Daily Bread for 9.7.18

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be partly sunny, with a high of seventy-one.  Sunrise is 6:26 AM and sunset 7:18 PM, for 12h 51m 08s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 6.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the six hundred sixty-third day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On the night of September 6-7, 1776, American forces make the first use in history (sadly unsuccessful) of a submarine in combat:

A cutaway full size replica of the Turtle on display at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Gosport, UK

Turtle (also called American Turtle) was the world’s first submersible vessel with a documented record of use in combat. It was built in 1775 by American David Bushnell as a means of attaching explosive charges to ships in a harbor, for use against Royal Navy vessels occupying North American harbors during the American Revolutionary War. Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull recommended the invention to George Washington, who provided funds and support for the development and testing of the machine.


Just before midnight at 11:00 pm on September 6, 1776, Sgt. Lee piloted the submersible toward Admiral Richard Howe’s flagship, Eagle, then moored off Governors Island.

On that night, Lee maneuvered the small craft out to the anchorage. It took two hours to reach his destination, as it was hard work manipulating the hand-operated controls and foot pedals to propel the submersible into position. Adding to his difficulties was a fairly strong current and the darkness creeping overhead, which made visibility difficult.

The plan failed. Lee began his mission with only twenty minutes of air, not to mention the complications of operating the craft. The darkness, the speed of the currents, and the added complexities all combined to thwart Lee’s plan. Once surfaced, Lee lit the fuse on the explosive and tried multiple times to stab the device into the underside of the ship. Unfortunately, after several attempts Lee was not able to pierce Eagle’s hull and abandoned the operation as the timer on the explosive was due to go off and he feared getting caught at dawn. A popular story held that he failed due to the copper lining covering the ship’s hull. The Royal Navy had recently begun installing copper sheathing on the bottoms of their warships to protect from damage by woodworms and other marine life, however the lining was paper-thin and could not have stopped Lee from drilling through it. Bushnell believed Lee’s failure was probably due to an iron plate connected to the ship’s rudder hinge.[38] When Lee attempted another spot in the hull, he was unable to stay beneath the ship, and eventually abandoned the attempt.

Recommended for reading in full — 

  Lee Bergquist reports Torrent of stormwater spills from Foxconn construction site after heavy weekend rains:

Stormwater rushed from the construction site of Foxconn Technology Group in Mount Pleasant this week after a deluge pummeled many areas of southern Wisconsin in recent days.

A video taken by a resident on Monday afternoon shows rain pooled in low-lying areas and surging off the Foxconn property in Racine County near Highway H and KR and into a ditch that flows to the Pike River.

A group of residents has expressed concerns to village officials about how Foxconn would manage water at the massive complex — both during construction and after the $10 billion industrial project is completed.

One of those is Kelly Gallaher, who took the video of conditions about 3 p.m. Monday and posted it on Facebook.

“The biggest concern is that with all of these different consultants, what the village told us is that there wasn’t going to be a problem,” said Gallaher, who is a member of A Better Mount Pleasant, a local group.

“Clearly, this past weekend, the last few days, there has been a problem.”

(Perhaps the local business lobby, the Greater Whitewater Committee, so very attentive and solicitous of the state operative overseeing Foxconn, is even now hatching a plan to help residents whose properties are threatened. However much one might credit an effort, should there even be one, it seems probable that an after-the-fact assistance of any kind won’t be half so valuable as a before-the-fact recognition of the project’s risks.)

 Patrick Marley and Molly Beck report GOP leader says teen prison is ‘a mess’ that Scott Walker’s team should have addressed sooner:

“Obviously, Lincoln Hills has been a mess,” the Juneau Republican said. “It’s been a mess for some time. So, often times when you read these articles (about problems there), I’m not necessarily shocked, but very disappointed that there wasn’t more action taken directly by DOC at the time.”

  Julia Davis – whose work is valuable and compelling – shows readers what a fifth columnist looks like:

(Sympathy to America’s foreign adversaries makes one a fellow traveler. Working for them, however, makes one a fifth columnist. There’s no way back from that. RT – formerly Russia Today – is a tool of Russian state propaganda, so much so that it has had by our law to register as a foreign agent, that is, as something like a foreign-paid lobbyist.)

  Conservative evangelical Michael Gerson concludes We are a superpower run by a simpleton:

What we are finding from books, from insider leaks and from investigative journalism is that the rational actors who are closest to the president are frightened by his chaotic leadership style. They describe a total lack of intellectual curiosity, mental discipline and impulse control. Should the views of these establishment insiders really carry more weight than those of Uncle Clem in Scranton, Pa.? Why yes, in this case, they should. We should listen to the voices of American populism in determining public needs and in setting policy agendas — but not in determining political reality.

We should pay attention to the economic trends that have marginalized whole sections of the country. We should be alert to the failures and indifference of American elites. But we also need to understand that these trends — which might have produced a responsible populism — have, through a cruel trick of history, elevated a dangerous, prejudiced fool. Trump cannot claim the legitimacy of the genuine anxiety that helped produce him. The political and social wave is real, but it is ridden by an unworthy leader. The right reasons have produced the wrong man.

The testimony of the tell-alls is remarkably consistent. Some around Trump are completely corrupted by the access to power. But others — who might have served in any Republican administration — spend much of their time preventing the president from doing stupid and dangerous things. Woodward’s book recounts one story in which then-economic adviser Gary Cohn heads off U.S. withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement by removing documents from Trump’s Oval Office desk. Think on that a moment. A massive change in economic policy was avoided — not by some brilliant stratagem — but by swiping a piece of paper and trusting in Trump’s minuscule attention span.

Go Inside the Cajun Navy: How Volunteers are Training to Rescue Hurricane Victims:

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