Sunday, May 15, 2016

Flagging interest

Letters to the editor are subject to, well, editing, as I am reminded as one of mine is being published in tomorrow morning's paper.

What I submitted concluded,

"The City already has the paint and the stripes are already on the trucks, so starting a transition to this new flag would only require stenciling on the stars. This will further serve as a reminder of Milwaukee's legendary frugality.

"Long may it wave, long may it save."

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Magic of Donald Trump

Mark Danner reviews Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again by Donald J. Trump at The New York Review of Books. There might be something about the book in there. More prominent is a still from this video: .

Friday, May 6, 2016

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel endorsing Trump

would involve slightly reworking today's column by David D. Haynes.
"Everything her detractors say about Federica Marchionni may be true: Maybe she is the incarnation of the brutal boss in 'Devil Wears Prada.' Maybe she is 'a princess.' Maybe she dresses down employees in public. ...

"But if the chief executive at Lands' End can get the clothing retailer sailing in the right direction, so what?
"Things need to change at 1 Lands End Lane.

"And that's all that really matters."

P.S. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel now part of USA TODAY NETWORK.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel endorses capital punishment

Capital letter, that is, in A letter from Journal Sentinel Publisher Elizabeth Brenner.
"Today is our first day under the ownership of the Gannett Company and our first day as part of the USA TODAY NETWORK.

"... This transaction opens up a bright future for us as we join more than 3,800 journalists that comprise the USA TODAY NETWORK.

"... The USA TODAY NETWORK is a digital-first, innovative and integrated organization committed to strong and sustainable community journalism. ...

"... Bob Dickey, president and chief executive officer of Gannett, last year explained the next-generation USA TODAY NETWORK to employees this way:"

With death (to) sentences:
" 'One focused organization where local stories feed national news, and national news connects with local relevance. All presented with the integrity, clarity and focus only we possess.' "

Friday, April 8, 2016

Yearning to breathe free

The Statue of "Liberty Enlightening the World" holds a tablet in its left arm showing the date the written text of the U.S. Declaration of Independence was approved "July IV MDCCLXXVI".

Not on the statue, but elsewhere on the structure and grounds are other tablets and plaques. The best known is the tablet installed in 1903 with the text of the sonnet "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus. It was originally placed inside the statue's pedestal, and later moved to the Statue of Liberty Museum in the base.

You'll recognize an excerpt from it in this post by Seth Barrett Tillman at The New Reform Club,

"Did you see the April 1, 2016 Munk Debate? The resolution debated was: 'Be it resolved, give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free ... .' It was on the global refugee crisis, particularly the crisis in Europe. The participants were, in support of the motion, Louise Arbour & Simon Schama, and against the motion, Nigel Farage & Mark Steyn. ...

"I think there was some deep support among the speakers and the audience that Western society has to be more assertive and actively integrate newcomers. [citations to the video omitted] Steyn made the point that to do that Western societies have to stand for something, have to believe something, have to have a history, language, and culture. There has to be something for the newcomer to integrate into.

"I am not entirely sure Arbour agreed with that. ..."

Update: In Part II, Louise Arbour's Millions, Tillman posts on another set of "huddled masses".
"Louise Arbour had one response to Farage and Steyn that, I think, was missed by the audience and by F & S. Arbour said:
'What we are talking about now, the so-called huge crisis that Europe is facing, is very well defined by the Refugee Convention. We have not made a dent in talking about the million of stateless people in the world who don't have a passport....

'We have not made a dent into dealing with statelessness.

'We have not made a dent in talking about what are called IDPs--internally displaced persons--of which there are millions in Syria itself and Sudan. ...'

"You see integrating the millions which have come in the last several years is not enough for Louise Arbour. There are millions more.

"How many millions?"

The Wikipedia article on Internally displaced person says,
"At the end of 2014 it was estimated there were 38.2 million IDPs worldwide, the highest level since 1989, the first year for which global statistics on IDPs are available."
As Arbour says and Tillman notes, this is a separate category. The Wikipedia article on Refugee says,
"At the end of 2014, there were 19.5 million refugees worldwide (14.4 million under UNHCR's mandate, plus 5.1 million Palestinian refugees under UNRWA's mandate). The 14.4 million refugees under UNHCR's mandate were around 2.7 million more than at the end of 2013 (+23%), the highest level since 1995."

Monday, April 4, 2016

Evans on the Republican Convention

The Republican Lawyer blog posted Q and A with Republican National Lawyer Association Chairman Randy Evans from an interview on MSNBC. Ten questions, so it'll be easy to score between now and July 18-21.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Bruce Murphy on "Trump Vs. The Wisconsin Establishment"

From his latest 'Murphy's Law' column at Urban Milwaukee.
"The ascendance of Donald Trump has raised questions about a big part of the Republican Party’s base — white people without college degrees — many of whom have been left behind by the global economy, and need help from the government. ..."
For example, if policy on trade and immigration costs them and benefits others economically.
"But as less-educated white voters have turned out in droves for Trump, he has defended their reliance on Social Security and Medicare and warned that Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan (who was booed at a Trump rally in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville) want to cut those benefits. In response, conservatives are increasingly aiming their sneers at these Republican and 'Reagan Democrat' voters.

"As National Review columnist Kevin Williamson put it in a recent column excoriating Trump and his struggling low-income white supporters: 'The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible.'"

If any publication would have thought twice about saying such things, I would have thought it would be National Review.
"What Wisconsin, the nation’s most politically polarized state, is revealing, perhaps at its most naked, is the shocking split in the Republican Party."
Usually one tries to avoid conforming to the other side's slanders, ideally from principle, but if not, at least strategically.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Lazich won't seek re-election

Chris Thompson reports at WisPolitics Election Blog.
"Senate President Mary Lazich announced today she will not seek re-election in fall.

The New Berlin Republican was elected to the Assembly in 1992, to the Senate in 1998 and re-elected since then. She served as Senate president this term."

Update: M.D. Kittle reported,
"state Rep. Dave Craig [R-Town of Vernon] told Wisconsin Watchdog Monday he will run for the 28th Senate District seat."

Monday, March 7, 2016

A new book’s vilification of Tony Blair

M.S. reviews Broken Vows, by Tom Bower, for the Prospero column at The Economist. This was among the familiar issues.
"Mr Bower’s charge-sheet against the former prime minister is predictably devastating. ... He intentionally deceived voters: ... by presiding over an undeclared open-door immigration policy.
"Mr Bower’s forensic examination of Labour’s approach to immigration under Mr Blair is particularly damaging. His charge that Mr Blair encouraged Labour ministers to connive in turning a blind eye to a broken system and then fiddled the numbers by giving so-called 'bogus' asylum seekers work permits unfortunately sticks. More than half a million migrants were entering the country each year, to the growing dismay of traditional Labour voters. But the government remained insouciant, convinced that Tory objections were racist and ignored the economic benefits. Whatever its motives, the immigration policies of Mr Blair's government have done Labour lasting damage."

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Consultants

"From the producers who brought you “The Producers,” #Trumped is a new musical starring Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Cloris Leachman and the unlikely candidate himself, Donald Trump."

(via Sherry Weddell)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The view from Hudson Street

Lorrie Moore's review of "Making a Murderer" in The New York Review of Books includes that
"a feeling of overlookedness and isolation can be said to persist in America’s dairyland, and the idea that no one is watching can create a sense of invisibility that leads to the secrets and labors that the unseen are prone to: deviance and corruption as well as utopian projects, untested idealism, daydreaming, provincial grandiosity, meekness, flight, far-fetched yard decor, and sexting."

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Donald Trump Is Shocking, Vulgar and Right:

'And, my dear fellow Republicans, he's all your fault.' says Tucker Carlson at Politico. This in particular caught my eye.
"Consider the conservative nonprofit establishment, which seems to employ most right-of-center adults in Washington. Over the past 40 years, how much donated money have all those think tanks and foundations consumed? Billions, certainly. (Someone better at math and less prone to melancholy should probably figure out the precise number.) Has America become more conservative over that same period? Come on. Most of that cash went to self-perpetuation: Salaries, bonuses, retirement funds, medical, dental, lunches, car services, leases on high-end office space, retreats in Mexico, more fundraising. Unless you were the direct beneficiary of any of that, you’d have to consider it wasted.

"Pretty embarrassing. And yet they’re not embarrassed. Many of those same overpaid, underperforming tax-exempt sinecure-holders are now demanding that Trump be stopped. Why? Because, as his critics have noted in a rising chorus of hysteria, Trump represents 'an existential threat to conservatism.'"

It's not like they buy rather than rent because smaller government is just around the corner.

(via David Frum)

Friday, January 29, 2016

Getting Your Estate Organized: Thirty (or so) Documents You Should Have For Your Spouse, Your Power of Attorney, or Your Executor

Among uses of a blog is posting a link for future reference, in this case to this checklist by John T. Bannen of Quarles & Brady LLP, Milwaukee.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Panned or pander

Monday, January 11, 2016

A new new sensitivity

At Althouse,
"And times have changed. We have 'a new sensitivity toward victims of unwanted sexual contact.' Interesting. I remember when we had 'a new sensitivity' in the early 1990s, when male Senators, chided with 'You just don't get it,' stepped up and took it very seriously. That new sensitivity got lost to a politically opportune insensitivity when Democrats decided it was more important to protect their President. They subordinated feminism to Democratic Party power, and it required a long struggle to get back to a second new sensitivity. And so, once again, the question is whether sensitivity or insensitivity better serves the interests of the Democratic Party."

Friday, January 1, 2016

Pundit of the year: Dilbert creator, Scott Adams

The case made by Don Surber,
"The only pundit of any renown to figure The Donald out was Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip. Since August, he has blogged about how The Donald is winning and spinning heads on TV.
"Trump thinks in three dimensions, according to Adams. As does Adams. Trump's critics are stuck in two dimensions. Every situation is either/or. The pundits on TV talk among themselves and when something happens outside the little box they've placed themselves in, they freak.
"What applies in science applies in politics.
'It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong. --- Richard P. Feynman.'
Scott Adams gets what is going on and is having a lot of fun with this."

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Advice to the Archbishop of Canterbury

"If I were the Archbishop of Canterbury, which has not yet been proposed, I would certainly say that the ritual of the church must adapt to people’s expectations, but one of the strongest expectations people have is that ritual doesn’t adapt."
-Roger Scruton, at The Guardian

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Pinocchio dies in pants fire

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

'She always was lucky in her opponents.'

David Runciman reviews Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. II: Everything She Wants, by Charles Moore, at the London Review of Books.
"he does devote a chapter to recounting the failure of her enemies to understand her properly. By the mid-1980s hatred for Thatcher herself as well as what she stood for had become something comfortable and familiar to those on the other side of the political divide. As Ian McEwan wrote after her death in 2013: 'It was never enough to dislike her. We liked disliking her.'

"Moore is surely right when he says this led many on the left to mistake the nature of the challenge they faced. 'Since they thought Mrs Thatcher and her cronies were wicked, they tended to think they only had to point this out loudly enough and voters would desert the Conservatives. Never ... did they coldly analyse why she was winning, in order to ensure she would lose.' "

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Lesson is more