2014 State Boys Hockey Tournament
Thursday-Saturday, March 6-8, 2014
Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Alliant Energy Center, Madison
Thursday, March 6 - Boys Quarterfinals
Game-1: Superior vs. Verona Area - 12 p.m.
Game-2: Eau Claire Memorial vs. Notre Dame (following Game 1)
Game-3: Wausau West vs. University School of Milwaukee - 6 p.m.
Game-4: Onalaska vs. Kettle Moraine Co-op (following Game 3)
Friday, March 7 - Boys Semifinals
Game-7: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 at 6 p.m.
Game-8: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 (following Game 7)
Saturday, March 8 - Championships
Game-10 (Boys Finals) Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8 (following Game 9)
Saturday, March 1
2014 State Boys Hockey Tournament
Friday, February 28
You came in cold.
No sooner though the door
and you dumped a load.
Dressed you up
in bold reds and blacks...
woke up the next morning,
and your Cold was back.
You spat on us daily,
watched us freeze and slip;
Gramma lost a life
when she broke a hip.
So February... 'Git.
You no damn good.
Bring on the lion... we're
fresh out of wood !
Thursday, February 27
What Arizona Taught Us.
or, As goes Texas, so goes the Nation.
Do you believe in pulling the band-aid off quickly — 1,2,3...off! — or peeling back the sticky adhesive slowly, prolonging the pain?
Do you believe we should prolong this idea of pursuing a 'states rights' method of equality by waiting for the majority of voters to agree to protect minority rights?
or, does the Supreme Court simply stop delaying the inevitable — which is dividing and tearing the country asunder in some regions — and now affirm the lower court rulings: that in these days of paternity tests, multiple divorces, and childless marriages, there's simply no legitimate rational basis to continue discriminating against a discrete insular minority like gay people?
Git 'er done.
Religions can choose to continue to make private distinctions, as the Catholic Church has done in refusing to marry divorcees (except under special conditions they have set up to annul the previous union.) The social conservatives get to keep their rules on what is adultery, held to a higher standard than what people in society nowadays accept, by refusing to recognize in the Church the remarriage without annulment while the original spouse still lives.
Nobody has forced the Church to marry any couples who don't meet their parish, diocese or Catholic standards. The same would be true for gay Catholics, even if the legal civil discrimination is ended. Most smart people understand this. Fear mongers try to hype hate, but the laws for businesses open to serving the public, and private churches differ. Rightly so.
What the Arizona legislature's overreach showed us is the degree of animosity that still exists in plenty of places against equal civil rights. This is not really about religious 'protections'. It's about maintaining the codified right to discriminate against minorities, if you just don't like the looks of them.
Reread, or treat yourself to a first read even, of Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail".* Though addressed to clergymen, he wrote it to you and me, all of us.
Look at today's verbal backlash in some comment sections and twitter feeds. Read the hate dripping off them. Does anyone really think there's not continued discrimination out here that doesn't fall under anyone's banner of simply wanting to practice one's religion freely?
The Court can choose to maintain the position that they are simply keeping the peace as the country as a whole is not ready to accept an equality mandate, without majority acceptance state by state by state. In many places, that will never come...
Yesterday, Texas fell.
That's the biggest state yet to lose in the lower courts, and the first with a solid southern mentality.
So Justices, do we drag this one out slowly, prolonging the pain for plenty of good people, or do we put our heads together in what even Justice Scalia spelled out in his Laurence v. Texas dissent is indeed now inevitable in time? The Brown court crafted a unanimous decision, but what's coming need not include all Justices...
Good people see what almost happened in Arizona, a state with socially conservative aged retirees who exercise their voting power. It sickens plenty of them, pretending such legal moves are necessary to 'protect' their own private faith traditions.
Children of divorcees are no less welcome as guests in private religious homes, even if those homes do not approve of divorce because of the best interests of the children. It really is possible in this day and age to hold private religious beliefs that go against social acceptance of liberal policies, and yet to understand why your own socially conservative rules should not be imposed on the whole of society.
The 'no divorce' in Church rule — but with civil relief from a failed marriage available to all faiths in courtrooms across America — has worked out well for Catholics in longstanding sacramental unions. Their own marital bonds have not been lessened by a loosening of societal mores.
Children raised in faith-based marriages, where the values are modeled and practiced, don't tend to divorce easily when care is taken in selecting the one spouse who will be with you until the end of days... Even if the child is exposed to divorcees and their children, in places where that is a socially accepted civil option.
I also think that parents of gay people, or parents of divorcees, who might have religious objections to those practices in their faith-based communities, might actually support civil laws that go against their own 'church laws'. Nobody wants to see their kid stuck in a bad marriage, anymore than they want to see their adult child's love likened to sex with minors, multiples or barnyard animals, as if intelligent people are incapable of distinguishing in good faith. Don't put this animosity and hate at the feet of true Christians, who don't need it done in their names.
We don't need to prolong feelings of artificial superiority for some under the guise of protecting religious beliefs. Those religious beliefs not bourne out of animosity will instead survive, grow and prosper because they are secure rock-solid beliefs, not threatened by others.
Arizona taught us how far things might go, in the absence of the veto pen. How much animosity still exists, not out of fear of religious protections, but out of fear in some circles perhaps that society will see 'lessers' as equals in terms of civil equality.
It's time to let in light and fresh air and to let the healing begin.
*16 April 1963
My Dear Fellow Clergymen:
While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms....
I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.
Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.
You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes.
My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.
For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" ... This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."... To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.
We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws.
I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate.
I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the ... great stumbling block is ... the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises ... to wait for a "more convenient season."
Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.
I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace ... to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality.
Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.
We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence.
I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: "All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth."
Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will.
We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.
We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy ... to the solid rock of human dignity.
Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained.
In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime — the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.
I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action.
Let me take note of my other major disappointment. I have been so greatly disappointed with the white church and its leadership. Of course, there are some notable exceptions. I am not unmindful of the fact that each of you has taken some significant stands on this issue. I commend you, Reverend Stallings, for your Christian stand on this past Sunday, in welcoming Negroes to your worship service on a nonsegregated basis. I commend the Catholic leaders of this state for integrating Spring Hill College several years ago.
But despite these notable exceptions, I must honestly reiterate that I have been disappointed with the church. I do not say this as one of those negative critics who can always find something wrong with the church. I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church; who was nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen.
When I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, a few years ago, I felt we would be supported by the white church. I felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies. Instead, some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leaders; all too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained glass windows.
In spite of my shattered dreams, I came to Birmingham with the hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause and, with deep moral concern, would serve as the channel through which our just grievances could reach the power structure. I had hoped that each of you would understand. But again I have been disappointed.
I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: "Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother."
In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: "Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern."
And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other worldly religion which makes a strange, un-Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular.
I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South's beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious education buildings.
Over and over I have found myself asking: "What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Wallace gave a clarion call for defiance and hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?"
Yes, these questions are still in my mind. In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. Yes, I love the church. How could I do otherwise? I am in the rather unique position of being the son, the grandson and the great grandson of preachers. Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.
There was a time when the church was very powerful--in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators."'
But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests.
Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent — and often even vocal — sanction of things as they are.
But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.
Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world. But again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as active partners in the struggle for freedom. They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of Albany, Georgia, with us. They have gone down the highways of the South on tortuous rides for freedom. Yes, they have gone to jail with us. Some have been dismissed from their churches, have lost the support of their bishops and fellow ministers. But they have acted in the faith that right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.
Their witness has been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the gospel in these troubled times. They have carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenge of this decisive hour. But even if the church does not come to the aid of justice, I have no despair about the future. I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom.
We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands. Before closing I feel impelled to mention one other point in your statement that has troubled me profoundly. You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping "order" and "preventing violence."
It is true that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in handling the demonstrators. In this sense they have conducted themselves rather "nonviolently" in public. But for what purpose? To preserve the evil system of segregation.
Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends.
One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer.
One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Never before have I written so long a letter. I'm afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?
I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you... Let us all hope that the dark clouds ... will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.
Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood,
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Monday, February 24
RIP Harold Ramis.
Russell Ziskey in Stripes:
- I've always been kind of a pacifist. When I was a kid, my father told me, "Never hit anyone in anger, unless you're absolutely sure you can get away with it." I don't know what kind of soldier I'm gonna make, but I want you guys to know that if we ever get into real heavy combat... I'll be right behind you guys. Every step of the way.
- Russell: Do the words "Act of War" mean anything to you?
- Winger: I have a plan.
- Russell: Great! Custer had a plan.
Ramis' roots in humor date back to his college years at Washington University in St. Louis, when he wrote parodies for the stage. After graduating, he moved back to Chicago. And by the early '70s he was sharing the stage at Second City with John Belushi and other fellow collaborators, also launching skit comedy show "SCTV." In 1974, Ramis, Belushi, and Bill Murray moved to New York with other performers from the famed Chicago comedy troupe to do "The National Lampoon Radio Hour."
Ramis' big-screen break came when he wrote the seminal 1978 frat house comedy "National Lampoon's Animal House," starring Belushi. From there, Ramis wrote 1979's "Meatballs," starring his other creative collaborator, Bill Murray — with whom he would go on to "Caddyshack," "Stripes," "Ghostbusters," and "Groundhog Day."
Sunday, February 23
*Substantively, He's No Edward Snowden...
(at left, Getty Images)
Vic Wild too has a 2014
American Dream story to tell...
By Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports.
Were he still competing for the U.S., Wild would be the most decorated American Olympian at the Sochi Games – and the athlete who pushed them into the lead.
Instead, the United States Ski and Snowboard Association dissolved its already-underfunded alpine snowboarding program after the Vancouver Games, leaving Wild with a choice: end his career or defect. When he married Russian snowboarder Alena Zavarzina in 2011, Wild applied for citizenship in her country and its greatest perquisite: the support of an Olympic organizing committee that valued alpine snowboarding.
"I would not have snowboarded for the United States," Wild said. "I was done snowboarding. I would have moved on. I would have gone to college. And I would have had a great life. I had another option. The only option to snowboard was to go to Russia and snowboard. I wanted to continue snowboarding, to see how good I can be. I wanted to know I gave it everything I had. …
When the United States failed him – when it didn't give him the one thing it promises, opportunity – Vic Wild went and found his American Dream in Russia.
"Why Vic's a hero," fellow racer Michael Lambert said, "is he's someone that didn't let anything stand in the way."
"I'm very lucky this all happened," Wild said. "I don't know if I deserve all this luck. This is just too good to be true."
Of course he deserves it. Wild made his luck. For years, he scraped by with no money. He emptied his bank accounts, borrowed from his mom, did anything he could to make a career in a sport he loved.
Russia gave him that, a home in Moscow and a renewed vigor. During the first semifinal race against Benjamin Karl, Wild slipped and fell behind 1.12 seconds, an eternity in the short, speedy parallel slalom race.
"You don't come back from 1.12 in a 30-second slalom race," said Wild's brother, Michael.
Only Wild did. He blitzed the course, caught Karl and pulled across the line four-hundredths of a second ahead of him. Never, Wild said, had he beaten Karl. He chose a rather opportune time, one that guaranteed him another medal.
"He was riding with the self-confidence of an Olympic champion," Karl said. "If you already have the gold medal in your jacket, then you can ride like hell."
All week Wild has ridden like hell, freed, finally, from the constraints of a country that didn't want him. There was nothing political about his choice to become Russian, no statement or message he wanted to send. It was strictly personal. Wild grew up in a country that encourages children to chase their dreams. So he chased his.
This wasn't like Victor An, the South Korean speed skating mercenary who joined the Russian team because it paid best and won three gold medals in the Sochi Games. It was purer, sport for sport's sake, achievement his remedy.
"I thought I could do something special," Wild said. "I never reached my potential, and I wanted to see how good I could get. That's why I continued snowboarding, and that's why I'm a Russian."
He's Russian because he wanted this day, this moment, this particularly American-style opportunity that America chose not to let him have. It was his dream come to life.
Saturday, February 22
Hey Ernie,* Let's Play Two...
Knee Deep: Zac Brown Band - (ft. Jimmy Buffett)
The Frame that Holds the Mona Lisa: Brad Paisley
* The high point of Ernie Banks's career came in the 1958 and 1959 seasons, in which he hit 47 and 45 home runs respectively, batting over .300 in both seasons. He was named the National League's Most Valuable Player for both years. After that Banks's pace slackened somewhat, but he remained a consistent player through the 1960s with batting averages in the .260 and .270 range and between 20 and 40 home runs in most seasons.
His trademark phrase, "Let's play two," was first uttered on a torrid 100-degree day in 1969 when Banks attempted to lighten the mood of his depressed teammates. By that time Banks had become beloved by Cubs fans for his sportsmanship and unfailingly pleasant outlook. A Chicago alderman once suggested replacing a large Picasso sculpture that stands in the city's downtown with one of Banks instead.
Monday, February 10
Sunday, February 9
Go for Two...
As Scary As Hell...
This has got to be inner-circle material, in anyone's book:
The New York Post reports the publicist's email read, "We are pleased to announce Amy Adams carrying the Valentino Garavany [sic] Rockstud Duble [sic] bag from the Spring/Summer 2014 collection on Feb. 6 in New York."W.W.P.T/S/M?
A USA Today entertainment reporter tweeted her response after receiving the email, using the hashtags "tasteless" and "ew."
ABC reports a representative for Adams calls the publicity stunt "truly appalling" and confirms the actress was not aware of her name being used for this purpose.
But Valentino might not be the only one in hot water for seemingly using Hoffman's wake as a publicity venture.
As the New York Post reports, UGG Australia sent boots as gifts to celebrities attending the wake and funeral, hoping they would wear them for publicity purposes.*
* UGH -- a gift bag at a funeral?
That's a new one to me...
Top 'o the World...
Saturday, February 8
Chutzpah / Hits-puh.
If he were an attorney, he's be known more for 'procedural' wins -- rather than winning on the merits.
For a long time the biggest fish in a little pond that is the Middle Border conference, the Tigers have some true competition of late with the addition of an Eau Claire-Chippewa Falls co-op team representing Regis-McDonnell private schools.
They beat the Tigers last week 5-4, but I see reading the hometown news coverage that after the crucial loss, Coach Swanda had complaints:
Tiger coach Adam Swanda was seething after the game, after his goalie was knocked out of the game after being hit at the same time by two Saints players. The Tigers were leading 2-0 at the time, but the injury to goalie Adam Dilley completly (sic) changed the game. Dilley tried to continue playing, but gave up goals on three of the next four Regis shots before pulling himself out of the game.Hmm...
“I won’t ever forget it,” Swanda said about Regis’ tactics in the game. “They played really chippy and really hard. It’s not the way the game is being played any longer.” With the emphasis on preventing head contact in hockey this season, coaches around the area have worked to prevent concussions through head contact. Swanda said the Dilley injury was the final straw.
“In my opinion, that was the third contact to the head of our players in the first period,” Swanda said. “I’m not going to play that way to try to win a conference title. The bottom line is you don’t run (into) a goaltender in late January or February. It’s literally a blatant attempt to injure a player.”
odd to me that if he had such concern about his player's head, coming on such an allegedly cheap trick, he didn't bother to pull the goalie immediately. That's what they teach at the prep level now: put the players' health before the need to earn a win in a high-school level, non-professional game. (emphasis on the last word.)
More likely in my humble opinion?
In a hard-fought game, with offensive players rushing the net at high speed, you have collisions sometimes with goaltenders on both sides of the ice, plenty that put the net off-post. If it was such a cheap shot to mention in print after the loss, surely the refs would have tossed both players?
Also, if this allegedly was such a risky maneuver, why would it be acceptable earlier in the season -- as his words seem to indicate -- when there was less direct impact on the final conference standings? Hmmmm.
No matter: the young man was well enough to start in goal up here against Rice Lake this week, but I wonder if others reading critically, with a basic understanding of the high-school game, had the same reaction as me...
* Photo credit above: New Richmond News.
New Richmond uses a hip check to upend a Somerset player, after the New Richmond player lost his stick and went into full 'hit' mode, prior to the Regis game last week.
Friday, February 7
Winter Olympics 2014.
Good News Out of Barron County, Wisconsin.
We're gonna try an assault case, and not settle for pleading it down:
Deal nixed, jury trial set in case of injured gay manGood call...
A plea agreement has not been reached, and a jury trial has been scheduled for Tuesday for a Rice Lake man accused of breaking two bones in a gay man's face. Rien L. Hendricks, 36, of 527 Phipps Ave. and his wife, Shannon, 37, who is an alleged accomplice in the crime, appeared in Barron County Circuit Court Wednesday for a hearing each on a charge of felony substantial battery as a party to a crime. Rien is accused of hitting Timothy R. Phares, 31, in the face with a 2-by-4 in the parking lot of Perkins restaurant in Rice Lake early March 17. The criminal complaint states that just prior to hitting him, Rien called Phares a "f---ing faggot." The vehicle in which Rien arrived and left the parking lot was driven by Shannon. Barron County District Attorney Angela Beranek has said she did not charge the Hendricks with a hate crime because the level of proof needed under Wisconsin law was not met in this case. She said she would have to prove that the defendant was solely motivated because the victim was gay.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Here's the back story.
*I know, it must sound small-town laughable to you... Applebee's employees mixing it up in the Perkins parking lot on St. Patrick's Day and all. (except getting whacked unconscious with a 2x4 isn't fairly 'mixing it up'.)
To me, a sad thing is... this is a good region, with LOTS of good people who understand "Character Counts", who will judge you by the quality of your work and whether or not you stand on your own two feet. They're not haters or bigots.
Good solid people, keep to themselves.
Live and let live...
But they're quiet Christian like that too, so sometimes when you speak out or up, you end up standing alone, which can have consequences, at work say. (Read the article about how this conflict at the restaurant allegedly started.)
I sure felt it when I worked for the local Barron newspaper, some of the religious quack letters we ran gave an idea of who was out there, and I do think it influenced my editor in our coverage choices. (I'm thinking business and county board coverage here, not so much crime or drama stories.)
I hope the prosecutor, Assistant D.A. Russell Berg, scores a win here. He's up against the local defense attorney who represented the husband who in 2012 assaulted his wife into a brain-damaged state -- she was allegedly blue and dead on the floor when the paramedics arrived and got her out.
The judge credited "the grace of God that he didn't kill" her; I'd credit the first responders' scientific training and practiced skills -- no doubt guided by God's hand that evening -- and the medical care and training she received in an Eau Claire hospital and nursing home during her 7-month coma.
The two kids -- her two kids -- who were at home when their mother was assaulted by her husband were old enough to testify, even if it was a hardship. Don't tell me we were protecting them by taking a guilty plea on lesser charges, when it sounds like only the fast response by the children, 9-11, and the first responders kept this from being a murder.
The criminal complaint states that the Birkenmeiers were arguing June 24, 2012 at around midnight when Birkenmeier allegedly hit Witkowski's head repeatedly against the wooden floor of the house to the point of her losing consciousness and suffering severe brain damage. Stacy's 12-year old daughter ran to the house of a neighbor who then called 911.The boy, 15, allegedly was threatened himself when he heard the argument, screaming and thumping, and tried to intervene to help his mother...
What galled me most, I think was when the judge told the defendant:
"You are a real danger to the next person with whom you have a significant relationship" as he sentenced the 28-year-old to 10 years in prison, with credit for 491 days already served in jail while undergoing prosecution.
(So give him 15 to 20 years off a conviction on the stronger charges, to ensure his testosterone levels have dropped, and it's less likely he'll be able to start himself a whole new family once he gets out. Not like he didn't have prior episodes of violence.*)
I don't like that myself -- they 'clean up' in jail, with no temptations and a strict routine to follow, and look like choir boys before the judge. Then, the prison sentence is reduced too for time served.
Defense attorney Elizabeth Smith recommended that Birkenmeier be placed on probation. She did not plead Birkenmeier's case in court but said that Birkenmeier had prepared a letter he wanted to read to the judge. Birkenmeier told Babler that he'd been a U.S. Marine and served two tours of duty in Iraq. He said while growing up in Rice Lake, he attended parochial school and eventually became an Eagle Scout. He told the judge all he'd accomplished in his 16 months of jail while undergoing prosecution. He said he took advantage of all the programs offered in jail, including an anger management program and attending in-jail Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. He said his faith in God had been restored and he's read the Bible three times and has lost 70 pounds.Oy-vey, as our Jewish friends say...
*[The district attorney] said this wasn't the first time that Birkenmeier got into trouble because of his anger. Beranek said that while he was in the Marines, Birkenmeier pointed a weapon at another Marine. She said after a fellow Barron County jail inmate flicked a playing card at Birkenmeier's head, the defendant grabbed the inmate by the throat, pushed him up against a wall, and told the inmate, "Don't f--- with me!"
Think Image, Baby (baby, baby, oh)...
Newspaper columnist Richard Cohen has a preacher's post* up this morning, ostensibly out of concern for Justin Bieber's marijuana use... Talk to the handlers, Dick.
You see, somebody figured out:
there's an awful lot of money to be made, selling... sin, essentially -- especially to a yet-fully tapped youth market.**
Something tells me this is not so much 'free choice' on the Biebster's part, as part of the marketing package he was contracted into, ever since Scooter Braun 'discovered' the Canadian youth singing online, overcame his mother's initial resistance, and signed the white boy to his label after a bidding war with other interested parties.
First you sell him as a solo-sensation superstar, using the typical boy-band marketing tools. (Remember Menudo?)
Then once you've got an audience built up, you mix up the genres, hoping enough of the original crowd will follow, and you'll gain some new fans too, drawn by the name and liking that game...
Soft drug use, tattoos, guns, sex, vandalism, and lil gansta wannabee's flashing finger signs... the culture figured out America's affluent suburban white children can be hooked on 'dangerous' images, and sometimes white boys can make inroads still, where black youth would never get through the door...
In some circles, this is all bad for his image, but in other circles? Not. Repeat (to the sound of the beat): Not.
"Justin Bieber was in full party mode last night [Wednesday, Feb. 5] when he showed up at Diddy's Deleon Tequila launch soiree at Vanquish nightclub in Atlanta" shirtless, and sporting silver chains.
Remember, our boy -- born March 1, 1994 -- was properly turned away from post-Super Bowl parties in New York for being underage. This one was presumably private though... (Betcha his appearance was mandatory.)
Something tells me:
Only when he's 6-feet under incapable of making money, or like a teen star of yore: totally forgotten by the the media attention that shows no signs of letting up any time soon, will he be worthless, no matter what you think of his values.
In short, so long as there's still good money to be made selling this artistry, don't expect to see Ms. Miley, say, or Justin Bieber himself getting to cover up or clean up their acts anytime soon.
I don't think personal choice plays much of a role in the marketing campaigns of either, at this point. That's the price you pay for fast fame, maybe. Especially if you get signed on when you're still a child, a tabula rasa to be written upon...
Justin maybe was serious even, when he kinda tried to walk away from it all and 'retire' around Christmastime last year, remember?
He told the Power 106 DJ, "(After) the new album, I'm actually, ah, I'm retiring, man. I'm retiring. I'm taking ... I'm just going to take some time ... I think I'm going to probably quit music."Did he -- does he want out?
Lest you think I'm trying somehow to excuse or defend the Biebster, it's not that... Personally? I pity the fool.
* On the off chance that he is not already a subscriber, I urge Justin Bieber to take a look at the current issue of the New York Review of Books. There, in addition to an article about his fellow musician, Johann Sebastian Bach, is one about marijuana. It was written by the eminent Jerome Groopman of the Harvard Medical School who says, basically, that marijuana is not a benign drug. Smoke it at your own risk.----------------
This disquieting news about the weed that for so long has been considered a drug without consequencs is supported by 19 footnotes from such tomes as the Journal of Ethno-pharmacology and comes from a man who has studied marijuana and its effects in his very own laboratory. Citing the scientific literature and with his own findings in mind, Groopman can tell you what you might not want to hear: Richard Nixon may have been right.
Groopman is not arguing that marijuana should not be legalized, which is certainly the trend. He is merely saying, in the customarily cautious way of a cautious scientist, that the drug many of us considered an innocent diversion may be anything but. It is linked to certain kinds of behavior — the DSM has an entry for “cannabis use disorder — and can be particularly pernicious when it comes to young people. It has a big effect on their little brains.
** "Hook 'em, horns" ;-)
I sorta kid, but while some people can say, smoke reefer while at, or right before going into, a high school class, and still grow up to do great things, others don't have the same kind of ... structural support that disappears their poor decision-making skills so easily.
The best way to help the majority of kids is to protect them from adult temptations while they're young. The rich, with banker grandmothers and decent educations to fall back on, might easily overcome, but for some, this nonsense they get hooked into early really does have consequences....
Still, where Cohen's preaching to a regular guy making his own decisions might have some impact, I think he's missing the real power-crowd influence here.
Why Celebrate Weakness?
(or maybe 'glamorize'... is the better verb?)
I stand with Lavar Burton on this one. (before he apologized and sat down...)
Burton tweeted Feb. 2: "Damn, #PSH was SO talented! However, if Y'all should find me dead with a needle in my arm, in my underwear . . . please put my pants on!"Somehow, I don't think a black actor self-induced dead with a needle in his arm, w/Hoffman's fine resume and three young kids left behind, would be getting the same adulatory attention.
When one of the Reading Rainbow alum's Twitter followers wrote back "not cool, dude," Burton, 56, replied: "Not cool is shooting up when you got kids . . . #areyoukiddingme."
"No matter how you slice it, PSH wasted a great gift!" the actor added. "Lash out at me if you want to . . . I ain't goin' out like that!"
Different cultural values and all.
Thursday, February 6
S-S-S-Smile All the While and Let's Be Jolly...
L-L-L-Life Shouldn't Be So Melancholy
C-C-C-Come Along and Share the Good Times
While We Ca-aaan.
(buh buh bu-bu, bu-bu, bu-bu, buh...)
~Kon Kan version.
Rice Lake over New Richmond 5-3 tonight here on home ice, with the 5-year-olds in the RL youth program "scrimmaging" between the 2nd and 3rd periods for the crowd's entertainment.
What I loved most: this is the kind of solid community program, the high-schoolers stayed on the bench to cheer them on, and the fans tossed hats when one young chap stayed on his feet, and scored 3.
We started out today at 15 below; got up to 3 or so... and yet you get all generations out in the metal shed essentially to cheer our Warriors on...
It's good to win, and leave with a smile, and share a winning warmth with the crowd, though I watch from the stands and do try to stay out of the packed heated indoor viewing platforms, aka the "germ exchange". It's been so cold lately though, nobody was hacking or looked sickly, maybe the germs are all dead?
This song on the radio pumped me up more coming home; anytime you beat an over-rated New Richmond, especially with a solidly rooted community program, it's good. (Personal for me, I admit it...)
Have a good rest of the night, and make it a great Friday, you.
Have to admit it's getting better...
Getting so much better all the time.
Wednesday, February 5
Scalia Does Not Speak for SCOTUS.
He speaks for himself, not the court as a whole.
Scalia said the nation’s highest court was wrong to uphold the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, but something similar could easily happen during a future conflict.In case you haven't noticed, Scalia's brand of cautious jurisprudence seems to be getting less and less popular with the people... who ultimately employ him.
In a 1944 decision in Korematsu v. United States, the Supreme Court upheld the convictions of Gordon Hirabayashi and Fred Korematsu for violating an order to report to an internment camp.
He also cited a Latin expression meaning, “In times of war, the laws fall silent.”
“Well of course Korematsu was wrong. And I think we have repudiated in a later case. But you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again,” Scalia told students and faculty during a lunchtime Q-and-A session.
Oh I understand: he's got life tenure as a Justice...
But how long a lifetime? Are we landing many Scalia acolytes on the Court today? Nope.
I'm pretty sure the American people of today -- not the 1940s American people = more traditional, more unquestioningly accepting of authority, more homogeneous, more fearful of the unknown perhaps -- will not go along with locking up our Muslim neighbors, say, out of a quiet, easy cowardice.
We're America, and we've got a Constitution that our allies don't. Some of us still believe in it too, as the best guide we've got.*
Hasn't the past decade -- torture, assassination drones, Guantanamo internment, flooding guns into foreign countries while trying to regulate them here at home -- taught us that relying on such methods is not all that effective in securing peace and building a peaceful shared world?
Look at Israel's long-term security as an example; consider the fate of the Boers in South Africa. That way does not work.
We're not so fearful in America, and plenty have guns now, to defend themselves if anyone starts sorting us up by ethnic groups, or distinguishing between citizens of different religions or nationalities to collectively punish. Plus, the whole 'blended identity' nature of families today means you'd have to determine which percentage of a gene stock or bloodline someone has to lock them up...
Who is a Muslim?
Who is a Jew?
(What distinguishes 'white Hispanic' from 'dark Hispanic' for that matter, and whose job would be determining that for segregation or lockdown measures? The military? Census records? No.)
No fear. Not gonna happen here. No going back to those days, quietly.
I do like that Justice Scalia continues to give public talks and run his mouth like this: it just ensures the need for more and more 'diversity' on the Court, and the rejection of highly intelligent minds like his, that are already advertising they would fail us, the American people, in our time of greatest need.
* That assumes it's a 'living document' of course -- not mortal and brittling, not stuck in time -- whose core principles, properly and intelligently, even creatively applied, can get us through the worst of days... It evolves secularly as new issues unknown in the founding days arise, or it can be interpreted that way perhaps more easily, say, than the catechism teachings of non-secular traditional religions...
Winnin' Ugly*... on Jeopardy.
“A month’s time isn’t that much. If I had had some advanced warning, I would have learned wheelhouse categories, boned up on sports, classic films, opera, things like that,” he said. “But when you know your limitations, you’ve got to learn to leverage knowledge with your strategy.”
“If I get a Daily Double in sports and I’m pretty sure I’m not gonna know it, why would I take an unnecessary risk?” he said. “I guess people see it as a jerk thing to do, but the benefit in that is that I can take that clue away from someone else who does know about sports.”
He's got a point.
He played the game untraditionally, but by the rules... and won.
“I keep coming back to this: when you’re playing the game up there, you’re playing for real money, and that means a lot to me,” he said. “Maybe I would get impatient at times and I don’t think that in and of itself is something to apologize for.”---------------
With the winnings, he says he plans on visiting family in China, saving a chunk and donating the rest to a charity...
* 1983 White Sox for $100, Alex.
Lean In... and Shake 'em, Ladies.
or, Creepy Freep-y.
Two women editors at the Detroit Free Press offer up some empowering advice to today's women; a guy editor at a non-tabloid could never get away with this:
Last month, the newspaper published a poll online that gave readers the chance to vote "good" or "bad" on the cleavage of 12 celebrities.Speak for yourself, sister:
"When cleavage is good, it’s very, very good. When it’s bad, it’s atrocious," the paper explained.
Georgea Kovanis, the Free Press writer who is credited for the poll, also offered "Do's and Don'ts of Cleavage."
No matter how feminist their leanings, most women get a certain charge, a certain power from using their femininity to catch a man’s eye or, in some cases, using it as a form of Kryptonite," Kovanis said.
I guess once you get comfortable with the idea of being a sexual object -- figuring how you can use your boobs more than your brains -- you start to objectify yourself... and other women too.
Free Press Managing Editors Julie Topping and Nancy Andrews told The Huffington Post that the poll, which initially only had a line of two of text leading into the voting, went along with Kovanis' column leading into the Grammys.
"Online, we asked people to vote on which celebrities showed cleavage in the best way," they said in an email. "Unfortunately, the language of the poll lost the context of the column. We have since added more context."
The poll now includes part of Kovanis' column, which weighs in on the celebrity cleavage "trend." As red carpet style filters into the mainstream, "we’re going to be seeing even more cleavage, coping with a cleavage explosion at work..."
Women have breasts. (Men too.)
Some are big, some are small; some are real, some are artificially enhanced.
You like what you like, but let's not go setting any standard of 'norms' or offering any tips on how to maximize your inherent feminine powers.
'Lean In... and Shake 'em, Ladies' is not exactly what Sheryl Sandburg had in mind, I don't think...
ADDED: The funniest, and most honest feature story I have read about being naturally 'blessed' with a big bosom is here. It's funny, not a mean-spirited competition where bigger is necessarily better...
The Nordstrom Lady took out her tape measure and figured me right out. In any lingerie section of any department store, they sell two varieties of bra. The first is an accessory: fun, in exciting colors to match your mood, with extra stuffing or not, with straps for different necklines and advanced technology for God-knows-what. The second has a job to do. The industrial-strength bra comes in beige, white or black. There is a solemnity about it, an awareness of what will be expected of this poor piece of cloth, a deference. These are the bras I have come to know, and these are the ones the Nordstrom Lady walked past to get to the one that would be mine. Because even the Nordstrom Lady had only one in my new size.
My size turned out to be 34F. Yes, efffff. You may draw it out slowly if you wish, an extended fricative for maximum comedic effect.
The 34F does not mess around. It might look like the curtains, but it is made of chicken wire and upholstery. You would lose a fight with this bra. It is the Rambo of bras. But for all its toughness, it still exudes a come-to-Grandma sexiness.
Still, it's mine now, and I am at peace. And not, as some people think, in pain. I am architecturally sound -- tall and broad-shouldered and hippy enough to have basic structural integrity, with triangulate distribution of weight-bearing loads. The edifice is sturdy. The center can hold. So, no, there is no need for surgery. There's only one way out of this, and that is down.
But I'd better be done; that's all I'm saying. If I wake up tomorrow looking at a whole new letter of the alphabet, somebody's gonna pay. Probably the makers of my fifth-grade health class videos, which said in no uncertain terms that puberty . . . ends.
But what I realized is that my reaction to puberty -- fury -- drove me further inside my head, which subsequently became a wild place, headquarters for my internal resistance movement.
I would dress strategically, which is to say, demurely, except at those times when I would not. In other words, I would always be in charge. I would not be soft. I would not bounce. I wouldn't lean an inch forward to get what I wanted. My lack of physical subtlety would be balanced by thoughts I determined to make impenetrable. I am not easy, in any sense.
Stare all you want; you'll have no idea what's going on in my head. Because if you're staring, I am probably thinking that I could smother you and make it look like an accident.
Harsh? I know. But with a rack like this, you can't be a doormat.
Tuesday, February 4
"The real question is...
will he drink his Guinness through a straw, or with a spoon?”
The Irish will be watching Mayor Bill de Blasio on St. Patrick’s Day, one way or another...
Why Immigration Needs to Be Addressed... Now.
Think of it a bit like brushing 6 inches of fluffy white snow off a vehicle:
You can start anywhere, sure, but it really is smartest to work your way down from the top, so you don't have to repeat your work and re-do the areas that you've already done...
Pre-k and education.
Labor and employment issues.
The transitioning American economy.
Each of these issues that we're trying to clean up -- craft better policy solutions for --has an integral immigration component. These are all 'people' issues primarily, affecting who is covered and how they come forward to receive help or wages or protections.
If the parents are underground, will the child most in need of early American-classroom-assimilation show up for instruction? The ones with braver parents in schools districts with committed outreach, perhaps.
The saddest thing to me in the whole mandatory insurance healthcare reform is it somehow still left so many people here working and raising families, with unaddressed ways to access care, short of resorting to emergency treatments at the ER.
Why bother even talking labor issues or trying to address the problems of reforming the economy, and better training American workers, when wily employers who want to cheat the system understand that there's a second pool of people out there in the shadows, who can be exploited with no citizen or worker protections available to them, when they are unseen, undocumented and being paid for the dirtiest work off the books?
That can affect public health and safety well beyond the undocumented person affected. Think, trucking say...
We've been lucky too, but if we're more and more tracking our own private citizens -- some say illegally -- to look for patterns, suspicions or any type of potential terror trouble here at home, why would we subtly encourage people, or incentivize them, to assume false identities and operate in the shadows?
That's for terrorists, not newcomer American families and workers just starting out here, honestly hoping to learn and play by the rules so they too can pursue on faith and promise the dreams that drive so many, with so much potential, truly willing to work for it, if only they can figure out a way to get in the game and compete? We've subtly told them, incentivized or encouraged them in past years to just get here already, even if you have to break the rules to do it... We needed the low-end workers. Now, when we don't, people don't just disappear, even if you can't see them...
In short, doesn't it make more sense to first acknowledge the new demographics in America? Acknowledge who is out there, and document them.
The worst thing we could do is keep letting the issue split the country like this, with no acknowledgement that we're just going to have to re-think our clean-up of all the policy solutions created today that don't include so many people permanently living and working in our shared country.
That's like not even bothering to clean the vehicle at all, just jumping in driving off, and letting the powdery fluff blow off on the people driving up behind you.
Do the job right, from the top, in the first place.
Si se puede.
So Dry Your Tears, I say...
I remember when we used to sit
In the government yard in
Ob-observing the hypocrites
As they would mingle with the good people we'd meet.
Good friends we have had,
oh good friends we've lost along the way...
In this bright future you can't forget your past,
So dry your tears I say...
One person's opinion that I am particularly interested in reading, of Virginia Wolf et. al. vs. Scott Walker -- the equal rights lawsuit in Wisconsin that dropped yesterday -- is blogger Ann Althouse.
She has shared many details of her personal life in her art-like blog:
an East Coast upbringing, a first marriage and two sons with the writer Richard Cohen, divorce, and then a much celebrated public courtship and marriage to Laurence Meade. They eloped from Wisconsin to Colorado, availing themselves of the marital laws there, and returning with the State's blessing and all the marital privileges and societal accompaniments designed to support heterosexual couples for the purposes of child bearing and rearing. (No fine for marrying out of state; no legal threat of imprisonment upon return codified in the law. No special documents, contracts or legal instruments needed, at an extra cost.)
This latter legal relationship even received a full-blown newsstory in the New York Times, noting how uncommon it might be for a blogger to meet a future mate online, particularly two from such seemingly different backgrounds...
Ms. Althouse has written extensively about her support for gay rights and has acknowledged her gay second son. Yet she and her second husband are also verrry big Scott Walker supporters... no secret there.
It will be interesting to read -- if she continues in her popular way of personalizing the local news storis -- her opinions of the long-term committed couples who wish too to avail themselves legally of the same protections for themselves and their spouses -- and their minor children still being raised in the home.
From the legal complaint comes this personal story of a bi-racial lesbian couple, written in much the same 'regular people' manner as the New York Times piece describing the legal marriage of the popular blogger and her 'commoner' male spouse. The details of the online romance sound remarkably similar too:
Charvonne Kemp, 43, and Marie Carlson, 48, have been in love and committed exclusively to each other for seven years. Charvonne and Marie met in a MySpace group for lesbians over 30. At first the group was a place for members to share dating stories and get advice. Eventually, the group decided that half the members should be mentors to the other half, giving them dating advice and support. Charvonne was assigned to be Marie’s mentor, but the two fell for each other and started dating instead.
Charvonne moved around when she was growing up, even globe-trotting a bit with her military stepfather. She was living in Los Angeles when she and Marie first started dating. Marie, who had lived in Milwaukee since the third grade, moved out to L.A. to be with Charvonne, but the two didn’t stay long. Charvonne had two sons from a prior marriage and a prior relationship, and she and Marie believed that Wisconsin was a better place to raise them than L.A. So the entire family came back to Milwaukee in early 2007.
Charvonne and Marie’s older son, Alexander, is 21 and serves in the Air Force. ... Their younger son, Christopher, is just 11 so he still lives at home with Marie, Charvonne, and Charvonne’s younger brother and sister. Marie and Charvonne were active in the PTA at Christopher’s school. They’ve both served as PTA officers, and Charvonne twice served on search committees to select a new school principal. Charvonne is currently on the Governance Council Committee at Christopher’s school.
Both sons consider Marie to be their stepmother, even if the State of Wisconsin does not.
Charvonne says their relationship works because “Marie and I have similar interests and moral codes but we’re independent enough in ourselves that we’re okay if I want to go do something or she wants to be alone for a while.” Charvonne spends time on her own cooking, sewing, quilting, gardening, and even dancing in a local Turkish dance group
Together, Charvonne, Marie, and Christopher are enthusiastic members of the Society for Creative Anachronism, and enjoy medieval reenactments with the group. The whole family swims at the YMCA once a week, and they enjoy Christopher’s many school performances—including an opera performed by his class. Last year, Marie coached Christopher’s baseball team
Marie and Charvonne are domestic partners, but that is not enough. ... At bottom, though, Marie and Charvonne want very much to get married for the same reasons most couples do. “I love her and want to spend the rest of my life with her,” says Charvonne of Marie. Marriage is “that final commitment to another person.… I’m old fashioned in that way.”
Marie says “I want to call Charvonne my wife and have people understand what that means. . . . I want to do it the right way and the right way is marriage.”
They have thought about going to Illinois or Massachusetts or Canada to get married, especially after the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor,but Charvonne says, “I’m not a big fan of breaking the law.”
For Marie, if the marriage is not recognized in Wisconsin, “it doesn’t mean what it’s supposed to mean.”
Marie feels strongly that the commitment she has made to Charvonne and their sons, and that they have made to Marie, should be legally recognized. “I want to proudly walk with my family.” According to Charvonne, “Everyone else in our lives accepts us as a couple except the law.”
I've omitted the focus on the legal protections and financial benefits that are detailed in the complaint to focus on the personal details here.
How does one justify benefitting a childless couple's second marriage -- with at least one well-to-do spouse who surely could pay to contract privately for these privileges -- while threatening fines and prison time for another struggling couple, with children, who in actuality are family doing the daily child-raising that these marital government benefits and recognitions are supposed to help?
Perhaps the popular Althouse blog is read by Gov. Scott Walker's staffers. I'd never tell another writer what subjects, or current events, they need to address in their work.
But here's hoping...
Ms. Althouse-Meade reads the complaint, sees a bit of herself and her husband in that Milwaukee couple, and can take effective action herself in lobbying the governor of our shared state to extend equal rights to others.
Here's that link again.
Time has come for all good people to speak out against special entitlements for special people, while discriminating against other similarly situated couples, currently working to raise tomorrow's generation.
Will you join us, or continue to enjoy the government entitlements, all the while giving lip service to the idea of equal protection under the law and telling us a change is gonna come... tomorrow, or the day after that... in 10 years surely... it's just too soon, too soon still... be patient... you'll get your turn, in time... ? Lip service never got the job done though, so that's why this legal action against the governor, at this time, is so important.
Make it a great Tuesday, y'all.
I know people still need time to read and think, but here's hoping we hear more in the news out there analyzing the Wisconsin lawsuit, but not skipping over the human details so well fleshed out in that complaint.
Everything's gonna be all right...
Everything's gonna be all right...
Everything's gonna be all right...
Everything's gonna be all right...
Everything's gonna be all right...
Boom, we gonna get you too..
So why are the rich so rattled? Surely part of it is awareness of what they have gotten away with. They waged class warfare, as Warren Buffett noted, and they won. They rigged the rules and made out like bandits. And, like bandits, they look over their shoulder constantly, worried there must be a posse out there somewhere.
Katrina vanden Heuvel examines the reasons behind the fear permeating from the privileged classes:
In the United States, the rich, not the poor, are winning big. The obscene tax break for hedge fund operators still exists. The wealthy, such as Mitt Romney, still pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. Corporate and personal tax havens abroad still shelter trillions from taxes. Our perverse system of rewarding chief executives still bloats their salaries. The president is still promoting trade pacts negotiated in secret with corporations at the table.A change is gonna come in the arc of justice ...
The bankers helped blow up the economy and got bailed out. They engaged in what seems to be an unending list of criminal and fraudulent schemes, yet no leading bankers have been called to the dock.
Perhaps the poster child of this is JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, once known as President Obama’s “favorite banker.” On his watch, JPMorgan has settled claims of defrauding homeowners, breaking sanctions against Iran, turning a blind eye to Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, fleecing U.S. soldiers and more.
In the past year alone, JPMorgan forked over more than $20 billion in fines and penalties. Yet with no one personally held responsible, this seems merely a minor cost of doing business. Certainly Dimon’s board of directors thought so, giving him a 74 percent pay increase a few weeks after the settlement was disclosed.
bank on it.
The small “d” democratic efforts to call the rich to account, to rescue democracy from the plutocrats, to rebuild an economy that works for working people have only begun. Occupy Wall Street put the issue on the table.
And the young people graduating into the most unequal economy since the Great Depression might just make this the moral cause of their generation.
Monday, February 3
Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf et. al. ?
EXCELLENT News out of Wisconsin today:
ACLU Sues Scott Walker and Challenges Wisconsin's Same-Sex Marriage Ban
“Wisconsin, a historic leader in marriage equality, maintains one of the most restrictive bans on marriage for same-sex couples in the nation,” the lawsuit reads. “The State deprives same-sex couples of these rights and freedoms for no other reason than their sexual orientation and their sex.”
“We’re completely in love, and we’d like to be married in the state that we live in,” Kemp, one of the plaintiffs, told the Washington Blade on Monday.
“I’m willing to go to the Supreme Court to fight for the right for everyone to be able to get married if that’s what they choose to do. It’s about marriage equality for all, not marriage equality for some, or for just us.”*
The lawsuit is pending before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin while numerous states, including Kentucky, Utah, Florida and Virginia, are facing dozens of similar lawsuits seeking marriage equality.
Read the full complaint here.
(h/t Washington Blade)
* That's a very catholic attitude, actually...
"Here Comes Everybody"
Never saw the concert movie myself...
Boy, they were good together, huh?*
S: "My bottom line on movies about authors is: does it make you want to read the books they write? And on a concert film about a rock star, would it make you want to go to the next concert? Well, the next time Prince is in Chicago, I am gonna try and get two tickets -- hint, hint -- because I like this movie. This guy, is terrific in concert..."
E: "Gee Gene, I like your rule there and I think I like Prince so much that I would even be willing to buy my tickets."
S: "Well buy mine..."
E: "Very funny."--------------
* Prince and Sheila E. too...
Sign o' the Times? ☮
In September my cousin tried reefer for the very first time....
now he's shooting horse. It's June. Times...
Well the city knows when a rocket blows,
but still everybody wants to fly...
Some say a man ain't happy truly, until a man truly dies...
Oh why, oh why? Siii-iiign o' the Times.
In my county here, we recently had a young man tripping on acid run in front of a semi on the highway after weirding out at a 'party'.
The 18-year-old who sold it to him got one year in the local jail is all, and an order by the softie judge to finish high school. Turns out it was a designer drug, not even good acid.
The aspiring businessman didn't know his product, and his customer -- who leaves behind a baby boy -- paid for his actions, but where are the consequences for the dealer?
Oh, his school testified, sent letters on his behalf -- there wasn't even a trial, the softie d.a. pleads everything down... and the judge, who went to the same school, petted his wrist, not even a soft slap.
Now I thought every high school these days taught about the dangers of hallucinogens, mixing in drinking and drugs, and not doing acid in unsafe places where you might have a bad trip. I got out in '86, and I know my suburban Chicago school drilled the dangers of hard drugs in health class, as well as AIDS prevention, which was still scary and new...
But maybe this school -- Barron -- still teaches Nancy Reagan's just-say-no, abstinence-only education from the 80's... I don't know.
Were I the judge?
New Richmond in St. Croix County offers a 'challenge incarceration program' -- a boot camp for non-violent younger offenders. They work in the community, in baggy beige uniforms with black belts. Six or eight of them are dropped off on a street under supervision, and run from senior driveway to senior driveway, shovels in hand, after a snowstorm.
You should see how systematic and quickly a healthy young team can clear a driveway -- 'Yes sir.' -- before receiving permission to get on to the next one, in a neighborhood with seniors still in single-family homes.
At the hockey rink, they scrubbed the glass, took out the mats to scrub them down, scrubbed the toilets and lockerroom floors. One guy had art skills, and left behind a mural at the rink, after they got permission for him to come in extra hours when only the maintenance guy was working, no extra supervision needed.
Our feelings at first were mixed, Mal and me.
He worked at the rink at the time, and saw the parents get lazy after the tournaments with their volunteer hours. Oh, they'd sweep and pick up trash left in the stands, but the heavy lifting? Leave it for the prisoners on Monday morning, they'd say, even when there were still hours to put in, or other projects they could complete.
I was uncomfortable with all the 'yes, ma'ams' when you encountered them casually, and that the community seemed to be relying on cheap labor. But the guys loved getting out of the barracks, Mal told me . You couldn't talk to them in a long conversation, but you could make eye contact and try to offer them a warm woman's smile, pay a compliment on their work, or exchange a generic weather greeting.
They were picked up by male volunteer drivers from the local churches on Sundays if they wanted to worship with us, when they were advanced enough in trustworthiness, and attended services in their baggy beiges, with cropped hair and clunky black glasses. The congregation clapped, I like to think in a genuine display of appreciation and goodwill, when a name was called and a young man stood on his last Sunday with us before graduating the program and returning.... 'home.'
You hope they took their newfound pride in their bodies, in themselves, and in their potential contributions to community back home. 'Things I couldn't do before, now I think I can. And I'm leaving here a better man.'
Some came from Milwaukee and downstate, but most were white and needed a second chance too. I wish our judge would have sentenced the kid to a 180- or 120-day program, because I suspect the drug dealer who dealt death suffers from ... affluenza. His defense attorney -- no trial, remember? -- got the one year in jail, time already served in the friendly local confines.
He had the gall to ask the kid's record be then kept clean -- the conviction dropped from the record -- if he went through the probation conditions, got his h.s. diploma, and completed all the pet-on-the wrist conditions the softie judge set... Doesn't bring the dead kid back to life though, nor support his surviving son; that's on the taxpayers now. The dead man's father was not on-board with the soft sentence either.
I wish the drug dealer had gotten time to work alongside other young criminals, to be broken down and built back up into a responsible man, which is something he didn't learn locally from his school or home environment.
This matters because if we're going to decriminalize some drugs, we need to be responsible in teaching the differences between stimulants and hallucinogens, say, and new 'designer drugs' like bath salts and the myriad of prescription pills now on the underground marketplace menu. We owe it to ourselves to be honest, and to teach consequences for actions.
I felt sorriest for the semi driver myself, he saw the kid running at him but could not avoid him. He was the innocent here. His insurance cleaned up; whether they can collect from the dead man or the drug dealer's policies for causing the 'accident', I don't know.
We're going to see more and more of this, especially in affluent teens whose brains aren't yet developed and whose pocketbooks are artificially inflated. Keep your eyes open for them.
In September my cousin tried reefer for the very first time....
now he's shooting horse. It's June. Times...
Do you think it's true that our unwise intervention in Afghanistan has actually accelerated the heroin trade coming into this country? Let a thousand poppy flowers bloom -- it's their cash crop -- and all that?