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It’s Ruby Tuesday!

Decided to do a Ruby Tuesday edition as a few things occurred which just wouldn’t have the same “Snap! Crackle! Pop!, if I waited till tomorrow and, what the hell, it rained cats and dogs last night…the meowing and woofing was ridiculous…and it’s just a crappy day. So when better to sit down at a keyboard, right? Besides, there’s a few things…mostly silly; some sports; that are topical as in like…today. So, without further ado, let’s go…



-Well it sure ain’t as in Baldwin; nor “Smart”. Actually it should be “What the hell “is” ALEC?” ALEC is an acronym for the “American Legislative Exchange Council” and boy howdy, it/they are really sumthin’. I’m going to provide two links. One from ALEC itself and another…well there’s a ton…from their detractors.


First, theirs…


American Legislative Exchange Council – Limited Government · Free Markets · Federalism

American Legislative Exchange Council – Limited Govern…

Where does your state rank in education policy?
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Now, some others…yes, they are mostly left-leaners but not all…


ALEC Exposed






American Legislative Exchange Council – SourceWatch

American Legislative Exchange Council – SourceWatch

Learn more about corporations VOTING to rewrite our laws.
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ALEC Exposed

ALEC TEXposed ALEC Agenda in Dallas: Evisceration of Medicaid, School Privatization and Expansion of Gas Exports
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These guys may be the “ENRON” of lobbying.


This came to mind when by pure happenstance, I saw a young female Wisconsin legislator on TV…the sole DEM-ALEC-member…describe what they do and how they do it. She explained that in order for them to retain their tax-exempt status, (I don’t recall which “501″ it was), they cannot discriminate, i.e., anyone can join, regardless of political affiliation, with no negative repercussions. She went on to explain that they propose “bill models” to legislatures. In her state, the public-employee union fracas over the law passed a few years ago was adopted, nearly verbatim, from the ALEC model. They also are prime movers of “charter schools”. Look I’m all for them. Just not at the expense of public schools.


There’s a ton of stuff on this group available and with ‘em or agin’ ‘em, knowin’ about ‘em would seem to be prudent.



-This item by Carol Marin appeared in t’day’s S-T. It’s short ‘n’ sweet. Please give it a read. The 6th paragraph is the reason for my inclusion of this item. Personally, the “racism” aspect, to me, is more conjecture than fact. But the fact that of all those who played fast and loose with billions…maybe trillions(?)…of dollars and caused the worst economic situation since the Great Depression are still walking around, free and easy is, well, bordering on criminal.


Carol Marin: Feds back off on ruining a good man’s life – Chicago Sun-Times

Carol Marin: Feds back off on ruining a good man’s life …

It almost never happens. But on Monday, it did. Federal prosecutors dropped 17 felony counts of bank fraud and false information against State Rep. La Shawn Ford in…
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-Women’s rights activists in Turkey have filed a lawsuit against that country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Bulent Arinc, who said that, “…women should not laugh aloud in public…”.  He went to say that, “…not laughing out loud in public is among the requirements of being an honorable woman…”.


Sounds like somebody has some self-esteem problems, himself.


Oh yeah. The women are protesting by posting themselves laughing…out loud…in public…on social media websites.



-I’ve mentioned my puzzlements over the years with people who vote against their own self-interests, as…well…that puzzles me. But there’s another situation which is in the news…mainly here in ChiTown but also across the country.

It has to do with the rebirth, if you will, of the Chicago Tribune…a major, national daily and biggest local around here.


Several years ago, due to some very questionable financial moves, its parent company, Tribune Corp. filed for a Chapter XI in bankruptcy. That has been finalized and from it, Tribune Corp is now being broken into separate entities; the newspaper division; media/broadcasting, etc., and digital, which is the focus of this entry…while specific to the Trib it applies to many.


Much/most of the blame for many newspaper and TV/Radio News outlets losing readers/viewers/listeners has been heaped on the “digital age”. This is very true. Even if one does not carry a smart phone, much less use one; their ubiquity is rampant, along with notebooks; laptops; desk tops, you name it.


While I do not use a smart phone…I just don’t feel the need, really….with no slight to anyone who likes them. It’s just a matter of dollars/cents and preference. That said, I do have an iPod which I connect to my car stereo, which accordingly, disconnects me from listening to the radio.


OK, so much for that. Let’s get back to newspapers/TV & Radio stations.


How many times have you been watching a local news show which gives you a “tease”. One which I see often is “School Report Cards”, where they list public schools and how they fared…or not…on standardized tests. They come on; mention the best and worst and then…ta DA…say, “For a complete listing of all schools, go to our website and search under…”. Not the best example but you get it. Why send someone to your competitor’s store, if you will?


There’s an even better one, though. On page 2 of today’s Sun-Times…right next to their table of contents…actually at the top-middle of the page they list: AT TV.SUNTIMES.COM and the just below, AT VOICES.SUNTIMES.COM. My paper this morning is all of 60-pages and if Bears Training Camp were not in full flower; Javy Baez wasn’t making his MLB debut, who knows how much smaller the paper would be. (That doesn’t sound right, does it?)


Anyway, for years, TV and Radio stations have run ads for their competition. Why would they do that? Well, other than being whores for ad-revenue, I don’t know.


Let’s change gears here for some breaking news in…



We’ll begin with some maniacal almanac analysis of stuff from


In 1391, some sailors from Castile in Barcelona set fire to a Jewish ghetto, which killed 100 Jews. The violence against Jews lasted another 4 days.


In 1861, Congress enacted the first income tax. Why, you ask? To finance the Civil War. Think that may be why so many suthnuhs are agin that thar incum tax.


Cleveland made a name for itself…69-years prior to establishing The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum…by installing the first electric traffic lights in 1914.


After “The Gulf of Tonkin” incident of 1964…remember yesterday?…in retaliation, LBJ ordered bombing of North Vietnam. He also asked Congress to go to war with North Vietnam. Ever wonder why it’s called “The Vietnam ‘Conflict”; not “The Vietnam ‘War’ “?


In 1974 Tricky Dick Nixon admitted to the cover-up  in The Watergate Scandal. Interestingly, he said it was necessary for — not only — political but also “national security” reasons. Oh yeah, not this time but he did reassure us he was not a crook.


In 1981, Ronald Reagan fired 11,000+, PATCO air-traffic controllers who went on strike in direct defiance of federal law prohibiting them from doing so. Believe it or not, I agreed with him then and still do.





-The slight delay in filming for Season 8 is over. (Can this show have been on THAT long?) We love it. We watch the reruns…which seem to be on their way to becoming the “Honeymooners”, “Lucy” or “Andy Griffith” of its day, as it is on — seemingly — constantly. I won’t lie to you. There are times that even with 400+ channels available to us, we wind up watching them on TBS or WPWR (local)…and still laugh.


Anyway, there was a breakdown over, what else, money. It’s been resolved so we, the addicted to Sheldon’s Asberger Syndrome or the group’s collective interpersonal relationship hang-ups; the show’s double/triple/quadruple entendres and razor-sharp witticisms, should be able to watch them in all their inglorious-hilarity.


Now before anyone starts thinking they’re ripping off CBS, here’s a link, which says the ad rates charged for “TBBT” are “…the highest…for a non-sports program…”. Here’s a link…


‘Big Bang Theory’ stars get huge raises, break stand-off |

‘Big Bang Theory’ stars get huge raises, break stand-off…

Stars of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory just got an explosive pay raise. After their contract negotiations collectively delayed production of the top-rated CBS comedy,…
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-Watched “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” last night. What a film! As I’d seen it a few times before, I watched for some of the things mentioned in the introduction by William Friedkin; especially Bogart’s performance, which he characterized as Bogey’s best acting, ever. While doing so, I saw the beginnings of Capt. Queeg’s paranoia in “The Caine Mutiny” in Fred C. Dobbs, which evolved from a near-innocence at first,  to an eventual outright viciousness and murder.


I mentioned to MBH that I always wondered why I’d not seen much more of Tim Holt, “Curtin” who along with Walter Huston, made up their troika of prospectors for gold in Mexico’s Sierra Madre mountains. Did some research and found that he’d been a “B” Western film star, with his own series. Still “TTOTSM”, was YUGE, so why nothing much after? Turns out he didn’t much want to be a “star”, after all. You can look it up on the IMDB website. (See? There’s one of those dang, those website references again!)



-Kimye set a record as their, ahem, marriage has now endured for over 73 days! S-E-V-E-N-T-Y T-H-R-E-E DAYS!


Scoff at that, will you? Well, those 73-days account for 1752-hours;105,120-minutes and 6,307,200…wait 6,307,201-2-3-4! SEE! It continues, inexorably on with nothing but peace, love, joy and happiness for all!


Or, you can just file this in your “Who gives a schit?” file.



-This is the title of a new film starring Brendan Gleason about, “…how a good priest would be effected by the actions bad priests and how that would effect his life in the community.”


Yes, I have no use for “bad priests”. You all know that. But it is true that there were/are many good priests who have had to have dealt with the fallout of/from the actions of bad priests/bishops/cardinals and how that has effected them. I know one, personally. I miss him. It wasn’t his fault.


I may see this one.






-So, let’s begin with maybe-Gramma Joanie leading us to “The Promised Land” as Cubs fans…


We Shall Overcome – Joan Baez (Woodstock 1969) – music4peace

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Allow me to begin by saying as glad as Flubs fans and I are that this is happening, it’s more out of Flubs management having put a “Do Not Open ‘Til Xmas” sticker on the team of which we can finally destroy the wrapping paper to see if what they’ve promised actually has been worth the wait. (I would think the above link with “We Shall Overcome” as the theme should have tipped my hand.)


Right now, men of a certain age are wondering if we’re going to see Ken Hubbs, Ryno or — perish the thought — Bobby Hill. That’s the rub. I joke about BOHICA but I’m also getting older…as are many of you. And all we ask is, just once, to see the NL Pennant flying from the top of the scoreboard. A World Series Flag would be the cherry on top of that sundae. Cubs fans know that wanting a pennant, for starters, makes more sense.


The other thing about this move was articulated very well by Dave Kaplan on his sports talk show on CSN, last night. He pointed out that by this time next year, they will have two, team-friendly contracts in Fidel and Rizzo at SS and 1st; then league-minimums in left; center; right; 2nd and at catcher, though Castillo is arbitration eligible next year, he’s not eligible for F/A till ’18.


What that means is simple. They…team ownership and management…can no longer hide behind financial issues. They have the money! There will be no excuses accepted if they do not go out and make some big time trade(s) or F/A signings. In other words, Flubs fans will no longer be patient, “…as long as they’re not an embarrassment…”.

Uh-uh. It’s going to take a season or two but since the City’s given them the green light on their stadium rehab; these kids are coming up and the team is playing less embarrassingly; they better damn get it in gear. No more Tom Ricketts videos. We’ll see if we actullay “Overcome”.


As far as Ricky Renteria is concerned, too small of a sample-size.



-Again, as one of those “men of a certain age”, I grew up with ERA; RBI; B/A, et al. These weren’t necessarily the “only” ways to statistically analyze a player’s performance but they worked for us.


This morning I came across the S-T’s stat-guru, John Grochowski’s column, as he compares ChiTown’s 1st basemen, Abreu and Rizzo. After wading through WAR; OPS OPS-plus; Total Runs; Win Shares; BIS and feeling like I damn shoulda majored in Advanced Math and minored in Statistical Anaysis so I could enjoy the best game, ever, even more; the column concluded that using all those “Metrics”…by the way, did I mention there are “Metrics” within “Metrics” as different “Metricians” use different variations of the same “Metrics” base…anyway… “Abreu still comes out on top by most advanced metrics, though by a much narrower margin than Triple Crown numbers would suggest. But both first basemen have played at an elite level, making them rare treasures on the Chicago baseball scene.”


Earlier in the article  their  ”traditional stats” are listed as follows:


Abreu: 31-homers, MLB leader; 84 RBI; .304 B/A.


Rizzo: 25 homers, 2nd in NL; 60 RBI; .286 B/A.


Could other “men of a certain age” not look at those “traditional” numbers and pretty much draw the same conclusion, sans that alphabet-soup of “metrics”? I can and did.




Let’s see which one(s) you think is it.


1921, the first radio broadcast of a MLB game between the Pirates and Phillies took place.


1969, Willie Stargell became the only player to hit a home run out of the Dodgers’ Chavez Ravine; landing 506-feet from home plate. As far as anyone knows, the only juice “Pops” may have used woulda been of the “orange, pulp free” variety.


1999, Mr. Andro, aka, Mark McGwire, hit 500th and 501st-homers.


2007, Tom Glavine notched his 300th win…of course it was against the Flubs.


2013, Alex Rodriguez, affectionately known as, “A-Fraud”, was suspended through the 2014 season…211-games…

for his continued use of juicy-juice.


Anyone have a guess as to which one(s) prompted this?


OK, that’s about it. I’ll seeya Friday, hopefully with a whole lotta FEEL-GOODs. In the meantime, remember, any day we ain’t lookin’ up at daisy roots, it’s a good one.



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