FREE WHITEWATER

Author Archive for JOHN ADAMS

Predictable: From Boosterism to Bad Checks

Anyone wanting to see how bad boosterism – the desire to push a local project regardless of sound arguments and actual experience to the contrary – can get should look to the 2018 ‘Warriors and Wizards’ festival in Jefferson, Wisconsin.  Formerly a Harry Potter Festival, it was rebranded after Warner Bros. clamped down on obvious infringement with intellectual property rights.

Now, one reads in the Daily Union – a paper that’s flacked this festival despite many readers’ experience with the low-rent, disappointing affair – that the promoter may have failed to pay not just an out-of-town actor (in itself both wrong and predictive of deeper problems), but local vendors, too. See Suppliers, attractions still await payment (“Bounced checks, declined credit cards are reported”).

Predictably, the officials from the City of Jefferson (and in some stories the DU) are still rationalizing this disaster as a good time, despite hundreds of accounts – literally – of bad experiences or obvious lies from the promoter and local municipal officials (for example, wildly inflated claims about attendance, charitable contributions from non-existent profits, etc.).  See Jefferson council to assess festival in December.

This publisher (Knox), this editor (Spangler), and this reporter (Whisner) flacked for this event again and again; ordinary readers saw through their mendacity. The one reporter who gave a good account of problems before last year’s festival (Alexa Zoellner) is gone from the paper; her lengthy history of the problems the festival had in Edgerton, Wisconsin was pushed aside for a string of forced rationalizations and lies about the 2017 event. (These were lies that ordinary people debunked easily on Facebook.)

Someone should tell the Daily Union’s ‘crime reporter’ that reporting on crime doesn’t require rationalizing alleged criminals’ crackpot festivals.

As for the local officials (and the risible newspaper people) who keep making excuses, well, they’ve betrayed the needs of their neighbors for their own pride.

One once often heard – and can even now read – a teaching on this point that still matters to some of us.

As it turns out, it’s a teaching that takes a dim view of pride.

Previously: Attack of the Dirty Dogs, Jefferson’s Dirty Dogs Turn Mangy, Thanks, City of Jefferson!Who Will Jefferson’s Residents Believe: Officials or Their Own Eyes?Why Dirty Dogs Roam With Impunity,  Found Footage: Daily Union Arrives on Subscriber’s Doorstep, Sad Spectacle in Jefferson, WI (and How to Do Much Better), What Else Would a Publisher Lie About?Iceberg Aside, Titanic‘s Executive Pleased with Ship’s Voyage and New Developments About Jefferson, Wisconsin’s ‘Warriors & Wizards’ Festival.… Continue reading

Daily Bread for 11.5.18

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of fifty-one.  Sunrise is 6:35 AM and sunset 4:41 PM, for 10h 06m 24s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 8% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the seven hundred twenty-seventh day.

On this day in 1862, Lincoln removes McClellan from command of the Army of the Potomac.

Recommended for reading in full — Wisconsin & other rural states struggle with infected water, using troops as political props, Estonia knows how to battle Russian propaganda, Trump State Dept. leaves key jobs empty,  and video about the shapes of different cheeses — 

Jack Healy reports Rural America’s Own Private Flint: Polluted Water Too Dangerous to Drink:

ARMENIA, Wis. — The groundwater that once ran cool and clean from taps in this Midwestern farming town is now laced with contaminants and fear. People refuse to drink it. They won’t brush their teeth with it. They dread taking showers.

Rural communities call it their own, private Flint— a diffuse, creeping water crisis tied to industrial farms and slack regulations that for years has tainted thousands of residential wells across the Midwest and beyond.

Now, fears and frustration over water quality and contamination have become a potent election-year issue, burbling up in races from the fissured bedrock here in Wisconsin to chemical-tainted wells in New Hampshire to dwindling water reserves in Arizona. President Trump’s actions to loosen clean water rules have intensified a battle over regulations and environmental protections unfolding on the most intensely local level: in people’s own kitchen faucets.

In Wisconsin and other Midwestern states where Republicans run the government, environmental groups say that politicians have cut budgets for environmental enforcement and inspections and weakened pollution rules.

(Not so long ago, some members of Whitewater’s local government proposed – but failed to justify, no matter how obstinately they tried  – a plan that would have degraded Whitewater’s environment, all in the name of putting this community in the waste-receiving business. Bad then, bad now, bad ten years from now. This beautiful city has more than her share of challenges, but one would battle all the world so that she would not become a waste dump.)

John Wagner reports Former defense secretary Hagel says Trump is using troops as ‘pawns’ at border:

Former defense secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday night accused President Trump of using U.S. troops as “pawns” as he moves to bolster the military presence at the southern border in response to migrant caravans making their way through Mexico.

“It’s clear to me that he’s using our military and our troops in a very political way. It really casts a lot of questions about the competency of his leadership,” Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska who served as defense secretary in the Obama administration, said during an interview on CNN.

Trump said Wednesday that he would deploy as many as 15,000 military personnel to the border, doubling the figure Pentagon officials have announced would be operating there. It was one of several steps the president has announced in response to the caravans of Central American migrants as he tries to make immigration a salient issue in advance of next week’s midterm elections.

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Daily Bread for 11.4.18

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be rainy with a high of fifty-one.  Sunrise is 6:33 AM and sunset 4:42 PM, for 10h 08m 52s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 11.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the seven hundred twenty-sixth day.

 

On this day in 1847, the first class at Beloit College assembles.

 

Recommended for reading in full —  Trump Admin lets wrongdoers off easy, myths about immigrants, U.S. Army assessment puts migrant caravan in a realistic perspective, Trump operative Roger Stone’s shifting story, and video on turning science fiction into reality —

Ben Protess, Robert Gebeloff, and Danielle Ivory report Trump Administration Spares Corporate Wrongdoers Billions in Penalties:

In the final months of the Obama administration, Walmart was under pressure from federal officials to pay nearly $1 billion and accept a guilty plea to resolve a foreign bribery investigation.

Barclays faced demands that it pay nearly $7 billion to settle civil claims that it had sold toxic mortgage investments that helped fuel the 2008 financial crisis, and the Royal Bank of Scotland was ensnared in a criminal investigation over its role in the crisis.

The three corporate giants complained that the Obama administration was being unreasonable and stood their ground, according to people briefed on the investigations. After President Trump took office, they looked to his administration for a more sympathetic ear — and got one.

Federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission have yet to charge Walmart, and the Justice Department reached a much lower settlement agreement with Barclays in March, for $2 billion. R.B.S. paid a civil penalty, but escaped criminal charges altogether.

Across the corporate landscape, the Trump administration has presided over a sharp decline in financial penalties against banks and big companies accused of malfeasance, according to analyses of government data and interviews with more than 60 former and current federal officials. The approach mirrors the administration’s aggressive deregulatory agenda throughout the federal government.

Gretchen Frazee reports 4 myths about how immigrants affect the U.S. economy:

Myth #1: Immigrants take more from the U.S. government than they contribute
Fact: Immigrants contribute more in tax revenue than they take in government benefits

A 2017 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found immigration “has an overall positive impact on the long-run economic growth in the U.S.”
How that breaks down is important.

First-generation immigrants cost the government more than native-born Americans, according to the report — about $1,600 per person annually. But second generation immigrants are “among the strongest fiscal and economic contributors in the U.S.,” the report found. They contribute about $1,700 per person per year. All other native-born Americans, including third generation immigrants, contribute $1,300 per year on average.

….

Myth #2: Immigrants take American jobs
Fact: Immigrants workers often take jobs that boost other parts of the economy

Immigrants make up 17 percent of the U.S. labor force, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, but few experts believe they’re taking jobs from Americans, as Trump claims.

“Most economists agree that in spite of being a very big part of the labor force, immigrants have not come at the cost either of American jobs, nor of American wages,” Peri, the UC Davis professor, said.

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Daily Bread for 11.3.18

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of forty-nine.  Sunrise is 7:32 AM and sunset 5:44 PM, for 10h 11m 29s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 19.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the seven hundred twenty-fifth day.

On this day in 1804, a treaty at St. Louis leads to a significant land purchase for a paltry sum:

On this date Fox and Sauk negotiators in St. Louis traded 50 million acres of land in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois for an annuity of $1,000. The treaty allowed the tribes to remain on the land until it was sold to white settlers. However, Chief Black Hawk and others believed that the 1804 negotiators had no authority to speak for their nation, so the treaty was invalid. U.S. authorities, on the other hand, considered it binding and used it justify the Black Hawk War that occured in the spring and summer of 1832. [Source: Along the Black Hawk Trail by William F. Stark, p. 32-33]

Recommended for reading in full — Walker admin grants pedophiles professional licenses, common sense on the caravan, huge cost of Trump’s border deployments, the wrong approach in response to terror, video of what’s up for 2018   —

Daniel Bice reports Four pedophile ex-priests had their professional licenses granted under Gov. Scott Walker’s administration:

Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign has spent the past year accusing Democratic foe Tony Evers of putting children in danger by not stripping the licenses of teachers found guilty of improper and immoral acts.

But it turns out that the second-term Republican governor’s administration has its own serious lapse involving the professional licenses of individuals of highly questionable character.

Records show one of Walker’s agencies — the state Department of Safety and Professional Services — either gave licenses to or renewed the licenses of four ex-priests who were defrocked for sexually abusing children.

The four former pedophile priests from the Milwaukee Archdiocese were given state approval to practice such professions as social work, nursing, alcohol and drug counseling and funeral work. All four appear on the archdiocese’s list of former Milwaukee priests with a “substantiated case of sexual abuse of a minor.”

The New York Times editorial board offers Common Sense on the Caravan (“A group of desperate migrants walking toward the Texas border is not a threat. We have laws to protect us — and them”):

Most of Mr. Trump’s description of the migrants is untrue or unwarranted. But none of it is surprising. Demonizing immigrants is his go-to move, from his “big, beautiful wall” to his call to end birthright citizenship. Not to mention the race-baiting campaign ad he tweeted featuring a Mexican immigrant who was convicted of killing two police officers.

The United States has clear laws governing refugees and well-funded agencies to enforce those laws, and it’s an embarrassing waste of money to send troops to the border.

Paul Sonne reports Trump’s border deployments could cost $200 million by year-end:

The total price of President Trump’s military deployment to the border, including the cost of National Guard forces that have been there since April, could climb well above $200?million by the end of 2018 and grow significantly if the deployments continue into next year, according to analyst estimates and Pentagon figures.

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Foxconn: Failure & Fraud

There are two national publications with recent updates on the Foxconn project, and each report highlights fundamental problems with the billions in public subsidies for that foreign corporation. Here’s a roundup of the latest on this dodgy corporate welfare:

 

Bruce Murphy (writing online for national tech site The Verge) reports Wisconsin’s $4.1 Billion Foxconn Boondoggle (“Gov. Scott Walker promised billions to get a Foxconn factory, but now he’s running away from it”):

When Walker signed the Foxconn deal in November 2017, the details matched those jotted on the napkin [literally, the original deal was written on a napkin]: the state promised a $3 billion state subsidy if the company invested $10 billion in a plant that created 13,000 jobs.

The size of Wisconsin’s subsidy quickly began to grow, as spelled out in state legislation passed about six weeks later and implemented by the Walker administration. By December 2017, the public cost had grown to include $764 million in new tax incentives from local governments in Racine County, which is just 40 minutes south of Milwaukee where the plant was to be located. Other additions included $164 million for road and highway connections built to service the plant, plus $140 million for a new electric transmission line to Foxconn that would be paid for by all 5 million ratepayers of the public utility We Energies. With other small costs added, the total Foxconn subsidy hit $4.1 billion — a stunning $1,774 per household in Wisconsin.

Back when the subsidy was $3 billion, Wisconsin’s non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimated that it would take until 2043 for taxpayers to recoup the subsidy. This long payback period was due to Walker and Republicans effectively cutting the state’s corporate income tax for manufacturers to zero in 2011. This meant the subsidies to Foxconn would not be a tax write-off, but billions in cash that would be paid back by state income taxes paid by Foxconn workers. At $4.1 billion, the payback date for the state was likely 2050 or later.

Some doubt the subsidy will ever actually be recouped. “Realistically, the payback period for a $100,000 per job deal is not 20 years, not 42 years, but somewhere between hundreds of years and never,” wrote Jeffrey Dorfman, an economics professor at the University of Georgia, in a story for Forbes. “At $230,000 [or more] per job, there is no hope of recapturing the state funds spent.” And this was before the subsidy had risen to $4.1 billion, or about $315,000 per job.

Murphy’s exhaustive article is highly recommended – he reports on the sketchiness of the jobs estimates from Foxconn and state officials, the bait & switch toward a lower-tech product, obvious environmental problems with by-product toxic gases, and the use of eminent domain to take Wisconsin residents’ homes for a Taiwanese project.

Karl Bode (writing online for the national tech site Techdirt) reports The Foxconn Wisconsin Deal Has Devolved Into A Pile Of Shifting Promises, Buzzwords, And Hype:

Of course none of this should really be surprising, especially given that Foxonn has made similar, magically-shrinking promises of similar ilk in countries like Vietnam, India, and Brazil.

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New Developments About Jefferson, Wisconsin’s ‘Warriors & Wizards’ Festival

There are new, troubling developments concerning Jefferson, Wisconsin’s ‘Warriors & Wizards’ festival, an event about which this website has been consistently critical (for many sound reasons). One can wait a day or so to see what this new reporting shows (and how accurate and honest the reporting is, considering how wobbly it’s been).

In the meantime, here are prior FREE WHITEWATER posts on the topic:

Previously: Attack of the Dirty Dogs, Jefferson’s Dirty Dogs Turn Mangy, Thanks, City of Jefferson!Who Will Jefferson’s Residents Believe: Officials or Their Own Eyes?Why Dirty Dogs Roam With Impunity,  Found Footage: Daily Union Arrives on Subscriber’s Doorstep, Sad Spectacle in Jefferson, WI (and How to Do Much Better), What Else Would a Publisher Lie About?, and Iceberg Aside, Titanic‘s Executive Pleased with Ship’s Voyage.… Continue reading

Daily Bread for 11.2.18

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of forty-eight.  Sunrise is 7:31 AM and sunset 5:45 PM, for 10h 14m 00s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 30.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the seven hundred twenty-fourth day.

 

On this day in 1947, the legendary Hughes H-4 Hercules (‘Spruce Goose’) flies for the first – and only – time:

The Hughes H-4 Hercules (also known as the Spruce Goose; registration NX37602) is a prototype strategic airlift flying boat designed and built by the Hughes Aircraft Company. Intended as a transatlantic flight transport for use during World War II, it was not completed in time to be used in the war. The aircraft made only one brief flight on November 2, 1947, and the project never advanced beyond the single example produced. Built from wood because of wartime restrictions on the use of aluminum and concerns about weight, it was nicknamed by critics the Spruce Goose, although it was made almost entirely of birch.[2][3] The Hercules is the largest flying boat ever built, and it has the largest wingspan of any aircraft that has ever flown.[4][N 1] The aircraft remains in good condition. After being displayed to the public for almost 11 years in Long Beach, California from 1980 to 1991, it is now displayed at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, United States.[5]

Recommended for reading in full —  Interior Secretary Zinke in trouble, defining violence accurately, an anti-Mueller smear falls apart in a crackpot press conference, the Saruman trap, and a trailer for the release of Orson Welles’s (never-before-released) last movie —

Juliet Eilperin, Josh Dawsey, and Lisa Rein report White House concerned Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke violated federal rules:

Trump told his aides that he is afraid Zinke has broken rules while serving as the interior secretary and is concerned about the Justice Department referral, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. But the president has not indicated whether he will fire the former Navy SEAL and congressman and has asked for more information, the officials said.

This week, Interior’s Office of Inspector General referred the inquiry — one of several probes into the secretary’s conduct — to the Justice Department to determine whether a criminal investigation is warranted. That referral concerns Zinke’s involvement in a Whitefish, Mont., land development deal backed by David J. Lesar, chairman of the oil services firm Halliburton.

(Trump’s worried about a cabinet member breaking rules? Oh, brother. Trump’s never met a rule he hasn’t broken; Zinke’s soon to be tossed overboard to keep the ship from listing yet farther.)

Jennifer Rubin observes These things are not the same:

Violence is defined “behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.”

Violence is sending bombs to President Trump’s political targets. Violence is body-slamming a reporter who dares to ask a question. Violence is driving a car into a crowd, killing a young woman.

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The Whitewater Schools’ Operational Referendum

The Whitewater Schools have an operational referendum on the ballot this November. The referendum figures, for a conventional four-year term, will allow the district to continue regular programming and services without interruption. Nothing in this operational request involves more capital (construction) or expansion of services – the amounts authorized will simply allow Whitewater’s schools to continue their existing (increasingly good) work. (Information about the particulars of the referendum may be found online.)

Support for this referendum is in Whitewater’s interest (1) to assure continued services and progress, (2) to avoid the distracting & debilitating disorder that has beset nearby communities, and (3) as a safeguard against uncertain state and national economic trends.

Although I have been skeptical of past construction referendums, this is an operational referendum, to maintain class sizes and current programming for the district’s students. This sort of referendum merits one’s support.

There’s been clear progress in Whitewater these last two years. This new administration has based its primary efforts on broad-based gains for students. Longtime readers may recall that a few years ago I was – rightly – critical of using the test scores only of a small sample to tout progress for the district. The state has since then required testing from more students, and this new administration has worked successfully to improve scores generally. Recent good scores have come from a larger population rather than a smaller, selected one.  Standardized testing is only one measure of success, but now the district can be proud of improving numbers from many and not few.

Meanwhile, nearby districts have descended into conflicts over capital spending, debates that necessarily distract from discussions of programming. (There are only so many hours in a day.) Predictably, the officials in those other districts have not only failed to keep an even keel, but they’ve also resorted to lies and open government violations to hide their errors.

We have avoided other communities’ disorder and dishonesty, and maintaining existing programming is the simplest, most practical way to remain free from others’ debilitating mistakes.

We face, also, an uncertain state and national politics. There is so much that one doesn’t know about the immediate future, especially state fiscal policy or national economic conditions. Faced with uncertainty, the most practical course is to continue with the last two years of steady local progress.

And look, and look – there are particular policies with which one will disagree. And yet, and yet – it would be counterproductive to interfere with a positive direction.

Support for students’ genuine day-in, day-out educational needs is the purpose of this referendum, and that’s a cause worth supporting.  I urge others in our community, of whatever politics, to join in support on November 6th.… Continue reading

Daily Bread for 11.1.18

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of fifty-two.  Sunrise is 7:30 AM and sunset 5:46 PM, for 10h 16m 32s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 39.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the seven hundred twenty-third day.

Whitewater’s Landmarks Commission is scheduled to meet at 6 PM.

On this day in 1863, George Safford Parker is born:

On this date George Safford Parker was born in Shullsburg. While studying telegraphy in Janesville, he developed an interest in fountain pens. In 1891 he organized the Parker Pen Company in Janesville. The company gained world-wide acclaim for innovations like the duo-fold pen and pencil. Parker served as president of the company until 1933. Parker died on July 19, 1937.

Recommended for reading in full — a roadmap for Mueller, the law(s) on collusion, why Trump cannot tone it down, using an executive order to violate the Constitution, and video on choosing a landing site on Mars  —

Spencer S. Hsu writes U.S. archivists release Watergate report that could be possible ‘road map’ for Mueller:

U.S. archivists on Wednesday revealed one of the last great secrets of the Watergate investigation — the backbone of a long-sealed report used by special prosecutor Leon Jaworski to send Congress evidence in the legal case against President Richard M. Nixon.

The release of the referral — delivered in 1974 as impeachment proceedings were being weighed — came after a former member of Nixon’s defense team and three prominent legal analysts filed separate lawsuits seeking its unsealing after more than four decades under grand jury secrecy rules. The legal analysts argued the report could offer a precedent and guide for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III as his office addresses its present-day challenge on whether, and if so, how to make public findings from its investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, including any that directly involve President Trump.

The legal specialists said they and Watergate veterans sought to have the Jaworski report made public because of the historical parallels they see to the current probe and the report’s potential to serve as a counterexample to independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr’s report before President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

….

“There were no comments, no interpretations and not a word or phrase of accusatory nature. The ‘Road Map’ was simply that — a series of guideposts if the House Judiciary Committee wished to follow them,” Jaworski wrote in his 1976 memoir, “The Right and the Power: The Prosecution of Watergate.”

Elizabeth Sablich writes Considering collusion: A primer on potential crimes:

As we explain in a new report, “collusion” is not the name of a codified crime.[1] Nevertheless, the term has come to be shorthand for the possibility that the Trump campaign, its advisors or the president himself coordinated with Russia to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election. Indeed, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been authorized to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” and to prosecute federal crimes arising from that investigation.

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Boo! Scariest Things in Whitewater, 2018

Here’s the twelfth annual FREE WHITEWATER list of the scariest things in Whitewater. (The 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 20142015, 2016, and 2017 editions are available for comparison.)

The list runs in reverse order, from mildly scary to truly frightening.

10. Illuminated Signs. There’s a nice-looking new sign in front of our high school, with an illuminated message board, of the kind that ones see in front of schools, business, and even churches.  The sign here, unfortunately, met unnecessary delay and fuss before its installation this year, as though it were something mildly scary. It’s not – it’s a nice-looking sign.

9. Cravath.  Someone’s going to have to reclaim Cravath Lake somehow, but for all the talk about how to drain the lake, no one seems to have considered that there might be something worse than fish waiting at the bottom. 

Good luck to all concerned.

 

8. One’s Own Eyes.  In nearby Jefferson, Wisconsin, a bottom-shelf festival has received more favorable press than Ringling Bros. Greatest Show On Earth® ever did. A local newspaper wants readers to accept its mendacious accounts over what anyone can see with his or her own eyes.

7.  Competition.  If someone wants to sell a new toothpaste, no one would form a Toothpaste Preservation Committee to keep out the new product. And yet, if someone wants to build a new residential complex, the local business league conveniently supports ‘neighborhood preservation efforts’ that have as a key objective keeping out competitors to the incumbent landlord that runs the local business league. It’s an obvious anti-competition tactic.

6. DYKWIA?  Some still have the bad habit of expecting the community to follow the lead of a few supposedly prominent people because they are, well, a few supposedly prominent people.

And yet, and yet – if these prominent people were what they say they are, then there wouldn’t be need of any other people in town. But there is, and so they’re not. 

5. Community as HordeA real scare here – using ‘community-minded’ appeals to call forth a complainant-ignoring horde to flack for some official or another. 

4. Stagnation.  Whitewater is a low-income, economically-stagnant community. The one thing Whitewater’s Community Development Authority has not developed is what matters in a productive, free-market economy: gains in individual and household income.

3. Bad Practices. In nearby towns (Milton & Jefferson in particular), one sees bad examples of closed-government, endless squabbles, and boosterism on behalf of their own officials. 

2. Trumpism.  A bigoted, ignorant, autocratic politics of nationalism holds this nation’s federal government in its fleshy grip. 

1. Harassment and Assault.  For two university administrations, harassment and assault – of real people in this city – has been ignored or rationalized for the sake of ambitious but amoral leaders. There is no right without an individual redress. Whitewater draws closer to becoming Missoula or Steubenville with each passing day. There will be no relent on this matter until there is wholesale change.… Continue reading

Daily Bread for 10.31.18

Good morning.

Halloween in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of fifty-eight.  Sunrise is 7:28 AM and sunset 5:47 PM, for 10h 19m 05s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 51.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the seven hundred twenty-second day.

Trick or Treat in the city limits is from 4 to 7 PM today.  Haunt responsibly.

On this day in 1968, the Milwaukee Bucks win their first game:

On this date the Milwaukee Bucks claimed their first victory, a 134-118 win over the Detroit Pistons in the Milwaukee Arena. The Bucks were 0-5 at the time, and Wayne Embry led Milwaukee with 30 points

Recommended for reading in full —  Trump’s unconstitutional proposal, using Ivanka to escape  culpability for bigotry, investors sue Trump for fraud, Czech spies tracked Trump in the 80s, and video of a family of bears breaking into a photographer’s blind  —

George T. Conway III and Neal Katyal write Trump’s proposal to end birthright citizenship is unconstitutional:

Birthright citizenship sprang from the ashes of the worst Supreme Court decision in U.S. history, Dred Scott v. Sandford, the 1857 decision that said that slaves, and the children of slaves, could not be citizens of the United States. The blood of hundreds of thousands of Americans was shed to repudiate that idea.

Afterward, the drafters of the 14th Amendment declared in their very first sentence, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.” The drafters were motivated by their utter revulsion toward slavery and a system that relegated people to subordinate political status because of their birth. They weren’t thinking of, or concerned with, any exceptions to birthright citizenship other than the absolutely essential.

And what they wrote was simple and clear. Both proponents and opponents of the language at the time knew exactly what it meant: Virtually anyone born in the United States is a citizen. In 1898, the Supreme Court affirmed just that: It held that the “Fourteenth amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory” — “including all children here born of resident aliens.” The exception? “Two classes of cases” in which the United States could not apply its laws to foreigners under historic Anglo-American legal principles: “children born of alien enemies in hostile occupation, and children of diplomatic representatives of a foreign state.”

Neither of those narrow exceptions supports what Trump proposes to do by executive order. He is threatening, with the stroke of a pen, to declare certain people who are born in the United States ineligible for citizenship — despite the plain words of the 14th Amendment.

Molly Jong-Fast writes Trump Is Using Ivanka As A Prop To Whitewash Anti-Semitism:

Because you know who doesn’t need a Jewish daughter to prove he’s not an anti-Semite when he goes to visit grieving Jews? A person who’s not an anti-Semite.

….

But why does the president need to keep insisting that he doesn’t hate blacks or Jews?

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