Thursday, June 28, 2012
Last night in my post I mentioned the Chicago Tribune's infamous "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline.
And today... CNN duplicated that feat, covering themselves in something other than glory.
As Chief Justice John Roberts began reading his decision on the future of President Obama's health care overhaul, the CNN team inside the courtroom jumped the gun, believing that Roberts was saying the individual mandate was unconstitutional and would be overturned.
CNN, it doesn't please me
when you tease me.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
1) the health care reform act is completely overturned
2) the health care reform act is partly overturned
3) the health care reform act stands as law
Well, it's not as bad as the time the Chicago Tribune had a paper headline announcing "Dewey Defeats Truman".
There will be joy and sorrow
whatever comes tomorrow.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Out of the blur, a blade
catches my eye,
then merges back in the pack
without a goodbye.
Overwhelmed by speed,
the eye makes do
by catching what it can
as it comes through.
Monday, June 25, 2012
A University of Illinois math professor who derided states ethics training as childish, “petty tyranny” and “Orwellian” ended his four-year boycott by agreeing to pay a fine and submit to the training, a state ethics panel disclosed Monday.Unwise rulers? Surely not here in Illinois! Oh, wait...
Well, he tried.
By coincidence, I am reading The Appearance of Impropriety: How the Ethics Wars Have Undermined American Government, Business, and Society, the thesis of which is:
That our tut-tutting society
has become cluttered with rules
which can be useful as devious tools,
but which do little to stop actual impropriety.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Got a birthday, anniversary, or wedding coming up?So if you're dreading
Let your friends know how important this election is to you—register with Obama 2012, and ask for a donation in lieu of a gift. It’s a great way to support the President on your big day. Plus, it’s a gift that we can all appreciate—and goes a lot further than a gravy bowl.
receiving gifts for your wedding,
redirect your swag
into his campaign bag!
Saturday, June 23, 2012
It was in an English translation, which still seems to be done with operettas, although it seems to be verboten with operas these days.
I enjoyed it. Charming music, strong voices, and lots of spectacular circus elements. The acting was a bit uneven, but you almost expect that in musical productions, where singing tends to trump acting.
There was a bit of a stage mishap involving accidental broken glass on the floor in the final act. And yes, before it was over, one of the actors had cut himself.
Okay, that's 3 shows I've seen in the past few years where people got cut on stage from dropped glass.
Actors on stage are bundles of nerves
and sometimes can drift toward the spastic.
To deal with their unaccountable swerves
"glass" props should be made of plastic.
This clip, from somewhere else, give an idea of what the music is like:
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Thomas Sowell wrote of the book:
The first chapter, about Walter’s life growing up in the Philadelphia ghetto, was especially fascinating. It brought back a whole different era in black communities — an era that is now almost irretrievably lost, to the great disadvantage of today’s generation growing up in the same neighborhoods where Walter grew up in Philadelphia or where I grew up in Harlem.The civil rights revolution was helpful in many ways, but Williams points out that it was accompanied by worsening crime problems in black neighborhoods, and a lessening of expectations for black students in schools.
Some policies were built
on feelings of white guilt
without carefully thinking through
what those policies would do.
(Reason interview with Williams about his biography is here.)
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I read today about the "credit divide" - a situation where people with great credit scores can borrow cheaply, but other people cannot borrow much at all.
A lot of it's an effect of the Lords of Finance doing somewhat contrary things. On the one hand, the Fed has pursued an easy money policy. On the other hand, after the mortgage bubble collapsed, banking regulators have pursued tight lending rules.
It's like putting a humidifier and a dehumidifer together in a room, and letting them fight it out!
If you're credit's great,
borrow today and stimulate
that big sluggish horse
we call Workforce.
He's lumbering slowly along the course.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
but innovation makes us thrive.
Monday, June 18, 2012
It seems to me that a political philosophy based on fairy tales about what happened in history or what humans are like is going to be less than useless. It is going to be mischievous.Observe the flood
How do I know that my narrative is better than yours? The experiments of the 20th century told me so.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
One of the performers shot back, "If you're booing now, hold onto your f---ing hats!"
But in decades of going to Second City, I have never heard Republican pushback before. Never. This is Chicago, of course.
I took it as a startling sign
that donkey chances are in decline.
That's my mom's dad. My mom's parents split up very early in her life, and contact had been lost. My mother heard that he had remarried and had a couple more children. My mother invited him to her wedding, writing to the the last known address, but never heard back from him.
As we found out much later, her dad was already dead at the time of her wedding. We figured that out from an inquiry to Social Security.
My mom died a few years ago. But recently my brother Mark and his wife and I finally dug up enough information to track down my mother's half-siblings, a brother and a sister, who are still alive.
The internet is a cornucopia of confusing data, but we sifted through it. It didn't help that my grandfather had a fairly common name - Harold Wright.
My brother Bill, who lives in the Bay Area, met the other night with our long lost aunt who lives in the same area. He found her very charming. She provided the photo above, which is the only color photo I've seen of the man. It was taken shortly before his death, at 46, of a heart attack. He was working long days as an executive at a plant where they made aircraft engines during World War II. He came into work, didn't feel well, and died at the office.
I'm sure my mother would have liked to meet
her siblings, so this ending's bittersweet.
Turns out it wasn't a random shooting at all. It was, as I speculated, a publicity stunt.
Valley County sheriff's officials said they believe 39-year-old Ray Dolin shot himself as a desperate act of self-promotion, but they offered no further details.You know, it's not really nice to send law enforcement officials on a wild goose chase looking for a fictional assailant.
Next time, find a stunt
that doesn't involve a gun in front
and an exit wound behind.
To yourself, and America, be kind.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Parents won't have to ferry their kids to each and every location.
Instead, just put them in the car and state a destination!
Thursday, June 14, 2012
"I thought about putting him on the kayak, but his body was really heavy," Gonzalez said. "So I grabbed him by the back of the head, with his shirt, and put my other hand under his chin to hold his head up."Apparently the victim was reading on the riverwalk and passed out, tumbling into the slow-flowing waters of dubious cleanliness.
Close to that river ain't
a safe place to faint.
A West Virginia man who was hitchhiking across the United States and writing a memoir titled “The Kindness of America” was shot by a motorist in a random attack in northeastern Montana, authorities say.Perhaps at this point it's vital
to change the title.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Residents of the small Texas town of Shiner are standing up for a father who beat another man to death when he allegedly caught him trying to molest his 4-year-old daughter, saying they would have done the same thing to protect their child, reports CBS affiliate KENS.Of course, I don't know if the story is true.
But you can see where a guy might see red
till the other guy was dead.
Monday, June 11, 2012
On Netflix we watched all the episodes of the American version of Life On Mars, a series about a police detective who gets hit by a car in 2009 and wakes up on the street in 1973. How that could happen is the continuing mystery of the series. I figured it would never get satisfactorily explained, especially with clues that seem to point in different directions, and so I was quite surprised when the final episode actually offered what I felt was a satisfying explanation.
It seemed, at least, preplanned,
Not at the last minute, off hand.
Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.
Saturday, June 09, 2012
The second bad location was a different park, where a local was able to give me good info. Another person there mentioned that others had come before me, looking for Main Park.
Got to Main Park with a little time to spare, but the parking lot was full. Plenty of police, but no sign they knew their lot was full. Was directed to park about a quarter mile away, but by then it was simply too late to make the start.
Mapquest, to its credit, does know the right location.
It turns out that the organizers gave the address as being at 10925 LaPorte Rd. Google needs the address to be La Porte Rd. Otherwise Google sends you to Francis Rd.
If you give LaPorte to Google without the space
it turns out you're in danger of missing the race.
Friday, June 08, 2012
Apparently Shaw had a good understanding of French, although he didn't like to speak it with Parisians, which is perfectly understandable, since they pretend not to understand you unless you speak it perfectly. As Mark Twain had it:
In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.I have seen the Shaw and Rostand opposed to one another, and with good reason:
In an age when Bernard Shaw was writing cynical tracts like Man and Superman, Rostand revels in romanticism:What was the connection? My take is that Shaw was not really a cynic, more of a disappointed idealist, and he shared with Rostand a hatred of hypocrisy and a love of the authentic.
Rostand was far more lyrical,
but both were sharply satirical.
Thursday, June 07, 2012
Reportedly he was on one of the ships of the ill-fated Armada that sailed to attack England.
His reputation in the world of Spanish literature is second only to that of Cervantes, while the sheer volume of his literary output is unequalled, making him one of the most prolific authors in the history of literature.That "sheer volume" includes about 1800 plays, typically in verse.
As scene opens: Cyrus and Mithridates, the two in habit of villains.And my own Spanish, at its very best,
Take away I have the life.
Take, father, the Cudgel ;
that I suffer, raised,
but I can fall.
is not up to the test.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
We have some cherry trees in our front yard, that Marsha planted years ago. In recent years we've had a problem with the cherries getting moldy or blighted before they were ripe. Marsha blamed wet weather.
But this year the weather has cooperated and we have so many cherries we are having trouble picking them all. Well, some are simply too high to pick. But we've had local children over to pick for their own families.
You can see a small sample above.
and too many to eat!
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Monday, June 04, 2012
To cushion the psychic blow of the old building’s loss, the hospital staff organized a “closing reception for bereaved families” on Sunday afternoon on the rooftop of the parking deck overlooking the hospital.We did not go. The building didn't inspire that depth of feeling in us. But I understand how it happens.
All that emotion
of love and devotion
can fasten on a place
that calls to mind the face
of the one
who is gone.
Probably she had a bunch of Massachusetts people believing in jackalopes (pictured above), and she just kept going with this wacky stuff about "pow wow chow" with Grey Poupon, and her parents having to elope because her mother was 1/16th Native American, and the latest story about her grandma driving a wagon in a land rush.
Maybe instead of "she misspoke"
it's just that she was telling a joke.
Surely the voters will be good eggs
once she admits she's been pulling their legs.
Sunday, June 03, 2012
In January, our local park district indoor pool tends to close for cleaning. Typically for a month. I never seem to know about it in advance. This year I showed up one day and there was the sign, so I drove back home.
But once I get out of the habit of going, I never seem to go back to swimming until summer is here and triathlon season looms.
Yes, I went swimming today. Outdoors.
I really shouldn't let a one month closing
make my swimming habit start decomposing.
Saturday, June 02, 2012
A West Side man has been charged for allegedly hijacking a sports-utility vehicle at gun-point before he went to prom with his girlfriend.The girlfriend called to complain to police that her prom was ruined.
Why rent a limo
when you can jack a car?
But if you're caught
your prom will turn subpar.
Yet we speak constantly of choosing to live in the time of our choice. We are told not to live in the past. We are told, very often lately, to live fully in the present.
What people are talking about is where our mental focus is, where our minds dwell.
I think of us as living in a wildly elastic present. Our minds are built to grasp vast epochs of time. This is not a gift that we should turn away from as a matter of policy. Living only in the moment, if understood literally as not looking ahead or behind, is a recipe for short sighted disaster and a strange obliviousness about the course of one's life.
I am reminded of some haunting words from Into The Woods:
Oh. if life were made of moments,We are possessed of both memory and vision, and the one supplies the other with the raw materials for bettering our existence.
Even now and then a bad one-!
But if life were only moments,
Then you'd never know you had one.
You have to breathe now
but it's up to you how
your mind leaps about
as it works your life out.