The Watering Hole February 23rd, 2011 Hump Day

“I don’t think you can do that…”

This is a common auto-response I get from a particular person in my environment when I offer a suggestion or idea. It’s an immediate reaction, before they look aside; and then begin to think. Usually what follows is all the reasons why it can’t be done. A root of this behavior is, I believe, control issues.

Beyond that, it is an interesting example of neuro linguistic programming . Simply put, our language reflects how we act, think and feel, and how a person’s vocabulary reinforces their behavior.

Listening closely to most of the verbal garbage in the political discourse, I hear a lot of “I can’t”, “You can’t”, “We can’t”, etc. I also hear “I don’t think”...etc. , often as a preface to attacking the actions of others. I tend to tune these people out very quickly. They are not thinking, they are not problem solving and they are not acting. They are simply re-acting out of fear and a perceived threat to their control dramas.

Next time I hear “I don’t think you can do that”, I’m mentally inserting a period after the word think ….and, internally at least, say “Thank you!

This is our Daily Open Thread, feel free to comment upon this or any other topic you may think of…

246 thoughts on “The Watering Hole February 23rd, 2011 Hump Day

  1. Interesting article on HuffPo.

    Gov. Walker Informed That Bill Targeting Unions May Cost State $46 Million In Federal Funds

    ASHINGTON — Budget referees and transportation officials in Wisconsin have informed Gov. Scott Walker (R) that if he were to pass his controversial anti-union legislation into law, he could be forfeiting tens of millions of dollars in federal funds for transportation.

    Under an obscure provision of federal labor law, states risk losing federal funds should they eliminate “collective bargaining rights” that existed at the time when federal assistance was first granted. The provision, known as “protective arrangements” or “Section 13C arrangements,” is meant as a means of cushioning union (and even some non-union) members who, while working on local projects, are affected by federal grants.

    It also could potentially hamstring governors like Walker who want dramatic changes to labor laws in their states. Wisconsin received $74 million in federal transit funds this fiscal year. Of that, $46.6 million would be put at risk should the collective-bargaining bill come to pass — in the process creating an even more difficult fiscal situation than the one that, ostensibly, compelled Walker to push the legislation in the first place.

    The governor is certainly aware of this. While the potential loss of funds may have escaped the attention of many observers, sources familiar with the state’s transportation policy tell The Huffington Post that Walker’s office has been informed of the relevant legal language. Moreover, in an a nearly unnoticed report filed by the state’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the non-partisan budget scorekeeper, the stakes are laid fairly bare.

    Read the rest at HuffPo.

    This is clearly not about money. It’s about union busting.

  2. xzbe – It’s also about handing over the state utilities to the Koch brothers. There is a clause in the bill which states that the Gov. can sell the state owned utilities to a private firm WITHOUT going through the bidding process. Yes, they are fascists.

  3. “I think I can!” is just how I’m wired … Short of occassional self doubt (like the time when I stood in front of the living room mirror as a child using Pete Townsend’s windmill technique with both arms trying to get “lift off”), when I hear those words like “can’t”, etc. I go into challenge mode … just the little ” battle ruler” in be I guess …

    Nice Bison 8)

  4. So the moral of the story is don’t be buffaloed?

    Seriously though, there is a secondary aspect to this. The Can’t is almost invariably followed by a collection of posited fears that rationalize not trying because of preordained failure. This has become more prevalent in our country since 1980.

  5. Heh. lass…

    I was given a bison hide to brain tan once upon a time. It totally defeated me.
    Got it to the rawhide stage and made a lot of drums.
    I did however have success with making about 35 yards of bison yarn.

  6. Does anyone else think that Scott Walker could immeasurably clarify both his personality and his goals by simply growing a little mustache? You know, just a little one right under his nose, not like the cookie-dusting bush that Bolton sports. I’m thinking more, umm, more ‘Germanic’ maybe.

  7. Chutzpah Alert

    “How can a leader subject his own people to a shower of machine-guns, tanks and bombs? How can a leader bomb his own people, and afterwards say ‘I will kill anyone who says anything?'” – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Qaddafi.

  8. zxbe, there is also a provision in the bill that would allow the Governor to assess the retirement fund and gain access to it. This isn’t a budget bill. It is a license to rape, pillage and plunder.

  9. I was so wrong … sniff, sniff …

    I thought that the Chicago election was a primary and it was just assumed Rahm would win the general but apparently they don’t even bother with a general election. In case you’re wondering I never watch local news. Apparently Rahm is the mayor elect and that’s that. my husband reads the Chicago papers, he’ll have to explain it to me.

  10. [LIBYA, 9:45 a.m., 4:45 p.m. local] A Libyan military aircraft crashed Wednesday southwest of Benghazi after the crew refused to follow orders to bomb the city, Libya’s Quryna newspaper reported.

  11. Ebb, ya suppose the crew ejected and jettisoned? They prolly couldn’t return to base without getting executed by their commander…

  12. Jeezits Hooda! So this bill breaks the unions, allows selling off state owned assets in no bid and also authorizes the raiding of retirement plans?
    A KochDream Kum True!

  13. I think what we’re seeing today is a continuation — the attempt to finalize, maybe — something that FDR mentioned in a letter to Col. E.M.House in 1933: “The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.”

    FDR usually had it right, I’m sure. Money rules. Why that is is beyond me, but that’s the way of the world.

    Anyway, the Koch brothers will NEVER have enough, that much is guaranteed. And they’ll not stop until they get it all — unless they die first. Reason for hope, maybe.

  14. RUC, it also makes the state ineligible for some $45 million in funding for transportation. We are now past a trifecta of greed and stupidity and into full blown corporate takeover.

  15. It seems my lot is predicting inevitable outcomes, in the hope that they don’t come about. I see the ground work being laid for genocide against the poor.

    People being put out of work by the thousands, while CEOs reap millions in bonuses.

    Unemployment runs out, savings depleted. No job, no money, no social safety net.

    What’s to keep a privately owned utility from cutting off power to tens of thousands of customers durring a blizzard? The storm will be blamed. The truth will come out. No one will be prosecuted. No one will be found liable.

    Meanwhile, TeaBaggers and politicians are calling for live ammunition to be used against Americans rallying in support of Unions in Wisconsin and Georgia.

    Unions and collective bargaining created the middle class. But the terminally stupid won’t grasp that truth, and will instead kill all who support Unions.

    You cannot eliminate Stoopid from the gene pool. For over 12k years manunkind has waged wars that have eliminated millions of minions who give thier lives so that their rich overlords can continue to live in wealth and power. Nothing has changed to alter that equation. There’s still a sizable percentage of the population quite willing to kill, if the rich and powerful tell them to.

    WHAT IS AMAZING is that military personnel in the Middle East are standing down!

    Somehow it seems fitting: the path to non-violent transitions of power is being led by brown-skinned Muslims, not lilly-white Christians.

    later, everyone.

  16. Apologies for the copy and paste from my FB status, but this is just too choice not to share.

    The nearest thing to a serious job offer in over two years, and this is what I get:

    Hello Dr. Herstein,
    I am a recruiter with BAE Systems, a government contractor. I am working on a project to help find social scientists for the Department of Defense’s Human Terrain program.
    We have multiple immediate openings for a meaningful and lucrative opportunity that will help bridge the gap between the the local civilian population and the US military. The goal is to use formal social science research methods to understand the local culture and environment, and to use that understanding to facilitate communication and partnership building. Some goals of the program are to promote stability in the area and reduce unnecessary casualties.
    To initiate the application process, go to http://www.baesystems.jobs/job_startFrame.asp and type keyword “Human Terrain System Social” and select the Social Scientist position. For source select Employee Referral, …
    I will then follow up with you and initiate the government resume process.
    Please reach out to me for additional information or questions.
    Best wishes,

    Name and othe identifying info, other than the included URL, redacted for privacy. The links and other info not included appear to be real. The “human terrain program” is certainly real (I’ve seen a number of articles about it.) Basically, they want to suit up anthropologists and other social scientists in body armor, drop them in Afghanistan, and have them learn how to paint smiley faces on the US invasion.

    FML

  17. “We have multiple immediate openings for a meaningful and lucrative opportunity…”

    I know nothing of your situation or this career, but putting the word “lucrative” in there doesn’t seem to apply or even be relevant. Seems to be a bit of a hard sell. No?

  18. BnF: “For over 12k years manunkind has waged wars that have eliminated millions of minions who give thier lives so that their rich overlords can continue to live in wealth and power.”

    Has there ever, across all of history, been a war event wherein the masses have forced their unwilling rulers into a clash of nations? Nope. Never. And a major part of the human dilemma is embodied in that sole and singular thesis.

  19. Gary, that’s a bit creepy – from the description it does sound like ‘painting smiley faces on the US invasion’ as you aptly typed.

    hmm, the “Please reach out to me for additional information or questions.” Sounds a bit odd to me.

  20. “but putting the word “lucrative” in there doesn’t seem to apply or even be relevant. Seems to be a bit of a hard sell. No?”

    The hard sell is that the entire program is questionable on moral grounds and certainly dangerous (you are essentially embedded in combat zones.) But the “lucrative” part is accurate; my understanding is that the pay would be well above that of the average Associate Professor in academia.

  21. JebutzNeroKreist Gary! That sounds like a ‘come on down, what could possibly go wrong’ opportunity of a somewhat shortened life!

  22. Ebb, the term ‘reach out’ is a current buzzword in the IT field. It means communicate, call, fax, email, or otherwise talk.

  23. Oh, my situation/career is that my finances are a train wreck, my career has completely imploded, and I haven’t even the realistic hope of a permanent, full-time job of any type for the remainder of my life. (I’m 54.)

  24. Yeah Gary the word lucrative is designed to speak to your greed factor…Dead giveaway that this is not what it appears to be.

  25. Also, while I could probably teach myself basic statistics w/o too much trouble, I’ve really none of the background in the social sciences that is a requirement for such a position. So even if I was willing to abandon my cats and risk my life for money while ignoring any part of my essential nature that might constitute a moral compass, these folks ultimately not be interested in me.

    The devil himself would demand that I pay HIM to take my soul.

  26. I hear ya, Gary. At one point I went 4 years without working.

    Maybe we’re all too cynical (or is it pragmatic?) to be objective about this job possibility. It just has a Nigerian prince feel to it, at least from here.

  27. “Dead giveaway that this is not what it appears to be.”

    Oh, I disagree. This is EXACTLY what it appears to be: mercenary work for the military using statistics.

    BAE systems is a real organization, and the “Human Terrain Program” is a very real process that DoD is pushing forward on, and has been for a little while now.

  28. Politifact fisks Scott Walker:

    “I campaigned on [the proposals in the budget repair bill for Wisconsin] all throughout the election. Anybody who says they are shocked on this has been asleep for the past two years.” – Wisconsin governor Scott Walker.

    “We introduced a measure last week, a measure I ran on during the campaign, a measure I talked about in November during the transition, a measure I talked about in December when we fought off the employee contracts, an idea I talked about in the inauguration, an idea I talked about in the state of the state. If anyone doesn’t know what’s coming, they’ve been asleep for the past two years.” – Scott Walker.

    These two statements are untrue with respect to collective bargaining rights for some public sector unions, the crux of the current controversy.

    http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/feb/22/scott-walker/wisconsin-gov-scott-walker-says-he-campaigned-his-/

  29. badmoodman, that confirms what I had suspected. I put it out to the trolls to show me any example of where Walker had campaigned on eliminating collective bargaining. Naturally, I got no response.

  30. Mission Statement: Recruit, train, deploy, and support an embedded operationally focused socio-cultural capability; conduct operationally relevant socio-cultural research and analysis; develop and maintain a socio-cultural knowledge base, in order to enable operational decision- making, enhance operational effectiveness, and preserve and share socio-cultural institutional knowledge.

    Hmm, that kinda sounds like missionaries preaching Christianity and taking bibles to “heathen” cultures. Is the core mission basically to either Westernize or make these people Western-friendly?
    The things this country has its fingers in….

  31. What I meant to convey Gary, that this sounds like an upstanding endeavor, but really is getting you to sell your soul…
    I hear that they’re hiring at your local Costco warehouse…

  32. Gary, sounds like the Army is trying to put together an HR program, missionaries to go in country to try and convince the locals that all the other soldiers are just there for their own good. I feel sorry for anyone who buys it.

  33. Badmoodman, that tracks with what I’ve been seeing and reading about how the police and firemen supported Walker, but are now part of the protests. They know that whatever happens to the teachers, police and firefighters are next.

  34. “I hear that they’re hiring at your local Costco warehouse…”

    My nightmare is that I end my days wearing a blue vest. Those jobs are only ever part-time, which means you lose access to whatever benefits you might otherwise have qualified for without any concomittant gain in wages to make up for the loss.

  35. The Obama administration says it will no longer defend the constitutionality of a federal law that bans recognition of same-sex marriage.

    Obama has concluded that the administration can no longer defend the federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman.

  36. Occasionally Obama restores my faith that he still might be what I once thought he was. But those moments are, sadly, few and far between.

    Why didn’t he pop up in Wisconsin, grab hold of that crowd, and cause Walker to shit himself? I mean, I know as well as anyone that Rome wasn’t rebuilt in a day, but when there are 70,000 already assembled and ready to cheer for the president who supports, first of all, the middle class, what the hell’s the use in staying home and keeping quiet?

    Sometimes it seems to me that Obama plays the caution card as though someone has instructed him to do so, and also explained that if he doesn’t do so his fingernails will be pulled out one by one, and no one will hear him scream.

    What we need is for him to stand tall and say,

    “We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me–and I welcome their hatred.”

    Hey, it worked for FDR in 1936.

  37. frugal, I posted this over on the DOMA thread.

    Call me a dreamer but “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.”

    Could the recent surge of citizen activity and public support be just what the President has been waiting for? There has been a lot of talk about having his back but not so much active support to show it.

    Time to keep the pressure on. We finally have a beginning, let’s make it happen.

  38. I love the bison. Sometimes my cattle get frosted like that and I feel sorry for them even though it doesn’t seem to bother them much.
    Gary…depending on the level of clearance required you could work for BAE for months while your investigation is completed. In your situation I’d be tempted to take the job, use the insurance, collect the money for performing busy work and resign before ever working on the actual project. I know that’s wrong, but the company would think nothing of laying you off with two weeks notice as soon as the project was complete, or if they lost the recompete.
    zxbe…if that receives much coverage, I think Walker is toast.

  39. So now does Fox pick up the Walker prank like a hooker/pimp in ACORN office? Not holding breath…..

    And who runs with the power plant buyout angle? *crickets chirp*

    And the Rod Blagoiovich-quality phone revelations…..? *crickets chirp*

  40. From another article about the Walker punking…

    Ian Murphy, the editor of the Buffalo Beast, told The Huffington Post in an interview that he was “shocked” at how easy it was to get Walker, currently the nation’s most-talked-about governor, on the phone merely by pretending to be a billionaire donor.

    “Fifteen minutes in, I wanted to almost stop it and say, ‘Are you so dumb, I’m not David Koch. How can your staff be so incompetent and how could I get on the phone with you so easily,'” Murphy said,

    So billionaires have quick phone access to our leaders. So much for the rest of us. Government of the people by the rich…

    It seems relatively easy to punk right-wing politicians. I think it’s because they want to be called by powerful people. They fall right into the trap.

    I’m with you oimf, if the press runs with this it definitely turns the tide against Walker. Fox can’t complain, as it’s right out of the O’Keefe playbook.

  41. Calling Jon Stewart…… time for a photoshopped Gov Walker ranting from his redoubt in his Gaddafi gear….. “Unions are dogs, their fathers are all camels…. I will be marytred and be exiled to the Cato Institute….” you know the rest.

  42. I love it. The local paper has been reasonably neutral on the whole protest thing, maybe ten percent towards Walker has a headline today…”Proposed budget to cut school bus service.”

  43. Walkers should be titled “Super Doosh”. In a speech just now he’s bragging that if his bill passes then workers won’t be required to pay union dues if they choose not to which he claims would save workers $1K a year that they could use towards pension payment. What a dick.

  44. Let me point out that we are a 3 union household. Taylor belongs to SAG and AFTRA and my husband has been a member of Auto Mechanics for about 35 years. When we started our own business we shopped for health insurance. After figuring out preexisting conditions it turned out that the only way we could afford it was for him to stay in the union and for us to pay benefits for employees. And let me say as a business owner the union works only for the good of its members. They treat me as the owner with little regard making sure that their membesr benefits are covered at all times. And the latest contract came in with a $50 reduction per member per week on health insurance. No shit. And over the next for years it doesn’t go back up to what it was before health care reform passed.

    I’d like to bitch slap Walker, personally.

  45. One of the trolls at TP kept making this assertion over and over: most union members would prefer to stop paying dues because it’s not worth it to them. He was also making the assertion that it wasn’t fair that union members had so much better benefits than “regular people.” And he did not see any contradiction between these two claims.

  46. And what, have his baby, because Jesus knows there could be no other choice in the god-fearin’ state of ‘Jowajaah’?

    • God dammit, I hate these stupid fucking men who want to criminalize women — for being women!

      I’m so pissed I can’t think of a good way to tell off that boob.

  47. Zooey, you’re just being ‘silly’ and ‘hysterical’. Typical woman – unable to make your own decisions, therefore the likes of the franklin type must make them for you.

    Here’s the plan: we go to GA, sit him down – start a “Lorena Bobbit” discussion with the ‘gentleman’…

    • Gary, keep commenting. I’ll give the Critters a heads-up to keep an eye on the spam bin for you.

      We have to essentially re-train the spam filter to start liking you again.

  48. A good friend of mine, who is a salty and savvy woman, liked to respond to male idiots that would argue with her, thusly:

    “Blow me, bitch!”

    “Well, I would, but I choke on small bones.”

  49. zxbe – not to worry – unless you are a Georgia “peach” of a representative ;>

    (Ebb really does like men – intelligent (progressive) men. She has no use for used gum or republicans).

  50. Ebb: “…start a “Lorena Bobbit” discussion…”

    I still have an old straight edge around here someplace. Let me know when you need it, it’s yours and on its way.

    The guy’s nickname isn’t Anteater, though. Right?

  51. Correct, frugal – not Anteater. (hmm, although that does give me an idea…)

    Say, I need to ask: how did you gain all that knowledge about ‘tricks’ (a la Cleo)?

  52. …he believes that civil government should return to its biblically and constitutionally defined role.”[1]

    Representative Franklin is a graduate of Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Ga., where he received a degree in Biblical studies and business administration.[1] He and his wife, Pat, have been married for over 27 years. They have three children, and are active members of Chalcedon Presbyterian Church in Cumming, Georgia.

  53. “Btw, the Indiana Dep. AG who advocated “live ammunition” to disperse demonstrators, has been relieved of his job.”

    That is excellent news badmoodman!

  54. Ebb, if I may — I was wondering if you might be willing to write a brief review for posting on either Amazon or Barnes? Hooda’s input sold the place out, and, well, you know, two instead of one … etc.

    Sigh. I’m the shittiest salesman ever born, I admit it. Although with a certain amount of pride I suppose.

  55. Covenant Collegea degree in Biblical studies and business administration. He and his wife, Pat, have been married for over 27 years. They have three children, and are active members of Chalcedon Presbyterian Church in Cumming, Georgia.

    Gay.

    Gay.

    Gay.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  56. And damnit, Frugal, tell your publisher to get it out as an e-Book. Putting their nuts in a vice bolted to the workbench, then setting the garage on fire, can help persuade them.

    (Now THAT’S salesmanship!)

  57. Zooey: “I’m a 12 year old trapped in a 51 year old body.”

    I’ve always wondered why it can’t work out to be the other way around. Then, by the time the body turned 65, whoa! Prime time!

  58. My math skills aren’t all that good frugal, but using the 12 to 51 formula, at 65 you would be negative 2. Your parents were perhaps just beginning to think about heavy petting…

  59. Zooey: “I’m a 12 year old trapped in a 51 year old body.”

    So, I guess you’ve titillated a very distinct group: MILF pedophiles.

  60. Oh, I get it now. Like I said, my math skills aren’t very good.
    That and the last couple of novels about time travel. All that back and forth and bumping into oneself on the way.

  61. Yeah Raven, I get your point. Sigh. That’s what happens when an old fart settles for any port in a storm. How did Emily Dickinson put it?

    Finding is the first Act
    The second, loss,
    Third, Expedition for
    The “Golden Fleece”

    Fourth, no Discovery —
    Fifth, no Crew —
    Finally, no Golden Fleece —
    Jason — sham — too.

    Yeah. Like that.

  62. We are experiencing some magnificent Snow Shine right now, snowing a blizzard an hour ago, sun shine and broken clouds now…

  63. Gary did you go to the site and click on:

    Tell the Publisher!
    I’d like to read this book on Kindle

    (I’d link again but notice it doesn’t go ‘generic’ but to my account)

  64. Yes Ebb, the carnations…
    I did know that was a Hoopoe, I did not know they were found in Libya, I somehow had the idea they were a Central American bird. ( lowering crest in shame) :/

  65. For posterity – as I’m certain these will be scrubbed and/or his FB will ‘disappear’.

    “The Honorable Booby Franklin’s FaceBook” page sampling:

    Lynelle Belleveaux You’d probably be better off focusing on the real matters and problems at hnd in this country rather than worrying about miscarrage investigations, you sir are truely offensivve to all women in that matter and one thing you should know is love has no wrath deeper than a mother’s scorn. I’m not sure why you are trying t…
    See More
    11 minutes ago · Like · Comment
    Lauren Payton likes this.

    Lauren Payton Dear Bob, you are a piece of shit.
    14 minutes ago · Like · Comment
    Lynelle Belleveaux likes this.

    Becca Whipkey Shockey I find your desire to pass a bill into law investigating miscarriages insulting and offensive. Since you cannot ever experience one for yourself, you have no idea the trauma and devastation that is part of losing a pregnancy. You are a sad and ignorant individual. What makes you think you have the right?! You and a…
    See More
    48 minutes ago · Like · Comment

  66. I have an above ground pool, frozen solid, with a tarp clipped to the top. And my darling puppy has decided that’s the best place for scoping out the yard. Nothing good can come from this. 😦

  67. Ebb: Actually, I’ve done that more than once now. Since I no longer face the prospect, but rather the immutable fact, of moving again this May, I’m simply not going to permit anymore woodpulp into my home.

  68. The neighbors dog had taken to lounging on the top of their cars where she could see the world.
    They went to a lot of effort and expense to put up a very nice fence around the entire yard, complete with wrought iron gates. Now they park the cars on the street, outside the fence.

  69. Yeah! The mail just arrived with a 2.5 pound piece of Frugalchariot. I guess I know what I’m doing for the next few evenings.

    I may have gotten the last one from Amazon, but I do know that I pushed him up 175,000 places on their internal best seller list.

  70. Novels about time travel – my screen name comes from a short story about time travel. The avatar picture is my dog Rocky, but the spelling with the spare letter is from Larry Niven’s story “There’s a Wolf In My Time Machine”. This is one of the tales of Svetz, who has several mis-adventures while stocking a zoo for an idiot politician in a possible future.

  71. That’s very imaginative hooda. I would have guessed from your neighborhood it looks like a forgotten hunk of cheddar in the back of the fridge. 🙂

  72. “I’m loaded for bear.” – Shayne.

    would have been more fun if it had read, “I’m loaded and bare.”

    ducking….

  73. Hooda: “Did you know there are more documented attacks on humans by tigers in the US than by wolves?”

    There are more documented attacks on humans by almost every critter alive today (including humans) than by wolves. In fact, unless I missed it somehow, there has NEVER been a documented (non rabid) wolf attack on a human. Wolves are far too intelligent to want to fuck with people. If only the reverse were also true.

  74. And I apparently didn’t ‘know’ my sister, either (even though I’ve known her all but 9 of her 78 years). I always thought she was probably a bit stodgy, but nope, not the case. The lesson: Onward!

  75. You should see the little waiting sheds the ranchers in the next county over put up for the kids to wait for the school bus in.
    Chicken wire stapled to the entire outside of the structure (so that the wolves don’t chew through the wood) and chain link fence over the windows. You can bet the little urchins have a shotgun in there to boot.
    Seriously.

  76. Raven, I have an old videotape of one of five episodes, first broadcast I think on Discovery. This particular one was put together in advance of the Mexican Gray Wolf reintroduction in AZ and NM, and in it there was one scene from a ‘meeting’ in a small town in SW New Mexico — ranchers and other locals speaking with federal wildlife biologists. One of the fellows in the crowd, an older rancher, stood up and asked (and this is very close, maybe not quite precise):

    “What’re you gonna do when one o’ them WOOVES kills a little child?”

    The biologists explained in close detail the non-problem implicit in the old fart’s question, but got nowhere with it.

    I suspect the old rancher may well have been a Republican. Why I say that, of course, I’m not exactly sure. But still …

  77. In researching my novel I found many tales of wolves. And living in Wisconsin I have heard more. I have come to a conclusion. Never trust man. Wolves are much safer.

  78. Mostly the folks in that neighborhood don’t care what the political party affiliation might be, they simply hate any sort of guv’mint interference in their gawd given right to kill anything that might kill their cows, or kill anything that eats the grass their cows might otherwise eat.
    With the advent of the teabag rhetoric, they have gotten bolder in their anti-wolf howlings. I fear that with the cutbacks in spending there may be more trouble to come.

  79. “We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes — something known only to her and the mountain. I was young then and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, then no wolves would mean a hunter’s paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.” ~Aldo Leopold in A Sand County Almanac

    “Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf.” ~Aldo Leopold

    Hooda, have you ever read “Of Wolves and Men” by Barry Lopez? If not, I strongly recommend.

  80. Frugal, I am disappointed. Barry’s work is mentioned in my novel. Sniff, sniff.

    And Aldo Leopold is something of a demigod here in central Wi.

  81. Wolf story, contemporary.

    Loggers in northern Wi decided to retrieve their machinery and hiked down the track in the woods. About halfway to their skidder they noticed a pair of wolves following them. They made it to their machines and scrambled into the cabs with better than six wolves watching.

    One of them had peed their pants. The second had to resort to taking nitro to quiet their heart.

    The wolves watched for a bit and wandered off.

  82. Heh. I remember some years back seeing a very shaky video of former AZ congressman Sam Steiger (tough guy, rancher, hero, republican) — I think his wife was running the camera from inside their pickup — they were in the AZ Blue Range, the wolf reintro area on a narrow backroad. Sam was out of the truck (probably taking a leak) when ‘over there’, maybe thirty yards away, a Mex. Gray walked onto the road, stopped, and stared at old Sam. Sam about shit his pants as he hurried back to his truck, but luckily he was NOT killed and eaten in the process. Meanwhile, the wolf kinda shrugged and trotted off into the woods.

    Steiger actually showed that on his Prescott AZ TV show, told the tale about how lucky he was to have not been killed by that wolf.

    And lots of people buy that shit. Ah, knowledge, the death thereof. Sad, sad, sad.

  83. Frugal, one of the local farmers I work with told me a story. He is a dairy farmer and raises calves. Last winter he heard noise in the calf barn and went to investigate. Inside he came face to muzzle with a large wolf, he guessed it better than 100#. It was sniffing around the calves. When he came in the barn it checked him out and then made its way to the door and waited for him to open it for it.

    Prior to this he had been a strong supporter of the movement to control wolves because they were dangerous. After, he told his scary friends they were just that, scary.

  84. frugal, I started writing that thing in the early 80’s. Compared to yours, I’m half tempted to tell you to not waste your time. But as a fellow author, you know different.

  85. Encountered a party of elk hunters this past fall on my rounds, they asked about the wolves.
    They told me of a “rancher” who came by and said he had turned 100 calves loose there in the spring and hadn’t seen any of them since, and inferred the wolves had eaten them.
    I couldn’t help but roll my eyes, the hunters started chuckling.
    It wasn’t the rancher whose range allotment the calves were supposedly turned loose on, and besides that the allotment has not been in use for the past two years.
    Total cowshit.

  86. The only real predator that kills without thought of consumption is man. Animals are smarter.

    Well, maybe weasels. And sharks in a frenzy. Nice company.

  87. I asked an old cowboy at Hannagan Meadow a few years ago why he hated wolves. “Because they eat cattle,” he said matter-of-factly. I sat quietly for a moment or two, then borrowed a ‘tack-it-to-the-cross’ line from Edward Abbey and said, “Well, yeah, I know wolves eat cows. The only question I have is do they eat ENOUGH of the fucking things.”

    That was it. Crickets.

    Movie time, I’m told. Laters!

  88. Speaking of weasels… NPR had a fascinating story yesterday about an invasion of Scotland by American Minks that had been introduced to farms in the 50s and escaped into the wild. They patrol the rivers, killing salmon and voles among other creatures. The vole is apparently of great sentimental value to the Scots (one was a central character in Wind in the Willows), so the campaign to eliminate the mink is very popular. Lots of people have been trained to trap the mink in live traps, and a smaller number have been trained to execute them. According to the story, 95% of the voles have been wiped out by the minks.

    When they succeed in eliminating the minks in Scotland, the campaign will move to the rest of the UK.

  89. On 30 Rock, “Dennis” was always scheming and scamming trying to make big bucks. One of his ill-fated brainstorms was to sell beepers — in 2009.

    Jack (Alec Baldwin) Donaghy: “Dennis, your beeper is vibrating. Someone is calling from 1985.”

  90. Those commercials are good Zooey.
    When the ice melts and the pooch falls in the pool scooping him out will be tricky since he is quite big. And maybe stronger than I am. I suspect we’ll both end up in the pool.

    The commercial when he gets a text message saying her bff kissed a boy she likes is pretty good too.

  91. Time for me to retire from the lists. The other day there was a post about outrage. I will say that it is something I try to avoid. I grew up as a small child, never able to express anger or outrage and it led to a life where dealing with outrage and anger became a chore.

    I have had a problem with anger all my life and have worked very hard to understand its roots. I deal with it as it rears its ugly head. Violence of any sort is difficult because there is always a part of me that wants to respond in kind. I refuse to indulge but it is hard to not do so.

    I have lost friends because of this. Mostly because I strike out in anger. The power of anger is seductive yet I hold to the power of love.

  92. I watched the Nat Geo special the other day called something like “And Man Created Dog”. At one point they mentioned that it’s possible that we couldn’t have evolved as we did without dogs/wolves. But what is so sad is that we bred them and changed them to be dependent on us and then so many of us treat them like shit or abandon them. Very sad.

  93. No, ebb. Just withdrawing from TP and conflict in general for a respite. With what is happening here in my life, it would be too easy to vent frustrations in an inappropriate manner here just for relief. I value my friends at the Zoo.

  94. Hooda, you can avoid hate, or anger directed at another human. You can’t possess a functional conscience and avoid outrage. That outrage can lead you act in ways that demean our common humanity, or in ways that exalt it.
    I hope that makes sense. I struggle with my own anger.

  95. TP isn’t a destination so much as a reprimand. The site is rife with troll toxicity and really is a zero sum game if you try and “debate.” I now tend to post-and-run.

  96. Thanks, Outstanding and I hear what you say. I know I can’t avoid or ignore outrage. I can choose how to deal with it. I also know I have to separate personal anguish from public outrage.

    Most here know my mom has been ill. It is coming down to the end. (Bless you, Zooey) It is just hard to divide that from the very real support for what is happening in my state. I love my mom and I have my own life to live and right now that life is involved with things that effect the only other thing I really care about, my kids.

    So please bear with me. And maybe forgive if I lash out. Badgers are sort of touchy.

  97. I’ve been where you are Hooda. My mom died last year. Do the best you can, remember your mom would likely want your kids to come first, and above all, be kind to yourself no matter what choices you have to make.

  98. My best wishes to you, Hooda, for strength and courage. Trying to deal with the issues in my own immediate family (and how the hell did I get elected the responsible one any damned way?) have left me on a laser-thin trip-wire for some time now. Leaving TP was one of the few things I could do to reduce the sources of outrage in my life.

    Anyway, like the man said, “Badgers? We don’ need to show you no stinkin’ badgers!”

  99. That guy who made that prank call to Governor Walker was on Last Word. He is such a regular guy it is heartening. My daughter said, “Wow, that was really smart.” High praise from a 16 year old.

  100. Shayne, if it wasn’t for the Zoo I’d either be in jail or a nuthouse.

    And yes, that is a Babe reference. My ex hated it, just didn’t get what it meant.

  101. George Clooney says no political career because of sex, drugs

    The actor insists a life in politics is not on his mind just now, although he’d come clean about everything if he ever did decide to run for office.

    He says, “(I’d) start from the beginning by saying, ‘I did it all. I drank the bong water. Now let’s talk about issues.’ That’s gonna be my campaign slogan: ‘I drank the bong water.'”

  102. hooda, very sorry to hear about your mom. Went through similar things with my dad a few years ago. There’s no right or wrong answer, and you have to do what feels right to you.

  103. Thoughts and light for you hoodathunk, I’ll miss you here for the time, as well as everyone else.
    Knowing that you’re not really gone besides. I gave up on TP for much the same reason, all it did was cultivate too much crass cynicism and waste time. I’ll echo Ebb’s contribution of Walt Whitman…

    I have learned that to be with those I like is enough.

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