Wednesday, October 22

Tuesday, October 21

Ministry: Everyday is Halloween.

Words you know by heart... no?

Well I('ve) live(d) with snakes and lizards and
other things that go Bump in the night but to me
every day is Halloween I've given up hiding and
started to fight...
Well any time any place any where that I go
all the people seem to stop and stare ( . . .  )
they say, "Why R U dressed like it's Halloween?
You look so absurd.  You look so obscene . . . "

(Everyday Is) Halloween" is track #3 on the album Twelve Inch Singles (1981-1984).

I'm a fairly dapper dresser myself, actually.  When I try. 
Lately I('ve) been trying, many things.  Today?  I took an express bus, even.  Honestly?  The bus driver was a better driver than me.*  That is saying something there.  Knew which lanes to pick when.  Plus when to resort, legally, to the shoulder.**  He charged the holes assertively, not aggressively, which is much easier if you've got a bus behind you.  People respect size, it's true.  And you do need to drive assertively in rush-hour traffic too.  If you're gonna pass, pass.  Then get over.  Don't drive alongside, especially semis.  Pockets people, pockets.  But... that's all behind me.
*exhaling* 10-ride ticket.  
It was clean, the people looked like you could look at them/past them easily, coming and going.  Nice views.  A comfortable ride from the outskirts of western Wisconsin to down scraping*** town Minneapolis...  
I like it.  (and it's not even payday yet ;-)
* The return trip, I mean.  It was too dark, and I was too nauseous from the shoulder driving this morning to notice his performance.
** 2014.  America, greatest country in the world, where we've got money to burn and can afford to arm every beggar in the world, it seems, and we're still driving the shoulders as a rush-hour metro transit solution, resorting to patchwork solutions... oy vey.

*** That's not a diss.  They got buildings kissing the skies here, like in Chicago.  Who knew? (we were this close?)

Regret is Just a Memory, Written on the Brow.

I('ve) Got a Long List of Real Good Reasons...
for all the things that I('ve) done.
I('ve) got a picture in the back of my mind
of what I('ve) lost and what I('ve) won.

I('ve) survived every situation,
knowing when to freeze and when to run,
and regret is just a memory written on my brow
cuz there's nothing I can do about it now...

I've got a wild and a restless spirit.
I held my price through every deal.
I've seen the fire of a woman scorned,
turn her heart of gold to steel...

I('ve) got the song of the voice inside me,
set to the rhythm of the wheel.
 I('ve) been dreaming like a child
since the cradle broke the bough,
and there's nothing I can do about it now...

Running through the changes, going through the stages
Coming round the corners in my life
Leaving doubt to fate, staying out too late
Waiting for the moon to say goodnight...

Yes I could cry for the time I('ve) wasted,
but that's a waste of time and tears...
Well I know just what I'd change, if went back in time somehow,
but there's nothing I can do about it now...

~ Beth Nielsen Chapman

Monday, October 20

I Know the Territory.

I('ve) been around.
It'll all turn to dust,
and we('ll) all fall down.
(Sooner or Later,
You'll Be Screwin' Around.)
But I won't do that.
No, no, no. I won't do that.
Anything for Love.
But I won't do that.
How 'bout those Pittsburgh defensemen?
Love to see the big boys play: a tipped pass, an interception, a lumbering run... hell, even getting up off the ground is interesting to watch.  You can tell they're not used to get hitting from behind much and losing their feet.

Thursday, October 16

The Tales Grow Taller on Down the Line...

I know the neighborhood:  
talk is cheap when the story is good... 
and the tales grow taller on down the line...
 but I'm telling you, babe...
that I don't think it's true, baby...
 ~ REO, IL

Well if you're tired of the same old story...
oh sweet baby turn some pages...

More hard news... straight outta Ferguson:

One Canfield resident — who said he saw the killing of Brown from start to finish and talked to the grand jury recently — has given the Post-Dispatch an account with some key differences from previous public statements from other witnesses.

Among the recollections of the witness, who agreed to an interview on the condition that his name not be used, were:
  • After an initial scuffle in the car, the officer did not fire until Brown turned back toward him.
  • Brown put his arms out to his sides but never raised his hands high.
  • Brown staggered toward Wilson despite commands to stop.
  • The two were about 20 to 25 feet apart when the last shots were fired.
  • He would not detail what he had told the grand jury but said the members seemed fair and asked a lot of questions.
Witnesses have given differing accounts since the white officer killed the unarmed black teen Aug. 9, triggering protests, riots and national attention.  Some have said that Wilson first fired as Brown ran away from him, then pumped off more shots after Brown turned around.
Some have said Brown raised his arms high in surrender, giving rise to a common protesters’ chant of “Hands up, don’t shoot” while mimicking the move.
But this witness said Brown never put his hands straight up, but held his elbows straight out from his torso, with palms turned up in a sort of gesture of disbelief.
Perhaps the most widely quoted witness has been Brown’s companion that day, Dorian Johnson, who said Wilson had grabbed Brown by the throat through the open window of the officer’s police SUV.
Johnson, 22, also said Wilson shot Brown at the car, then ran after Brown, who put his hands up in surrender, and then shot him again.

This latest witness, who is black, told the Post-Dispatch that Johnson took off running toward West Florissant Avenue after the first shot went off inside Wilson’s police SUV.


Notes From Kevin News - RSS Feed - REO Speedwagon

Hi friends, I can assure you that there is no bigger compliment than when another artist covers one of our songs. Dolly Parton's version of "Time For Me To Fly" was nothing we would have ever come up with, which made it all the more cool. My son Shane turned me on to some original songs by a great young band from Long Beach, California called the Moderates last year. We dug them so much that we invited the band to open our show in San Diego this past summer. The Mods returned the favor by recording their take on "Roll With The Changes". I think it is awesome. You can see for yourselves...check it out on YouTube here Also available on iTunes! Pictured backstage, Cronins and Moderates left to right: Josh Cronin, Wesley Mathison, me, Garrett Huff, Josh Taylor, Shawn Cronin.

Hi friends, thank you all so much for your birthday greetings, all 300,000 plus of you! I feel so touched. I feel like 36, in fact this whole 63 thing may be some sort of horrible misprint on my birth certificate! But age is just a number. I feel young in spirit and I love sharing that feeling through our music every night on stage. Hope to see you in Laughlin, Nevada and Fresno, California this weekend. And thanks again for the outpouring of birthday guys are the best. kc

Tuesday, October 14

You've Had The Time. You've Had The Power.

You've Yet to Have Your Finest Hour...
Radio!  (All we hear is Radio ga ga Radio goo goo Radio ga ga
All we hear is Radio ga ga Radio blah blah
Radio what's new?
Radio, someone still loves you!)
Rock It Out with Queen
this fine Tuesday evening...

Here's the live version.

Monday, October 13

I Still Like Him.

If you took my advice yesterday and lost your shirt, I hope you're living in a warm place.  He will develop, but needs better protection:

Bridgewater wasn't about to blame his offensive line for allowing the Lions defense to get to him so frequently. Instead, he pointed out things he could do to avoid some of the pressure.
"Those guys do a great job up front of trying to protect the quarterback," Bridgewater said. "I think I could help those guys out by getting rid of the ball faster, not holding onto the ball and just playing faster."

Sunday, October 12

From Today's "Meet the Press" on NBC.

Chuck Todd interviewed David Brody, chief political correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network, alongside Kathleen Parker, of the Washington Post:

David, let me start with you. When you hear Mike Huckabee say what he said, and you've talked to the prominent members of the evangelical movement, they don't like the surrender that many prominent Republicans indicated this week, do they?
They don't like it at all. You know, look, many politicians see it as a political issue, gay marriage, that is. Mike Huckabee and others see it as a principle. And I think that's the difference. Is it a political issue for you, or is it a principle? You know, there was a conservative author and historian Russell Kirk, who used to say basically, "Politicians are actors performing a script that is written by the audience." And look, the audience here are evangelical Christians, who let's face it Chuck, are not voting. People say, "Wait, not voting? What are you talking about?" Thirty million evangelicals voted in 2012.
You still believe they're not voting?
With, listen to this. Eighty million, there are about 80 million evangelicals in this country. That puts 50 million evangelicals sitting on the sidelines.
You know, Kathleen, I'm going to show some polls here. This stuff has moved whether it's on abortion, whether it's on same-sex marriage, whether it's on marijuana legalization. The culture wars have shifted to the left. Many in Republicans are trying to acknowledge that general public shift. And yet, it's going to cause some heartburn.
Well, I would characterize things slightly differently, that's what's going on within the Republican party I think is sort of not so much a transformation as a reformation. And I think what they're trying to do in terms of, at least among those who are more accepting of these changes, is I don't think the Republicans are so much changing their core values as they are sort of trying to change the way they approach things.
And it mirrors what's going on in Rome right now with the <s>Senate</s>  (*sic.  =Synod). The pope is trying to figure out how to do affirmative things for families pastorally, and the party is trying to figure out how to do things affirmatively without being condemnatory, without being judgmental, without being harsh.
David, is there a movement among evangelicals to essentially accept same-sex marriage and promote family?
Well, I wouldn't call it, no.
No, no.
There's not a movement necessarily. There are bits and pieces, small little blocks here and there. But that's not the movement. Actually Chuck, the movement is quite the opposite. You know, there's all these "pastors and pews" events where Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, all speaking in front of these influential evangelical crowd.
And so I think that really is the movement in this country. The question is, can these Christians actually go ahead and vote finally because quite frankly, as much as the mainstream media wants to talk about that, well, look evangelicals are voting, they're always voting. Well, not necessarily, Chuck.
You know, and Kathleen, he just ticked off a whole bunch of potential presidential candidates.
This is going to potentially become very public inside the Republican party during the battle in 2016. And that seems to have hurt Republicans, at least with swing voters.
Well, absolutely. And I think that there will be less empha-- look, same-sex marriage, just to take one issue, has never been as potent as something as like abortion. And abortion will remain a litmus test I think for any Republican running for a national office. And that's going to be problematic in the general obviously.
But I think you have to keep paying attention to what Republican leaders, other than the ones you've mentioned, are talking about. Now if you read the op-ed in The Wall Street Journal last week, that was co-authored by Marco Rubio and Mike Lee, you know, trying talking again about reforms that steer away from the wedge issues, and focus on how can we help families with tax reform and things like that.
And Tony Perkins and these guys, they're not going to like this, are they?
No. Well, they're not going to like the way they see the polls. But here's the thing. Judicial activism is a big part of this. And I think this is the way Republicans, especially the politicians that are in powerful seats in Washington can kind of get around this issue to talk about.
So you paper over it, you go to judicial activism, and it's a wink and a nod, "Hey, I mean measure (*sic*=marriage), but I'm not really saying it."
Well, I think that's part of it for sure. And look, we're in a culture war, there are a lot of battles within that war. And I think the next battle you're going to see is on religious liberty as it relates to pastors speaking out from the pulpit. Think about this, Chuck for a second. If pastors are actually speaking from the pulpit against gay marriage, a hate crime potentially, is that the next wave? Well, that's a battle that still hasn't been waged.

Don't say you weren't warned.
And don't tell me the war is won, when people are still wanting to wage battles in some jurisdictions.

IN OTHER NEWS:  Paul Krugman was a breath of fresh air this morning in an outside interview on ABC's "This Week" on why he thinks President Obama's legacy will be substantively more significant than even the first President Clinton's.  Plus, Krugman pretty much confirmed what Barack Obama will be doing post-presidency, reporting that he finds the president's way of thinking even more "professorial" than his own.  

Some people operate better in theory, while we still need people to carry those theories out, on the ground.  Overall, an interesting assessment, and who better to deliver than one who was quite critical back in 2009?  Watch the whole thing.

Dallas Health-Care Worker Tests Positive for Ebola

Hopefully, he or she will qualify for the blood transfusion from an Ebola-infected survivor, the same treatment undertaken by infected NBC freelance-cameraman Ashoka Mukpo.

The NBC News freelancer who came down with Ebola while working in Liberia has made a significant improvement, his family said Saturday. 

"Ashoka has been steadily improving over the past 48 hours. He has been symptom free during that time and is increasing his physical strength. His appetite has returned and he is asking for food. His spirits are much more uplifted and continue to improve," the Ashoka Mukpo's family said in a statement.   "The team taking care of him in Nebraska now feels he has turned the corner and with time, will make a full recovery."

Mukpo, 33, received a blood transfusion from another Ebola survivor, Dr. Kent Brantly, as part of his treatment at The Nebraska Medical Center. He contracted the deadly disease while working as a camera operator for Dr. Nancy Snyderman’s team covering the outbreak in Liberia, which has been hardest-hit by the virus that has killed more than 4,000.
The Washington Post reports:
A Texas hospital worker who treated an Ebola-stricken Liberian man in Dallas has tested positive for the deadly virus in a preliminary test. Announced early Sunday morning, four days after the death of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, it is the first apparent case of Ebola transmission in the United States.
It was unclear what role the worker had in caring for Duncan.
And here is the New York Times report :
The worker, who was not identified, was an employee of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, where the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, Thomas E. Duncan, died last week.
Mr. Duncan left Liberia on Sept. 19 on a flight to United States. He landed in Dallas on Sept. 20 and first went to the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital feeling ill on Sept. 25. He was released by the hospital, which had failed to view him as a potential Ebola case for reasons that remain unclear, and returned Sept. 28 after his condition worsened.

Ebola cannot be spread until a person is symptomatic, and Mr. Duncan told doctors he first felt ill on Sept. 24. As he became sicker, the amount of virus in his system increased, and so did the risk of contagion.
Health officials have been monitoring 48 people in the Dallas area who may have come into direct or indirect contact with Mr. Duncan. It was unclear if the person who tested positive was among those under observation.  Ten of the 48 people were considered high risk, including seven health care workers, Mr. Duncan’s fiancee, Louise Troh, and two other relatives and community members, all of whom were confirmed to have contact with Mr. Duncan.
On Friday, Josephus Weeks, a nephew of Mr. Duncan, released Mr. Duncan’s medical records to The Associated Press. The document raised new questions about why the hospital had sent him home after his first visit to its emergency room on Sept. 25. The medical records showed that during that first visit, his temperature had peaked at 103 degrees and he had reported severe pain, rating it an eight on a scale of 1 to 10.

The details contradicted the hospital’s initial description of Mr. Duncan’s condition. It had said that he had a temperature of 100.1 and that his symptoms “were not severe at the time he first visited the hospital emergency department.”

Get Up. Get Up Already !

We have some strong Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee in the house, and we want to send birthday wishes out to Adam Rich this fine day. "Nicholas Bradford" and I not only share a birthday, we once shared the same "bowl" haircut.

(No, mine was not fashioned after his; it was a popular kids style in the 70s.*  A perfect cut in the pre-conditioner days, when long hair on girls meant "No More Tangles", and the longer your hair got, the more work it was in the mornings before school... )


*  Ok, while widespread, maybe it was not all that popular...
Other schoolkids wondered if our mom put a bowl over my sister's head and mine, before cutting around it. (Our hairstylist, who always wore a stylish one-piece zippered jumpsuit, would have been insulted to hear that, I'm sure.  No use of bowls was involved.)  These were the girls at school with feathered hair, and big-handled combs sticking out their back pockets;  I can't remember if the black eyeliner was big for them, yet...

But enough with the memory lane.  Enjoy my birthday -- hell, take tomorrow off school or work, if you're a teacher or government worker.  At birth, a nurse noted I was a lucky one:  there would be no school on my birthday!  A few years later, they rounded to the nearest Monday though, but hey?  You take what you get.

Re-Discovering America since 1968.
That's my motto;  why change now?

Make it a great Sunday, get outdoors and drink it in, and remember:  You're stronger than you know!  (and that's not the coffee talking. ;-)

PS.  Put everything you have -- or whatever you can afford to lose -- on Teddy Bridgewater v. the Lions today.  He will be tested by one of the NFL's best defenses, but some people shine brighter when the lights are on them.  If the Vikings manage a win, it will be a hell of an upset.  I think we need more upsets in this country right now... the longshots making good.

(A loss, I suspect, will only make him want it more.  Hopefully, he's fully over that ankle hurt of a few weeks ago and can take a hit, and get up to charge downfield again.  I think his line loves him too, and will give everything they've got to protect him, which I hope will be enough...)

Saturday, October 11

Coates Got Robbed.

That should have been a 68-yard-gain for Auburn (2) against Mississippi State (3).

(If that was interference, I'm a fairy princess.)

Friday, October 10

The Inherent Power of a Strong Will.

... and we're not talking inherited money:

Obama has committed the United States to war on the Islamic State. To then allow within a month an allied enclave to be overrun — and perhaps annihilated — would be a major blow.

Guerrilla war is a test of wills. Obama’s actual objectives — rollback in Iraq, containment in Syria — are not unreasonable. But they require commitment and determination. In other words, will.

You can’t just make one speech declaring war, then disappear and go fundraising.
~ Kraut hammer.

It took Vice President Biden to accidentally blurt out the truth when he accused our alleged allies in the region of playing a double game — supporting the jihadists in Syria and Iraq, then joining the U.S.-led coalition against them. His abject apologies to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Turkey notwithstanding, Biden was right.

The vaunted coalition that President Obama touts remains mostly fictional. Yes, it puts a Sunni face on the war. Which is important for show. But everyone knows that in real terms the operation remains almost exclusively American.

As designed, the outer limit of its objective is to roll back the Islamic State in Iraq and contain it in Syria. It is doing neither. Despite State Department happy talk about advances in Iraq, our side is suffering serious reverses near Baghdad and throughout Anbar province, which is reportedly near collapse.

Baghdad itself is ripe for infiltration for a Tet-like offensive aimed at demoralizing both Iraq and the United States.

SSS, LLC: "Wasn't Me..."

or, "Who Let the Polyacrylamide Potentially Leach Into the Groundwater? (Who, who, who?)"

The good word out of Texas is everything's a-ok. Proceeding as planned. Somebody else dumped the chemically treated water into an unlined pond. Superior Silica Sands, Limited Liability Corporation put out a statement about their Trempealeau County mine and what they believe might have happened:

Southlake, Texas - On Tuesday, Oct. 8, Superior Silica Sands LLC (“SSS”) announced that it believes that a stop work order from the Trempealeau County, Wisconsin Department of Land Management with respect to SSS's future Independence dry plant facility was issued by the county in error. SSS engaged in grading and excavating activities in the area with the intent to construct a dry plant to begin operations in 2015.

The reported violations related to mining activities are attributable to a different operator who is currently engaged in frac sand mining in the area. SSS's Independence frac sand mining facility is not engaged in any mining activities at this time. The error in Trempealeau County's stop work order should not impact the current production process for SSS, and SSS is working with Trempealeau County to ensure the correct parties are subject to the stop work order.

SSS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Emerge Energy Services LP (“EMES”). Rick Shearer, President of SSS and Chief Executive Officer of EMES, commented:
“While we are disappointed with the reports today that reflect the misunderstanding with the Trempealeau County Department of Land Management, Emerge Energy is still executing our growth plan. Our Thompson Hills mine and wet plant began operations last month and is already processing wet sand for our winter stockpile so that we can continue to supply our customers.

Our dry plant at Arland, Wisconsin remains on schedule to start production this quarter. Further, we remain hopeful that our dry plant at Independence will start operations as early as the first or second quarter of 2015.

Industry fundamentals remain strong, and we have been able to sign additional multi-year contracts since our last update in August. We now have 8.2 million tons under contract annually, with a weighted average remaining contract life of 4.2 years, which puts us well ahead of our contracting goals.

We look forward to updating the investment community more in the coming weeks when we release our earnings.
"Come On, Come On...
Listen to the Money Talk...
~ ACDC, naturally.

Character Counts.

Superior Silica Sands, in the local news... again:

Trempealeau County Shuts Down Sand Mining Operation
INDEPENDENCE (AP) — Trempealeau County regulators have shut down a frac sand mine that they say was dumping polluted wastewater into an unlined pond.

The Star Tribune reports the Guza Pit near Independence was shut down this week after operating without a permit. County zoning office chief Kevin Lien says the mine could face fines. The county requires certain polluted water to be dumped into a lined pond.

Sand mining plays a key role in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in which sand, chemicals and water are injected into the ground at high pressure. Sand from Wisconsin is shipped to oil-producing regions such as North Dakota.

Lien says the 1,600-acre mining and processing site was operated by Superior Silica Sands. The Texas-based company didn't return phone calls from the newspaper Tuesday.
The company just bought out another here in Barron County, and is hailed in some circles as a savior. Time will tell, eh?

ADDED: Those were the headlines in the Eau Claire paper.* Here are the headlines out of Minneapolis:

Wisconsin County Shuts Down Frac-Sand Operation 'Running Wild'

by: TONY KENNEDY , Star Tribune

Regulators say the operation has been dumping p
olluted wastewater into an unlined pond.

A Wisconsin frac-sand mine that was “running wild” and dumping polluted wastewater into an unlined pond against regulations has been shut down by Trempealeau County.

The Guza Pit, four miles south of Independence, Wis., had been operating without a permit and was shut down Monday with a “stop-work” order from county regulators. It could face fines when the situation is sorted out, said Kevin Lien, who heads the county’s zoning office.

The episode illustrates the challenges local regulators have faced as large and small mining operations, often run by absentee owners, have cropped up in rural jurisdictions across Wisconsin and Minnesota due to the Upper Midwest’s frac-sand boom. The crush-resistant silica sand found in parts of the two states is an essential ingredient for the technique known as “fracking” that has set off a drilling resurgence in North Dakota and other parts of the U.S. and Canada.

Neighbors alerted the county and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to activity at the Guza site because they believed it hadn’t received permission to operate after being annexed by the city of Independence early last month.

“They are just running wild, with no permit at all,” Lien said.

Lien said the Guza Pit, located across the Mississippi River from Winona, was being operated by Superior Silica Sands, a Texas-based company with large frac sand plants in New Auburn and Clinton, Wis. The company did not immediately return phone calls Tuesday.

Lien said workers at the site agreed to cease activity while lawyers for the mining concern met Tuesday with Lien and his staff.

He said the operators were violating a county ordinance that requires water containing certain mining chemicals to be dumped into a lined pond. The Guza Pit is located near a stream that flows toward the Mississippi River. The chemical in question, polyacrylamide, is used to clarify frac sand wash water and contains residual amounts of acrylamide, a neurotoxin linked to cancer and infertility.

“We gave them a list of things they need to do before we would release the cease-and-desist order,” Lien said.

DNR environmental enforcement specialist Deb Dix said her office sent an agent to the pit on Tuesday to gather information. She said Trempealeau County has jurisdiction over the mine
because the city of Independence hasn’t issued the necessary permits for operation since annexing the property. The Independence City Council is scheduled to meet Thursday to address the issue.

Lien said the 1,600-acre silica sand mining and processing site will escape the county’s regulatory authority if the city of Independence follows through on its plan to provide regulatory oversight
. He said several frac-sand companies operating in Trempealeau County have sought annexation to small towns to avoid county regulation.

Independence, for example, agreed to annex the land in exchange for 15 cents for every ton of finished frac sand.
The problem, is enforcement.
And defining "best management practices".

15 cents per ton of sand removed: "A fine mess of pottage."
* Our local Barron County papers will probably run a picture of company workers donating $1,000 to the local Boys and Girls Club. Aren't we lucky Scott Walker put the state up for sale? Think of the money we'll make... Oy vey.)

Keep an Eye on Marquette...

Rice Lake High School basketball player Henry Ellenson has committed to Marquette University. I expect they will again excel in the sport in coming seasons.

The commitment comes before Henry's final high-school season, so he's smart to have the Decision out of the way, so he and his teammates can concentrate on Warrior basketball and all the other things associated with one's senior year.*

“I felt Marquette was a place where I could make an immediate impact,” Henry Ellenson told, which first reported his decision. “I feel that I will have an opportunity to play multiple positions and show my versatility. Also, I was the most comfortable with the coaching staff, and a chance to play with my brother was ­something that was always big to me.”
His older brother Wally went to play at the University of Minnesota a few years back, and then with the coaching changes, and his ability to excel nationally at the high jump during the track-and-field seasons, transferred out of Minnesota to the Milwaukee school.

This summer,
I was reading the Eau Claire paper, and learned the USA under-17 basketball team had beaten Australia in Dubai, and ended up winning the gold. Later that morning, I saw Mr. and Mrs. walking down the street, and they confirmed: Indeed they were proud of his play, and glad he'd be back after the weeks away, representing his country in the sport. I was more impressed with the globetrotting aspect: imagine the people this young man has played with, and competed against, and the places he's seen (and still will go...) Dubai!

Just good people, all around.
Very down to Earth... Teachers.
Democrats. (with the yard signs to show it...)
Congratulations then to the Warrior, and future Golden Eagle.
It's always good to celebrate hard work paying off, in a rules-based game. Even if we're rather new to the intricacies of sport and the game itself, we can clearly identify success and good men in the making. Sometimes in this country, sports is hope itself.

"Get out there, and get the win."

* I first saw the high school team play on tv, during the playoffs last season. I went to Thornwood High School in South Holland, IL -- in the same shared school district as Thornton, in a region where the teams are amongst the best nationally. (Eddie Curry went pro: straight from high school to the pros out of Thornwood, years after I graduated. Nobody thinks that is a good idea anymore, thankfully.)


Eliminate fraud where it exists.
But don't discourage the overall vote.
States differ.  Uneducated, rural, transient, elderly, homeless ... you still should be allowed to vote, if you are who you say you are without having to get special government ID cards to prove it up:

Wisconsin voters won’t need a photo ID to cast a ballot on Nov. 4 after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a split decision Thursday night halting the requirement.

The 6-3 decision* came nearly a month after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the law, which had been on hold since a district judge ruled in April it was an unconstitutional barrier to voting.
“This is wonderful news and a victory for voters in Wisconsin,” said Andrea Kaminski, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, which filed a lawsuit challenging the voter ID requirement.

“Clearly there was not time for election officials to educate voters, prepare new materials and implement the law, especially when the election was already underway,” Kaminski said.

We should be seeking ways to get more citizens to vote in our elections, not to keep them away.”
Now before those of you in more sophisticated states, who can't fathom somebody not having an acceptable government ID and believe OF COURSE, EVERYBODY WILL CHEAT given the opportunity, consider this:

The student ID cards at the UW campuses -- with photo attached, and good for 4 years with a sticker updating every year you've re-enrolled -- were not going to be acceptable to vote this year.  The bigger campuses were scrambling to assist students with getting an acceptable non-drivers-license photo ID card just for voting on Nov. 4, if students had neither the time, nor the transportation, to go off-campus and sit for hours at the local DMV. Talk about a special burden to vote!

Who would want to encourage students to vote back in their parents' hometowns, instead of for the politicians who are allegedly supposed to represent their interests as students of a state?

Thank you, Supreme Court Justices, for eliminating one of the hurdles to be jumped though, for those who want to vote to keep Wisconsin local, and eliminate the continuing sell-off to out-of-state interests.  Walker might win, but there's no reason to throw the rules out the door to help him.

Voting, like non-gender-discrimination in civil marriage, is a basic right. (Ask the kids!)

* Roberts, Kennedy, Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan.
Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas cast dissenting votes, but acknowledged “there is a colorable basis for the Court’s decision due to the proximity of the upcoming general election.”

“It is particularly troubling that absentee ballots have been sent out without any notation that proof of photo identification must be submitted,” the dissenting justices wrote.
The decision is not the court’s final word on the 2011 law. Thursday’s ruling was on the issue of whether to stay the appellate court’s decision before the Supreme Court makes a final decision, but it did not address the merits of the case, said Larry Dupuis, lawyer for the ACLU, which with the Advancement Project sought emergency blockage of the law. ...

“The only thing you can absolutely infer from this is they recognized trying to implement this complicated law … (in the upcoming election) would be electoral disaster,” he said.
We call that "Law in Action" here in Wisconsin.

In related news?
One prominent law professor at the UW-Madison branch campus -- a vigorous Scott Walker supporter -- went to see Lou Reed, twice!, in concert once upon a time...

Thursday, October 9

"You Gotta Fight for Your Rights."

But first, you better define the word "fight" yourself, and lay out the boundaries.

That's why, after Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000), I took the LSAT and applied to law school.

The key is to respect the rule of law, and apply the rules transparently and consistently.  Don't hide anything and try to manipulate a win by massaging the facts...  

 (Attorneys and academics who do that are making a living, but often they are not truly "practicing law".)

Re. "It's inspiring, because every time you read about someone doing something awful, someone else is resisting. "

"I'll Take Frank Bruni for $1,000, Please..."

Five New York Times employees just appeared in little videos on the Jeopardy game board... not sure if it's a rerun.  I haven't seen this show in years.

Editors Address David Brooks' Son's IDF Service.

While many readers pushed back in the comments with a big fat MYOB ("mind your own business!"), others saw a breach of journalistic ethics.

Here's one comment, and my response below, responding to editor Andrew Rosenthal's take, and recent coverage by the playing-catch-up public editor Margaret Sullivan:

Karen McKim in Wisconsin wrote:
Does anyone imagine for a second that if his son was on active duty with the US military that he would have failed to mention it? The fact that he did not indicates to me that he knew it was a conflict of interest that would legitimately affect our perception of his credibility. Not acceptable.

More likely, but no less disturbing:
Mr. Rosenthal, Mr. Brooks and Ms. Sullivan "held off" on reporting this fact in the New York Times because if known, the son could be in greater danger as a "lone soldier" relative of a well known American pundit.

"Risk factors" came into play in this journalistic ethics decision, I'd bet...

(I say "no less disturbing" because so many simple facts are going unreported nowadays out of concern for "safety" and "risk management". Who is to evaluate what gets kept secret, and what is the public's business to know? That's what is scary to me.)
ADDED:  The controversy revolves around a statement Brooks made, in Hebrew, to Haaretz magazine regarding his son's service:
Mr. Brooks described the situation as “worrying.”

He added: “But every Israeli parent understands this is what the circumstances require. Beyond that, I think children need to take risks after they leave university, and that they need to do something difficult that involves going beyond their personal limits. Serving in the I.D.F. embodies all of these elements. I couldn’t advise others to do it without acknowledging it’s true for my own family.’”
I don't know how you split the baby regarding dual citizenship (which first-generation Irish-Americans may also apply for in Ireland), but readers questioned if Brooks identifies as an "Israeli parent".  Maybe only half?

(Other readers applied Brooks' logic, and questioned whether the young man could not find the risks he desired, and the difficult challenges pushing him beyond personal limits, in a branch of the United States armed services.  Also, does Brooks advise others to "do it", meaning encourage their children to take risks by enlisting in the IDF?  Maybe something was lost in translation... ?)

Turning the Wheels of Justice More Quickly.

What in heavens name is taking the grand jury so long to decide whether or not to charge Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown?  I don't quite understand.

Speedy justice, with thorough presentation of evidence, is important.  If the autopsy results are in, and any chemical or DNA testing, one hopes there is no stalling for political reasons in making a decision.  People there are on edge.  Drama takes precedence over facts.  The people there -- schoolchildren all the way up to the authorities -- deserve better.  The grand jury has a job to do already.

I want to see them be brave...

Last night, another shooting of a young black man by a "white" off-duty police officer moonlighting as a security guard, apparently, in his St. Louis city uniform, was reported.  People will react, for sure.

Teyonna Myers, 23, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper that she was the cousin of the suspect and that he was unarmed when he was killed.

"He had a sandwich in his hand, and they thought it was a gun. It's like Michael Brown all over again," she told the paper. Police have not named the teenager.

At one point, about a dozen people punched and kicked two occupied police vehicles, one that was marked and another that was unmarked. Demonstrators then broke the back window of a marked police vehicle.  None of the protesters, some of whom were from Ferguson, had been arrested by the early hours of Thursday, police chief Dotson told a news conference.

"I think the department showed a tremendous amount of restraint," Dotson said.  The officer, who was not hurt, has been placed on administrative leave and an investigation was under way, police said.
Another account reports:
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson said the young man fired three shots at the officer first. The officer, a six-year veteran of the department, returned fire 17 times.
“One of them ran in a way that the officer believed that he was armed with a gun – holding his waist band, not running at full stride,” Conway [ed. note:  who is Conway? misidentified source?] said, referring to the 18-year old. 

He drove through the streets after them and then left his car and chased them on foot. [ed note:  attribution?] One of the men then turned toward the officer and approached him “in an aggressive manner,” Dotson said. The suspect and the officer got into a physical altercation. [ed note:  attribution?]

Dotson said the man then ran up a hill and fired three times at the officer before the officer returned fire. Investigators recovered a 9mm Ruger at the scene, which Dotson said was used by the 18-year-old, whom he described as “no stranger to law enforcement.”

“The suspect continued to pull the trigger on the gun … we learned that that gun had malfunctioned and it was jammed,” Dotson said.  The officer returned fire, killing the man.
Justice is supposed to make clear the law of the land.
To eliminate, for good reason, the perceived need for "Street Justice" (ie/No Justice. No Peace.)

Be decisive, not divisive.  Fully examine the evidence.  Stand by the scientific facts, and the grand jury or judge's decisions applying those facts to the law.

  "Get 'er done" already...
In Ferguson, a grand jury is expected to decide next month whether to bring criminal charges against police officer Darren Wilson, who shot dead Michael Brown on Aug. 9.  Brown's death triggered weeks of sometimes violent protests, prompting the governor at one point to summon the National Guard.

Missouri authorities are drawing up contingency plans and seeking intelligence from other police departments around the country, fearing that fresh riots could erupt if a grand jury does not indict Wilson.

In other news,
the Supreme Court  of the United States (SCOTUS) is apparently delighting in their newfound attention regarding the "gay marriage" gender discrimination cases.

The purpose of the highest court is to provide instruction to the lower courts:  to decide the law consistently, and to be clear, because clear laws provide the standards that people rely on.  Clearly defined laws influence people's decision-making, gives them something to rely on, in doing their jobs and shaping their personal choices.

This is definitely not what is happening here...

Yesterday, Justice Kennedy left legal analysts, who thought they had it all figured out, scratching their heads.  On Monday, it was announced the Court declined to take up the appeals of several states, where lower courts overturned popular referendums banning the civil marriages of two people of the same gender.

Hooray!  said the pro- pundits.
Good news! said the gay-rights advocates.
The thinking went:  by refusing to hear the appeals, the Supreme Court was essentially confirming the conclusion led up to in previous precedent-setting cases, including conservative Justice Scalia's outraged dissents.

Now... hold your horses, folks.
When a lower court acted on the Supreme Court's (non) actions -- in not definitely taking the cases, and proclaiming U.S. Constitutional law loud and clear -- it appears people read the tea leaves wrong...

Just because the Court did not take on any of the appeals -- meaning civil marriage will be extended to all couples in the states affected who otherwise can meet requirements regardless of gender  -- does NOT mean they will not take up the issue when one of the more conservative lower courts rules that federal law  properly should defer to the legislatures and state constitutions, including popular referendum, in deciding this issue, which has always been governed by state law  (That's the con- argument.)

That's where the fight is:  who decides?  Is gender discrimination permitted, if a majority of residents vote it so?  Eventually, the question will come before the Court, because eventually, the circuits will be split...

In the meantime, there are those who believe the issue has lived to fight another day:  they don't accept the current patchwork rulings across the country as legitimate, now and forever, and think that when the Court's composition politically changes, the current up-for-grabs status of the laws will be determined for good.

I wish the Court here too would have been brave, accepted a case, and provided clarification.  It was cowardly, I think, to not accept and decide one of the earlier appealed cases, and now stay the decision of the lower circuit court allowing the issuance of licenses in one of the the now-affected states, but not in another, where it appears no appeal will be forthcoming...  Who can keep up?
On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit struck down gay marriage bans in both states. Nevada officials announced that they would no longer fight the issue. But Idaho Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter (R) filed an emergency request for a stay with Kennedy, who is the justice designated to hear such petitions from states covered by the 9th Circuit.

With little more than an hour to go before Idaho was to begin issuing licenses, Kennedy granted a stay, and told challengers of the law to filed a response by Thursday afternoon.  But his order covered Nevada as well.

Challengers to Nevada’s law thought that might have been a mistake and asked the Supreme Court for clarification. A few hours later, Kennedy issued the amended order “upon further consideration.”
 Everyone is left guessing again...

That's what the Court accomplished, in passively doing their job this week.  Talk about job security*...

* Put your shoulders to the wheel already, Justice people!

Cameraman Angst.

Fleetwood Mac performed on the plaza this morning for NBC's Today show.

In the public space behind the street stage, people held a huge banner: "Seek Jesus" not Church.  It's a campaign with yard signs cropping up in my town too.  People believe the organized religions are corrupting souls, and they should read the Bible instead.

It's sad that the song the group was banging out was, "You Can Go Your Own Way..."

The camera persons could not use the long shot, showing the crowds in front of the group on the plaza, without publicizing the sign.  They kept cutting low;  the people holding the banner crouched.  The camera work thus jumped around, and it was a fine passionate performance, especially by the lead guitarist.

But those are the perils of performing in an uncontrolled public area, with First Amendment rights in the country:  You can essentially "steal" the stage, and incorporate your message into anothers.

(Remember the very legal:  "Bong Hits 4 Jesus " sign, during the Olympic torch run? ~ Morse v. Frederick, 551 U.S. 393 (2007))

Wednesday, October 8

Washington Loses.

No, no, nothing serious.*
Just the silly baseball game, not any of our wars on terror/Islam/making the world safe for our ally Israel...

Meanwhile, the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL: we haven't come to consensus even uniting around a name for this enemy...) fighters advance, despite the Western death from above daily deliveries; and our subcontracted "troops on the ground", the ones in Turkey, (surprise, surprise) are not up to American military objectives in getting dirtily done what we need them to do down there, while our guys keep clean up in the skies, safely away from the destruction and carnage their actions are taking...

You know, the cynic in me is starting to wonder who sold out James Foley and friend from their original captors to the ISIS terror cells.  Killing journalists (aka "truth tellers/ground-level recorders") and mission workers is a great way to ensure that Americans here at home never see the true story of what our money is buying over there, what our acts of glory look like on the ground...

Who would want to (non) embed and cover that?
(Easier to dish up what they give ya, and hope for a coffee bar and your kids singing at the Nationals game... Fame!)

I'm reminded of this by the photographer Rowland Scherman in comments he made in a PBS special I saw over the weekend:  what Americans saw of the napalm burnings and human destruction in VietNam -- the children running, screaming, the translation of physical pain and true terrors -- is happening in the Middle East now on our behalf, except we at home don't see it.

No one independent is there -- to record what we're doing, to capture the destruction and death.  Just to say:  Look, look what your tax dollars are financing...

We're soft, comfortable, and turning away.  We -- the western governments -- have teams on the ground to gather records documenting "war crimes", so assured are we of victory, and of writing the history of the "conflicts" by the victors.

But ISIS is advancing,
our best laid plans for having others fight for our alleged objectives are not playing out on the ground, and it looks like "if you want something done right, you do it yourself."  Proxy wars -- committing an 180-degree about face and going into Syria, even when the American people spoke out loudly last year to their Congressional representatives:  No More Wars of Choice Abroad (allegedly overridden by polls showing ISIS videos of journalists being beheaded scare us into doing ... something! ) -- is where we're at now.

God help us.
We really do deserve a good humbling.
A big fat heaping of humble pie for our arrogance in thinking we can kill our way to a win like this.... From Above.

Washington loses.  This time though, it was just the silly dumb game, of getting home safely while not hurting others...  Let's get realistic and open our eyes to the physical realities of what real war games do:  they age and destroy bodies, and nobody comes out clean, amongst the destruction and damage.  Rebuilding takes generations, and decades upon decades.

Fundamental failures bar Nats’ path to elite

Fundamental failures bar Nats’ path to elite
COLUMN | Fundamentals, poise and experience carry far more weight in the postseason, and the Nats’ inability to advance illustrated just that.

Monday, October 6

Monday Morning Laugh.

A Devils Lake, North Dakota high school showed a Pretty Woman clip to nudge girls to dress more appropriately for class.  The analysis here by Isha Aran is hilarious...

Visual material can be really helpful in the classroom. For example the "Carol never wore safety goggles" poster worked for decades. Most of my understanding from science comes from Bill Nye The Science Guy videos. But when it comes to talking to students about a dress code, maybe don't show them a film about a prostitute. 

Principal Ryan Hanson of Devils Lake High School in North Dakota is in hot water after a teacher showed his students a couple clips from Pretty Woman, you know, that movie about a prostitute who pretends to be a rich dude's girlfriend for a week to make some point about the way the young women at the school dressed.  Then the female students were compared to the main character Vivian who, again, is a prostitute. Via Huffington Post:
"'[Pretty Woman]' was used in two small clips, one where Julia Roberts is scantily clad and walks into a store and they basically admonish her and say this probably isn't the store for you," Hanson said told HuffPost. "The next clip showed her after a makeover, dressed to the nines really looking appropriate. She goes into the same store and they treat her much differently."
Just wow. If you look at that pair of scenes from Pretty Woman and think, 'Wow, that store was right to kick her out, and I'm glad she learned her lesson and started dressing appropriately!' you're probably watching the movie wrong. 

The teacher who led the assembly insists that the purpose of showing the clips was to emphasize how much the way you dress affects how others perceive you. Yeah, lots to learn there from a fictional romantic comedy about the value of proper dressing and etiquette and class and perception and also the value of women. Great job. 

Honestly, if I was a student at Devils Lake High, I would definitely take the Pretty Woman clips to heart and start coming to class in dress suits and excessive shoulder pads.

Sunday, October 5

The Importance of Sun Screen.

(or at least, a floppy hat.)
A new exhibition of photographs of four sisters, taken over 40 years, will soon be on display at The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).

Mimi, second from the left in all the photos, appears to have aged the best.

The women remind me of the East Coast Kennedy clan:  their lined faces show their exposure to the sun and salt air.

The photographer's wife, Bebe -- second from right -- appears to be the eldest, the fairest, and perhaps has had the most health issues over the years.

At least one of them, in the group, is a lesbian...

{Please don't find fault with my artistic analysis.  The personal nature of the photos invites such speculation, no?  What do you see here?  Are you pragmatically analyzing their faces and poses, like me?  Or looking at the Izod shirts and harkening back to earlier times... when the Boomers were young, vigor was everywhere, and the people wore tube socks?)

I love art too.

 I wonder what those girls from Eight is Enough are doing these days...  one died already, I know.

Remember the Titans?

but salute the Browns...

"I'm a Girls Watcher..."

NYT columnist Ross Douthat channels conservative professor Peter Lawler* in today's column about the HBO show.
Like most television shows about young urbanites making their way in the world, “Girls” is a depiction of a culture whose controlling philosophy is what the late Robert Bellah called “expressive individualism” — the view that the key to the good life lies almost exclusively in self-discovery, self-actualization, the cultivation of the unique and holy You.

This is a perspective with religious and political corollaries: It implies a God-as-life-coach theology, the kind that pulses through Oprah Winfrey’s current revival tour, and a politics in which the state is effectively a therapeutic agent, protecting the questing self from shocks and deprivation.

And to be a cultural conservative today means, above all, regarding expressive individualism as an idea desperately in need of correction and critique.

Often the roots of this kind of conservatism are religious, since biblical faith takes a rather dimmer view of human nature’s inner workings, a rather darker view of the unfettered self. But the conservative argument is also a practical one: We don’t think expressive individualism actually makes people very happy.
We have some sociological evidence for this contention, in the disintegration that has proceeded apace in poorer communities as American society has become more individualistic.
Yada, yada, yada...
(Talk about assuming your conclusion and ignoring any economic evidence that might more call for further investigation of causation...  John Maynard Keynes on all fours is just not that sexxy?)

 * Specifically, Lawler's article The Secret Moral Message of Girls published last year in the Intercollegiate Review.


Rachel Manteuffel @RachelMan2  ·  13 hours ago
Oh my god whose idea was jack Daniels with honey let's wall him in a cave so none might hear the damnation he preaches.

Who Knew?

Chuck Todd's new NBC set is the top news story this week on Meet the Press.  Then they focus too much of the program on the Ebola scare here in America, now that one person has been confirmed infected.

Later in the show, Todd tells us his wife worked to help elect Jim Webb, before he interviews him;  and then he showcases his children Harrison and Margaret, singing before yesterday's Washington Nationals playoff loss.

Continually throughout the show, Todd tells us how much "fun" his is having...
Wow.  How long do you think this celebrity-journalist way of the covering the news will survive?  Two, three years tops.  The younger viewers, even the politically aware ones, are embarrassed by this.  And the old loyalists to shows like Meet the Press will be turning off soon too.

What's the answer?
Don't go for style points -- fancy sets, coffee talks, glib interviews.  Go back to covering hard news with ugly people who know their craft.  Evenually, people will demand answers.  And if they're not getting them, just pre-programmed talking points, people will tune out and turn off.

Keep your personal life private, Chuck Todd.
It's really not about you, even if in Washington, you're led to believe so.

Saturday, October 4

Stanford 14, Notre Dame 17.

Good game.  (Not great football, necessarily -- too wet -- but a solid final drive by Everett Golson.  It's all in how you finish...)

ADDED:  Oh, and how 'bout those NU Wildcats, eh?
Wisconsin 14, Northwestern 20.

Play Competitive.
and Smart.

Following the game plan of Western Illinois and South Florida vs. Wisconsin, Northwestern honed in on stopping the Badgers' running game and dared McEvoy to complete passes over the top and move the ball.
After McEvoy finished the first half 4-of-10 for 24 yards and one interception, Joel Stave came in as relief on the last drive of the first half. Stave missed all of September after struggling with "the yips," but was reactivated for this week and named the No. 2 quarterback behind McEvoy.
On defense, Wisconsin struggled to defend the spread, read-option attack of Northwestern. Limited pass rush and soft zone defense combined to allow Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian to sit back and find open receivers in space. 
... Northwestern capitalized on Wisconsin turnovers. Four interceptions and one long missed field goal led to 17 Wildcat points. On a day when the defense was struggling to get stops, giving Northwestern field position was insult to injury. Northwestern never really felt taxed to run any play in its offensive playbook...
Hail to Purple;  Hail to White,
Hail to Thee, Northwestern...

How about a Nice, Pumpkin-Squash Soup?


10 Recipes Even You Can't Screw Up,

Megan McArdle offers up her favorite easy dishes for home-cooked dinners:
This is obviously not an exhaustive list; it’s just a starter group of main dishes that
  • Can be put on the table in under half an hour with very minimal cooking skill;
  • Are really very tasty;
  • Do not involve canned soup, store-bought “Alfredo” sauce or other highly processed products that will make you feel kind of bad after eating them;
  • Shouldn’t break the budget; and
  • Are relatively unlikely to make your children screw up their noses in disgust, though one never knows with children, does one?
Who exactly is she writing for?  A high-school home ec class?
We get it -- you are a Bloomberg economist who specializes in offbeat, snarky and topical analysis, and the lifestyles of DC freelancers or work-from-home moms.

But is that the target audience?  Seriously?
(Bachelor stock brokers?)

Thursday, October 2

Purple, Green and Gold...

It could be a virtual Mardi Gras party (on a Thursday). You could ginger-aley* sip a hot toddie, accounting for the wet weather, or a sore throat...

But with Teddy Bridgewater standing on the sidelines, this is no fun.

Aside(s): Pink month, ugh ... why does it have to be in October anyway?

Teddy Bridgewater does not "pop" in a sweatshirt with pink-and-black devil's horns (breasts?) Do they make him wear that?

Just sayin'.

Added:  Also, Christian Ponder too is a fine, fine name...  Just not for a football player, necessarily.    
Come back Teddy, comeback..
* That was kinda fun, a pun...