Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Oh ye of little faith! The apocalypse is nigh!

And it's not because Walker won in Wisconsin.

No, clearly we're approaching the end of the world as we know it* because Clint Eastwood has decided to share his wife and daughters with the world via reality TV.  Says the NY Daily News:

"Ultimately, [Dina] Eastwood says, the family drama is a TV version of comfort food, 'like the macaroni and cheese of reality TV.'" 
This is not making my day. I just don't want to admit the anti-hero of the spaghetti western is now serving up mac & cheese.

*One of my favorite songs. Know some Knox people who like the line about their college. Here's a link to the video:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

WTF WI?!!!

Judgment day has arrived in America's Dairyland. At the end of the day, will Scott Walker still be governor?

That Wisconsin is in such turmoil is a bit of a surprise to me. I grew up on the northern edge of Illinois - as teens, my friends and I would drive into Wisconsin for fun. So my early memories of the state are of a gentle playground: enjoying Milwaukee Summerfest, going to Alpine Valley for concerts; skiing down the Wilmot "Mountain" (a bunny slope from start to finish), strawberry picking, swim meets, catching my first Blue Gill at Lake Geneva (at 5 years old) using a bamboo pole, more intense fishing up in the Great North Woods. As a parent, I brought my children up to Door County for some camping on Rock Island, a great place to get off the grid for a week.

Today, Wisconsin is the scene of some of the most turbulent politics in America. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says:
"Voters will have to decide whether to support Gov. Scott Walker or to dump him from office after less than a year and a half in favor of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the candidate they rejected for the job in 2010. On jobs, taxes, education, health care and unions, the candidates are already marking out positions that differ sharply."
Walker's got the money (an article in Mother Jones lists him as having raised $30.5 million vs Tom Barrett's $3.9 million.) Will that kind of money be the differentiating factor? (Go to this story in MoJo for info on who's trying to buy this win - and note that Walker's support comes predominantly from out-of-state funders.)

This is an election where every vote will matter; where democracy in action will determine the course of a state - and perhaps even the course of a nation.Will out-of-state contributions be the deciding factor? Stay tuned....

For more stories, check out these links:

Saturday, June 2, 2012

How the "lessons of the Banana Man" fail to include the most important lesson of all...

The Wall Street Journal has a laudatory story providing "five lessons to be learned from the Banana Man." Samuel Zemurray, the Banana Man, is the typical American success story. Born in 1877, Zemurray was a Russian immigrant who in the later years of the 19th century "recognized his opportunity" in a pile of freckled yellow fruit. Little more than 100 years ago, the banana was an exotic fruit, known by few, and Zemurray was instrumental in widening its appeal and reach to consumers.

To do so, Zemurray, in 1932, took over United Fruit, a huge multinational company that was struggling during the Great Depression. He turned the company around and "by the time he died in 1961, in the grandest house in New Orleans, he had been a hauler and a cowboy, a farmer, a trader, a political battler, a revolutionary, a philanthropist and a CEO."

What a life!

And here, from the WSJ, here are the top five lessons of the Banana Man - but as you read them, please note that they leave out the most important lesson of all: