|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Labels: hack journalism
How many people are on the National Mall for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert? The final answer? We don’t know.
It's harrowing enough when a commercial airliner mistakenly announces an emergency landing over water -- or, for that matter, when air passengers capture footage of an actual emergency landing on their cell phones. But passengers on a recent American Airlines flight from Miami to Boston experienced a much more vivid sense of airborne peril when a 2-foot hole opened up in the plane's fuselage about 30 minutes after takeoff.
The Boeing 757 was cruising at 31,000 feet Tuesday when the cabin began to decompress rapidly -- a "super-terrifying" experience, a passenger told WSVN-TV in Miami. The flight was carrying 154 passengers and six crew members.
But soon enough, the crew established emergency procedures: The passengers donned the oxygen masks that drop down when cabin pressure decreases, and the pilots were able to reverse the flight and land the damaged plane safely at Miami International Airport.
"The crew declared an emergency and made a normal landing. There were no injuries," American Airlines said in a rather terse statement. "The aircraft has been taken out of service."
Once the plane was on the ground, inspectors discovered the problem -- not that it was exactly easy to miss. A 2-foot-by-1-foot hole had opened just above the "A" of the logo near the plane's front left cabin door. Initial reports indicate that the plane probably took off with a smaller crack in the fuselage -- and that wind pressure caused it to expand after the jet's takeoff. However, investigators say that they have yet to isolate the precise cause of the hole. Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.
...when I watched this again, after so many years, I couldn't help but think that maybe someone has recently stolen this segment, stripped it of its sincerity, and turned it into self-serving schtick. Maybe someone should go and steal it back.
Labels: Jon Stewart
Note that there has been very little talk about the GOP “Pledge to America” since it was rolled out a month ago. In fact, the party leadership has avoided specifics about what they plan to do with this great victory. No grandiose plan to get the jobs machine pumping up employment. No details about a legislative strategy to repeal Obamacare or any other agenda item. There is nothing but empty platitudes and harsh criticism – well deserved – of the Democrats.
It begs the question of just what Republicans plan to do with their victory?
What appears they will do is investigate the Obama administration for a host of transgressions – real and imagined. There will be endless posturing about the debt. The president’s commission on the deficit will receive short shrift from both sides, so their recommendations will have as much impact as those of the Baker Commission on the Iraq War. Obama will blame the “do-nothing” GOP congress while the Republicans will blame “obstructionist” Democrats.
And in the end, we’ll all come back to square one and be stuck with the same high unemployment and sluggish economy, with no prospects for improvement.
An estimated two million workers in December will be cut off of federal unemployment benefits, beginning in the holiday season, if Congress does not renew the program before it expires on November 30th.
Nearly 400,000 workers were laid off just in the past six months and now face the end of their state benefits without qualifying for any federal extended benefits.
800,000 workers face an immediate “hard” cut-off of their benefits (starting December 4th in nearly half the states) after struggling to find work and pay their bills for over a year in most cases.
Since the unemployment insurance program was created in response to the Great Depression, Congress has never cut federally-funded jobless benefits when unemployment was this high for this long (at over nine percent for 17 consecutive months). The earliest Congress ever started pulling back on benefits was when unemployment reached the level of 7.2 percent nationwide.
Businesses and the struggling economy—especially the critical retail sector—will take a major blow if Congress fails to continue the federal jobless benefits during the holiday shopping season.
In 2009 alone, the increase in the number of people in poverty would have doubled were it not for unemployment insurance benefits.
With the average unemployment extension check of $290 a week replacing only half of the average family’s expenditures on transportation, food, and housing, jobless workers have a major incentive to look for work, notwithstanding the modest assistance their benefits checks provide.
The 51-day lapse of the federal extension program this summer caused substantial hardship for 2.5 million unemployed workers, underscoring the urgency of renewing the current program for another year until there is strong job growth.
The sheer magnitude of the number of workers affected by the dearth of jobs shows how inadequate recent economic recovery really is: currently, more than one in six working-age adults—or 26.8 million people—are either unemployed or underemployed. Of these, nearly 15 million are jobless through no fault of their own, and an additional 9.5 million are forced to work part time even though they want full-time work.
Taken together, these groups of unemployed and underemployed workers, as well as those
marginally attached to the labor force—people who are available for work, have looked for work in the past year, and still can’t find jobs—result in a “real” unemployment rate of at least 17.1 percent, a much more stark and worrisome measure than the already-staggering 9.6 percent unemployment rate that has persisted for the past two months. At the same time, the unemployed are experiencing record periods of joblessness: nearly 42 percent of the 15 million jobless workers are “long-term unemployed”—that is, out of work for six months or longer. Since the Labor Department began tracking this data, typical spells of unemployment have never lasted for so long, nor has long-term
unemployment affected so many millions of people.
Recent private-sector job growth has been grossly inadequate to bring down these dire rates of joblessness. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that job loss over 2009 and 2010 may have been even worse than initially reported, with 366,000 more jobs lost as of March 2010,3 resulting in 8.1 million total jobs lost over the course of the downturn. Given this, as well as weak jobs growth in 2010, the U.S. needs 11.5 million jobs to reach pre-recession levels of employment, a shocking number when considering that layoffs temporarily increased over the summer and are now
overwhelming the public sector as state and local government budgets are being slashed and federal hiring for the 2010 Census has come to an end.
Never in the history of the program have unemployment benefits been eliminated, or even reduced, when unemployment rates were so high. The only other time in the past 60 years that the unemployment rate has remained so high for so long was during the early 1980s. At that time, Congress did not cut federal unemployment benefits until the national unemployment rate had fallen to 7.2 percent—a far cry from our current rate of 9.6 percent.
Why is anyone surprised that John Boehner decided to campaign for Ohio congressional candidate Rich Iott, one of the GOP's assortment of extremist 2010 candidates, which includes a Marine who killed two unarmed Iraqi prisoners, a guy whose security detained reporters at a public school event and one whose volunteers stomped a MoveOn volunteer?
Iott's in a category by himself, as someone who admits he's enjoyed attending Nazi history re-enactments dressed up in an SS Waffen uniform. But he's not a Nazi sympathizer! "It's purely historical interest in World War II," Iott told the Atlantic's Josh Green. "I've always been fascinated by the fact that here was a relatively small country that from a strictly military point of view accomplished incredible things. I mean, they took over most of Europe and Russia, and it really took the combined effort of the free world to defeat them. From a purely historical military point of view, that's incredible."
Remember the outrage that ensued when Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan declared Adolf Hitler "wickedly great?" Imagine if Obama was stumping for an NOI member who'd praised Nazi Germany. You can't, right? That's where we are, folks, less than a week before this crucial and possibly crushing (for Democrats) midterm election.
Still, it makes a kind of political sense in 2010. With only a few days left, there's a real chance Republicans can take back the House. Boehner wants to be speaker, he can taste it, Marcy Kaptur's seat is a possible pickup for his party – so he's not going to let a little Nazi re-enactment stand in the way. That's John Boehner.
In the first official finding of responsibility for the blowout, which killed 11 workers and led to the largest offshore oil spill in American history, the commission staff determined that Halliburton had conducted three laboratory tests that indicated that the cement mixture did not meet industry standards.
The result of at least one of those tests was given on March 8 to BP, which failed to act upon it, the panel’s lead investigator, Fred H. Bartlit Jr., said in a letter delivered to the commissioners on Thursday.
Another Halliburton cement test, carried out about a week before the blowout of the well on April 20, also found the mixture to be unstable, yet those findings were never sent to BP, Mr. Bartlit found.
Although Mr. Bartlit does not specifically identify the cement failure as the sole or even primary cause of the blowout, he makes clear in his letter that if the cement had done its job and kept the highly pressured oil and gas out of the well bore, there would not have been an accident.
“We have known for some time that the cement used to secure the production casing and isolate the hydrocarbon zone at the bottom of the Macondo well must have failed in some manner,” he said in his letter to the seven members of the presidential commission. “The cement should have prevented hydrocarbons from entering the well.”
Whitman's fabled $1 billion in wealth was acquired in the first few months of her tenure, well before she could muck the company's bottom line up. That billion-plus that eBay's directors handed Whitman was perhaps the easiest billion anyone has ever been handed in corporate history: eBay hired Whitman in March 1998, when the company was already the tech world's darling. Just six months after she joined, eBay went public, making Meg Whitman an overnight billionaire thanks to stock options that allowed her to buy eBay stock at just 7 cents a share, and sell them on the market for as high as $170 per share.
That was in 1998-'99, long before Whitman could screw the company up -- when the worst she could do was work out a scheme with Goldman Sachs to kick back to her personal account a couple million more in exchange for making Goldman Sachs the lead investment bank for eBay's stock offering.
So Whitman made her eBay billion not by building the firm up, but rather by lucking into the right place at the right time. Over the next few years, as she started to put her own stamp on the firm, eBay's fortunes went into decline and finally into full-scale tailspin.
Now cut to 2005, when Whitman is fully in control of eBay. By now, in the middle of the last bull market, eBay's stock is floundering thanks to a series of poorly executed decisions, bad investments and frustrated eBay users. This was the moment when Whitman went from incompetent to reckless: she bet the eBay house on a grossly overpriced $4.1 billion takeover of Skype, a startup internet phone company with almost no revenues to speak of. Even normally friendly analysts were confused, not just by the price but also the business logic.
Two years later, as the grim results trickled in, analysts were still scratching their heads. CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau chief wrote in October 2007, at the peak of the bull market, "I remember when eBay bought Skype for that staggering $3.1 billion and scratching my head, wondering what the connection was. I remember talking to CEO Meg Whitman soon after the deal was announced, listening to her tell me that Skype would make as much sense and be as important to eBay as PayPal was. I remember nodding, listening. And I remember still scratching my head." Today, investors are scratching their collective heads: eBay de-valuing the Skype asset by 46 percent or about $1.6 billion.
So already by October 7, the grossly inflated price resulted in a $1.6 billion writedown of losses to tack onto the buy price. And this was before things got really bad. See, as it turned out, Whitman didn't just overpay for Skype--she overpaid, and didn't even own Skype.
That's right, when Whitman signed on the dotted line and plunked down $4.1 billions, she did not buy the technology that made Skype work, but instead leased it from Skype's original creators--who were under no obligation to continue the lease.
But by October 7, 2007, investors were already getting fed up with Whitman's helmsmanship. This was the high-point of the last bull market bubble, and yet eBay's stock on this day was slightly lower than where it was in September 2005, when the Skype deal was first announced. Meanwhile, eBay's biggest competitor, Amazon.com, saw its stock price soar 122 percent over the same two-year period as Amazon made smart investments and wooed clients and customers away from eBay in droves.
It's no wonder then that Whitman "retired" from eBay when she did in early 2008: She had failed the company miserably, leaving eBay in ruins. A year after Whitman bailed on eBay, the stock had sunk so low that employees were left holding onto stock options that would actually cost more than than eBay's market stock price, making them worse than worthless. That's a far cry from the 7 cents per share that Whitman was handed after just a few months on the job -- but as any economics student knows, the laws of scarcity dictate that there's a limited number of 7-cent stock options to be had, and to make up for that, others -- every other, in fact -- have to take stock options that are worthless. And it's a far cry from the tens or hundreds of millions more in stock options profits Whitman cashed in between February 2007 and February 2008,when she unloaded another 6.4 million shares of eBay between February 2007 and February 2008, in a move some criticized as legally questionable and in possible violation of insider trading rules.
The question we should ask ourselves is, was this failure at eBay a one-off thing, or was it part of a pattern in Whitman's executive resume? The answer isn't pretty, assuming she wins the governor's race.
In the years before Meg Whitman settled into her eBay gig, she bounced around from one corporate disaster to the next, showing neither loyalty nor follow-through and commitment: Think Sarah Palin of the corporate world. In 1992, Whitman headed up a children's shoe division at Stride Rite, including Keds brands -- and just about exactly one year later, several states filed lawsuits against Stride Rite accusing the firm of price-fixing its products, in particular, Keds. The company was forced to pay millions in fines and cover retailers' losses as part of the settlements.
With that disaster out of the way, Whitman failed her way into the CEO spot at FTD.com, the online florist shop. It should have been a cinch: Whitman was handed a 75-year-old non-profit florist association that had been a virtual monopoly business with an international presence, but was convinced by an ex-Goldman Sachs executive to convert into a private for-profit company, with the Goldman Sachs exec's hedge fund as the investor. It might have worked out well, but for Meg Whitman's leadership. In 1997, just two years into her tenure, Whitman bailed on FTD. The florist company's business had fallen almost by half, posting a new low of 12 million orders in 1997, down from 22 million orders a decade earlier.
So real Giants fans know the truth: It's possible to love the Giants of 2002 and 2010, to see the differences -- and some similarities, too. Leaving aside Bonds and the great Jeff Kent, that earlier team had guys who were (almost literally) left for dead; catcher Benito Santiago hadn't been expected to play baseball again after a devastating car accident in 1998; he was NLCS MVP. Career .257 hitter David Bell, who played for six teams, scored the series-winning run against the Cardinals; washed-up ex-Cub Shawon Dunston (now a Giants coach) hit a two-out single to set up that win. The postseason wasn't all about Barry.
Still, it's not giving into the cheesy media narrative to admit this is an extraordinary team that wasn't supposed to be here (don't believe anyone who said they picked these Giants to win back in the spring). First baseman Aubrey Huff had no offers when the Giants signed him; Pat Burrell had been flat-out released by Tampa Bay; NLCS MVP Cody Ross was claimed in August when the Florida Marlins put him on waivers. Center fielder Andres Torres, clutch in that wild AT&T outfield as well as at the plate, is 32 and never before played a full season in the majors.
It is possible that no Giants team in my years here has been embraced so thoroughly. I just know we've got swag that celebrates this funky team accordingly. You can buy hats with long Lincecum-like locks attached, as well as T-shirts saying, "Let Timmy smoke" (the Cy Young winner was arrested in the offseason for marijuana possession) and most recently, "Fuck Yeah!" commemorating the star pitcher's recent NSFW comments on national television.
You can buy panda hats to honor Pablo Sandoval. There are fake black beards everywhere, thanks to the increasingly strange (and dominating) Wilson. I've even seen a few rally thongs, made famous by Huff, who put on a red, rhinestone studded thong to bust a slump in August and claims to have worn it ever since. You can listen to fan-made musical tributes to Huff's rally thong (to the tune of Elton John's "Your Song" -- that's right, it's "Your Thong"), to clutch pinch-hitter Travis Ishikawa ("Ishikawa da vida, baby") and the entire team: A video using Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" has had more than a million views on YouTube. The outpouring of creative fan-made Giants tributes makes it seem as though these overachieving everymen have brought out the dreamer in everyone.
NPR received a bomb threat Monday, five days after its decision to fire news analyst Juan Williams sparked a hugely negative reaction.
Sources at the news organization said the threat was received via U.S. mail and was immediately turned over to local police and the FBI. The organization did not publicly disclose the threat or release details, on the advice of law enforcement officials.
The letter didn't reference the Williams firing specifically, but people at NPR, who spoke about it on the condition of anonymity, said the timing and tone suggested it was sent after Williams's widely publicized termination.
Right now, pretty much every comedian without a network TV show has his own podcast, but Marc Maron's WTF Podcast, here on the web or here on iTunes has distinguished itself as the New York Times of comedy podcasts, and by that I mean the definitive comedy podcast of record.
Being interviewed by Maron reminded me of an old axiom about interviewing: that an interview is a party you're throwing and your guest will mirror your behavior. Marc is an insanely intense guy, and stares into you as you talk—it really feels like his eyes are piercing inside you—and then when he speaks he reaches inside himself and talks in the most heartfelt way possible. In a room with that, you'd have to be made of stone not to respond in the most soulful way you can summon up. He's emotionally present and he makes you emotionally present. I don't think that's any kind of calculated move, it's who he is when he's performing. And of course it gets amazing results.
Another fun fact: he records the thing on a little digital recorder, with two handheld mics attached by long mic cords. The mics he uses are the kind a comedian uses onstage. So as the interviewee, you hold a mic like a standup comedian would the whole time. Very comfortable I'm sure, for all the standups he talks to.
The FBI's files on Paul and Sheila Wellstone, many of which are being made public for the first time, shed new light on the extent of the relationship between the FBI and the political activist who would go on to become a U.S. senator from Minnesota.
Some of the information uncovered in the 219 pages was new to one of his closest confidantes, former Wellstone campaign manager and state director Jeff Blodgett.
The files show that although the FBI initially took interest in Wellstone as part of the broader surveillance of the American left, the agency later served as his protector, investigating death threats the freshman senator received for his views on the first Gulf War, and, in the end, helping sift through the wreckage of the fatal plane crash that killed Wellstone and seven others eight years ago.
Wellstone's surviving sons declined to comment on the documents, which were obtained in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by MPR News.
The U.S. Department of Justice released 88 of the 125 pages in Sen. Wellstone's FBI file, and 131 of the 227 pages in his wife's file. All of the documents included in Sheila Wellstone's file are related to the plane crash that killed the couple and their daughter Marcia.
The FBI did not include 76 pages related to the National Transportation Safety Board, the agency that investigated the crash. A request for those records is pending.
Within the first two weeks of his term, Wellstone began receiving death threats for his views on the war. The FBI files provide a detailed description of the angry and sometimes violent calls the Democratic senator received. One man called Wellstone's office and threatened to "throttle" him. A caller from Faribault said, "If I had a gun, I'd come after you, you SOB." Another caller said that if his son dies during his military service in the Persian Gulf, "then Wellstone will die."
"We were shocked and surprised by these kinds of calls," Blodgett said in an interview last week. "We certainly didn't expect that death threats would be part of the job of being a U.S. senator or taking death threats would be part of the job of Senate staff."
"There were threats on my life," Wellstone wrote. "I wished I had never been elected."
The FBI files indicate that the agency took the threats seriously. Investigators tried to track down the threatening callers and kept detailed information about their efforts.
The documents show that an FBI agent traveled to "Marine," (sic) Minn. on January 29 to meet with the man who threatened to "throttle" Wellstone. The man, whose name has been redacted from the documents, admitted that he called the office and said that he wanted to wring Wellstone's neck and throttle him.
The man told the FBI agent that the receptionist was "snotty" and hung up on him. He said he called back and spoke to a "polite receptionist." He told her, "Tell Senator Wellstone that Saddam Hussein appreciates what he's doing."
Federal prosecutors declined to file charges against the caller, and the FBI was unable to locate the other callers. Wellstone continued to receive threats, including a call from a man in February 1995 who said, "I'm watching you senator and I'm going to kill you within the week." Wellstone was assigned a protective detail for the week of the threat.
The FBI took note of the bushy-haired college professor when he was arrested on May 7, 1970 at a protest against the Vietnam War at the Federal Office Building in downtown Minneapolis. Wellstone and 87 others were arrested for disturbing and obstructing access to a federal building.
Most of the names in the 1970 documents have been redacted, making it impossible to separate Wellstone out from the other defendants. One defendant pled guilty, another had the charges dismissed, and another was acquitted. The documents state that the rest of the defendants were found guilty during a jury trial in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis and received fines of either $35 or five days in jail.
Neither the FBI files nor available court records indicate how Wellstone's case was resolved.
In a document sent to FBI headquarters, the head of the FBI's Minneapolis office said the case warranted "considerable investigation." The document notes that U.S. Attorney Robert Renner "could foresee the potential blockage of federal buildings throughout the country" if the anti-war protesters were acquitted.
The FBI obtained a copy of Wellstone's fingerprint card from the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and sent it to FBI headquarters to keep on file. A related FBI document notes that Paul David Wellstone, age 25, weighed 150 pounds, stood 5'6," and had brown hair and brown eyes.
O'Hara, the former head of the FBI's Minneapolis office, said that the FBI used to routinely investigate protests that occurred on federal property.
"There were sit-ins. There were break-ins. There was blood spilled over Selective Service files," he said. "There were a number of minor federal crimes committed. And back then, there maybe wasn't the patience that there might be now."
O'Hara joined the FBI as a special agent in 1963, but did not work in Minnesota until he was transferred to the Minneapolis office in 1991. He said he was not familiar with the arrests.
The impeachment case against Thomas is not based on personal or political disagreement over his views, decisions, opinions and rulings on the bench, his penchant for pornographic material, or for sexual harassment. It is based on clear legal and constitutional grounds, precedents, and Congressional mandates. Article III, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution explicitly states that a Supreme Court Justice that "lacks good behavior" can be impeached. This is not an ambiguous, subjective term. It has been interpreted by the courts to equate to the same level of seriousness as the 'high crimes and misdemeanors" clause that unequivocally mandates that the House of Representatives initiate impeachment proceedings against any public official, or federal judge in violation of that provision.
The Constitutional precept is the first legal ground for impeachment proceedings against Thomas. The second is Title 18 of the U.S. Code. It states that any official of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the government of the United States who knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact , makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry can be impeached. In other words lying to Congress is not only an impeachable offense. It's also illegal.
It's also clearly established that a public official whether the president, presidential appointees, or judges can be punished for giving false information and that's any false information of any nature to the House or Senate.
Thomas was asked directly by Utah senator Orin Hatch during his confirmation hearings about Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct and whether he used sexually suggestive language. Thomas answered: "I deny each and every single allegation against me today that suggested in any way that I had conversations of a sexual nature or about pornographic material with Anita Hill, that I ever attempted to date her, that I ever had any personal sexual interest in her, or that I in any way ever harassed her. "
Thomas was emphatic, "If I used that kind of grotesque language with one person, it would seem to me that there would be traces of it throughout the employees who worked closely with me, or the other individuals who heard bits and pieces of it or various levels of it." This was stated under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Thomas's sworn testimony was clearly contradicted even then in public statements by witnesses. The witnesses were not called to testify. The one witness that contradicted Thomas's sworn testimony, Angela Wright, did testify. She worked with Thomas at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and was emphatic that Thomas sexually harassed her and used explicit and graphic sexual language. Her story was corroborated by a former EEOC speechwriter who told investigators about Thomas' penchant for improper sexual talk. Letters to the committee from other women who worked with Thomas confirmed that he was a serial sexual harasser and had a penchant for sexually perverse talk. The Senate panel had other sources to corroborate the Hill-Wright charge that Thomas engaged in sexual harassment and obsessive interest in sexual smut. These sources were ignored too.
Two decades later Thomas's apparent perjured testimony to Congress is now squarely back on the legal table. Lillian McEwen put it there. Her legal credentials are impressive. She is a former assistant U.S. attorney and Senate Judiciary Committee counsel. She also dated Thomas. In interviews, she again confirmed that Hill and the other women's allegations that Thomas engaged in sexual harassment, was addicted to pornography, and talked incessantly and graphically about it and women were truthful.
"One of the husbands -- who was married -- took a one-week job in Grand Isle -- a very toxic place, Grand Isle, unfortunately. And -- one week only -- came home, came home in the middle of August...[snip]...he dropped his mother off at work, he dropped his child off at school, his wife turned around because she heard a strange noise, and he dropped over dead. [snip] I am dealing with about 3 or 4 autopsies right now, and people are wondering, what exactly was the problem? I know of people who are down to 4.7 percent of their lung capacity and have an enlarged heart -- to make up for the reduced lung capacity. I know people whose esophaguses are dissolving -- disintegrating. Now, all of these people have oil in their bodies in the upper 95th percentile. This isn't one or two..."
MY mother hates it. My sister worries about it. My agent thinks I’m hiding behind it. A concerned friend suggests that it undermines my professional credibility. But in the middle of my life, I’m happy with it. Which is saying a lot about anything happening to my 55-year-old body.
I feel great about my hair.
I have long hair. I’m not talking about long enough to brush gently on my shoulder — when I tilt my head. I’m not talking about being a couple of weeks late to the hairdresser. I’m talking long. Long enough for a ponytail with swing to it. Long enough to sit against when I’m in a chair. Long enough to have to lift it up out of the sweater I’m pulling over my head. Long enough to braid.
What’s worse (to my critics) is that my hair is graying. Of course it is. Everyone’s hair is graying. But some of us aren’t ready to go there. That’s fine with me — I’m not judgmental about dyes. In fact, I find the range and variety of synthetic hair color to be an impressive testament to our unending chemical creativity. I’m particularly fascinated by that streaky kaleidoscopic thing some blondes do that looks kind of like Hair of Fawn. For my own head, I’m a tad paranoid about smelly, itchy potions.
No one seems to have any problems when a woman of a certain age cuts her hair off. It is considered the appropriate thing to do, as if being shorn is a way of releasing oneself from the locks of the past. I can see the appeal, and have, at times in my life, gone that route. Some women want to wash the men (or jobs) right out of their hair. Others of us have to have at them with scissors. Again, I do not judge. Go right ahead, be a 60-year-old pixie.