Rules for being a gentleman or a lady

by Grace aka costofcollege

Are there certain rules for being a gentleman or a lady?

When to text an emoji, riding a horse… and undoing a bra with one hand: Country Life reveals its 39 key skills every modern gentleman should have

The 39 rules for being a lady: Country Life decreed this week there are 39 rules for being a gentleman. In the interests of equality, LIBBY PURVES offers her exquisitely witty response

Many of the rules listed make sense to me, for both men and women:

6. Wears his learning lightly

25. Can pay the tab in a restaurant without making it obvious.

Some might be considered less important.

29. Would never own a Chihuahua

I actually like most of these.  What do you think?  What are your rules?

Advertisements

198 thoughts on “Rules for being a gentleman or a lady

  1. I think we should include the test of the item so we don’t have to refer back to the article. I’ll go first:

    #1 Negotiates airports with ease.

  2. Well, I don;t think I know any gentlemen or ladies because I don’t know anyone who conforms to all of these.
    Some of them make sense for both genders (not slamming doors in peoples faces, can remove a screaming toddler iwth a smile, can navigate airports) and many make no sense for anyone (what is wrong with lilac socks or sandals anyway???). I think the only people who know how to train roses these days are Mexican gardners.

  3. In all seriousness, both lists are, for the most part, spot on. And lessons to be taught.

    I have a few lessons that served me well:
    1 – keep your house tidier than your friends’ houses, but never say anything negative about your friends’ lack of housekeeping skills (always tell them they are busy and it’s OK)
    2 – know how to cook a full dinner and get it on the table on time and timed perfectly
    3 – know how to set a proper table, and use your good china more than you think you should – the more you use it the less you are apt to break it
    4 – know how to make a great pot of tea, and serve it properly
    5 – above everything else, always have a quick meal to prepare and freeze for a friend or family member in need; if not a meal, then the ability to go to them and help them clean, entertain, function; not everyone can keep their sh!t together when it hits the fan
    6 – and be on time (see lesson 2)

    Lesson 6 came to me after I invited a friend for dinner at 6p, and had dinner on the table at 6p and she showed up at 7p. Dinner wasn’t fantastic reheated an hour later.

    Lesson 5 was taught to me last winter by my friend – she showed up at my door with a freezer full of meals for me after DS was born and in the NICU. I pay that forward as much as I can.

  4. Rhett –
    Men’s #23 – know the difference between Glenfiddich and Glenda Jackson
    Women’s #14 – Like Grace Kelly, thinks clothes should be ‘tight enough to show you’re a woman but loose enough to show you’re a lady’.

  5. As for tightness of my clothes, I think I will let comfort dictate that, not some weird notion of “looking like a woman.lady”. I think people can figure it out.

  6. Risley,

    I wonder if Puerto Rico is considered by upper class Brits to be a hopelessly “middle class*” vacation destination? A gentlemen might go to Barbados or one of the BVI?

    * Using the British definition.

  7. TMI, but I can’t tell you the last time I unfastened a bra, one-handed or not. When we get things going, we’re typically both already wearing pajamas.

  8. My rule on entertaining and timing dinner: plan meals that either can improve with lengthy simmers, or are cooked in 5 minutes at the last second. Plan appetizers to hold people. That way, people who are late won’t faze you.
    (and btw, being on time is huge for me – I can’t stand being late – but 90% of the people I know would assume a 6pm dinner invitation means come at 7

  9. Rhode, I love your rules at 10:48.

    Assuming Rhett is right, what would be the US equivalent of Puerto Rico? Branson MO?

  10. I think my fave rule for women that is actually specific to women is #8 Walks like a functional human, without tittupping, hip-swinging or hair-flicking.

    If only women followed it. But no, they teeter down the streets of NYC in their stilletos, holding everyone up on the subway stairs as they try to get down them without breaking their necks. I rarely see women who can actually walk gracefully in stilletos, which is why I wish they would only wear them when going to a party where they will be stationary

  11. Rhett – The Roomba 595. Good? DW has been hinting at Roomba for a while, and yes I know that a vacuum, even a robotic one, doesn’t really “count” as a gift. Will it do carpets? Go under the kitchen table? Get over thresholds?

  12. Some of them are downright wierd to me. No sandals? What do you wear when it’s hot outside or at beach? Train a rose???
    I have never liked British Toffery!

  13. Florida panhandle is good, arguably less classy than Branson.

    When someone says come for dinner at 6, I assume it won’t be served until about 7.

  14. Same with me! If I call someone at 6, I don’t serve dinner till 7 for sure. I like to give my guests some leeway as to arrival time and a chance to drink and chat before serving dinner.

  15. Roomba 880 is very nice. We just got one, so far, it has handled the massive amount of dirt and pet hair that everyone tracks in everyday.

  16. Social timing of dinners is a painful topic for me. My most unpleasant experience as a mother of young children was someone who invited us for dinner after church, didn’t serve it until 3 PM, and then was angry with me because Twin 2 (26 months) was cranky and fussy. That was a lost friendship.

    I think both parents should teach their children manners.

    I’ve also realized in the past year or two that good manners requires keeping a sympathy card in the house (or two in my case, religious and non-religious) and being able to write a kind, warm note to the family.

    I think that I think a lady or gentleman should try very hard to maintain a healthy weight. They should also be considerate of those who assist them, such a housecleaners and childcare workers.

  17. 37. Deals gracefully with spiders, mice, etc, without screaming.

    The women in my family who are very proper ladies fail this. My kids too fail this. They call out for Mom when they see a small bug.

  18. … although I don’t own china

    Me either. Someone mentioned “things you’re cheap about” the other day. For me, it’s dishes, glasses and such. IKEA is good enough for me.

  19. #5 for men…completely agree, and it applies to everyone. If you’re a baseball person, the corollary is “sometimes the best throw is one not made.”

    I don’t get #32

    Paraphrasing Rhett: I so have #38 covered

  20. WCE, I didn’t get one for a very long time because I assumed it couldn’t handle farm level dirt. My oldest housesat for a family that had one and it worked for them. It is amazing technology, and I suspect one of those things that will enable older people to live at home a little longer. It can go under some furniture, but it does get lost every once in a while. It has a propensity to try to eat socks, but so far I have been able to detangle it without difficulty. You can set it to automatically turn on at a certain time every day. It is running right now.

  21. I can gracefully handle bugs and spiders. But if I see a mouse, I am running for the hills while screaming.

    Some things I think everyone should know:

    How to give a toast
    How to make a good pot of coffee

  22. MM – I understand what you mean, but I also said “I’m serving dinner at 6pm.” After that I realized how annoying it is to the host to be late at all. Or if I am, I tell them I’m late.

    CoC – US equivalent, to me, would be Disney World.

  23. I don’t understand the Puerto Rico thing at all! Puerto Rico is really pretty. Vieques is beautiful. And it is close to the east cost. And part of the U.S.!

  24. Those lists are great! A very fun read, and a lot of good advice. I recently learned two new pieces of etiquette (or gentlemanly behavior):

    When seated at a restaurant table that is against the wall, always give the lady the banquette seat because 1) she should have the privilege of looking at all of the people in the restaurant, and 2) you want nothing more than to gaze at her because she is the most beautiful and interesting person there.

    When exiting a bus the gentleman should exit first and then turn around and extend his hand to the lady to help her off. This would probably work on a train as well. I got that tip from a 1920’s mystery that Honolulumother recommended!

  25. “and 2) you want nothing more than to gaze at her because she is the most beautiful and interesting person there.”

    ssk – all the cops in my family would shudder at this. They are the first to take the banquette seat! Unless it’s against a window, then they would let the lady have it.

    I like the second rule… going to teach my kid that one.

  26. When we go to a restaurant, I get the banquette seat to nurse the baby. Mr. WCE gets the spot with the best accessibility to the bathroom and the paper napkin station.

  27. Few of us would qualify by bloodline or type of work as traditional British gentlemen/ladies. I believe barristers and physicians and career military officers and Anglican clergy always did, but clerks and accountants and technical types and engineers did not. Finance types, definitely not, unless they were a certain sort of private banker from the best lineage. However, the independently wealthy children and especially grandchildren of those who made a lot of money could acquire that status, as long as they did not toil as their forebears did and used their money to marry up socially. Have I mentioned before that I am NOT an Anglophile???

  28. Milo,

    We have the 630 which works great. Murphy has the 880 which has their new brush technology and I think her’s you can set to run when you’re not home.

    Will it do carpets? Go under the kitchen table? Get over thresholds?

    Yes (although if I’m doing a thorough job I’ll flip the chairs on top of the table), yes and yes.

  29. We did teach our boys to break a relationship face to face (#13). They say that’s how they’ve done it.

  30. Rhode – exellent point! My brother-in-law is in law enforcement and I still remember how he would scan the scene when we were standing around. I will have to watch where he sits!

  31. My list:

    (1) Knows the name of service people encountered daily (the conductor on the 7:33 train, the janitor in the college dorm, etc.) and greets them.

    (2) Tips generously.

    (3) Doesn’t comment on or criticize anyone’s appearance.

    (4) Is sufficiently aware of the surroundings to avoid being mugged (if it’s avoidable).

  32. WCE, I am less enamored with the Roomba than others here, although we have 3 and a Scooba.

    DH loves them, but our vacuum is faster and less noisy (we have almost all hardwood floors now, because the kids and the cat always aim their vomit at rugs – perhaps it’s a coordinated campaign?).

    The Roomba takes about 20-30 minutes to do a 200 sq. ft. room with furniture in it, and I can vacuum that in less than 4 minutes.

  33. Sky, thanks for your comment. The sources of my frustration are Mr WCE’s failure to remove his footwear after working outside (so he’s always tracking stuff in, ongoing 15 year marital discussion) and dog hair, especially when she sheds. Adding a brick sidewalk between his shop/office and the house has helped him track in less. I can’t even get out the vacuum and pick up an area in 4 minutes, so my hurdle is less the vacuuming time than our clutter. He objects to my attempts to declutter his stuff, and we have ever-changing kid clutter.

    I think I may just have to live with dirt/clutter.

  34. The Roomba takes about 20-30 minutes to do a 200 sq. ft. room with furniture in it, and I can vacuum that in less than 4 minutes.

    This was what I always wondered about them – how long they take.

  35. DH does something I think is very gentlemanly – he makes it a point to always know people’s favorite drinks, and then have those on hand whenever they come over. And he’s just as dedicated to this if they are not drinkers or even minimalist drinkers. He’ll say something like “We have a bottle of red open, but if you’d prefer to have a glass of tea/diet coke/scotch/G&T for now, I have that for you as well.” It’s so thoughtful and man-of-the-houseish it kind of makes my heart go aflutter every time he does it.

    The bottom shelf of our pantry has approximately 40 different bottles of various liquors, all favorites of people we have hosted.

  36. #3. Doesn’t take offence easily.

    I had to work at this one but have definitely become better with age.

  37. British lists of class characteristics seem to end up as an odd combination of universally recognizable traits (e.g. consideration for others) and weirdly specific stuff that doesn’t translate (e.g. Puerto Rico, or when they get going on the correct name for rooms/furniture/dessert). Not to mention the wish fulfillment element that creeps in of reflecting the author’s personal tics. It reminds me of an Ezra Pound thing I once read about the minimum level of knowledge to be an educated person. It included seven languages — coincidentally enough, the very same seven languages that he had some knowledge of!

  38. The San Bernidino shooting… I hadn’t realized he killed his co-workers and tried to blow up his office. CNN is ranting that it’s the biggest terrorist attack in the US since 9/11. Why isn’t it just a classic case of someone “going postal?”

  39. Rhett, it’s kind of looking like this one is a hybrid. There are indications that they were at least admirers of ISIS, even if not actually working with them, e.g. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2015/12/san-bernardino-shooting-isis/418854/. OTOH getting pissed off about something and shooting up the office holiday party sure looks a lot like going postal. Like maybe the guy was about ready to snap over the various grievances of his daily life, and then there was this handy-dandy ideology giving him a channel for that. And one wonders how much of a role his new wife played in pushing him that way.

    Disturbingly reminiscent of the married couple in Four Lions.

  40. Rhett

    Because he recently traveled to Saudi Arabia. He went to Pakistan and brought home a wife, who was his accomplice, because he was making ieds in his garage in accordance with an ISIS manual.

  41. OK, I was laughing at the list, and then I laughed even harder at the number of things that fit DH — the weird things, like sandals and lilac socks and Glenfiddich and waiters and even Puerto Rico. He is clearly a better gentleman than I am a lady — he is very good at taking care of people.

  42. HM & Milo,

    I’ll bring Cousin Eddy into this discussion as I first heard of this as it relates to the ongoing troubles of Randy and Evi Quaid:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2010/10/two_flew_over_the_cuckoos_nest.html

    What Is Shared Psychotic Disorder?
    Shared psychotic disorder, also known as folie a deux (“the folly of two”), is a rare condition in which an otherwise healthy person (secondary case) shares the delusions of a person with a psychotic disorder (primary case), such as schizophrenia. An example: A person with a psychotic disorder believes aliens are spying on him or her. The person with shared psychotic disorder will also begin to believe in spying aliens. The delusions are induced in the secondary case and usually disappear when the people are separated. Aside from the delusions, the thoughts and behavior of the secondary case usually are fairly normal.

    Shared psychotic disorder usually occurs only in long-term relationships in which one person is dominant and the other is passive. In most cases, the person in whom the delusions are induced is dependent on or submissive to the person with the psychotic disorder. The people involved often are reclusive or otherwise isolated from society and have close emotional links with each other.

  43. Frog,

    Isn’t HM’s explanation more likely?

    Like maybe the guy was about ready to snap over the various grievances of his daily life, and then there was this handy-dandy ideology giving him a channel for that.

  44. Rhett,

    There are a few things I’m reading that aren’t making the mainstream press:

    (1) Tashfeen Malik, his wife’s name, isn’t a typical woman’s name. It is the nom de guerre of Yusuf ibn Tashfin, who led the Muslim forces in the battle in 1086 which allowed the Muslim people to remain in southern Spain. It would be like having a wife named Ivan C. Terrible, or William O’Conqueror. (Nor does she look Pakistani at all, so it’s almost definitely an alias.)

    (2) There are social media posts attributed to her by the FBI, in which she pledged allegiance to the leaders of ISIS.

    (3) Workplace violence usually doesn’t involve contact with terrorists overseas, and apparently there is substantial evidence of this.

    (4) The IEDs were made according to the instructions given in the first issue of INSPIRE magazine, the ISIS publication, including the use of a Christmas light in the fuse and a remote controlled toy as the detonator.

    (5) The neighbors report seeing a lot of “Middle Eastern men” coming and going from the house at odd hours, carrying packages.

    If you’re mad at your co-workers, how much does your wife really care? Enough to help you build dozens of bombs, train herself to shoot a semiautomatic, and leave her infant with her mother-in-law to murder dozens of them and likely die? Do your friends bring you boxes at 3 AM to help out with the planning?

    That, to me, says there was some greater motivation here.

    I think that they were actually planning to hit a much bigger target in LA at Christmas, and either he lost his temper at the holiday party and decided they could possibly get away with both, or the bigger target had been hardened in some way and they chose this as the easier route.

  45. I realized that my definition would make the Columbine tragedy a terrorist attack. Oh well, no love lost.

    I just read the lady rules. I read the gentleman list a few hours ago, so I could be wrong, but it seems that the lady list 1) has a higher proportion of things that you’re supposed to refrain from rather than engage in; 2) has more rules that require a balance between two conditions rather than a specific trait: and 3) has more rules in which success is defined by the behavior of someone else (children in a few cases).

  46. @Milo — re: the lady rules: yep, that sounds about right. Excellent observation.

  47. Ha – I am definitely NOT good at #19 – discussing house prices is like a hobby for many of us around here! :)

    I like guests to arrive 10 minutes late in case I am frantically cleaning up the house at that moment. I also know from experience which friends will show up 40 minutes late instead, so I tell them a time that is half an hour earlier than everyone else.

  48. I am really fed up that these shooting incidents, whatever maybe the reason are happening. Anybody it seems, teens with angst, working people with daily issues, loners..the list goes on are deciding to end not only their own lives but others as well in a hail of bullets. Soon we will all know someone who has died in a mass shooting.

  49. Soon we will all know someone who has died in a mass shooting.

    I already do. Someone I went to high school with was killed when a guy at her workplace went postal, in the 90s. She was a sweetheart and she left behind a husband and a couple of small children.

  50. I realized that my definition would make the Columbine tragedy a terrorist attack.

    Wasn’t it when you think about it? Angry suicidal young men terrorizing and exacting vengeance on their oppressors? IIRC the Columbine kids wanted to kill all the “white hats” the popular athletes they despised.

    The big difference being that as teenage suburban high school students the entirety of their world was their high school. The same forces were at play but played out on a tiny stage.

  51. “in the home country flip flops are referred to as Hawaii slippers.”

    Here, most people are careful not to refer to them as flip flops, which might be taken as an ethnic slur.

  52. “Domestic terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics:

    * Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
    * Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
    * Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.

    Hmm, I guess Columbine may fall under that definition, but I never thought of it that way.

  53. “Here, most people are careful not to refer to them as flip flops, which might be taken as an ethnic slur.”

    I’m constantly learning of new ways I can offend people . . .

  54. Of course, I grew up calling them thongs, which is not quite appropriate these days.

  55. I also saw A report that said that 2 to 3 years ago, he placed an ad on a singles website. He stated he was looking for someone who was religious and cared a lot about her religion, but it didn’t matter which one it was. I think it may turn out to show that she radicalized him. It sounds like he grew up in a house that was not observant, as his father was not colle A report that said that 2 to 3 years ago, he placed an ad on a singles website. He stated he was looking for someone who was religious and cared a lot about her religion, but it didn’t matter which one it was. I think it may turn out to show that she radicalized him. It sounds like he grew up in a house that was not observant, as his father was and alcoholic.

  56. “I like guests to arrive 10 minutes late in case I am frantically cleaning up the house at that moment.”

    I empathize. I try to never arrive early when invited to someone’s home, and would rather arrive 10 minutes late than 10 minutes early.

  57. Rhett, he did that at an off-site Christmas party, not his office, and apparently there was evidence of a lot of pre-meditation. He didn’t just lose it that day. He brought his wife, they had made pipe bombs and stockpiled ammo, and they found evidence on his computers that he had been in contact with extremists who were being monitored by the FBI. I actually would have preferred it to be a workplace issue.

  58. The FBI is now officially investigating the deadly San Bernardino shooting as an “act of terrorism” after it determined there was “extensive planning” involved with the attack.

  59. Confirmed with a family member who travels to England monthly…Puerto Rico is the poor man’s vacation. If you go to the Caribbean it is BVI or, to a lesser extend, Cayman.

    For dinner guests, I always say “arrive anytime after 6. Dinner is at 7.” If they aren’t there by 7, we eat without them. Part of the socializing is the before dinner drinks and apps.

  60. “Flip being the n-word for Filipinos?”

    Kind of, but not exactly. But it can definitely be taken as a slur.

    “what do you call them”

    Rubber slippers, pronounced “rubbah slippah” (sort of Bostonian) or, especially by young pidgin speakers, “rubbah sleepah.”

    “MIL calls them thongs which makes me think of underwear”

    Or swimwear.

  61. “Puerto Rico is the poor man’s vacation.”

    “US equivalent, to me, would be Disney World.”

    I don’t think WDW is for poor people, not with daily admissions going up over $100.

  62. ” I grew up calling them thongs, which is not quite appropriate these days.”

    I guess you might see more than one type of thong at the beach.

  63. Isn’t avoiding saying “flip flop”, like avoiding the term “nigardly”? Kind of pc kabuki.

  64. Rhode, last week I met a preschool girl named Ire (no accent), pronounced ee-ray.

    Still mystified.

  65. When I was growing up we called them (the slippers) Zoris, which I guess was a brand name.

  66. ““Puerto Rico is the poor man’s vacation.”

    “US equivalent, to me, would be Disney World.”

    I don’t think WDW is for poor people, not with daily admissions going up over $100.”

    Finn – true, but it is the middle class draw. Everyone goes to DW at least once in their life. I guess I meant it more as being over rated for what it is…

    Sky – ee-ray? really. I would have pronounced it eye-er. And then wondered if, upon arrival, the child caused such anger in her parents that they commemorated it on a birth certificate.

  67. Finn – it’s been a long time since I’ve heard that issue, but when we were deployed, we embarked an intelligence-type warrant officer with a huge chip on his shoulder. One of his many complaints about us was that we referred to shower shoes as “flip flops.” Since he was married to a Fillipina, this upset him.

    If it had come from anyone else, we probably would have listened, but we’d had more than enough of this guy already.

  68. Oh kick me out of the Totebag… in about 5-10 years, I’ll be talking about a second mortgage to take Baby Rhode and his siblings (if the Universe and medical science deem it so) to the Mouse House.

    Sky – DH came across a person who named her sons Chaos and North. Kimye stole her kid’s name.

  69. Huh, I could almost pass for a lady.

    Anybody it seems, teens with angst, working people with daily issues, loners..the list goes on are deciding to end not only their own lives but others as well in a hail of bullets.

    And what is the one thing they all have in common? Easy access to guns. It doesn’t matter what the gun laws are in one state when someone can drive over the border in a couple hours to get them in the next state. It doesn’t matter if criminals buy guns at gun shows or in the alley behind the gun store because the sellers don’t face any punishment. We NEED consistent, comprehensive, FEDERAL laws to cover gun purchases & ownership, including registration & licensing similar to driving & cars, with universal background checks. No loopholes.

    And to those who say this is a mental health issue, not a gun issue – why should we have to choose? Let’s fix both problems. We’re learning more about the brain every day, but the science does nothing if people cannot get help for themselves or loved ones when they need it.

    I did know a mass shooting victim, and I’m only 1 degree of separation from 31 more. I thought that after little kids were killed, we would finally do something, and I am both heartbroken and disgusted that we have not.

  70. “I guess I meant it more as being over rated for what it is…”

    It’s definitely overrated, but mine is the minority opinion in my house.

    I think we spent about $7500 last time. We can do a week at the lake with a boat rental for about $2200.

  71. “If it had come from anyone else, we probably would have listened, but we’d had more than enough of this guy already.”

    Yeah, it’s not always a slur, but there’s always the possibility that someone could take it as such. That depends a lot on who happens to hear it.

    Anyway, people here don’t use that term. Using it is a sure sign of being a malahini, not a local. Not unlike referring to aloha shirts as Hawaiian shirts, or (this always got to SM) referring to all local residents as Hawaiian, regardless of whether or not they have any native ancestry.

  72. Parents Are Naming Their Babies After Instagram Filters
    Lux was the most popular

    http://time.com/4130646/baby-names-instagram-2015/

    “#3. Doesn’t take offence easily.
    I had to work at this one but have definitely become better with age.”

    That’s good. I’m a bit schizophrenic with this, but I am both too clueless in some cases and also getting better with age. My family right now is getting riled up about a new holiday gift-giving tradition, which was proposed by one family member but other members want to tweak the rules. What was described as “freaking out” by some seems to me just to be normal disagreements. Anyway, another person and I half jokingly proposed no gifts, which was then accepted by the organizer, seemingly in a huff. As I said, I’m sometimes clueless, but I may be partly responsible for escalating an already tense situation and creating a no-gifts Christmas at the costofcollege holiday celebration.

  73. “Oh kick me out of the Totebag”

    We’ve had a lot of discussions here about WDW, and the totebaggery was very helpful to me when my family was planning our trip.

    WDW trips are a very totebaggy thing; I’m guessing that very few, if any, or us haven’t been there, or to some other Disney park.

  74. 3) Doesn’t comment on or criticize anyone’s appearance.

    Does that mean you shouldn’t say “I love that sweater! The color is perfect on you.” ?

    Isn’t that safe? And ladylike?

  75. On the subject of unfortunate kid names, just last night DS was talking about some, in the context of email addresses. At school, their email address start with first initial and last name, and she has a classmate with last name Yu, first initial F.

  76. I’m at Barnes and Noble. Are any of the Pioneer Woman cookbooks good? I’m picking out a present for myself from DW–her instructions. Her “Dinnertime” looks good with just the right amount of complexity. Members (I’m a member) save 40%.

  77. Don’t know about her books, but her Very Berry Cranberry Relish was amazing. It had me at bourbon.

  78. Alright Rhode and CoC. I’m going to buy it and if I post a recipe, you’ll have to make it.

  79. Milo — Last week, People magazine published a couple of recipes from her “Dinnertime” book that looked really good. Based on those I am actually planning to check out that book myself.

    (Yes, I am a People magazine subscriber. More Totebag demerit points for me.)

  80. NoB – I’ll join you… I subscribe too… It’s about the only thing I get a chance to read nowadays.

  81. SWVA — I have been very busy at work today, but as I was scanning the news at lunchtime, I saw something that claims that people who are listed on terrorist watch lists can still legally buy guns in the U.S. Could this possibly be true??

  82. I don’t understand the insistence on gun control as the solution to these massacres. Both of the perps were flying under the radar. The wife passed the background checks required to get a visa. It’s my understanding that the guns were purchased legally in California, which supposedly has stringent gun laws. Strict gun control laws in France did not prevent the Paris terrorists from obtaining their weapons. Terrorists and criminals are lawbreakers. They are not deterred by gun control laws. I’m guessing that stricter gun control laws would not have prevented any of the most horrific mass shootings in this country, as few of the murderers would have failed the background checks.

    As to motive, it’s not that hard to connect the dots. The whole “workplace violence” thing is a red herring. Maybe they targeted this site because the guy could come in first and case the place without attracting suspicion. Or because it was a soft target in the middle of an ordinary suburb — the sort of attack that has more potential to instill terror because it truly could happen anywhere. Or maybe it was the practice drill for a future attack. Maybe the wife blackmailed her husband into participating by threatening to kill a family member.

    Look, these parents abandoned their BABY (for whom the mother had set up an online gift registry) for a suicide mission which required extensive, concealed preparation. Meanwhile the guy is out inspecting pools and restaurants and apparently acting totally normally. The only motivation for such extreme behavior is Islamic jihad.

    What a horrible legacy they left that innocent child.

  83. Rhode — I am really looking forward to curling up with People tonight and reading all about Sandra Bullock’s new daughter. A much-needed antidote for all the horrible stories on the news.

  84. Strict gun control laws in France did not prevent the Paris terrorists from obtaining their weapons.

    Australia implemented strict gun control after a series of mass shootings and hasn’t had one since.

    Question – should folks on the Terrorist No Fly List be able to legally buy guns and explosives in the US?

  85. The only motivation for such extreme behavior is Islamic jihad.

    What was the planned parenthood shooter? Why does a nut being Muslim make it terrorism?

  86. NOB – I’m not an expert, but that’s my understanding. The no-fly list is federal but gun laws are by state.

    The way I believe gun laws would help is that people who buy them legally still have to register them. And some smart database would raise a flag if the same person started accumulating assault rifles. And if straw purchasers are registered, then we prosecute them when a gun they purchased gets used in a crime. And “responsible gun owners” have to get licensed & regularly re-certified to prove that they know how to handle and store them safely. There is no one “gun control” that will work, but rather creating a culture of responsibility around gun ownership. And reduce some domestic violence and accidental child deaths while we’re at it.

  87. I agree with Scarlett that none of the proposed gun control measures would have mattered in any of the recent shootings. And I’m totally neutral, perhaps conflicted on gun control.

    A total handgun ban might help. That was the VT shooter. But again, Navy Yard guy used a shotgun.

    Background checks are worthless. None of these people would have flagged a background check. I don’t know why we even talk about those.

  88. “And some smart database would raise a flag if the same person started accumulating assault rifles.”

    So there’s a flag. Then what?

  89. I would ban all guns, except for those used by members of a well-regulated militia. Which I would define as a state sponsored military or state peace-keeping/law enforcement organization.

    Yes. Perhaps strict gun control laws would not prevent jihad or shooting up elementary schools. But it might just stop me from shooting a loved one in anger or Junior shooting himself or me by accident.

    I may die in a hail of bullets from a terrorist, or more likely from a friend, acquaintance or loved one. But I will never agree that guns in the hands of anyone other than my definition of a well-regulated militia is a good idea.

  90. “I would ban all guns, except for those used by members of a well-regulated militia. ”

    You sound like a lawyer.

    IMO, the biggest impact of stricter gun laws would be to reduce the total number of guns in circulation below what they would be without those stricter laws. I’m guessing that a fair number of guns used in the commission of crimes were initially purchased legally, but subsequently fell into the hands of people other than the initial purchasers, e.g., were stolen, inherited and sold.

  91. As much as I’d love to debate gun control on a Friday evening at 5, I’ve got a holiday parade to go to. I hope there aren’t any crazy people with guns there.

  92. Rhett,
    It’s really hard to sneak guns over the border into Australia.

    And surely you don’t believe that the Colorado Springs shooting was in any way comparable to the one in San Bernardino. Weird guy who lives off the grid in a shed and tells neighbors to install tin roofs so the government can’t spy on them takes an AK-47 and attacks a Planned Parenthood facility. Despite the fact that he was holed up there for hours till the police got him out, the number of victims was relatively small. Although the authorities reported that the murderer rambled incoherently after his arrest, including statements against Obama, the anonymous allegation that he mentioned “baby parts” was enough to convince those not already convinced by his choice of target that he was motivated by anti-abortion rhetoric. Never mind that no pro-life organization had ever heard of him, and there was no record of his being involved in any anti-abortion activities. From what has been publicly released about him, he appears to be a garden-variety nutjob who didn’t need a motivation because he’s not living in the regular world.

  93. And surely you don’t believe that the Colorado Springs shooting was in any way comparable to the one in San Bernardino.

    I think it’s exactly the same thing. A nut needing to vent their rage against the world.

  94. “who do I call when a coyote is killing sheep?”

    An archer?

    WCE has also made the point previously about people needing guns for self-protection in areas where police are spread very thin.

  95. Get Microsoft into the gun business. If you don’t renew your registration annually, or upgrade every few years, they render your gun(s) non-functional.

  96. I don’t know, Murphy. What did people do before gun powder? Coyotes and sheep have been around a long time. For that matter, so have people. Bud does that prove your point?

    It might. But does that make you feel safer around those who are most likely to kill you?

  97. Rhett, is Murphy’s comment true? I don’t know, Murphy. But haven’t coyotes and sheep been around for a good part of the 6000 years of the Earth’s existence?

  98. “What did people do before gun powder?”

    Hired shepherds? Wool was probably a lot more expensive. Same for gyros.

    I’m curious now. Does Sheep Farmer ever encounter hungry coyotes? Are the coyotes jumping a fence? That’s what the bear did by the Little House in the Big Woods when Pa grabbed his rifle to try to shoot it. He only scared it away, though, so Laura was disappointed, as she loved bear meat. Pa said “at least I saved the bacon.”

  99. If Intuit (the turbotax guys) were in charge of gun registrations, they would prevent transferred guns from working until the new owner properly registered the guns (and paid the full registration fee).

  100. Rhett,

    So a loner weirdo nutjob with an AK-47 who doesn’t like Obama, shoots some people at Planned Parenthood, then surrenders to police is in the same category as a married couple who spent weeks or months amassing a home arsenal, including pipe bombs constructed using instructions from an Al Queada magazine and enough materials to construct a lot more, rented an SUV, left the baby with grandma with a lie about a doctor’s appointment, filled the SUV with thousands of rounds of ammo, donned camo gear, protective vests and GoPro body cameras to film the carnage, shot dozens of people and killed 14 of them, left several remote-controlled explosives that fortunately failed to detonate, escaped in the SUV with 1600 rounds of ammo, then engaged in a suicidal shootout with police.

    Would you think differently if the murderers had shouted “Allahu Akbar!” when they started gunning down their victims?

  101. Would you think differently if the murderers had shouted “Allahu Akbar!” when they started gunning down their victims?

    No. I’d still go with HM’s theory that they were nuts who grasped onto whatever crazied ideology happened to be around.

    Planned Parenthood guy looked around grasped onto whatever was at hand. So did the most recent guy.

  102. What troubles me is that in addition to terrorists and gang violence which law enforcement should be focusing on, we now have seemingly ordinary citizens of all stripes who have the ability and braziness to shoot and kill us as we walk down the street. There is an undercurrent of not feeling safe and I have not felt this way in many years. I feel like I have to look at each public place for potential hiding places and escape routes.

  103. Rhett,
    You are a very smart guy, and I can’t understand why you are unwilling to acknowledge the obvious. The San Bernardino murderers were not nuts who, if they hadn’t stumbled across Islamic jihad, would have joined up with the Branch Davidians or the neo-Nazis. The “crazy ideology” they embraced is part of the violent branch of their religion, and shared by millions of their fellow Muslims who, unfortunately for the world, believe that those verses in the Quran commanding the slaughter of infidels mean exactly what they say.
    And, yes, it is millions. Even if you believe that only 1% of Muslims support jihadist violence, which is almost surely an undercount, that is 14 million people. Are they all nuts?

    We still have no idea what the Planned Parenthood murderer was thinking, if he was thinking. All of the information released so far is consistent with a seriously disturbed individual with virtually no connection to other people, let alone the pro-life movement, who is probably suffering from some serious mental illnesses.

  104. PTM, one of the sources of tension between the rural and urban communities is the disregard of the urban community of the challenges faced by the rurals. And the imposition of solutions to urban problems that cause problems in rural areas. Likely the reverse is also true, but since I’m not one of you I really don’t know.

    I am probably taking your comment the wrong way, but it seems that you would have no qualms about a rural person incurring the economic costs and real dangers associated with not hanging a gun so that you wouldn’t have to face the possibility of Junior flying into a drunken rage and shooting you.

    i don’t want it my husband or children to face a rabid skunk in the middle of a field without some way to take care of the problem. If a coyote attacks a sheep or dog I want to protect them. Aside from the fact that a bow is much more difficult to aim properly, it is also silent. With a gun, I just have to hit the general vicinity of the coyote and it goes away. The noise of the shot is generally sufficient.

    I have a scary looking dog for protection. I hope that no one who tries to break in realizes that he can be bought off with a dog biscuit. I also live in an area where it is plausible that I might have an ak47. The possibility that I might have a way to defend myself makes me safer, especially since the police response time is not instantaneous.

    And yes, rabid skunks are a thing. If you ever see a skunk in the daytime, get away from it and call animal control immediately.

  105. The San Bernardino murderers were not nuts who, if they hadn’t stumbled across Islamic jihad, would have joined up with the Branch Davidians or the neo-Nazis

    Yes, they are. These mass shootings happen every few weeks. This isn’t any different. The only minor difference is whatever brand of crazy they grasped onto. One guy thinks he’s a jihadist. Another guy thinks he’s the joker from Batman and shoots up a Colorado movie theater. The only difference is what brand of crazy was conviently at hand.

  106. I am genuinely surprised, Murphy, that you might need an AK-47.

    And you know as well as I do that we are more likely to die from acts of friends, acquaintances and family members than rabid skunks. Even in Miami. Of course, we do have alligators and pythons.

    I’m willing to discuss some reasonable gun regulation. I would prefer to subsidize your shepherd, if required, however. Heck, I subsidize farmers every year. But I don’t really see why you need that AK-47 unless your family is coming for Christmas.

    And, of course, we will not agree. I do think there are some steps we can take. Among those no brainers, I think, would be to restrict those on the no fly list from purchasing guns. Of course, that was voted down by the Senate last night.

  107. ” With a gun, I just have to hit the general vicinity of the coyote and it goes away. The noise of the shot is generally sufficient.”

    An archer with a bunch of firecrackers?

    Or maybe a drone armed with knives. One of them committed murder on an episode of Mysteries of Laura.

  108. “Among those no brainers, I think, would be to restrict those on the no fly list from purchasing guns.”

    Until/unless there is transparency and an appeals process in the determination of who is on that list, this is not, IMO, a no-brainer, especially in light of stories of people who ended up there just because their names were similar to the names of some suspected terrorists.

  109. There are serious due process concerns with the no fly list, and expanding its application exacerbates that.

  110. There are serious due process concerns with the no fly list, and expanding its application exacerbates that.

    So address those concerns. If you think they are such a concern that their fundamental right to travel freely should be abridged, then it stands to reason they are too dangerous to be allowed to accumulate vast caches of guns and explosives. Does it not?

  111. Scarlett – How would you characterize Timothy McVeigh (Okla City?) This is a serious question.

  112. Here is an interesting article about coyotes sent to me by a friend the other day. http://www.c-ville.com/coywolves-albemarle-county-new-species-calls-area-home/#.Vl7oLVko5nF
    I saw a coyote for the first time in over a year the other day. I do like to hear them and see them, but only from a distance. They are beautiful animals.
    In Virginia, more and more farmers are getting out of the sheep business because of coyotes. We have changed our farming practices to better prevent coyote losses. Easy for us to do since we have a small flock and the farm surrounds our house. A lot harder for larger farms to do that are more spread out or are located at a distance from where the farmer lives.
    As for gun registration, does anyone honestly believe that people who already have guns would voluntarily registered their guns? There is no way a gun registry would work.

  113. “These mass shootings happen every few weeks. This isn’t any different.”

    Sure it is. Although the authorities and the media were at first stepping all over themselves to avoid drawing the obvious conclusions, this case is substantially different from the majority of mass shootings. For one thing, the garden variety loner nutjob who shoots up a fast food restaurant (if he doesn’t die in the process) is prosecuted under state criminal laws. The FBI is treating the San Bernardino shootings as a federal terrorism case. It has much more in common with the Paris massacre than the shooting at Planned Parenthood or most of the other tragic multiple victim shootings.

    The FBI and other federal agents are involved because the government recognizes that terrorists are far more of a threat to our safety and national security than the angry young guy with a gun.

  114. Regarding the Roseburg shooting, the NY Times article below says there are 12,419 concealed gun licenses among the 107,000 people in Douglas County, where Roseburg is located. Mr WCE and some friends from work will be assembling assault-style rifles from parts over the Christmas holidays. Someone has a federal firearms license, which allows them to purchase parts in bulk, and the ammunition for that style of rifle is inexpensive, though supply/demand has increased the cost of the guns. If I were worrying about the volume of firearms, I’d be worrying about the federal firearms dealer licensing process, not focusing on individual guns.

  115. Meme (I don’t know how to put in that accent mark), that is a good question. Although the Oklahoma City bombing was similar in many respects to a jihadist terrorist attack (and indeed much of the media, even the New York Times, initially speculated that Islamic terrorists were involved), and certainly qualified as an act of domestic terrorism, I think that the difference between the two is the extremely small number of guys like McVeigh compared to the vastly larger number of actual and aspiring Islamic jihadists. The jihadists are killing people all around the world on a daily basis. The sheer number and diversity of their victims is staggering.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Islamist_terrorist_attacks

    Among those harboring serious, even violent grudges against the federal government, McVeigh was an outlier. How many similar attacks have taken place since Oklahoma City? By contrast, the San Bernardino massacre is just one in a long, seemingly unending line of violent attacks in the name of Islam. What is especially frightening about this attack is that the target was so nondescript, one of the terrorists was born and raised in the United States, and the other one was a woman.

  116. Rhett,
    How many of the perpetrators of mass shootings in the US were on the no-fly list?

  117. Rhett, if you think both the jihadists with the PP shooter were mentally ill, what about kamikaze pilots? Hamas suicide bombers?

    History is replete with political and religious movements whose adherents were willing to commit suicide to murder innocent civilians, in the hope that it would further their movement’s ends.

    They are much more dangerous than the guy in the woods with the tin hat.

  118. What disturbs me is that the terrorists and the unstable populace have access to the same weaponary.

  119. NoB- excellent article about Sandra Bullock. Like I may read it again excellent.

    Going to read Rick Riordan’s Sword of Summer. A YA book with no mass murders. Unless you count mythological beasts.

  120. Even if you believe that only 1% of Muslims support jihadist violence, which is almost surely an undercount, that is 14 million people.

    You seriously believe this? That pretty much ends any rational discussion on the issue.

  121. Thanks Louise! What a neat site!

    In my neck of the wood, people have lots of guns. They have closets full of ammo–you have to buy it when you can because there’s a scarcity situation. It’s hard to describe just how much ammo it takes to fill an entire closet. These are UMC housewives, professionals, etc. Some hunt, some skeet shoot, and some just carry for “protection”. I’ve been told by good friends out of a true concern for my safety that I needed to get a gun because my job is in an unsafe (urban) part of town. It’s part of our culture here.

  122. I tend to agree with Rhett. Columbine and Sandy Hook and Planned Parenthood aren’t that different from San Bernadino. The end result is that people are dead because some crazies had guns and decided to go take out a group of innocent people. I don’t think one group is easier to contain or the fact that religion is the reason some people commit these atrocities makes them more or less evil or worrisome. I am just as worried about a disturbed teenage boy (of which there seems to be a steady supply) shooting up a school as I am about a jihadist taking out a work holiday party.

    I also hate guns. I think that we all are fragile and under the right circumstances, we all could have a lapse of judgment or ability to control ourselves or a lapse in remembering to lock the ammo up in a place that the kids don’t know about.

    Where I live, a gun shop has recently opened next to the elementary school. The fifth grade classrooms overlook the gun shop. Lovely.

  123. Denver Dad,

    I’m not making this up. The Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan, reputable organization, recently conducted a massive study of worldwide Muslim beliefs, involving more than 38,000 individual interviews in nearly every country with more than 10 million Muslims. From the executive summary:

    “Few U.S. Muslims voice support for suicide bombing or other forms of violence against civilians
    in the name of Islam; 81% say such acts are never justified, while fewer than one-in-ten say
    violence against civilians either is often justified (1%) or is sometimes justified (7%) to defend
    Islam. Around the world, most Muslims also reject suicide bombing and other attacks against
    civilians. However, substantial minorities in several countries say such acts of violence are at
    least sometimes justified, including 26% of Muslims in Bangladesh, 29% in Egypt, 39% in
    Afghanistan and 40% in the Palestinian territories.”

    The body of the report defines “most Muslims” as 75% or more. Which leaves 25% or less in the other camp.

    http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-full-report.pdf

    Now, it’s great that a majority of Muslims in every country rejects jihadist violence. But any way you slice the numbers, the percentage of Muslims worldwide who support violence in the name of Islam, either often or just “sometimes,” is AT LEAST 15%. Even in the United States. So 1% is quite clearly an undercount. And there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, so, as I stated, even 1% amounts to more than 14 million people.

  124. I don’t find the Pew numbers surprising. My husband was living in a predominantly Muslim country on 9/11, and the general reaction was celebratory, not “ugh, those fringe-y whackos are besmirching our good name.” I am surprised that anyone would suggest that the 1% number is not rational–if anything, it’s optimistic.

  125. Rhode — I totally agree re. the Sandra Bullock article. I liked her before, but now I adore her.

  126. Tangent to fellow parents of young children: Walmart is clearancing out their boots/snow pants on-line already. Kmart is already out of stock in my kids’ sizes and Target snow pants are poorly reviewed. FYI for those who were not ready for winter clearance on Dec. 5.

  127. Seriously don’t know whether to laugh at the naïveté of the populace here! For those of us who did not spend our lives in our bubble of Mayberry, but rather living and working close to Muslims around the world, the idea that about 75% of Muslim population will not condone (if not outright celebrate) such acts is not surprising.
    At best they will shrug it off and go on with their lives.

  128. There are a lot of rootless young people floating around who are easily swayed by ideology. If you are the fifth son and your mother was the fourth wife, what do you think your status in the family is ? Two or three children are precious but when there are a dozen children floating around, there is no loss if one or two decide to become matyrs to a cause.

  129. Thanks, WCE, got DS some snow boots.

    We will see if he tries to play in the snow this year :)

    I just hope we don’t end up having a bad winter again this year, because last year was quite bad enough. There were piles of snow here and there until early May.

  130. Scarlett, thank you for your comments. Mostly I agree with your perspective, and your articulation of the facts around this issue should help educate. When Muslims worldwide were asked about 9/11, the response was that “7% of respondents think that the 9/11 attacks were “completely” justified and view the United States unfavorably”.
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/104941/what-makes-radical.aspx

  131. Speaking of gentleman, the WSJ has apparently launched a series of first up against the wall articles.

    That idea appealed to Eric Sobel, 26, who is in contract to purchase a townhouse unit at the under-construction 11 Beach Street in Manhattan for $9.95 million. Mr. Sobel, an investor, said he was attracted to the unit in part because it has a private sauna, steam room and indoor swimming pool.

    It’s fascinating that they refer to him as an “investor” as once he would have been ckassified as a gentlemen but now we don’t even have a word for a person like him.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/home-spas-that-rival-those-in-big-hotels-1449154437

  132. Scarlett,

    In modern day America, I think someone with the land and resources of Lord Grantham or Mr. Darcy would refer to themselves as a farmer or rancher. Or, perhaps a real estate developer?

  133. Maybe Lord Grantham was a developer. Or at least financial circumstances forced him to become a developer. But Mr. Darcy? He didn’t seem inclined to sell off part of Pemberley for a housing estate. Much more likely that he would donate some land for conservation purposes, and then he could call himself a park ranger.

  134. Ummm, I believe the term is landowner. Farmer, rancher, or grower implies actual hands on involvement in production. Landowner means just that with or without active involvement in management.

  135. Murphy,

    Would the absentee owner of 25,000 acres of prime Central Valley farm land refer of themselves as a landowner at a cocktail party?

  136. It depends on the cocktail party. In the Central Valley, probably. In Silicon Valley, no one in their right mind would admit to a connection with ag.

  137. In Silicon Valley, no one in their right mind would admit to a connection with ag.

    No one in SV would admit to being a vintner?

  138. Actually, let me clarify. Depending on the venue, one might say one was an investor or landowner. In certain venues, it would be foolish and inviting some sort of lecture on the evils of conventional ag to admit either ownership of 25,000 acres in the Central Valley unless one could spin a story of sustainable organic production. Mr. Darcy, was clearly a landowner. i’ve never seen Downton Abby, so I”m less clear about Lord Grantham.

    Also, isn’t kind of rude at cocktail parties to spend too much time inquiring about what a person’s occupation, particularly if they choose not to be overly forthcoming? I’m having a hard time imagining the circumstance where anyone would want to detail their assets to strangers.

  139. Vintner, you mean one of those people who strip the hillsides of the native oaks and despoil the natural habitat to produce grapes?

  140. Vintner, you mean one of those people who strip the hillsides of the native oaks and despoil the natural habitat to produce grapes?

    Doing God’s work, I say.

    Also, isn’t kind of rude at cocktail parties to spend too much time inquiring about what a person’s occupation, particularly if they choose not to be overly forthcoming?

    It is. On the other hand, at least in America, you need a response to, “So, what do you do?”

  141. I’ve been running around and never finished posting the survey results. Sorry. Anyway, there were 43 total responses.

    How much will you need in retirement to feel comfortable? Let’s assume a paid-for house is a given.

    Less than $1,000,000
    6.98% 3

    Between $1,000,000 and $3,000,000
    53.49% 23

    Between $3,000,000 and $5,000,000
    20.93% 9

    Greater than $5,000,000
    18.60% 8

    How much do you expect to actually have accumulated at retirement?

    Less than $1,000,000
    6.98% 3

    Between $1,000,000 and $3,000,000
    48.84% 21

    $3,000,000 to $5,000,000
    16.28% 7

    Greater than $5,000,000
    27.91% 12

    One respondent felt that only $1M – $3M was necessary but expected to have $25M, and I wonder if that respondent would like to adopt a 55-year-old retired librarian?

  142. On Mr. WCE’s uncle’s ranch, he leased his land for cattle, raised some specialized grass seed that commands a good price for reseeding after forest fires and let a neighbor keep bees in exchange for a share of the honey. (The neighbor proposed the arrangement, and Uncle had more honey than he knew what to do with.) His unique skill was identifying the specialized grass seed niche and doing the work to become certified. He probably looks after stuff (checks water for the cattle, etc.) if the people who normally work his land are on vacation or have a family emergency. He’s not completely hands-off.

  143. “Also, isn’t kind of rude at cocktail parties to spend too much time inquiring about what a person’s occupation, particularly if they choose not to be overly forthcoming?”

    Back in DC, some of those people said that they worked at the State Department, which meant that they worked at the CIA. No further questions, unless the questioner also worked at State.

  144. I’m not familiar with him but a couple of my cousins from the seed corn selling branch of the family live 7 miles west of Adel. I’m sure they are familiar with who he is.

  145. I found that a lot of CIA types worked for the department of Agriculture back in the late 80s/early 90s. I was one of the 3 C suite officers for a very (VERY!) small organization in college, but it was a real corporation so a lot of former employees listed me as a reference. Some of the background checks were actually funny because they always involved questions about drinking, illegal drugs etc and this was for my college friends or co- workers. Many of these supposed jobs were going to be in the Dept of Ag.

    I definitely think that one of my professors was involved in the CIA, or a similar organization. I didn’t know it at the time, but he taught a lot of classes about the Soviet Union. He was always traveling there too. It makes sense now because he was there a lot when it was very difficult for people to travel there as this was still during the cold war.

    I can’t wait for new Homeland tonight. I wasn’t enjoying this season, but it has finally heated up. I do get depressed when I watch and realize that real life terrorists are doing the stuff BEFORE Homeland producers think of the plot lines. It stinks when the headlines and news are crazier than a fiction episode of Homeland.

  146. I swear I met a CIA/Dept of Ag employee a few years ago. He spent a large amount of time in an unstable region, in a 19th century capacity. What tipped it off was how adept he was at steering the conversation away from himself, and back about the other person. He was extremely smooth.

  147. Interesting poll results. It appears we are, as a group, on track to meet our financial targets for a comfortable retirement, which comes as no surprise to me.

  148. “Would Mr. Darcy be classified as an “investor”?”

    To which Mr. Darcy is this reference? The subsequent posts made it clear it is not Jefferson from “Married… With Children.”

  149. Murphy, I’m wondering how many SV cocktail parties you’ve been to, and whether your comments are based on a stereotypical view of a possibly nonrepresentative slice of SV.

    I’ve been to my share, and met, or knew, quite a few people with roots in the Central Valley or the Salinas Valley, who would not look askance at the ag industry.

    Not to mention that most of the people you’d meet at a SV party with actual SV area roots are likely to have roots in the ag industry as well. My guess is that when I moved there, about a third to a half of the current SV was in ag.

    OTOH, my experiences were with just a slice of SV as well.

  150. Finn, I was born in the Silicon Valley and still have relatives there. One of my close friends ended up at a tech company and I spent a good portion of my twenties there. I have been to cocktail parties, business function, weddings, funerals, etc

    Fifty years ago, the SV was indeed an ag region. My mom worked in the fruit packing sheds as a teenager. That industry/culture is no longer there.

  151. I’m sure they are familiar with who he is.

    Likely. But, I wonder?

    His great & grandparents were Ira and Sarah? I assume that Stine is an Ellis Island misspelling and that it made him a distinct minority in rural Iowa?

    Gives ones pause as we discuss letting historically disadvantaged minorities into this country. They do tend not do very well.

  152. Stein, Berg, etc. are German surnames, not specifically Jewish ones. Iowa is heavily populated by Germans and Scandinavians, perhaps because the climate is such that farming techniques are similar to ones they already knew. Pretty much all my great-great grandparents came to the Midwest from present-day Germany or Holland after the Civil War. To my knowledge, Iowa has never had much of a Jewish community.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebraization_of_surnames

Comments are closed.