Saturday, August 20, 2022

Keeping tabs on authors in LINKcat: Raymond Briggs


Something of a one-hit wonder in children's book publishing in the U.S.

Source:  LINKcat

New York Times, 8/10/2022
In “The Snowman” — which, unlike Mr. Briggs’s other books, has no words — rounded frames house the emotional arc of a boy’s winter adventure. The boy rejoices at a fresh snowfall, gleefully explores his home and country with a snowman who magically comes alive, and, in a crushing final panel, stares down at a green hat and scarf.

The 50 member libraries of LINKcat

Related posts:
Roger Angell.  (5/24)
Melissa Bank.  (8/7)
Bruce Duffy,  (3/13)
Todd Gitlin.  (2/8)
Ron Goulart.  (2/7)
Robert Hicks.  (3/8)
Maureen Howard.  (3/19)
Nancy Mitford.  (4/4)
P. J. O'Rourke.  (2/24)
Dennis Smith.  (1/27)
Susie Steiner.  (7/27)
Larry Woiwode.  (5/19)

F. Lee Bailey.  (6/11)
Kim Chernin.  (1/10)
Angelo Codevilla.  (10/10)
Stephen Dunn.  (6/29)
James R. Flynn.  (1/30)
Larry Flynt.  (2/12)
Lucinda Franks.  (5/11)
Joseph Galloway.  (8/25)
Norman Golb.  (2/22)
Charles Grodin.  (5/20)
Maria Guarnascheilli, book editor.  (2/18)
James Gunn.  (2/21)
Tony Hendra.  (3/7)
Donald Kagan.  (8/20)
Hans Kung.  (4/9)
Lyn Macdonald.  (5/15)
Janet Malcolm.  (6/18)
Peter Manso,  (4/10)
Ved Mehta.  (1/12)
Marie Mongan.  (3/22)
Deborah Rhode.  (1/28)
James Ridgeway.  (2/16)
David Swensen.  (5/13)
Bryan Sykes.  (1/14)
Athan Theoharis.  (6/14/)
Ed Ward.  (5/16)
Michael Thomas.  (8/19)
Adam Zagajewski.  (3/27)

Ben Bova.  (12/17)
Clive Cussler.  (2/29)
Betty Dodson  (11/11)
Pete Hamill.  (8/6)
Shere Hite. (9/13)
A, E, Hotchner.  (2/18)
Roger Kahn.  (2/15)
Randall Kenan.  (9/29)
John Le Carre. (12/23/2020)
Johanna Lindsey.  (1/15)
Barry Lopez.  (12/29)
Alison Lurie.  (12/7)
Charlers Portis.  (2/19)
Julia Reed.  (9/8)
John Rothchild.  (1/22)
Gail Sheehy.  (9/3)
Jill Paton Walsh.  (11/29)
Charles Webb.  (6/30)

Warren Adler.  (4/23)
Kate Braverman.  (10/28)
Stephen Dixon.  (11/12)
Dan Jenkins.  (3/10)
Judith Krantz.  (6/27)
Paule Marshall.  (8/27)
Martin Mayer.  (8/3)
Wright Morris.  (7/25)
Toni Morrison.  (8/12)
Anthony Price.  (6/17)
John Simon.  (12/1)
Sol Stein.  (9/30)
Brad Watson.  (8/2)
Lonnie Wheeler.  (7/15)
Herman Wouk.  (5/20)

Neal Thompson.  (6/17)

Kit Reed.  (10/1)

E. M. Nathanson.  (4/10)




Josephine Gerardi Schmader (19932-2022) Warren High School class of 1950


1950 Dragon yearbook

1967 Warren City Directory
1983 Warren City Directory
  • Gerardi Minnie P Mrs h300 Walnut Street
  • Schmader, Josephine J 124 Mason's Mobile City Conewango Township
The popularity of Josephine as a baby name is graphed here.  Let's take a look at Bertram.

"Plain old" Sam opened the 1900s at #34 and has been trending downward ever since. 

Other members of the WHS class of 1950 (26):
John McGarry.  (5/21)


James Gray.  (7/10)
Mabel Morse Horner.  (2/4)

Donald Cable.  (8/27)
Clifford LeRoy Maze.  (7/9)
Robert Lundmark.  (7/1)
Donald Baldensperger.  (1/26)

John White.  (10/12)
Geraldine Downey Gustafson.  (10/7)

Helen Quiggle Kroemer.  (7/9)
Dale Witherell.  (5/31)
Betty Reynolds Mahan.  (4/4)
Helen Kane Scalise.  (2/23)

William Lemmon.  (8/30)
Joan Kondak Vernon.  (8/3)
Barbara Reist Cook.  (7/7)
Mary Sikstrom Bauer.  (6/20)
Robert Jones.  (6/4)

Lewis McCullough.  (7/6)
Joan Marlene Campbell Berdine.  (2/18)

Glen Valentine.  (8/18)

GET ME REWRITE: Spotlight on Big Oil's record profits

Top headline:  The Manila Times, 6/15/2022 
Chart:  Business Insider5/17/2022
Caricature:  Tank Terminals
Bottom headline:  Oil Price
This makes the EY report the latest in an increasingly long series of reports documenting a major shift in the oil and gas industry as it adjusts to a chronically uncertain environment, in which they cannot know how long there will be demand for their product. 
Ironically, this uncertainty has been a big reason for the latest price surge that began last year because of that changing attitude that made oil and gas explorers and producers wary of spending too much on new supply.

8/4/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  The Manila Times, 6/15/2022 
Chart:  Business Insider5/17/2022
Caricature:  Tank Terminals
Bottom headline:  Deseret News
Oil drilling titans Chevron, Exxon Mobile, Shell and BP all released their latest quarterly earnings reports over the last few days and most of them hit new, all-time profit records for the second quarter of 2022[emphasis added]
The huge earnings came as consumer gas prices rocketed to historic highs in June as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and widespread sanctions, roiled global oil markets. Exorbitant fuels prices have challenged family budgets across the country, not only forcing hard decisions about vacation getaways and everyday driving habits but also driving up the costs of groceries and most consumer and manufacturing goods, thanks to pricier-than-ever delivery costs.

7/27/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  The Manila Times, 6/15/2022 
Chart:  Business Insider5/17/2022
Caricature:  Tank Terminals
Bottom headline:  Reuters
The world's largest energy traders, independents and majors, are poised to post record earnings for the first six months of the year due to volatility in markets caused by the Ukraine war and despite LNG supply problems, sources with the companies said.   
Vitol, Glencore, BP, Shell and TotalEnergies have yet to report first-half 2022 results, but sources familiar with the companies indicated very strong returns and some rivals have already reported sky-high earnings.

7/23/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  The Manila Times, 6/15/2022 
Chart:  Business Insider5/17/2022
Caricature:  Tank Terminals
Bottom headline:  Green Matters
The oil and gas industry is a top driver of greenhouse gas emissions and the climate crisis (no matter how much the industry tells you otherwise). And while fossil fuels continue to prevail primarily due to the money involved in the industry, reading the actual facts and figures on oil company profits and oil and gas industry profits is staggering.

7/18/2022 update starts here

So, Big Oil will be reporting in the last week of July another quarter of blockbuster earnings, this time aided by record refining margins as refining capacity globally is constrained, crude prices rallied in Q2, and fuel demand rebounded strongly. 
Record refining margins and high earnings at the biggest oil corporations have been under continuous criticism by President Joe Biden and his Administration who have been warning firms against “profiteering” while gasoline prices hit records last month

6/22/2022 update, "It was only a matter of time until we got a crybaby response from a Big Oil CEO", starts here.

Chart:  Business Insider5/17/2022
Headline:  Reuters6/21/2022
The letter is the latest in a series of acrimonious exchanges between the U.S. oil industry and President Joe Biden over who is to blame for high fuel prices that have helped drive inflation to 40-year highs.  
The White House asked the CEOs of seven refiners and oil companies including Chevron to a meeting this week to discuss ways to increase production capacity and reduce energy prices. Wirth said he would attend.  
"Your administration has largely sought to criticize, and at times vilify, our industry," Wirth said in a letter to Biden. "These actions are not beneficial to meeting the challenges we face." 
A couple of hours later, Biden told reporters in Washington the executive was being too sensitive.

6/20/2022 update, "Big Oil reports record profits while its execs enjoy a gushing payday", starts here.

The Motley Fool gushes
Oil companies are increasingly returning their windfall to shareholders. 
Oil profits have skyrocketed this year, fueled by surging oil prices. Most oil producers posted gushing profits in the first quarter, which will probably rise further in the second quarter because of higher prices. That's giving them a growing windfall to return to their shareholders. 
Here's a look at why oil profits are so high and how you can cash in on the gusher.

6/18/2022 update, "Big Oil reports record profits while consumers empty their wallets at the pump", starts here.,

Media Matters analyzed 26 articles on high gas prices published from June 10-16 in the print editions of the five largest U.S. newspapers by circulation: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Times. Media Matters coded the articles based on whether they included context about the record profits that oil companies are earning as a result of sustained high global oil prices. 
We found that only 6 (23%) of the 26 articles analyzed made mention of oil company profits in coverage discussing the record high gas prices that are hurting consumers at the pump and through inflation. Notably, of the 6 articles that mentioned oil company profits, none quantified the recent record earnings of oil companies.

6/17/2022 update starts here

  Alaska Native News, 6/16/2022 
Chart:  Business Insider5/17/2022
Caricature:  Wikipedia
It’s far from clear, however, that Big Oil has any interest in voluntarily sacrificing record-shattering profits for the sake of providing any form of relief to consumers at the pump, where the average price of gas has surged past $5 per gallon on average nationwide.


6/15/2022 update starts here 

Headline:  The Manila Times, 6/15/2022 
Chart:  Business Insider5/17/2022
Caricature:  Wikipedia

GREED is really the engine of capitalism, global and local, as the current worldwide de facto oil crisis shows, in which prices soared from $70 per barrel at the beginning of the year to last week's $120. Everyone I know is shocked over the soaring, for instance, of the regular gasoline's price from P50 per liter in recent memory to P85 last week. 
What few people know is that while the country groans under the weight of fuel costs, the industry continues to making a killing.

6/11/2022 update starts here

Headline and chart:  Frederick News Post, 6/11/2022
Chart:  Business Insider5/17/2022
Caricature:  Wikipedia
In the first quarter of last year, Shell posted $3.2 billion in profit. During the same period in 2022, its fortunes ballooned to $9.1 billion. Exxon Mobil netted $2.7 billion in 2021 Q1, a figure that skyrocketed to $8.8 billion in 2022 Q1. Chevron’s Q1 profit more than quadrupled — from $1.37 billion in 2021 to $6.5 billion in 2022. Altogether, the five oil giants have amassed 300% more in profits this year than they did this time last year. This isn’t the result of the pandemic or the war. It’s just simple greed.  [emphasis added]

Original 6/10/2022 post starts here
Headline and chart:  Business Insider, 5/17/2022
Caricature:  Wikipedia
Several of the world's largest oil companies reported first-quarter earnings in recent weeks, giving investors new detail as to how sky-high gas prices are bolstering firms' bottom lines. Performance, in a word, was stellar. ExxonMobil reported a net profit of $5.5 billion, more than doubling its earnings from the year-ago period. Shell notched its strongest quarterly profit ever, and Chevron posted its best earnings quarter in nearly a decade.

Here's a CNN headline from a few months back.

GET ME REWRITE: Kettle Moraine School District goes viral as school board freaks out over living in the 21st century


Headlinle:  Wisocnsin Public Radio, 8/18/2022
The decision, which was approved by the school board, has garnered national attention and an online petition criticizing the vote. As of Thursday afternoon, that petition had received over 13,000 signatures. 
After a legal analysis of the employee code of conduct, the district and superintendent made the decision to ban staff from displaying any political-leaning flags or signs. The school board approved the new expectations for staff at a meeting with a unanimous vote in July. The decision also includes Black Lives Matter and "Back The Badge" messaging. 
Several area residents criticized the move at a board meeting Tuesday night. Over 20 students, parents and former graduates of the district spoke at that meeting. Many said the decision was unnecessary and others said the district was moving in the wrong direction.

Guess they thought they could fly under the radar

Original 8/17/2022 post, "Meet the homophobes of the Kettle Moraine School Board", starts here.

Headline:  Wisconsin State Journal, 8/17/2022
Superintendent Stephen Plum recently told the board that the district’s interpretation of a policy that prohibits staffers from using their positions to promote partisan politics, religious views and propaganda for personal, monetary or nonmonetary gain changed following a legal analysis. 
Most of those who spoke at Tuesday's packed board meeting opposed the policy. The public comment period was capped at an hour, despite a call from the crowd to extend it. [emphasis added]
“If you have a policy that says ‘nothing political,’ does that mean you can’t have a sign up that says, ‘Support our Troops,’ or ‘Believe Women’ or ‘Save the Planet?’ By some people’s definitions, all of those things are political,” said Christine Donahoe, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin. 
Donahoe said she’s looking closely at the policy and a similar one approved last fall by the school district in nearby Waukesha. 
“It really looks like targeted attacks at specific viewpoints, like LGBT communities, or welcome and safe spaces to students of color,” said Donahoe.
School district demographics
Meet the education clown show otherwise known as the Muskego-Norway (Wisconsin) school board.  (6/26/2022)

Friday, August 19, 2022

Adam Steen/Robin Vos GOP Clown Show; It's ain't over til it's over


HeadlineRacine Journal Times, 8/18/2022
Steen is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, while Vos had the endorsement of the Racine County GOP. 
At the core of Steen’s campaign is the effort to decertify the 2020 election results in Wisconsin, something Trump has continued calling for despite a consensus among election law experts that this would be unconstitutional. 
Trump’s opinion of Vos soured as the Assembly speaker remained steadfast in refusing to support decertification.
Related posts:
There's a new GOP clown show in town: Adam Steen and Timothy Ramthun team up to tickle your funny bone.  (8/17/2022)Adam Steen's shameless groveling earns him a Trump endorsement.  (8/3/2022)

USA school board clown show shenanigans (Kettle Independent School District, Texas)

HuffPost, 8/17/2022
Before the start of the school year, Keller Independent School District, north of Fort Worth, is removing 42 books that were challenged last year by parents and community members, including a graphic adaptation of Anne Frank’s diary, “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison and “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe, The Texas Tribune reported
Some of the books being removed were supposed to remain in student libraries after a school district committee made up of members of the public met last year and recommended that they remain in circulation. 
However, since then three new conservative school board members [red boxes] were elected to the district’s seven-member board of trustees, The Texas Tribune reported. They were all reportedly supported by Christian political action committees.

GET ME REWRITE: Wisconsin Republicans show their contempt for environmental stewardship

HeadlineMilwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/18/2022
Adam Gibbs, spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, called the efforts that were funded "pet projects" in a series of tweets. "Gov. Evers just spent 10 lifetimes worth of tax dollars on a beach project," he wrote. 

Gibbs is a "just say no",  knee-jerk GOP clown

Here's the real story.

Of the funding, the Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs Nature Preserve will receive $2.3 million, which will allow the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust to move forward with a project that has been in the works for nearly 10 years. The amount is what the project was originally approved for through the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, but the grant was rejected by an anonymous member of the Joint Finance Committee of the Legislature last year, leaving the Land Trust scrambling for funding.  
Rep. Deb Andraca, D-Whitefish Bay, said the funding will help to preserve important pieces of land, despite the fact that members of the Legislature tried to halt the project. 
"I hope going forward, that the Joint Finance Committee will stop hiding behind anonymous objections and return to Wisconsin's proud tradition of open, honest and transparent government," she said. "Because whether it's in life, or in government, it's never too late to plant a tree or save a park or make a choice to do the right thing by the people of Wisconsin." 
The Cedar Gorge property is 131 acres of largely undisturbed waterfront property on the south end of Port Washington, including a steep gorge dotted with old cedar trees and pristine clay bluffs dropping down to a thin strip of shoreline. It is near the popular Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve.

Original 7/31/2022 post, " If Retiring Guy were to guess, he'd say Duey Stroebel has his fingerprints all over this chickenshit move", starts here.

News collage

From the State Journal editorial:  
At issue are 131 acres of stunning, undeveloped land along the shores of Lake Michigan known as the Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs. It’s close to Port Washington, about 80 miles northeast of Madison. The site boasts towering bluffs from which anyone can view amazing sunrises before a shaded hike in Cedar Gorge. Anyone could, that is, if conservationists get their way. 
As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust wants to buy the land and protect it as a park for Wisconsinites. The land trust stepped up after multiple development proposals had fallen through. 
Lakefront acreage is expensive, and the land trust has through September to come up with $5 million to buy the land. It has about $4 million so far. The state Department of Natural Resources had approved a $2 million Knowles-Nelson Stewardship grant for the purchase when fundraising wasn’t as far along. The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee had to sign off on the grant, but a member of the committee anonymously blocked it. 
No one is saying who stymied the money. The four Democrats on the committee insist they didn’t do it. The 12 Republicans are mum. The identity of the lawmaker remains a mystery.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

JC Penney side of West Towne Mall continues to struggle to find new tenants (August 2022 update)


Photos by Retiring Guy

The Halloween Store doesn't count.

10/17/2021 update, "JC Penney side of West Towne Mall appears to be emptying out", starts here.

No new tenants.

Photos by Retiring Guy

This space is set up for meetings.  (Catering offered by any of the mall's restaurant tenants?)

4/25/2021 update starts here

From Banana Republic to the not-in-the-frame Hallmark, located to the left of the entrance to JC Penney.

Photos by Retiring Guy

Related West Towne area posts:

Portillo's.  (11/23)

West Towne Mall shuttered Shopko UPDATE: Storefront looks less abaondoned in bright winter sunlight.  (12/21)

GET ME REWRITE: Wisconsin GOP lawmakers put a new spin on 'Just Say No'

The 12 GOP members of the Joint Committee on Finance (92% white, 8% Hispanic) certainly do not reflect Wisconsin's demographics.

Republican lawmakers on Wednesday objected to a plan by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ administration on how to spend $31 million in opioid settlement funds this year as the state issued a public health advisory on fentanyl deaths, saying they nearly doubled over the past three years. 
Evers criticized the objection by the state Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, saying the move could delay the state’s effort to combat the opioid epidemic. “For these legislators to turn their backs on the people of Wisconsin, especially given increases in substance misuse and the mental and behavioral health challenges our state is facing today in the wake of the pandemic, it simply defies logic,” Evers said in a statement.  
Finance committee leaders didn’t specify what the objection was in a letter to DHS or in a public statement, but suggested they will release a revised plan soon.

They are still trying to make one up. 

GET ME REWRITE: Hand recount of Kansas abortion amendment vote will go ahead in 8.5% of counties

 All but one of them counties that voted against the amendment.  (The exception being the county where Melissa lives.)

Apparently, the Sperm-and-Egg wackos think God is somehow going to change the ballots. These folks are still in denial over their August 2nd trouncing at the polls.

Headline: KMBC, 8/15/2022
A recount by hand will go ahead for the vote on the Kansas abortion amendment, although it will be scaled back. The Kansas Secretary of State's office told KMBC that Melissa Leavitt, of Colby, failed to submit the $229,334,35 bond as of the 5 p.m. deadline Monday.

GOP gerrymandering spotlight on Wisconsin Assembly Districts 31- 39

Suggestions to eliminate the gerrymandering:

1.  Remove Columbia County (orange box) from this district.  With a population of 57,000, it pretty much qualifies for having a district of its own.

2.  Create a district that includes all of the northern half of Dodge County (red box), including the portion of Waupun that straddles Fond du Lac County.  (The city of Waupun is located within the purple box.)

Headline:  ABC News
Map:  Wisconsin State Legislature (boxes added)

The Wisconsin GOP and its lapdogs on the state Supreme Court made things even worse here during the 2020 redistricting cycle.
Source:  Ballotpedia

Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) has represented the district since August 2012 when he won  a special election.

8/17/2022 update starts here

The tail wags the dog.
Another example of chipping away at Dane County (green box) as a way to dilute its influence in the state legislature.  And you couldn't find a worse fit for Dane County than the current cretinous representative.  (Who is from the tail -- the orange box.)

:  ABC News
Map:  Wisconsin State Legislature (boxes added)

Source:  Ballotpedia

The Rush-loving Barbara Dittrich has represented the district since January 2019.  (He taught her how to think critically.)

8/16/2022 update starts here

Here's one of the most egregious examples of GOP gerrymandering.  Stretching from northeastern Dane County (DeForest) across the southern tier of Dodge County,   With a population of nearly 560,000, Dane County could at least 9 Assembly District of its own, which is the last thing the GOP wants.  That's why they chip away at the edges.

Headline:  ABC News
Map:  Wisconsin State Legislature (boxes added)

All the GOP did this time around was removed the spout.

Source: Ballotpedia

William Penterman (R-Columbus) has represented the district since June 2021 after winning a special election.

8/15/2022 update starts here

There's no reason why all of Marinette County, with a population of 40,000 can't be located with the same district. Forest and Florence counties are already wholly within the distirct.  Eliminate the orange box and add the green box area to approach the necessary 59,000 residents.  The red box indicates the small section of Marinette County not included in the district.

:  ABC News
Map:  Wisconsin State Legislature (boxes added)

Previously, the boundaries of the district were gerrymandered but closer to the mark.

Source:  Ballotpedia

The district is currently represented by Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz) since January 2005. 

8/14/2022 update starts here
Looking like a coffee table designed on acid, the 35th Assembly District sprawls across 6 counties:  Oenida, Lincoln, Marathon, Landlade, Oconto, and Shawano.
Headline:  ABC News
Map:  Wisconsin State Legislature (boxes added)

Calvin Callahan (R-Tomahawk) has represented the district since January 2011.
Compared to the 2010 maps, the district is less compact than it used to be.


8/13/2022 update starts here

Compared to what we've seen from the GOP already, this effort at redistricting could serve as a model of how to do it.  My only quibble is that Rhinelander and Tomahawk shoudlbe considered communities of interest.  

:  ABC News
Map:  Wisconsin State Legislature (boxes added)

Tavern League shill Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) has represented the district since August 2012, when he won a special election.

The district is more compact now.

Source:  Ballotpedia

8/12/2022 update starts here
Let Rock County be Rock County in the state legislasture.  

With a population of nearly 165,000, it should fully emcompass all of two Assembly districts and the majority of a third.  (Average population per district:  59,000.)

Moreover, Janesville and Milton are part of a community of interest.

And why is Whiteewater split in two?

Headline:  ABC News
Map:  Wisconsin State Legislature (boxes added)

Cody Horlacher (R-Mukwanago) has represented the district since January 2015.  He is not running for re-election as he was redrawn out of the district.  The boundaries, in fact, have been radically changed since 2010.

Source:  Ballotpedia

8/11/2022 update starts here

First of all, the Town of Wheatland in Kenosha County (red box) does not beling here.

Secondly, let Elkhorn (orange box)be in the same district as Lake Geneva, Williams Bay, and Delavan.

Lastly, the Town of Sharon (green box) could just as well be shifted to the district to the west.

Then you'd have a district that respects communities of interest.

Headline:  ABC News
Map:  Wisconsin State Legislature (boxes added)

Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Tyler August (R-Lake Geneva) has represented the district since January 2011.

8/10/2022 update starts here

Communities of interest?  Fuggedaboudit for Democratic-leaning Rock County -- Janesville and Beloit in particular.  Additionally, Elkhom, Delavan, Lake Geneva, and Williams Bay should be located in the same district.

Headline:  ABC News
Map:  Wisconsin State Legislature (boxes added)

Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton) has represented the district since January 2011.  Yesterday she won the GOP primary election for Wisconsin Secretary of State.  She is totally beholden to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

Then and now.


Related posts: