Week-ends (10/01/17)

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…


Steve Scalise

Staff Sergeant Cory Hinkle

Jack Taschner


O.J. Simpson


Jesse Williams

Angela Putman


“As much as some people want us to just shut up and play football and keep the politics to politics, sports and politics have always intersected. And If we can help continue a conversation through demonstration of unity I think that’s a good thing.”
Green Bay Packer Aaron Rodgers after the Packers beat the Chicago Bears Thursday night at Lambeau Field

“Fans who attack players for protesting (a right which I fought to defend) but who are simply not interested in understanding why, is the reason I am resigning.”
Joey Odoms, combat veteran and national anthem singer at Baltimore Ravens home games, on his resignation as pre-game singer

#NFL players should be down on both knees thanking god they live in country allowing them to make millions while showing such disrespect.
Tweet by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

“Every man, woman, child in this country should stand for the national anthem. That should go without question. If we were able to reinforce the fact that we all should stand and delve into the challenges that have some players kneeling, we’ll be in a better place as a country. We should all seek for unity and equality in this nation.”
Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.), the only black Republican in the Senate

Dear Mr. Goodell:

You are responsible for the polarization in the NFL. Had you invoked the NFL rule regarding inappropriate apparel, you would have sanctioned Colin Kaepernick for wearing socks depicting the police as pigs. And you could have enforced the rule requiring players to stand during the national anthem. But you did neither, hence the protests.

Accordingly, I am sending you my Giants lawn flag as a token of my disgust for you; as a veteran I am particularly incensed over your delinquency. I no longer support the NFL and hope that professional football takes a nose dive. Then you should be fired.


William Donohue
Letter sent by Catholic League President to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

“We have a rule that requires our players to stand for the anthem. It’s been a rule as long as I’ve been involved with the league, and my expectation is that our players will continue to stand for the anthem.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver

“I went on national television to do my best to defend it. In the end, I didn’t know what the hell I was defending. Health care is a fifth of our economy and, duh, there is a wide disagreement in our caucus about what a bill that big should contain. Since January, I’ve been hearing about the outline of the bill. This is September. I’m ready to move past outlines. It’s dead. It’s dead as a doornail. We’re not going to get it done. We need to go do tax reform and then come back to healthcare.”
Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana on another failed GOP attempt to repeal Obamacare

“…in its zeal to oppose Trump at every turn and create a backlash to his excesses, the Left is fighting a losing battle here. I understand anthem protesters’ argument that it’s not about the flag, the anthem, or even the country; it’s about drawing attention to disproportionate police brutality against people of color.  But when the national anthem is deliberately selected as the occasion for these protests, the story becomes about the anthem. It just does. And a lot of people see that as deeply disrespectful, and justifiably so, in my mind.”
Conservative columnist Guy Benson

“It’s like a jolt of sugar and they can’t put it down. If you want to convince a semi-regular voter to show up on Election Day, you need to find something else.”
Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons said Democratic activists relish the attacks on Trump, but questioned whether it will help the party win over the centrist and independent voters they will need to win races across the country

“I worry there’s a bit of amnesia happening. It’s almost like we didn’t learn our lesson in November, and it can really come back to haunt us a little over a year from now when it really, really matters.” 
A senior aide on Capitol Hill who spoke to The Hill

“Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country.”
Ri Yong Ho, the foreign minister of North Korea, stating that President Donald Trump’s comments suggesting he would eradicate North Korea and its leaders is an act of war

“If, in fact, 50,000 jobs paying $100,000 materialize, it is huge. But we need to be very, very demanding of verification before any substantial tax concessions or other incentives are given to Amazon. My first blush is that it sounds too good to be true. We shouldn’t be negative, but we should be inquisitive. As Ronald Reagan put it: Trust, but verify.”
Mark Iris, a lecturer in Northwestern University’s Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences Program, on Amazon’s pitch for HQ2

I’m of age. It’s obviously something you want to be responsible about, but I haven’t set the rectory on fire or anything like that.”
The Rev. Jeff Poirot, who along with his brewing partner Nicholas McCoy won the 2017 Ninkasi Award at this year’s National Homebrew Competition, but was told by the bishop of the Fort Worth diocese to stop brewing


The outrage being expressed by NFL fans


School choice students outperform their peers…again


The media’s ongoing defense of NFL player protests


“Free rent for a girlfriend”

This may be the strangest of all-time

2017 POO Awards – Week 7

Each week during this year’s high school football season as I have in previous years, I’m giving out a weekly POO Award to the Wisconsin high school football team that committed the most egregious act of poor sportsmanship by trying to humiliate its opponent.

My goal is to try to build awareness of the importance of sportsmanship.

POO stands for Piling On Offensively (Or if you prefer, Pouring it On Offensively)

Week 7

Lake Country Lutheran 72, Hope Christian 6

Week 6

They’ve done it again.

Luck 68, New Auburn 0

Week 5

Luck 86, Lincoln 14

Edgar 70, Chequamegon 0

Week 4

Racine Horlick 70, Kenosha Tremper 3

Leading 62-3 in the 3rd quarter, Horlick scored yet another touchdown to make the score 68-3. Horlick did score an extra point. Instead they were successful on a 2-point conversion. That’s unnecessary piling on.


University School of Milwaukee 68, St. John’s NW Military Academy 0

This is interesting. From college football.

Week 3

Racine St. Catherine’s 75, Saint Thomas More 7

Stratford 70, Chequamegon 6

Week 2

Durand 70, Barron 14

Week 1

Luck 106, Clayton 0

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (09/30/17)

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.

TODAY:  Partly cloudy. High of 64. Cool for this time of year. What the heck. “A”

SUNDAY:  Mostly sunny. High of 70. “A”

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

St Francis

When I was in fourth grade, we had a special event to celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.    If our pet was well-behaved we were able to bring it to school for an outdoor prayer service and then our pets would receive a special blessing.

As an aside, can you IMAGINE something like that happening today?  The school would have to hire a team of attorneys to draft a release form that every parent would have to sign.  It wouldn’t be the standard menagerie of dogs and an occasional cat.  These days every “exotic” animal would need to be included – after all, St. Francis wouldn’t have discriminated.  Parents of children without pets would be encouraged to take their kids to a school-sponsored therapy session helping them through their pet-less experience that day.  And even a Catholic school-sponsored event would have to give equal time to some Wiccan equivalent of an animal holiday. But I digress.

Back to my elementary school experience.  I was able to bring my Basenji mix Sugar, the pet I will measure all future pets against.  She was in my opinion the perfect dog.  A bit of a “prima donna” but none the less an awesome four-legged friend.  I’ll never forget holding her little leash and thinking how cool it was that she was actually going to be blessed in the same way I was at mass.  And who couldn’t use a little help from above!  I don’t recall anything out of the ordinary occurring so I’m assuming all pets behaved and minimal clean-up was necessary.  After all that was a “few” years ago.  I still remember feeling that it was such a cool celebration of animals and the saint that loved them.

Even though this event was a few years ago there is still a sense of pride regarding Cardinal Timothy Dolan.  I can’t help but wish he was still our Archbishop, but I’m happy that he’s moved on to “bigger and better things” in New York.  In 2014, he participated in a fabulous celebration of St. Francis.    An edition of Arlington’s Catholic Herald also mentions the event & Cardinal Dolan.  In addition, it offers some reflection as to why this feast day is so popular.

I have to admit, I was surprised by the source of our final piece of information.  Certainly they are champions of animals, but the following article is more than just a brief mention on their website.  The Humane Society of the United States offers an in-depth history, and I was happy to see such detail about this special feast day.

We know that dogs are truly a blessing in our lives.  It really does make sense that we return the favor with a blessing to them.  Happy Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi!
Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer!

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

Rescue Worries that All the Strays of Puerto Rico’s ‘Dead Dog Beach’ Perished During Hurricane Maria.

This dog found a handgun, and fired it.

Caught On Video: Woman Dragged Off Southwest Flight Over Allergy.

A pet expert explains the personality differences between dog and cat owners.

Barking Lot update: Dog Abandoned in Las Vegas Airport with Desperate Note, Finds New Home.

Your dog is big business, and Uber-like apps want it.

Man proposes to girlfriend then their dog with pink rhinestone collar.

And today is the last day of National Dog Week.



Image: A schnauzer dog who survived the quake is pulled out of the rubble

A schnauzer who survived the earthquake was pulled out of the rubble of a collapsed building by rescuers in Mexico City last Sunday. Search teams were still digging in dangerous piles of rubble, hoping against the odds to find survivors at collapsed buildings, where the death toll from the Sept. 19 earthquake rose to over 300. The dog’s rescue gave hope to residents and neighbors of the building who successfully got an injunction from a judge requiring the rescue operation continue for at least five more days. Photo: Alfredo Estrella / AFP – Getty Images

There are more photos.

Let’s go surfin’ now.

We close as we always do with our closing video.

A seven-minute video within a larger art exhibit called “Art and China After 1989” is getting massive backlash before it’s even been shown to the U.S. public.

The piece, set for a three-month presentation at New York City’s Guggenheim Museum starting Oct. 6, is titled “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other.” The video installment features four sets of dogs who resemble pit bulls, strapped to treadmills and exhaustively charging at each other. The clip, first shown in Beijing in 2003, was created by controversial husband-and-wife artists Sun Yuan and Peng Yu.

New York’s PIX 11 News reports that the dog video, which is part of 150 different art pieces, is generating so much controversy that many animal activist groups, and even some artists, are either actively protesting the exhibition or currently planning to protest it.

UPDATE: Under pressure, the museum cancelled the exhibit, and issued this statement:

“Out of concern for the safety of its staff, visitors, and participating artists, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has decided against showing the art works ‘Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other’ (2003), ‘Theater of the World’ (1993), and ‘A Case Study of Transference’ (1994) in its upcoming exhibition ‘Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World.’ Although these works have been exhibited in museums in Asia, Europe, and the United States, the Guggenheim regrets that explicit and repeated threats of violence have made our decision necessary. As an arts institution committed to presenting a multiplicity of voices, we are dismayed that we must withhold works of art. Freedom of expression has always been and will remain a paramount value of the Guggenheim.”


Rob’s job: herd hundreds of sheep daily. Coming from a long pedigree of Scottish border collies, he was born to do this job, and he relies on deep instinct to make quick decisions and swiftly outmaneuver the flock.

Finally, meet Holly…

That’s it for this week.

Thanks for stopping by.

We’d really appreciate it if you forward this on to other dog lovers you know. Let them have some fun!

See ya, BARK, next Saturday!



Goodnight everyone, and have a classy 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.

I’ve wanted to do a Friday night feature like this for some time.

Because I’m not a purist I don’t get my nose out of joint when a traditional piece of classical music is altered, jazzed up, livened up, contemporized.

Back in the 1980’s when I anchored the morning news at WUWM I recall National Public Radio’s Bob Edwards interview with Liberace, “Mr. Showmanship” who hailed from West Allis.

Liberace told Edwards that when it came to his treatment of classical music he merely “took the boring parts out.”

This week, non-classical takes on the classics.

Let’s get start with this brief clip. It was written by one of the greatest composers of all time.

Bach is credited with over 1000 known compositions including more than 200 cantatas, one of them  you just heard.

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring was composed in 1716 and revised in 1723.

You often hear it played reverently, slowly at weddings when the bridal party enters for its procession.

Would Bach have objected to any tinkering, perhaps a more upbeat tempo? Maybe not.

The poet Robert Bridges wrote text inspired by Bach’s piece. Here’s an excerpt:

Jesus remains my joy,
my heart’s comfort and essence,
Jesus resists all suffering,
He is my life’s strength,

my eye’s desire and sun,
my soul’s love and joy;
so will I not leave Jesus
out of heart and face.

More than 300 years after Bach, a group of studio musicians was formed by multi-instrumentalist and arranger Tom Parker who could play piano, other keyboards, clarinet, saxophone, trombone and trumpet.

At the age of six Parker was playing piano. In his teens he could be found performing in clubs in London. During the 1960s he was a session musician, and was member of The Animals.

Parker’s group Apollo 100 released their first recording in 1972 that went to #6 on Billboard’s Hot 100.


There were other singles… “Beethoven 9,” “Valleys,” “Mendelssohn’s 4th,” “Classical Wind,” “Custer’s Last Stand,” “Listening to Mozart” and  “Orange Blossom Special.”
But they didn’t chart, and Apollo 100 disbanded in 1973.

Our next musical selection dates all the way back to the 1890’s and one of the most revered composers of his time.

Claude Debussy was extremely gifted as a child. His talents at the piano got him into the Paris Conservatory at age of  11. At age 22, he won the Prix de Rome,  a scholarship awarded by the French government between 1663 and 1968 to allow  young French artists to study in Rome. By the the turn of the 1890’s into the next century, Debussy was clearly the leader of French music.He died of colon cancer at the age of 55 while his beloved Paris was besieged by German bombs in World War I.

One of his masterpieces, first written in 1892 and first performed in 1894 was redone in the 1970’s by Walter Murphy. Murphy had an incredibly huge hit, by far his biggest, with his disco version of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. Because of that success Murphy put a 70’s sound to other popular classical works. Murphy came up with a lush orchestration with electric guitar and modern percussion for this Debussy masterpiece.


Image may contain: 2 people, beard

I think you can tell who’s who.

BTW, Walter Murphy is still going strong today. He has to. He writes the music for…


It’s amazing, well, maybe not so amazing that so many artists we feature every Friday night or their influences became involved in music at such an incredibly young age.

Here’s yet another example: Frédéric Chopin, born Fryderyk Franciszek Szopen on March 1, 1810, in the small village of Zelazowa Wola, Duchy of Warsaw (now Poland).

How brilliant was Chopin? He published his first composition at age 7. The next year he was performing.  When Chopin moved to Paris he rubbed elbows with high society and developed a great reputation for his piano performances and instruction before he died in 1849 at the age of 39. He died from very poor health and a deteriorated relationship with a French novelist.

Chopin had a massive body of work: mazurkas, polonaises, preludes, études, nocturnes, waltzes,  sonatas, ballades,  scherzos, impromptus.

In the early to mid 1970’s a budding star took one of Chopin’s many preludes and used it to record a major hit.

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Barry Manilow and Chopin.

Raise your hand if you knew about that whole thing.

Next, one of my favorite bands of all-time.

They originated as a jazz-rock experiment.

In 1967 Al Kooper, because of his adulation for jazz bandleader Maynard Ferguson, thought he could form an electric rock band that included horns. The group would have a jazz flavor.

This band was signed to Columbia Records, and the name “Blood, Sweat & Tears” came to Kooper after a jam at the Cafe au Go Go, where a cut on his hand left his organ keyboard covered in blood.

Their debut album, “Child Is Father to the Man,” because of it unique sound, seemed promising.

Problem: The album garnered not one single for the charts and radio play.

The band had doubts about Kooper as a lead singer.

A split occurred, except members Brian Colomby and Steve Katz decided to persevere.

They found a new lead singer from Canada, David Clayton-Thomas.

Though it was their second album the group still gave it a self-title, “Blood, Sweat & Tears,” released in January 1969.

The album was monstrous. It included major hits that had been edited for radio play, but were in their full recordings on the album:

You’ve Made Me So Very Happy

Spinning Wheel

More and More

And When I Die

The LP won a Grammy for Album of the Year.

Incredibly popular, the album still surprised many listeners who couldn’t figure the very first track, the introduction to all those successful jazz-rock pieces.

French composer Erik Satie’s music has been described as surreal and avant-garde. Satie dreamed of the very first background music (he called it “furniture music”). His 1917 ballet Parade was written for typewriters, sirens, airplane propellers, ticker tape, and a lottery wheel.

Satie had a reputation of eccentricity. For example, he bought seven identical, grey velvet corduroy suits that he wore for 10 years. He said he never ate any food that was white. One time he consumed 150 oysters in one sitting.

In the three decades before his death in 1925 Satie lived as a recluse. No one was allowed to visit, save for some stray dogs. After Satie’s death, friends entered his one-room apartment to find the place filled with squalor.

Blood, Sweat & Tears adapted some of his best known pieces, The Gymnopédies, for the rather unusual opening of their self-titled album.

One reviewer wrote “this classically inspired piece screamed softly to the audience that the band was meant to be taken seriously.”



By the way,  Satie was a good friend of Debussy for more than 30 years.

The following song was written for Disney’s 1959 animated film “Sleeping Beauty.” It’s based on Tchaikovsky’s ballet of the same name.

In the movie the song serves as the theme for Princess Aurora and Prince Philip who sing it as a duet.

Steve Tyrell did a splendid version in 2006.



That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

There’s a very good chance that the first exposure to classical music for some people was via disco.

In 1982 a disco single featuring famous themes by a dozen classical composers, “Hooked on Classics” made it to #10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

British musician Louis Clark conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on that single and several “Hooked on” albums. Previously Clark wrote string arrangements for the rock group Electric Light Orchestra.

Shall we dance?

Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: “I won’t be your second choice”

The term “blue-eyed soul” refers to soul and R&B music performed and sung by white musicians.

I’m not 100% positive but I believe it was first used to describe the sound of…

The Righteous Brothers.

Other blue-eyed soul artists in the 1960’s included…

Tom Jones, pictured with Janis Joplin.

The Rascals

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/Mitch_Ryder_and_the_Detroit_Wheels_1966.JPGMitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels

Tony Joe White

And in the 1970’s…

https://pmcvariety.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/hall-and-oates-hollywood-walk-of-fame.jpg?w=670&h=377&crop=1Hall & Oates

https://i0.wp.com/pastdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Average-White-Band-1973-resize.jpgAverage White Band

https://i0.wp.com/img.wennermedia.com/article-leads-horizontal/rs-182633-74294878.jpgBoz Scaggs

https://thisjustinfromfranklinwi.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/b3cba-david_bowie_legend_heroes_ziggy_stardust_hd-wallpaper-1639383.jpgDavid Bowie

In 1969, Bill Deal and the Rhondels charted in the Top 40 three times.  They had a distinctive soul sound punctuated by a number of horns. Drummer Ammon Tharp provided lead vocals.

Many pop musicians from the 60’s and 70’s are now dying off. Tharp died last Friday. He was 75.

This was the biggest hit for Bill Deal and the Rhondels from 1969. Tharp is pictured on the album cover, bottom left.


BONUS! From the Ed Sullivan Show.

Bill Medley (dark hair) and Bobby Hatfield (blonde hair). Hatfield was found dead in his hotel room bed a half hour before he was to appear in concert with Medley in Kalamazoo, Michigan in November 2003.  He suffered a fatal heart attack brought on by a cocaine overdose. Hatfield was 63.

As for Medley, he still performs, often with his daughter, McKenna to sing a special duet. As the father of a beautiful young daughter, I truly love and admire this.

Today’s highly interesting read (09/29/17): NFL players should hand a folded flag to a dead soldier’s family, then consider kneeling


Today’s read comes from Stacy Washington, host of the “Stacy on the Right Show,” broadcast on Urban Family Talk Monday through Friday from 2-3pm in St. Louis.

She writes:

My experience with the flag gives a glimpse into why the majority of Americans will never accept “taking a knee.”

Read her column here.


Get rid of the anthem?

NOTE TO CNN: It’s About Lives and Property, Stupid

Hard Data, Hollow Protests

NFL players taking a knee, Commissioner Roger Goodell, shame on all of you

Steve Olson = Tom Barrett?

Kind of sounds that way.

“In my time as mayor no city budget has presented more challenges or more frustration than this one.”
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett this week

This is an “exceedingly difficult budget.”
Franklin Mayor Steve Olson quoted on mysouthnow.com

Barrett is proposing a 3.7% property tax levy increase.

Olson is proposing a 3% property tax levy increase.

Both Barrett and Olson partially blame the state.

At least Olson isn’t calling for cuts to police and fire.

Still, Olson’s proposed budget and rationale for it is disappointing.

The mayor and his administration emphasize city taxes (not school) haven’t increased in five years. Thus this year’s proposed 3% increase, if applied to those past five years would amount to a measly .6% increase each year.

In other words, the lowly taxpayer should be appreciative, keep quiet, and sit back and take it (as Franklin taxpayers collectively and historically have done for years and years).

The mayor in his budget proposal claims there is no fiscally prudent or viable way to freeze city taxes for a sixth year. Maybe so.

But here’s the real kicker that should not and probably won’t be forgotten by even the most apathetic of Franklin property taxpayers.

The mayor’s proposed budget increase comes on the heels of many, many taxpayers getting blasted with massive increases in their property reassessments who feel the increases were unjustified. They can’t be blamed if they sense they were set up.

I find it ironic that when Olson’s predecessor proposed property tax increases, then-Alderman Olson objected.

A 3% increase may not sound like much, but it’s way beyond the inflation rate that is almost zero.

Consider wages that remain stagnant and it becomes increasingly more difficult for taxpayers to pay, a concept that continues to be lost on the part of those with taxing power in Franklin. Note we still don’t know what our school board has in store.

Last year Mayor Olson proposed a miniscule property tax increase. It went away after Alderman Steve Taylor proposed budget cuts that were approved, resulting in a property tax freeze. I’m not sure a similar scenario will play out this year.

So the ongoing holdup of the taxpayers by the city, or school board, or both doesn’t change.

I’ll close with a comment I read on Facebook not too long ago that applies here.

It gets old after awhile.

Oh, and this doesn’t help either.

Editorial criticizes Sen. Dave Craig’s gun bill

Instructor Andre Queen works with students on proper technique for holding their gun during a training course in 2013 for people planning to apply for a conceal carry permit.

Franklin’s representative in the state Senate, Dave Craig is the author of legislation that essentially would allow just anyone in Wisconsin to carry a weapon without a training requirement.

WTMJ talk show host Jeff Wagner has called the bill “the gangster’s friend” as well as  “crazy” and “just a dumb idea.”

Now the Racine Journal Times Editorial Board has weighed in.

It seems to us that if a state resident is going to carry a gun for personal protection, it is a reasonable requirement for that person to undergo some basic firearm safety training to make sure he or she knows how to use that weapon properly. And safely.