Sunday, August 9, 2009

Overheard At The Diner

Yesterday we were having lunch at a diner in Anchorage.

In the booth directly behind me were four tourists.

Two older couples, obviously up from the lower 48.

They were talking loudly, excited to be in Anchorage.  They were discussing the pictures on the walls of the diner and the view out the window.

Then one of the women said, “I heard Sarah Palin called Obama’s Healthcare Plan ‘evil.’”

They all agreed that Palin obviously was some type of authority on the subject. 

Then the same woman continued, “She said that the plan will require that you get counseling when you get to be our age.  Say if you get terminal cancer, you have to get mandatory counseling on going into a hospice and ending your life so you’re not a burden on society.”

They all agreed that the Plan is indeed evil.

(You may at this point, visualize me banging my head on the table)

A couple of minutes later, one of the men says, “Look at that picture, the caption says that it was the original diner and this one here is where they moved after the big earthquake.”

Other woman, “Earthquake? What earthquake?”

Man, “I dunno.  Are there earthquakes here?”

Other Man, “That picture looks like it was taken in the 30’s. Did they have a big earthquake here in the 30’s?”

And the conversation continues in this vein for a while with the group finally deciding that there must have been some kind of earthquake in the 30’s or 40’s but Alaska obviously doesn’t have earthquakes anymore.

(You may at this point, continue to visualize me banging my head on the table)



There are days I wonder how the Republic survives, I really do.

When these idiots are the ones doing the voting, I really wonder sometimes if democracy is all it’s cracked up to be.

Euthanasia? Really? I mean really

Sarah Palin says that Obama is going to demand that old people kill themselves instead getting treatment and you buy into this crap?  Palin, you’re actually listening to Palin? Because she’s been such a font of wisdom so far, right?  It doesn’t occur to you to actually read the bill? No, fuck it, Sarah read it, she knows.  Her and Jenny McCarthy and Betsy McCaughey.  Then there’s the whole “Obama’s Bill” part. You know, the part where the President makes all the laws and such.  These people had to be in their 60’s, somebody explain to me how they could have lived six goddamned decades in the United States of America and not have any clue whatsoever of how their own fucking government works? How is that possible?  I mean, we make immigrants learn the differences between the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of the government.  You’re supposed to lean about it in school.  Hell, they used to have a song about how a bill becomes a law on School House Rock for Christ’s sake. But apparently in these people’s mind TEH ZOMG EVIL OBAMA creates the laws and grinds up old people for Soylent Green or something. Argh!

And just for the record, the 1964 Good Friday Quake in Anchorage, Alaska was the largest earthquake ever experienced on the North American continent, the second largest ever recorded in the world by modern instruments. It’s one of the most famous earthquakes ever recorded.  How in the fuck could you be 60 years old and live in America and never have heard of it? It was one of the biggest disasters of the decade. And how could you possibly not know that Alaska is tectonically active, the whole west coast of the North American continent is? And in fact is one of the most tectonically active places in the world?  Especially how could you not know this if you’re planning a trip there?  How in the hell could anybody possibly be this ignorant?

Both parts of this conversation show a pattern of faulty thinking, of conclusions and worldviews based on false information.  What is so damned sad is that accurate information is readily available, but it did not occur to even one of these four people to seek it out.  Not one of them said, “Euthanasia? That sounds wrong. Perhaps we should read the actual bill before forming our opinion of its inherently evilness.”  Not one of them said, “Geez, perhaps we should read a bit about Alaska before we visit it.”


But yeah, get out there and vote.


  1. That euthanasia thing?

    I get to hear that from my own inlaws every freakin' time we have to go to their house. And yeah, they're the same way about the legislative process and by the way, this whole economic meltdown his Obama's fault too.

    It's no wonder I'd rather schedule root canal than do dinners with them. I'm not exaggerating.

  2. On behalf of the lower 48 states, we would like to apologize for allowing our idiots the right to travel anywhere beyond their front doors.

    We would like to state categorically that the statements overheard by Jim, are in no way a reflection of this reader, or the majority others like him who frequent Stonekettle Station.

    Sorry Jim - Put some ice on that forehead bud. :(

  3. These were probably the very people that Bill Maher is talking about here (http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/real-time-new-rules-aug-7-2009).

  4. I was 8 at the time and I not only knew about the 1964 quake, but our minister and his family were living in Anchorage at that moment in time, doing missionary work by helping open a new church. His twin sons were in my grade and both our school and Sunday school classes got detailed pictures and first-hand accounts of the quake and recovery efforts.

    I remember all the schools and churches doing fund-raisers to help send food to the families and school supplies to help resupply the classrooms that had lost everything. The Band Boosters that usually had their big frozen pizza fundraiser in the fall even got an extra batch to sell for our town's contribution to the effort.

    The Reverand and his wife were our contacts and let our town know what was needed. It took a while to get the stuff up there because all the lines of normal transportation were damaged or distroyed. They couldn't get back home, so they extended their mission to help any way they could.

    and by the way...we were a small town in Western New York. One of my first early memories of charitable fund-raising for a specific cause.


  5. So, what'd you have for lunch?

    And, yeah - get some ice for that bonk spot.

    My son and I were talking over that same thing this morning - how could someone live here for so long and be so clueless and downright ignorant?

  6. Jeff, better than Tectonically Active I guess.

    Joe, we gave you Sarah Palin, so I guess we're even.

    Karl, halibut sandwich.

    All of you who suggested ice, I'm on it. Splitting headache today for some reason, 2nd time in two weeks goddamnit.

  7. Um, that should have been "Teutonically active."

    Headache. Sorry. Having trouble focusing.

  8. Jim,

    Have you ever considered not leaving your house?

    Just for your own sanity and all.

  9. Whenever he tries that, Michelle, the neighbor kid comes over and bitches about his music....

  10. Well, NE Ohio is also tectonically active, with the New Madrid Fault running through the state. Of course with our new budget issues we're closing the office that monitors seismic activity. We normally only get earthquakes that register 1 or 2 on the Richter Scale.

    And did I mention how we're going to have a contested council race this year. I guess one of the new people is running because they don't believe that we're actually experiencing a 50% reduction in revenues from three years ago and we must be hiding the money for some nefarious purpose and they're coming in to bring honesty back to council. We've never seen this person at any council meetings or have any open records requests from them.

    Teh Stupidity, it's contagious.

  11. Yeah, and if it's not the neighbor's kid bitching about his music it's the local gypsy roofers going up in aromatic smoke.

    Hell, we had a 3.2 quake in the GA-NC mountains just last week. Get a few a year, although most are weaker. Couldn't feel this one this far south.

    Few years ago my roommate's aunt called on Saturday morning (woke us up in fact) to ask if we were ok. We're fine, why? Well we just had an earthquake up here that was felt way south of you, figured you knew about it. Both of us were in the living room by then...roommate relays the question and after we quit laughing replied...

    um, sweetie, we appreciate your concern, but we live in a 1930's high-rise condo conversion, over two subway lines, more bus routes than we can count and there is a construction crane setting up down on the street next to the building. How on earth would we ever know?? Then she got the joke and started laughing too.


  12. Two-tonic plates? What the fuck are you guys talking about.

    I'll be voting for Sarah Palin for something. Probably insect control officer for Easter Island.

  13. Palin has the smarts of a friggen watermelon...we all knew that going in

    We used her to git rid of dirtbag Frank..

    Why the hell are people still bothering to listen to her crappolla.. ?

    Her followers are simply non-reading non-thinking morons just like her.

  14. 'Her followers are simply non-reading non-thinking morons just like her."

    True, but they vote!

  15. Jim, times like that are when you say loudly to the person you're having lunch with, "I just read a study that people who believe anything Sarah Palin has to say have an IQ that is 42% below average. MRIs show that the part of the brain that actually thinks doesn't seem to be working in Palin followers. Weird, isn't it? Could you pass me the mustard?"


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