cried all the way from the shelter when I turned my cats in. I bought them food, and tears were running down my face when I left them there. The lady called me later in the week and told me the kittens had been adopted. That made me feel better.

I realize rules are for the protection of the animal, but the owner just seemed a wee bit mean about everything. And of course, she didn't cry.

TBG, tell your son hello for me, and eventually he will get used to the language and the "southern-ness" of it all. The g-girl is with her aunt this morning, and will be there for two days. We caught the bus yesterday morning, and it's always a riot with the brushing of teeth.

I'm seriously considering going to the health department this morning about this cough. I do hope it isn't whooping cough.

Morning, Mudge, Slyness, Scotty, and all. *waving*

Wilbrod, thanks for the link.

Have a great day, friends. This is the day for the rain, supposedly. The news is downplaying it now. They're using words like, maybe, some, etc.

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 18, 2007 6:01 AM | Report abuse

Anybody read Leonard Pitts', "history of rope" Sunday? I've been trying to find it but haven't been able to do that.

Slyness, I believe it was in the Observer Sunday, do you know?

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 18, 2007 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Pitts: A History of Rope, and Shame

Posted by: Anonymous | October 18, 2007 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Good humid morning to everybody! Maybe it will rain sometime soon. Ivansmom, you okay with letting us have some?

Cassandra, I didn't see the Leonard Pitts column in the Observer Sunday, although I generally read the op-ed pages. I like Pitts. He tells me things I need to know, even if they aren't pleasant. Thanks to anonymous for posting the one you asked about. It has an important message for us.

Posted by: Slyness | October 18, 2007 7:02 AM | Report abuse

*quick Grover activities while searching for caffeine*


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 18, 2007 7:29 AM | Report abuse

I would keep a close eye on this. It could get nasty.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 18, 2007 8:17 AM | Report abuse

*slurp* Ahhhhh, dat's bettah. :-)

Anyway, I draw a couple conclusions from the reporting I've seen regarding Ellen:

1) There isn't much evidence to suggest Ellen's capable of dealing with dogs; again, giving up on socializing a dog and cats after a few days (regardless of the trainer involved) is a very bad sign.

2) If the L.A. Times is correct, you do have to wonder about the rescue's screening process. Nevertheless, they now have plenty of experience to make a conclusion about Ellen's ability to choose a good home for a dog. And yes, using her nationwide show to plead her case is bullying, no matter who's crying.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 18, 2007 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Ya think, RDP??? *SIGHHHH*

And I've got a bad feeling about this, too...

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 18, 2007 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Yeah ScottyNuke, the more I think about it the more I think the crying jag was a bad idea. She must have known that it might bring some crazies out of the closet. That said, I think she was sincerely heartbroken.

This is one of those situations that really should have been settled quietly by reasonable people who understand that being flexible about rules isn't necessarily a bad idea.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 18, 2007 8:26 AM | Report abuse

SciTim has probably heard this one:

'The Dean's complaining to his Faculty. "Why do you scientists need such expensive equipment? Why can't you be like the Math Department, which only needs a blackboard and a waste-paper basket? Better still, like the Department of Philosophy. That doesn't even need a waste-paper basket..."'

Posted by: omni | October 18, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

That is a particularly good joke, omni.

About 10 years ago, a couple who are very old friends of my family thwarted a bank robbery in Edmonton. The husband (a fine arts professor) was in the bank when he saw a fellow enter wearing a black turtleneck and toque. As he described it to me, he immediately thought "That guy is a bank robber. Or a philosophy major."

dr may have read the story in the Edmonton Journal, which wrote up the heroic efforts of our friends.

Posted by: Yoki | October 18, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse


Your friends should have asked the fellow if his name was Bruce. An affirmative answer in an Australian accent would have removed all doubt.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 18, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

One of the ironies about the Ellen puppy adoption kerfuffle is that fellow TV talker Rosie O'Donnell has made the inability of gay and lesbians to adopt in the state of Florida a signature issue of hers.

We seem more concerned about pets than children. While the fiasco over Ellen's puppies (and I've been a fan of her puppies for a long time) are national news, there are foster children in this country that can't get loving, caring parents because of prejudice about sexual orientation.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 18, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Hi Yoki, I got that from Clarke:3001.

He probably got from someone else like the last time I quoted him. Or maybe he just paraphrased someone else:

"The tools of a mathematician are pencil, paper and waste paper basket - The waste paper basket distinguishes him from a philosopher."

Nobody seems to know attribution though

Posted by: omni | October 18, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Good news for Jon Stewart fans, the new website goes live at noon today.

Posted by: dmd | October 18, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Since the Kit topic is still Rudy...

Strange bedfellows?

(My idea precisely when I read the headline below the banner in our Metro section today, but after reading the copy, I found the term "stange bedfellows" embedded in the article.)

Perry backs Giuliani, fuels VP talk

Does Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who is backing Fred Thompson, have his hand on the pulse of America?

From R.G. Ratcliffe's reporting:

Patterson said he could see why Giuliani might want Perry on the ticket with him [despite Perry's 39 percent victory in 2006], though. He said Perry's conservative image would help Giuliani in the South and West. Patterson said he thought Perry would hurt Giuliani in the rest of the country.

"The nation is tired of Texans, period. It makes no difference who it is," Patterson said.

Posted by: Loomis | October 18, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Nice Story Yoki. Sadly my memory doesn't go back that far. Right now I am having trouble remembering yesterday.

I expect a coffee of two will fix that.

Posted by: dr | October 18, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Just a comment on Washington ways. We were in the Royal Mile having dinner last night when who should walk in but Larry Craig and family. I found it a bit interesting that the Senator sat at one end of the tables, and his wife at the other. Significant? Who knows? I think my wife may have been the only one there who recognized him, which was likely the point for the Craigs.

Posted by: ebtnut | October 18, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Just read in a British newspaper that Deborah Kerr has died (86 years old). Oh, man -- the Empire State Building and passionate clinches in the surf will never be the same.


Hey, PLS, are you still celebrating?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 18, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

//I found it a bit interesting that the Senator sat at one end of the tables, and his wife at the other. //

Maybe so he could tap his foot and stretch it towards her under the table.0

Posted by: dbG | October 18, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the mention of Leonard Pitts' op-ed about the history of rope, and thanks to whomever (anonymous) provided the link. It was both powerful and moving.

It brings to mind the story of Fancis McIntosh, a porter and cook on the steamboat Flora, which docked in St. Louis on Thursday afternoon, April 28, 1836.

There are two versions of why McIntosh was arrested. McIntosh was arrested because he failed to stop a sailor whom a deputy constable and deputy sheriff were chasing. The other version of the arrest is that two members of the Flora crew had been drinking and had gotten into trouble with the officers. McIntosh tried to help them and was arrested.

The story doesn't end well. A mob formed and demanded McIntosh's life. The mob chained (not a rope, but a chain) McIntosh to a large locust tree, his back aainst a tree, facing south and facing people who brought him there. They piled wood around him, mainly rail ties and old planks, as high as his knees. Shavings were brought--the kind used on horses and livestock. They touched the brand to the shavings and started a fire. Up to this point, McIntosh said nothing.

When the fires started, he begged for someone in the crowd to shoot him, but no one moved to offer t help him. From that point on, he sang hymns and prayed while the crowd watched. After a few minutes, his features became disfigured by the flames. Someone said that he was apparently was out of his misery and McIntosh replied distinctly: "No, no, I feel as much as any of you. I hear you all. Shoot me! Shoot me!" Between 10 and 20 minutes after the fire, McIntosh died.

This is the incident which got printer Elijah Lovejoy (hailed as the first martyr of the American press) so involved in fighting slavery, although McIntosh hailed from Pittsburgh, Pa., a free African-America arrested in a slave state, a state that provided him no legal representation.*

dr, please keep us (well, me) informed about your progress in "Albion." It's a book that I own but have yet to read. Maggie, thanks for your book review--something I should check out.

*From Paul Simon's "Freedom's Champion: Elijah Lovejoy"

Posted by: Loomis | October 18, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Another quick pop-in

dr, your last reminded that in my note-taking mode, "dr" is my short hand for "doesn't remember". Just a coincidence!

Also, "bc" is "because" and "PLS" is "please"

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 18, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

An Affair to Remember From Here to Eternity

Posted by: omni | October 18, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

dr, reading Peter Ackroyd is really a mindset, an experience or an education rather than reading as its commonly known. I'm a big fan but you have to take a deep breath and just bask in the depth and breadth of topic. I've read a lot of his fiction and non-fiction (which can read like fiction), but started with "London" (the biography of the city) before moving to "Albion". Good luck to you.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 18, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I lost a coffee to that SoC. Its apt. Very very apt.

Loomis, I will. I picked the book up last evening and felt like I was slogging in, but suddenly I found myself amongst Beowulf and Bede, and it became much more interesting. I am finding it better as I go along, maybe better as I become more familiar with his writing but time will tell. The Amazon review says its not his best, I think the first line has the word stinker in it.

What an sorry story, Loomis. The other link is awful too, and I do admit that I wanted to turn away. You just can't though.

Good people averting their eyes can mean very bad things happen. We need to look, we need to see, and then we need to make changes. But it does occasionally make me lose my faith in humanity, though.

Posted by: dr | October 18, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Giuliani would pick Gov. Perry as a running mate because he would need help carrying Texas? If that is the case, he better just quit now.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 18, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"Also, 'bc' is 'because'..."


I'm going to remember that one, SoC.

If I ever become a Very Very Minor deity, that'll be my line:

"I am Because."


Posted by: bc | October 18, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

bc, we might be related then as around my house I could be known as "because I said so" :-)

Posted by: dmd | October 18, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I've seem more than a few pets adopted into the frostcat household and have some questions. Doesn't Ellen have enough money to live in a home big enough to keep cats and dogs separate? How did she know the dog and cats didn't get along after just 10 days? I'm still getting used to frostcat#3 and he's been here for 3 years! Canines and I are fine as long as they don't belly up to the cat box for some buffet action (puts frostbitten off and she rants at everyone). It also occurs to me that Martooni could solve Ellen's problem. At the frostcat's NoVA abode Mr. F cut a cat door in the basement door-looked just like a mouse door in Tom and Jerry cartoons. Frostcats could move freely to all levels of the house but the dogs could not leave the basement without an invitation from the people. Perhaps Ellen doesn't know animals any better than she knows contracts. -Clancy Frostcat I

Posted by: frostcat#1 | October 18, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I always bought Deborah Kerr as the missionary nun marooned with Robert Mitchum in "Heaven Knows Mr. Allison" and the plucky schoolmarm in "The King and I" much much more than as the love starved captain's wife rolling in the sand with Burt in FHTE. Much better at purity and piety than passion. Somewhat surprisingly, Donna Reed's turn as a prostie blew DK away in the 1954 bad girl sweeps and won a best supporting Oscar. Then, instead of capitalizing on her success by turning Reed into the next Gloria Graham with juicy tramp roles, Hollywood cast her as a cookie baker for the rest of her career. Go figure.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 18, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Don't want to turn this into all cats, all the time, but that whole sibilent fricative thing appears to be working. Kuching Kitty comes on the run out of the woods when I call her name (even without shaking a bowl of food) and I have been able to pet her a couple times.

Oooh, Larry Sabato is pushing term limits for Supremes on the Diane Rehm show (15 years). Hmmm....

Posted by: frostbitten | October 18, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

WaPo has two excellent five-minute clips of conversations with Rcik Atkinson, at . The first is about his book, "Day of Battle," and second is about his time spent imbedded with Gen. Petraeus and Iraq in general. The interviews are conducted by Chris Ciliza and Dan Balz. Well worth 10 minutes of your time.

Very sad to hear about Deborah Kerr. In addition to From Here to Eternity, as omni pointed out, she was also in The Sundowners and Night of the Iguana, and several other favorite movies of mine. She was also Anna in "The King and I" opposite Yul Brunner (she got an Oscar nomination and won a Golden Globe).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 18, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Skimming the Boodle - all the Civil War stuff from yesterday! Darn shame I missed it.

RD, I've been keeping an eye on the Turkish/Iraqi Kurd situation for awhile, and I agree; that could get nasty quickly.

Here's a question: if Turkey actually did incur/invade Kurdish Iraq, would Congress take action to condemn it? If so, I wonder if a large percentage of the international community would look on the US as hypocritical...

dmd, I appreciate the company, just 'cause.


Posted by: bc | October 18, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Why does the word "fricative" always make me a little antsy? Clear a word whose definition as missed its niche by a mile.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 18, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

this one's for cassandra:

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 18, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I just saw RD over at Celebritology. Liz posts, like, four times as often as you do and your best and brightest are being tempted away...

Gotta get on the ball, Mr. Big Fancy New Title Guy. Before you know it, it'll just be you and the crickets, man.

And if that happens, you'll know Why Things Are.

Posted by: byoolin | October 18, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

bc, my first thought about the Turkey/Iraq situation was that it would the US/Bush Admin in a difficult spot - do as I say, not as I do?

Posted by: dmd | October 18, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Also, it's good to see you in here, Martooni.


Posted by: bc | October 18, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

"Here's a question: if Turkey actually did incur/invade Kurdish Iraq, would Congress take action to condemn it?"

In about a hundred years or so, I'd say.

Posted by: TBG | October 18, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Jeepers, I succumb to Liz Kelly's seductive charms once and I am called out on it.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 18, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Didn't mean to fink on you, RD, and you know, I was there too, so where do *I* get off and all that jazz, right?

I'm just giving Our Host Here a nudge. Now that he's got a real job, his output's really dropped off.

Posted by: byoolin | October 18, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

byoolin, you aren't going to pay Joel a visit in his office armed with a hammer, are you?

LA, Neely Tucker did a very nice job writing that Comcast hammer-wielding old lady story you linked to. Very funny.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 18, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I might have been in favor of 15 year terms for the Supreme Court justices at one time, but after Bush v. Gore in 2000, I've decided to hold out for the death penalty!

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 18, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I've pontificated on the risk of a Turkish incursion before. What worries me is that it could easily escalate into a situation that destabilizes Pakistan. You know, those folks with the nuclear bombs.

This could be very, very bad.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 18, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, it is making you hungry. You know. Chicken fricative, squirrel fricative . . .

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 18, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

My favorite Deborah Kerr movie is "The Chalk Garden" with Hayley Mills. I don't claim it's a great movie on its own merits, but I must have first seen it at a vulnerable age. I still get shivery just thinking about it. I think I own a copy of it somewhere. I'll have to dig it out and watch it again soon.

Can someone explain why "Kerr" is pronounced "Car?"

Posted by: kbertocci | October 18, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm not following, Padouk. Bad as it might be, how does Turkey messing with the Kurds destabilize Pakistan?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 18, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Turkey fricative. Very popular after Thanksgiving.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 18, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Breaking news at the NYT:

Hastert to say hasty "Hasta la vista, Baby!"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert will resign before his term ends and possibly in December, a House aide said on Thursday, ending a 20-year career that soured when Republicans lost control of Congress last November.

Posted by: Loomis | October 18, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I'd go along with the possibility that the Turkish declaration against the Iraqi Kurds could get nasty quickly. It's likely that conflict initiated by the Turkish Army would be subject to the mildest of diplomatic rebukes from our State Dept as we surely wouldn't want to offend. Diplomatic harshness, in a scenario that is probably unlikely, might take access to Iraq and Iran via Turkey away and initiate frantic contigency planning regarding the dark circumstances that could bring us into further conflict. I also wonder how Ms. Bhutto's return to Pakistan will go. Has the furniture in the bunker been fluffed and Febrezed?

Posted by: jack | October 18, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Can you hare the recipe? *l*

Posted by: Loomis | October 18, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, you've brightened my day.

Mudge, the hammer might work. I was going to hide in JA's driveway until I read this:

Now, I'm not so keen to do that.

Posted by: byoolin | October 18, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

SCC: share...

Instead of hairing (haring) the recipe, perhaps you'd feather it?

Posted by: Loomis | October 18, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Newsweek, at least, says Brownback is giving up his presidential run.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 18, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I thought "haring" the recipe was very appropriate. They say rabbit fricative is tasty.

Hastert and Brownback folding their tents and slinking away - what a good day.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 18, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I named the two movies referenced Firsties post.

DK is tied (6) for most Oscar Noms without a win by a woman. Thelma Ritter is the other.

Also did you know that she isn't seen in her first movie. At least not unless you look on the cutting room floor.

Posted by: omni | October 18, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

If I had been in Mona Shaw's place, I would happily have paid the $345 fine. Mr. T succumbed to an Earthlink pitch for telephone service back in the late spring. When I discovered it was VOIP, he called AT&T back and ordered a bundle of services from them. We were without phone service for three weeks, and I don't want to know what it cost him. Thank heavens the Internet connection was never lost; I would have had apoplexy over that.

Posted by: Slyness | October 18, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Quick nods on on items, with greetings to all (Apparently, some student are actually coming to office hours; will wonders never cease!)

The superbug problem is huge, said as one with immune problems in the family. I fear that we will start to lose even more people to what our grandparents called "bad blood" or blood poisoning. I know the names of all the antibiotics and not because the names are poetic or anything.

Deborah Kerr's name is a Gaelic thingie- Scottish-style, upon which I am not qualified to comment.

As for Rudy Gulie...I keep mashing his name into the Bobbie Goldsborough teen hit of Julie, Julie, Julie
Do you love me?
Julie, Julie, Julie
Do you care?
Julie, Julie, Julie
Are you thinkin' of me
Julie, Julie, Julie
Will ya still be there.

(Trombones? Bah, Bah, Bah)

As for BC's boodle handle image thread, I think both of the majesty of
B.C. as in before Christ (don't like B.C.E for anti-PC-language) and the Johnny Hart comic B.C., that had some great moments. Other frames, well, not so great.

Frostbitten makes me think of Rocky/Bullwinkle hamlet of Frostbite Falls.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 18, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

It will destabilise the whole region. There are Kurds all over the place, it seems. Nice map.

Posted by: dr | October 18, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

There is concern that this would lead to a violent struggle resulting in the establishment of a regional Kurdistan. The refugee population such a development would create could push through Iran to Afghanistan and Pakistan changing the precarious stability of this area. Granted, this is clearly an outside possibility, but it is a scenario that has some worried.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 18, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

byoolin, I have a hunch the hammer approach is not the right way to go with JA.

Finally!!! Hastert is setting a good example for Larry Craig to follow: disappear into the sunset before the deluge. Ditto Brownback. Now, if we could only find a way to get rid of Bush and Cheney.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 18, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Four hundred fifty-nine days and counting, Mudge...I hope we survive.

Posted by: Slyness | October 18, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

CP- I felt like the intrepid flying squirrel last night. On the way out to retrieve Kuching's food for the night so Jacques T. Skunk would not visit, I heard a rustling of leaves and then realized Jacques and I were equidistant from the food dish. Retreating through a sliding glass door I first tried to convince him we still have a dog. While barking and growling I thought of all the dogs I've bathed with tomato juice and quickly abandoned that tactic in favor of the nearest likely weapon-a cat toy fishing pole with stuffed fish and jingle bell on the end. Opening the door just a tad I slipped the pole through and waved the fish/bell at Jacques. He retreated wiki wiki with no spray. If I could have flown around the house in leather helmet and goggles, white silk scarf flapping behind me, I would have.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 18, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Don't think I didn't notice the "rabbit fricative" bit.


Posted by: RD Padouk | October 18, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Frosty, I'd have paid to see that.

Posted by: dr | October 18, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Cocktail sauce has to have been around for a looooong time.

Posted by: jack | October 18, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, RD. I am merely a cultural observer here.

Really, I've never had a rabbit fricative. Or squirrel or turkey either.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 18, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

//If I had been in Mona Shaw's place, I would happily have paid the $345 fine. //

I'm considering paying it for her myself! Did you see the WaPo article where somebody from Comcast claimed the greater majority of their customers are satisfied? . . . *On WHAT Planet?*

Here, Comcast has been redoing their webpage. After months of being redirected to their beta site, I couldn't reach my e-mail at all for a day and a half. Repeated inquiries of their CS department brought no relief, despite doing everything they were sure would work (including resetting my browser and losing links, advising I go to one of their sites I said I couldn't reach (their "analyst" typed, "Oh, yeah, Catch-22. You're out of luck."), etc.)

So I found a different way in. How come I can find it and they can't? :-)

Posted by: dbG | October 18, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I dunno...I'm still not getting it. I know there's Kurds all over, but accroding to that map (and my general understanding), they are in eastern Turkey and northern Iraq, with a smidge in Syria and a few in the far western little corner of Iran. But Pakistan is way the hell over on the far, fasr side of Iran (which is a big country), and without a very long border (at least compared to other borders). There don't appear to be any Kurds anywhere within a thousand miles. So what I'm not getting is why Pakistan (which has enough troubles of its own) needs to get its panties in a twist about something going on a thousand miles away, with an ethnic group is appears to have nothing to do with.

The Kurds, Turks and Armenians--sure, lots of common animosity, and let 'em duke it out (or not). I'm just not seeing the Pakistan connection. But it's not important that I do. (I tend to have a "let 'em all go to hell except Cave 76" attitude.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 18, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: RD Padouk | October 18, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Given all that has transpired with geopolitical events this week, I wonder how this weapons test seems to have escaped notice.

Frosti, you need to assume your alternative identity, team up with the nearest moose and save us from ourselves. Silk, scarf, gloves and all. And be sure to somehow wield Mssr. Jacques as a secret wepon.

Posted by: jack | October 18, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - it's the refugees, their likely ethnic identity, and foul mood.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 18, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

We HATE Comcast! Getting ready to get FiOS instead. Last night we were clicking through channels (those that we have left!) and several of them were "frozen"--picture, but no movement or sound. Then there are the times when the picture skips a beat or three. And all this for more than 60 bucks a month? Gack.

Posted by: ebtnut | October 18, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

DbG, I'm just offering a perspective on the other end.

I honestly thought with the $3,000 training bill that dog had been there longer. Ah well. She needs to find a better trainer that tells her to just separate the dogs and cat and introduce slowly with protection.

Most people considers dogs great, but well... dogs. Feed and water them, keep them clean and safe, give them a stable home with one family for life, and they'll be happy.

They truly will never understand the fuss the rescuers make. You know why. I do understand why, as well, but that will never make me want to sign any contracts, nor enjoy the idea of having a dog play musical chairs to prove a point.

Adoption and/or moving can be one of the most stressful times in a dog's life. There were times in the first 10 days that I thought if Wilbrodog didn't destress somehow, he'd drive me crazy. He was very timid, very frantic at barking at every new thing for a while. After 10 days, he calmed down, but I was still quivering from the transition experience. After 3 weeks he was a happy dog.

It does take a while, and while my first dog seemed to be happy and fit in from the first as a 4 month pup, it doesn't always happen that way.

Ironically, I would rate Wilbrodog as far more confident and resilent in public than my old dog ever was. It was simply that an apartment was a far more stressful environment to adjust to than a big house with a yard. But it paid off.

I'm with Yellojkt on the importance of getting children adopted without discrimination as long as the home is shown to be good. They matter a lot more.

I'm now reading "Pawprints in History" on how Mr. Bergh, who helped set up the ASPCA, helped get involved in the plight of child labor and foster children abuse as a result. It is profoundly sad when the laws to protect animals leapfrog those for children. He fined and banned turnspit dogs only to see young children taking over the turnspit jobs instead. He was aghast.

Anyway, there are an influx of private adoption agencies that can set their rules as to who is fit to adopt.

There is a law banning such discrimination based on race, etc.

I don't know if this includes private agencies. I hope so.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 18, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Rudy is a typical Republican. No sense of fiscal responsibility, except when criticizing Democrats for over-spending on social programs to help the less-fortunate.

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