Recommended Reading (11/26/16)

Here are interesting articles from the past week that are worth a read (even if, on occasion, I do not agree with the author).

Sorry Liberals, But Wisconsin’s Results Were Not “Rigged”

What’s the old saying again?

“There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

That appears to be true for computer science as well. University of Michigan Statistics Professor J. Alex Halderman is a celebrated professor in the world of statistics and computer sciences. He is also, apparently, a complete liberal loon who can’t get past the fact that states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.

Be Thankful for Trump’s Presidency

To my liberal and Democratic Party friends (not always one and the same), please enjoy the freedom you have to protest and fear the unknown that is President-elect Trump.

While Trump tweets and Vice-President-elect Mike Pence demonstrates calm maturity,

political opponents from “Saturday Night Live” to MSNBC, from the Broadway stage to the streets of Portland, all have the freedom to freak out, cry, pout and insult them in a variety of fashions, from rude and crude to self-aggrandizing.

Liberal professor: The End of Identity Liberalism

Hillary Clinton was at her best and most uplifting when she spoke about American interests in world affairs and how they relate to our understanding of democracy. But when it came to life at home, she tended on the campaign trail to lose that large vision and slip into the rhetoric of diversity, calling out explicitly to African-American, Latino, L.G.B.T. and women voters at every stop. This was a strategic mistake. If you are going to mention groups in America, you had better mention all of them. If you don’t, those left out will notice and feel excluded.

Many in Milwaukee Neighborhood Didn’t Vote — and Don’t Regret It

At Upper Cutz, a bustling barbershop in a green-trimmed wooden house (in Milwaukee, WI), talk of politics inevitably comes back to one man: Barack Obama. Mr. Obama’s elections infused many here with a feeling of connection to national politics they had never before experienced. But their lives have not gotten appreciably better, and sourness has set in.

I Voted for Trump. It’s Time My Alma Mater Became More Diverse.

The day after the election, you responded by literally sitting on the ground and crying. What is worse is that student funds were used to provide said students with hot chocolate and coloring supplies. This is not what adulthood looks like.

Don’t Cry For the First Woman Almost-president

What people should have been telling their daughters, if they wanted them to grow up to understand anything, is that Hillary Clinton didn’t lose the election because life is unfair. She lost it because she had more baggage than the carousel at a major airport, a paranoid streak that rivaled the one last seen in Richard M. Nixon, and a sense of entitlement, encouraged by her fans and her supportive if often unfaithful husband—a set of liabilities that vastly exceeded her skills.

America’s real hate-crime epidemic is killing cops

When police officers doing their duty aren’t safe, then no one is.

It’s Time for School Carry

There is no rational justification for continuing banning guns on school grounds. More than 300,000 Wisconsinites are licensed to carry a concealed weapon. Tens of thousands carry a weapon every day. Despite the dire warnings of opponents of the Second Amendment, Wisconsin has not turned into the Wild West and neither has any other state that permits concealed carry.

Week-ends (11/26/16)

A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…


Surfing Santas

Melanie Gannon

Daniel McConnell


Fidel Castro

Jill Stein

Texas high schoolers


“Jill Stein’s decision to pursue a recount is absurd and nothing more than an expensive political stunt that undermines Wisconsin’s election process.”
Mark Morgan, the executive director of the state Republican Party

“Don’t assume the worst. Wait until the [Trump] administration is in place, until it’s putting its policies together, and then you can make your judgment on whether it is consistent with the international community’s interest of living in peace together.”
President Barack Obama, at a town hall meeting with young Latin American entrepreneurs in Peru

“President-elect Trump should focus on healing the broken justice system, affirm the rule of law and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Clinton scandals.”
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton

“It’s just not something that I feel very strongly about. I think it would be very, very divisive for the country. I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t. She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways.”
President-elect Donald Trump conceded Tuesday that he probably won’t make good on his campaign pledge to pursue a new criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton

“Going forward, covering Donald Trump as the president-elect, a Trump administration, and America in the Trump era, there’s no need for us to recalibrate our approach (emphasis added and again), except, hopefully, to redeploy some people to Washington. We’ll be fair, we’ll be tough, and we’ll be ready to pounce on the most interesting and thoughtful stories possible. We will not for a moment normalize bigotry and misogyny, if he continues down the path of the campaign and with some early appointments. But we will also be wide open to the idea that his may be a novel and perhaps effective presidency, a non-ideologue in the age of hyper-partisanship. In short, we don’t know what the hell is about to happen. Nobody does. But, again, it’s why we matter.”
Boston Globe Editor Brian McGrory in a message to the paper’s reporters and editors

“I can assure you that whether you voted for (Trump) or you did not vote for him, if you are a citizen of the United States, he is your president. He will be your president, and if you do not like that, you need to go to another country.”
U.S. Magistrate Judge John Primomo in remarks to newly sworn-in U.S. citizens. He was suspended  from overseeing further citizenship ceremonies.

“The overall temper tantrum over Mrs. Clinton’s upset loss is mostly confined to those with progressive views. These people don’t like to feel uncomfortable. They like their ivory towers, the safe bastions that are America’s cities. You seriously can’t eat with a Trump supporting member of your family?  I can’t believe that some folks are nuking Thanksgiving plans with family over an election. Is it really that awful? Are liberals that thick, fragile, and wrong? I guess so.”
Conservative writer Matt Vespa

“Lest any obstacle arise between the request for reconciliation and God’s forgiveness, I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion.”
Pope Francis, in an Apostolic Letter made public by the Vatican

“Twenty hours was a grain of sand on a beach. But I didn’t need more time in [solitary confinement] to know that absolutely no good would come from it.”
Rick Raemisch, Colorado’s corrections chief who voluntarily spent 20 hours in solitary confinement and is working to reduce, if not abolish, the practice in prisons and jails

“I’ve been in a room with a large group of police … I’ve asked how many of you would like your son or daughter to be a police officer, and no one raises their hand.”
Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, on the challenge of hiring new officers. To attract more people to the job, departments around the country are easing the requirements.

“I don’t want to see your bodies on Instagram; I want to see what’s in here.”
Selena Gomez, gesturing to her heart, as she spoke to fans after winning an American Music Award for Favorite Female Artist


Police officers shot


They voted to build a wall


The election’s not over!


Dead deer wakes up

‘Daddy did press-ups on mommy’

Unusual float at holiday parade

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (11/26/16)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then it’s DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAYPartly cloudy. High of 49. That’s warmer than the average.  “B”

SUNDAY: Mostly sunny. High of 50. “B”

Here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer with this week’s main blog.

Well, actually, she’s sorta, Thanksgivinged-out, if I may coin such a word. So let me have another shot at this in her place. Here we go.

You say you had Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving (Yes, I intended to write it that way). Someone at the table probably led the assembly in prayer. Grace turned out to be short and sweet.

At some point either during  the brief acknowledgement of God or at halftime or the respite  between dressing and pumpkin pie did you reserve gratitude for, of course, family, close and not so close?

Dear friends?


Your child’s/children’s teacher/teachers?



The military?

The newspaper delivery person?

And on and on and on.

Maybe you saved some note of thanks for…well, you should know where this is going.


Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

How a dispute over dog droppings put a celebrated homicide detective and a judge under scrutiny.

Dogs on Patrol: Residents in Australia and their pets recruited to help police prevent local crimes.

She admits it wasn’t the smartest thing to do….MORE.

Dogs remember what you doMORE

What a dog’s nose…knows.

Just what you want, right? Running with your dog in a triathlon.

This dog house is…tech savvy.

While you were watching football MORE.



Volunteers anchor down the Trixie the Dog balloonVolunteers anchor down the Trixie the Dog balloon on West 77th Street on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, a day before the 90th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan. (Photo: Getty Images / Drew Angerer)




Kya’s a real dog.

And some little kids with big dogs.

We close as we always do with our closing video.

Nervous Soldier Worries Military Dog Won’t Remember Him When They Make Eye Contact After 3 Years.

That’s it for this week.

Thanks for stopping by.

See ya, BARK, next week!

Goodnight everyone, and have yourself a well-orchestrated holiday weekend!

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.

OK, you’re in the market for a new Christmas CD. You’re looking for a super duper, top shelf, fantastic , classic, ultra-enjoyable, high quality recording, one of the best ever produced.

Want my opinion?

The Carpenters recorded two Christmas albums.

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Get them both.

Angelic vocals.

Perfectly lush arrangements.

They’re terrific.


You say you already have the Carpenters Christmas CD’s?

You say that you have those CD’s because, just like me, you possess superior taste?

OK. What now?

This week, some wonderful alternatives.

If Christmas recordings by this legendary ensemble are not in your personal collection you need to take care of that pronto. They are known and loved everywhere.

They’ve been performing for 131 years, are known as “America’s Orchestra, ” and  it’s the most recorded  orchestra in the country.

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The Boston Pops Orchestra, no matter what the Christmas selection, never ever disappoints.

If, like my wife and I, you’ve had the tremendous fortune to see the Pops in concert at Christmas time you’ll hear this super medley.

Let’s start with the version conducted by superstar John Williams.

We couldn’t come up with a better opening than this.

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This may be hard to believe, but there were seventeen Pops conductors, beginning with the German Adolf Neuendorff, who preceded Arthur Fiedler, the first American-born musician to lead the orchestra.  Fiedler was Pops Conductor from 1930-1979. Do the math. That’s a long time.

We’ll get back to Fiedler but first, the young whippersnapper, Keith Lockhart conducts.


I recall an interview Bob Edwards did with Liberace when Edwards worked at NPR. I’ll never forget Liberace with no shame and a chuckle in his voice said he took classical music and “took the boring parts out.”

Arthur Fiedler may have been somewhat guilty of the same. Fiedler took the orchestra’s original daring risk of performing light classical treatments even beyond that to whatever ranked high in popular culture.

Elvis? The Beatles? Sonny and Cher?  Didn’t matter. The Pops under Fiedler would showcase these immensely popular acts.

Arthur Fiedler do the following?

Are you kidding me?

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I wonder if Fiedler were alive today if he’d do, for example, an album of Justin Timberlake stuff.

God I would hope not.

Attend a Christmas Pops concert and near the end of the show you will become part of it, asked to participate. It’s lots of fun.

Back to Keith Lockhart…

That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

Please enjoy our finale!



Why do you want to be a police officer?

My Recommended Reading (11/19/16) post included an analysis by the AP about the problems local police departments are having recruiting.

Here’s a related update from my good friend Dan Jones at Milwaukee PBS. The former host of InterCHANGE  has won awards for documentaries he’s produced. In this piece Dan searches for answers: Who would want the job? And why?

The segment is very well done and runs a little over 13 minutes.


Think of your favorite meal in the whole wide world

How about I pose one of those “If you were trapped on a deserted island, what five albums would you want?”-type questions.

With a culinary twist.

What’s your favorite meal?

Your ultimate dinner.

Numero uno.

Top shelf.

The one that stands out above all the rest.

You dream of it.

It’s on your mind as you anticipate for days and days.

You just can’t wait for it to be served.

For some, the above is what’s for dinner.

Yep, that’s good, or maybe a combo of the above two.

And those are just the main courses. There are sides to consider, appetizers, and dessert.

But I imagine the above are what immediately come to mind.

A nice, thick, juicy grilled steak, possibly wrapped in bacon and doused with bleu or gorgonzolla chese.

Sweet lobster tail with melted butter.

Crab legs and lots of them.

Succulent shrimp.

Duck or some fancy poultry.

Lamb chops.

Prime rib seasoned just so.

I’ll bet you missed one.

Never even thought of it.

And it fits all of our aforementioned criteria:

Your ultimate dinner.

Numero uno.

Top shelf.

The one that stands out above all the rest.

You dream of it.

It’s on your mind as you anticipate for days and days.

You just can’t wait for it to be served.

Don’t get me wrong. Steak, lobster, prime rib, shrimp, duck, goose…nothin’ shabby about any of those delights.

But think about it. The quintessential answer to our simple question is supplied by Norman Rockwell…

Today, it looks like this…

A plump 91% of Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving. Roasted, grilled, microwaved, smoked, deep-fried, cooked in a clay pot or on a rotisserie, marinated, basted, seasoned, rubbed, and accompanied by stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls with butter, cranberries, relishes, and pumpkin pie.

Post-Thanksgiving, the leftovers find their way into sandwiches, soup, stews, salads, casseroles and stir-fries.

When it’s not the fourth Thursday of November, the National Turkey Federation swears Americans experiment and it offers 1,500 recipes including turkey schnitzel, enchiladas, breakfast sausage tarts, burritos, crepes, gumbo, lasagna, pizza, quiche, and more.

Maybe so. But I’m talking about…

We start salivating for turkey and all the trimmings around November 10. The planning begins not long after.

While family and football are a big part of the holiday, it’s that meal filled with one winner after another that everyone longs for with gluttonous anticipation.

Preparation might not be the easiest or quickest, but it’s cheap and it’s all so, so delicious, the dinner of the year.

So if it’s so mouth-watering spectacular, why do we eat this sensational fare only once a year?

(This is a revised version of  a blog I originally posted in July 2011)