Week-ends (02/26/22)

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…


Vitaly Skakun Volodymyrovych

This Ukrainian woman

Resistant Ukrainians

Alabama first graders


Putin and Russia

We could name him every week…Joe Biden


Minneapolis Public Schools

Teacher Cynthia Perkins


“Even if they put up a good fight, Ukraine cannot win this war. They can’t. The gulf separating the capabilities between the two nations is wider than the Pacific. Ukraine has no way to counter Russian aircraft or missiles. They’re outmatched in men and heavy equipment. It’s only a matter of time before Russian tanks are rolling into the capital of Kyiv. … What do we do? What does Joe Biden do — and can he even do it? Biden has been wrong on every major foreign policy endeavor for the past 40 years. Afghanistan showed he’s still a terrible decision maker.”
Matt Vespa

“What you’re seeing now, as this Russia-Ukraine war starts to play out, [is] the administration trying to brace Americans for higher gas prices. And the reality is that Joe Biden is now seeing his climate change agenda collide with this national security foreign policy crisis overseas. And the benefit that the United States was on the track for of being energy independent — [we] were energy independent — the benefit is that you don’t have to worry about wars in foreign lands far away affecting prices here. … It’s a convenient excuse for [Joe Biden] to now say, ‘Well, the Ukraine-Russia crisis is the reason why prices are up,’ when the policies of this administration are really the reason why they’re up.”
Katie Pavlich

“For 4 years, the Left parroted the hoax that our Administration was weak on Russia. Yet, they didn’t dare invade Ukraine on our watch. But now they do. Who do you think Putin feared more?”
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

“We import 595,000 barrels of oil per day from Russia. The Keystone XL pipeline would have produced 830,000 barrels per day. Relying on Russian oil is a choice. And it’s a stupid one.”
Congressman Dan Crenshaw

“Why does America even still fund the UN? Our tax dollars pay almost 30% of the budget for an organization that Russia and China have absolute veto power over.”
Greg Price

“In just 13 months, Mr. Biden and his politically correct administration have managed to make the average American poorer, the richest bankers richer, and appease and embolden our enemies.”
Economist Peter Morici

 “Biden canceled the Keystone pipeline, banned drilling on federal land, and declared war on American energy production. We warned him this would raise costs for Americans and put our national security at risk. He didn’t listen.”
Senator Tom Cotton

“Think food prices are high now? We import $700 million of fertilizer from Russia every year.”
Congressman Thomas Massie

“Right-wing doesn’t love Putin just because he is an authoritarian, tyrannical leader, they love him because he’s a WHITE authoritarian leader. Race has become more important than even nationality. They’ve turned on democracy and now even America, in favor of a white warlord.”
“The Young Turks” host Cenk Uygur

“Treating [Freedom Convoy protestors] with prejudice, suspicion, and illegal repression is not care. Protesting something that deeply, deeply concerns you in our society is not terrorism. It is the civic duty of every Canadian. It is our job as the people to hold our leadership accountable if they are infringing on our inalienable rights, if we suspect that they have become corrupted or compromised in any way, or simply if we think they’re wrong in monumental decisions they are making on behalf of their people. But you [Justin Trudeau] are treating my brothers and sisters, your constituents, like terrorists without ever speaking to their leadership. There are no riots. This is not a violent protest. There is only a mass of deeply concerned citizens at your doorstep who you refuse to acknowledge for what they are: Your people. … Don’t let the press brainwash you into division and hatred. The antidote to prejudice is knowledge. Because of the algorithmic way your Google searches are filled, it can be very hard to find good information on the other side. Ask someone you know. … Listening is the only way out of the ideological mess the media has broiled us all into.”
Canadian actress Evangeline Lilly

“New study shows that covid school closures affected cognitive and motor development in preschoolers. Learning loss is most pronounced in kids most at risk. We must focus on keeping kids in school and on closing educational disparities.”
CNN medical analyst Leana Wen, February 23, 2022. But in November 2020 Wen said, “In recent weeks, prominent economists, public health experts and commentators have argued that schools shouldn’t be closing because they aren’t major contributors to the surge in covid-19 cases. I disagree. With much of the United States engulfed in exponential virus spread and many hospitals already overwhelmed, most schools should close and stay closed through the winter.”

“All it took was one pandemic to out all of the tyrants across the world, including here.”
Lisa Boothe

“Imagine being the father of a female athlete and just sitting there passively and watching while a male athlete makes a mockery of your daughter and her sport. Where are the fathers? Mothers? Does anyone have even the slightest bit of courage anymore? It’s pathetic.”
Matt Walsh


Why Parents Should Assume Government Schools Will Sexually Abuse Their Children Until Proven Otherwise


84 Percent: Parents Should Be Able to See All Curriculum Plans, Materials


What will #12 do?



Why they resist; COVID cartel lied; war on parents; public school exodus; religions’ COVID failure

Here are this week’s highly interesting reads:

Today’s highly interesting read (02/25/22): Why don’t some people want to get the vaccine? Here’s why

Today’s highly interesting read (02/24/22) The Covid Cartel Lied, People Died. Now They Say It’s All Your Fault

Today’s highly interesting read (02/23/22): The War On Parents Continues

Today’s highly interesting read (02/22/22): NPR Still Doesn’t Get Freedom of Choice

Today’s highly interesting read (02/21/22): Nearly 2 Million Kids Left Public Schools From 2020
to 2021

Today’s highly interesting read (02/20/22): COVID-19 and the Failure of America’s Major Religions

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (02/26/22)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Originally written by both my lovely wife, Jennifer and me, this blog brings you the latest news about our furry friends including articles, columns, photos and videos. Enjoy!

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

TODAY:  Sunny. High around 34.  “C” For this time of year.

SUNDAY:  Partly cloudy. High around 33.  “C” For this time of year.

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

Does the above photo look just a bit silly? I mean c’mon.

But seriously. Can you actually teach a dog to read? The answer is yes, but…

VIDEO: A family from Pittsburgh who now lives in Florida is sharing their story after losing their beloved family dog because of something that many people have in their homes and sometimes leave out.

Warmer winters are creating an uncertain future for the dog sledding industry.

What Channing Tatum’s New Movie ‘Dog’ Gets Right About Military Working Canines.

Dogs experience a form of mourning when another dog in the household dies.

Want to avoid disability in old age? Get a dog!

Dog Years: New Research Will Track Canine Aging.

VIDEO: Florida man honors beloved dog by creating free roadside pet food pantry.

VIDEO: A California dog was reunited with her family this month after being missing for 12 years, according to authorities. The canine, Zoey, 13, had been dropped off on a rural property outside Stockton when she was found by someone who called the authorities on Feb. 10.

STRANGE: Christie’s auction: Kennel hit by meteorite goes on sale. So, how did the auction go? Details.

From five years ago. I know what you’re thinking.

Company offers more than $6,000 to smell dog poop for two months.

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 hoping you don’t have rocks in your bed this 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.

On this the final weekend of Black History Month a tribute to Duke Ellington. He was simply the best jazz composer and band leader of his time. The Duke led his band for more than half a century. Along the way he composed thousands, that’s right, thousands of scores.

Let’s get started. I love this program in NY. Young high school students. Keeping Ellington’s music alive. From the program’s official website:

Duke Ellington’s music is at the very heart of America’s 20th-century musical heritage and the core of the rich canon of jazz music. Jazz at Lincoln Center, committed to instilling a broader understanding of this music, created the Essentially Ellington program (EE) during the 1995–96 school year to make Ellington’s music accessible to as many high school musicians as possible and to support the development of their schools’ music programs.

EE is unique among educational resources for high school jazz bands. Each year Jazz at Lincoln Center transcribes, publishes, and distributes Duke Ellington Orchestra charts, along with recordings and additional educational materials, to high school bands in the U.S., Canada, and American schools abroad. These charts are original transcriptions of recordings by the Duke Ellington Orchestra, not simplified arrangements.

The annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival is one of the most innovative jazz education events in the world. Each year, high school musicians from across North America travel to New York City to spend three days immersed in workshops, jam sessions, rehearsals and performances at the “House of Swing,” Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Let’s begin with a WI high school band performing one of Duke’s most famous compositions.

Soloists in order of performance:
Piano: Jennifer Lamprech
Trumpet: Joseph Rockman
Vocal: Jaelyn Potvin
Trombone: Andy Paulson
Tenor Sax: Dillon Crawford
Baritone Sax: Kayla Nelson
Soprano Sax: Kyra Devlin
Vibraphone: Robert Rockman

This year’s event will be held May 5-7. One of the 15 finalists is Beloit Memorial High School (Beloit, WI), directed by Chris Behrens.

In 1940 Ellington wrote the music for a tune about a jilted lover who prefers to stay home rather than be haunted by memories of happier times spent at dances and nightspots. 

Bob Russell wrote the lyrics, sung here by Tony Bennett and a special guest.

That of course was Michael Buble singing with Tony. The collaboration is from the 2011 album “Duets II,” released in conjunction with Bennett’s 85th birthday.

The rock band Chicago released an album in 1995 dedicated to classic big band and swing music. One of the tracks is a cover version of one of Ellington’s most popular and lucrative recordings.

And just who is the “Sophisticated Lady?” From allaboutjazz.com:

A good guess would be his mom, Daisy Kennedy Ellington. History tells us that she was a beautiful, intelligent, educated woman who doted on her son, (1899-1974). Duke worshiped Daisy, but his 1932 masterpiece was not written about her or any one woman in particular. Rather, the tune was actually a composite musical sketch of three women—three of young Ellington’s grade school teachers in the U Street neighborhood of Washington D.C. “They taught all winter and toured Europe in the summer. To me that spelled sophistication,” Duke said.

Chicago’s album reached #90 on the Billboard 200 chart.

The group performs at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee on April 13, then in Appleton on April 15.

Gosh I sure hope you’re enjoying…

Um, Kev…


Say, you are gonna, you know…

Do what?

Get to that song. The big song. The one with the Milwaukee angle.

Hey! That is a great idea!

How about right now?

But first, this Channel 12 news report from last year.

Cigarette holder which wigs me
Over her shoulder, she digs me.
Out cattin’ that satin doll.

Baby, shall we go out skippin?
Careful, amigo, you’re flippin’,
Speaks Latin that satin doll.

Duke Ellington (center) makes the jazz scene in Milwaukee which includes (directly below him) entertainer/club owner Minette “Satin Doll” Wilson. Photo: Wisconsin Black Historical Society

That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

We close with a 1975 medley by Anita Pointer, Ruth Pointer, Bonnie Pointer, and June Pointer…The Pointer Sisters.

Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: Gary Brooker

Gary Brooker, the Procol Harum frontman who sang one of the most enduring hits of the 1960s, A Whiter Shade of Pale, has died. He was 76. The English rock band said Brooker died at his home on Saturday. He had been receiving treatment for cancer.

From my blog in August of 2017:

August of 1967, the new group “Procol Harum” had a major hit on their hands, landing at #5 on the Billboard chart. If “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was the album of The Summer of Love, then Procol Harum had the single of that era, “A Whiter Shade of Pale.”

From teamrock.com:

At a time when the increasingly experimental British pop music of the mid to late Sixties was on the cusp, Procol Harum’s debut single did more than any other individual song to push it over the edge into what we now know as rock.

A mournful lament with a teasing – even disturbing – lyric masquerading as a feel-good summer love song, AWSOP (as it is known by its devotees) was a conundrum from day one. Clearly inspired by other works, it clearly inspired other works. It was both classical and pop. It was soul without funk. It helped invent rock that didn’t rock. It was a worldwide hit single by ‘serious artists’ that ushered in the era of the album as the true medium for ‘serious artists’. It was the most successful record ever broken by pirate radio… just as pirate radio was about to sink below the waves and be replaced by something more official and terrestrial.

Chris Rodley of The Guardian got right to the point. Or at least tried to.

What’s it about? Sex? Drugs? Death? Procol Harum’s mysterious, classically influenced song, released exactly 50 years ago, was an unlikely hit but went on to sell 10m copies.

I was just 14 when I first heard it, walking through the Hertfordshire countryside in the middle of the night.

Who was behind such music? Procal what? Surely the definite article was missing? (Even Pink Floyd were called The Pink Floyd back then.)

The music was even harder to pin down. The voice sounded black; the tune recalled that posh classical stuff that we thought we didn’t much like; the words … well, what on earth did they mean? What was a “light fandango” when it was skipped? I knew what a schoolboy virgin was, but what was a “vestal virgin” when he, she or it was at home? With every swell of that celestial Hammond organ, the mystery became deeper and more delicious.

It is the most played song in public places in the UK and the most played record ever on British radio.

Is it about a drug experience, a drug death, or a half-remembered, girl-leaves-boy relationship? Or is it simply about a drunken seduction, the sex having been drowned in metaphors about travelling the seas?

A few months ago Billboard.com interviewed co-founder, singer and keyboardist Gary Brooker.

When it was written and I was singing it, just the piano and vocal, I thought, ‘This is different.’ It was a good song and the recording came out very well, so that was job done. And of course it was a smash hit around the world straightaway, which is even more fantastic. But I never even thought 10 years ahead, let alone 50. I never thought that far in front at all.

It is still a great mystery to me why, how it’s come to be still so strong in so many people’s brains and lives and feelings. And new people pick it up as well. It’s not everybody that met their first girlfriend in 1967, you know? There’s people that have picked up the song along the way. And if I hear it myself on the radio, it always sounds different to all else that is going on in 2017, just like it sounded so different to everything else in 1967. It still sounds different.

Procol Harum’s lyricist Keith Reid wrote the words.

“It’s sort of a film, really, trying to conjure up mood and tell a story. It’s about a relationship. There’s characters and there’s a location, and there’s a journey. You get the sound of the room and the feel of the room and the smell of the room. But certainly there’s a journey going on, it’s not a collection of lines just stuck together. It’s got a thread running through it.”

Here’s Procol Harum performing A Whiter Shade of Pale with the Danish National Concert Orchestra and choir at Ledreborg Castle, Denmark in August 2006.


Today’s highly interesting read (02/25/22): Why don’t some people want to get the vaccine? Here’s why

Today’s read is from Musa al-Gharbi, a Paul F Lazarsfeld fellow in sociology at Columbia University. Here’s an excerpt:

Explanations for persistent vaccine hesitancy abound. An increasingly dominant narrative, especially among progressives, is that failure to comply with the directives of public health officials is absurd and must be driven by some pathology or deficit. Among those who subscribe to this worldview, debates turn around identifying the primary malfunction of “those people”: Are they ignorant? Brainwashed? Stupid? Selfish and apathetic? All of the above? Left off the menu is the possibility that hesitancy and non-compliance may actually be reasonable responses to how experts and other elites have conducted themselves, both before and during the pandemic.

Yet there are many powerful and fairly straightforward reasons people cite for why they are suspicious of authorities, both with respect to the Covid-19 vaccine and other pandemic-related public health guidance.

The column is lengthy, but thorough. Outstanding. Worth your time. Read those powerful reasons.

UPDATE: What the anti-Strauss movement may have cost Franklin

Previously on This Just In…

The update:

One of my readers, clearly a Strauss opponent, asked how I came up with the $1,210,230 figure in lost property tax revenue to the city. ICYMI in the comments section of the original post: 

The estimated assessed value of the property is $63 million.

The 2022 tax rate is $19.21 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Simple math.

Divide 63M by $1,000. You get 63,000.

Multiply 63,000 by 19.21. $1,210,230.

The same reader also commented:

What is the City of Franklin’s cut of that property tax?

We have to also build a new water tower and fire station to support this project on top of the $20 million TID and infrastructure cost.

The answer to the question “how much goes to the city” is $4.84/thousand. 63m/1000 x 4.84. That comes to $304,920.

The water tower is paid for by the water utility through borrowing.

When would we see the money against the tax bill? The answer to that is, it depends. It goes to pay off the TID expenses first . The math isn’t difficult. There’s a total of about $12m in budgeted expenses PLUS interest. So roughly $15m. Strauss would itself pay off the TID in 12.4 years.

If you ADD the tax payments from Copart (a 7,200 square foot building and vehicle storage yard) and the homes the payoff could come quickly.

It’s all apparently dead now, thanks in large part to an aldermanic candidate who engineered the formation of a non-profit that sued the city. Imagine, running to hold office in the city but hoping like Hell the city loses a lawsuit you played a major role in. It’s unconscionable. Tell a cousin in Nebraska about it and he’d say you’re crazy, that you’re making it all up.

And think about this. The city would receive $304,000 from Strauss (after the TID is paid off) and that could mean three police officers or fire fighters.

The fire station would be paid for by impact fees (one lump sum from accumulated fees followed by annual new impact fees) and bonding. Essentially a 20 or 30 year mortgage.

Shortsighted folks in Franklin seem to have no idea the damage that has and will be done.

Today’s highly interesting read (02/24/22) The Covid Cartel Lied, People Died. Now They Say It’s All Your Fault

Since you won’t read it in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Why not? Because they hate the Senator’s guts.

Today’s read is from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin. Dr. Robert W. Malone is a pioneer of mRNA technology and authored groundbreaking research on how RNA could be delivered into cells. Here’s an excerpt:

In October 2021, President Biden said health-care workers who are vaccinated “cannot spread” Covid “to you.” This was blatantly false. The CDC had already been forced to admit in August 2021 that “fully vaccinated people with delta variant breakthrough infections can spread the virus to others.” Yet the narrative that vaccines would be a cure-all was used to justify the pointless vaccine mandates that have been so corrosive, divisive, and destructive to our society.

The American people were manipulated and turned against each other to hide government mismanagement, while many died unnecessary deaths due to suppression of early treatment options. Countless workers had to choose between losing their jobs or being coerced into accepting a medical treatment – Covid vaccination – they preferred to refuse. Businesses were disrupted, closed, and harmed, and the fabric of American society was deeply scarred.

Read the entire column here.

2ND UPDATE: My wife’s testimony at the 5/26/21 Franklin School Board meeting

Previously on This Just In…

The update:

Allison Schrager is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a City Journal contributing editor. She writes:

There are many reasons for our declining risk tolerance. We were raised and live in a richer society, where we need to take fewer risks. The government plays a growing role in removing risk from our lives, from the financial system to the workplace and beyond. We wind up less used to confronting risk—and less prepared for life’s inevitable shocks.

This threatens not only our resilience but also, over time, our prosperity. Risk is critical for a flourishing society and vibrant economy.

Read Schrager’s entire column, “Bring Back Risk,” here.