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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 3, 2006 9:09 AM. The previous post in this blog was E pluribus una. The next post in this blog is You know you're a parent when.... Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, November 3, 2006

Whaddya think?

Should a school bus driver be fired for flipping the bird to George W. Bush in front of the kids? Ordinarily, I'd say that giving people the finger with students on board is cause for discipline. But I mean, come on, it was the Chimp himself! Hard to resist. Justification in my book -- or at least grounds for leniency.

Comments (89)

If that isn't protected speech, I'll be a chimp's uncle.

time, place and manner, Allan

bad monkey

no banana

Sorry, Allan, but an employer has a right to fire you for your constitutionally protected speech if you do it on your employer's timeclock, and your employer doesn't like it.

She can give Bush the bird for all I care, but let's not pretend this is a free speech issue. It's an employee misconduct issue.

I'd plead no intent. The guy deserves it so badly, it was an uncontrollable reflex action.

There's also a justification defense -- preventing the greater harm of the children actually thinking that the Big Dummy deserves their respect.

yeah, doing on the job was not smart. Not to mention, sets a bad example. Although, if the kids in my 'hood are any indication, they are probably way ahead in that respect. Talk about filthy mouths.
I heard a 6 or 7 year old tell another to "F" off last week, and another about the same age calling the girls outside "bitches"...unbelieveable.

I agree he should have been fired for unprofessional conduct, but if you're going to lose a job you might as well go out with a little bit of glory. For me it would have been an easy call, flip off the president or drive a school bus. No contest.

Indeed, tom, her act defines a "little bit" of glory. A regular Patrick Henry, I'd say.

One of the highlights of High School for me was when my AP English teacher flipped off one of my fellow students in class. It was glorious. (And, as I recall, well-deserved.)

If they were little kids... yeah, that's not cool. Firing is probably too harsh, but it does merit some disciplinary action for setting a bad example.

Had the driver gotten on the PA and told her busload of high schools students that any who were against the war should seize the opportunity to flip Bush off, that would have been totally worth getting fired over.

And so the Republican congressman who was riding with Bush, Rep. Dave Reichert, calls the school board and pressures them to fire the school bus driver and the lies about it to his constituents. You can read about it here:
http://electioncentral.tpmcafe.com/blog/electioncentral/2006/nov/03/wa_08_reichert_caught_in_lie_about_driver_who_fipped_bird_to_bush

Not only does the school bus driver get the satisfaction of flipping off the chimp, she can credit herself with starting a controversy that may help Reichert to lose his own job. That congressional race is reported to be in a dead heat.

Yep, no contest.

The definition of civility is finding appropriate ways to communicate your anger. Flipping somebody off in front of kids isn't one of them. Bush deserves it, sure, but the driver can't do that--to him or to some jerk who cuts her off--and expect to stay employed.

"The definition of civility is finding appropriate ways to communicate your anger. Flipping somebody off in front of kids isn't one of them. Bush deserves it, sure, but the driver can't do that--to him or to some jerk who cuts her off--and expect to stay employed.
"

True, perhaps. Manners are a good thing, but it seems to me that, as a society, we have been going down a somewhat formalistic path-where outward polish can be mistaken for real integrity, so that real integrity might be expressed as an outburst of anger.

Actually it can be seen as a valuable lesson in political discourse for the children. I'd be quite proud if my daughter did the same thing. The school bus driver should have been given a promotion.

If I were driving the bus, I would have tried to get everyone to do it, en masse.

The school bus driver was a GREAT role model by telling the failed flunky of a President to go fock himself.

This Tuesday, 60,000,000 voters will do the same, and the GOP will be put back in its place... pre-Lincoln frontier America.


A "lady" makes an obscene gesture to the President of the US while driving a school bus full of kids and is fired. This causes a group of "adults" to applaud the action. The inmates are running the asylum.

Amen Cynthia.

It's amazing that people don't stop to think much about the inconsistencies in punishment, with more weight put on objectively harmless acts. A finger is a finger is a finger... it's a friggin' GESTURE. Why does the word 'shit' have to be considered a bad word? It's just a WORD.

People flip the bird. People cuss. When they do, nobody actually loses a limb, their integrity, money, virginity, or their life. It's harmless self-expression. Those kids on the bus are going to wake up, eat cereal and go to school like they always did before they saw the horror of that extended middle finger. SAVE THE CHILDREN!!

The real problem is having a hypocritical double standard for outward and private behavior. THAT is what really screws with kids' minds, as they make the adjustment to adulthood. To me, this is just a microcosm of what's wrong with society and politics. (see Mark Foley, Ted Haggard, Ken Mehlman...)

"The inmates are running the asylum." No Ron the inmates have been released from the asylum and their running the country.

"bad monkey

no banana"

My sentiments exactly.

So, a government employee gets fired for an expressive gesture while on the job. What about a somewhat higher level government official who says to another elected official in a public setting, "Go f**k yourself"?

Great post, Allan, but the correct term is "Go Cheney Yourself", which I heard dozens of times at the last business convention I went to in northern Virginia.

Even the old gray Republican gals with their knitting needles were laughing at Deadeye Dick.

And THAT's when you have trouble with a capital T.

When old gray ladies MOCK W and Five-Deferment Dickhead.

See you at the polls!

That's an easy one, Allan.

One got fired by his (or her?) employer (the school district), and the other got rehired by his employer (the voters).

Niether is protected speech for employment purposes.

Allan,

What about it? Are you subtly suggesting some sort of moral equivalence?

He asked with a grin.


Sorry,

I meant to address you as Uncle Allan.

Got your torch and pitchfork ready yet? The party's just beginning. Daphne's here and she brought her old gray Republican "gal" friends.

Who'd'a thunk it?

If it had been Bill Clinton getting the bird would any of you felt differently?

Get fired for flipping the bird while on the job? No. That goes too far. Reprimanded? Yes. Suspension? Maybe. But getting fired is too severe. I bet the guy gets his job back.

Hey in Portland if you're a cop you can kill people and not lose your job.

These were middle school aged kids, and I am sure they can handle seeing a middle finger here and there. I loved how she totally broke the war criminal's good vibe with such a simple non-violent act of civil disobedience.

I'm with the district on this one. There's a time and place for everything. This was neither.

Speech may be free, but it has consequences. And this is one.

If it had been Bill Clinton getting the bird would any of you felt differently?

Yes, I'd have felt differently. He's just a lying philanderer, not a lying war criminal. It still would be protected speech. And, as many have noted here, it still might not be appropriate on-the-job behavior. But it's only recently that the Supreme Court has sanctioned government intimidation of government employees on free speech issues. They say that's the government's prerogative, so I guess that's the law. Just like Bush v. Gore. Oh, wait, they actually said Bush v. Gore is NOT the law, except as between the actual parties.

For those who didn't read the flippin' link... it's a woman, and the idea that since it's middle schoolers it's okay because they've seen a few is completely backwards. Any instructor will tell you at Any Age; these are growing young minds who are processing more than you give them credit for. Honestly the best line comes from the chimp himself who said in response to the finger, "that one's not a fan."

She's an employee on company time in a company vehicle. She knew what was coming.

I think oh maybe starting a illegal war and stripping everyone of their civil rights is probably setting a worse example. Vote with your finger!

Hey, maybe she tried to up the ante by putting purple ink on the finger... now that would be funny.

a4a13 said: "these are growing young minds who are processing more than you give them credit for...

Well, I think Kevin was saying they're not too young and naive, so you kinda missed the point.

Snethen said: "Speech may be free, but it has consequences. And this is one."

Oh god, spare us the crusader/sage act. Don't you think you're raising the stakes a little too much?

Yes, ol Bubba loved women, unlike the GOP scumbags like the right Reverend Haggard, Freaky Foley and Jeff (A penny a minute) Guckert.

It's nice to see that the GOP is courting the gay male prostitute vote this year, but it's not exactly an overlooked constituency.


Careful what you say...

Remember we've all been stripped of our civil rights.

LOL

So that's the breeze I felt on my nether region....

I'd be quite proud if my daughter did the same thing.

Wow...parents sure have changed since I was a kid. I guess that explains the behavior of those kids in my neighborhood.


Ricky-

Two words: Habeas Corpus

Habeas digitus might be more precise. You have the finger.

If he took his hands off the steering wheel, or the kids witnessed his display of protected speech, then fire him.

If not, put a note in his permanent file.

TK,

Two words: non sequitur

Some of you are amazing. Lets put our personal politics before the lessons we teach our children. Lets applaud this busdriver....and be sure that we don't discipline our children when they start giving the bird to their principal or other authority figures they despise. Great parents posting here.

I guarantee you that if a driver on my kid's bus gave the finger to Bill Clinton - or any President or ANYONE - in front of my child I'd demand he/she be fired on the spot. And my kid would be out of that school if they didn't. You people. Bush derangement syndrom apparently exists after all.

Actually, Butch, as a citizen and a parent, I think it is my duty to teach my kids to not have unquestioning adherence to authority. There's a vast difference between respect and blind respect. I teach my kids that every authority figure is a person just like anyone else, and that it's very likely that the President's farts stink too.

Of course, there are more and less constructive ways to deal with daft authority figures. It's important to teach about that too. I intend that my kids will know when it's worthwhile to flip their Principal or President the bird, and will not fear to do so. (And, honestly, it's probably a lot less constructive to flip off a Principal, with whom one can have a personal relationship and meaningful dialogue, than it is to flip off a President who bars protestors from his sight and who usually speaks only to handpicked friendly crowds.)

This particular protest wasn't very constructive, but it wasn't very destructive either. I hope that my kids' sense of right and wrong won't be so fragile as to be shattered by the sight of their bus driver raising a bird.

Here goes Jack, trolling for conservatives to defend Bush so he can ban them.

She probably shouldn't expect to keep her job, but I'd imagine that if she feels that strongly about him then it's probably worth it.

Alan:

Good luck enforcing a curfew on your teenagers...Assuming you have a curfew.

Totally unacceptable behavior, character display, and action. Fire the guy... show some respect for the office, whoever occupies the presidency.

so he can ban them.

Haven't banned anyone in quite a while. And due to some technical issues with this website, I believe nobody's banned at the moment.

Alan DeWitt,

Hope you are prepared for the consequences of what you are teaching your kids. And better convert that 'college fund' into a 'bail fund' because that is what you are going to be using it for. I don't care how much you dislike the President of OUR country. Teaching your child it is OK - much less admirable - to 'flip the bird' to anyone is disgusting and destructive.

Someday it might be YOU who is the object of your child's ire (although you certainly don't strike me as any kind of disciplinarian). But if so, when you tell your child he can't use your car and he tells you to *uck off!, are you going to applaud him then? Thought so.

I know most of you bloggers, and I am disappointed in your posts. Respect the office, whether it is occupied by a demo or a republican. How would you feel to have your child flip you off, not respecting your parenthood?

When I first read this story, I thought, "What? No way. Wait a minute. Bill Clinton isn't the president? When the hell did that happen?" So then I checked around on the internet and sure enough it's true.

Now, it's also true that "flipping the bird" is generally considered a vulgar gesture, And even though it's understood that Bush is technically only president of the Army and has no direct institutional or moral authority over a bus driver, no matter how lowly, it certainly is no surprise when an employee loses their job when they express their own opinion rather than the opinion the have been hired to express.

When history makes her judgement regarding this costly and bloody conflict, I am certain that the loser will be Dave Reichart. After all, being an overly enthusiastic butler to power is more humiliating than making a bad decision, by far. Hard to say who the winner is, though odds are one day we will learn that he or she was sitting on a bus that day, having spent the day at the zoo before getting an object lesson in the dangers in taunting big, dumb, powerful animals.

If my child were on that bus and mentioned the incident to me, I'd tell her, "Honey, a lot of people don't like this President. They think he's one of the worst presidents we've ever had. I don't like him, either. It's not nice to give people the finger, but I can understand why people are mad.

"One of the greatest things about this country is that we all get to say what we think about the government, even if it's rude. Don't you go giving people the finger, but remember it's o.k. to disagree with the people in power."

Jack, in your " a lot of people don't like this President", I am assuming that "a lot" could be interpreted as being "a majority" in your thinking. I question whether this would be true if a proper question were put before each person in the US. Yes, I would agree that most likely the majority would not like certain positions the President has endorsed, but I separate this from the supposition that the majority "don't like this President". I feel that we should be more careful, diligent in separating ones position on issues from whether we dislike the person. And I must admit I find that hard to do too.

Hey, I'm sure Kim Jong-Il is a fun guy to get a buzz on with. In the case of a public figure like the POTUS, however, the only meaningful thing that's to like or dislike is the person's record in office.

As for Bush the person, he looks like a phony, boorish, selfish, spoiled, fallen reformed drunk with very little going for him. But it's my parental duty to inform my children that that's not really relevant.

Butch said:

"Great parents posting here.

I guarantee you that if a driver on my kid's bus gave the finger to Bill Clinton - or any President or ANYONE - in front of my child I'd demand he/she be fired on the spot."

and

"And better convert that 'college fund' into a 'bail fund' because that is what you are going to be using it for."


I'm sure given your non-judgmental, rational, ego-less persona, you have sterling children.

Knowing Alan personally, I can assure you that I would love his family to be our neighbors. I can also assure you that I would rather have a family like Alan's next door than a family that beats respect into their kids for authority; it those kids that, in my observation, tend to become the biggest social misfits.

Jerry said:

"most likely the majority would not like certain positions the President has endorsed, but I separate this from the supposition that the majority "don't like this President."

This President has used the office to establish policies that permit torture ("harsh interrogation") on persons held without access to legal redress (3yrs in secret CIA prisons). These "positions" are not a mere matter of differnce of opinion; they are ethically and morally reprehensible.

Therefore, not only do I not like the President's policies, I do not like the man.

... show some respect for the office, whoever occupies the presidency ...

I don't get it, the bird was for the occupant, not the office, wasn't it?

If she didn't respect the office why would she cared who occupies it.

The kid aspect is iffy I agree, but that should never be more than a note or reprimand at the most.

I like countries where citizens can flip their rulers w/o fear of harsh retribution.

"I like countries where citizens can flip their rulers w/o fear of harsh retribution."

At the moment, the list regrettably doesn't include this one. High-minded principles about civility, sheltering the children, safety behind the wheel and on-the-job decorum are basically window-dressing for repression.

Haven't banned anyone in quite a while. And due to some technical issues with this website, I believe nobody's banned at the moment.

But the point is that you have and apparently still would if you could. And I'm not meaning instances of foul or excessive crude language. I can understand that. What I'm talking about instances where posters responded to your own snarkiness in kind, putting it back on you. And that was enough.

The answer to your question has nothing to do with Bush, liking him or not, and in the real-life example it didn't either. It had to do with the appropriateness of the behavior. It isn't acceptable workplace behavior for many workplaces, and especially not in that workplace. A person employed to work with kids who flips the bird for any reason while in the presence of the kids is properly subject to discipline. Including termination.


One of the posts said it best, we do have free speech but there are (can be) consequences for your actions (speech). Had it been me and Clinton was president, I'd have flipped him off (I wouldn't do it to Bush) - but I'd also expect that I'd be fired and I'd be fine with that decision.

Doubletalk. Free speech with consequences is not, in any sense of the word, "free".

hmmmmmm///so the President is a boorish...drunk? What deep seated feelings of inferiority causes one to continually post such gibberish. George Bush is the president of the US. He appears to have a wonderful family. His wife seems to be a joy. He is a graduate of an Ivy league university whose father was also the POTUS. He had a great job managing a major league baseball team. he has tons of money and is a part time gentleman rancher which is, by the way, the greatest job in the world. The guy is in great physical shape and will probably live to be 100. he rides horses, hunts, fishes and has his own personal chef. He even has a private 747 for God's sake.

The next question is what malady causes a middle aged husband and parent to refer to the POTUS in the same terms one would expect from someone in the 9th grade for the third consecutive year. I suggest someone needs a course in anger management and ego fullfillment.
Finally for U free speech advocates. Has anyone noticed that anyone who doesn't slavishly follow the script seems to get booted off this site.

He appears to have a wonderful family. His wife seems to be a joy. He is a graduate of an Ivy league university whose father was also the POTUS. He had a great job managing a major league baseball team. he has tons of money and is a part time gentleman rancher which is, by the way, the greatest job in the world. The guy is in great physical shape and will probably live to be 100. he rides horses, hunts, fishes and has his own personal chef. He even has a private 747 for God's sake.

Except for the money and the family connection, wrong on just about every count. Kids with serious drug problems, himself lapsing back into drinking (choked on a pretzel my eye), marital problems with wife staying at the Mayflower when she can't stand it any more, got everything he ever had (including the baseball gig) due to his dad's connections, tanked a couple of businesses, terrible student at Yale, went AWOL from the military due to his coke problem at the time, wore a portable defillibrator during the last campaign.

And by far, the worst President ever.

And by far, the worst President ever.

Nah. He's not even the worst in the last decade, let alone ever. He's not even in the running.

"Kids with serious drug problems, himself lapsing back into drinking (choked on a pretzel my eye), marital problems with wife staying at the Mayflower when she can't stand it any more, got everything he ever had (including the baseball gig) due to his dad's connections, tanked a couple of businesses, terrible student at Yale, went AWOL from the military due to his coke problem at the time, wore a portable defillibrator during the last campaign.

Yeah, but what do you really think?

defillibrator?

defibrillator!

You may need one next.
Such anger and bitterness.

Jack:

The Shrub had a better GPA than Kerry. From USNews & World Report:
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/050620/20week.lede_2.htm



Bush and Kerry: Two Average Joes

As they bid for the White House, Democratic candidate John Kerry was often painted as a pompous, French-speaking intellectual, while George W. Bush was portrayed as a simpleton who routinely flubbed the English language. Bush also took his lumps for being a lousy student at Yale, where he graduated with a gentleman's C average, according to a transcript published in the New Yorker in 1999. Kerry, on the other hand, didn't release his grade report until last month. And? Surprisingly average , reports the Boston Globe: an unremarkable 76 grade-point average--a point below Bush's GPA. The Globe reports that Kerry got a slow start, racking up four D's in his freshman year at Yale, but pulled up his average to an 81 (B) his senior year. His top scores freshman year: a 79 in a poli-sci course and a 77 in French. Clearly, he improved, becoming a top student at the Naval Candidate School, graduating from law school, and becoming a lieutenant governor, senator, and presidential hopeful. President Bush obviously wasn't hobbled by his so-so academic performance, either.


Reasonable people can differ over whether Bush is the worst president ever or merely one of the worst.

I think W. actually wore a portable defillibrator, rather than a portable defibrillator. This would perhaps have protected him in the event of a heart-stopping nucuelar attack. But the personal weaknesses and failures outlined above are of little consequence except to the extent they might have predicted job performance that is breathtakingly bad: squandering of the country's fiscal and human resources, its reputation in the world community, its natural resources; and its opportunity to address urgent environmental issues; corruption and incompetence in the administration of the Defense Department; government contracting; FEMA; the Department of Homeland Security; the FBI the CIA; the Department of Justice; social security; the IRS; and Medicare, just to name a few of the more prominent ones. To say nothing of his overtly criminal acts in sanctioning torture, indefinite detention and other blatant violations of the constitution and laws he swore to uphold and defend.

Apologies for the punctuation crimes in the post above.

Allan L. Your comment that "civility" means "repression" is quite a stretch. I fear for our country with that kind of thinking. All cultures have "civility".

Zeb, your quote is right-"free speech can have consequences". I was involved in an incident two weeks ago when my family was boating on Mult. Channel. We tied up to Hadleys Marine Park. Beautiful day with many boats out. There were several people fishing from the docks. Our friends in their boat approached the dock to tie up on the outside because their boat is large and hard to dock. The fishermen when told the boat coming in will need the space where they were fishing left their lines in the water and began cussing up a storm. It was explained, and it is even posted on the dock in three languages, that boats have the first use of the dock, especially since our boat licenses pay for these marine parks. The fishermen protested after some name calling that they "have a right to free speech". They do, but there can be consequences, and that is also the American Way, and it can be done with civility.

"civility" means "repression"
It depends, I suppose, on how and when civility is promoted or how conduct or speech is criticized on this basis. A driver's gesture at another driver or at the person occupying the White House may be uncivil, but the thought communicated is plain and the circumstances would have made it difficult to adopt a courtly and timely alternative. Hence the repressive effect. Bear in mind how Bush effectively insulates himself from opposing views.

Your boat dock example, given the alternative ways the fishermen could have communicated with you, seems more offensive, since heeding a call for civility would not have stifled the intended communication.

"Bear in mind how Bush effectively insulates himself from opposing views. "

This is the problem, imho: an opposing view can be confused with its presentation. Proper form may be ideal, but lack of it shouldn't be an excuse to suppress ideas. Formalism is big in the Bush administration, but some reporters and editors at the O seem to rely on it as well, to the extent they will twist critics' words so they can object to the form an ignore the opinion. No question, in my mind, that this is repression.

One of my favorite books is Lenny Bruce's autobiography: "How to Talk Dirty and Influence People". He argues that crude and obscene culture invites crude and obscene criticism. Both Bob Dylan and Dustin Hoffman did tributes to the guy. I think he was on to something.

"Reasonable people can differ over whether Bush is the worst president ever or merely one of the worst."

He's not the worst. Jefferson Davis' Presidency was certainly worse for the country.

" is a part time gentleman rancher"

Dear God, he's raising gentlemen in captivity now?

Jefferson Davis' Presidency

This is probably nitpicking, but I don't think he's actually on the list.

Reasonable people can differ over whether Bush is the worst president ever or merely one of the worst.

Or one of the better ones. History will write that story, not the leftwing freakshow as now constituted.

The choir is growing more and more deluded. it may a personality disorder, you know, when such vindictiveness shows up day after day.

I mean the president was a better student than Mr Kerry or Mr Gore. Poor Mr Gore actually flunked out of divinity school.( it must have been humility 101). This does not mean that these two have not enjoyed success. They and The pres are certainly more succesfull than your local neighborhood shyster.

This is what is so humorous about the far left and the far right. they are so caught up in their blind hatred that they fail to realize that it is the failures in their own lives that cause them to try to pull those who have realized success into their private cesspools. From slick willie" to "chimp", their sophomoric name calling only illustrates their inability to articulate a true position. i am convinced that some of the poor souls in this forum and their ilk to the right of Attila the Hun should be locked in a vault for a few days. a baseball bat would be issued to each and they would, hopefully, learn how to communicate like adults before they beat each others brains in. i will agree to mediate. no bat for me, i'll take the shotgun.

If we're going to discuss civility, perhaps we might exercise a little here. Comparing the operator of this blog to a ninth grade flunkie does not demonstrate that the subject is immature -- only that the person who makes such a comment is. To suggest that one treat others with respect and then make such comments warrants membership in the Haggard House of Hypocrisy.

sophomoric refers to 10th grade...not ninth/ which must be freshmoric..it is enlightening that you are bothered by such references...i take it that you feel the same way about chimp, junior. big dummy and the other names tossed around this joint. and i did not call anyone names...i simply referred to the universal result of blind hatred: the inability to discuss issues with a semblance of rationality.

It doesn't matter what you are politically, the jury has been out on Bush, nearly before he took office.

He is most certainly not a smart man, and no matter how bad you want to believe, Kerry and Gore think and speak circles around that intellectually incurious man.

Bush can't answer a single question without spewing some vague, generalized and meaningless talking point... if he even gets the answer out of his mouth. In fact, they've never been more than just WORDS, stripped of relevance and weight. He is incapable of articulating any idea, or even inserting an actual specific.

This really isn't a subjective opinion, it's just what it is. Bush has really hit rock bottom, because the 30+% who think he's dandy will never waiver anyway, perhaps with too much pride to admit championing one of the worst presidents ever. Every conservative ideology they voted on or cared for, this guy has used it as his bullshit shield. The embodiment of every neocon dream, this Orwellian nightmare. If it’s not pride, surely one of the other sins is to blame… greed, gluttony, who knows.

Zeb, Mister Tee, Ricky... History is going to be soooo unkind to your 'King George', they won't even put his mug on a wooden nickel.

TKrueg:

The smell of Kool-Aid is in the air. Bush won. Then Bush won again. Big time. Now he's isn't running for anything ever again because he's already won everything there is to win. Deal with that. Wallow in it. Let it wash over you. Then get over it. You'll be a better person for it.

And as an independent who votes for the best candidate and the best ideas, I'm very pessimistic that the Democrats will in the forseeable future ever be able to offer any kind of viable alternative to the Republicans because the best that they've been able to come up with is to call Bush ChimpyMcBu$hitler, and to say that he went to war for his daddy and his buddies at Halliburton. Sorry, that's not a plan.

And if the Democrats win any part of Congress back on Tuesday it'll be because they had a whole lot of candidates posturing themselves as Republicans, decidedly not running on Democrat ideas. Think about that.

Zeb,

It's quite obvious you shroud yourself in the 'reality' created for you by your precious talk-radio friends and pundits... so lacking in perspective or grasp of the real world.

If you bothered to check out the positions of Dems in key races around the country, you'd realize Dems are running on the strength of the platform. Are you even reading the news? Republicans are running scared from the issues they pushed two years ago! Throughout states like Kansas and Nebraska, GOP politicians are jumping ship to the Dems... Have Rush and Hannity bothered to mention this, or are they too busy trying to make SOMETHING out of Michael J Fox and John Kerry?

Only the most desperate GOP congressional candidates are asking Bush to fundraise for them this year… they don’t want to be seen with him. He’s the kiss of death and his pet projects are 'toxic', and this is news to you?

You talk about Bush’s electoral victories as if they were victories in football. You stopped just short of yelling ‘Scoreboard!”, thank god. And I’m so happy you’re convinced you’re ‘independent’ and ‘vote for the best ideas’… you’ve clearly shown fine taste in a criminal, er… president to get behind. That you don’t realize this when most people on earth and in this country have finally figured it out, is simply amazing. Yeah, Zeb, that bubble is working out GREAT for you. You’re a true American Hero. God bless.

Dems are running on the strength of the platform

TKreug if you seriously believe that bilge then ask yourself why the Dems were so upset about Kerry (and Hugo Chavez too, 6 weeks earlier) coming right out and articulating what they actually really do believe in their heart of hearts for everybody to see and hear, why Pelsoi, Reid, et.al. are have been kept way out of sight, chained in the basement for the last couple of weeks, and why Pelosi was forced to say that impeaching Bush is not going to happen, when everybody knows that's exactly what the base wants and expects, and what several of he Dem colleagues intend to try to do.

Democrats only win by misdirection and by trying to make enough people believe that they are something other than what they really are. If that's not enough, then they steal the rest. Sometimes they can (Gregoire, Washington, 2004), and sometimes they get busted (Gore, Florida, 2000).

IF Dems do NOT reclaim both the House and the Senate, then it will mean that the electorate really is punishing the Dems.

History has shown that the minority party, on average, gains 20-30 seats in the House and half a dozen in the Senate during the 6th year of a two term president. That average amount of seats gained would put both houses of Congress back into Dems control.

Again, if that does not happen, then the electorate will be giving the Dems a below average amount of gained seats for the 2006 mid-term elections across America. I am actually hoping that I does happen (that is, big Demo electoral gains) this Tuesday, but I think I will be disappointed.

Zeb, you have only been here a few days, but already you're pushing it. Quite apart from the ridiculous content, you're hanging around on multiple threads, arguing with everyone rather than carrying on a conversation. That's not welcome here.

FYI, Mr. Wade, the quote in reference was "someone in the 9th grade for the third consecutive year" (4 Nov 9:09am). But thanks for continuing to define sophomoric behavior by example.

I agree that "the inability to discuss issues with a semblance of rationality" is indeed a problem. It is not, however, limited to blind hatred; blind allegiance is more than adequately represented as well.

What I find most troubling by this entire discussion is that - like many topics - one's position is determined by one's political persuasion. Whether "free speech" should be exercised, whether the filibuster is appropriate, etc. -- these positions seems to be determined according to political preference, not in accorance with the acts themselves.

Some of us are capable of distinguishing between the two responses. I know my gut reaction to the story was one of amusement. On that personal level, I thought the action was appropriate to the target. On a rational level, however, I am perfectly willing to suggest that such behavior reaps certain consequences. I will not, however, defend said behavior just because I happen to not like the President -- that is ridiculous... just as ridiculous as blindly assailing such behavior because one likes the President.

If a school bus driver (or whomever) wants to flip the bird -- be it to Bush, Clinton, Bog, or myself, I say "go for it" -- but be prepared to face the consequences. Do I really give a damn about such a behavior? Not really. It is an extended digit fercryingoutloud. While I don't share the outrage generated by such a gesture, I do understand that it may be considered socially unacceptable (particularly in the presence of children). So, should someone who offers an inappropriate gesture to anyone while in the course of their employment duties be held responsible for their actions? Yeah. (I could share a similar story about a former coworker of mine who offered such a suggestion to then-Senator Packwood... the coworker was subsequently -- and appropriately IMO -- fired.)

...And my views on this make me a crazy Clinton-lovin' commie how? Oh, wait -- that's right... if I don't pretend to want limited government except, of course, when it comes to other people's behavior that I don't like, then I am an immoral, God-hating liberal.

Hey Zeb, Wade, Mr. T, Ricky et al.--

The American Conservative does not share your glowing assessment of our undeniably-chimp-like president. They want the Dems to take over Congress.

http://www.amconmag.com/2006/2006_11_20/feature.html >

Psst! I think it might be because massive tax-cutting, borrowing and treasury-hemhorrhaging are not conservative actions.

DON'T TELL THE OTHER REPUBLICANS!

I will not, however, defend said behavior just because I happen to not like the President -- that is ridiculous...

Whoa... careful there. You might get "run out of Dodge" by the choir for crazy talk like that.


Zeb...
Interesting that you key in on Reid, Pelosi, Kerry, none of whom are running for office. What do they have to do with Dems trying to take GOP incumbant seats?

You paint with a clumsy brush, my friend.

dear Ellie: now, now..don't start calling yourself names. donh't you think it is refreshing to see that this blog actually has a few posts that do not stick to the party line for a change. you need to see this as progress and, who knows, maybe some of the posters will actually find other names to use for public figures besides dummy, chimp, the cattle future's queen..etc.


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In Vino Veritas

If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend
Familia Bianchi, Malbec 2009
Terrapin Cellars, Pinot Gris 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2009
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Termpranillo 2010
Ravenswood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quinta das Amoras, Vinho Tinto 2010
Waterbrook, Reserve Merlot 2009
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills, Pinot Grigio 2011
Tarantas, Rose
Chateau Lajarre, Bordeaux 2009
La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2011
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir 2009

The Occasional Book

Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 212
At this date last year: 60
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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