Author Archive for JOHN ADAMS

Daily Bread for 3.10.23: National Labor Market Stays Strong

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 36. Sunrise is 6:13 AM and sunset 5:55 PM for 11h 41m 50s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 91.1% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 2000, the Dot-com bubble peaks with the NASDAQ Composite stock market index reaching 5,048.62.

Lauren Kaori Gurley reports Economy adds 311,000 jobs in February, reflecting ongoing labor market strength (‘The job gains came in lower than January’s eye-popping numbers but the figure beats economists expectations’): 

The economy churned out 311,000 jobs in February, reflecting impressive labor market strength more than a year into the Federal Reserve’s fight to cool the economy.


The resilient labor market comes as a blessing for many workers, affording many the ability to switch into better jobs and negotiate raises over the past year and a half. Average hourly wages rose by 0.2 percent between January and February. Overall pay is up 4.6 percent from a year ago, to an hourly average of $33.09 an hour.

However, the Federal Reserve could use the labor market’s strength to justify raising interest rates at a more aggressive pace than outlined just months ago, which Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell talked about while testifying before Congress earlier this week.

Inflation has fallen since reaching 40-year-highs last summer, but prices remain well above normal. A new inflation report to be released next week will provide more clarity on whether the Fed has made enough progress to continue slowing interest rate hikes.

The strength of the labor market is largely being propped up by booming consumer demand for services and experiences coming out of the pandemic. Some of the largest job gains in February were in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, government, and health care. Employment fell in information, transportation, and warehousing.

How to Pack a Spacecraft: Science Payload on Earth Science Mission Heads to India:

more >>

Film: Tuesday, March 14th, 1:00 PM @ Seniors in the Park, The Fablemans

Tuesday, March 14th at 1:00 PM, there will be a showing of The Fablemans @ Seniors in the Park, in the Starin Community Building:


Rated PG13; 2 hours, 31 minutes (2022)

Loosely based on Steven Spielberg’s childhood growing up in post-World War 2 Arizona, from age 7 to 18. A young, impressionable Sammy Fableman explores how the power of movies helps us see the truth about ourselves and others. Starring Michelle Williams, Judd Hirsch, Paul Dano and Seth Rogan. Nominated for 7 Oscars, including Best Film, Screenplay, Music, Actress and Actor.

One can find more information about The Fablemans at the Internet Movie Database.

Daily Bread for 3.9.23: Whitewater Has More Than Us and Them

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy, with a probability of snow in the evening, and a high of 38. Sunrise is 6:15 AM and sunset 5:54 PM for 11h 38m 54s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 96.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1776, The Wealth of Nations by Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith is published.

Whitewater is a small town. Larger than nearby places, but still small as against other Wisconsin cities, Midwestern cities, or cities farther afield. Small, but larger than two, so to speak: it’s an error to think that Whitewater is merely us and them, those for us and those agin us. Any analysis that rests on two factions within Whitewater (whether political or social) is deficient. 

See the FREE WHITEWATER series on local politics for the number of political factions alone; there are many other apolitical groups of all sorts. 

Where an Old Whitewater outlook once falsely contended the city was one way, the city is now evidently (and from my point of view felicitously) many ways.

It’s characteristic of populism, for example, to define conditions dichotomously. (A second characteristic is falsely to claim majoritarian support. Populists mix lies with the truth to inflate their own significance. Their most essential trait, however, is to claim contrary positions as intrinsically illegitimate.)     

Populism is emotional, often intensely so. In its conduct, populism, at least, vindicates Hobbes’s view that that reason is a spy for the passions, so that “the Thoughts, are to the Desires, as Scouts, and Spies, to range abroad, and find the way to the things Desired.”

Churchill, quoting a saying of others, once remarked to the U.S. Congress that

The proud German army has by its sudden collapse, sudden crumbling and breaking up, unexpected to all of us, the proud German army once again proves the truth of the saying “The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet.” 

So it is with populism: split in both outlook and in demeanor. 

From my reply, this morning, to a comment: Sorting out the right ongoing response requires careful thought for those of us not disposed to cultural conflicts of this kind in Whitewater. One adjusts and fortifies when it is necessary to adjust and fortify.  

Adidas Dilemma: What to Do With $1.3 Billion of Yeezy Gear:

more >>

Daily Bread for 3.8.23: On LGBTQ+ Movie Night at Whitewater’s Library

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of 44. Sunrise is 6:17 AM and sunset 5:53 PM for 11h 35m 59s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 99.1% of its visible disk illuminated.

There will be a City of Whitewater Strategic Planning Session/Retreat at 6:30 PM, and the Police and Fire Commission meets at 7 PM

 On this day in 1775, an anonymous writer, thought by some to be Thomas Paine, publishes “African Slavery in America,” the first article in the American colonies calling for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery

Last night, Whitewater’s public library screened a movie for 13 to 18 year old LGBTQ+ teens and their allies. Unfortunate criticism of the screening ignored the rights of association and assembly that attendees should and must have. 

As longtime readers know, this libertarian blogger has, for some considerable time, expressed concerns that a faction would seek to impose on all this community book-banning and closet-confining. These are not new concerns; they have weighed on my mind for years. (To see the national scene clearly is to ponder whether its worst aspects will one day becloud Whitewater. See 1, 23.) 

And yet, I have been reserved and cautious on the subject. There are two reason for this. First, I am not a member of the LGBTQ+. That community should, first and foremost, have the right and opportunity to speak for itself. In some respects, I am their demographic opposite (straight, white, male). And so, an ally, but one who knows that allies support rather than direct. (This is, after all, one definition of Christian love: to will the good of the other as the other. One wants and hopes the best for others as they conceive that best condition.) 

The second reason that I have been cautious is that this film showing was for teens, not adults. I’m hesitant to write in a way that might incite others toward greater hostility toward a teen community. (Almost all my writing involves disputes between adults, not toward teens or children. In that writing, it’s fair to say, I have, well, less hesitancy. It’s rare that I am reticent.) 

Last night, I had the pleasure of meeting some parents and community members who stood outside our library in support of Whitewater teens’ attendance at the movie. Quite the friendly and welcoming group. (My presence was not long, and in no way notable. Those who organized this event deserve the credit for it, as do those who stood steadfast far longer last night.) It is attendees, and their families and allies, who should set the pace which others supportively match.  

One imagines this event took time and careful planning: a film, a venue, an activity, snacks, and advertising. (I’d guess many weeks.) The advertisement for the movie shows care — welcoming, encouraging, positive. Those who have lawfully organized a nice evening for members of our community, and certainly those who attended, should not have to feel tension or hostility for having done so. Note well: a culture war in Whitewater is the surest path to individual injury and community decline.

Whitewater is better for the efforts of those who made this LGBTQ+ movie night possible. They were right to hold fast, and we will be right to support their ongoing presence and efforts in our community.  

Koala explores gas station in South Australia:

more >>

Daily Bread for 3.7.23: Whitewater’s Next Candidate Forums on 3.11 and 3.19

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of 45. Sunrise is 6:19 AM and sunset 5:52 PM for 11h 33m 05s of daytime. The moon is full with 100% of its visible disk illuminated.

The Whitewater Common Council meets at 6:30 PM

 On this day in 1900, the German liner SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse becomes the first ship to send wireless signals to shore.

Whitewater having come through the February primary in one piece, we’ve now a general election in April, for contested positions on the Whitewater Unified School District’s board and for Whitewater’s municipal court.

There will be community forums for both contests:

 For the six school board candidates (Thayer Coburn, Stephanie Hicks, Lisa Huempfner, Joe Kromholz, Christy Linse, and Chuck Mills) vying for three seats, on Saturday, March 11, at Whitewater’s Municipal Building, 312 W. Whitewater St., at 10 AM. 

 For the municipal court, with two candidates (Patrick Taylor, Art Coleman) vying for one seat, on Sunday, March 19, at the Whitewater Municipal Building, at 1 PM.

Having come through the February primary ‘in one piece’: that description only bears mentioning because these last years have left some rattled, ridiculous, and retrograde. The serious and sensible have an obligation to themselves and to this community to remain practical. See Demand High at Food Pantries. 

(For this libertarian blogger’s own assessment of local priorities, see What Ails, What Heals.)

Japan’s next-generation H3 rocket self-destructs after liftoff due to engine failure:

more >>

Daily Bread for 3.6.23: Wisconsin Supreme Court Re-Appoints Advocate of Fake Electors to Judicial Committee

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be cloudy with scattered showers and a high of 45. Sunrise is 6:20 AM and sunset 5:50 PM for 11h 30m 10s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 99% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater will hold a Strategic Planning Session at 6 PM.

 On this day in 1967, Joseph Stalin’s daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva defects to the United States.

 Shawn Johnson reports Trump Recount Attorney Reappointed To Wisconsin Judicial Conduct Committee:

A lawyer who advised Wisconsin Republicans on using fake electors after the 2020 election has been reappointed to a state panel that renders advisory opinions and advice for judges.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ordered the reappointment of attorney Jim Troupis to the Judicial Conduct Advisory Committee for a term that runs until March 7, 2026. The court’s four conservative justices supported his reappointment while three liberal justices dissented.

Troupis was the lead Wisconsin attorney for former President Donald Trump‘s campaign following Trump’s loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election. Troupis oversaw Trump’s partial recount in Dane and Milwaukee Counties, filing a lawsuit that asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to overturn Biden’s victory in the state. The court rejected the lawsuit on the day Wisconsin’s actual electors met at the Capitol.

Troupis’ name resurfaced last year when the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol turned its attention to Trump’s use of false electors in Wisconsin and other swing states. The New York Times published a memo Troupis received from Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro laying out the electors’ strategy. Chesebro later joined Troupis in an unsuccessful last-ditch appeal asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Wisconsin’s election results.

Troupis’ involvement in Wisconsin politics predates Trump. For years, he was a go-to expert for Republicans on redistricting, helping them draw the legislative map in 2011 that cemented GOP power for a decade. In 2015, former Republican Gov. Scott Walker appointed Troupis to a judgeship on the Dane County Circuit Court, and in 2016, Troupis applied to Walker for a vacancy on the state Supreme Court.

Troupis went from pushing gerrymandering to pushing fake presidential electors, living out the adage that bad goes to worse. In a well-ordered judicial system, Troupis would be facing disciplinary action for the fake electors scheme, not receiving re-appointment  to a committee that advises judges.

Glow-in-the-Dark Mushrooms: Nature’s Night Lights:

more >>

Daily Bread for 3.5.23: Michael Gableman’s Greatest Productivity Has Been in Ethics Complaints Against Himself

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of 48. Sunrise is 6:22 AM and sunset 5:49 PM for 11h 27m 16s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 96.53% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1981, the ZX81, a pioneering British home computer, is launched by Sinclair Research and would go on to sell over 1.5 million units around the world.

Evan-Amos, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Michael Gableman, former justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, former special counsel investigating election fraud that never happened, and all-around conspiracy theorist, has himself in the news again. (Of course he is — no one story can present a shambles so large.)  Rich Kremer reports Ethics complaint filed against Michael Gableman, head of 2020 election review:

An ethics complaint has been filed against former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, who headed the taxpayer-funded review of the 2020 election. It alleges Gableman harassed public and private individuals and waged a “shambolic, dishonest and destructive campaign,” during the investigation. 

The complaint was filed with the state Office of Lawyer Regulation by the liberal group Law Forward. It accuses Gableman of regularly lying to government officials, the state Legislature, courts and the public while pursuing “frivolous litigation” as he led the Wisconsin Assembly’s “Office of Special Counsel.” Reached by phone, Gableman did not immediately have a comment. 

Madison attorney Jeff Mandell, who filed the complaint with Law Forward attorney Dan Lenz, told Wisconsin Public Radio it’s not up to the group to suggest what penalties Gableman should face. But Mandell said the ethical violations alleged in the complaint are “voluminous” and “quite serious.” 

“So, I hope that pretty much all of the options that the ethical violations can trigger are on the table,” Mandell said. 

Those options include fines, temporary law license suspensions or disbarment. 

Gableman was hired by Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, to lead the review a day after former President Donald Trump accused Michael  and other Republican legislative leaders of “working hard to cover up election corruption” in Wisconsin. Gableman was initially paid $11,000 per month. 

Vos, by the way, is like a man who brings a drunk companion to a party, the companion disrupts the event and vomits on the floor, only for Vos to insist he was opposed to the companion’s conduct from the start. Should have known with whom you were walking through the door, buddy. 

The World’s Loudest Sound:

more >>

Daily Bread for 3.4.23: Indonesia: Bali & Java

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of 47. Sunrise is 6:24 AM and sunset 5:48 PM for 11h 24m 22s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 92.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1789, in New York City, the first Congress of the United States meets, putting the United States Constitution into effect

Indonesia FPV: Bali & Java:

Indonesia FPV: Bali & Java (Interactive) from Timelab Pro on Vimeo.

 What’s in the Night Sky March 2023:

more >>

Daily Bread for 3.3.23: When Neither Sympathy Nor Empathy Are Present

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of 41. Sunrise is 6:25 AM and sunset 5:47 PM for 11h 21m 28s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 85.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1931, the United States adopts The Star-Spangled Banner as its national anthem.

One may discuss the merits of a distinction between sympathy & empathy, as I have. See Sympathy & Empathy

What, however, if neither is present? What of those without the restraint of sympathy or empathy, for whom cruelty is the point, so to speak? 

If Hobbes should be correct about human nature (that reason is a spy for the passions, so that “the Thoughts, are to the Desires, as Scouts, and Spies, to range abroad, and find the way to the things Desired”), then reasoning from that ilk will lead only to the infliction of harm. 

Not from most people, of course, but from some. 

How to face this? With sang-froid, with a calm resolve.

Franklin Roosevelt noted correctly that 

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel in order to be tough.

In our city, in our school district, at our university, there should and must be a place for all people. Should expresses one’s hopes and must expresses one’s determination in politics and at law.  

  Footage captures moment fisher passes shark feeding frenzy:

more >>

Friday Catblogging: The Rusty-Spotted Cat

By Davidvraju – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Jeyran Main writes of the Rusty-Spotted Cat:

He may look like a kitten or even fit in the palm of your hand, but this little male is nearly fully grown. What he lacks in size he makes up for endearing. Young cats are born curious. It is how they learn about their world, even if it gets them into trouble. His eyes are six times more powerful than humans. His senses are sensitive to the slightest of movements and today from Review Tales, I wish to discuss “The rusty-spotted cat” and hope that you enjoy reading it.

Even though they are to be unique in being small, not much is known about their ecology or behavior in the wild. These cats feed on rodents and birds. They also hunt lizards, frogs, and insects.

Daily Bread for 3.2.23: The Late Pete Carril’s Approach Applied to Whitewater’s Politics

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 39. Sunrise is 6:27 AM and sunset 5:46 PM for 11h 18m 34s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 79.4% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Landmarks Commission will meet at 6 PM and there will be a Whitewater Aquatic and Fitness Center Subcommittee Meeting at 6 PM

 On this day in 1901, United States Steel Corporation is founded as a result of a merger between Carnegie Steel Company and Federal Steel Company which became the first corporation in the world with a market capital over $1 billion.

The late Pete Carril, coach of Princeton basketball for a generation, is remembered for his offense. That offense called for a lot of passing, and so produced a lower-scoring game. In this way, Carril’s offense was patient. Opponents’ frustrated fans would shout boring! as the Tigers kept passing (rather than shooting as quickly as possible). Carril’s teams never rushed the shot. That patience was beneficial, as Carril had a 514–261 (.663 percentage) record.

Carril never devised a political strategy for Whitewater (or anywhere else). And yet, in these heated times of politics not basketball, an approach like Carril’s is the sensible one to apply to Whitewater’s local scene. There’s no reason to rush the shot. 

Populism runs on emotion, on the heat of the moment, and rapidly darts from one concern to another. See Defining Populism and The Environment That Populism Creates

Whitewater has only a conservative populist faction. Despite the conservatives populists’ conflation of Progressives/Liberals/Marxists/Socialists/Whatever/Etc., Whitewater has only a few genuine progressives, and they are not uniformly populist progressives. See Identifying Types and Spotting Issues and The City’s Few Progressives.

Populism in Whitewater is a movement of the right. See The Kinds of Conservatives in Whitewater and Conservative Populism Moves in One Direction Only.

There is an intense, insatiable craving within the populists that distinguishes them from other political movements. Need after need, issue after issue, but little foresight on any of them, and no clear sense of direction. Up, down, backward, forward, love it, hate it: all one frenetic scramble from topic to topic. See Nothing Upsets the Populists Like Contrary Speech (esp. from Blacks or Gays)

Back to Pete Carril and his strategy: the conservative populists want a lot of shooting, and so they don’t like a game in which passing dominates the clock. Carril didn’t owe other teams those other teams’ preferences, and those of us who oppose the anti-individualism of the populists don’t owe the populists their preferred approach.

Easy to see what they’d like, as I’ve written before: wall-building, book-banning, and closet-confining. The last six years have brought us here. There’s a hysteria about the populists, nativists with heads shaking, arms waving, overwrought claims delivered in overwrought phrases. 

One approaches all this deliberately, methodically, and seriously. 

 Iran Schoolgirls Targeted by More Poison Attacks, Sparking Protests

more >>

Daily Bread for 3.1.23: Demand High at Food Pantries

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will see scattered morning showers with a high of 52. Sunrise is 6:31 AM and sunset 5:44 PM. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 72% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1893, electrical engineer Nikola Tesla gives the first public demonstration of radio in St. Louis, Missouri.

There will be various proposals of state government (for capital spending) or taxation (a flat tax is probably out), but the WisDems and WISGOP proposals come in a context of hunger even during low unemployment. The state treasury may be flush, but many Wisconsinites are not.

Rob Mentzer reports A central Wisconsin food pantry grew fivefold during the pandemic. Leaders expect it to keep growing (‘Led by a Catholic priest in a majority-Hispanic area, the food pantry is a lifeline to hundreds of families each week’):

One of the confessionals at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Abbotsford is filled nearly to the ceiling with boxes of dried beans, rice and sriracha sauce. There are several flats of cereal boxes in the confessional next door.

“Right now, the deal is, you come to confession, you get a box of cereal,” jokes the Rev. Tim Oudenhoven.

St. Bernard’s started hosting a weekly food pantry in 2020, and parts of the church have become overflow storage for dry goods. What started as a pandemic response serving 30 or 40 families has “mushroomed,” Oudenhoven said, to an operation serving 230 families per week and growing. 

Abbotsford, a city of about 2,300 people in central Wisconsin, has become a center for Latino immigration. By official U.S. Census data, the city is now about 40 percent Hispanic. But most residents believe that count doesn’t capture hundreds more who have immigrated illegally or who’ve overstayed their visas. According to state data, the Abbotsford School District is about 62 percent Latino.

And recently, Oudenhoven said, the area has seen an increase in new arrivals from Central and South America, including Nicaragua and Venezuela, as people flee humanitarian crises there.

Note well: This libertarian blogger does not write — and never has — from personal deprivation. (The deserved indictment of the boosters, for example, is that they accentuate supposed gains while obscuring others’ needs.) 

We are usually taught that people require food, clothing, and shelter for survival. Whitewater is far from Abbotsford, yet Whitewater also has residents, long-term and newcomers both, who lack food (or clothing, or shelter).

So, which direction for Whitewater? Will Whitewater’s community address the fundamental needs of her residents, or will they embrace a culture war diverting and distracting us from our fellow residents’ basic needs? A culture war will bring less, not more, to this city and school district. The first six months of cultural fury will recede to reveal years of socio-economic hardship. 

These are not new themes at FREE WHITEWATERSee Waiting for Whitewater’s Dorothy Day, Something Transcendent, and in the MeantimeAn Oasis Strategyand The Community Space

A moral and practical priority: to feed, to clothe, to shelter. 

 ‘Time-traveling’ James Webb Space Telescope sees galaxy 3 times in same observation

more >>