Rain, rain, go away

I went out the door this afternoon to head for the library and an enormous thunderclap went off overhead. We had a bunch of rain and thunder and excitement there for a while. The Fire Department went to the building management of this place and suggested the tenants close up shop early today. A friend of mine works there and says the worker bees were all terribly reluctant to do so. (NOT!)

I owe penance

Scenes in an imaginary confessional:

Me: Bless me, Mr. Shortz, for I have sinned.

Me: Even for me, what I did today in a doctor’s office was unpardonable. Yessiree Bob, I’m downright ashamed of myself.

Shortz: Goodness, man, what did you do?

crossword

Me: I worked on a crossword puzzle at the back of a The Week magazine and then left it incomplete on the magazine table when my name was called by the nurse.

Me: Should I go back tomorrow to complete the puzzle?

Shortz: No, but you must complete ten games of Sudoku and five Daily Jumbles. Now go and sin no more.

Joe Hill

If you’re of a certain age or older you’ve probably heard Joan Baez sing this song.

You may have wondered “Just what’s the story behind this Joe Hill guy and why is there a famous song about him?”

The Salt Lake Tribune has put together a comprehensive package of stories explaining how it came to be that laborer and composer Joe Hill was executed by the State of Utah in 1915, despite a lack of evidence.

District Attorney Elmer O. Leatherwood didn’t have a murder weapon. He didn’t have a motive.

He didn’t even have a witness who would conclusively place Joe Hill inside the Salt Lake City grocery store where John G. Morrison and his son Arling were murdered.

His case was built on this reasoning: Someone who looked like Hill was in the neighborhood and inside the store on the night of Jan. 10, 1914. Someone was shot by young Arling Morrison. Hill was shot that night.

The jury followed his trail of circumstantial evidence to a guilty verdict — a conviction immediately assailed as unfair by Hill’s supporters and scrutinized for the past 100 years.

Given that ludicrous line of reasoning, who could be surprised there’s been a lot of suspicion and conspiracy theorizing about Hill’s death and the reasons for it?

It’s an excellent series of articles. If you’re interested in American labor history you should read it.

What a world

A displaced person is one who has been driven from one’s homeland or place of residence by war, internal upheaval, or natural disaster.

There are more displaced persons in the world right now than there have been since the end of World War II, and there were somewhere between 10 and 20 million of them on V-E Day in 1945.

We’re seeing people fleeing the Middle East on boats (which capsize), on land (into Turkey), through razor wire (into Hungary) and through the Eurotunnel (from Calais to England).

The European governments don’t have a clue what to do about this. Politically, they have lots of citizens who want no part of immigrants and are rioting in parts of their countries to keep them out. Financially they still believe in austerity policies which have slowed economic growth throughout the region.

It took three years for the UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration to settle about half the millions lost in Europe after World War Two. It may take a lot longer to do the same for fewer people now, because many of the citizens of those countries have no desire to help pay for foreigners in their midst. Unlike the end of WW II when the US developed the Marshall Plan, the United States Congress has no interest in helping Europe now.

Jeb’s the smart Bush, huh?

Couldn’t prove it by the things he says. The latest of his uninformed remarks is this:

“I, for one, don’t think Planned Parenthood ought to get a penny though, and that’s the difference because they’re not actually doing women’s health issues,” the Republican presidential candidate said.

Say what, Jeb?

You know, even if Planned Parenthood’s business was 100 percent abortions rather than the three percent it actually is, wouldn’t they still be counted as women’s health issues? Men don’t get abortions, do they?

In fact, of course, 97 percent of Planned Parenthood’s business is made up of women’s health issues other than abortions, such things as Pap tests, breast exams, cancer screening, birth control information and contraception services, and STI and HIV testing. See page 19 of its annual report for a breakdown. If you say, wait a minute, those are their own numbers, well, yeah, but who else is going to count them? PolitiFact comes up with the same percentage.

I’m afraid Jeb Bush is no smarter than his older brother, which ought to terrify anyone interested in the solvency and continued health of the United States.

This won’t help Republicans with Hispanics

Trump has a net 51% unfavorable rating from Hispanics. The most favorable of the Republican candidates is Bush at +11. That’s not real good.

Today Trump had one of Univision’s anchors ejected from his press conference. Jorge Ramos was later let back in, but I doubt that that made any of Univision’s viewers happy.

I hope the Republican Establishment is getting heartburn.

Whole bunch of home runs

Eight. EIGHT! By the METS!

I remember the Mets from the 1960s and 1970s when they had Seaver and Koosman and Matlack and Ryan and they’d get five hits a game but win because that pitching staff only gave up three hits and one run. Now they seem to have a bunch of excellent pitchers and some good hitters too. They’re suddenly 5 1/2 games ahead of the Washington Nationals, the team most everyone picked to win the NL East, and showing no signs of faltering.