Daily Bread for 9.26.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Our weather in town will look more like fall: mostly sunny with a high of sixty-four. Sunrise is 6:48 AM and sunset 6:43 PM for 11h 55m 12s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 19.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Urban Forestry Commission meets at 4:30 PM today, and their will be a School Board meeting at 7 PM.

On this day in 1960, the first general election presidential debate takes place:

The first general election presidential debate was held on September 26, 1960, between U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy, the Democratic nominee, and Vice President Richard Nixon, the Republican nominee, in Chicago at the studios of CBS‘s WBBM-TV. It was moderated by Howard K. Smith and included a panel composed of Sander Vanocur of NBC News, Charles Warren of Mutual News, and Stuart Novins of CBS. Historian J.N. Druckman observed “television primes its audience to rely more on their perceptions of candidate image (e.g., integrity). At the same time, television has also coincided with the world becoming more polarized and ideologically driven.”[2]

Three more debates were subsequently held between the candidates.:[3] On October 7 at the WRC-TV NBC studio in Washington, D.C., narrated by Frank McGee with a panel of four newsmen Paul Niven, CBS; Edward P. Morgan, ABC; Alvin Spivak, UPI;[4] Harold R. Levy, Newsday; October 13, with Nixon at the ABC studio in Los Angeles and Kennedy at the ABC studio in New York, narrated by Bill Shadel with a panel of four newsmen; and October 21 at the ABC studio in New York, narrated by Quincy Howe with a panel of four including Frank Singiser, John Edwards, Walter Cronkite, and John Chancellor. Nixon was considered a poor performer on television as he didn’t have the same telegenic looks in contrast to JFK. While he was considered the better debater, with more policy knowledge and good radio skills, Nixon wasn’t a snappy dresser, refused make up in the first debate, sweat profusely, and had a 5 O’Clock shadow.[5][6] Nixon later refused to do television debates in 1968 and 1972 as he felt his appearance had cost him against JFK in the tight-run race.

On this day in 1833, a treaty between several tribes and U.S. government cedes tribal land in eastern Wisconsin:

1833 – Indian Treaty Cedes to Government

On this date Indian tribes including the Ojibwe, Menominee, Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, Ottawa and Sauk ceded land to the government, including areas around Milwaukee, especially to the south and east of the city. The ceded land included much of what is today John Michael Kohler and Terry Andrae State Parks. The Potawatomi continued to live along the Black River until the 1870s, despite the treaty. [Source:Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources]

JigZone‘s daily puzzle for Monday is of a Spanish coastline:

Collecting the World: Inside the Smithsonian

Collecting the World: Inside the Smithsonian from Great Big Story on Vimeo.

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has over 144 million different objects in its collections. A sample of these collections are on display to the public, but 99 percent of the Smithsonian’s treasures remain behind the scenes. Scientists work with these objects to study and decipher the world we live in, each specimen offering its own tiny clue to the natural world.

Via Great Big Story.

Daily Bread for 9.25.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Sunday in town will be partly cloudy in the morning, with thunderstorms arriving in the afternoon, and a high of eighty-one. Sunrise is 6:46 AM and sunset 6:45 PM, for 11h 58m 06s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 28% of its visible disk illuminated.

Friday’s FW poll asked readers whether they would watch the first presidential debate, this Monday night at 8 PM CT. An overwhelming majority of respondents (85.19%) said that they would.

Transatlantic telephone communication by cable begins this day in 1956:

TAT-1 (Transatlantic No. 1) was the first transatlantic telephone cable system. It was laid between Gallanach Bay, near Oban, Scotland and Clarenville, Newfoundland between 1955 and 1956 by the cable ship Monarch.[3] It was inaugurated on September 25, 1956, initially carrying 36 telephone channels. In the first 24 hours of public service there were 588 London–U.S. calls and 119 from London to Canada. The capacity of the cable was soon increased to 48 channels.

Later, an additional three channels were added by use of C Carrier equipment. Time-assignment speech interpolation (TASI) was implemented on the TAT-1 cable in June 1960 and effectively increased the cable’s capacity from 37 (out of 51 available channels) to 72 speech circuits. TAT-1 was finally retired in 1978. Later coaxial cables, installed through the 1970s, used transistors and had higher bandwidth.

On this day in 1961, Gov. Nelson signs a bill requiring seatbelts in cars:

1961 – Law Requires Seatbelts in Wisconsin Cars

On this date Wisconsin Governor Gaylord Nelson signed into law a bill that required all 1962 cars sold in Wisconsin to be equipped with seat belts. [Source: Janesville Gazette]

Daily Bread for 9.24.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Saturday in town will have a high of seventy-one, with morning clouds and afternoon sunshine.  Sunrise is 6:45 AM and sunset 6:46 PM, for 12h 00m 59s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 38% of its visible disk illuminated.

Someone’s happy —

On this day in  1960, the United States launches the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier:

1280px-uss_enterprise_cvn-65USS Enterprise (CVN-65), formerly CVA(N)-65, is an inactive[11] United States Navy aircraft carrier. She was the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the eighth United States naval vessel to bear the name. Like her predecessor of World War II fame, she is nicknamed “Big E”. At 1,123 ft (342 m),[5][6] she is the longest naval vessel ever built. Her 93,284-long-ton (94,781 tonnes)[4] displacement ranked her as the 12th-heaviestsupercarrier, after the 10 carriers of the Nimitz class and the USS Gerald R. Ford. Enterprise had a crew of some 4,600 service members.[9]

The only ship of her class, Enterprise[12] was, at the time of inactivation, the third-oldest commissioned vessel in the United States Navy after the wooden-hulled USS Constitution and USS Pueblo. She was originally scheduled for decommissioning in 2014 or 2015, depending on the life of her reactors and completion of her replacement,USS Gerald R. Ford,[13] but the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 slated the ship’s retirement for 2013, when she would have served for 51 consecutive years, longer than any other U.S. aircraft carrier.[14]

….In 1958, Enterprises keel was laid at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. On 24 September 1960, the ship waslaunched, sponsored by Mrs. W. B. Franke, wife of the former Secretary of the Navy. On 25 November 1961, Enterprise was commissioned, with Captain Vincent P. de Poix, formerly of Fighting Squadron 6 on her predecessor,[31] in command. On 12 January 1962, the ship made her maiden voyage conducting a three-month shakedown cruise and a lengthy series of tests and training exercises designed to determine the full capabilities of the nuclear powered super carrier.

Friday Catblogging: Replacing Ads with Cat Photos


The Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (C.A.T.S. – get it?) replaced all the advertisements in one London Underground station with pictures of cats. For two weeks, commuters at the Clapham Common tube station will be greeted by adorable kittens instead of ads hocking Vitamin Water or the 15th Jason Bourne movie. Could this be paradise?


C.A.T.S. is the brainchild of Glimpse, a creative collective aimed at positive social change. Glimpse founder James Turner said the idea came from a prompt: to “imagine a world where friends and experiences were more valuable than stuff you can buy.”

Via Cat Photos Replace Ads In A London Tube Station, Creating The Greatest Subway Stop Ever.

Daily Bread for 9.23.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Friday in town will be cloudy with a high of seventy. Sunrise is 6:44 AM and sunset 6:48 PM, for 12h 03m 51s of daytime. The moon is in its third quarter, with 49.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1952, Richard Nixon delivers his Checkers speech:

The Checkers speech or Fund speech was an address made on September 23, 1952, by the Republican candidate for vice president of the United States, California Senator Richard Nixon. Nixon had been accused of improprieties relating to a fund established by his backers to reimburse him for his political expenses. With his place on the Republican ticket in doubt, he flew to Los Angeles and delivered a half-hour television address in which he defended himself, attacked his opponents, and urged the audience to contact the Republican National Committee (RNC) to tell it whether he should remain on the ticket. During the speech, he stated that regardless of what anyone said, he intended to keep one gift: a black-and-white dog who had been named Checkers by the Nixon children, thus giving the address its popular name.

Nixon, as he related in his address, came from a family of moderate means, and had spent much of his time after law school either in the military, campaigning for office, or serving in Congress. After his successful 1950 Senate campaign, Nixon’s backers continued to raise money to finance his political activities. These contributions went to reimburse him for travel costs, postage for political mailings which he did not have franked, and similar expenses. Such a fund was not illegal at the time, but as Nixon had made a point of attacking government corruption, it exposed him to charges he might be giving special favors to the contributors.

The press became aware of the fund in September 1952, two months after Nixon’s selection as General Dwight D. Eisenhower‘s running mate. Within a few days, the story grew until the controversy threatened Nixon’s place on the ticket. In an attempt to turn the tide of public opinion, Nixon broke off a whistle-stop tour of the West Coast to fly to Los Angeles to make a television and radio broadcast to the nation; the $75,000 to buy the television time was raised by the RNC. The idea for the Checkers reference came from Franklin Roosevelt‘s Fala speech—given eight years to the day before Nixon’s address—in which Roosevelt mocked Republican claims that he had sent a destroyer to fetch his dog, Fala, when the dog was supposedly left behind in the Aleutian Islands.

Nixon’s speech was seen or heard by about 60 million Americans, including the largest television audience to that time, and led to an outpouring of public support. A huge majority of the millions of telegrams and phone calls received by the RNC and other political offices supported Nixon. He was retained on the ticket, which then swept to victory weeks later in November 1952. The Checkers speech was an early example of a politician using television to appeal directly to the electorate, but has since sometimes been mocked or denigrated. Checkers speech has come more generally to mean any emotional speech by a politician.

JigZone‘s puzzle of the day is of a metal pot:

Daily Bread for 9.22.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Whitewater will see a one-third chance of isolated thunderstorms today, with a high of eighty-two. Sunrise is 6:43 AM and sunset 6:50 AM for 12h 06m 45s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 59.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

Downtown Whitewater’s board meets this morning at 8 AM.

From the Hyperunner, here’s a year of running, edited into a single video:

On this day in 1788, Julien Dubuque gets permission for mining:

…Julien Dubuque, a French trapper from Quebec, was granted permission by a council of Sauk and Fox Indians of the area to work the lead mines. Using the Sauk and Fox as a labor force, Dubuque found the Upper Mississippi Valley to be rich in lead, which was used in the production of firearms. Dubuque had the most success in what is now the area of Dubuque, Iowa. [Source: Iowa History Project]

Here’s the Thursday puzzle from JigZone:

Marquette Law Poll Results (Mid-September ’16 Edition)

The mid-September Marquette Law School poll results are out, and here are a few key findings from the 9.15.16 to 9.18.16 poll (the full results will be available online later this afternoon).

Clinton-Trump, Among LV:

Clinton-Trump-Johnson-Stein, Among LV:

Feingold-Johnson, Among LV:

Feingold-Johnson-Anderson, Among LV:

Preliminaries on Private Parties in Whitewater

Last night Common Council discussed, but took no formal legal action on, a possible ordinance to regulate large private parties in Whitewater. I wrote a bit about this yesterday (seeParadise is just one regulation away…).

City employees, along with others, will consider options, but took no other, formal action last night.

Some observations:

Few Big Events. There are very few large events in Whitewater, and even fewer that have created a disturbance. We’re a small town, and most of our events are relatively small, too.

Small Gatherings Added Up. Even large events are often, in fact, the combination of many smaller parties, rather than one private location’s festivities.

Ordinances as an Option. Not everyone in our government wants a new ordinance, but it’s worth nothing that (a) a university proposal was drafted under the assumption that there would be an ordinance, and (b) the first remarks on the matter from Whitewater’s assistant city manager comprised a list of cities that had ordinances regulating parties on private property.

One would be more comfortable with assertions that extra ordinances were not the first consideration of public officials if some of them did not make ordinances their first consideration.

One Swallow. If one swallow does not make a spring (it doesn’t, as swallows do not control the seasons), then it’s as fair to say that one bad event does not make an apocalypse.

There should, of course, be no public disturbances; still, we are a robust people who can weather present, and prevent future, disturbances.

Coordination. Spring Splash 2016 did go awry, but if the officials of this town & university cannot manage without yet another ordinance, I’m not sure why they’re being publicly paid. Millions for the city, hundreds of millions for the university, and enough university officials to staff the Pentagon – they’ve enough people to get this right without the crutch, the excuse, of needing more ordinances.

Why is a public man’s recourse often another public ordinance limiting private activity? This is a society of private property and private enterprise, and on them our prosperity rests.

Blaming His Own Students. One has heard, and Whitewater’s Chief Otterbacher repeated last night, that a main cause of the Spring Splash 2016 kerfuffle was too many out-of-city attendees (that is, non-student attendees).

I’ve no reason to doubt this contention. At the very least, it’s been repeated by officials and (because the Daily Union repeats officials) the Daily Union.

How odd, then, that in a Gazette story of 9.20.16, one reads that Matt Aschenbrener, UW-Whitewater assistant vice chancellor for enrollment and retention, contends that

many of the recommendations, including No. 4 [about large parties], are designed in part to teach students who are living off campus what it is like to be a good neighbor. Many of the students who go on to live off campus, he said, do not have experience having relationships with landlords, neighbors and the city.

See, Whitewater exploring possible regulations for large parties @ Gazette, subscription req’d.

Is Aschenbrener serious?

He’s describing the very students for whom he is responsible – for enrollment and retention – as though they were unacculturated, as though they were raised by wolves.

Does Aschenbrener believe that they didn’t have families that taught them – after eighteen or so years before arriving here – what it means to be a good neighbor?

I don’t believe that, and I never will.

Does he believe – contrary to what Otterbacher and others have said for months – that the problem has been local students and not out-of-town visitors?

I don’t believe that, either.

If the university were filled with students who didn’t know what it meant to be good neighbors, then neither the university nor the city would be able to function, even for a day. Life here each day does go on without problems like Spring Splash 2016.

These students are, in fact, people who already know what it means to be good neighbors. The continuing functioning of the community proves as much.

Even if Aschenbrener were right – he’s not – one wonders whose problem this is. He’s the ‘assistant vice chancellor for enrollment and retention.’ If the students arriving here are not up to snuff, wouldn’t that be evidence of failure from the administrator responsible for enrolling and retaining students?

Aschenbrener arrived here years ago, taking office on June 1, 2011. Although he may blame (unfairly) the students his university has enrolled over these last 1,939 days, the real fault would be his, as assistant vice chancellor for enrollment and retention, not theirs.

Good students, a good faculty, but a weak administration that lags behind the abilities of its students & faculty, and in this case blames those for whom it is responsible.

We’ll see more about how the city and university address the rare occurrence of large events; there will be more to come.

Daily Bread for 9.21.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Wednesday in town will be a day of thunderstorms, with a high of eighty.  Sunrise is 6:42 AM and sunset 6:52 PM, for 12h 09m 37s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 71.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Parks & Recreation Board meets this evening at 6:30 PM.

Today is the International Day of Peace, a United Nations-inspired, annual call for “a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.”

Libertarians (and so many others) have always wanted a world like this (‘FREE MARKETS in CAPITAL, LABOR, & GOODS, INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY, LIMITED & OPEN GOVERNMENT, and PEACE’).

I’m reminded, though, of a pastor who once gave a sermon on challenges to the teaching of doctrine. He was a clergyman who often talked & preached the doctrine of his faith: doctrine in the morning, doctrine in the afternoon, doctrine in the evening. Doctrine, doctrine, doctrine.

He was once asked why he kept preaching doctrine, and if he would ever stop. He replied that he would stop preaching doctrine when people stopped challenging it.

So it is with peace: we’ll have peace – more than a mere commemorative day – when people stop breaking the peace. Until then, one keeps calling for it. Along the way, we’ve no reason to be lenient with those who’ve broken it.

On this day in 1962, an area mill moves away

1962 – Janesville’s Oldest Mill Closes

On this date Janesville’s oldest manufacturer, Rock River Woolen Mills, ceased operation after 113 years. The company moved to Texas. Started in 1849 as Monterey Water Power Mill, the mills initially produced fine yarns, flannels and cashmere. [Source: Janesville Gazette]

JigZone‘s daily puzzle is of gray wolves:

Absentee Voting in the Whitewater Area

One often hears that a given election is important, and that each person’s vote matters.  That’s been true so many times in our history, and it seems particularly so this year.

Absentee voting – by mail or in person – is a part of our law, and the window for in-person voting will open soon. Immediately below readers will find information on absentee voting in the City of Whitewater and for nearby communities.

Download (PDF, 126KB)

Paradise is just one regulation away…

Whitewater’s had a problem with occasional crowds, as at Spring Splash, and so now a few from the Old Guard are sure that yet another regulation on private property will bring a city of order, harmony, and smiling-faced residents.

They’re confident it’s the answer, relying on the old adage that the twelve thousand, four hundred, seventy-third time is the charm.

There are remarks in a local paper today from a university administrator, but I’ll leave them aside to see if anyone subsequently speaking on behalf of the university administration recognizes how telling – in an unfortunate way – they are.  

Honest to goodness.

There will be more to say after one hears more. 

Bike Lanes & Entitlement 

We’ve parts of the city with bike lanes, and more than a few people who supported their installation (of whom I was one). 

How odd, then, to see – more than once – another of those bike-lane advocates blithely ignoring a bike lane to ride on the sidewalk instead.  Not a bike lane somewhere else, mind you, but one immediately next to the sidewalk on which I’ve seen him riding.

There’s Old Whitewater (a state of mind, not a person) in spades: he advocated for it at public expense (even as I did), but if he feels like the sidewalk, well, he’ll take the sidewalk, regardless of prior advocacy, cost to add a lane, etc.

He is who he is, you see, and what’s available to others at his urging must not be good enough for him.  


Perhaps if he’d advocated for platinum-coated bike lanes, and received them at public cost, then he’d be willing to relinquish the sidewalk for the immediately adjacent bike route.  Until then, God forfend that his bicycle tires should touch mere asphalt.

Bike lanes are a good idea, and are suitable paths for cyclists to travel enjoyably through the city.  They’re meant to be used.

‘He Said, She Said’

Alternative title — False Balance While Dealing with Liars, Exaggerators, and Other Political Miscreants.

There’s considerable consternation in the national press that traditional ‘he said, she said’ political coverage, where each side of a question gets an equal, unchallenged say, doesn’t work when one candidate is an inveterate liar:

A certain etiquette has long governed the relationship between presidential candidates and the elite media. Candidates stretch the truth, but try not to be too blatant about it. Candidates appeal to bigotry, but subtly. In turn, journalists respond with a delicacy of their own. They quote partisans rather than saying things in their own words. They use euphemisms like “polarizing” and “incendiary,” instead of “racist” and “demagogic.”

See, from Peter Beinart, The Death of ‘He Said, She Said’ Journalism @ The Atlantic.

The journalism of equivalance and balance doesn’t work when one candidate is unbalanced and without a contemporary equivalent. The national press is learning this now, although perhaps too late to address effectively the new conditions presented in this election.

Locally, however, we’ve not even had a weak balance, we’ve not had even a sham equivalence.

In Whitewater and towns nearby, it’s one view, sometimes that of a politician, presented as news.

It’s true that the national standards of presumed balance no longer work, and that papers like the New York Times have had to become (as Beinart tells it) more direct in response to lies, exaggerations, and crass political self-promotion.

That’s a cause of national political concern, but at the local level communities have been plagued with lying, glad-handing notables & a sham, lickspittle press for years.

National publications are right to abandon a false equivalence, right to abandon a delicacy of description that only emboldens connivers.

It’s unfortunate, yet true, that these publications now find themselves fighting the kind of fight – without real balance – that’s been ongoing for years in towns across America.

Daily Bread for 9.20.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Tuesday in town will be sunny with a high of eighty-two. Sunrise is 6:41 AM and sunset is 6:54 PM, for 12h 12m 31s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 81.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Common Council meets at 6:30 PM tonight.

What’s it like to fly from Dubai to New York in a $21,000 airplane seat? It’s like this –

On this day in 1519, Magellan sets sail:

Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan sets sail from Spain in an effort to find a western sea route to the rich Spice Islands of Indonesia. In command of five ships and 270 men, Magellan sailed to West Africa and then to Brazil, where he searched the South American coast for a strait that would take him to the Pacific. He searched the Río de la Plata, a large estuary south of Brazil, for a way through; failing, he continued south along the coast of Patagonia. At the end of March 1520, the expedition set up winter quarters at Port St. Julian. On Easter day at midnight, the Spanish captains mutinied against their Portuguese captain, but Magellan crushed the revolt, executing one of the captains and leaving another ashore when his ship left St. Julian in August.

On October 21, he finally discovered the strait he had been seeking. The Strait of Magellan, as it became known, is located near the tip of South America, separating Tierra del Fuego and the continental mainland. Only three ships entered the passage; one had been wrecked and another deserted. It took 38 days to navigate the treacherous strait, and when ocean was sighted at the other end Magellan wept with joy. He was the first European explorer to reach the Pacific Ocean from the Atlantic.

JigZone‘s daily puzzle for Tuesday is of a vine:

Daily Bread for 9.19.16

Good morning, Whitewater.

Monday in Whitewater will be partly sunny, with a one-third chance of scattered afternoon thunderstorms, and a high of eighty-three. Sunrise is 6:40 AM and sunset 6:55 PM, for 12h 15m 24s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 90.1% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1982, Carnegie Mellon computer scientist Scott Elliott Fahlman first proposes the smiley emoticon:


On this day in 1832, the Sauk and Fox cede Iowa lands:

On this date Sauk and Fox Indians signed the treaty ending the Black Hawk War. The treaty demanded that the Sauk cede some six million acres of land that ran the length of the eastern boundary of modern-day Iowa. The Sauk and Fox were given until June 1, 1833 to leave the area and never return to the surrendered lands. Some sources place the date as September 21.[Source: Along the Black Hawk Trail by William F. Stark, p. 160-161]

Jigzone begins the week with a puzzle of boats docked in port: