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NFL’s New Rules…

Sorry. I have “The Flintstones”…Sarah Palin’s fave-documentary…on, whilst awaiting “Looney Tunes”. Anyway, it IS FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY! So, let’s get  started, shall we?


Sorry. Some of this t’weren’t too FEEL-GOOD.



-The other day, you recall Dave having taken umbrage with my characterization of the Koch Bros., despite my acceptance of his correction. I did some research but thought it better not to use it, as, well, one of us got rather emotional and I didn’t want to spark anything else.


Anyway, I looked up some folks who by all means were in the Top 10 of all-time degenerate-morally bankrupt-reprobate-bastards, ever, who also had their nicer sides. I thought this might be fun, as well, “no one is wrong all the time”. You may find some of these interesting.



-A man known mostly for his brutality…it is said that while holding a castle under siege, he ordered his men to place the corpses of plague-victims on their catapults and launch them over the castle’s walls. Also, it is said that upon nearing his territory, travelers were met by the severed-heads of those he’d vanquished; mounted on spears. A — sort of — 13th-Century Welcome Wagon.


But he did have a kinder side. According to Wikipedia, he, “…practiced meritocracy and encouraged religious tolerance…” of those he’d conquered. It goes on to say that he, “…is credited with bringing the Silk Road under one cohesive political environment”.


Want another? OK.


-Possibly one of the most vicious mobsters of the Prohibition-Era, while never convicted of murder, he was implicated in dozens — maybe more — the most famous of which was “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre”, on Chicago’s North Side.


But “Big Al” also had a soft side. In the midst of the Great Depression, he is credited with setting up Chicago’s first, “Soup Kitchens”, which provided food for many of the city’s unemployed families.


Want another? OK.



-Now, if anyone in history out-retch-induces him, I’d like to know who that would be. He was so much the embodiment of evil, the assumption is made here that listing his actions to be unnecessary.


However, after The Treaty of Versailles, Germany was a broken country. (I’m not going into anything “defensive” here. Just setting the scene.) During his rise to power, despite Kristallnacht, among others, he also rebuilt the country’s infrastructure, e.g., the Autobahn, after which our Interstate Highway System is patterned. He is also credited with building schools and churches. His motives are obviously suspect. But he did do some good things.


ANOTHER? OK but this is the last.



-If not for Hitler, this guy may have taken 1st-Prize as the 20th Century’s most evil. But, he was an ally against Hitler, so there was quite a bit of “looking the other way” with what he did to his people and those under or behind “The Iron Curtain” rule. Those who died in his “purges” numbered in the millions…and they were not just non-Russians.


However…again according to Wiki…:”Girls were given an adequate, equal education and women had equal rights in employment,[27] improving lives for women and families. Stalinist development also contributed to advances in health care, which significantly increased the lifespan and quality of life of the typical Soviet citizen.[27] Stalin’s policies granted the Soviet people universal access to healthcare and education, effectively creating the first generation free from the fear of typhus, cholera, and malaria.[27] The occurrences of these diseases dropped to record low numbers, increasing life spans by decades.[27]

Soviet women under Stalin were the first generation of women able to give birth in the safety of a hospital with access to prenatal care.[27] Education was also an example of an increase in the standard of living after economic development. The generation born during Stalin’s rule was the first near-universally literate generation. Millions benefited from mass literacy campaigns in the 1930s, and from workers training schemes.[95] Engineers were sent abroad to learn industrial technology, and hundreds of foreign engineers were brought to Russia on contract.[27] Transport links were improved and many new railways built. Workers who exceeded their quotas, Stakhanovites, received many incentives for their work;[95] they could afford to buy the goods that were mass-produced by the rapidly expanding Soviet economy.

The increase in demand due to industrialization and the decrease in the workforce due to World War II and repressions generated a major expansion in job opportunities for the survivors, especially for women.Joseph Stalin – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joseph Stalin – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joseph Stalin or Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Ио́сиф Виссарио́нович Ста́лин, pronounced [ˈjosʲɪf vʲɪsɐˈrʲonəvʲɪt͡ɕ ˈstalʲɪn]; born Ioseb Besarionis Dze Jug…
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There are a few entries in today’s almanac on, which may be “ringin’ those Paul Revere-bells”, a la Sarah Palin, so let’s see what happened on this date in…
1096,   Under the leadership of Peter the Hermit, Crusaders reached Constantinople, which begs the question: Unless hermits then and now are vastly different, how does a “hermit” lead an army of Crusaders?
1834,   Thirty-one years before The Emancipation Proclamation, slavery was banned throughout the British Empire. Those were the days when saying, “…the sun never sets on the Empire…”, actually was true…and they eat us by that much.
1873,   San Francisco’s famous cable cars began operations.
1893,   A patent was granted for a shredded wheat making machine. 121-years later and it’s still about as bland as bland can be.
1914,   Germany declared war on Russia. And we all know what a smart move that was.
1937,   The Nazis opened the Buchenwald Concentration camp. Keep moving. Nothing to see, hear, smell or hear, here.
1954,   The Geneva accords divided the country of Vietnam at the 17th parallel. And, we all know how well that worked out, don’t we?
1966,   Using the Texas Tower at UT, as his base, former Marine, Charles Whitman shot and killed 16 while wounding 31 others. He then, like a real man, stood up and took his medicine. Well, no, he didn’t. Coward as he was, he then killed himself. And, we all know how that limited access to weapons, don’t we?
2007,   The I-35 bridge collapsed during the evening rush hour killing 13 and injuring another 145, which spurred Congress to allocate infrastructure funds to try and prevent something like this from ever happening again, right?
At least Charles Whitman had the guts to kill himself. Yes, he was a gutless coward but a hero when compared to these ass-clowns who just do nothing and then ask us to re-elect them




-You may be expecting a gratuitous rip or two on this. Not today. Why? Reality. That’s why and here’s why.


As anyone from anywhere around ChiTown knows, the City and State are faced with serious-assed pension responsibilities, which because of a lackadaisical approach over nearly 50-years by both parties, City and State, has left us in this position.


At first, Rahm wanted to up the property-tax, which as a property-owner, I didn’t like, as again, it puts the onus on property-owners, only. Actually, I have long held a similar position as GOPerGuberGuy, Bruce Rauner, with a graduated sales tax. I’m not sure if I have that right but let me ‘splain. Years ago, there used to be a “luxury tax”. It was assessed on what were deemed to have been luxury-items, i.e., not necessary to daily living and/or getting by, e.g., Rolex watches; luxury cars; oversized SUVs; jewelry; 2nd homes; yachts, etc. At the same time, taxes…as Rich Daley’s proposal did when he was a State rep…on food, medications and daily necessities are at a lower %. This avoids hurting those who are barely making it but does not absolve them of having to pay any taxes.


Again, nobody likes taxes but we must face reality.


FULL DISCLOSURE TIME. Part of our/my retirement income is based on MBH’s pension out of the Municipal Employees fund. This phone tax, alleviates the shortfall in that. So yes, I do have a vested…no pun intended…interest in this.


Do I like it? No. Do I think anyone else will? No. However, $1.375/month/per phone line, land or wireless, isn’t going to break anybody. That works out to $0.343 per week or $0.049/day to carry around and use as close to a “Kirk to Spock” communications device…or just an old-fashioned land line…or both.


Busted clock? Maybe. Whatever, it begins in September.



-Some may recall the thoughts exchanged a week or so ago about companies using the “tax-inversion” loophole to avoid paying U.S. Taxes.


On the other side of things, the stores themselves have begun a new service…at least with us. MBH’s last several years of working had us with another RX-drug provider, so if this is “old news”, forgive me.


As some/many of you, I am on more than one “maintenance-medication” and as such, RXs are prescribed over a year’s time; divided into 90-day increments. Our previous provider would automatically renew them with my Doc and would also warn me if/when I was approaching a needed renewal. Over the years, though, Walgreens never did this with us…until last week…after my screed. (Maybe they saw it and wanted to “soothe the savage breast”?) Anyway, I got a robo-phone call and after completing all the security protocols, was told my RX would be filled and ready the following day. Which it was.


So, despite what your corporate-office may be trying to do; you local-outlets are doing well in trying to keep your patients’ patience.






LOLLAPALOOZA! Begins/began at 1:30 CDT, today! ChiTown’s music extravaganza which brings folks from around the country to our front yard.


Here’s a link:


2014 Lineup | Lollapalooza 2014 | August 1-3, 2014 : Grant Park : Chicago, IL

2014 Lineup | Lollapalooza 2014 | August 1-3, 2014 : Gra…

What started as a touring music festival in 1991 by Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, Lollapalooza has become a definitively unique music experience. Today, …
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Hopefully, they will not be rained on as they were last year…at least not until overnight, as we need some rain.


If you scored tix or are just going down there to get with in earshot of the acts, enjoy. Use public transportation. The CTA has lengthened its Rapid Transit trains and they are or are supposed to have added buses to and from the lakefront.



-As had mentioned last week, DVR’d several flicks off the EPIX-free weekend. One was “The Avengers” which was covered last year when it was released on the big screen. Another was, “Jack Reacher”, the film version of Brit, Lee Child’s series on the former Army MP, who’s part James Bond; part Jason Bourne; part John McClane; part Nero Wolfe; part Sherlock Holmes, and so on. Now, one might get the idea that this film is extremely derivative, which it is a bit but not totally so. It’s well-paced; acted and directed and it deserved the 3-stars it got in the preview notes.


One may wonder how the title character, who in the books would seem to call more for a Chris Evans or Chris Hemmsworth to portray him as opposed to the somewhat diminutive, Tom Cruise, who actually did. That answer is afforded in the opening seconds when we see that this film is a “Tom Cruise Production” and he is listed as the film’s producer. If not for a couple scenes, where it is obvious that either of the guys who played “Capt. America” or “Thor”, might make what happens more plausible, the film works. Despite what you just read, this is NOT a “Tom Cruise” movie. He is well-supported by the fetching-Brit, Rosamund Pike, “Andromeda” to Sam Worthington’s “Perseus” in the “Clash” and “Wrath” of the Titans films.


Robert Duvall channels his “Hub” character from “Secondhand Lions” as retired “Gunny” Cash, and is worth every minute of his screen time.



-”Guardians of the Galaxy” makes its debut. Having seen the previews of this — believe it or not — critically-acclaimed sci-fier, maybe I shouldn’t “judge a film by its previews” but…with as many good actors in it, I did not find myself thinking that I just had to see this as soon as it opened. I like Chris Pratt. Zoe Saldana does for green-skin what 3-inch stiletto-heels do for a great set of legs. And, I’m a fan of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel…the Raccoon and Tree-guy. Sorry but never heard of awesomely-fearsome-looking Dave Bautista as “Drax the Destroyer”…he’s a good guy. Will say if he’d played Jack Reacher, no doubt about his kickin’ ass and takin’ names later.


Think will take a pass on this one till it hits HBO. Wait. It’s Marvel/Disney. Make that Starz.


If anyone sees it, let us know.





-Will spend a little time on this as, well, this is almost a Rite of Summer. Each year, teams decide if they’ll take a chance on someone else’s guy(s) or rid themselves of someone they don’t want; or plan for their future or whatever. The thing is, up until 3PM, CDT, yesterday, any team could…make any trade…with any team…for any player(s) it had under its control, without fear of any other team putting in a claim on any player to block the trade. That happens next.


Around ChiTown, it’s about as busy and interesting as things get during the season as neither team is doing anything much as far as division-play is concerned. The only other time it gets more interesting is, alas, between October and April.


So, let’s take a look at who went where.


No offense to our White Sox contingent but they did nothing, so not much to say. That could have had something to do with the two guys anyone would want, Alexi and/or Abreu might be too expensive with the former and just bat-schit crazy to do with Abreu. That kid’s a near lock on Rookie of the Year honors. He’s on pace to hit 45 homers and drive in well over 100. There may be some “waiver” claim guys coming in the next few weeks, though.


OK, on to “Hope Springs Eternal” on the North Side. During yesterday’s “getaway-game”, they traded Emilio Bonifacio and James Russell to the Braves for a switch-hitting, catching-prospect, Victor Caratini. Right now, his OBA is .377, which is nice but his B/A is only .277. That said, they now have in their system a lefty-hitting catcher and #1 pick, Kyle Schwarber along with Caratini. Don’t see too many of either…and…catching is a rare commodity in the bigs.


That said, this is all “on the come”. But, once we get to September, minor leaguers may be called up without that ML time being counted against their “Service time”; which means the team retains control and it forestalls arbitration eligibility.


On that count, I don’t care a feather or a fig or a fart in a hurricane. This team is owned by billionaires and its value is– nearly — 150% of what it was when they bought the team for $850,000,000.00.


So, I want to see Kris Bryant at 3rd or in Left; Javier Baez at 2nd, completing the infield with Castro, Rizzo and Castillo. I want to see Alcantara in Center and Soler in Right and let the chips fly.


In other words, while I haven’t been embarrassed with their play lately…that may change when they visit Rene’s Doyers this weekend…it’s time for them to “put up”. I want to have a reason to want…repeat…w-a-n-t…to watch them, other than to fill in some dead time and be embarrassed to admit having watched them. Besides that, it should be fun.



-The Tiggers added David Price to their staff, giving them 3-Cy Young winners. However, perhaps envisioning seeing the Tiggers in the playoffs, the A’s added Red Sawx lefty, Jon Lester to their staff for Yeonis Cespedes. AND, the RedTurds also got RHP John Lackey for Joe Kelly, whom the Cubs couldn’t hit for schitt and struggling Allen Craig.


As far as actual games were concerned, DaFlubs and Jake Arrieta beat the Rockies, 3-1. The guy they got from the Orioles for next-to nothing is now 6-2 with a 2.11 ERA. Granted, the NL hasn’t seen much of him, so there may not be a complete book on him. Still, yesterday, his slider was filthy-slick-down and dirty. As they’ve traded away two starters, this helps.






Here’s a link…



Hall of Fame 2014 –

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Otherwise, not much to speak of. It’s Training Camp and every team is the Super Bowl 50 Champ. (Yes the Collective decided no Roman Numeral “L”. Don’t know why. Well, maybe I do, as I have had a tendency to confuse “L”- 50, with “D” – 500.

And am pretty dang sure there are those who only know that “M” stands for 1000 because it appears an movies and TV shows.


However, there are some new rules tweaks and as a service, here thy are, from Ed Hocculi. Here’s a link….



Veteran NFL ref Ed Hochuli explains rule changes

Veteran NFL ref Ed Hochuli explains rule changes

Contact between receivers, defensive backs will be point of emphasis
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Don’t worry, it’s no subliminal way to get you to the Packers website. It happened to be in a post, which I found rather informative.


OK, time to go. I’ve been doing this for a few hours and Lolla’s begun, so TTFN.


Have a great weekend and remember, any day you an look down at a plant; not up at its roots; it’s a good one.





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