Chatological Humor update

Oct 03, 2017

You asked for it and you got it. Gene will now be holding weekly mini-chats, where he takes your questions about what's happening in the country -- and anything else you want to discuss.

Gene will still have regular monthly chats, for a fuller chat and poll experience. The next one is Tuesday Oct. 31 at noon.

Good afternoon. 

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, a Republican, tweeted this yesterday: "To all those political opportunists who are seizing on the tragedy in Las Vegas to call for more gun regs ...  you can't regulate evil .... "

So, I think we can agree -- liberals and conservatives alike -- that this man is an idiot AND a political hack.  

Not long afterwards, someone else tweeted this:

"This is not the time to discuss gun control.  This is the time to mourn for the victims of it not being the time to discuss gun control."   

I think we can agree that the second tweeter is 1) a patriot 2) a humanitarian; and, 3)  a genius.   Yeah, it's me. And I deliver once again to you, the great Roy Zimmerman's great Thoughts and Prayers.   

Finally, on this subject, here is former congressman Steve Israel, today in the NYT, on the smear of stinking sepsis that is America's gun lobby. 


I got a lot of mail about my column on Sunday, in which I finally disclosed that I am a grandpa.   I'd been holding off until the publication of the column, which was about the harrowing ordeal of choosing a name for the baby (harrowing for me, not Molly and Julien.)

Many of you have asked just how serious was this starting-pitcher roulette game.   The answer is, fairly serious.  There is no way the babe was going to be "Edwin," for example, but if he had arrived on the day "Edwin" Jackson pitched, he likely would have been "Jack" Kreuze.   Jack was a finalist name already.  

There was one solemn pledge that would not have been ignored. Julien and Molly went to the Nats' game on August 30, which was to have been Max's due date.  Pitching on this day was "Stephen" Strasburg.   Neither parent cared much for the name Stephen, but they agreed that if he pitched a perfect game, that meant a deity was whispering in their ears, and "Stephen" it would be.  

Stras came close!  A four-hit shutout in which he hit his first career home run. 

This is Molly and Max Harrison Kreuze, age one day, still in the hospital.  

Okay, we start at noon sharp.  

I've always been puzzled by the otherwise perfect diction of Stephen Colbert (who took lessons to rid himself of his South Carolina accent) when he pronounces a word that begins with, say, "str," like "street." He says "street." Never Shammy Shosha, but "shtrictly," etc.

I wrote a whole column about this.  (Not specifically Colbert, but the phenomenon.)   

Gene - Here's my take on the Vegas shooting (this is completely my idea and if you've heard the argument before, they stole it from me!) If the military went into a battle in Iraq or Afghanistan and suffered 58 deaths and over 500 wounded, they would upend everything they're doing, and have ever done to make sure it doesn't happen again. They'd revise their tactics and procedures. They'd change their equipment and their policies. They would do everything under the sun to make sure these losses are never repeated, and we're talking about losses in a damn battle!! You expect death and casualties there!!!! So what's going to happen in the aftermath of nearly 600 dead and wounded at a concert?!?!!?! NOTHING!!! The NRA controls the GOP and the GOP controls Congress, so we'll have another insincere round of "thoughts and prayers" and "now is not the time to talk about gun control", and we'll wait for the next one. If this happened on the battlefield, we'd ALL be outraged, but it didn't, so half the population and most of the Congress will sit back and let it be.

Correct.  For exactly the reason Steve Israel gave, in his NYT piece referenced in the intro. 

In discussions about gun control, I see many people saying versions of the following: "Well, what about car/truck attacks? Those are deadly too!" But here's the thing: Just because there are multiple problems in the world doesn't mean that we should not try solving any of them. (Also, many cities and other locales are taking steps to prevent damage from car/truck attacks, such as through the placement of bollards.) EVERYONE, GET A GRIP: **We can't use other problems as an excuse to throw up our hands when it comes to trying to solve this one.** Stop with the whataboutism and start having a meaningful dialogue about this. Please.

I agree. 

"Get a grip" might have an unfortunate double meaning here.  I could see an NRA campaign with that logo, and a pair of hands on the stock of a rifle. 

Is Molly relieved that she wasn't named Yogi Berra Weingarten?

Not sure.  She loved Yogi.  Was outraged that his death wasn't spread across the top of A-1.  

Congrats to the proud parents, grandparents but especially to Molly who did all the work!

I give the grandparents most credit here. 

Gene - I assume you are aware that if you do a Google image search for "Gene Weingarten," a photo of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad comes up in the top 25?

Not just any photo.  The photo of him moments after being roused from sleep, dragged into a future of pure hell.  He is not a good looking man, in those pictures. 

Stephen Strasburg homered against Baltimore in 2012. The night before and I had a BP pass and saw him hitting it hard. I told my wife he was going to homer before the year was over. He won the Silver Slugger that year too. But that's not the real reason I am submitting to the chat today. I came to praise the women of Washington. While I know you are a boots and skirt appreciator and that season is arriving, I want to acknowledge the outstanding fashion sense collectively exhibited by Washingtonian women. Maybe it was because I wasn't riding Metro last summer, but I have really enjoyed seeing all the colors and patterns this year. Lots of blues, but the whole spectrum has been represented. After a career of mostly working in the blandly-dressed suburbs, the variety is a welcome sight. Thank you, ladies, keep being awesome.

Oops on Strasburg. 

And I heartily agree with you about the ladies, in the same  non-misogynistic way you framed it.   We are sensitive new-age guys.

Gene, you're just about the only person in the world I can think might have an answer for this. I'm a guy, early 50s, and in the last few months or so, I have discovered, often, that I have forgotten to zip up my pants. There's no particular pattern to this, other than it usually occurs in the middle of the day after a bathroom break (unlike, say, when I first get dressed in the morning). And it doesn't happen every time. But it seems that at least once a day, I discover that I've left the barn door open. Thankfully so far I've only ever discovered the circumstance when I'm alone and in a private place where I can correct things in a non-embarrassing way. But I have no idea why suddenly, for the first time in probably 40 or 45 years, I'm making this basic dressing error. Any suggestions as to why this is happening, and any advice to remind myself of what I haven't done yet? And before you ask, no, there's no thrill-seeking of any type involved.

We all get more squirrelly as we age.  With me it's a different sort of forgetfulness.   I'll suddenly realize I need to switch screens to search for something, and the act of hitting Command-T wipes the new task from my mind. 

Your senior moment is a little less alarming, but has a far greater potential for humiliation.  I have no advice.  If I had any, I'd have long ago given it to myself. 

How did you find out you were going to be a grandfather? I'm around Molly's age and working on the whole baby thing. When I have mentioned this in need-to-know situations (the gynecologist office, for example), other people get excited and ask me, "How are you going to tell your husband that you're pregnant?" "He knows," I stammered. "We are, uh, working on it together." It turns out women plan these elaborate reveal scenarios for their partners, so now I just ask them what they did. "I put his brother in a onesie that said, "Best older brother." "I baked a cake that said, 'you're going to be a father' and used the pregnancy test stick as a candle." "He cried when he opened the 'Greatest Father Mug' because he thought I didn't want a baby." Really poignant stuff, but it makes me wonder, what do these couples talk about at night if pregnancy is a surprise?

Yeah, to me this is not really poignant stuff.  It's kinda moronic self-celebratory stuff, like secretly videotaping the proposal.   But I am a real old curmodgeonly coot on matters like this.  Birthdays, for example.  I don't like people who obsess over their own birthdays, of which mine was yesterday. 

Lawrence Peter Berra was perhaps the most underappreciated philosopher of the 20th century. With wisdom such as "It gets late real early out there," and "When you get to a fork in the road, take it," the man personified his nickname of Yogi.

I love: "No one goes to that restaurant anymore.  It's too crowded."

The second paragraph of this story has one of those mistakes that feels like a Style Invitational entry to me about coining a new phrase and defining it. What would be a good definition for "shoe-in?" I propose: something that will only get passed if everyone against it gets their asses kicked. The opposite of shoo-in. I'm sure you and the chatters can do better.

I like that a lot.  Chatters? 


Also, in a related misuse,  "toe-headed."

We need to re-frame the gun control debate as a manhood issue for the NRA folks who are worried about the government taking away guns from legitimate hunters. These semi-automatic weapons are just crowd killers, and not for serious hunters. Any hunter who needs a semi-automatic weapon to go out in the woods to kill Bambi really isn't manly enough to have a semi-automatic gun anyway. And the rest of us can just make do with simple rifles or handguns, like God intended (sarcasm).

I understand why you do, and I even see why it might be semi-necessary, but please don't do this again:  (sarcasm.)

Manteuffel wondered yesterday whether SCOTUS might some day conclude that the second amendment allows anyone to have a nuclear weapon.    I laughed.  The court has in the past acknowledged that Number Two has limits -- upholding a ban on automatic murder machines (you pull the trigger and it coughs ack-ack death, like Capone's gunmen), but not semi-automatic murder machines (each round requires its own trigger pull.)

.  But that very fact means the court is in the business of defining limits, meaning a future court might well find Number Two to be without limits. 

In response to KY Governor's tweet ". . .You can't regulate evil", Senator Murphy replied: "I await your proposal to rescind Kentucky's laws banning assault, murder and arson. One of government's core functions is to regulate evil."

Well, of course.  This tweet was so stupid it barely required a response. 

Who comprises the Mt Rushmore of great American songwriters? My four: Tom Petty, Jim Croce, Bob Dylan, and Prince.

That's an unusual list!  Eccentric to the point of being wrong.   

I love Tom Petty.  Love.  But he is not up there, nor is Jim Croce, who I really liked, too. 

Leonard Cohen.   Maybe Joni Mitchell?   You'd have to consider John Prine, too. 

Ok, so this might be a little callous, but do you think that the perpetrator (rich white guy from the south & southwest) and the victims (country music fans) might for once alter the discussion? There is a WaPo article about a change of heart of one of the musicians that played that night- is he a bellwether?

No, I don't.    If 21 dead children didn't do it, nothing will do it.  


In the past you've said you struggle with recognizing faces you've seen before (and in the last chat you mentioned people who struggle to truly construct any mental image at all). I think I have a similar way of seeing the world, but there are two caveats: (1) I definitely remember "important" people much better than "unimportant" people, and this embarrasses me. As a graduate student, I couldn't remember student names (and sometimes faces) but I knew all my teachers' names and faces. (2) I only remember being able to remember faces as a teenager, when I began thinking about, um, women whom I admired. Are either of these true for you? Can you recognize the big names at the Post better than the people you see on a daily basis but don't think about much? Can you close your eyes and reconstruct a room, a face, or a location? Thanks!

I think you are right about "important" people.  At least in my case, knowing I have this deficit, I sometimes make a very deliberate effort to memorize the face.  Note the earlobes, etc. Almost as if it were a crime scene and I was remembering for a reason. 

On a long-ago Dick Cavett Show, a male guest (no longer recall who) was announced and walked out onstage. Cavett nonchalantly instructed the guest that they should both turned around with their backs to the audience, then he informed the guest that one of them had his fly unzipped. Audience mirth ensued, with problem also solved.

Oooh, terrific solution.   

Max obviously takes after you. He's already blown his first deadline.


I've been following the debate on your chat about free speech and have questions for you. Is it free speech to disseminate lies/"fake news"? Is it OK that the Russian government can use our system against us to weaken our democratic system, with no controls exercised over social media? If a TV station or college wanted to have a public debate with representatives from both sides of an issue, would it be OK that one side is totally non-factual? For example, a debate between a Holocaust expert/historian and a Holocaust denier? Thanks for your help.

I would argue that, yes, lying is free speech.   If it isn't, who is going to determine what is "true"?   The government?  uh-uh. 

You're a musically inclined person, so here's one for you. There's a great song by a young Canadian guy named Colter Wall about a run-in he has with a police officer. He sings: "And then out jumps this old boy About twice the size of me He asked me for my name and where I dwell I just looked him in the eye And sang 'Blue Yodel Number 9' He didn't catch the reference, I could tell." Do you catch the reference?

Jimmie Rodgers, but nope, I didn't recognize it until I got into the tubes.   Love his casual, low energy yodeling.   This was the ninth of his 13-yodel spree. 

Please tell your organization that Hank Steuver is a national treasure and his review of Megyn (I can't spell my name right) Kelly's new talk show was one of the best things I have read in a long time. I say this as someone who grew up reading the Post and the sparkling snark of the immortal Tom Shales. Shales' annual reviews of Kathy Lee Gifford's Christmas specials were an important part of my holiday season. How I miss them. But Steuver gives me hope! Snark lives!

I think Stoove is great, in part because he has masterful control over his snark.   He uses it wisely and sparingly, so when it is deployed, it hits like fist to the underbelly. 

OOOh, something good is about to happen.   I never got around to an instapoll in the last chat.  Ready?  Okay it is coming up. 

Oh, a quickie Instapoll.  

In journalism, there is a general convention that we cannot make fun of individual people's names.  This covers both idiot monikers given by Americans to their children ("Jizzmo") and -- even more of a no-no -- foreign names that just sound weird or suggestive to American ears.  One of these, for example, is the common and completely benign  Thai surname "Kittiporn."  The rule, basically, is that when necessary, you report the name and move on as though nothing unusual has happened.  You are not permitted to deliver an elbow to the readers' ribs.   Indeed, in that last case, a violation is considered racism.   

So here is the simple yes or no question for today. Let's suppose I find a person involved in some newsworthy event, and he is of foreign extraction, and he is named "Assaman Poupstayn Thud."   Should I be able to go out of my way to write about him, where it is entirely clear via context why I am doing this?  I will be clearly stating, by context: Holy crap get a load of this name.


Please vote in the above poll, thank you. 

Since you're a language expert I figure you will have an answer for this. I was scanning the headlines on the WaPo homepage just now and was struck by the odd wording of many of them. "Driver, 82, strikes jogger who later dies in Virginia" I don't get the choice of verb tense. Why not "Driver, 82, struck jogger who later died in Virginia"? And several other death notices: "Tom Petty, Hall of Fame singer who became rock mainstay in 1970s, dies at 66", "S.I. Newhouse Jr., low-profile publisher of high-profile magazines, dies at 89", "Monty Hall, host and co-creator of TV’s long-running ‘Let’s Make a Deal,’ dies at 96"... Why not say, for example, "Tom Petty, Hall of Fame singer who became rock mainstay in 1970s, dead at 66"? Is there a sensible explanation for this?

This is a newspaper convention as old as newspapers.  You want to complain?  Take it up with Horace Greeley. 

If they named the baby after the winning pitcher. Could be a starter or reliever from either team.

From EITHER TEAM?  You are going to celebrate the guy who BEAT YOUR TEAM?  No, i think not. 

One of the most immutable facial features is how widely or narrowly the eyes are set. This is one of the factors in facial-recognition software.

But it's subtle.  Not sure I could notice.   An earlobe crease is unforgettable. 

I have often fantasized about a bumper sticker that reads "Only cowards carry guns" but I'm afraid some coward would shoot my car. Still think it's a great slogan.

Don't do it.  You would not have a car left. 

It's Kathie (I'm a Kathie, too, so I empathize with Gifford on this, although not on a lot else).

It is, but it shouldn't be.  Sorry.  I am right on this. 

I don't know what gun owners you know, but I know plenty who think they should have semi- and automatic weapons just because A) they can, and B) they think they're fun to shoot. That's it. A few random deaths here and there when a crazy white guy goes off the deep end is just the price we pay for their freedom. Of course, if a Muslim does the same that's a reason to close the borders, but I digress.


Important question for you. I believe that there needs to be a new term, when you retweet something with "Hahahaha, look at the stupid thing this person said!" My suggestion: a detweet. What do you think?

No, that's not great.  Nothing better is occurring to me.  Anybody?

"These semi-automatic weapons are just crowd killers, and not for serious hunters." You know Paddock used a fully automatic weapon, right? Those weapons are already pretty heavily regulated and require a class III weapons permit (to be purchased legally). That permit requires a federal background check. So if you try to use this specific case to justify regulating semi-autos more, it kind of falls flat.

Do we know he had it legally?  There are quasi-legal companies that convert semis into fulls.   They are also legal if the model is made 1986 or before.   

Are there ways you can legally get one otherwise?

Oops. Leonard Cohen was Canadian.

Yes, true.   My bad.   Joni, too! 

Lying isn't free speech and the government will absolutely determine what is "true", hence laws on libel, slander, perjury, etc. The first amendment is WAY more nuanced than anyone on either of side of the debate ever wants to acknowledge.

You have a right to say it.  You can be civilly sued.  Different matter altogether.   


A few years ago, I was gainfully employed but getting a little itchy to move on. Perusing the want ads one evening, I saw an ad for a communications manager for the NRA. I am a communications manager. I can't tell you the fantasies I had about infiltrating that loathsome and dismantling it from the inside. So few people understand the nuances of communications, that I may have been able to actually make some progress before being discovered. Alas, I never ended up applying. I am a crappy liar with zero poker face. Doubt I could have gotten through five minutes of an interview without descending into a rage-filled rant about their shriveled, black souls--which is not the best idea in a room full of gun nuts. Could you have done it?

No, but for a different reason.   I think if you are taking someone's money, you owe them basic loyalty.   I realize this is breached by whistleblowing, and some whistleblowers are noble people.  But I wouldn't go into a job knowing I was going to screw my employer. 

So, racism is okay when it's a foreign person's name? Okay, elitists. Have at it.

Well the question is simple: Why is it racism to note that a perfectly benign ordinary name in, say, Cambodian, sounds hilarious to Americans?

YOU can write about Mr. Asswippe Dinkwater because you've based part of your career on funny names. But a hard news reporter couldn't do it.

Well, what if the hard news reporter was writing an essay on funny names he has encountered? 

My view on names is basically this: If you write about Assaman Poupstayn Thud without somehow acknowledging it is a weird sounding name to Americans ... you are being silly.   Sorry.   

What was the plan if the baby came on a non-game day?

Pretty sure twould be the previous day's pitcher BUT there were no open days for the period in question.   


Good.  I like it. 

Paul Simon?

I'd say yes. 

I'm as conservative as they come (although I did not vote for DJT) and I am bitterly disappointed in the NRA. I think if they took the stance that recreational shooting and hunting are fine, but no one needs automatic and semi-automatic weapons, their influence with and regard by the general public would increase. Even fanatics can have moments of logic.

Yeah, but why should they, other than reasons of (haha) morality?  They are doing just fine.   

The interim head of Nola's sewage and water board is Mr. Rainwater

Very nice.   The plastic surgeon in Miami who donated his skills to saving the lives of dolphins and manatees mangled by propellers was "Felix Freshwater." 

We have now learned from the media that in America, white killers are deranged while brown killers are terrorists.

Why do you say this?  I don't understand what your reference point is.  Explain, please. 

Isn't one of Trump's elder sons a backer of legislation legalizing gun silencers? I shudder to think how much longer it would've taken those at the country music outdoor concert in Las Vegas Sunday night to realize what was occurring, absent the noise of the firearms, and thus even more casualties.

I was going to say that silencers are not for long guns, but ... nope.  They are.  And here is Don Jr. making that point! 

I hope you noticed that The Guardian, at least, referred to "the aptly named Brianna McHorse."

I think they didn't, initially!  I think they got shamed into it.  Could be wrong. 

Hey, what do we all think of this firing? 

It's gross to just point out the combination of sounds is funny to your ears. A longer article about the difficulties Mr. Thud has being taken seriously as an expert in his field in America, having to spell his name repeatedly on the phone, the lazy way his colleagues mispronounce his name to sound funnier----that would be an interesting article.


I disagree, but clearly am in the minority.   The story you propose would be boring.  A single arched eyebrow would not be. 

Thing is, lots of Americans think "foreign" names are perfectly natural, because those are the names used in their families. "Sunthorn Phu" may look like "Sun Thorn" to you, but it's the name of a famous Thai poet, and looks perfectly natural and normal to Americans whose families come from Thailand. Interpreting a name in a foreign language as though it's English is just rude, as is assuming that Americans only recognize European names. Lots of Americans aren't from European heritages.

But you are sorta making my point. 

Of COURSE there is nothing wrong with the name Kittiporn.   We aren't saying there is.  We are saying it sounds weird to Americans.  I see no foul.  You all do.  I'm fine with that.   

Not according to reporting this morning, which says that he used semi-automatic weapons modified with a "bump stock," an inexpensive accessory that lets a semi-automatic fire at close to the same rate that an automatic can, at the expense of accuracy. Of course, when you're using the weapon like a firehose like he was, accuracy isn't a priority.

The fact that there is such a thing is disturbing. 

The convention is that using present tense ("Person Dies") is to convey the idea that the news just happened, that's the news: the person died. When you use the past tense in a headline ("Man Died by Strangling, Coroner Rules"), you're telling about further news developments about the event. -- Pat the Perfect, former headline writer

Still a headline writer, in my book.  The best.  You will still be a headline writer after death.  And you very probably will have written your own obit headline. 

Just ate some reheated fried least two weeks old, possibly more. Need I worry?


I know he's still alive, so it's perhaps inappropriate, but Lin-Manuel Miranda is an American who has done a lot for songwriting. Hamilton alone revitalized both Broadway and American history for a lot of people, and it sends some great messages to kids of all races.


Mocking other people's names is, by far, the most pathetic thing you regularly do. People don't choose their own names, and normal people aren't gifted with the sort of thick skin that you are. Moreover, there's no originality here -- wherever joke you think you've invented for someone else's name, they've heard it before.

I very seldom mock names, other than pointing out aptonyms.  Do you consider that mockery?  Like if I point out that Joseph Undercoffer is an undercover secret service agent? 

So, how's Barnaby these days? Any pictures? Maybe one of Barnaby peering at little Max?

I would not let Barnaby within 20 feet of little Max.  BARNABY IS A MONSTER. 

It bothers me. She wasn't a personality or spokesperson for the network, and this was her personal Facebook, not a corporate account, yes? Seems like in some quarters people will have to stay off social media to keep their jobs.

I think she showed really bad judgment.  It does not take a lot of common sense to know that you don't write something like that -- something THAT cold --  while the bodies are still warm.  Or maybe ever.  

I think a company has a right to think, holy crap, if she's that tone deaf here, what will she do in the future? 

I'm not saying she HAD to be fired, but I can't work up a lot of sympathy for her.   And yeah, what you say on FB or Twitter is what you say, period.  

Which of Mr. Thud's characteristics are ok to laugh at? (Seriously.) His bad teeth? His big nose? His clothing? That he's gay? If no to any of those, why are they different than his name?

Because you don't HAVE to write about Mr. Thud's clothing or his nose.  You have to write about his name.  

Too many people are fired for voicing what they think (even on their own time). She was stupid, she apologised, it shouldn't end her career.

I'm inclined to agree, but I cannot fault her employer for feeling differently.  

OMG, so am I! (well, no longer a student, but just as kittens grow up to be cats . . . ) I never realized the *combination* was the cause of my extreme pedantry. I really thought it was just the history degree. Good to know!

You both are horrible people.  

Peter Lupus was a weightlifter who became a terrible actor, but the entire cast was hobbled by the wooden dialogue. There were some real actors in that cast over the years (Martin Landau, Leonard Nimoy), and some passable journeymen (e.g. Peter Graves, Lesley Ann Warren, Greg Morris), but the scripts went from silly to indigestible by the middle of the run. I have a theory that the show would have been canceled years earlier but for the amazing theme music. Same with Hawaii-Five-O: wooden actors (James MacArthur was amazingly bad, proving that acting skill isn't genetic), mostly lousy scripts, shouldn't have lasted past the cast's first five-year contracts, but its ratings were saved by a truly great theme and the terrific scenery.

I had totally forgotten that Nimoy was all over seasons four and five. 

Where are you at all surprised by the Facebook chatter following the publication of your column, suggesting that your distaste for some of the names smacked of racism? I believe this referred to the Hispanic picture who had a nontraditional spelling of what I assumed was an Italian name, "Giovanni." Do you have a response? Personally, knowing your distaste for creatively spelled names, I did not associate your comments with racism. But now I wonder if I should be more sensitive to the views of people who did.

Didn't see this!   I don't spend much time on Facebook.  

I probably should read it before commenting, but, um, my point was clearly about non-traditional spellings.  But let's eliminate that fact.   Why would my not liking the name Giovanni be any different than my not liking Tanner or Stephen or Edwin, which were other names I dissed?  

I'll read the comments, but just on the surface, this seems like a silly complaint. 

My dear Gene – I desperately need your help! I’m heading into trump territory this weekend (meeting new family members for the first time, so no, not an option to skip it). I need some good and thoughtful responses for those who say to me, “You’ll be thankful in 10 years that he’s president” or “Thank God Hillary isn’t president because we’d have polygamy, child brides and be paying for all of the Muslims to come live here” or any other CRAZY comment supporting trump. Any suggestions? I don’t think anything I could say would change their minds. So, maybe something snappy? Or treat this like a first date and refuse to discuss? Thank you Gene, for your support!

I think the best tactic is humor.  (I almost always think the best tactic is humor.)   You can make it seem that you are laughing at yourself when you flat out refuse to discuss Trump.  You are the snowflake, etc.  You do it all with a smile and a laugh, and turn the topic from Trump to the inability of Americans to talk to each other. 

I'm a reasonable person and can generally see why someone has a viewpoint even if I don't share it or very much oppose it. I live in the west and the majority of homes have guns. I do not understand at all why it is legal to fire 400-800 rounds per minute. Simple, small changes in regulations could make a difference in the total number of gun deaths per year but likely won't stop specific large scale incidents where individuals intend to do great harm. Do I have to accept that our nation chooses unlimited rights and access for guns over the rights of people to go to work, school, concerts, and malls?

Well, as I said earlier (I think), there ARE limits.  But they are pretty pathetic.  You technically cannot buy a fully automatic machine gun, at least not one manufactured after 1986.   

The gun manufacturers made hundreds of thousands of these murder weapons just before the law went into effect. 

There is a serious omission in the picture of your daughter and her son. If your daughter and her husband are as serious Nats fans as you've portrayed them, Max would be wearing a Nats onesie.  Do your duty, and buy your grandson a set of Nats onesies.

He has at least one, maybe three. 

"weird to Americans" makes it sound like Thai-Americans, Indian-Americans, Pakistani-Americans don't count. Lots of Americans are perfectly familiar with names that look weird to you.

Fair point.    


CBS firing that ding-dong who expressed her lack of sympathy over the dead in Las Vegas because they were "gun-toting Republicans" is insufficient to undo the damage she has done. She confirmed the view that the majority of the media is liberal and cannot fairly report on Republicans.

yes, and I suspect (I have no insider knowledge here) that is exactly why she was fired.  She was a shanda for the non-journos.  

for some somehow means complete bans (see: Bill O'Reilly). So, the NRA and their allies posit this as an either/or proposition. I'm not saying that there aren't folks who would like to see the 2nd Amendment fully repealed, but they seem to be in the minority. This either/or ideal is not what the founders of our constitution had in mind.

The founders were talking about muskets.  

I really believe if they all assembled today -- they'd really look silly in those knee knickers -- they'd be aghast at how we have interpreted Number Two in the age of bazookas. 

In case you haven't figured it out, I like "Number Two" and intend to start a movement. 


Okay, we're done here!   See you next week, and thanks. 



In This Chat
Gene Weingarten
Gene Weingarten is the humor writer for The Washington Post. His column, Below the Beltway, has appeared weekly in the Post's Sunday magazine since July 2000 and has been distributed nationwide on The Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service. He was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.

Gene's latest columns, chats and more.
Recent Chats
  • Next: