“Sorry to be a wet blanket, but I'm 68 years old and grew up in a Polish neighborhood in Detroit. I have crystal clear memories of all the foods eaten on Christmas Eve, all the foods taken to church the day before Easter Sunday to be blessed and eaten for Easter breakfast, and all the other Polish specialties, including paczki. I have no recollection of any association of paczki with the day before Lent, or any association at all of paczki with any special season. They were a stock item in every small bakery in the neighborhood every day of the year and certain grandmas made them at home. Mine made them once or twice a month year round. The ones from the bakery had jelly injected into them after they were fried; at home grandma rolled out a yeast dough, cut it into circles and put a pitted prune on half of them, then covered them with the rest of the circles. After they rose they were deep fried. They were absolutely nothing special, especially to those of us born in the US and accustomed to cookies, iced cakes and American-style pies. Matter of fact it was only the old people who really liked paczki, probably because they remembered them from the "old country." And as to this "paczki day" stuff, to me it's a fiction, since I never heard of it till I was about 50.”
“Typical of Barbara Walters. Are you old enough to remember her interview of Patti Hearst--the one who held up a bank with a machine gun? "We wuv you, Patti" was Walters's final statement. It was sickening. She was playing the "Ms. Compassioante" game then and she is now.”
“You're absolutely right. I must confess I'm very old and haven't watched TV in years so this "reality TV" stuff is something I know nothing about (probably that's good.) But I am at least familiar with late-night talk shows--Letterman, Leno, and before that Johnny Carson--and all of the "humor" on those shows seems to revolve around ridiculing some poor sap who had a "dirty secret." "Haw haw haw," goes the half-crocked audience, as Letterman-Leno snickers about Larry Craig getting stung in a men's room in Minnesota, or President Cinton gets a BJ in the White House. So of course these two rotten little dirtballs at Rutgers were doing nothing they haven't seen their elders doing all while they were growing up--getting laughs out of somebody else's humiliation. What a world.”
Oct 14, 2010 at 13:53:17
“I agree. I think the internet and e-mail are wonderful facilitators of communication--quick and easy and practically free. But they do make it easy for people to express cruelty if they're so disposed, and also to be just petty and trivial. I wrote a book a couple of years ago and the publisher asked if they might give out my e-mail address to readers who might wish to communicate with me. I replied "No, you may give out my residential address and then anyone with a serious interest in communicating with me can do it that way, and I will answer all letters." In fact there have been no letters. But there probably would have been trivial e-mails, and maybe even abusive ones.”
“You're right, and why did Tyler say the RA "SEEMED to take it seriously"? "Seemed" implies doubt. Seems to me he should have been able to say "The RA took it seriously." I would certainly like to know exactly what the RA said to him. Probably something like the Rutgers student paper is saying, like "Well, those are the harships of life. Deal with them."”
“There is something fishy going on at Rutgers. The prosecutor was forced to subpoena records of the communications between Tyler and the RA and the two "higher ups" that he mentioned, because Rutgers was "not fully cooperating" with the investigation. It looks as if the response Tyler got from the RA was not encouraging, because he committed suicide just two or three hours after asking them for help. I believe that Rutgers feels some responsibility for what happened, and that the student newspaper is being pressured to minimize the issue and focus on Tyler's "inability to deal with the hardships of life."”
Oct 8, 2010 at 15:43:38
“When I was a kid in school teachers and principals could still use the paddle on brats. Now you know how old I am! But for the past few decades teachers' hands have been tied. If they so much as touch a bratty kid, the parents sue the school and win. So of course the brats all know they can get away with anything at school, and it's a field day for bullies. By the way, the paddle was not used very often; it didn't have to be. Everyone knew it was there so there was very little brattiness or bullying.”
“Why isn't Rutgers cooperating fully with the investigation? A few days ago they said they could not discuss Tyler's request for help, citing "confidentiality." "Confidentiality" is supposed to protect someone from harm. Whom are they protecting? Certainly not a dead person. I smell a rat. Possibly they're protecting someone who ignored or minimized Tyler's complaint--protecting themselves, in other words.”
DrSnuggles on Oct 7, 2010 at 11:52:29
“This is exactly what I was thinking, the media has been focused on Rhavi and Wei, and seems to just now have noticed the elephant in the room. Though the actions of those two was despicable and I hope that they have the full weight of the law thrown at them, they are still just stupid, hateful teenagers. The real issue is Rutgers.
Any academic insitution should be aware of how student concerns operate, if they refused to help Clementi transfer his room assignment they are just as guilty as Rhavi for the abuse that he endured.”
YetAnotherAlex on Oct 7, 2010 at 11:09:38
“Rutgers, like every other college/business/institution in existence, looks out for number one. Colleges want to keep their students safe but if they have to chose between getting justice for their students and maintaining their public image, the latter generally wins. The crime(s) get hushed up and justice becomes difficult to achieve.”
“I don't care whom you work with. These "kids" knew that what they were doing was cruel, and they had fun doing it. They also knew it was illegal because they were not stupid, as you evidently think "young adults" are. I agree with you that there is no "hate crime" and of course they did not want him to die. But they wanted him to suffer and had a good time doing it. Now it's their turn to suffer.”
“I have all the admiration in the world for you, but you are obviously an exceptional person. Most people are not exceptional, and so unlike you, they suffer and sometimes die. Personally I could not have handled the kind of treatment you endured. I would have succumbed because I'm ordinary.”
“Yes, it's all about hate, but it's also all about something else. It's about insecurity and feelings of inferiority. People who are secure and who feel good about themselves do not commit acts of hate. It's the insecure, unsatisfied or otherwise inferior-feeling ones who get satisfaction from putting down, criticizing, ostracizing, tormenting and otherwise bullying others. It's the textbook inferiority complex. "Build yourself up by tearing others down."”
“Not to worry. Scandinavians are known to be well educated, and the average Norwegian probably has five times as much education as the average American, and ten times that of Sarah Palin. You would have to have a large segment of illiterates in order to produce anything like the American tea party folks.”
fpie on Apr 24, 2010 at 11:00:18
“The folks in Sweden fell for the right leaning Reinfeldt and his promises of being "the new party of labour". When they got in power they proceeded to privatise the carefully assembled national infrastructure selling off hospitals, schools, anything they could, using the proceeds to fund massive tax cuts for the rich.
It has come out that Karl Rove is in their employ and they certainly haven't missed the lessons of the Bush administration, of the success of the big lie and saying 'Go F**k Yourself' to anyone who questions their policies. By the time they get thrown out of office the damage will be irreversible and half a century of social progress will be on the edge of oblivion.
The trouble is that a new generation that doesn't remember the bad old days that prompted their grandparents' and parents' generation to build the social-democratic foundation that their society is resting on is so used to honest politicians that they are not prepared for the slippery con men from USA. They can't imagine why anyone would want to tear down the institutions that are so successfull and make their good life possible. And so they vote for the sweet talking big liars. By the time they see their mistake their heritage has been chopped up and sold off for a pittence.”
hopefulinflorida on Apr 24, 2010 at 10:28:20
“I can't beleive they're letting that swine palin into their country, what is she going to say there? Stand up and yell racial slurs and jibberish? What an embarrassment to this country.”
“That's what happens when you're a fast typist--your fingers type the words. I wrote a book about Agatha Christie's novels a few years ago and when the page proofs came, I found I'd called the character "Norman Gale" "Normal Gale" at least a half dozen times, and "there" was spelled "their" a couple of times (I DO know the difference.) Spell check doesn't help much there. "People" is such a common word, undoubtedly the author's "fingers" typed it instead of "pepper." Of course publishers don't do anything like typesetting nowadays. You send your "manuscript" on a disc and they use the disc to set the book up. I doubt that my publisher even read the manuscript, let alone proof read it.”
DMSmith on Apr 18, 2010 at 05:27:33
“The terrible and funny possibility is that many spell checkers will also suggest and sometimes automatically insert what it believes you are typing. A simple miss-spelling of one work could be understood and inserted as another. Failure to catch it on proofreading, and you're off and running.
It's funny folks. It's life. It's funny precisely because it's so sharp-edged.
Relax. Laugh a little.”
“You are absolutely right. The Palestinians got ripped off, but nobody cared about them. The American Indian suffered, too, at the hand of American whites. How would people in Illinois like it if we compensated the Indians by giving them Illinois? Please note that I'm a Michigander, so I wouldn't want them to have Michigan. Just Illinois and maybe Wisconsin and Indiana, too. Better yet: Texas!
Frankly I've always thought a big chunk of Germany should have been made into the new Jewish homeland after the Second World War. The Germans living there could have been relocated just as millions were relocated when the Polish border moved west. If anybody deserved for a part of their land to be taken away and given to the Jews, it was the Germans, don't you think? Instead, we have this perpetual crap of Israel treating all of its neighbors with violence, and Israel having only one ally in the world--the United States.
Of course Ed Koch "weeps" for Israel. Personally I weep for the Palestinians.”
SheilaKhani on Apr 15, 2010 at 23:42:07
“Reality: Germans hated Jews even after WWII. The hatred didn't end with the war.
Religiously: Germany is not part of the "promised land."”
SheilaKhani on Apr 15, 2010 at 23:39:31
“Texas belongs to Mexicans.”
tallen on Apr 15, 2010 at 22:44:44
“>>Personally I weep for the Palestinians.
They were offered a state numerous times.
They prefer war, a losing war, to a state and peace.”
“You make a few good points, but to say "why buy milk when the cow is free" is very insulting to men. Yes, men now postpone or avoid marriage much more than in the past, and so of course they are accused of "being afraid of commitment." The truth is that they are being wisely cautious because they know that half of all marriages end in divorce and that the woman always comes out on top because any lies she may tell about her husband will be believed by an enormous "support group"--that is, all other women and especially her friends and family. If a man enters a marriage he has to cross his fingers. Will she one day destroy me in a divorce court? The probability of that is about 50%. If we have children, will she care enough about them to preserve our marriage even if it's not perfect for her? Of course not. She'll simply use them as pawns in the divorce proceeding.
I'm an old man, widowed for many years. Frankly I think that any young man who considers marriage, under today's conditions, is being very foolish. And if he's "afraid of commitment," he has very good reasons for it.”
I Tx on Apr 8, 2010 at 14:21:51
“And I'll add that I think any young women under today's conditions who considers marriage is being rather foolish herself with the amount of entitled young men out there who think they can do whatever they please but their women must live by another standard entirely. It's about respect and the majority of men I meet seem to have very little respect for women these days. Obviously there are some women out there who don't deserve respect from anyone and plenty of men too but to pigeonhole all women or men as thinking and behaving a certain way is ridiculous. I'd have thought someone with all your life experience would be wise enough to understand that.”
“You must want Obama to be a Bush-like dictator. Bush ignored Congress--didn't even bother to use the veto much, just wrote "signing statements" in the name of "national security." The Republican Congress under Bush forgot their jobs as legislators and let Bush and Company run the country. Then when Democrats took control in 2006 and refused to do the same, Bush called them "divisive."
“No, there will not be just 8 people there. There will be 800,000, and here's how it will happen. Right after Christimas, Glenn Beck will announce an essay contest. Write a one-page essay entitled "Why I Love America So Much." Prize winners will get an all-expense-paid trip to the Teabaggers Convention. And of course everyone who enters the contest will win, and the money will come from millionaires Murdoch, Beck and maybe even Palin. So there will be 800,000 screaming idiots in Nashville for Fox to videotape.
“It is not true that Palin is "fooling nobody." If 67% of the people can see that she's a fool, there are 33% who think otherwise. It's true that she's a crank and that she, along with Glenn Beck and others, will one day dry up and blow away along with other demogogues, but not before they do a lot of damage. Fr. Coughlin, in the 1930s, did a lot of damage on the radio before the Church shut him up (thank God the Church was dictatorial enough to do that) and Joe McCarthy, in the 1950s, did a lot of damage before he finally withered away. And so did Hitler by tapping into German antisemitism.
I would not be afraid if this country had a much better educated electorate, but huge numbers of Americans do not read, think and analyse. They watch the TV shows that express what they like to think, and then they vote. Nothing new there.”
“A similar and even funnier story: over a hundred years ago, big, important, powerful Rolls Royce sued the tiny little Royce Rolls company of Grand Rapids, Michigan (they made those buckets janitors use, with the rollers to wring out a mop.) But tiny Royce Rolls was in business before Rolls Royce was, so they countersued and won! Hilarious. "How dare you name a dumb old car after our good janitor buckets?" they said.”