The Watering Hole: Tuesday January 17 – Fort Sumter

The siege on Fort Sumter was the starting point for the civil war in 1861. I keep reading allegations to this in lots of tweets and blog posts that refer to yesterday’s debate. It must have been quite a spectacular show, for those among us, who are not queasy and, of course, for us Europeans who won’t be living under a Republican President, if one was elected this year.

The crowd must have been especially mean-spirited leading one of the Economist’s live bloggers to comment

I think this crowd will be disappointed when informed that there will not in fact be a public hanging later in the evening.
by W.W.4:18 AM

and another says:

As crowds go, only the Tea Party audience in the Nevada debate came close to this level of red-meatism. Agree/disagree?
by A.K. 4:26 AM

You can read all live-blog comments, many very amusing, on The Economist here.

The Guardian mentions the hem..hem.. let’s call it rather unusually rowdy atmosphere as well, but only in passing

The debate was conducted against a noisy background, with 3,000 partisan Republicans in the hall, booing and heckling, saving applause for their favourites, mainly Gingrich and former senator Rick Santorum. Romney, viewed as too moderate in right-leaning South Carolina, appeared to have failed to fill the hall with his supporters.

While Der Spiegel thinks it’s worth a full story:

Und so wird es immer schlimmer. Perry fabuliert, die Türkei werde von islamischen Terroristen regiert (Jubel). Er verwechselt die Taliban mit al-Qaida (Jubel) und den Irak mit Afghanistan (Jubel). Er verwehrt sich dagegen, die mutmaßliche Taliban-Leichenschändung durch US-Marineinfanteristen zu kritisieren (Jubel) – die Männer hätten doch nur “einen Fehler gemacht” (Jubel). Ach ja: Und er will die Immobilienkrise lösen, indem er verschuldete Hauseigentümer sich selbst überlässt (Jubel).

And thus it gets worse and worse. Perry opines Turkey was governed by islamic Terrorists (Cheers). He mixes up Taliban and Al Qaida (Cheers) and Iraq and Afghanistan (Cheers). He refuses to criticise the (alleged) desecration of Taliban corpses by US Marines (Cheers) the men had just “made a mistake” (Cheers). Oh yes: And he wants to solve the real estate crisis by  leaving indebted home owners to fend for themselves (Cheers).

So, back to Fort Sumter. All kinds of civil war are going on in the US. The “War on the Middle Class” (that will turn into a War on the Poor for want of a Middle Class soon)  and the “War on Civil Liberties” being the ones fought most prominently. There may even be a break-up of the Union in the not so distant future, politically the “War on the Federal Government” will be fought this summer when the Presidential campaigns will be in full swing. And won’t the 1% just love it to sick the states against each other to get all remaining regulations off the table and make the states compete for their attentions. Don’t believe it ? The USSR only took a couple of years to fully break apart, something that was unthinkable only 30 years ago, remember ? The US is in not much better shape these days. And people like the ones in yesterday’s audience are the perfect footsoldiers for such a development.

I almost regret that I won’t be watching Thursday’s debate either. On second thoughts, no I don’t.

As a matter of form: Newt Gingrich was dubbed yesterday’s winner and Mitt Romney the loser in most news sites I read.

This is our Daily Open Thread.


240 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: Tuesday January 17 – Fort Sumter

  1. EV – I always enjoy reading your posts. It’s fascinating how the rest of the world perceives our craziness. I hope we don’t have another civil war. Too many Americans are connected with each other across the nation. Just look at all the visitors to the Zoo. It would be horrible if the state where one or more “zoosters” are living was in a war with a different state where “zoosters” are living. Sounds like the bloggers at the Economist got it right.

    • Thanks Cats, I don’t think it will be outright bloodshed, but here in Switzerland there is massive competition amongst the cantons (states) and the federation is relatively weak. That means we have places where the rich pay virtually no taxes, nor the corporations and others, mainly the ones with larger cities, have to pick up the tab. The Eurozone is a weak federation as well, with almost no central power (at least economically) and see what happens. Tax competition all over the place. That’s what the 1% like, no big powers against them. Just watch the commercials on CNN International. Azerbaijan, Georgia all kind of former Soviet Union countries competing for investors. If they were still united, they’d set the stakes together. But maybe I am only scenting conspiracies all over the place.

      • I always like to find out how things work on your side of the ocean…and you have great insights! Thanks for the post! And I do think the monied interests do a certain amount of colluding with each other. How else does one explain the attempted push towards austerity in so many places at once?

  2. A very snappy cold -30 C (-22 F) here today. Our first cold snap of the year after an extremely mild winter. Even the dogs are like – “No way, I’ll hold it until it warms up!”.

    • -22F ? Whew, that’s chilly. I’d need a big fire and a big dog to sit on my feet to keep me warm.

      • I’d love to have a fireplace on days like these. The furnace is hardly shutting off as it tries to keep the place warm.

  3. We got some snowfall last night here in lower New York State, the first since the freak heavy wet snow storm last October that caused so much destruction in the Northeast. It wasn’t much, only about an inch or so, and the roads in our area were clean and quite passable.

    I’ll be leaving work early today to bring my computer from home (and Jane’s) into the shop for repair. I downloaded the latest Microsoft updates and it broke my computer. It won’t start up at all, even if I put a disk in the drive and try to boot up from the disk. And Jane lost her ability to go into her Outlook to check her e-mail, so we have to have that looked at. It keeps asking for her Hotmail login, and I don’t think she ever got one.

    As we may have to leave one or more of them in the shop, you may not be hearing from either of us for a while. Jane was going to use The Zoo to help her edit a column for our local paper, but she’s been sick since the weekend and unable to write anything. Hopefully you’ll be able to hear from either of us soon.

  4. In a global economy with no trade restrictions, money flows to the country with the lowest wages and the least regulations. The 1% have pitted the rest of us in a race to the bottem, and we’re complying.

    The idea of self-government, while noble, is beyond our abilities. It merely means the ruling class has to be more clever at manipulating the masses. Now, thanks to social psychology and targeted demographics, it is. Note the use of words, the “ruling class” is dubbed the “job providers.” And we must see to the needs of the job providers at all costs, or they will stop providing jobs.

    Are we approaching a civil war? Yes. The only question is: When? Arguably, it has already begun…

    • BnF by now we are living in a constitutional (or parliamentary) oligarchy. And it happened since the 80’s

      • I beg to differ. We are now living in an unconstitutional oligarchy. Bribery and extortion control the halls of power in the U.S., driven by The Family.

        • I was just saying here was a written constitution and a parliament and an oligarchy. I’m not saying he constitution amounts to anything 😉

  5. What a disgusting attitude these men have. I refuse to believe they wouldn’t try to turn the United States into an officially Christian nation. The worst part is that this would lead to a civil war (speaking of which) among the different sects of Christianity as to which one should be used to rule the USA. I don’t know about any of you, but I sure as shit don’t want to have to start handling poisonous snakes as part of my daily routine just because some religioous zealot inthe White House says i have to.

    • If we have a Civil War over turning the US into a “Christian nation” — wouldn’t that, in essence, bring about an Armageddon of sorts?

      I have felt that it would be the logical end to the religiousness fighting so hard against secularism would lead.

    • Personally, I think that it would be good if Santorum would get the Nomination and then all of his religious attitudes about a “woman’s” place would tick off the wider woman’s population and ensure Obama’s reelection.

    • As one who took several herpetology classes nearly fifty years ago, I can say with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY!!! that I’d far prefer dealing with venomous snakes than with evangelical christers. Snakes are at least honest and mentally uncontaminated, and those virtues quickly (and necessarily) become the virtues of snake handlers! Can’t say the same about dealing with christers.

  6. A devastating exchange with Juan Williams last night. The red meat base in SC ate it up and gave Newt a standing ovation, which will only slow Romney;’s march to the nomination.

    It was the depression recession, Newt.. This is food we’re talking about. This is people struggling to feed their families in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. And Gingrich is playing racial and cultural politics with it. To listen to him, you’d think that Obama signed up all those layabouts for food stamps just so he could throw government money at them, which was exactly his intent for this dumb-as-wood, cracker audience.

  7. Travelled to Amarillo (with connecting flights in Denver — Brrrr — & I thought of you, Frugal) this past weekend to visit my mother — who watches Fox News. I was hoping that she would make some political comments so I could correct her on a few things.

    Sadly, she never brought up politics, on the other hand, things were quite pleasant because she didn’t. Although I had to suffer through Fox and Friends in the morning, at least I never had to listen to Bill O’Reilly.

    • But but but it was WARM here on the front range over the weekend! Forty-something! Nippy today, though, about 25 right now. My morning walk to the Post Office was, umm, “refreshing”. Yeah. Refreshing. Must have been the fresh snow that fell last night. 🙂

      • My blood has thinned out since we moved here 10 years ago.
        I don’t remember being able to see my breath on the jetway in a long, long time the way it was in Denver… the lady behind me was chattering about it going to snow the next day. I was thankful that I was headed home…

        The snow was pretty to fly over though…

  8. QOTD:

    “I sometimes wonder if the Republican Party has become the receding roar of white America as it pines for a way of life that will never return,” – David Brooks.

    Ya think?

  9. The Watering Hole: Tuesday January 17 – Fort Sumpter

    Ok, this is the second post about mentioning this fort in the last couple of months. I don’t think I called it out last time but PLEASE, it’s Fort SUMTER.

  10. Seven lovely inches of snow over the weekend in WA, loved it. Got out the sled and took Amber to our downhill park!
    Oh, as for the Republiscum, they can bluster and fluster, hoot and holler, they’re just passing gas.

  11. Not too surprised at this

    What I was surprised at was the audio of the Italian Coastguard yelling at Captain Sh*t-himself-and-ran to get back on the ship and his litany of excuses. “So you are cold and wnat to go home then? Is that it?” was the response or such like from the Coastguard.

  12. Occasionally, I like to catch some insights on just how delusional and out-of-touch the Right is, over at Palin’s FB page. Here’s today’s gem:

    “I wonder if Romney would agree (say, at the convention) to become Sarah’s VP. How could he say no?”

  13. Romney, the populist plutocrat. on his personal income tax rate:

    “It’s probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything,” said Romney on Tuesday. “For the past 10 years, my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past, rather than ordinary income or earned annual income. I got a little bit of income from my book, but I gave that all away. Then, I get speakers fees from time to time, but not very much.”

    Not very much? According to his personal financial disclosure, from February 2010 to February 2011, Romney earned $374,327.62 in speaking fees. A few months later, Romney joked that he was “unemployed.”

    • A dude interviewed on NPR this AM summed it up (in the context of the foodstamp dog whistling last night).

      Newt Gingrich has a $500,000 Tiffanys account and he’s in touch with me and my problems? I don’t think so

      Mitt Romney makes bets for $10,000 with people just like that and he thinks he’s in touch with my world? I don’t think so.

      • The Obama only recently paid of their college loans but Mitt Romney has the gall to say that the President has never worked. And Newt Gingrich says elitists don’t believe in working for money. What a couple of assholes.

  14. Hi folks. I wish so many of my fellow americans would quit shaming us in front of the whole world.
    It appears that after all the redistricting fuss, I will remain in Can’tor’s district. I will be delighted to be back on my feet and able to actively work for his defeat.

    • Meanwhile the State of Texas may get sued/prosecuted under the Civil Rights Act for discrimination against minorities due to its redistricting of 4 new congressional districts …..

    • A bit funnier than:

      “Nope no WMD under here, heh heh, let’s try under the couch, heh”


      • Obama’s humor is between himself and Betty White, not at the expense of troops fighting an illegal and unnecessary war so Bush could his balls to descend.

  15. Awesome post as always, EV.

    I’m ashamed of what went on in that ‘debate’ last night. We need to fight HARD against not only the clowns on stage, but those in the audience as well.

    • Sometimes it is embarrassing to be a white person her (like when they’re booing Juan Williams for asking a legitimate comment and Newt derisively says “Juan” like it’s a disease). And sometimes it’s just embarrassing to be an American like during the rest of the debate when people must think we’re all morons.

      • You can see the wheels turning in Newt’s maggot-infested braincase as Jaun Williams started asking the question. He looked full of glee when he realized just how far he could take his bullshit with that crowd, and that Juan Williams would be the one booed.

        Horrible horrible life form.

  16. These are the people who keep electing Batscat Bachmann. Despite the fact that 9 students have been driven to suicide by bullies over the last two years they actually want to make the environment more hostile for gay students, and straight students who are just accused of being gay, and make it harder for school staff to intervene in cases of bullying.

    • Homophobes luv them some bullying. We can’t be denying them their right to literally and figuratively beat up gay kids (or suspected gay kids). It just wouldn’t be Christian!

    • Shame. Shame. Shame on the “adults” for being poorly educated with not one ounce of compassion…just shame on them!
      They ARE stuck in the St. Ronnie era – believing Aids only affected the gay community.

      They need to get off the high horse and look at the world — the devastation Aids has visited on sub-Saharan Africa.
      In the early days governments attempted the same ignorant tactics as the MN are today: blame someone else; don’t allow education to prevail in attempting to stem the tide of the disease.
      Things are getting a bit better. Had there not been the denial and ignorance in the beginning the statistics wouldn’t look like this:

      The Impact of HIV & AIDS in Africa

      During 2010 alone, an estimated 1.2 million adults and children died as a result of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.2 Since the beginning of the epidemic more than 15 million Africans have died from AIDS.3

      • I realize the post was about allowing the bullying to continue – the adults have no compassion – that frightens me to the core. What the hell happened to our instinct of protecting our children?

        • For those asshole parents, the instinct to protect their children includes mowing down every other man, woman, and child in the vicinity — just in case.

        • The really alarming part is that similar groups have taken over school boards all over the country. These freaks aren’t just whining; they are setting policy. It’s the unholy union of religion and politics that makes my blood run cold.

  17. Sam Harris imagines what Mitt the Mormon would have to say to win over the base:

    “Let me make one thing absolutely clear to you: I believe what you believe. Your God is my God. I believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah and the Son of God, crucified for our sins, and resurrected for our salvation. And I believe that He will return to earth to judge the living and the dead.

    But my Church offers a further revelation: We believe that when Jesus Christ returns to earth, He will return, not to Jerusalem, or to Baghdad, but to this great nation—and His first stop will be Jackson County, Missouri. The LDS Church teaches that the Garden of Eden itself was in Missouri! Friends, it is a marvelous vision. Some Christians profess not to like this teaching. But I ask you, where would you rather the Garden of Eden be, in the great state of Missouri or in some hellhole in the Middle East?”

    • Well then the evangelicals can stop worrying about Israel and do their little rapture thingy right here.

    • This is funny. Truth be told, based on the fundies I know, the real hard core will never get behind Mitt.

    • I’ve been to Missouri, and it’s no garden of eden. More like the hillbilly ozarks…
      My maternal grandma’s people were from the hills south of Joplin…

  18. Zooey, I used your FB intro to post EV’s awesome post on Twitter. I’m such a thief I almost feel bad about it.

  19. Rachel Maddow alluded to this fact last week, I think, but I was fixing dinner and wasn’t listening too raptly so forgive me if you made this connection before I did: so it hit me this morning that a direct comparison can be made between Romney’s handling of his traveling dog’s bowel problem and the employees of the companies that Bain Capital put out of work… (He just hosed them off his vehicle and kept going…)

    That’s less than human.

  20. From TPM:

    A new PPP survey of likely Republican primary voters in Texas shows Rick Perry with the support of just 18 percent of respondents. That places the Texas governor third behind Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, who tally 24 and 23 percent respectively. That’s a huge drop in home state support for Perry, who led with 49 percent when PPP polled Texas in September.

    • Maybe Perry’s presidential run will ultimately be good for Texas as well and he won’t be elected as Governor again.

    • I know that Prayerry is stupid to the core and still has a bunch of other peoples money but I would still hope that he would have enough self-respect to bow out. He’s not even funny any more.

  21. Is anyone watching a teevee machine? What are they saying, if anything, about the WI recall?

    MSNBC online has absolutely nothing. Not even a “breaking news” banner with no story.

    • Nothing yet… The petitions are supposed to be delivered at 3 pm today Wisconsin time… 40 minutes away….

        • Some have been saying it’s over a million, but people in the know are disputing that number and not releasing it until 3 pm… It’s supposed to be a big show with the driving of a huge truck up to the Capitol.

  22. Predictions of what 2011 would look like as predicted by Ladies’ Home Journal in 1911:

    Some things are incredibly accurate, others not so much…

    “A university education will be free to every man and woman.”

    “Medical inspectors will visit every school and furnish poor children free eyeglasses, free dentistry and free medical attention of every kind. …free rides to school and free lunches…”
    (Damn Socialists!)

    We actually have started “spelling by sound”… texting, and twitter, with it’s limited characters are making that possible.

    “Americans will live to be 50 (!) instead of 35.”

    “Everyone will walk 10 miles. Those who cannot will be considered weaklings. (Exercise will be compulsory in schools.)*”

    “There will be air ships!”

    “Store purchases will be done by a series of tubes!” ( Not kidding! And not that far off… anyone?)

    • Interesting read. They got the phones and pictures by telegraph and all kinds of stuff – the food ones are interesting too. Would like to see one about the political situation, maybe rigths for women etc…

      • Not too far off of the Population of America…

        And we can sort of see around the world in a matter of minutes.

        And I always enjoy getting my opera by telephone… 😉

    • They took out teaching about unions and labor movements starting in the 80’s… and look what happened…

      • The really maddening part is that they are pushing to introduce the Bible into schools. No “themes of oppression” there (spit!).

    • A friend of mine posted this on Facebook yesterday. My question to him was “how long until the demographics shift enough that these bigots can be run out of town?”

      These really are the last gasps of Wasp culture in the Southwest. It won’t be very long at all until Arizona, New Mexico and Texas are majority Latino and all this bullshit can be overturned. I know the White Wing is trying hard to disenfranchise all these people but the numbers are against them.

      • I hope so. With our human fixation on traumatic events, it’s easy to forget that most revolutions occur with a sigh and a whimper. Still; we can’t forget that angry, frightened, desperate people can do really horrible things. That’s the danger.

  23. After four years of college, having used Excel precisely ONCE in my research class, I’m finally teaching myself Excel online.

    Lessons 1 and 2 are done. 🙂

    Tomorrow, Lessons 3 and 4.

        • Zooey is right, and this requirement doesn’t make a lot of sense for most work. We will be filling a position here in awhile and I know several people who can do the work perfectly — internal applicants. The last couple of times there have been openings these same people were knocked out during testing in Excel. From what was described to me, I couldn’t pass the test, not even close. The testing level far exceeds any of the work actually done in that position (or mine).

          The coordinator of the workgroup likes to be able to track group and individual projects but none of the previous coordinators ever did.

          • I still don’t understand why Microsoft hasn’t been broken up like “Ma Bell”. I get especially nervous when I see a government/military computer running Windows or (gasp!) DOS.

    • We are finally seeing some normal winter weather on the frozen tundra but still only have a dusting of snow. It’s currently 13 degrees and we might stay below zero on Thursday. A prolonged cold snap, without snow cover, is not good news though. It would add to the drought conditions and freeze roots. Despite the deniers wailing that “global warming is a hoax” we are still about 4 degrees above normal for the month and 6.5 degrees above normal since October 1st.

        • Yep. Cold without snow can be a real problem. At least the ice fishermen will finally be able to drag their shacks out and get drunk away from home! I might even try to catch a few perch from the local pond. They don’t get as big as the ones from the sloughs on the Mississippi but they sure are tasty.

          • Fresh caught perch, lightly fried. We used to gut them, scale them and fry them. Looked weird but tasted awesome.

            • I try to just keep those that are big enough to fillet and skin even if the fillets are smaller than frozen fish sticks. Perch are so sweet that I find the skin can make them a bit “fishy” for my taste. Either way, there are few things better than fresh perch from freezing water. I make a thin batter from equal parts flour, corn meal, and instant pancake mix with beer. No water, milk, or eggs. Then, and this is the secret part, I barely dip the fried fish in sweet-n-sour sauce.

              Damn! Where the Hell did I put my electric socks and long johns?

    • Well isn’t that just dandy. I’ve been focused on incoming snow here in Portland, but hadn’t seen anything about wind. The snow has been a dud so far, and I knew we would look like shmucks for chaining the buses this morning. Not expecting much until fairly late tonight and it may all be melted away by tomorrow afternoon. (knock wood)

      Stay away from trees, Zooey.

        • No he wasn’t – classic British stiff upper lip…. we’re replete with heroic failures and needless death as a nation. Besides who remembers the dude who beat Scott to the pole by a month and didn’t die on the way back….. (without resorting to Wikipedia)?

  24. Status report. Jane has pneumonia and will be out of work for the rest of the week.

    My computer got broken by a Microsoft update and is stuck in a boot loop. It’ll be worth the hundred bucks to get it fixed because it’s not something I could have done myself. (Contrast that with the first time I took my computer in to get a virus removed and the other computer repair place charged me over $200 just to re-install Windows Vista. Had I known that’s all he had to do, I could have done it myself. I did at least four or five times after that.)

    Jane’s problem wasn’t even a computer problem, it was a stupid Wayne problem. I thought she was using Microsoft Outlook, like I was. She was using Windows Live Mail, which still worked fine. Luckily the guy is cool enough to not charge for discovering a solution like that. She did have to miss writing her local newspaper column this week, but she should be well enough to get back to it next week. I can’t say right now if she’ll be well enough to sit at her computer to write Thursday’s Watering Hole.

    (Wayne, via Jane’s computer)

    • A hearty “get well” to Jane. Pneumonia is miserable. I’ve had four bouts and figure I’m susceptible because my parents were heavy smokers even though I’ve never been a smoker, aside from a few cigars a year, myself. One of my doctors told me I had “walking pneumonia”. I said: “Good. You take the pneumonia and I’ll take a walk”. Pass it along if Jane is feeling well enough to laugh.

  25. Peter Beinart absolutely nails Newt’s tone-deafness on calling Obama the “food stamp” president:

    “I’m sure Gingrich also sees nothing offensive in calling Obama the “food stamp” president. After all, under Obama the number of people using food stamps has gone up! So because Alan Greenspan presided over predatory lending policies by banks, perhaps we should have called him the “Shylock” chairman of the Federal Reserve. And if child molestations by priests rise on this administration’s watch, perhaps we should call Joseph Biden the “pedophilia” vice president.

    Gingrich would never use those phrases, of course, because he’s familiar enough with Jews and Catholics to understand why they’d find them offensive. But for Gingrich—a veteran politician from the state of Georgia, speaking at a debate in South Carolina on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday—not to understand why calling the first African-American in the Oval Office the “food stamp” president would offend African-Americans is simply amazing. The most plausible explanation is that Gingrich inhabits a cultural and intellectual bubble. A bubble called the Republican Party.”

  26. Ok, Turtle is heading out into the West Coast Mess before the Convergence Zone kicks in…. have to find a bus to get home.

  27. And the building maintenance guy appears to be spending a heck of a lot of time in my bathroom dealing with a slow-draining sink. If I hear screams, I’m taking off.

  28. And so it begins.

    I’m listening to our progressive radio station and just heard the first campaign commercial of the season. It’s from a PAC, features Batscat Bachmann, and extols the virtues of Newt. Of course, they were careful to say that Newt has nothing to do with them. Makes me want to puke.

  29. Mittens says he might release his tax records in April.

    Right. So he can release his 2011 tax records that will certainly show beaucoup charitable donations — not the shenanigans we might find on his 2010 tax records.

  30. I ran out of replies, Zooey. Yes. Electric socks are an ice fisherman’s best friend. They are heavy wool socks with heating elements that run on a 9 volt battery. I didn’t need them when I was younger but my circulation isn’t what is once was.

    • I wondered when this card would be played, and I’m glad it was one of their own.

      Callista knowingly fucked a married man for eight years, but now stands on stages behind Newt as if she’s due the same respect as Michelle Obama. Both she and Newt sicken me — and not just because of this issue. Their mutual infidelities are the least of the Gingrich horror story.

        • She’s smart enough to keep ahold of Newt by the short and curlies, and to have the benefit of a $500K charge account at Tiffany’s, just in case he wanders.

        • pete, you are a really nice and smart guy but you really aren’t that naive are you?

          • Nah. It’s just that I’ve never seen any sign of character or humanity from the woman and I can’t imagine Newt being able to hack a woman with character or humanity. I realize that she stole another woman’s husband but I’ve never seen anything that suggests she realizes it.

          • I’m also freaking out a little at the prospect of 24 hours without Wikipedia. I don’t really want to go ice fishing but I might run out of diversions!

            • I was in 4th grade the first time I ever went ice fishing, on Lake Champlain. My Dad and I went out, armed with an axe to chop through the ice, which turned out to be about 3 feet thick. By the time we had a hole through which to fish, we also had a 6 foot wide crater, full of water, around the little hole. I’ll give my Dad credit, he didn’t give up, but he was a little pissed off.

            • Raven, I think I was about 4 years old the first time I went ice fishing. I still have a sneaking suspicion that Dad pulled the sled so that I would venture ahead of him and make sure the ice was “safe”. While parts of the river would get to three feet there were always soft spots due to the current. I was 13 when he bought me an auger for Christmas. Well he claimed it was my present but, since he never drilled another hole in his life, I figure it was really HIS present.

            • I had a deprived childhood. My Dad never took me out ice fishing. When I was older he told me if you want to go freeze your butt off go right ahead.

    • From that article:

      “If we win on Saturday, I think I will be the nominee,” Gingrich said during a town hall meeting with voters in Florence, S.C. “I’m the only conservative who realistically has a chance to be the nominee.”

      I think the word is “delusional.”

  31. CHART: Timeline Of Major Websites Joining SOPA Blackout

    It’s showing WordPress joining — have any of those in charge of theZoo been informed?

    • Looks as if you have a choice about this:

      More importantly, we are making it possible for you to participate in the protest. There are two options: a “Stop Censorship” ribbon and a full blackout. The blackout portion will be in effect January 18 from 8am to 8pm EST, while the ribbon will be displayed until January 24. Here’s how to join in:

      • Those in charge of theZoo can opt to have the supportive ribbon on the blog..thus participating and still have the place ‘open for business’.

    • I don’t want to take this place dark without anyone else knowing what’s going on.

      I’ll have info by 8 p.m. PT

      • Bless you for a considerate Zookeeper. But I think everyone could survive a 12 hour blackout. BTW, my vote as a Zooster is go for the blackout.

  32. As a Zooster of somewhat questionable standing my 2 cents worth is if you believe in something, do it. Don’t piddle around, don’t play games. If this 12 hour blackout is going to mean anything, it has to be a full black out. Let everyone know just what this Internet thing means to them. Personally I think 12 hours isn’t enough to drive the message home.

  33. This protect IP bill would have a huge negative impact on businesses. If you have a business and you don’t have a webpage, then you lost business. Most of my clients find me by using search engines. They visit my website, schedule appointments via my website, purchase gift certificates at my web site, find out about the services offered etc… . And I am just a tiny business. There are so many items that are purchased via the web that messing with the IP addresses will put these businesses OUT OF BUSINESS. And then there is all the banking and bill paying via the net.

    • The bill is about controlling the web. And invoking a huge unintended consequences aspect. Shutting down the Internet will crash the world economy within 12 hours.

  34. Should SOPA and/or PIPA become the law of the land; I wonder how many Republican’s websites would get shut down for hosting copyrighted material? We all know that they have a habit of using music without the artists’ permission.

  35. Okay all, we’re going black tomorrow, January 18, 2012 between 8AM and 8PM EST. The black ribbon will be on all the pages until January 24.

    I’ll miss you, but this is important. 🙂

  36. This is all very inspiring. My logger buddies have decided we are all going out tomorrow armed with chainsaws and smiles and do community service; removing downed trees from the roads, pulling cars from ditches, and, of course, rescuing any damsels in distress we may encounter. Hurricane force winds are predicted tonight and tomorrow for the offshore waters. Right now the rain is hammering down so hard on my little polyethylene tent I’m putting the earplugs in.

    • When I was a little (a lot actually) younger we used to wander the neighborhood with our chainsaws or snow blowers, depending on whether we were hit by a tornado or a blizzard, and commit random acts of kindness. I lived, at the time, about a half mile from my nearest neighbor but just about everyone within three miles was well over 60. Mrs. Reynolds, depending on season, would always greet us with ice cold beer or hot buttered rum. Then, as often as not, she would drink us under the table!

      • I was not so little, once upon a time, putting aluminum siding on a house in Florence, Wisconsin; where the homeowner daily invited me in for hot toddies.
        Wearing a kimono.
        I don’t remember her name, but I do remember the kimono.

        • Never realized how dangerous it was to put up siding, in WI, or to clear sidewalks in MN…

          • I’ve always been a little slow on the uptake, and somewhat naive.
            I held course, back and forth along the icy plank, freezing fingers gripping the hammer and the tiny little nails.
            Somehow that seemed safer… ;>

    • If the captain had been acting under “union mentality”, or the code of ethics that true mariners operate under, he would still be in that ship somewhere, having died trying to get whomever he could out of the wreck. I worked on merchant marine vessels, I know, and I can say that the cruise ship captain acted more like a corporate CEO.

  37. Per the LA Times:

    The Internet’s biggest power players, including Google, Facebook and YouTube, were planning to stay up and running, but the shutdown of the other sites and the ensuing anxiety underscored the breadth and influence of the world’s Internet companies, as well as Americans’ dependence on them.

  38. Goodnight, nwoldguy & crickets.

    See you Zoosters sometime after 8 p.m. ET, if the interwebs haven’t collapsed without us. 🙂

  39. I guess I will totter off to bed. The Snowmageddon has failed to appear and I managed to post my little tidbits of information on the Intertubes without breaking anything. I think I’m actually supposed to hand off at 12:30 but I live dangerously.

    I guess I will converse with you all tomorrow evening. Be safe.

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