Sunday, July 29, 2012

Church Signs

I saw a cute one yesterday, heading up to Crex on the way to vote for the best pictures in their annual photography contest (mostly mine, of course). It was in Grantsburg, in front of their Methodist Church.  "Too hot to change sign, stop inside for message."

I tried to think back over the years of the memorable ones of those I've seen, and managed to come up with one. I'm sure I saw lots more I liked, but just this one stuck with me. Probably it's because it hit a note of anger in me, at least partly due to my own church's - at the time - change towards being run as a business. Used to be the offering plate got passed just for those: offerings. Now the church was demanding pledges, and they'd remind you if you fell behind. You owed them a specific contribution, just like the electric bill or any other obligation. You were sent envelopes with your name on them so they could keep track of what you gave. I highly resented it, to the point where it became the final straw prompting me to leave the church. Seeing this sign years ago, so long I can't place where or when, just rubbed it in for me. "Visitors Welcome. Members expected."

As for the photo contest, I think I stand a chance in a couple of categories. A third might stand a better chance if they hadn't pinned the photo on the board upside down!  C'mon, really, the light source on the puffball, growing on the ground, is from below? Did you look at the picture?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Open Mouth, Insert Mitt

Have you been following the pre-Olympic games? I'm referring to Romney's visit to Great Britain. While our papers and other news sources pretty much ignore Mitt's gaffs, missteps, flip-flops, and downright lies, the British press has new fodder for entertainment. And boy, have they been dishing it out.

One of my favorite comments about him concerns what was supposed to be his "charm offensive" - the reason for his trip. It was described as being very low in charm, but apparently he was getting the offensive part down just fine.

To be fair, the article used the term "mildly" before the word "offensive". But that was early into his visit. He's managed to tick off even more folks since then. I suspect they might not pull their punches if they had it to say again.

Perhaps you could say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single misstep.  Followed by another, and another....

On this side of the pond, Charles Krauthammer, staunch right-winger though he is, has gotten his undies in a bunch over Romney's antics abroad. Paraphrasing as closely as I can, he says that Romney didn't have to win, he only had to finish. (He was very into sports analogies.) All he had to do was keep his mouth shut, say nothing. Romney's like the guy lined up for the 400 meter race. But instead of just running, he slugs the guy in the next lane and gets himself disqualified.

If Romney's ability to offend the Brits isn't enough, he's managed to strike another blow for putting down women. Especially his wife, and I do hope she's found a suitable way to pay him back for his consideration. He stated to a reporter that he didn't know when his wife's horse was going to perform, and didn't plan to be there.

C'mon, guys, is there a single husband out there who, if his wife was involved in any way in the Olympics, wouldn't know when, where, and have a plan to watch, preferably in person? At least if he didn't plan to spend his remaining years sleeping on the couch? In their other house? Maybe it's time for Mitt to be taught some verbal dressage if he's going to get out of this one. Or perhaps that's what his whole campaign has been about already.

Even President Obama had the grace to state he was rooting for the Romney's house in the Olympics.

 Yeah, I think we can all back the horse.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

So You Want To Be a Hero?

So you think you want to be a hero, eh? Next time the massacre happens in the dark crowded theater - not that anybody actually hopes there'll be a next time, but if it does - you want to be the guy standing there with gun drawn taking out the bad guy. Let's ignore all the obstacles about the likely success of that. Already discussed.

You're the guy who thinks there was a singular lack of heroes in that theater because nobody shot back, or at least charged him and "took him out".  The people who threw themselves over a buddy don't count, I guess. You're going around asking, "Where are all the Flight 93 heroes today?" Well, those Flight 93 guys were all busy,  comfortably home with their families, eating popcorn in front of their TVs, tucking the kids in bed....  Oh, wait a sec. Nope, not them. My bad.

They're all dead!

Yes, of course they're genuine heroes, even though all they had to go against was a few guys with box cutters, in broad daylight, with nobody wearing body armor. Their sacrifice had a chance of accomplishing something, and it did. But they're still dead. D-E-A-D dead. Fragments of dust and charred bits scattered over the forest floor, fading memories to their loved ones, even more remote to us. We will always be grateful to them, but they're still dead. Yes, there are more like them scattered all through our species, and should the need arise again, in a situation where such sacrifice will mean something, there will be new heroes just like them.

They'll wind up just as dead as well. Likely they'll be judged on whether they accomplished anything on the way, rather than just how quickly they threw their lives away.

OK, undaunted, you still want to be the guy who stands up, advances on the gunman, taking a few bullets for yourself to save some from going into your fellow movie-goers, giving them a chance to escape or at least lessen their harm. Unspoken (or perhaps not) is the thought that you would be modeling your Christian faith, laying down your life for another, one of those "greater love hath no man" things.

Oh, how noble!

Oh, how unselfish!

Oh, how incredibly stupid!

But hey, who am I to stop you? Boy, you go for it, if that's what you're determined you need to do the next time that situation rears its ugly little head. It won't accomplish anything, if the circumstances are the same, but if you insist....
And let me be the first to nominate you for the next presentation of the Darwin Awards! Such actions should not go unnoticed.

Uh, you do qualify for the award, do you not? I mean, you haven't spread your genes into the gene pool yet, have you? Because if you didn't qualify, it would be such a shame.

On both counts.

An Odd Little Idea

First, the problem: spreading drought, possibly a result of growing climate change, possibly something occurring with increasing frequency. Whether or no, it's still ruining crops. Fewer crops, less food, higher prices, more hunger, more wars.

There's plenty of water in the world. That's not the issue. It's the distribution and the quality. It falls too much or too little in any place at any given time. The large reservoirs are polluted with things like salt which prevent its use in agriculture. Growing population increases demand for water, so the need even in ideal distribution years will not be going away.

(Thus speaks someone who's moving to Arizona for half the year.)

But right now I live in Minnesota, and even when there's not much on the ground, there's still plenty in the air. Step outside and try to breathe, if you doubt me. Put ice in your drink and watch the water dribble down the outside of the glass and ruin the wood finish on the table, if you're still not convinced.

So why don't we harvest it? Now I'm not talking cheap, here, or without effort, or resources, or technology. But most of the energy should be renewable, at least, and while the output may be slow, it's a way to provide water in the spots where roots can soak it up. How long before we're that desperate?

Here's the idea. Using geo-thermal cooling, install a system of underground pipes with liquid flowing through and coming back to the surface to circulate in something modeled on a radiator. It needs a lot of surface area per water-from-air output, but if it sits on the ground, the water will drip down to the root zones without re-evaporation. Power for circulation can be provided by either wind or solar energy. Maybe somebody can come up with a material that isn't metal but can transfer heat as well as metal. Perhaps a special glass, since that's what works in the home, and there's plenty of silica in the world.

This is obviously a simplified version of what's needed, but how about it, engineers? If anybody wants to take this idea and run with it, no credit necessary.

The rest of you, how about just no laughing please?

Best T-Shirt

OK, maybe not the best ever. But I'll go for best of the week, if not longer. A guy working the dock where I made a delivery this morning was wearing it.

"You don't have to be crazy to work here.
They'll train you."

Aurora Blowback

It must be a talking point. I've heard the same phrase several times now, enough to make me sick. The wing-nuts, presenting themselves as the rational ones in the country, call in to the radio shows and say the same thing. Aurora could have been lessened somehow had more people in the theater been armed and shot back at the shooter. The repeat phrase is that it is our "civic responsibility" to take people like that down.


Nevermind that he was armed with an assault rifle that poured out 60 bullets in a minute before his gun jammed, or that he set off tear gas first, or that the theater was dark, or that there was mass confusion with people thinking at first it might be a stunt, or that his position in the theater front meant that the audience was arrayed like a shooting gallery. And especially nevermind that he wore body armor from head to toe: where would you get through to him, exactly?

Forget those picky little things like the police showing up within a minute and a half, and who would likely pegged you as the shooter and taken you down in the same confusion that initially gave the advantage to the shooter. Forget the bystanders you likely would have shot yourself in your mindless zeal to be a hero.

For that's what I'm hearing in the callers who advocate for more guns. "I wouldda been the hero who nailed that guy."

Yeah. Sure. Uh huh, we believe you, Walter Mittys of the world. Well, anyway, we've met you, people so insecure in your own importance that you inflate yourself to any victim who has to listen to you. How do you know how you'd function in that situation? Have you had combat training? SWAT training? How about have you ever had to aim a gun at another human being in a situation that doesn't negate your own humanity?

That "civic responsibility" crap? Sure, we have civic responsibilities, something fewer people recognize these days of glorying in individualism. It's my civic responsibility to pay my taxes in an adequate amount that my community can pay for and train an adequate number of police (and fire fighters, teachers, etc. ) to serve and protect us all from such individuals, to establish the healthcare services to identify and treat such individuals before - and after - such incidents happen.

That's our civic responsibility.

Hah! I bet you're not so brave about that, now, are you?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Murder in Georgia

None who heard the murder possibly imagined that’s what it was. An off-season firework, perhaps. Maybe a backfire from a passing car needing carburetor work. Certainly not a gun shot. Not here.

This was, after all, a small town planned community. Houses were separated by greenbelt areas, where trees held precedence over grass or construction and where paved paths wound through neighborhoods for walking or riding golf carts from here to there throughout town. Streets were curved rather than straight grid lines, where children ruled them as their playgrounds for bikes and Big Wheels, or even, the one time it snowed and everything closed down for the day, for their skating/boot sledding rink, taking advantage of the slight hill, and all the cars slowed down to let them. If there were cars out that day, that is.

It was a racially and economically homogeneous neighborhood, meaning white, of course, and thoroughly middle class, and above all, made up of northern imports, mostly from Boston on our street from the southern expansion of Delta Airlines. Whatever your particular prejudices, they all combined to reassure those living here that these kind of things simply happened elsewhere. Atlanta, maybe. Possibly in neighboring Fayetteville or Sharpsburg. Definitely not in Peachtree City. Not in the late 70’s when our thoughts were all turned to raising families. So nothing like murder crossed our minds at the sound.

Though it happened next door, it happened out of sight. The curve on our street, Cedar Drive, and the insertion of a pie-wedge hunk of conservation easement, meant that our house faced west and theirs faced south. I had actually met them and exchanged “Hi”s with them once. Maybe twice. Our interests and paths simply didn’t cross. The part of the street with the north-south orientation was a neighborhood of families, kids who socialized together, bringing parents into contact as well, for good or ill.

We were one of two families from Minnesota. Johnny Mack, up the hill, was not only a Minnesotan but grew up in Park Rapids as well. His family ran the  Rapid River Logging Camp (still there and yummy food!), which our family went to on the very rare occasions when the budget was stretched to eating out. On Halloween, he and his wife sent the kids out for trick-or-treating while they stayed behind, in costumes. His wife was the friendly witch doling out treats, while he was the scary gorilla lurking in the bushes and following departing groups.  It was a tradition of many years’ standing, and the parents knew what to expect, clueing in newcomers. Most found it great fun.

The hill bottomed out at our house, and is what introduced me to my best friend in Georgia. Shortly after moving in, I heard a loud “thump” on my garage door. The house was built as a split entry with a tuck-under garage, with the driveway sloping down to it. Had it snowed more than once, it would have been somewhere between impractical and dangerous, but this was, after, 30 miles south of the Atlanta airport. When I poked my head out to see what on earth had happened, there was a kid on a Big Wheel at the bottom of my driveway, looking very pleased with himself, and his mother hurrying down the hill after him. She was very apologetic about whatever might have happened to my garage door, while I, seeing him, was worried about possible damage to him. Both were fine. It turned out this was a long-standing tradition.

We exchanged reassurances and introductions. She was Andrea, and very definite that it was not “AN-dree-ah” but “Ahn-DRAY-uh”. OK, fine. Who am I to argue? The family was one of the Boston imports. Walter was an airline mechanic. Andrea was a second grade teacher in the next town. Their two sons were Michael, about Richard’s age, and Timothy, here in my driveway. After several years here, their Boston accent was unaltered. There was so much of that accent in the neighborhood, and so little southern accent, that after a while my brain tried to adopt both at once and for a while some of my words were unintelligible, lasting until I consciously worked to erase both.

Timothy was not verbal. He’d gotten different diagnoses of what his handicaps were, including cerebral palsey. Motor control was clumsy, and he walked in a way that instantly identified him as handicapped, even if he didn’t already facially have what Andrea and friends labeled as “the look”. The Big Wheel gave him a sense of freedom and motion that he wasn’t capable of on his own, and riding down the street hill and my driveway hill were some of the best parts of his young life. No way was I going to nix that, especially if he had his mother’s blessing to continue. He was receiving lots of special help, though the family applied for one kind and got refused. Walter was a Viet Nam vet, and had a lot of exposure to Agent Orange. The country was just waking up to the effects of that, and vets were applying for benefits. Their family’s application was denied.

Andrea became my friend, and was the only one to remain so when I got caught in a stir that was probably the most notorious thing to happen on our street at that time, next to the murder, of course.

Pat Shadle ruled the neighborhood. I never understood quite how, or why everyone let her do it. She’d sit looking out her window at all the neighbors pretty much all day. You walked by, looked up, and the the curtains rustled. She complained, they bowed. Figuratively, of course. At least I think so. Unfortunately, she lived across the street.

There were four kids. It was to have been three, but the last was a “vasectomy baby”, a result of  ignorance and unprotected sex before the six week wait had ended. Luckily he is the spitting image of his father, and the family joked about it. The middle two were David, the start of the issue, and Mary Jo, friends with Steph for a while until her mom pulled the plug and nobody was supposed to play with my kids. The girls went on walks together, including one day when they took Lovejoy along, a fuzzy underbite-special adorable little mutt. Unleashed, he ran into the street when challenged by a territorial large dog as the girls crossed its yard, and under the wheels of a passing car. Steph carried him home, watching him die in the front yard while I tried to locate an emergency vet. She’s been a determined cat person ever since.

David, as I said, started the whole thing. While we couldn’t build on that pie-wedge conservation easement, we had to mow it. We could also put in a modest garden. When my kids reported that David Shadle had stolen and eaten a carrot from my garden, I confronted him about it next time I saw him, letting him know I knew and wanted him to stop. The next day Pat confronted me in the street, in front of some neighborhood kids, calling me a liar and assorted other things. Apparently David had given her a different version of events. I was naive enough to try to set her straight, but the confrontation ended in her slapping me before storming off.

Had it been private, I likely would just have grumbled to Andrea, knowing the neighborhood would get the true version soon enough. But somehow I had this hair up my a** that the kids watching needed to know this was not OK behavior on Pat’s part. After much thought, next day I went to the police department and swore out a complaint. I also was naive enough to harbor the hope that the outcome could be that Pat get some counseling, something I felt was badly needed.

She got arrested. Yep, picked up from her house, fingerprinted, photographed, the works. She also got an attorney. It was suggested that we all get together to work out some kind of settlement. At no time did she accept my version of the carrot story, of course, because David could do no wrong and never lied to his mother in his life. It was also impressed on me that counseling was never in the cards. Pat could do jail time. While not much, that was never what I had in mind. Thinking she’d had enough (yeah, poor poor Pat), I agreed to drop the charges. I also got talked into accepting half the costs of the action, something I’d not do again. And I returned home to find the family shunned by the neighborhood, something only Andrea’s family disregarded. Every time I walked out into the front yard, I thought I could feel the emotional daggers Pat was sending my way from her window perch. Perhaps it was just imagination. I was never forgiven, however.

So with this the only major excitement in the neighborhood, and for that, coming a year or so later than the murder, it’s no wonder it’s not what anybody thought of at the sound. We did perk up our ears at the sirens several minutes later, especially when there were lots of them and the flashing lights stayed around for a long time. Within a few more hours after they left,the story came ‘round.

The neighbors were on a second marriage. While  divorce is way too common today, it was not so much then. What stays true is that some abandoned spouses just can’t handle the double rejection of not only not-me but somebody-else-but-me. Now I apologize for some imperfect details, but I believe that the rejected wife rang the bell, and when the new wife answered, she was shot in the neck. Obviously she bled out quickly. The shooter was quickly found, and the local cops reassured the rest of us that there was no more danger, if there even ever had been for us. So we all settled in to our routines again, the story a one-day wonder, briefly revisited at sentencing.

So for all that build up and so little story, why am I writing about this? Because it’s had repercussions through the decades. I do occasionally think about the what-ifs were someone to become so irate about somebody in my family that the same thing would occur to them. After all, you do hear about it. So I try to make sure I never tick off anybody that seriously. It keeps me from thinking seriously about checking into legally tapping into my ex’s social security check after I retire. I do qualify, and due to the move to Georgia cutting my education plans short, he’s always made more money than I have. But I have a (mild) dread of him showing up at the door with a shotgun. And I worry about family members getting involved with partners during and after divorce. Just how crazy are the crazy people out there? And why should I/we push it enough to find out?

Colorado Salesmanship

I've heard both these stories from Steve before, but when he relayed both of them yesterday, something clicked. So here they both are.

Steve grew up in Greeley, Colorado. Besides mountain views, cattle, family, and his best friend Gene, Greeley offered two things. One was the marching/concert band he played trumpet in, and which happened to need new uniforms at the time. The other was being a town large enough to use parking meters. The kids found a great idea for fundraising.

They would roam the downtown area with pennies, nickels and dimes in their pockets, keeping an eye on expired meters and the progress of the meter maids. When one neared an expired meter, one of the kids would quickly pop a bit of change into the meter, enough to save the vehicle from the attentions of the law. They would also place a printed card under the wiper blade, letting the owner know they had just been saved from a $5 ticket. A donation in any amount would be welcomed by the fundraising band. They quickly made their goal, as many grateful drivers paid $10 or even $15 for saving them the hassle of dealing with a ticket. And the meter maids supported the cause by not hassling the kids.

*   *   *    *    *

As a young adult, Steve worked on the Eisenhower tunnel for the new freeway rising westward from Denver. At one point the workers were on strike. It was hot, but the workers were faithfully there, picketing. A Miller Beer truck passed them, the driver honking and waving in support. A Budweiser truck passed them, its driver also honking and waving in support. But when the Coors truck passed, besides honking and waving the driver pulled over past them, opened the back of his truck, and set five cases on beer on the roadside before driving off.  From then on, any member of that crew who even so much as thought about ordering any other brand of beer was inviting a fistfight from his buddies. Steve figures those five cases sold thousands.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Where Have I Been?

I haven't been blogging much for a bit. Actually, I have been trying. Blogspot upgraded. My computer didn't. I keep getting these messages that my browser is unsupported and may result in unexpected behavior. I presume they mean in the blogging experience, not my personal behavior. Though, they're right about the glitches occurring, and it may tend to cause my own unexpected behavior.

No, come to think of it, it's entirely expected.

There's the beginnings of a story saved in draft form. I want to get back to it but it's been.... interesting. That's tactful enough, I think. If you see a posting about a murder in Georgia, you'll know I finished that one.

I've also been busy. I decided to pack up parts of the library. Just parts. Selected by author. Take all of a favorite author - or 20 - on hand, index it, remove double or tripple copies, and make a listing on computer. Order books to fill in gaps occasionally. Used, of course. Wait for them to arrive, read, index, and stack up to be packed as well. Oh, and before any of this happens, sort all the existing books into the shelves alphabetically by author.

Steve was real sweet tonight. He brought out a stack of books he's been hanging on to in his room. One of the authors has been packed up already. No biggie. There are more boxes. But two of the "missing" books have been replaced. Nice timing, dear.

I should mention I've already been thorough his shelves. I pulled out everything by several authors and combined libraries. I also added back into his shelves. For example, there are now two complete sets of J A Jance. We both have been collecting them. Arizona gets the full sets of Doss, Sanford, Patterson, etc. Incomplete sets stay here. And in all that, I still missed these books.

While we're talking busy, the 2012 Crex photo contest deadline is Sunday. This year I'm entering. In fact, have entered. I completely missed it last year, what with all that was going on then. But first, there was dragging out the laptop, camera, battery chargers, SD cards, and connector cables.

Ever try to find the exact cable which hooks a specific camera - of several - to the computer, out of a gallon jumble of cords and cables? The ones that go to everything?

Then there was downloading all the pictures taken to date, and the hunting for the picture to match the entry category. Now I don't take single pictures of anything. I take bunches. The camera is set on what used to be called motor drive, back in the old film days. I study it from all angles. So even if I know in my mind what picture I want to use, it's still a case of sorting through to find the exact very best version of that shot. On occasion there's even cropping. As if that's not enough, there are seven categories this year. I entered 5. It took all day, partly because my laptop refused to let me copy pictures into a new album or folder or whatever. I tried both. Repeatedly. Finally it let me copy onto the desktop, one jpg at a time, and then drag each one of those onto the window for the empty DVD.

Burning went off without a hitch.


The second my weary head hit the pillow, the mental engine reengaged and I came up with the shot for a 6th category. Of course I let it go till the next morning, when after sorting through the usual 50 shots - there was a reason this time, the dang thing kept moving and staying in camera range, back and forth ... hey, why do I sound like I'm complaining? - I finally found the very most perfect one. Of course this meant that I had to burn a new DVD.

And then after getting prints, one was badly centered and needed to be redone so a flower wasn't chopped up, and the black and white was in color because the edit to B&W didn't save properly. So I had to go back in, locate the picture again - out of nearly 16,000 in the library, and don't talk to me about editing out a bunch, I already know - and make sure it saved in B&W this time. It was hard  to tell because it nearly is a B&W already, just from the subject matter and background. But there are traces of brown. They showed. Anyway, it meant burning a third DVD, since unlike floppies they can't be rewritten. And one needed to not only go to the printer machine but accompany the prints in the submission.

I wound up with three trips to the printer too. But finally they were all compiled and delivered. If by chance you happen to be visiting Crex during the photo judging, you might consider voting for mine. I plan to. Steve's getting dragged along for his votes as well. Need a ride? Can you fit in the back? Can I bribe you with lunch?

They usually come with names of the photographer attached. I tried downloading (uploading?) the pictures into the blog this morning. After half an hour the first one was nearly finished. It stopped whicheverway-loading. Maybe I'll try again. Maybe. I really think you'll like the ones of the Bambi ribs. Or perhaps the weirdly formed dying puffball. Or perhaps the multi-splintered tree trunk is more your style, from back when the tornados went through, or the sandhill stopping traffic on the road, or the ladyslipper, or the ground squirrel.

Oops, it's tomorrow already. I should probably get some sleep. But that's why I haven't been blogging much lately. Thanks for asking.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Turkey Trot

Think dirty fuzzy baseballs with points on both ends and dancing around on toothpicks. Add cute, and multiply by six. That's what I saw along the edge of the freeway this afternoon. Add in Mama turkey, and you nearly have the complete story. It's missing the why - as in what on earth were they doing in such a dangerous spot?  - and the what happens next parts, but I was passing at a pretty high rate of (legal) speed, and any attempt to stick around for the rest of the story might have actually caused the rest of the story, and not in a good way.

Fast forward a few hours in time and a few dozen miles to a different road. This time I had time to hit the brakes and steer around Mama turkey. A different Mama, and almost unrecognizable as such at first. She was a dark horizontal form, head stretched low over first one and then another of ... well, think dirty fuzzy pancakes scattered across the lane, and a couple less flattened tossed haphazardly around on the shoulder. Think about one breeding season for naught, except maybe for a lesson learned about highways for next year's brood.  This story ends in a mystery, of course, for we're too late on the scene to know the how of it. Were they crossing? Pecking their way along the shoulder when wheels too close scattered the first of them and chaos finished the job?

Don't tell me animals can't mourn. This turkey mom was obviously inspecting each one of her decimated brood, even at risk of her own life. My last view of  her in my mirror before I rounded the curve was as the car behind me, not quite so keen as I was to veer to avoid her, shooed her unceremoniously off onto the shoulder, temporarily at least to a more secure safety.

Two pair adults, a dozen young, six known safe when last seen. The math still ends on the side of better than replacement odds for the year. So far. There's a lot of season left. And hopefully a lot of seasons left. History says they're staging a comeback. Just not on the roadways, please.

A LIttle Snark

Harry Reid is angry. I mean pissed! It's not just politics as usual, either. This time it's with the US Olympic Committee.

Now we all know  - or should have guessed - that those smart looking uniforms our athletes wear need to be both designed and manufactured. So Ralph Lauren was commissioned to do the designing. Haven't seen the pics yet, but I'm sure we all will, soon enough. Prices are a bit eye-opening, though, I'm hearing quotes like $975. per piece for some simple items. Not complete wardrobes. Not single outfits. Items. So one can guess that sending them over to China for manufacturing wasn't just 'cause they needed to economize? A bit late already, no?

Of course, it's the sending-them-over-to-China bit that has Senator Reid in a snit, what with our recession and a whole lot of textile workers out of work in our own country. Where's the patriotism? Where's the economic stimulus? Where's the common sense?

Perhaps this particular bit of outsourcing was started when Romney had charge of our Olympics hosting back when? I think somebody ought to check into that.