Non Trump Related Open Thread

I made it to Sullivan Island in one piece, and am now slowly dying in my parents’ beach house because they keep the temperature 4000 fucking degrees. They also bicker so much I have no idea how they made it to their golden anniversary without a murder suicide. If I could send them to separate rooms I would. I went to the car wash to sit in the car for some peace and quiet.

The drive itself was uneventful, but the day started out with a typical bang. Yesterday I went to the airport and retrieved my car from the longterm parking, and took it back to the condo building and gave it to the valet so I could leave early this morning. Got up at 4 am, went down with all my stuff and lady Lily, and there was no valet. Nothing. No doorman. There is supposed to be someone there 24/7. It took two hours and a number of phone calls to get someone there. Weird.

Other than that, an uneventful drive. And now I am here and exhausted.

Fuck Trump.






92 replies
  1. 1
    Luthe says:

    Why the hell was your car at the airport? I’m pretty sure long-term parking in South Beach costs less than parking at the airport and is much more convenient.

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  2. 2
    sukabi says:

    Just wait until one of your parents starts losing their hearing….the bickering takes on a whole other layer as they’ll be arguing about ENTIRELY different things at the same time. 😳

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  3. 3
    JPL says:

    On create tv Joanne Weir is making a tapenade using olives and figs that looks amazing. The entire show is about olives so you must like olives more than trump.

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  4. 4
    trollhattan says:

    @sukabi:
    My poor daughter. :-)

    Welp, she has to suck up for quite a while still. “Stanford or NYU or City College or…now which can we afford?”

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  5. 5
    trollhattan says:

    @JPL:
    For a second I envisioned a sequined skater with a cooking show on ice.

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  6. 6
    John Cole says:

    @Luthe: And you would be wrong.

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  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    now slowly dying in my parents’ beach house because they keep the temperature 4000 fucking degrees.

    That beach ain’t going to dry itself.

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  8. 8
    Schlemazel says:

    My folks got really bad, to the point mrs. avoided them. The thing that amazed me was that neither could let it go ever. If it looked like it might end one of them would start anew.

    What causes that?

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  9. 9
    Luthe says:

    @John Cole: Really? I would have thought the airport would ask for an arm and a leg, while a local place would only want an arm, but perhaps not. There is still the issue of dragging oneself to and from the airport, though.

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  10. 10
    Immanentize says:

    How can one have a non-Trump thread that ends with, “Fuck Trump?” So confusing….

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  11. 11
    Ohio Mom says:

    @trollhattan: I think I may have told this story before. One of my cousins went to City College in the early 1970s, when it was still free. She says that since she lived at home in (Washington Heights) and was an English major — “I didn’t have to buy any textbooks because we read novels and I could borrow them from the public library” — her only expense was the subway.

    Sometimes I tell young folks here in Cincinnati that the University of Cincinnati used to be a free city college, and they don’t believe me. It’s an idea too far removed from anything they know.

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  12. 12
    trollhattan says:

    @Ohio Mom:
    Am super stoked the very concept is being dragged back into the national conversation. Yes, we can ensure our kids an education past high school if we so choose. It wasn’t that long ago at least a two-year degree was free. IIRC California only began charging community college tuition after Prop 13, and Gov Reagan himself began the slow drain of UC and CSU funding.

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  13. 13
    sukabi says:

    @trollhattan: yeah, but at least those arguments are related…and also about something relatively important…

    Try listening to an argument about what to have for dinner and putting the toilet seat down.😜

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  14. 14

    @Ohio Mom: I’ve gotten the same reaction when I tell some half-pint that the Government used to SNATCH YOU UP AND MAKE YOU GO IN THE ARMY and if you wouldn’t go they could PUT YOU IN JAIL!!! This blows some tiny little minds I can tell you.

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  15. 15
    sukabi says:

    @trollhattan: could also be a bit of “John’s gonna be here for how long?”

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  16. 16
    sukabi says:

    @Immanentize: every post should end with “Fuck Trump”, it’s the right thing to do.

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  17. 17
    Ken says:

    the temperature 4000 fucking degrees

    For some years I was fortunate to live in the apartment above a little old lady* who did the same. My winter heating bills were minimal, I got everything I needed from the heated floor.

    * No disparagement intended; I met her a couple of times and she was under five feet and over seventy years.

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    R-Jud says:

    I wrote about inspirational memes, if you’d rather pick apart a different kind of bullshit.

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    RedDirtGirl says:

    I don’t go to the airport much, and whenever I see the long term parking I wonder if there are any bodies being hidden out there.

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  21. 21
    James E Powell says:

    now slowly dying in my parents’ beach house because they keep the temperature 4000 fucking degrees.

    There was a Seinfeld episode on this in which Jerry’s parents were like mine, almost word for word.

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  22. 22
    MomSense says:

    @sukabi:

    It doesn’t even have to be bickering. You should have seen the people around me at the grocery store when I was on the phone with my mom asking if she wanted me to pick anything up for her.

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  23. 23
    trollhattan says:

    @sukabi:
    My folks died a couple decades apart but my in-laws rode the Buick down Old Folks Mountain together until nearly the end. It got really, really weird, abetted by them pulling up stakes and moving out to The Countryside, on Land, where they no longer had anybody to socialize with. MIL got herself a strip mall parking lot puppy to have something to yell at when FIL could no longer hear her.

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  24. 24
    sukabi says:

    @MomSense: hopefully you didn’t yell anything too inappropriate out of frustration.😀

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  25. 25
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @raven: lots of talk in Alabama today that they wish Georgia had made the playoff…so the Dawgs would have taken the beatdown rather than the Tide!

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  26. 26
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Ohio Mom: Do I need to bring a green balloon to Slatts Monday or is somebody else planning to do that? Steve in the DemopolisAL & cintibud won’t recognize any of us. I’ll be coming from work in Kettering, so let me know if I need to stop along the way. Does Carol have a ride? Since I’m coming south from the office, I can’t really help.

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  27. 27
    sukabi says:

    @trollhattan: I guess you always need someone to yell at — who will respond. 😀

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  28. 28
    Aleta says:

    @sukabi: I remember coming home one time and the refrigerator and freezer were full of compost, because they couldn’t agree on whether the compost pile should be near the house or near the garden across the road. So many stalemates.

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  29. 29
    Ken says:

    @sukabi:

    every post should end with “Fuck Trump”, it’s the right thing to do

    Now I’m imagining some post-apocalyptic sci-fi where, in addition to talking about the “sacred place Wo-Shing-Dun” and reciting the “Ee’d Plebnista”, the natives all use “fooktromp” in the manner of “aloha” or “shalom”.

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  30. 30
    Jackie says:

    @Schlemazel: My parents squabbled CONSTANTLY. My sisters and I grew up with it and learned to tune it out – and as adults teased them about it. My children HATED Gma and Gpa “fighting,” – as that’s what it translated to them. I finally took my parents aside and explained why their grandkiddos didn’t like being around them. They were flummoxed! “We’re not fighting! We’re just having discussions!” Amazingly, they actually started listening to each other and realized WHY the grandkiddos thought they were always bickering. From that point on, they tried – not always successfully – to tone their discussions down. My son was always the most visibly distressed. They learned to follow his cues.

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  31. 31

    @RedDirtGirl: They used to turn up out at O’Hare every now and then back in the 70s.

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  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    @R-Jud:

    I tried, but the page wouldn’t finish loading on my horribly outdated iPad. You probably have a pop-up on there — that’s usually what freaks my iPad out.

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  33. 33
    The Pale Scot says:

    am now slowly dying in my parents’ beach house because they keep the temperature 4000 fucking degrees

    The Gods yes, the seniors down here crank the heat as soon as its below 70. I thank The Gods that the holidays are over. It’s actually better in the summer, at least the A/C is cycling frequently and pulling the humidity out. 78F and 80% humidity indoors drives me insane

    Blanket on the beach man

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  34. 34
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Jackie: That is a very inspiring story. Your kids learned that expressing their feelings can lead to change, and kudos to your parents for stretching themselves for the sake of the family’s well-being.

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  35. 35
    trollhattan says:

    @John Revolta:
    The Hari Krishnas done stole ’em all.

    Jesus, remember when every airport was overrun with those assholes?

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    chris says:

    California Man gives Florida Man a run for his money. Or something. Ew

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    “There ain’t no telling’ who you might meet, a movie star or maybe even an Indian chief. At the car wash, yeah!”

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    B.B.A. says:

    @James E Powell: The pointless fights over nonsensical non-issues at my grandparents’ condo board were straight out of Seinfeld.

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    Ohio Mom says:

    I must be old at heart. I love it when the heatpump guy comes out at the beginning of every winter to do maintenance and starts by turning the thermostat up to 90. I would leave it there all winter if it wasn’t so expensive.

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    eclare says:

    @trollhattan: I live in the laundromat in the sewer that is Memphis, I keep my air at 65. I have window units so it’s not as bad as central running like that, plus I could never afford that.

    ReplyReply
  41. 41

    @trollhattan: There was a bunch of them used to hang out in Kansas City 5 or 6 years ago. They were actually kind of fun.

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    sukabi says:

    @Aleta: you win. That’s a fucking stalemate!

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    sukabi says:

    @Ohio Mom: have you had your thyroid checked recently? Your internal thermostat might be on the fritz.

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  44. 44
    Jackie says:

    @Ohio Mom: Expressing their feelings was one of the earliest lessons I taught my kids. My sisters and I weren’t allowed to – via Mom. Dad always incouraged us – but out of Mom’s hearing. Mom wasn’t a good parent, but she worked hard to be a loving Gma. Amazingly, she asked me for advice on how to connect with the grandkiddos. She discovered my advice helped/worked – and our relationship improved. lol

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  45. 45
    oatler. says:

    “I’m no fence-mender, but can’t we just slaughter each other like civilized human beings?”

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  46. 46
    Ken says:

    @B.B.A.: Well, condo boards and HOAs, that’s not an age thing. I’ve seen thirty year olds get into screaming arguments about paint colors and tulip beds.

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  47. 47
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @trollhattan: For the record, I went to a state school (Shippensburg State College), and had a very successful career. I wonder why people feel the need to mortgage their future for a “name” school.

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  48. 48
    Yarrow says:

    @Jackie: Awww…that’s a great story. Good for your mom for being willing to ask for help and wanting to learn and then implementing the suggestions. That’s not easy for a lot of people. And good for you for being willing to help her despite her not being the best mom.

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  49. 49
    Rob_in_Hawaii says:

    @Ohio Mom: My students are bewildered when I tell them that when I attended community college in the Bay Area in the mid 70s, there was no tuition. None. And for every other CC in the state. Pell Grants were available to low income folks for books. Then I went to UC Berkeley, where tuition was in the hundreds of dollars per semester for a full timer. I got a BA, a pair of masters, and a PhD and no debt! Let’s make higher education what it once was, the gateway to a better life for the non rich.

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  50. 50
    Ohio Mom says:

    @sukabi: Yup, have it checked periodically and my thyroid is fine. It’s that my spirit animal is a turtle sunning itself on a log in August.

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  51. 51
    JWL says:

    “It took two hours and a number of phone calls to get someone there. Weird”.

    It’s not so weird. Even the slickest condo valet will occasionally fail to get back in time with someone’s car after a night on the town.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    Jackie says:

    @Yarrow: Thanks, Yarrow. Mom has been gone 15 yrs now, but she always tried amending how she treated us – her daughters – by improving her relationship with her grandkiddos. We give my son lots of credit. She always wanted a son. Didn’t happen. So first Grandson – and subsequent Granddaughters – made her re-think how she wanted to be loved. To be loved means giving love – first.

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  53. 53
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Rob_in_Hawaii: No argument here. My parents, aunts and uncles, and most all of my childhood friends’ parents, were children of immigrants. Not all of them went to college but most of them did, and with a very few exceptions, they went to one of the colleges in the New York City system. For free (though to be fair, there was a required entrance exam).

    They became middle-class professionals and more than paid back the investment that was made in them. It’s criminal that we have denied so many since then the same opportunity.

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  54. 54
    sukabi says:

    @Ohio Mom: lol. You’re obviously living in the wrong climate.🌞🏄🍹👙

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  55. 55
    Another Scott says:

    What’s old is new again – How the shut-down of the government in 1879 ended.

    Heather Cox Richardson (TDPR) Verified account @HC_Richardson
    10 hours ago

    […]

    We are again in a moment where a small faction in a party is trying to force unpopular measures on the majority by threatening the very existence of our government. This is as unacceptable now as it was in 1879.

    Or as it was in 1861, for that matter. /END

    A good thread.

    (via LOLGOP)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  56. 56
    CaseyL says:

    I, too, remember when Community Colleges – also known in some states as Junior Colleges – had free tuition. I also remember when full 4-year state college tuition was about what people now pay for textbooks. Those things are only possible when you have a fully funded social and educational infrastructure – the formula used to be that the state paid 60-75% of college costs, and students paid the other 25-30%. Now it’s switched around – at best.

    It makes me insanely happy that AOC is talking about the issue. I’m amazed and impressed with her ability to open a national conversation about bringing back high tax brackets for stratospheric income levels.t

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  57. 57
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    I wonder why people feel the need to mortgage their future for a “name” school

    Personally, I think people believe that going to a big name school will make it more likely for them to get into the companies they want to work for, quicker.

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @CaseyL: Earlier today somebody on Twitter (can’t remember who, but it was reposted by Felix Salmon) posted a copy of the NY Daily News’ front page from some time in 1999, when a huge tax on the rich, to pay down the national debt, was being proposed by some loudmouth asshole NYC real-estate developer. The NYDN seemed to be supportive. Of course when a similar idea comes from a 29-year-old Latina Congresswoman, it’s “radical.”

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  59. 59
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Another Scott:
    Ah, but Donald Trump wasn’t president in 1879, was he? Checkmate libturd! //

    It was the Southern Democrats in 1879, now it’s the GOP of 2019. This shit has to stop.

    Also, as I learned there were federal government shutdowns beginning in the 1980s, but they usually lasted no more than a day.

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  60. 60
    Ruckus says:

    @Jackie:
    Once when I was about 15 I went downstairs and told my parents to get a fucking divorce if they couldn’t stop yammering and swearing at each other. Which of course they did every night. Of course they argued with me that they weren’t doing that, just having a discussion. Sounded like the press conference before championship boxing matches.

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  61. 61
    Ohio Mom says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: It depends on your career goals. If you plan to be a teacher, engineer, nurse, something like that, it doesn’t matter much where you go to school. You can make local contacts through internships and student teaching, and that can help you find your first job.

    If you want to work on Wall Street, certain name schools have a virtual pipeline to lower Manhattan. They are not public colleges needless to say.

    If you want to go into academia, it’s downward all the way. You are probably never going to get an offer from a college that is more prestigious than the one you graduated from, so it behooves you to get your graduate degree from the biggest name school you can. At least that used to be true back when a tenure track position wasn’t an impossible dream.

    So yeah, what you said.

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  62. 62
    Jackie says:

    @Ruckus: lol I can totally relate to!

    ReplyReply
  63. 63
    Ruckus says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    They became middle-class professionals and more than paid back the investment that was made in them.

    This is a hugely important point. That most of the people who got that free or almost free education more than repaid society for it. The wealthy who control a lot of things in our country can’t stand for a moment to go by without making money, now is their most important time, not the future and for sure not that everyone gains because that means that they lost, they can’t count the future and if everyone gains that means they didn’t get ahead.

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  64. 64
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    The NYDN seemed to be supportive. Of course when a similar idea comes from a 29-year-old Latina Congresswoman, it’s “radical.”

    Some “progressives” seem to hate AOC. I admit I was somewhat skeptical recently of her and she isn’t perfect, but currently there’s a lot I like about her. The fact that she’s talking about increasing taxes on the very wealthy is great.

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  65. 65
    Yarrow says:

    @Ruckus: A friend of mine grew up in a family where her parents argued all the time. She swore she wasn’t going to have a marriage like that so married a guy who grew up in a family where expressing any emotion other than happiness wasn’t allowed. She thought she’d hit the jackpot because his parents and family never argued. He thought she was confident and outspoken.

    They had no idea how to communicate with each other once they were married. She argued by default to communicate. He shut down when arguments started. It was a mess from the beginning.

    ReplyReply
  66. 66
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    I didn’t think of the academia angle but it makes sense.

    ReplyReply
  67. 67
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Yarrow:
    What ultimately happened to them and their marriage?

    ReplyReply
  68. 68
    Amir Khalid says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:
    What happens in a relationship when the lines are down, and no one knows how to fix them?

    ReplyReply
  69. 69
    Yarrow says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Lots of counseling but also a whole lot of life events that no one should have to endure at a young age like they did. Eventually they couldn’t bridge the gap and ended up divorced. Their wildly different communication styles didn’t help when dealing with the big challenges they had.

    ReplyReply
  70. 70
    Yarrow says:

    @Amir Khalid: They tried. They did go to counseling. They just couldn’t seem to bridge the gap. I think if their lives hadn’t been upended like they were they might have been able to make it work. It was just too much.

    ReplyReply
  71. 71
    Yarrow says:

    @CaseyL: I heard a bit on the radio about how some museums in Texas are woefully underfunded and have had to cut all sorts of services and activities. The reason is that Texas has gutted higher education funding and these museums are somehow affiliated with universities and get a significant percentage of their funding from the university. When the universities’ funding got cut they looked at what they could cut and since museums aren’t part of the core missions of education and research, guess what got cut. Apparently it’s getting rather dire for the museums.

    I didn’t know any of that and it got me wondering what other collateral damage from cutting higher education funding is out there that we don’t know about.

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  72. 72
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Usually divorce as Yarrow revealed. But sometimes things can be worked out.

    @Yarrow:

    At least they tried to work through their problems. A lot of people live lives of quiet desperation, essentially trapped in marriages for reasons of convenience. Anybody who points to the divorce rate as some sign of moral decline is an idiot.

    ReplyReply
  73. 73
    Yarrow says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: These days it seems that marriage is being saved for when people are really, really sure they are going to stay together. They’re having kids and living together but getting married is being postponed.

    ReplyReply
  74. 74
    Pogonip says:

    Cole, your parents sound like mine; mine playfully bickered their way through 64 years of marriage. (They had to tone it down when my son was around as the autistic don’t understand playful bickering.)

    One difference between yours and mine is that my mom kept the house so cold her Christmas cactus would bloom in August.

    ReplyReply
  75. 75
    Kelly says:

    In my 20’s I lived in Portland next door to an Italian couple about my parents age with several American born children about my age. Olivio and Maria would argue in Italian and when the kids were around they’d get after the kids in Italian and the kids would answer back in English. On hot summer evenings Olivio played his accordian out on the back steps. They were great neighbors.

    ReplyReply
  76. 76

    Being that we’re talking about parents, I just remembered that it’s been 37 years today since my dad passed.

    BTW, UC’s didn’t have tuition in the 70’s and early 80’s, they had fees. Now they have tuition AND fees.

    ReplyReply
  77. 77
    frosty says:

    @Rob_in_Hawaii: To make higher education affordable and what it once was we’ll have to fire all the deans and assistant deans of recreation services etc. then get the cafeteria back to one line of “hot dogs tonight” and not four different lines with choices. And then get rid of the climbing wall and other accoutrements in the gym and rec center*. Foosball 8-ball and ping pong should be good enough.**

    And then the kids will turn up their noses and no one will apply.

    * California University of PA 2010s
    ** Harvey Mudd College 1970.

    ReplyReply
  78. 78
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    True story: Until long after my brother & I had moved out, Dad was the Autocrat of the Breakfast, Lunch & Supper Table; Mom did the household chores & said very little. Then she started having headaches & was deathly afraid it was brain cancer. The family GP sent her on the rounds of specialists – one of which was a psychotherapist who asked her about her life & upon finding this out, essentially said, You don’t have to put up with that! You’ve got a right to speak your mind! And after that, she did. And I started calling them The Bickersons. To their faces. Because (as Wiki sez) they “spent nearly all their time together in relentless verbal war.”

    [The (mostly) happy ending: Mom’s headaches were caused by a pinched nerve in her neck; a few weeks using a home traction device & she was fine, & went on to live past 102. A lot longer than Dad, who groused about the fall of his (mostly) benign despotism until almost the day he died.]

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  79. 79
    frosty says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    It was the Southern Democrats in 1879, now it’s the GOP of 2019. This shit has to stop

    Either way, it’s the third American party, the Confederate Party*. They switched sides with Nixon. Once you start looking at things that way, it all starts to make sense.

    * h/t dengre, former BJ and Kos commenter. And occasional front-pager.

    ReplyReply
  80. 80
    Ruckus says:

    @Yarrow:
    This might be sharing a bit much, but that always arguing or not talking level of communication was all I knew in my first real relationship. And I didn’t want to argue so…… And she had no better idea than I did. We are still friends 24 yrs later. At least I learned something valuable from those almost 2 decades with a wonderful person.
    A real relationship requires communication and compromise. From both sides. Hey that’s sort of like real politics. Hey I want a divorce from those republican assholes.

    ReplyReply
  81. 81
    Martin says:

    @frosty:

    @Rob_in_Hawaii: To make higher education affordable and what it once was we’ll have to fire all the deans and assistant deans of recreation services etc. then get the cafeteria back to one line of “hot dogs tonight” and not four different lines with choices. And then get rid of the climbing wall and other accoutrements in the gym and rec center*. Foosball 8-ball and ping pong should be good enough.**

    And then the kids will turn up their noses and no one will apply.

    Making higher education affordable really isn’t that hard to do. It doesn’t cost that much, after all. Tuition for every UC student would be about $3B per year – and that includes the climbing wall and the four different lines (which aren’t part of tuition anyway). An awful lot of the overhead at public universities is about building out new revenue streams since taxpayer dollars have dried up. Get rid of that need, and a lot of the administrative overhead vanishes.

    But the bigger problem is that higher education is still too tightly tied to residence programs, which require massive capital costs. An instructional lab *starts* at $500/sq ft. It also takes 3 years to build if there isn’t shell space already. The problem with free tuition plans is that without a 1970s California sized infrastructure effort, universities lose one of their only publicly supported tools to manage population – costs. I’m currently dealing with my share of nearly 120,000 applications – to one mid-tier campus. Last year the average GPA for admission to my unit was a 4.14. Remove the tuition, and that’ll be 4.25. The debate will instantly shift off of the debt carried by students and onto why your 4.0 student can’t get into a public university.

    I’m immediately in favor of free community college, because that infrastructure is largely built, and what needs to be built is much easier if you don’t have to do residences as well – and it’s better distributed so you can do things in parallel (building out 118 community colleges is easier than 10 UCs). In order to do that for 4 year universities, you need to double the number of seats available at public universities. That’s half a million students in California. (We have 2.1 million in the community college system.) That’s the expensive part, and what’s more, it’s not fast, and nobody is prepared for it.

    Free tuition is a noble goal, but there’s some really hard shit that needs to accompany that and nobody seems to be aware of that.

    ReplyReply
  82. 82
    Elizabelle says:

    Anybody up? Hello out there?

    With the rebuild, I hope we get “recent comments” back. Also, I missed the whole Trump speech. Yea. About to cruise the thread below at skim speed.

    ReplyReply
  83. 83
    Elizabelle says:

    My gawd. Parson Meacham on Lawrence O’D. (Got the online rebroadcast on.) Tired of his schtick.

    ReplyReply
  84. 84
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Elizabelle:
    I too would like to see the return of Recent Comments, but I fear they won’t find a way to make it work without overburdening the database.

    ReplyReply
  85. 85
    Elizabelle says:

    @Amir Khalid: Hello there Amir. Enjoy hearing about your guitar acquiring habit.

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  86. 86
    Elizabelle says:

    @Martin: Interesting comment, about the costs of physical buildout. And this when you have young people wondering about the wisdom of taking on massive amounts of debt for who knows what jobs in the gig economy.

    Although higher education, if it’s of reasonable quality, is always a good. I had many more good profs/instructors than bad while taking some community college courses. (There was just this one old guy who read to us, in class, out of the assigned readings.) This was in Virginia, though. Glut of Masters and PhDs out there, and some were very good at imparting information and their passion for learning more.

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  87. 87
    Brachiator says:

    @Another Scott: Great link on the government shutdown of 1879. Thanks.

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  88. 88
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Elizabelle:
    I think I’m done acquiring guitars. Although I can’t help going to the online market, and gazing longingly upon made-in-China ES-335s and EDS-1275s …

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  89. 89
    Martin says:

    @Yarrow:

    I heard a bit on the radio about how some museums in Texas are woefully underfunded and have had to cut all sorts of services and activities. The reason is that Texas has gutted higher education funding and these museums are somehow affiliated with universities and get a significant percentage of their funding from the university. When the universities’ funding got cut they looked at what they could cut and since museums aren’t part of the core missions of education and research, guess what got cut. Apparently it’s getting rather dire for the museums.

    I didn’t know any of that and it got me wondering what other collateral damage from cutting higher education funding is out there that we don’t know about.

    The biggest one is actually slower economic growth. One contributor to growing inequality is that states that have cut more deeply into education have lost their growth industries to states that haven’t cut as much. Universities are key to growth industries that typically rely on R&D to push into new markets, and on access to new degree-holders, particularly MS and PhDs. And where do you see big tech hubs – around strong research universities. That’s why so many companies put up with CAs high costs – we turn out a fuckton of really high quality scientists and engineers.

    We’ve been poaching the shit out of Wisconsin and Michigan after they cut their education spending. Their best faculty have been more than happy to come to California. Texas is a bit harder, but we’ve been taking them as well. In the last 10 years we’ve pulled about 50 faculty out of states that have cut funding, and lost only 2 – and both of them were lost to other California universities. You can’t have that kind of talent exodus over a sustained period of time without losing the industries that you are most reliant on for growth. Those faculty brought funding, startups, and in a few cases entire industries with them.

    But a bit closer to your actual question, most remaining public hospitals, particularly with trauma facilities are attached to universities, and that leaves things in a very challenging situation. We operate the only public ER in a county of 3 million people and it draws off huge amounts of resources. The funding situation is enormously complex, but the bottom line is that we always rely on a certain amount of overlap in responsibilities to give us choice in terms of where to fund certain things. Cuts in education funding force us to fund certain things out of the healthcare funds, which increases those costs to the public.

    I will also add that the shutdown is fucking wreaking havoc. So much of what universities do is tied to federal funding in one way or another – either financial aid transfers or research grants or CMS funding, etc. Short shutdowns aren’t generally much of a problem because things get back up and running before it starts really impacting the accounting, but the timing of this one, along with its growing duration is more problematic.

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  90. 90
    Martin says:

    @Elizabelle: There are some real problems inside higher ed that need to get sorted out. The massive opposition and general incompetence at online/distance learning is a real problem. It really hurts people in rural areas that face much higher education costs, usually from a worse position to pay for it. Things really favor upper middle class urban and suburban households.

    Additionally how access to universities is allocated is a problem. Yes, it’s important to have humanities programs, but a lot of students are really getting screwed over by them and by institutions that are going out of their way to funnel students into those programs over higher achieving students that want STEM programs. At my institution, the engineering students have higher verbal SATs than the humanities students by nearly 100 points. There’s demand for the engineering program to double in size, but that would require shuttering some departments to shift faculty, and that’s too institutionally painful to do. So students that I could put in $65K/yr jobs with benefits carrying an average of $18K in debt can’t get admitted because we need to keep some of these other programs alive.

    I’m a fan of the humanities – hell, one of my best jobs was doing to coding for a humanities research project (that I got because I knew greek and latin and could code, but none of the classicists they could find could code – clue, everyone), and i don’t advocate for that kind of sophies choice, but higher education needs to come to terms with the problem and find a solution rather than continually papering it over. Massively expanding access to college is an inherent good, but without some planning going into it, it’ll only exacerbate some of these problems, and what’s more, it’s states like California that will likely make the investments and get more of the benefits than states in the midwest and south, and its something that really should be better distributed.

    FWIW, nobody coming out of their state university system should be exiting with more than about $30K in debt. That sounds like a lot, but it’s about the size of the average car loan in this country, and I assure you the degree is a vastly better investment. The people complaining about $100K+ in debt either didn’t have a good university in their state and went out of state, or went to a private. A lot of that choice goes on the student (and/or their parents) and none of these plans will affect that. They’ll still have to pocket the room and board, and that’s usually about ⅔ of the cost of attending. But some of that choice goes on the state for not providing enough opportunity, or providing poor options.

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  91. 91
    NotMax says:

    @Martin

    Goes back quite some years, but having attended two different small liberal arts colleges, my experience was that if the school wanted you there in the first place they would move heaven and earth to try to make it as affordable as possible, by whatever use of scholarships, loans and work-study they could. Don’t at all begrudge the cost of attendance, the breadth and quality of the teaching staff was superb.

    Sometimes wonder what percentage of those bemoaning being stuck with outsize loans ever availed themselves of work-study. Certainly the memory of what must have been thousands of hours spent working in the college post office (including running it when the elderly woman officially in charge was on vacation) are some of the fondest I retain. And also simultaneously held an assortment of nighttime outside jobs.

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  92. 92
    Bob collins says:

    Warm blood at our core spreads throughout our body and into our capillaries near our skin. That’s what makes us feel warm. The circulatory system deteriorates with age, blood no longer saturates our surface capillaries, and older people get cold. Being cold hurts more than being overly warm. So fuck off, those of you who complain about older folks trying to stay warm.

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