FREE WHITEWATER

Daily Bread for 1.21.23: Living on the Most Crowded Island on Earth

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 32. Sunrise is 7:18 AM and sunset 4:54 PM for 9h 35m 47s of daytime. The moon is new with 0.1% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1954, the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, is launched in Groton, Connecticut by Mamie Eisenhower.


Living on the Most Crowded Island on Earth:


Moose shedding antlers in snowy forest captured in rare drone footage:

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Daily Bread for 1.20.23: Regents Select a New Chancellor for UW-Whitewater

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 30. Sunrise is 7:19 AM and sunset 4:52 PM for 9h 33m 49s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 2.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1942, at the Wannsee Conference held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee, senior Nazi German officials discuss the implementation of the “Final Solution to the Jewish question.”


Kelly Meyerhofer reports Next UW-Whitewater chancellor brings extensive background in enrollment management, student affairs:

The University of Wisconsin System hired a new chancellor for UW-Whitewater in what many hope will end a years-long trend of unstable leadership at the southern Wisconsin institution.

The UW Board of Regents unanimously approved Corey King as the next UW-Whitewater chancellor in a closed-door meeting Thursday. He will start March 1 and earn $265,000 annually.

King has served as the vice chancellor for inclusivity and student affairs at UW-Green Bay since 2020. His background also includes leadership positions at at Bethune-Cookman University, Florida Atlantic University, East Carolina University, Wheeling Jesuit University, and the University of Florida, according to King’s resume.

….

King’s appointment comes after a string of leadership shake-ups at the 10,500-student university dating back to 2018. In that year, Chancellor Beverly Kopper resigned after a UW System investigation found her husband had sexually harassed students and university employees. Kopper’s husband denied the allegations.

Kopper’s successor, Dwight Watson, started in 2019 and resigned about two years later because of a cancer diagnosis.

The UW System then named a former UW System administrator, Jim Henderson, to serve as interim chancellor until a permanent hire was made. Henderson resigned last spring before a search had even started. He cited several issues with how the UW System managed campuses, with his breaking point being a free speech survey launched despite his and other chancellors’ objections.

Note 1: UW-Whitewater’s problems go further back than 2018. Before this, UW-Whitewater was under federal investigation over its handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints. (Richard Telfer was chancellor during the period under investigation.) 

Years ago, on Telfer’s departure, local landlord Larry Kachel said of Telfer that 

“I have known six chancellors, going back to Chancellor Carter,” Kachel said. “They were all good people and all did good work, but, Dick, you are at least half a head above the rest in terms of the town-and-gown issues that have gone on. We are in a tough time with budget issues right now, but we appreciate everything you have done, and will continue to do in any way you can. You always had an open door policy and were always accessible to community members. We are going to miss you.”

See https://www.dailyunion.com/news/article_68cb8454-1c18-11e5-8e44-a3bfa315d78f.html.

I’ve thought, now and again, of those remarks and those of others at the same event. They haunt. In light of all that happened at UW-Whitewater in the several years before Telfer’s retirement, those words of undeserved praise reveal an unbridgeable divide in perspective. Nothing justifies that boosterism. 

One wishes Dr. King the best, knowing that he enters a troubled institution in need of sound and stable leadership. See also UW-Whitewater’s Chancellor Search Brings Opportunity, The Diligence Required for the UW-Whitewater Chancellor Search, and For UW-Whitewater, a Legislative Predictor.

Note 2: A publication in Whitewater yesterday speculated on the chancellor search that “[a]pparently no announcement will be made on Thursday, as the agenda does not indicate that the board will return to open session after the discussion of that item.” (The page where this appeared has now been pulled down.)

In any event, that speculation was a misreading of Wisconsin law. Wisconsin’s Open Meetings Law, Wis. Stat. §§ 19.81 to 19.98, does not prevent an announcement via press release following a meeting like yesterday’s Regents’ meeting. 


Pets Receive Blessings on St. Anthony Day:

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Film: Tuesday, January 24th, 1:00 PM @ Seniors in the Park, Ticket to Paradise

Tuesday, January 24th at 1:00 PM, there will be a showing of Ticket to Paradise @ Seniors in the Park, in the Starin Community Building:

Romantic Comedy

Rated PG13; 1 hour, 44 minutes (2022)

A divorced couple (Julia Roberts and George Clooney) reunite and travel to Bali to stop their daughter from making the same mistake they think they made 25 years ago.

One can find more information about Ticket to Paradise at the Internet Movie Database.

Daily Bread for 1.19.23: Dara Massicot on Organizations (Far Beyond Russia, Even So Far as Whitewater, Wisconsin)

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 38. Sunrise is 7:19 AM and sunset 4:51 PM for 9h 31m 53s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 8.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Community Development Authority meets at 5:30 PM

 On this day in 1986, the first IBM PC computer virus is released into the wild. A boot sector virus dubbed (c)Brain, it was created by the Farooq Alvi Brothers in Lahore, Pakistan, reportedly to deter unauthorized copying of the software they had written.


Thinking about the Russian military’s latest reorganization plan, Dara Massicot offers an observation that applies to organizations far beyond Russia:

Watching this announcement, having watched these men for many years, I was left with the thought that, sometimes an organization is so broken that it cannot fix itself. It’s turning away from the solutions and resolutions that it previously identified and is looking backward.

On Twitter, people say of something apt: ‘that’s it, that’s the tweet.’ As it turns out, about organizations (public or private) one can say of Massicot’s observation ‘that’s it, that’s the insight.’ 

Nation, state, or city: one could find a broken organization in any of them. And yet, and yet, when Massicot describes an organization as broken, she accurately identifies the cause of a broken organization in certain and definite terms: ‘having watched these men for many years.’

Oh yes: the cause of organizational failure rests in certain people, certain actions, and certain events.


 3D printing – with a twist:

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Daily Bread for 1.18.23: Study Finds Immigrants Out-Innovate Native-Born Americans

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 36. Sunrise is 7:20 AM and sunset 4:50 PM for 9h 30m 01s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 16% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Parks & Rec Board meets at 5:30 PM.  

 On this day in 1967, Albert DeSalvo, the “Boston Strangler,” is convicted of numerous crimes and is sentenced to life imprisonment.


Greg Rosalsky reports New nation, new ideas: A study finds immigrants out-innovate native-born Americans

Many studies over the years have suggested that immigrants are vital to our nation’s technological and economic progress. Today, around a quarter of all workers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields are immigrants.

But while there’s plenty of evidence suggesting that immigrants play an important role in American innovation, a group of economists — Shai Bernstein, Rebecca Diamond, Abhisit Jiranaphawiboon, Timothy McQuade, and Beatriz Pousada — wanted to find a more precise estimate of how much immigrants contribute.

In a fascinating new working paper, the economists link patent records to more than 230 million Social Security numbers. With this incredible dataset, they are able to suss out who among patent-holders are immigrants (by cross-referencing their year of birth and the year they were assigned their Social Security number).

The economists find that, between 1990 and 2016, 16 percent of all US inventors were immigrants. More than that, they find that the “average immigrant is substantially more productive than the average US-born inventor.” Immigrant inventors produced almost a quarter of all patents during this period. These patents were disproportionately likely to be cited (a sign that they were valuable to their fields) and seem to have more financial value than the typical native-born patent. The economists also find evidence suggesting that immigrant inventors help native-born inventors become more productive. All in all, the economists estimate that immigrants are responsible for roughly 36% of innovation in America.

What is it that makes some of the native-born so resistant to immigration, and to the evident accomplishments of immigrants? In my own case, both my paternal and maternal families arrived in America before the Revolution, yet this lineage in America has not blinded my family to the accomplishments of newcomers to this continent.

What teaching makes one’s own birth, over which one has no control, more important than a welcoming embrace of those who arrive here and improve our society? The nativist would rather sit in sickness than stand in good health. 

It is an ignorant and arrogant teaching that trumpets native birth over America’s tradition of a free movement of capital, goods, and labor. 


Shark Tows Kayaker After Chomping on Fishing Bait:

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Daily Bread for 1.17.23: Revealing Wildlife Cams of Wisconsin

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will see scattered showers with a high of 39. Sunrise is 7:21 AM and sunset 4:49 PM for 9h 28m 10s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 25.4% of its visible disk illuminated.

The Whitewater Common Council meets at 6:30 PM.

 On this day in 1945, Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg is taken into Soviet custody while in Hungary; he is never publicly seen again.


Emily Anthes reports Snarl, You’re on Candid Camera (‘Wildlife cameras in Wisconsin are capturing interspecies encounters — and providing evidence that human activity might make such meetings more likely’): 

An animal’s fortunes, and the health of entire ecosystems, can hinge on these ephemeral encounters — or lucky non-encounters. “An animal must be at the right place, at the right time, to avoid predators, find food, reproduce successfully,” said Neil Gilbert, a postdoctoral researcher at Michigan State University.

In that way, the interactions between the animals in a given ecosystem are like a theatrical production, he said, adding, “For the production to be a success, each actor has to be onstage, in the right place, and they must act and deliver their lines at the right time.”

Now, a new study reveals how humans might unwittingly rewrite these ecological scripts, altering how the characters interact and fueling more interspecies encounters.

To conduct the study, Dr. Gilbert and his colleagues analyzed images captured by Snapshot Wisconsin, a citizen-science project run by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Since 2016, volunteers have deployed more than 2,000 wildlife cameras across the state, capturing tens of millions of images of Wisconsin’s fields, farms and forests — and the fauna that frequent them.

Wild animals of different species were more likely to lead overlapping lives — appearing at local camera sites in quicker succession — in human-altered landscapes, like farms, than in more undisturbed locations, such as national forests, scientists reported in PNAS last month.

….

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources created Snapshot Wisconsin in an effort to collect continuous, statewide data — at all hours of the day and during all seasons of the year — on local wild animal populations. It relies on an army of volunteer camera hosts to install, monitor and maintain wildlife cameras, on both public and private land across the state.

The cameras, which are triggered by motion and body heat, have captured a menagerie of animals going about their everyday lives: bald eagles scavenging in the snow, bear cubs climbing trees, a newborn fawn, a bevy of otters gamboling down a grassy trail. “It’s just so many otters,” said Jennifer Stenglein, a quantitative research scientist at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and an author of the new study.

Beautiful and humbling: no art of ours reaches the beauty of the natural world. 


Black hole twists star into ‘donut shape,’ Hubble discovery

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Daily Bread for 1.16.23: Ron Johnson on Meet the Press

Good morning.

The Dr. King Holiday in Whitewater will be rainy with a high of 45. Sunrise is 7:21 AM and sunset 4:48 PM for 9h 26m 23s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 32.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1945, Hitler moves into his underground air raid shelter, the so-called Führerbunker.


 

Johnson is obsessed with Hunter Biden, and here’s his latest theory about Joe Biden: if Hunter Biden solicited prostitutes, and if during that time Joe Biden gave his son money, does that mean Joe Biden might be criminally liable for his son’s activities in “potentially” a “sex trafficking operation”?

I mean, Chuck, is it a crime to be soliciting and purchasing prostitution in potentially European sex trafficking operations? Is that a crime? Because Chuck Grassley and I laid out about $30,000 paid by Hunter Biden to those types of individuals over December of 2018, 2019, about $30,000. That’s about the same time that President Biden offered to pay about $100,000 of Hunter Biden’s bills. I mean, again, that’s just some information. I don’t know exactly if it’s a crime.

Johnson doesn’t “know exactly if it’s a crime” and says he’s offering “just some information” (because he’s ignorant and conspiratorial), but it turns out those claims about Joe Biden don’t establish a crime.

Johnson, as it turns out, is bad at all this, as he stammers and stutters his way through the interview. He’s an awkward gossip and liar, and his delivery leaves his gossip and lies stillborn.

Odd, the populists couldn’t find a loon with a smoother in delivery in a state of 5.8 million, in a nation of 330 million. There are in America bums on park benches going on about time machines who exhibit a more convincing manner. 

See also an entire FREE WHITEWATER category dedicated to Ron Johnson’s ignominious senate career.  


Stunning moment that road collapses in California following intense storms:

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Daily Bread for 1.15.23: Mikhail Popkov Would Like to Join Russia’s Mercenaries

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 40. Sunrise is 7:22 AM and sunset 4:46 PM for 9h 24m 40s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 44.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1967, the first Super Bowl takes place in Los Angeles: the Packers defeat the Chiefs 35–10.


 

Here’s Popkov’s Wikipedia biography:

Mikhail Viktorovich Popkov … born 7 March 1964) is a Russian serial killer, rapist, and necrophile who committed the sexual assault and murder of seventy-eight girls and women between 1992 and 2010 in Angarsk, Irkutsk, in Siberia, and Vladivostok in Far East, although he has confessed to and is suspected of at least eighty-three in total. He is known as “The Werewolf” and the “Angarsk Maniac” for the particularly brutal nature of his crimes; he would extensively mutilate the bodies of his victims and perform sexual acts on them.

Popkov, a former police officer and security guard, was convicted of 22 murders in 2015 and sentenced to life imprisonment, and confessed to an additional 59 three years later; on December 10, 2018, he was convicted for 56 of the 59 additional killings, three of which the police could not find sufficient evidence with which to be proven, and given a second life sentence.[3] Popkov received a second life sentence.[4] There were calls for Popkov to be executed, but this was unavailable as capital punishment in Russia is subject to a formal moratorium.[5]


Russian propagandists on state TV say life is overrated:

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Daily Bread for 1.14.23: After Russia Kills, It Steals

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be increasingly sunny with a high of 35. Sunrise is 7:22 AM and sunset 4:45 PM for 9h 22m 59s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 55.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1952, NBC‘s long-running morning news program Today debuts, with host Dave Garroway.


Jeffrey Gettleman and Oleksandra Mykolyshyn report As Russians Steal Ukraine’s Art, They Attack Its Identity, Too (‘Russian forces have looted tens of thousands of pieces, including avant-garde oil paintings and Scythian gold. Experts say it is the biggest art heist since the Nazis in World War II, intended to strip Ukraine of its cultural heritage’):

KHERSON, Ukraine — One morning in late October, Russian forces blocked off a street in downtown Kherson and surrounded a graceful old building with dozens of soldiers.

Five large trucks pulled up. So did a line of military vehicles, ferrying Russian agents who filed in through several doors. It was a carefully planned, highly organized, military-style assault — on an art museum.

Over the next four days, the Kherson Regional Art Museum was cleaned out, witnesses said, with Russian forces “bustling about like insects,” porters wheeling out thousands of paintings, soldiers hastily wrapping them in sheets, art experts barking out orders and packing material flying everywhere.

“They were loading such masterpieces, which there are no more in the world, as if they were garbage,” said the museum’s longtime director, Alina Dotsenko, who recently returned from exile, recounting what employees and witnesses had told her.

When she came back to the museum in early November and grasped how much had been stolen, she said, “I almost lost my mind.”

Kherson. Mariupol. Melitopol. Kakhovsky. Museums of art, history and antiquities.

As Russia has ravaged Ukraine with deadly missile strikes and brutal atrocities on civilians, it has also looted the nation’s cultural institutions of some of the most important and intensely protected contributions of Ukraine and its forebears going back thousands of years.

International art experts say the plundering may be the single biggest collective art heist since the Nazis pillaged Europe in World War II.

The Russian army and her mercenaries: invaders, killers, war criminals, thieves. 

While a libertarian would prefer peaceful trade with all the world, he or she cannot countenance savagery in its place. We are right to arm the Ukrainians so that they can defend themselves. Russian weapons and tactics are inferior to our own; those in our country before the war who claimed otherwise are now evident fools.

Americans who apologize for Putin, or craft lies against Ukraine, debase themselves by becoming fellow travelers or (occasionally) fifth columnists of the Russian dictatorship. 


Deadly tornado rips through Alabama leaving damage in its wake:

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Daily Bread for 1.13.23: The Conspiracy Capital of Wisconsin (It’s Not Whitewater)

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 30. Sunrise is 7:23 AM and sunset 4:44 PM for 9h 21m 22s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 65.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1888, the National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C.


Henry Redman reports Racine at the center of Wisconsin’s election conspiracy universe:

In the two years since the 2020 election, the city of Racine and the surrounding area have become a hotbed of right-wing election-related activism. 

In November of 2021, Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling accused five of the election commission’s six members of committing felony election fraud for choosing not to force voting assistants to go in person to nursing homes to collect absentee ballots during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Last year, Schmaling was again involved in a right-wing allegation of election fraud when Racine County resident Harry Wait reached out to the sheriff to alert him of a vulnerability in the state’s online absentee ballot request system. Instead of exposing a flaw, Wait informed Schmaling that he’d illegally requested and received absentee ballots on behalf of Racine’s Democratic Mayor Cory Mason and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester). 

Wait is now facing criminal charges for his fraudulent absentee ballot requests. 

The 2020 election was fair and accurate. Numerous reviews, audits, lawsuits and investigations in Wisconsin have affirmed that President Joe Biden won the state and that there was no widespread election fraud. Yet in the more than two years since the 2020 election, complaints of election fraud have come from all over the state. Two of the most vocal lawmakers on the issue, Reps. Janel Brandtjen and Tim Ramthun, came from Waukesha and Fond du Lac counties. Former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman’s widely derided review of the 2020 election was based in Brookfield. 

But the Racine area has seen election-related right-wing activism persist past the 2022 midterms with a fervor that other parts of the state have not been able to sustain as attention has shifted to other issues.

….

“So there’s a local group here that’s very active, Harry Wait being one of their leaders who’ve really been pretty steadfast in their critique of the work that the city does to make sure that people have access to the polls,” Mason says. “So I think that’s what’s different. I think there’s a group here that’s radicalized in a way that we’re not seeing in other parts of the state.”

Whitewater has her share of conspiracy-minded populists, convinced of one lunatic notion or another, but not so many as Racine. If we’d educated our people better, and so fortified them against nonsense, we’d have a healthier and more prosperous city. We didn’t, as it was momentarily easier to pretend that all was well, and to avoid refuting ignorant-but-easily-offended conspiracy theorists, so now we’ve a years-long problem of recovery ahead of us. 

There is nothing that scares Whitewater community leaders and our school administrators into acquiescence so much as an edgy, ignorant man in a red trucker cap.  See (Local) Fear of a Red Hat


 Scientists record world’s largest hatching of baby turtles in South America:

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Friday Catblogging: Acoustic Kitty

Andrew Daniels writes in Popular Mechanics about the Acoustic Kitty project, a Failed Government Feline Mission

In the 1960s, the CIA allegedly spent $20 million to implant microphones in cats’ ear canals so the animals could inconspicuously eavesdrop on the Soviets. The disastrous first mission, in which a cat would mosey around the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C., doomed the ill-conceived effort—codenamed “Acoustic Kitty”—from the start: “The cat was released nearby, but was hit and allegedly killed by a taxi almost immediately.”

Acoustic Kitty was canceled in 1967…

Daily Bread for 1.12.23: An Election Commissioner’s Support for Vote Suppression

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 35. Sunrise is 7:23 AM and sunset 4:43 PM for 9h 19m 47s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 74.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1932, Hattie Caraway becomes the first woman elected to the United States Senate.


Scott Bauer reports Wisconsin Elections Commission member bragged about GOP plan to suppress Milwaukee votes

A Democratic member of the Wisconsin Elections Commission called Wednesday for a Republican member who bragged about GOP efforts to suppress votes in Milwaukee to resign from the bipartisan panel.

Commissioner Robert Spindell’s comments sent in an email to Republicans in the 4th Congressional District were first reported on Tuesday by Urban Milwaukee. On Wednesday, fellow Commissioner Mark Thomsen, a Democratic attorney, said Spindell should step down from the six-member commission.

“My fellow commissioner Bob Spindell has shown he cannot be fair and should resign from the WEC,” Thomsen tweeted.

In the email, as quoted by Urban Milwaukee, Spindell, who is white, says that Republicans “can be especially proud of the City of Milwaukee (80.2% Dem Vote) casting 37,000 less votes than cast in the 2018 election with the major reduction happening in the overwhelming Black and Hispanic areas.”

Spindell said the effort was due to a “well thought out multi-faceted plan.”

Spindell provided The Associated Press with a similar email he said he sent to Republicans in the 4th Congressional District. That message also heralded the drop in voters in Milwaukee, but described it differently.

….

Spindell is a defendant in three separate pending lawsuits related to him serving as a fake GOP elector.

One in federal court seeks $2.4 million in damages from Spindell and the other fake electors, alleging that they were part of conspiracy by Trump to overturn the election. Another lawsuit in Dane County circuit court alleges that Spindell should have recused himself from a complaint filed with the Wisconsin Elections Commission seeking action against the fake electors, of which Spindell was one. A third lawsuit alleged Spindell did not comply with the state open records law for documents requested related to his being a fake elector.

An elections commissioner as fake elector and opponent of (some) voter turnout. 

That’s present-day Wisconsin.


James Webb Space Telescope snaps ‘dynamic star-forming region’:

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