Unrecognizeable To Whom?

You know how I like to play these games, but, c’mon, man.

That’s Huey Lewis, and we all know it.

Well, “we” being anyone who is a longtime fan and not someone who is only familiar with his music videos from thirty-some years ago. I mean, that’s what he looks like on the cover of the band’s latest album in 2020:

Which I bought after reading about his hearing problem in 2020.

I mean, for Pete’s sake, he even sort of looked like that in his cameo in Back to the Future. The glasses, anyway.

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Tell Me You’re An Ignorant City Dweller, And Be Proud Of It

All this kerfluffle about Kristi Noem putting a dog down.

To be honest, I have not read her book. Books by politicos are not my bag, baby. Although I bought a bunch of them early in the century, I have come to realize how much they ultimately bore me and how anachronistic each is after the election it precedes.

I am not even sure that I’ve read the section where she mentioned putting her dog down completely; now, all the Xeroxed outrage just tells us what she said.

But I do remember hearing that the dog attacked the neighbors chickens. And tried to bite its owner. And, the interpretations go, the hotheaded and packing governor of South Dakota pulled a pistol

The original Guardian story does not present the account as it appears in the book, but instead intersperses it with the easily anticipated editorial outrage.

But, you know what? The dog attacked neighbor chickens. The dog tried to bite its owner in a berzerker frenzy. I understand the decision to put the dog down. Especially as she had young children at the time who would also be vulnerable to a berzerker dog.

But it’s run up to election season, so cry “Havoc!” and let slip the stories of Republicans being unkind to dogs somewhere, sometime.

Full disclosure: When my boys were young, neighbors in the new house across the neighbor’s meadow let their pit bulls roam free, and on a couple of occasions they wandered into the back half of Nogglestead. If those dogs had ever, ever posed a threat to my young children at the time, they would have been buried in the copse amongst the cat graves. In the rural areas, they have an abbreviation: SSS. Shoot, shovel, shut up.

So I don’t fault Noem her actions, but she might have been better served remembering the last. Because no matter how authentic and real she might want to be to rural voters, she could certainly not avoid the, erm, dogpile in the media that should have been expected.

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Truly, He Has A Duplicitous Intellect

Column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Missouri lawmakers try to take over St. Louis police … and defund them, too.

Now, gentle reader, the state of Missouri did resume its control of the city of St. Louis’s police department–St. Louis politicos only got control of the police department in 2013 after state control for a long time, and let’s be honest, it’s not gotten better in St. Louis in that time.

But Messenger’s column is really about the state legislature taking a different action vis-à-vis the city of St. Louis. Apparently, the city of St. Louis stopped refunding income tax money that it should have:

So how is the Legislature trying to save me money? During the pandemic, St. Louis’ collector of revenue, Gregory F.X. Daly, stopped issuing refunds, figuring the world had changed. With most companies forced by the government into remote work, it didn’t seem reasonable to flush away the city’s revenue from refunds.

Legally, it was probably a specious argument. Six plaintiffs filed a lawsuit seeking refunds. A judge ruled in their favor. One of their attorneys was Bevis Schock, a libertarian who is pretty smart about constitutional issues. He’s the reason the city doesn’t have red-light cameras anymore. I wouldn’t bet against him. The city has appealed the lawsuit, but while that appeal is pending, the Republicans who run the Legislature figured why not pass a law making refunds for remote work more explicit in the law?

So, again, we have a city official unilaterally deciding to steal money from people who are not residents of St. Louis and losing in court, and we have the elected legislature passing a law to make this clearer in the future, and we have Tony Messenger working hard to rationalize theft (well, it’s Democrats doing the thieving, so of course it’s okay) and working very, very hard to somehow make this into a Republicans defunding the police story.

And we have a “journalist” conflating two stories to try to attack Republicans. Because that’s what his analysis is: How can I attack Republicans with this?

I suppose the dwindling readership of the Post-Dispatch nod their heads along anyway.

Full disclosure: When I was a shipping/receiving clerk at the art supply store in 1995, they withheld the city income tax even though the store was not in the city and I did not live in the city, and I never got that refunded to me. So maybe I’m just bitter.

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We Want The Dox. Give Us The Dox.

Remember when I said about a ruling protecting the names of citizens who write legislators:

Although if one were not eager to bash the Republicans in the Missouri state legislature (and Republicans generally) with any cudgel at hand, one might say Legislature/Judge Protects Privacy of Private Citizens Who Want To Write To Their Representatives Without Getting Doxxed By Activists and Newspapermen Who Disagree With Them.

Case in point (that case being “journalists” identifying and targeting a citizen for wrongthink), the Springfield News-Leader has a photo and long story on a man who has given money to Springfield School Board candidates.

The wrong ones, of course, or you wouldn’t be seeing his picture and this treatise.

Don’t worry, gentle reader, the journalists and anyone who might be inspired by them are only out to get you if you’re bad.

(Full disclosure: My beautiful wife has served on a board with this fellow, so she knows him sort of.)

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Oh, No. Anyway.

The top story this morning at the Springfield News-Leader Web site: White nationalist stickers appear again in Springfield. Here’s what to know

Stickers and posters printed in the patriotic colors of red, white and blue have appeared around Springfield in recent days. While they may appear harmless, the stickers are promotional material for a white supremacist hate group.

The stickers have been spotted at local parks, on lamp and signposts, bus stops, gas station pumps and even by the World’s Largest Fork. Some who came across the stickers took to social media to share their findings and urge people to remove the promotional material. The stickers included slogans like “not stolen conquered,” “free occupied America,” “for a new American nation state,” “American spirit European blood” and others pushing for a revamp of the current political system.

The posters and stickers direct people to visit a website of “Patriot Front.” The News-Leader was unable to reach any representatives from the group as of Tuesday morning. The contact form on the website notes that “The organization does not participate in interviews with journalists.”

Some reports on social media, some stickers placed by someone, and hundreds of words ginning up “awareness” of the threat of white nationalism. Even here in bucolic Springfield!

I take the “threat” less seriously than a 2023 journalism school graduate, whose research involves going to the Southern Poverty Law Center Web site and somehow did not stumble across the some who say or suspect the Patriot Front is a government group of some sort, perhaps to designed to make the problem of white nationalism look worse than it is in an election year. But that’s an icky conspiracy theory, and these stickers are real, you guys.

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You Could Put It That Way, But….

Professional opinionator, liberal (natch): Messenger: Missouri judges allow lawmakers to stay under a shroud of secrecy:

Last week, the Missouri Court of Appeals lifted its metaphorical middle finger to government transparency.

In a 2-1 opinion, judges Janet Sutton and Mark Pfeiffer allowed the Missouri House to keep secret information about who is sending its members emails to influence public policy.

The ruling was badly timed. Starting Sunday, the nation celebrates Sunshine Week, dedicated to shining a light on government transparency laws and the importance of citizens keeping an eye on elected officials.

That’s what Clayton attorney Mark Pedroli was doing back in April 2019, when he emailed certain House members, asking for correspondence from them. Several lawmakers responded to his requests, but they redacted the names and addresses of the constituents who emailed them. The House had passed a rule that allowed them to do so.

Although if one were not eager to bash the Republicans in the Missouri state legislature (and Republicans generally) with any cudgel at hand, one might say Legislature/Judge Protects Privacy of Private Citizens Who Want To Write To Their Representatives Without Getting Doxxed By Activists and Newspapermen Who Disagree With Them.

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Important Measures

Legislation to fight trafficking in Missouri passes House with nearly unanimous vote

I know, you’re asking me, gentle reader, how did the preening legislators make the illegal illegaller?

Why, by taking the monumental steps of:

  • Making a committee. With diverse stakeholders!

    The Committee on Sex and Human Trafficking Training would be created and would include diverse stakeholders. The group would meet each year to establish guidelines for mandatory training.

  • Also make a council.

    Additionally, legislative leaders said the bills would establish the Statewide Council Against Adult Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children to coordinate statewide efforts to fight these issues.

  • Mandate training.

    House officials indicated that the legislation would require training on sex and human trafficking for professionals such as emergency medical technicians, nurses, prosecutors, juvenile officers, social workers and peace officers. The move is meant to equip frontline workers with the knowledge and tools necessary to identify and respond to instances of these crimes efficiently.

  • Create a slush fund.

    They would also impose restitution fees for those convicted of specific sexual offenses with funds directed to support anti-trafficking efforts statewide.

So, basically, these bills are giveaways to non-profits and NGOs that make a living advocating, training, and holding meetings about human trafficking.

I’m sorry, but I did not see anything in the article (which uses advocacy terms like protecting the vulnerable over and over again) about funding police.

I used to be so cynical when I was young. Now I have broken through cynicism to what lies beyond.

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A Voter’s Guide Showing Whom To Vote Against

Two groups endorse candidates in Springfield school board race:

Two groups, one that represents Springfield teachers and another that advocates for voting rights, made endorsements in the 2024 race for Springfield Board of Education.

Seven candidates seek three open seats on the board. Incumbents Danielle Kincaid, Scott Crise and Maryam Mohammadkhani are running against challengers Landon McCarter, Susan Provance, Kyler Sherman-Wilkins and Chad Rollins. Each voter who marks a ballot on April 2 will be asked to vote for three of the seven candidates.

Kincaid and Provance earned endorsements from both groups: Vote 417 and the Springfield chapter of the Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA). The Springfield MSTA also chose Sherman-Wilkins, while Vote 417 picked Crise.

A union representing “hero” teachers and a political group with left leanings are a good indicator how I would not want to vote.

But I’m not in the Springfield school district, so I can only watch with amusement. And some horror that it is happening here in southwest Missouri, too.

By the way, I was going to use bellwether which is a word you only tend to see in political articles, but it did not exactly fit, and I looked it up to see if it fit (not exactly). But the origin of the word is that it is the lead sheep with the bell around its neck. So bear that in mind when you see it in print or pixels.

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It’s Not A Twist If You Follow Emu News

Pulaski County Emu chase ends with a twist:

The deputies tried to keep the Emu out of the road and catch him again, but he ran off into the woods, evading capture.

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office said that residents should not approach the Emu if they see him. They said he hisses and may try to kick a person.

The Sheriff’s Office admitted defeat, for now, saying: EMU 2 Deputies 0.

We here at MfBJN have long been monitoring the emu rebellion, so we know the emus emus always win.

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If He Were Older, He Would Have Said, “Again”

Column at Outkick: Change Is Coming: It’s Not A Question Of If Big Tech Buys Media Companies, It’s When.

But the author says:

When I started working in sports media 20 years ago way back in 2004 — that’s when I wrote my first articles online — big tech was just emerging on the scene. When I first started writing online, the best way for a story to go viral was via email. Or to get picked up on listicle sites inside of big company websites. ESPN’s Page 2, SI’s Hot Clicks, College Humor, Fark — remember those? — there was no real social media. Back in those days people had the decency to tell me to kill myself via an actual email, as opposed to via Twitter.

Well, the young man can be forgiven for his ignorance of the words AOL Time Warner.

No, just kidding. As an old man, I cannot forgive him for his lack of perspective and authoritative take without mentioning or maybe knowing what occurred back in the 20th century.

Although perhaps I should not be so proud that I am so old that I used America Online before it was America Online.

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You’re Not From Around Here, Are You?

On the front page of a local television site’s news:

As any person from the state of Missouri knows, Missouri (Mizzou) is in Columbia, and they’re the Tigers.

Missouri State, formerly Southwest Missouri State University, formerly Southwest Missouri State Teacher’s College (and research indicates was Fourth District Normal School before that), is the home of the Bears.

I will leave it to you, gentle reader, whether this headline blunder was made by a young journalist who doesn’t know better (and doesn’t know that’s so) or by an AI trained on the works of young journalists who didn’t know better (and didn’t know that was so).

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Uh, Priorities?

Missouri firefighters rescue bald eagle in route to another emergency

Jeez, Louise, may G-d help me to not bleed out because Heroes stop to save a hungry-looking stray puppy on the way to staunch the flow of my life blood.

Wait, no.

Firefighters with the Mid-County Fire Protection District made an unexpected emergency rescue on Monday morning.

The crew was on the way to another emergency when the firefighters spotted a bald eagle in a ditch.

After getting the initial call complete, the crew rushed to rescue the eagle by wrapping it up and bringing it back to the station to keep it safe.

Wait, AI/AP, help me out here. Were they on the way to an emergency or coming back from an emergency call?

Ah, who cares? What does it matter, humans?

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They’re Even Rebooting Ira Einhorn

Cops hunt runaway boyfriend after woman’s body found decomposing in suitcase:

A man whose girlfriend’s body was found decomposing in a suitcase two weeks after he fled is being hunted by Interpol.

The body of Laura Isabel Lopera Osorio was discovered after neighbours complained of a sickening smell coming from her apartment in Medellin, Colombia. Laura, 21, had been dating Canadian national Jesse Wiseman who is understood to have returned to North America soon after she was reported missing on January 31.

Not exactly a reprise of The Unicorn Killer, but we couldn’t have the new version impugn the environmental movement, so….

You know, I seem to recall writing a lot about the Einhorn case back in the day, but I guess that was before the blog (and I didn’t see anything that jumped out of the headlines in the old The Cynic Express(d) columns); the only mention I see of it is from a blog post in 2015 which recounts the story a bit:

Ira Einhorn, a celebrity of the sixties lefthippie type, killed his girlfriend in Philadelphia in the 1970s. After Einhorn skipped bail and hid overseas for decades, a dogged investigator found Einhorn in France. A lengthy court battle ensued over extradition and the illegitimacy of an inabsentia trial. Einhorn returned to the United States in 2002, some 23 years after his crime. He’s in jail now after a repeated prosecution, but he remains a touchstone for reminiscing radicals. Like Einhorn, Saddam faces trial for a crime committed 23 years ago. Although Hussein’s crime exceeds Einhorn’s by several factors of ten, time has rounded the moral outrages many people espouse to mere cluck-clucking or rationalization that at least Hussein made the trains run over dissidents on time.

I guess Saddam Hussein did not end up dragging his court case on for years after all.

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What Else Is Happening At The Library

As the picture of my 2024 Winter Reading Challenge form indicates, the Library Center is my home library. It is the big one, perhaps the closest to Nogglestead, although the branch in Republic might be equidistant.

So is the Library Center in national news lately? You betcha!

Riley Gaines slams ‘insufferable’ trans activists mocking one-armed pro surfer Bethany Hamilton at library event:

Transgender activists crashed a Missouri library event with former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines and surfing legend Bethany Hamilton last Friday, with at least one activist appearing to mock the one-armed professional surfer.

The two female athletes were hosting a children’s story hour featuring their inspirational titles about overcoming adversity from conservative book publisher Brave Books at The Library Center in Springfield, Missouri, on Feb. 2.

Not in a good way, though.

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Subtext: Sissy?

I am not sure what to make of this summary:

The singer crafted an identity around his macho, pro-American swagger and wrote songs that fans loved to hear in his three decades in country music.

So…. he was not authentically macho? Not authentically pro-American? A sissy because a real man doesn’t die of cancer at 62?

Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but probably not. This clever wordsmith (or AI trained by clever wordsmiths) is making a point.

But never mind. Onto the real news.

Probably the best advice I’ve gotten in a while.

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In Missouri, We Debate Whether It’s “Ackshually” or “Ackshuallah”

From an article on another episode of Missouri Teachers Gone Wild:

A pretty math teacher from Missouri has been arrested in Texas and accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old high school student.

Hailey Nichelle Clifton-Carmack, 26, from Waynesville, near St. Louis, was arrested by the Garden Ridge Police Department on Friday in Comal County.

Waynesville is between Springfield and Rolla, so “near St. Louis” in this instance is two hours away via I-44. It’s far closer to Rolla. But the story is from a British tabloid, and we can’t expect them to know where those smaller cities are. Heck, I’m surprised they thought to include “near St. Louis” as a reference point. I would presume that the British and their new guests are not familiar enough with U.S. geography to know where St. Louis is. I’m not sure that most people in the United States know where St. Louis is.

(Although I had seen the headlines elsewhere, Ace of Spades HQ posted an excerpt that had the offending geolocation aid.)

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