Open Thread – Memorial Day Q&A

Q: What kind of assholes makes their low-paid workers work on Memorial Day?

A: The “property management company” (read: “lawn mowers”) who mow my neighbor’s yard with two industrial-strength mowers at a time.

Share your first world problems, or anything else in this open thread.






180 replies
  1. 1

    You know, I feel bad, because we’re having our windows washed in the house today. It wasn’t necessarily my choice, they were scheduled for a month ago and I had to reschedule the appointment. When the guy said “May 27” over the phone, I did say, “You know that’s Memorial Day, right? You guys aren’t working, are you?” And he said, Oh. Wow, it sure is, isn’t it? Well yeah, we’re working because we have other clients booked that day, too.

    So … I guess I’m the asshole today for saying OK but I was open to doing this another day.

  2. 2
    Punchy says:

    Ya think those workers are making 2x their salary for working on a national holly?

  3. 3

    Also, it’s the Tennessee Gun Report. Not too much lunacy and bloodshed since the last report, but enough.

  4. 4
    Cacti says:

    My 7-year-old had one of the best ever “first world problems” this weekend.

    Saturday evening, I felt like making surf and turf for dinner, so the missus picked up steak and shrimp from the grocery store.

    When my son asked what was for dinner, I told him, and he replied…

    “I hate steak and shrimp.”

  5. 5
    different-church-lady says:

    @Punchy:

    Ya think those workers are making 2x their salary for working on a national holly?

    What a quaint, 20th century notion.

  6. 6
    Cassidy says:

    My son got upset that he had to turn off the Xbox and stop playing Skylanders.

  7. 7
    cathyx says:

    Q: What kind of assholes makes their low-paid workers work on Memorial Day?

    Mine.

  8. 8
    cathyx says:

    Will anyone go shopping today? Thank a minimum wage worker for that.

  9. 9
    gene108 says:

    Got into a conversation with my brother yesterday about politics and the economy.

    For whatever reason he really thinks the private sector will be the harbinger of prosperity, but they are holding back from investing because of a lack of confidence with Obama.

    I’ve developed a strong distrust of the private sector. I think if the rich make some money, you may lap up the crumbs and government is needed to keep things from getting out of whack.

    He’s worked in IT product development for various banks or financial service firms. I’ve worked for a small IT company, mostly focused on staffing.

    I’m not sure how we’ve come to such opposite conclusions about the economy and politics.

    I don’t think we’re 180 degrees, apart, we just don’t line up completely.

    Anybody else experience this sort of disconnect with people they are close to?

  10. 10
    JoyceH says:

    I lost my best friend on Friday. Sweetest, most beautiful dog in the world.

    http://joyceharmon.wordpress.c.....to-maggie/

  11. 11
    Brendan in NC says:

    Same here – heard the leaf blowers at full song, and someone with one trudging up the stairs to my doorr to blow off the front stoop.

  12. 12
    Cacti says:

    @gene108:

    For whatever reason he really thinks the private sector will be the harbinger of prosperity, but they are holding back from investing because of a lack of confidence with Obama.

    The private sector’s been doing just fine, as evidenced by the 15,000+ DJIA. The problem is the same as it has been for the past 30 years…none of that prosperity has made its way down to the working people.

  13. 13
    Eric U. says:

    the private sector has really been hiring pretty strongly. The real problem is that the austerians have forced job cuts in the public sector. If we manage to get at least some of those jobs back the economy will take off for all of us

    I think the kind of people that would be holding off on growth because they didn’t trust Obama either go out of business or get carried along for the ride anyway. A lot more people are just being cautious, and I can’t say I blame them much

  14. 14
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @JoyceH:

    Sorry to hear about your loss.

    [hug]

  15. 15
    Origuy says:

    So this happened last night. I heard the shots, but my housemates didn’t, so I tried to convince myself it was firecrackers. Then I heard the sirens a few minutes later. When I went out for burritos two hours later, the police had the road outside my townhouse complex blocked off. Two teenage boys were dead. The article I linked to still doesn’t give their names, but the comments do. The Facebook page of one of them shows him flashing gang signs. Crazy.

  16. 16

    @Punchy:

    Ya think those workers are making 2x their salary for working on a national holly?

    No. Chances are they aren’t legally employed, so their employer isn’t going to have any compunctions about overtime.

  17. 17
    jenn says:

    @JoyceH: I’m so sorry about Maggie. She was beautiful! How wonderful though, that she was able to be happy and active until so close to the end, and that you were able to be there with her. Best wishes!

  18. 18
  19. 19
    Punchy says:

    @Origuy: Are we as a society supposed to feel sad when a gangstah dies? Or indifferent? Cuz it’s real hard to do the former knowing they chose that lifestyle.

  20. 20
    Elizabelle says:

    @JoyceH:

    So sorry, Joyce. Lovely dog.

  21. 21
    Phylllis says:

    My employer. Of course, it’s too sacred a holiday to have the regular school board monthly meeting tonight, per the board chair. That’s been postponed to tomorrow night.

  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @JoyceH:

    Your blog memorial to Maggie made me cry … and laugh. And the photos, from puppyhood to hanging out with the cats to BEING (well, trying to be) a cat, are all wonderful. What an adorable puppy and beautiful dog. I share your sorrow.

    This may not be the time/place, but I do hope you have another mystery in the works. I loved Died on the Vine and Bidding on Death, and really hope there are more to come.

    In the meantime, though, big hugs.

  23. 23
    Corner Stone says:

    @Punchy:

    Cuz it’s real hard to do the former knowing they chose that lifestyle.

    They were 14 and 15.

  24. 24
    raven says:

    I’ve been a vet for 45 years and I can only recall one or two veterans day that I had off. Sure, I took annual leave on many but still.

    eta But in all fairness my wife does get Confederate Memorial Day off.

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    @Eric U.:

    The real problem is that the austerians have forced job cuts in the public sector.

    I think we should carefully examine the public sector job losses. IMO it’s not easy to pin it to the forehead of one specific group.

  26. 26
    Punchy says:

    @Corner Stone: Im not understanding how that matters. So 15 yr olds cant be in gangs? He flashed gang symbols in photos by mistake?

  27. 27
    greennotGreen says:

    I’ve worked on Christmas day before, and I did it because it was easier than taking the day off. I’d prefer to take the time off when it’s advantageous to me rather than when it falls on the calendar. And don’t give me this, “But you should be honoring our war dead.” What, with burgers and a brewsky? I’d rather honor them by working and voting to try to avoid wars in the future so we don’t have any more war dead.

  28. 28
    TG Chicago says:

    I don’t think you should complain about “making them work” so much as not giving them a paid holiday.

    Assuming they weren’t getting a paid holiday, many of them might have preferred to bring the money in rather than sit around fretting about how to pay the bills when their paycheck will be short this week.

  29. 29
    Short Bus Bully says:

    Anyone considering going out to eat today? The ENTIRE food service industry works today and every fucking holiday you can imagine.

    Paid holidays? AHAHAHAHAHA!!

  30. 30
    Origuy says:

    @Punchy:
    I don’t know if they were actually in a gang, or if he was flashing signs because he thought they were cool. This neighborhood doesn’t have a lot of gang activity, although it’s close to some that do.

  31. 31

    @Corner Stone:
    This. Unfortunately, state level spending cuts are pretty much mandatory, because states are required to balance their budgets, and that’s where most of the austerity has been. They austerians have managed to prevent more stimulus spending and more federal aid to the states, but they’re at most indirectly responsible.

  32. 32
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I saw a funny a few minutes ago. My apartment complex is a haven for squirrels. They’re pretty fearless (and/or stupid) and I’m always careful when I drive through the place because they’re quite likely to just sit down in the middle of the road and chill for a while. Anyhow, I was heading out and saw, just a-sittin’ and a-chillin’, a smallish squirrel with A HUGE BAGEL in its mouth. I tapped the horn, squirrel adjusted the bagel with its paws and managed to stagger off. Wish I had had the presence of mind to pull over, get out the iPad, and take a photo, but I know the squirrel would have been long gone by then. But it was a wondrous sight to see.

  33. 33
    Schlemizel says:

    My kid is working his job as a customer service rep for one of the wireless giants. Being its a holiday and everything he is being paid double-time and a half. That is not horrible

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    @Punchy: I don’t feel it’s as easy a demarcation as you do.
    How many stupid decisions did you make when you were 14? Ever go along with something stupid because you were bored, or wanted to fit in, or couldn’t say no and still safely walk away?
    My guess is if you asked the average 14 year old male in an urban setting, or hell, nowadays in a rural one as well, what it means to be in a gang or be a gangmember you’d get language that indicated the “in group” or family, sense of belonging, etc.

  35. 35

    @JoyceH:

    Ohhh so sorry for your loss. I hate losing a furry friend. Their lives are just too short.

  36. 36
    MikeJ says:

    @Corner Stone:

    How many stupid decisions did you make when you were 14?

    14 year olds are brain damaged. Their brains are literally defective compared to those of an adult.

  37. 37
    Yatsuno says:

    @MikeJ: This is why we’re (supposed) to have a juvenile justice system. Teenage brains aren’t fully wired yet and can’t totally absorb the consequences of their decisions. Throw in hormones and everything goes ungestuppt.

  38. 38
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    I was supposed to work today. If you consider going to the airport and flying from Detroit to Hermosillo work. I volunteered for it, though. Paperwork snafus robbed me of 10 hours of sweet 1.5X OT pay. To say nothing of the free mini pretzels.

  39. 39
    jeffreyw says:

    Those bastards at Verizon deleted the OCR app in my Galaxy S4 phone to make room for a GPS app that duplicates the included free Google Nav app. The Verizon Navigator app is $5/m.

  40. 40
    AWJ says:

    Hollywood to United States Government: “Legalize ransomware!”

  41. 41

    @jeffreyw:
    This is why I got a Nexus phone (Galaxy Nexus). The carrier isn’t allowed to load it up with their crapware.

  42. 42
    Hungry Joe says:

    Yesterday somebody thought I parked too close to his truck, so he keyed my car, then climbed up on the roof and stomped some dents into it. (The fading Obama sticker might have sent him over the edge.) The good news: A witness left me a note with his contact info, the guy’s license plate #, and a description of the truck. Very nice, very professional policewoman came to the house, took my statement, checked out the car, kept the note for evidence. The wheels of justice begin to turn. CSI San Diego!

  43. 43
    Nicole says:

    I worked for over a decade at a facility that was open 365 days a year. I had over a decade of never getting a summer holiday off, because I was working virtually every weekend and holiday, since those were the days the public had free, and so they’d come to visit in the largest numbers, of course. If you were a seasonal worker (which could mean working 46 of the 52 weeks; they would lay you off for six weeks every year so they didn’t have to offer anything toward health insurance), the ones actually taking tickets and talking to the public, after four consecutive years of working for this place, you would get time-and-a-half on the holidays. The full time, managerial staff, who had benefits and an office with air conditioning, of course, got a paid holiday off. This was a not-for-profit place.

    If we want everyone to have Memorial Day off, we’d have to be content with staying home all day. But it would be nice if there were laws about pay for those who have to work holidays so the rest of us can get out and get some entertainment on our days off.

    Speaking of, back to work (freelance, though, so at least it’s my choice)…

  44. 44
    TG Chicago says:

    From an email I got today:

    Townhall Magazine has long been a strong voice and top leader in the world of conservative politics. And now, in remembrance of our country’s heroes, we’re going to give you the extremely limited chance to get a year of this great publication for only $19.99!

    Do they really think it’s appropriate to shill their rag “in remembrance of” soldiers who have died in service?

  45. 45
    cathyx says:

    @Hungry Joe: You are a very lucky person.

  46. 46
    pokeyblow says:

    Not to pick on Obama (this time), but I heard on the radio that he is spending time today with “Gold Star” families, who have lost a loved one in a recent war.

    “Gold Star Families?” WTF? Jesus, we are a fucking stupid country.

  47. 47
    AdamK says:

    I was trying to take a nap yesterday, and a damn chipmunk started up this incessant chirping right outside my bedroom window. Goddamn chipmunk.

  48. 48
    jeffreyw says:

    @Roger Moore: Alas, Verizon is the only viable choice in this area. I do love my Nexus 7.

  49. 49
    Eric U. says:

    two of my relatives have recently had parking lot related hit-and-run incidents. One had too many witnesses with conflicting reports so the cops are too confused to find the perpetrator.

  50. 50
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    “Star-Spangled Nails” —
    You’ve got some “Star-Spangled” nails in your coffin, kid.
    That’s what they’ve done for you, son.

    -Richard Brautigan

  51. 51
    Eric U. says:

    @Corner Stone: there are very few non-austerians at any level of government, unfortunately. Dems are not off the hook on this one, for sure. That’s why I didn’t say Republcians, although they deserve the bulk of the blame.

  52. 52
    Violet says:

    @Hungry Joe: Wow, that’s amazing! I’d love to hear an update on your case if you ever get a result. What a crazy person to do something like that.

  53. 53
    Corner Stone says:

    @pokeyblow: What’s the issue here? You disagree with the name, or the group it refers to, or ?

  54. 54
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    If Kos is to be believed, the Wingularity is uncomfortably close if not actually here. Well, we’ve been predicting this for a long time. Sigh.

  55. 55

    Oh, FFS. I write a comment blogwhoring and it disappears (the comment, not the blog). I am sad. Now watch it turns up, and I look particularly shameless for mentioning it twice. But if anyone wants to read a new blog with only five posts and offer any feedback, I’d really appreciate it. As I mentioned in the first (seemingly lost) comment, the writing muscles are kind of atrophied, but anyway. Click my name.

    Fuck, I’m needy sometimes.

    Speaking of whoring, though:

    @TG Chicago:

    Do they really think it’s appropriate to shill their rag “in remembrance of” soldiers who have died in service?

    It’s always appropriate for them to shill. Those rubes aren’t going to fleece themselves, you know.

  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @pokeyblow: This is something that dates back to WWI. It has no relation to getting a gold star on homework like kids do in school.

  57. 57
    pokeyblow says:

    @Corner Stone: The name. You get a gold star when you are eight and do well on a quiz, and also when your kid/spouse/parent is blown up fighting to avenge the embarrassment of GWB’s pussy father.

    Infantile.

  58. 58
    pokeyblow says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I am aware of the history. I disagree that there is no relation.

    Your child is killed in Iraq, and you get a gold star. What purpose does that serve? Other than bullshit-spreading?

    Just because something predates 1980, say, doesn’t mean it’s not ridiculous.

  59. 59
    trollhattan says:

    Have worked at two our our fine nation’s top ten engineering firms. Here’s a list of paid holidays both had between New Year’s Day and Fourth of July.

    [SFX crickets]

    Am enjoying the day off, droning leaf blowers notwithstanding.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @pokeyblow: Since the gold star flag thing probably predates gold star stickers for homework, your argument should be with using the thing in schools.

    ETA: So basically, you disagree with the idea of families displaying service flags? There is no obligation to do it and I think that families have every right to commemorate the service of family members if they choose to do so.

  61. 61

    @pokeyblow:

    “Gold Star Families?” WTF?

    It’s a pretty old tradition, dating back at least to WWI. Families with members in the armed forces during wartime fly a flag with one blue star for each family member who is serving. If a family member dies in the service, the blue star is changed to gold, so “gold star families” is a shorthand for families who have lost a member in wartime service. Before you mock others, it’s good to learn something about what you’re talking about.

  62. 62
    trollhattan says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    God, some people suck. Good luck, I hope they find time to do something about the bastard before he unleashes his second amendment on somebody. Anger management, stat.

  63. 63
    raven says:

    @Roger Moore: My dad kept mine and gave it to me and it’s right here.

  64. 64
    pokeyblow says:

    @Roger Moore: Yes, I know. I looked into it before posting.

    What does a gold star accomplish? About as much as Sean Hannity does every time he unctuously says “thank you for your service” to someone whose life and safety he doesn’t give a shit about.

  65. 65
    lojasmo says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    A few weeks ago, I saw a medium sized squirrel carry an entire large red delicious apple up a tree.

  66. 66
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I assume you’re posting that in full realization that it’s fake.

  67. 67
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @pokeyblow:

    What does a gold star accomplish?

    Why don’t you ask a family that chooses to display one? It is for them, not for you.

  68. 68
    raven says:

    Caroline’s Spine

    Sullivans

    Home
    Uncle Sam will send you a telegram,
    so he doesn’t have to tell you over the phone.
    I heard she cracked up when she found what the war had cost.
    All five of her boys were lost.
    Say goodbye Mrs. Sullivan don’t you cry.
    “…we regret to inform you all your sons have passed away.”
    All five…
    So change your blue star to gold.

  69. 69
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Don’t try to reason with that stupid cocksucker.

  70. 70

    @jeffreyw:

    Alas, Verizon is the only viable choice in this area.

    Are they no longer offering the Galaxy Nexus?

  71. 71
    MikeJ says:

    @raven:

    Don’t try to reason with that stupid cocksucker.

    Come on now, that’s uncalled for. Cocksuckers perform a valuable service.

  72. 72
    pokeyblow says:

    Well, folks disagree with me. I think it’s an insult to trade a loved one for a slogan, ribbon, sticker, star, license-plate design, or whatever.

    But if it makes folks happy, and provides what some take as compensation for their loss, let them enjoy it.

  73. 73
    pokeyblow says:

    raven, you have a foul mouth.

    Shame on you.

  74. 74
    lojasmo says:

    @Corner Stone:

    My guess is if you asked the average 14 year old male in an urban setting, or hell, nowadays in a rural one as well, what it means to be in a gang or be a gangmember you’d get language that indicated the “in group” or family, sense of belonging, etc.

    That is an astoundingly naive POV. I live in a community of 100K, and our son is very sheltered, and he knew about gangs and gang activity at the age of 14. He also knew not to flash gang signs around (but probably didn’t know any actual gang signs)

  75. 75
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Pinkamena Panic: I though it probably was, but it’s one of those plausible-enough-to-be-true things. That’s why I weaseled with “If Kos is to be believed….”

  76. 76
    Violet says:

    @pokeyblow: Have you spoken with a variety of Gold Star Families, perhaps representing a variety of wars and eras? Check with them, see what they think. If they want to change the name, then you have a point. If they’re happy with the name, then there doesn’t seem to be a problem.

    Feel free to let them know you think the name of their organization is stupid. That will no doubt be of great interest to them.

  77. 77
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @pokeyblow:

    I think it’s an insult to trade a loved one for a slogan, ribbon, sticker, star, license-plate design, or whatever.

    They didn’t trade a loved one for anything. Christ. Do you also think that people traded their loved ones for tombstones?

    @raven: Sorry.

  78. 78

    @pokeyblow:
    Service flags were created during an era of popular (i.e. involving the whole populace) wars. They were a way of proving that your family was doing its part for the war effort and not shirking service. The gold star was proof of the ultimate sacrifice for the war effort. Mock at your own risk.

  79. 79
    gogol's wife says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    I love that you parked “too close to his truck.” Because his truck was probably one of those big-a** things that takes up more than a parking space, right?

  80. 80
    gelfling545 says:

    @Punchy: I’ve known a lot of gangsters and many who got killed. That sounds like a crazy thing for an old white lady to say but it’s true. Too many of my kids went that way and for a lot there was precious little “choice” of lifestyle. You may be as indifferent as you please. I wept for every one of them.

  81. 81
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Don’t you realise, it’s all about him. Pokey’s a special snowflake

  82. 82
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    Why are so many of you responding to a known troll?

  83. 83
    idahoflaneuse says:

    @JoyceH:

    I am so sorry for you loss. I hope the memories of all the good years together helps

  84. 84
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Pinkamena Panic: It’s rainy here.

  85. 85
    gogol's wife says:

    @JoyceH:

    I’m really sorry. She was very beautiful.

  86. 86
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    And upon careful re-reading, I see all kinds of clues that I was uncaffeinated enough to miss on first reading. Sorry, all. It’s really kind of amazing I didn’t send John money for a Balloon Juice subscription back in, oh, sometime in early April.

  87. 87
    Mandalay says:

    @pokeyblow:

    What does a gold star accomplish?

    That’s a bit like asking why people bother keeping photos of their children when they were babies. That doesn’t “accomplish” anything either.

    (Or am I being trolled?)

  88. 88
    gogol's wife says:

    @Mandalay:

    You are being trolled.

  89. 89
    pokeyblow says:

    @Roger Moore: Good point. You demonstrate that the Romneys, for example, are simply ineligible for Gold Star status. How unfair to them.

  90. 90
    pokeyblow says:

    @Mandalay: I don’t see any relationship whatsoever to baby photos.

  91. 91
    lojasmo says:

    @pokeyblow:

    Way to slag on families of fallen servicemembers on Memorial Day.

    You are the epitome of class.

  92. 92
    Citizen_X says:

    The gold star is a signal to most of us that we should show some respect.

    Apparently, some of us take it as a signal to show your ass.

  93. 93

    @Pinkamena Panic:

    Why are so many of you responding to a known troll?

    Because the site upgrade broke Cleek’s Pie Filter.

  94. 94
    pokeyblow says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Your kid enlists, because he/she doesn’t have a $50MM trust fund. George Bush says “Fuck Saddam, we’re taking him out.” Your kid is blown up by an IED planted by someone whose brother was killed by a shock-and-awe bomb.

    You are now a Gold Star parent.

    Later, you watch W at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, on film joking about looking for WMD under couch cushions.

    All’s good.

  95. 95
    Corner Stone says:

    @lojasmo:

    That is an astoundingly naive POV. I live in a community of 100K, and our son is very sheltered, and he knew about gangs and gang activity at the age of 14. He also knew not to flash gang signs around (but probably didn’t know any actual gang signs)

    Wow.
    I’m actually speechless.
    Thanks for…uh..this.

  96. 96
    pokeyblow says:

    @lojasmo: At least I don’t threaten to kill my colleagues.

  97. 97
    Redshift says:

    @Roger Moore:

    They austerians have managed to prevent more stimulus spending and more federal aid to the states, but they’re at most indirectly responsible.

    I think it’s misleading to say that. To people who are not devoted to denying previously commonplace economic knowledge (i.e., austerians), it’s completely commonplace for the federal government to funnel money to the states during an economic downturn so they don’t have to lay off workers and make it worse. The effects are one step removed, but the responsibility is not.

  98. 98
    jeffreyw says:

    @Roger Moore: I don’t see it in their lineup. Does it handle LTE? I require that as well as wifi hotspot. Two year contract renders that moot, anyway. I waited until the HTC rumor was squashed and then jumped onto the S4. Good phone even with all the crapware.

  99. 99
    JoyceH says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    This may not be the time/place, but I do hope you have another mystery in the works. I loved Died on the Vine and Bidding on Death, and really hope there are more to come.

    Thanks! Complimenting a writer on their writing is never out of time or place.

    I do intend to return someday to the Passatonnack Winery, but right now I’m working on a Regency romance. I always loved the books of Georgette Heyer, and she’s not writing any more, so I’m giving it a shot.

    Though right now I’m going to spend a few days just letting myself deteriorate before I pull myself back together.

  100. 100
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:

    Yesterday I got into a spat with someone on the book of faces because I didn’t consider Robert E. Lee particularly honorable (I may have used the words “treason” and “traitor”), and the other person had the nerve to bring up Benghazi. It did not end well.

  101. 101
    MikeJ says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Because the site upgrade broke Cleek’s Pie Filter.

    There is a newer version up that works now.

  102. 102
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @pokeyblow:

    All’s good.

    I have no idea where you get that idea. If a family wants to use a service flag to commemorate their loved one’s military service, what concern is it of yours? The fact the George W. Bush was a classless asshole does not make a family’s loss less real. Further, I think it is a good idea that the President spend Memorial Day with families who have lost loved ones; people who have the power to start wars should be aware of the costs.

  103. 103
    Violet says:

    How many of you and how many folks in your neighborhoods have put up an American flag today? My neighbors did–one of them anyway. Neighborhood is really quiet today. I think people might be out of town.

  104. 104
    raven says:

    @Roger Moore: But there is a block thingy that works for me, I had just forgotten about it.

  105. 105
    raven says:

    @JoyceH: Sweet baby.

    We who choose to surround ourselves
    with lives even more temporary than our
    own, live within a fragile circle;
    easily and often breached.
    Unable to accept its awful gaps,
    we would still live no other way.
    We cherish memory as the only
    certain immortality, never fully
    understanding the necessary plan.
    — Irving Townsend

  106. 106
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Violet:

    Flag is up! My sister is a fanatic about displaying the flag. I don’t know what has come over her, she never used to be like this, but she leaves reminders for herself to display the flag on a list of recommended dates.

  107. 107
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS):

    Like you didn’t see that coming right up Broadway. Dissing the great hero of the Confederacy leads to some neo-Confederate shitstain railing about Benghazi. Whocoodanode?

  108. 108

    @MikeJ:

    There is a newer version up that works now.

    I’m actually running it, but the upgrade deleted my list of trolls, so I have to add them back one by one as they annoy me. Pokeyblows hadn’t been added yet.

  109. 109
    Hungry Joe says:

    I did indeed park close to his big-ass truck — because he parked askew, his front wheels well over the line, and the spot next to him was the only one available. As I walked away I glanced at it and thought, “Kinda tight, but what the hell,” because he had plenty of room to get in on the right side if it came to that, and he was the one over the line. My car is a ’97 Camry, a real beater that I can’t get rid of because it just keeps running perfectly, but the paint is flaking and it has 288 scratches (now including four fresh keyed scratches), 81 scrapes, and a couple of dents (now featuring a partially stomped-in roof). I’m hoping he’ll have to pay to get the whole thing smoothed out and re-painted — pimp my ride on his dime.

  110. 110
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hungry Joe: Kind of a nutjob to have an out of control temper like that.
    You don’t happen to live in MN, do you?

  111. 111

    @JoyceH: Beautiful Maggie. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  112. 112
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @pokeyblow: pokeyblow blows. Here’s a collapsible shovel just like the ones that are used to dig “foxholes”. Keep digging and thanks for the reminder that I don’t want you in mine.

  113. 113
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Your typical teatard. Duh.

  114. 114
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yeah, I should have seen in coming when the person started in with the statement “you must be one of those people who has fallen for the propaganda that the Civil War was about slavery …” All of my heads/All of my desks.

  115. 115
    MobiusKlein says:

    Nurses, Doctors, Cops, Firemen.
    Prison Guards, Soldiers, Air Traffic Controllers, Plumbers. (yes, holidays are big for backed up sewer lines)
    Baseball players, concession stand workers, and prostitutes.

    And don’t forget mothers of newborns – the work does not follow bank holidays.

    Life is work, and that is why we should honor it.

  116. 116
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    I’d be very surprised to find out that this rageoholic roof stomper was a stranger to the cops. If parking proximity sent him over the edge, he’s probably got 9 toes dangling to start with.

  117. 117
    gogol's wife says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I wonder if the discussion was prompted by the very interesting article in the NYTimes yesterday about how many of our Army bases are named after Confederate traitor generals.

  118. 118

    @Hungry Joe:
    People like that don’t deserve to have nice stuff. I say that not in the sense of “I hope somebody messes up his truck” but in the sense of “it’s inevitable that his truck will get messed up if he behaves that way”. Naturally, he’ll blame everyone but himself for the damage whose root cause is his inability to park his oversized phallic symbol.

  119. 119
    Arm The Homeless says:

    Well, I went to work today because temp employees don’t get time off and I didn’t want to spend time over the weekend having to pretend to work, but I digress.

    I will instead focus on the metric ass load of good news from the past two weeks:

    The future spousal unit was offered a contract for a time limited instructors position, which sort of calmed her fears she would never be hired.

    My thesis was accepted and is being prepared for submittal to US Fish and Wildlife and the Corps of Engineers. I also have an interview with the regional water management district tomorrow for an underpaid and over worked position that has been open for months. Probably due to the previously mentioned suckitude, but I ain’t gonna’ complaisance a full time gig is a nice step up from indentured servitude.

    The future spousal unit also informed me that we will be getting a dog before the end of the year. That’s cool, even if the breed is entirely in her hands. Happy Memorial Day everyone!

  120. 120
    trollhattan says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    There’s a substantial subset of truck owners who mistake their eff-two-fiddys for Ferraris (they’re easy to spot, too). Rarely are they working trucks, mostly ill-handling pimpmobiles.

    At my last job we had one such individual, who would take FIVE spots in the office parking lot with his truck. I’d have never thought it possible but by gawd, he got their early to meet a field crew and parked it just so. No idea why the property management let him get away with it.

  121. 121

    @MobiusKlein:
    You can add anyone who has to look after animals to your list. Or living cells, for that matter; most of the biologists I know will have to come to work for at least a little while to look after their cells.

  122. 122
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:

    @gogol’s wife: actually, it was related to a discussion about Washington & Lee U.

  123. 123
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @Punchy: I had to mow a lawn today, and I didn’t get double time.

    Of course, it was my own lawn, but still… ;)

  124. 124
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    I’m supposed to be doing yard work today, re-seeding a dried up patch of turf. But it’s clouded up and looks like rain. That would suck for people having cookouts but it works fine for me.

  125. 125

    @Death Panel Truck:

    I had to mow a lawn today, and I didn’t get double time.

    Sure you did. Twice nothing is still nothing.

  126. 126
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS):

    Yes, the well known propaganda of the Confederates themselves in 1861, which was rapidly revised after the traitor armies had been crushed in 1865.

  127. 127
    WereBear says:

    The blue laws were rolled back everywhere because both shoppers and shopkeepers found they were in the way of enjoyment. In light of the increased traffic on such days, I, as always, tip well if I’m eating out on such a day.

    I had a nice chat with someone in retail recently, who I wished a nice day off… in recognition of the fact they would be working on the holiday. She shared the time a couple came in, obviously After Church, and while the wife browsed the husband lectured the staff on how the sabbath should be a day of rest and relaxation.

    Her co-worker pointed out that if THEY were here, the workers had to be, and it shut up the sanctimonious clueless idjit.

  128. 128
    Chris says:

    @gene108:

    There is an absolute fucking mind block among far too many people, even those who aren’t 27%er fuckjobs, against the concept that wealth, growth and prosperity can come from anything other than the private sector, and that government and unions could possibly ever do anything other than mess things up. I’m really not sure what to do about it.

  129. 129
    WereBear says:

    @JoyceH: I’m so sorry. What a sweet soul!

  130. 130
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Twice nothing is still nothing.

    The wit and wisdom of Cyrano Jones!

  131. 131
    Mike D. says:

    Trash collection happened here today. Private company. Bastards.

  132. 132

    It looks like the Laurelwood microbrewery is closed today, which is good and bad.

  133. 133
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chris:

    It’s absolutely maddening, because it’s demonstrably false. These intertubes we’re using to discuss this? The product of government initiative. Completely. Both the computers and the connections themselves, in their entirety. The “private sector” told the government that the idea of computers talking to each other over phone lines was ludicrous.

    Yet here we are.

  134. 134
    Mandalay says:

    @pokeyblow:

    I don’t see any relationship whatsoever to baby photos.

    Gold stars and baby photos are both tangible reminders of people you love.

    That is their relationship, and that is what they “accomplish” (to use your term).

  135. 135
    gene108 says:

    @Cacti:

    I think in some sectors of the business world they just assume the massive income inequality just to be the norm.

    And there isn’t another way to both make things more equitable and still have private sector investment / innovation.

    I think bridging this gap is the biggest political challenge we have. Getting both the business sector and liberals to buy in is hard.

  136. 136
    Violet says:

    @MobiusKlein: In the UK they tend to call holidays like this Bank Holidays, although that term does have a specific meaning and isn’t always used correctly. I like the term because it seems to describe what happens–banks close, government offices close, people who have desk jobs usually don’t have to work–and everyone else seems to have to work.

  137. 137
    ruemara says:

    @Punchy: HAhahahahHHAHAHAHA! I r ebil guvmint worker. If I work today, I get regular pay, because I’m under full time. The supermarkets that are open are paying normal pay. Ditto restaurants. Holiday pay is a quaint notion.

  138. 138
    Violet says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: I posted to you yesterday in the gardening thread bout your turf project. Here’s the link to the comment: http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....nt-4456934. Give the compost a try. It works wonders. Might save you having to re-seed and all that work.

  139. 139

    @Chris:

    There is an absolute fucking mind block among far too many people, even those who aren’t 27%er fuckjobs, against the concept that wealth, growth and prosperity can come from anything other than the private sector,

    I agree that the government has a role to play in growth and prosperity, but if it’s a source of wealth then we’re doing it wrong. The government should be trying to do enough for as many people as possible, rather than giving too much to too few.

  140. 140
    Mnemosyne says:

    @WereBear:

    I usually try not to shop on holidays since I know the workers get screwed, and I am uncomfortable participating in their being exploited.

    If retailers were required by law to pay at least time-and-a-half on those days, I would be more likely to shop since at least I would feel like the worker was benefiting as well.

  141. 141
    gene108 says:

    @Chris:

    My brother brought up something I hadn’t heard before called No Action Letters. Because of Dodd-Frank banks get notices that ‘x’ rule will be in effect, but then the government says not to worry about complying with’x’, so weeks of work get wasted.

    Obama’s screwed up on things like education, where he’s pissed off a lot of would be supporters, so I’m not surprised bureaucratic nitpicking occurs in other areas.

    The problem is making an argument for change and executing it, which was done with Obamacare. It just needs to be done with imvestment and less income inequality.

  142. 142
    dmsilev says:

    @Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS): Texas’s declaration of secession, third and fourth paragraphs:

    Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery – the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits – a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slaveholding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?

    The controlling majority of the Federal Government, under various pretences and disguises, has so administered the same as to exclude the citizens of the Southern States, unless under odious and unconstitutional restrictions, from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slaveholding States.

    Similar documents from the other Southern states have similar language. If you think this particular debate might recur, I’d recommend quoting these.

    Edit: From further on down in the same document, complaining about the sins of the non-slaveholding states:

    By consolidating their strength, they have placed the slave-holding States in a hopeless minority in the federal congress, and rendered representation of no avail in protecting Southern rights against their exactions and encroachments.

    They’ve outvoted us! Not fair! WAAAAAH! Truly, the teabaggers of the mid 19th century.

  143. 143
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    It’s a source of wealth only in the sense that government takes the risk of R&D that has no obvious ROI (as is true with most infrastructure…no one seems to envision that it IS an investment that will have payoffs that are not literal enough for the mind of an MBA) and makes tremendous new opportunities for private sector growth possible.

    However, there is, as you’ve noted, the direct spigot approach, which is what most “privatization” is all about…hence no-bid Halliburton contracts, privately owned prisons, barely concealed graft, etc.

  144. 144
    HinTN says:

    @raven: Decoration Day

  145. 145
    MikeJ says:

    @dmsilev: Don’t forget the “vice president” of the rebellion:

    Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition.

  146. 146
    Steeplejack says:

    @gene108:

    For whatever reason he really thinks the private sector will be the harbinger of prosperity, but they are holding back from investing because of a lack of confidence with Obama.

    This argument has started to drive me nuts. It hit me when I was reading one of Alan Furst’s novels about World War II (I think Spies of the Balkans). There is a section where a police inspector needs to get from point A to point B, and, because it suits the interests of some powerful players, he is given a ride on an airplane carrying black-market goods. Over the Alps the plane is tracked by a German fighter plane, which pulls alongside, gives them the once-over and then peels off. And it’s clear: the fix is in. War, hell, there’s money to be made! The black-marketeers of World War II weren’t sitting around wringing their hands over a lack of confidence in Hitler or whatever. Everything was in demand, and they were filling the need.

    The point is that we are in a demand recession now. People don’t have enough money, or enough security about their precarious financial positions, to buy stuff, or do much except try to pay down debt, so there is not enough incentive for businesses to expand or to invest the vast mountains of cash they are sitting on. With inflation so low, they can just sit on the money and bitch about Obama and their taxes. Which is what they are doing (with a few exceptions).

  147. 147
    dmsilev says:

    @dmsilev: And similar language from the Mississippi declaration:

    Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

    South Carolina:

    The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

    These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.

    We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

    Anyone who denies that the Southern states seceded because of slavery is either ignorant or a liar. Or, quite possibly, both.

  148. 148
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MikeJ:

    the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition.

    Um, er, “states’ rights!’…”oppressive tariffs!”…”argle bargle!”

  149. 149
    gene108 says:

    Other than Christmas or Thanksgiving, I don’t see the “crime” in people working on holidays.

    They are hourly and get paid hourly. When I worked hourly I like getting more hours because I got more money.

    A lot of the desk jockeys off today (myself olncluded) are salaried. I get paid the same if I work today (which I have to do in a bit for a minor issue that can’t wait till tomorrow) or if I stay home.

    The people I’ve known in retail usually got another day off to make up for working weekends/ hololidays.

  150. 150
    cckids says:

    @Schlemizel: That is pretty good. My daughter (18), is working in a movie theater today, lots of screamy, spilling small children, 3 big movies dropped this weekend so very, very busy. No pay bump at all.

    And she feels pretty lucky; unemployment among teens here (Vegas) is probably close to 40%. There are still plenty of adults whose unemployment has run out who are working 2-3 part time, min. wage jobs who are doing the jobs teens used to.

  151. 151
    Dee Loralei says:

    @JoyceH: So sorry for your loss. Maggie was beautiful. You guys had a great life together. Loved the pics too. Now, I’m off to amazon to buy your book for my mom.

  152. 152
    Steeplejack says:

    @JoyceH:

    My condolences to you.

  153. 153

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    The way I see it, the wealth that government creates should be national wealth rather than personal wealth. Infrastructure and basic research are things that make the whole country better. Unfortunately, our economic system is currently set up to reward capital at the expense of labor, so any wealth we create winds up in the hands of the few rather than the many.

  154. 154
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Point well taken, which is why we need to Adam-Smithize this country. Because the Wealth of the Nation is being stolen by a handful of criminals.

  155. 155
    Mandalay says:

    McCain went to Syria today! It’s hard to believe he did this with the blessing of the Administration….

    Sen. John McCain visited rebels in Syria on Monday, his communications director confirmed to CNN, making the Arizona Republican the highest ranking elected official from the United States to visit the war-torn country…

    His visit came shortly before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was scheduled to meet in Paris regarding Syria with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. For months during the Syrian war, Russia appeared to be supporting the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad. But that tide seems to be turning, at least gaining some wiggle room for the Russians to help broker an end to the violence.

    McCain is such an asshole.

  156. 156
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay:

    He is the guy who thought supporting the Georgians in a shooting war with Russia was a great idea.

    Never mind the logistics of such an operation would be formidable, to say the least.

    Another fucking dilettante at actual strategy.

  157. 157
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    My son works at the local grocery store. He gets few a cents an hour override for working today. That’s because he’s covered by the “new” contract. Those employees who are covered by the old contract are being paid time-and-a-half. The UFCW voted in the two tier system when they settled their last big strike. Having strong employee unions would help to reduce the economic disparities in this country. Unfortunately, the forces arrayed against unionization have been way more successful than the union folks and I don’t see that turning around.

  158. 158
    elmo says:

    Kinda OT, but can I just take a moment and complain about people who undertip? It’s to the point that I actually dislike being treated to a meal, because I don’t trust other people to tip properly (that is, generously).

    Servers don’t make minimum wage in this country, because we as a society have determined that they should be compensated with tips. Fine. But that imposes an obligation on the restaurant-going population to fucking tip.

    Every restaurant meal is an opportunity to make somebody else’s day – somebody who works a crap job, for shit pay, and whose service was a vital component of your enjoyment of your meal. For a $50 tab, the difference between a 20% tip and a 30% tip is five bucks. If you’re eating a $50 meal, five bucks isn’t going to break the bank, but it will put a smile on somebody’s face in the middle of a hard day.

    Grrr.

  159. 159
    Cacti says:

    @Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS):

    Yesterday I got into a spat with someone on the book of faces because I didn’t consider Robert E. Lee particularly honorable

    Mars Bobby was anti-American in the most literal sense of the word. He resigned his commission in the United States Army and took command of insurrectionist forces determined to split the United States apart.

    Today, in part, we remember those who wore the blue, and preserved our nation from the machinations of scum like Robert E. Lee and his slave labor profiteering overlords. May those who wore the grey be ever remembered as the traitors that they were.

  160. 160
    AHH onna Droid says:

    @Punchy: Yeah, that’s right, just like their parents chose to be poor, work two jobs so theyre never around and have as their only family babysitters substance abusers, users and creeps. That anti social outlook and pack behavior is just a sign of poor moral fiber, probably the result of eating sugary cereals. I dont know what beef these rebels without a cause could have with society. I have it on good authority that there are plenty of jobs for the asking appropriate for their station.

  161. 161
    Mandalay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    He is the guy who thought supporting the Georgians in a shooting war with Russia was a great idea.

    Exactly. Back then President McCain said “I know I speak for every American when I say to him today, we are all Georgians”. I guess that means we are all Syrian rebels today.

    I’ll notify the President to cancel Memorial Day so we can ramp up the war effort.

  162. 162
    Cacti says:

    @Mandalay:

    Sen. John McCain visited rebels in Syria on Monday

    I’m guessing these weren’t the rebels who have pledged loyalty to Al Qaeda.

  163. 163

    @gene108:

    Other than Christmas or Thanksgiving, I don’t see the “crime” in people working on holidays.

    I don’t see a problem with people working on Christmas, or any other religious holiday. There are plenty of people in this country who aren’t Christians, or are from some Christian denomination that doesn’t celebrate Christmas on December 25th. If those people want to work on somebody else’s religious holiday, that’s fine. What isn’t fine is when people are expected to work on legal holidays without any kind of extra compensation. Holidays should be holidays for as many people as possible, and the best way to ensure that is to force employers to pay extra for having people work that day. That will ensure that truly vital jobs are still filled, and people who are forced to give up a holiday get some kind of compensation for their inconvenience.

  164. 164

    @Mandalay:

    McCain went to Syria today! It’s hard to believe he did this with the blessing of the Administration….

    Maybe they were hoping there would be a tragic accident while he was there. Please gramps McCain, present yourself as a target in as many hotspots around the world as you can find.

  165. 165
    Mandalay says:

    @Cacti:

    I’m guessing these weren’t the rebels who have pledged loyalty to Al Qaeda.

    I think that is irrelevant. The only objective of President McCain’s visit was to tell the black fellow to get off his lawn.

  166. 166
    cckids says:

    @JoyceH: Maggie is lovely, and your tribute/memorial to her is sweet & touching. Our pup is getting on in years & slowing down due to a degenerating disc; this is a reminder to me to give him extra snuggles. So sorry for your loss.

  167. 167
    MikeJ says:

    @Cacti:

    I’m guessing these weren’t the rebels who have pledged loyalty to Al Qaeda.

    Why would you guess that? You don’t think that Chris Pine refuses to talk to Benedict Cumberbatch off the set, do you?

  168. 168
    gene108 says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I put in Christmas and Thanksgiving as my “bad holidays’ to work on is because those are the two holidays, when most folks get together with family and working on those days makes it hard to have quality family

    Of course there are plenty of people, who can’t stand their families, so I guess working might not be such a bad thing for them.

  169. 169
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Cacti:

    What in the world does that old fuck think he can accomplish? The rebels are not unified, they can’t even decide who will represent them at the Russian brokered peace talks. Now Israel wants to get involved under the justification of preventing Syrian weapons from getting to Hezbollah. This is going to get very ugly and the last thing Syria needs is McCain sticking his oar in.

  170. 170

    @gene108:

    I put in Christmas and Thanksgiving as my “bad holidays’ to work on is because those are the two holidays, when most folks get together with family and working on those days makes it hard to have quality family

    And I’m less excited about that because I work with lots of immigrants who don’t have family traditions of celebrating those holidays. My general feeling is that for every holiday you can think of, there’s some group of people who don’t care about it who logically might work on that day without great personal sacrifice. But I do think that everybody deserves some time off, and people who lose official holidays need to be compensated in some way for sacrificing that time off. They should at the very least be given an equal amount of time off at a time of their choosing plus some kind of bonus for working on a holiday. If their employer is willing to pay that to get people to work that day, well and good. If not, the employer needs to do without rather than screw their employees.

  171. 171
    Violet says:

    @elmo: Fairly recently we had a long discussion on tipping. Interesting thread if you want to check it out.

  172. 172
    Mandalay says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    What in the world does that old fuck think he can accomplish?

    President McCain wants to make it very clear to all Americans that he is in charge:

    The visit of Senator McCain to Syria is very important and very useful, especially at this time,” he said. “We need American help to have change on the ground; we are now in a very critical situation.

    “What we want from the U.S. government is to take the decision to support the Syrian revolution with weapons and ammunition, anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft weapons,” he added. “Of course, we want a no-fly zone and we ask for strategic strikes against Hezbollah both inside Lebanon and inside Syria.”

    Actually, all McCain really wants to do is poke Obama in the eye, and this is the closest he can get to doing that without being hauled away by FBI agents.

    The White House must be seething over this.

  173. 173
    Death Panel Truck says:

    “I know I speak for every American when I say to him today, we are all Georgians”

    Obama should do what the Kennedy administration did whenever LBJ went overseas on “goodwill” trips.

    “Senator McCain in no way speaks for the government of the United States, and should in no way be received as an emissary of the president of the United States.”

  174. 174

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Now Israel wants to get involved under the justification of preventing Syrian weapons from getting to Hezbollah.

    Interestingly, the LA Times, at least, is reporting that Israel isn’t supporting the rebels. They’re apparently convinced that Assad is too weak to do anything to Israel- he didn’t retaliate for their attack on Syria’s nuclear complex- and the rebels may be worse. They’re presumably happy to have both sides beating the snot out of each other and are genuinely worried about Hezbollah getting chemical weapons from Syria. It seems like as plausible and explanation as any for their behavior.

  175. 175
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Mandalay:

    “What we want from the U.S. government is to take the decision to support the Syrian revolution with weapons and ammunition, anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft weapons,” he added. “Of course, we want a no-fly zone and we ask for strategic strikes against Hezbollah both inside Lebanon and inside Syria.”

    Hmmm, provide modern weapons and while we’re at it please bomb Syria and Lebanon. What could possibly go wrong?

  176. 176
    Heliopause says:

    Q: What kind of assholes makes their low-paid workers work on Memorial Day?

    A: The entire retail, food service, entertainment, and hospitality sectors.

  177. 177
    Mandalay says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Hmmm, provide modern weapons and while we’re at it please bomb Syria and Lebanon. What could possibly go wrong?

    Absolutely nothing.

    The hands off approach worked out fine for us in Iran and Nicaragua, and it will be a glorious success here as well, thanks to President McCain, and no thanks to the junior senator from Illinois.

    We will be greeted as liberators and showered in flowers in Damascus, just as we were in Baghdad, Managua, Beirut, Santiago, San Salvador, Guatemala City, Kabul, Tripoli, Tegucigalpa, Bogota, Hanoi, Saigon, Caracas, Phnom Penh, Vientiane….

  178. 178
    lojasmo says:

    @pokeyblow:

    Whatever, cudlip.

  179. 179
    Mnemosyne says:

    @gene108:

    A lot of the desk jockeys off today (myself olncluded) are salaried. I get paid the same if I work today (which I have to do in a bit for a minor issue that can’t wait till tomorrow) or if I stay home.

    I am not salaried, but I did get today off with pay as a company holiday. If for some reason I had been required to work, I would have gotten time-and-a-half.

    I think you have forgotten the gap between hourly and salaried workers. Why are hourly workers supposed to go without pay on a holiday just because you don’t get extra pay when you choose to work on a holiday?

  180. 180
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    @JoyceH: I know I’m really late to the party, but maybe you’ll catch this. I’m really sorry for your loss; Maggy was a very pretty girl.

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