Sunday, May 31, 2020

Texas: "Cautiously coming back from the shutdown."

The key word in the clock-baitish headline is "cautiously." What if there were a reopening, and very few came? It would lessen the chance of a surge -- and an economic recovery.

Texas Is Showing the World How to Reopen Cautiously at Bloomberg

A month into lifting restrictions, coronavirus cases haven’t surged. Many residents are keeping their distance, raising doubts about the speed of the economic recovery.

Over Memorial Day weekend, a club in Houston hosted a pool party that looked straight out of spring break, with loads of bulky bare chests, bikinis and day drinking on an umbrella-filled patio during a balmy Saturday.

A day earlier, Texas Governor Greg Abbott allowed bars—along with rodeos, bowling alleys and bingo halls—to open their doors at reduced capacity in the second phase of the state’s plan to restart the economy after shutting down in early April to slow the coronavirus.

The scene at Clé Houston, which quickly spread on social media, played to stereotypes of Texans—libertarian, don’t-tread-on-me types who prize personal freedom.

But the reality of how many of the state’s citizens are behaving is much different. In other parts of the city that Saturday, bars were tame, even boring, with sparse attendance and plenty of crowd control. Some owners marked tables and floors with an X to reinforce social distancing. Another set out squeeze bottles filled with hand sanitizer.

South Padre Island, this was not.

A month into the reopening of one of America’s biggest economic engines, Texas looks a lot like those other Houston watering holes: cautiously coming back from the shutdown ...

Bourbonism can't help us. Neoliberal frauds be gone. Greg Fischer is clothesless, and he should resign, now.

Floyd County DemoDisneyDixiecrats issue courageously mundane statement about racism, then return to fundraising.

Actually no, the party's chairman said almost nothing of substance. Why would he, after so many years of relying on sheer nothingness?

It’s past time to look ourselves in the mirror and recognize we must be an active part of the solution. Every single one of us.

Strong stuff, Squire. Solid. Gibberish, but artful.

On the other hand, here's a guy who actually has something to say about the topic. Maybe he can do it because he's not depending on right-wing voters.

The intro follows. I advise you to click the link and read the essay in its entirety.

Racist Policies and Racist Systems
, by Perry Bacon Jr. (Bluegrass Beat)

I have received a lot of messages from friends/readers asking what I think about what’s happened in Minneapolis, Louisville and across the country over the last week. So here are my thoughts. I want to emphasize 1. I’m speaking simply for myself and not trying to represent the views of black men, black people or any other broader group. 2. I’m not an expert on racism or policing, as I will explain below.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

CULTURAL BITS: Bessie Smith.

If I go to church on Sunday
Then just shimmy down on Monday
Ain't nobody's bizness if I do

Is the film clip from Ken Burns' Jazz series? That'd be my guess. A few days ago I streamed a couple of Bessie Smith's compilation albums, and if you know her recorded output by "Gimme A Pigfoot" alone, there's lots more of interest in the archive. Insofar as Bessie Smith could do it her way, she did. The result was a canon that has endured for 80-odd years since her final recordings.

Bessie Smith Cultural Center

At an early age Bessie began performing on the streets of Chattanooga. In pursuit of a better life, Bessie left Chattanooga in 1912 to join a traveling minstrel and vaudeville show as a dancer and singer with Pa and Ma Rainey. As a teenager, Ma Rainey became Bessie’s mentor and she stayed with the show until 1915. She gradually developed her own following in the south and along the eastern seaboard. Ma Rainey greatly influenced Bessie’s showmanship, however Bessie’s elegant contralto and her hypnotizing delivery was very different from that of Rainey.

By the time of her death, Bessie was known around the world. She was a beloved diva who appeared with the best players of the day at sold out concerts in theaters coast to coast. Bessie’s pleasing contralto and mesmerizing showmanship propelled her from poverty to international fame as a singer of “classic” blues tunes, many of which she wrote and co-wrote. Before the Great Depression, Bessie was the highest-paid black entertainer in the world, collecting as much as two thousand dollars a week to sing such songs as her own, “Nobody Knows you When You’re Down and Out,” “Empty Bed Blues,” and “Backwater Blues,” accompanied by the finest musicians of the day, including Louis Armstrong, Lonnie Johnson, and Benny Goodman.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Warren Nash blames the county for his hemorrhoids ... and the GREEN MOUSE presents NAWBANY WEEK IN REVIEW.

Most of us spent the holiday weekend watching the COVID deniers merrily clustering together, which would be encouraging from a herd-thinning standpoint if it weren't hazardous for the rest of us.

By week's end yet another police atrocity against non-white Americans occurred, this time the murder of a black man in Minneapolis. This act of state-sanctioned violence prompted the usual defense of property rights and obliviousness to human life, both emanating from the very same three-percenters and their "penis proxies."

Here's a useful article that helps explain this cognitive dissonance, and you can be sure that it won't be linked at the city's web site any time soon.

When intolerant white people fear democracy may benefit marginalized people, they abandon their commitment to democracy.

Consequently, it's been a slow news week in New Albany apart from another instance of Jeff Gahan taking credit for someone else's investment: Here come the tax abatements for Northwest Ordinance Distilling.

We were forced to make do with other forms of entertainment, which the city's worst-ever former mayor provided at Facebook.

Warren, is it supposed to rain today? THE COUNTY GUVMINT DUNNIT!

Okay, but Warren, which pair is better, the original Duke boys or those one-season replacements? IT'S ALL THE COUNTY'S FAULT!

Um, okay. Do you have a nice recipe for barbecued bologna? MAKE COUNTY GUVMINT PAY FOR IT!

Admittedly it was a bit much for me to see Warren Nash state publicly that he doesn't block others on social media. Commendable, although he's conveniently forgetting the bigger issue of his beloved DemoDisneyDixiecrats, their flimsy respect for dialogue, and their equally squalid habit of squelching perceived dissent.

The full thread is here, and if you're interested in the gory details of the perennial party gutlessness, of which Warren is a functional and participating component ...

The Adamite Chronicles: Have muzzle, will drivel.

I haven’t stopped laughing since then. At precisely this pivotal moment of inexorably changing mathematics, when the Floyd County Democratic Party might have initiated an honest dialogue with its long-neglected left wing – as inhabited by genuine non-Dixiecratic Democrats and a formerly reliable but rapidly disillusioned cohort of left-leaning fellow travelers – for succor, it has chosen instead to espouse censorship and express its abiding hostility to ideas.

Can you even imagine Warren Nash, Adam Dickey or Jeff Gahan tending a stall at the marketplace of ideas?

Empty shelves ... or empty selves?


There were a few headlines of note this week.

Pints&union is taking a staycation this week, returning Tuesday 9 June.

In a nutshell, all the factors combining to make Pints&union an intimate, personable pub prior to COVID now militate against viable reopening strategies, not to mention our belief that the reopening is premature to begin with.

For at least so long as the state of Indiana maintains a relaxation of regulations for the greater good of pandemic recovery, there is an answer outside, beyond the doorways of ALL small independent businesses, not only food and drink.

It's time right now for City Hall to use our public spaces for COVID recovery.

Can City Hall conceive of such a thing without commissioning months of expensive studies from donor engineering and design firms?

In closing, Memorial Day 2020 likely will be remembered locally as the day we lost Lee Kelly, a true legend and sporting icon.

I turned my column space over to "not me" precisely because Matt's 2013 newspaper piece honoring Lee's retirement from teaching made for the finest of eulogies, in the sense that hundreds of thousands of daily interactions with thousands of students over a period of 40 years are the truest measure of Lee's substantial legacy. 

ON THE AVENUES: The late, great Lee Kelly -- by Matt Nash.

Have you been wondering about Harvest Homecoming in a time of social distancing? So has the Green Mouse. Maybe next week he'll put a cork in that bottle and start asking questions.

You may or may not be interested in learning about this "Stormy Daniels Space Force" comic book.

As George W. Bush is reputed to have said: "That was some weird shit."

Granted, I'm accustomed to receiving bizarre press releases.

The funny thing to me is that they arrive quite seldom at my actual request. During NABC times, they were about craft beer and various essential gadgets or get-craft-quick schemes. NA Confidential has generated its share, and these days all the bots have learned about my "digital editor" job title at Food & Dining Magazine.

However, this one takes the proverbial cake, having absolutely nothing to do with anything I do.

It must be experienced in its entirety for maximum impact and cranial, er, penetration.



TidalWave Productions has also struck a deal to pen a fictional series starring Stormy Daniels.

This fall, TidalWave will develop a fiction comic book series with Daniels called “Stormy Daniels: Space Force.” Captain Stormy Daniels commands the Helix, a starship serving the United Republic of Earth and its leader, “very stable genius” OrDon. Daniels and her crew – capitalists at heart – are for hire. It is Barbarella-meets-Star Trek-meets-Stripperalla in a racy comedy, action and adventure series starring Daniels.

Created by Stormy Daniels and Darren G. Davis featuring art by Pablo Martinena. The comic book series is written by Michael Frizell and ‘Amazing Race’ alumni/ Lexington, Kentucky resident Andrew Shayde. Special covers by famed comic artist Bill Walko and Agung Prabowo.

“I have joined forces with to create this comic and TidalWave has been so generous with allowing my input”, said Daniels “ I could not be happier with the outcome. Bonus is I get to add badass comic book character to my resume.”

“We are excited to be teaming up for this far out adventure with Stormy”, said TidalWave publisher Darren G. Davis. “We have not just created a fun comic book but a brand that will include action figures and an animated series”.

The Bohemia Group will be developing this into an animated series. “Working with Darren is always an adventure and this one may be one of my favorites. How often do you get to turn a situation like what happened with Stormy Daniels into a superhero! I am very excited to see where this one goes and happy to have Bohemia Group apart of it!” said CEO Susan Ferris from the Bohemia Group.

Released last week was a NEW and updated comic book biography on Stormy. “Female Force: Stormy Daniels” was created in conjunction with Daniels, who wrote the foreword to the book and edited the story herself. The book features new material, bonus images and an ending that is sure to please those who love stories written to empower and inspire.

Print copies of the biography comics are available on Amazon. Digital versions are available from iTunes, Kindle, Nook, ComiXology, Kobo and wherever e-books are sold.

Please feel free to use the images and credit TidalWave Productions. To download some PDF’s and covers click here:

Interview opportunities are available upon request.

For more information about the company, visit

About TidalWave Comics

TidalWave is a multifaceted multimedia production company with the mission of delivering dynamic storytelling in a variety of forms by developing graphic and literary fiction and nonfiction, audio, film and more. The company’s wide range of diverse titles delight readers through its creative and innovative storytelling available in high-quality print and electronic formats.

TidalWave delivers a multimedia experience unparalleled in the burgeoning graphic fiction and nonfiction marketplace. Dynamic storytelling, coupled with groundbreaking art, delivers an experience like no other. Stories are told through multiple platforms and genres, gracing the pages of graphic novels, novelizations, engaging audio dramas and cutting-edge film projects. Diversity defines TidalWave’s offerings in the burgeoning pop-culture marketplace through its use of fresh voices and innovative storytellers.

As one of the top independent publishers of comic books and graphic novels, TidalWave unites cutting-edge art and engaging stories produced by the publishing industry’s most exciting artists and writers. Its extensive catalog of comic book titles includes the bestsellers “10th Muse” and “The Legend of Isis,” complemented by a line of young adult books and audiobooks.

TidalWave’s publishing partnerships include entertainment icon William Shatner (“TekWar Chronicles”), legendary filmmaker Ray Harryhausen (“Wrath of the Titans,” “Sinbad: Rogue of Mars,” “Jason and the Argonauts” and more), novelists S.E. Hinton (“The Puppy Sister”) and William F. Nolan (“Logan’s Run”), and celebrated actors Vincent Price (“Vincent Price Presents”), Dirk Benedict of the original “Battlestar Galactica” (“Dirk Benedict in the 25th Century”) and Adam West of 1966’s “Batman” fame (“The Mis-Adventures of Adam West”). TidalWave also publishes a highly successful line of biographical comics under the titles “Orbit,” “Fame,” “Beyond,” “Tribute,” “Female Force” and “Political Power.”

Contact Information
Publisher Darren Davis welcomes media inquiries. Interviews may be available upon request.

Darren G. Davis
Publisher, TidalWave Comics
direct line: 503-941-5851

Thursday, May 28, 2020

ON THE AVENUES: The late, great Lee Kelly -- by Matt Nash.

Lewie Stevens, Lee Kelly, John Dougherty
and Kent Sterling (1978-1980).
A few years later, minus Stevens.

On Tuesday the NA Confidential blog observed a day of silence in honor of Lee Kelly, who died on Monday. It seemed the best way; for one day, I'd shut up and observe what everyone else was saying about Lee's impact on their lives.

And also by Matt Nash, with whom I share the periodically odoriferous distinction of being a former New Albany Tribune/News and Tribune columnist. Upon Lee's retirement in May of 2013, Matt recorded his thoughts, and has given me permission to repeat them here.

Matt's essay obviously was not intended as a eulogy, and that's why it's perfect. Lee's retirement proved to be all too short, and that's profoundly sad, but he also made a difference in the lives of hundreds, probably thousands of people. They'll remember Lee for the very same experiences Matt writes about here, and it's the accumulation of these little things that make up the best curtain call of all.


NASH: The voice of the Bulldogs, by Matthew Nash (May 31, 2013)

When the final school bell rang at New Albany High School on the 2013 term, another legendary teacher left the building for the final time. He had a profound impact on me as a student and one of the few teachers that when I see them out in the community, I want to go up and engage him in conversation.

Next year someone new will come and take over at WNAS radio, but it will not be the same now that Lee Kelly has decided to hang up the microphone.

It is not an exaggeration when I say that I may not have made it through high school without his class and I am a better person for having him as an instructor. I was a kid that had a lot of potential when it came to studies, but I didn’t always apply myself as much as I could. A lot of the classes I took I thought were boring and did not interest me until I discovered radio. Although I did not pursue a career in broadcasting, I feel like that class helped me in many aspects of my life including writing this column every week.

I still remember the first day of class my junior year of high school. I had radio class second period and walking into the “station” back then was a little intimidating. The class was a mix of experienced seniors and the new juniors that all had to audition the year earlier in order to get in. As you walked into the suite of rooms that held the offices, transmitter, television production, editing and television and radio studios, you no longer felt like you were in the same building as the other 1,200 or so students in high school. You were part of something special.

At the top of every hour you were required to say what is called the “station identification.” Everyone has heard it a million times; it’s just so common we don’t seem to notice anymore. The “station identification” consist of the call letters and the city of license. The FCC requires all broadcast stations, television and radio to announce this as close to the top of every hour as possible. Mr. Kelly’s first job was to teach all new students how to pronounce it properly. Nearly everyone on first try would say dubya N-A-S when the correct way to say it is “double U” N-A-S.

Mr. Kelly helped with my interest in politics as part of our radio/television class. In conjunction with Mr. Dusch’s government class, we invited candidates to come and tape statements to play on the local cable station. It is still a huge part of local elections. I was a big part of that in my two years in his class and I later returned to tape my own segment when I ran for county council several years back. That was in the same studio that I used when I was a student with much of the same equipment. Construction had begun on the new studio and Mr. Kelly took the time to take me to the studio that was being built that they would move into the following year.

Back then Mr. Kelly planned and chaperoned a spring break field trip to New York City every couple of years. Looking back it must have taken a lot of guts to take a bus load of 17- and 18-year-olds to The Big Apple like that. I was part of the group back in 1987 and I still have many fond memories. Besides seeing the usual sights we saw two Broadway plays, “A Chorus Line” was in the middle of its record run and Neil Simon’s “Broadway Bound” — the third part of his semi-autobiographical trilogy staring Linda Lavin and Jonathon Silverman. We also caught a glimpse of Morgan Fairchild during a tour of the NBC building “Thirty Rock.”

We were able to see how a television show was produced when we got up early one day and went and saw “The CBS Morning Program.” Back then Mariette Hartley was the host and Mark McEwen was the weatherman. A pre “Full House” Bob Saget had a comedy segment in that program and warmed up the audience before the show. Recognizing that everyone was wearing our station logo sweatshirts he started a conversation with members of our group. He even joked with one of our other chaperones about how unfortunate it was to be a teacher with a name that was phonetically the same as a feminine hygiene product.

When I was in grade school we would listen for our favorite song on WNAS and even called the request line to hear it. We would wake up in the winter when there was snow on the ground to hear Mr. Kelly tell us whether or not school was in session during his “Coffee with Kelly” morning broadcast. For years before high school I would listen to him announce basketball on 88.1 and still do to this day especially during tournament time. Following Bulldog football and basketball will not be the same now that Lee Kelly has retired.

The moniker “Voice of the Bulldogs” was given to the radio station many years ago. I believe that it should be permanently retired along with Mr. Kelly as a tribute to his years of service to the radio station, the school and to our community.

I wish Mr. Kelly all the best during his much deserved retirement. With his voice I am sure he could have had any job he wanted in broadcasting and made as much money as he needed. He chose to teach high school and was able to touch thousands of lives over his 40 years at WNAS New Albany. I am a better person for having him as a teacher and proud to call him a friend.


Recent columns:

May 21: ON THE AVENUES: Godlessness in defense of heathens, infidels, idolaters, atheists, non-theists, irreligious people, agnostics, skeptics, heretics and apostates.

May 14: ON THE AVENUES: Food is my friend, but please, I'm no foodie.

May 7: ON THE AVENUES: COVID tolls for thee -- whatever, so hurry and get your ass back into this seat.

April 30: ON THE AVENUES: A week that was wooden like Pinocchio and dry as an unused water park or an unfilled glass.

"The pandemic patchwork exists because the U.S. is a patchwork to its core."

A long read but entirely worthwhile. Throughout American history we see the many instances of an unprepared country muddling through a crisis. COVID is the most recent. It's likely we'll continue arguing viciously about symptoms instead of addressing the rotten superstructure. 

America’s Patchwork Pandemic Is Fraying Even Further, by Ed Yong (The Atlantic)

The coronavirus is coursing through different parts of the U.S. in different ways, making the crisis harder to predict, control, or understand.

There was supposed to be a peak. But the stark turning point, when the number of daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. finally crested and began descending sharply, never happened. Instead, America spent much of April on a disquieting plateau, with every day bringing about 30,000 new cases and about 2,000 new deaths. The graphs were more mesa than Matterhorn—flat-topped, not sharp-peaked. Only this month has the slope started gently heading downward.

This pattern exists because different states have experienced the coronavirus pandemic in very different ways.

The U.S. health system isn't being fixed. As noted occasionally hereabouts, we also can't fix stupid.

This point cannot be overstated: The pandemic patchwork exists because the U.S. is a patchwork to its core. New outbreaks will continue to flare and fester unless the country makes a serious effort to protect its most vulnerable citizens, recognizing that their risk is the result of societal failures, not personal ones. “People say you can’t fix the U.S. health system overnight, but if we’re not fixing these underlying problems, we won’t get out of this,” says Sheila Davis of Partners in Health. “We’ll just keep getting pop-ups.”

And the conclusion ...

The pandemic discourse has been dominated by medical countermeasures like antibody tests (which are currently too unreliable), drugs (which are not cure-alls), and vaccines (which are almost certainly at least a year away). But social solutions like paid sick leave, which two in three low-wage workers do not have, can be implemented immediately. Imagine if the energy that went into debating the merits of hydroxychloroquine went into ensuring hazard pay, or if the president, instead of wondering out loud if disinfectant could be injected into the body, advocated for health care for all? “We have decades of social-science research that tells us these things work,” says Courtney Boen, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania. “It’s a question of political will, not scientific discovery.”

And while a vaccine will protect against only COVID-19 (if people agree to take it at all), social interventions will protect against the countless diseases that may emerge in the future, along with chronic illnesses, maternal mortality, and other causes of poor health. “This pandemic won’t be the last health crisis the U.S. faces,” Boen says. “If we want to be on better footing the next time, we want to reduce the things that put people at risk of being at risk.”

Of all the threats we know, the COVID-19 pandemic is most like a very rapid version of climate change—global in its scope, erratic in its unfolding, and unequal in its distribution. And like climate change, there is no easy fix. Our choices are to remake society or let it be remade, to smooth the patchworks old and new or let them fray even further.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

It's time right now for City Hall to use our public spaces for COVID recovery.

I'm delighted to learn that Al Knable agrees.

Knable suggested exploring whether the funds could help downtown businesses expand outdoor seating and continue curbside service to reduce lost revenue due to social distancing guidelines.

“Those are lifelines of income for those businesses,” he said.

It's time for Jeff Gahan and the Democrats to seize the initiative, get off the pot, get down to brass tracks, curb their automobile supremacy (see what I did there?) and take a glance at what's working out there in the wider world.

And no we don't need yet another $75,000 HWC Engineering or Clark Dietz or Jacobi Toombs Lanz study to accomplish this. We need to get principled, stop trying to seize properties from widows in Linden Meadows (I see you, Davey) and repurpose public spaces.

Reopening Main Street

Re-opening Main Street Post-Covid-19 Quarantine

Bringing people back downtown and to shopping streets will require confidence that the health crisis is abating, and a future outbreak will be minimized. States are now starting to re-open retail, and California Governor Gavin Newsom announced this week that California is moving to Phase Two of the State’s re-opening strategy, which includes some retail stores, with restrictions.

A vaccine is perhaps many months (or even years) away, and widespread testing infeasible in the near future. Cities and communities will need to adjust public space to allow customers back in with distancing in mind. Restaurants present an opportunity that already has many indicators of success: repurpose sidewalks, street-side parking, and parking lots into outdoor dining areas.

Alfresco dining offers the community a way to enjoy the outdoors while supporting restaurants. There is evidence Coronavirus does spread while airborne, but it may lose strength with sun and warm weather. Outdoor dining areas could be popular as the warmer summer months approach, and they would provide the area needed for establishments to enact social distancing while maintaining feasible occupancy levels.

Main Streets are critical parts of our cities’ economies and social culture, and they will need support during recovery to bring people back. More outdoor dining will send a signal to consumers that it's safe to go back out, with people being the biggest attractor of people.

As reported by Jon Henley, in the Guardian, Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius, has announced plans to turn the city into a vast open-air cafe by giving over much of its public space to the hard-hit bar and restaurant owners so they can put their tables outdoors and still observe physical distancing rules.

Kerry Cavanaugh, Los Angeles Times editorial writer who is focused on housing, transportation, and the environment, advocates that when Los Angeles starts allowing businesses to reopen in the coming weeks and months, the city could take a cue from Lithuania. She writes, “Of course, Lithuania is very different from Los Angeles. But L.A. could take some inspiration from Vilnius’ willingness to experiment with public spaces to help the city return to some safer version of normalcy. How about closing off parking spots or lanes to cars on some neighborhood commercial strips, so restaurants and cafes could place more tables outside? Or perhaps closing some less-traveled streets so people have more space to exercise outdoors while still socially distancing?” ...

BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Social distancing and the single drinker.

A very timely reminder: For the past 40 years I've always tried my best, at all times and twice on Sunday, to keep at least 6 feet away from the nearest Miller Lite.

The pandemic has strengthened my resolve.


Let's begin with some bad news.

Farewell for now to a golden age of drinking, by Schumpeter (The Economist)

The pandemic has hurt the booze business

... Lockdown and its aftermath leaves craft firms most exposed. Some have been bought by industry giants; abi now owns Goose Island and Camden Town Brewery. But many still sell from their own small premises, making it harder to attract social-distancing customers. Even in good times many barely covered their costs. Being small, they have less leverage to force their wares onto supermarket shelves. Some will either be sold or sluiced down the drain. Inevitably, the industry will lose some of its creative fizz.

In addition, two longer-term threats loom on the horizon: demography and drugs. Studies show that Generation z, the eldest of whom have recently reached drinking age, are far less likely to consume alcohol than their elders, says Javier Gonzalez Lastra of Berenberg, a bank. That will affect the drinks industry for years to come, because peak alcohol consumption has traditionally been between the ages of 18 and 34. Partly as a result, in America, historically the world’s biggest drinks market, total alcohol sales volumes have declined for three years in a row. Overlapping with youthful sobriety is cannabis use. A report co-written by iwsr last year found that this was an emerging alternative to booze among the young. Millennials in America accounted for almost half of “dualists”, who both smoke pot and imbibe. Covid-19 could benefit cannabis further. In Schumpeter’s limited experience, pot-smoking has always been something of a furtive activity. That may make it better suited to social distancing than clinking glasses in a pub.

The good news is that a great awakening of regulatory experimentation allowed to survive pandemic states of emergency would help keep us in the game.

Hip Hops: Public drinking -- and changing “stupid American liquor laws”

Rules and regulations are inevitable in any business or profession, but the ones pertaining to beverage alcohol often are a more impenetrable thicket than most, multiplied 50 times for each state in the union, compounded by additional layers of local blue laws, and seemingly imposed for the very purpose of denying that the repeal of Prohibition ever took place.

In the same article there's a list of Louisville area breweries and their current opening status.

Food & Dining Magazine’s "Hip Hops" column is devoted to the beer beat, and an essential component for the health and well being of any city’s beer scene is its core of local breweries. In the broadest of terms, the pandemic has been kind to Louisville’s breweries. Many of ours never closed entirely during the pandemic, and others have reopened.

Here’s a status list with the (incomplete) lowdown, as assembled Sunday afternoon in the company of a tankard of Falls City Bock — and then another, after the first.

SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS (Encore Edition): Hapax. Nonce. Googlewhack.

(originally published on October 25, 2017)

Back in 2007, a blogger for the Oxford University Press greeted the release of a new edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, which omitted many "archaic" words from prior to the year 1700.

One-Hit Wonders: From Hapax to Googlewhacks, by Ben Zimmer (OUP)

 ... Some of those pre-1700 contributions wouldn’t otherwise make the cut, since they never worked their way into general usage. In fact, some words aren’t attested anywhere else in the voluminous quotation files of the OED or in Oxford’s two-billion-word corpus of contemporary English. In lexicographical circles, this type of literary one-off is called a nonce word — or, using a Greek expression that’s much more fun to say, a hapax legomenon.

Zimmer considered the then-pursuit of Googlewhacking.

Nowadays it’s much harder to find a uniquely occurring example of a word, since we have enormous online corpora at our fingertips thanks to Google and other search engines. And of course, as soon as you find an online hapax, it’s no longer a hapax as soon as you discuss it online! It’s a bit easier to find a combination of two words that appear only once on a webpage indexed by Google. This type of singular collocation has been dubbed a Googlewhack, and the hunt for them is known as Googlewhacking. It was much simpler to find Googlewhacks back in 2002 when the pastime was developed, but now most of the queries no longer yield unique search results. (I won’t mention any successful ones here lest I spoil their whackability.)

One gets the impression that with the passage of time -- and with humans having too much time on their hands -- Googlewhacking lost steam. Google the word Googlewhacking, and you'll see what I mean in terms of chronological results. At least one comedian/performer has adapted; this piece is from 2013.

Comedy gold – Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure, by Bruce Dessau (The Guardian)

The self-mocking anecdotalist pinballs around the planet on an absurd, 91,000-mile trek fuelled only by goodhearted positivity

... In Googlewhack Adventure, he darts around the world meeting people whose websites are googlewhacks – meaning they are the only sites that ping up when two random words are searched for, ie "termagant holbein" or "rarebit nutter". The bearded anecdotalist is a cross between Phileas Fogg and Luke Rhinehart's Dice Man as he pinballs around the planet, meeting creationists in California and vintage car enthusiasts in Wales, constantly approaching strangers ("I'm sure my mum told me not to do that sort of thing"). Remarkable coincidences and surprising connections help him on his way: "It's like I've summoned the Googlewhack genie."

Consequently, it appears the Golden Oldies in this digression are the hapax and the nonce -- to be consumed with a Pilsner, or perhaps a nice, solid Ordinary Bitter.

How Do You Decode a Hapax? (Also, What’s a Hapax?), by Maya Nandakumar (Atlas Obscura)

It’s a word that only appears once in a work, author’s oeuvre, or an entire language’s written record.

 ... A linguistic phenomenon similar to hapaxes is the nonce word. Authors can, in effect, produce hapaxes by creating words. Shakespeare is famous for his frequent usage of such terms. In the Taming of the Shrew, a play about matrimony and courtship, the main character Katherina, describes herself as being “bedazzled” by the sun. This word was coined by the bard for this scene, but has now received commercial fame courtesy of a rhinestoning device.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day 2020 (4 of 4): History matters, especially on Memorial Day.

There are long, long trails a-winding ...

... through places like France.

Aisne-Marne American Cemetery

With headstones lying in a sweeping curve, the 42.5-acre Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in France, sits at the foot of Belleau Wood. The cemetery contains the graves of 2,289 war dead, most of whom fought in the vicinity and in the Marne Valley in the summer of 1918. The memorial chapel sits on a hillside, decorated with sculptured and stained-glass details of wartime personnel, equipment and insignia. Inscribed on its interior wall are 1,060 names of the missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. During World War II the chapel was damaged slightly by an enemy shell.

Belleau Wood adjoins the cemetery and contains many vestiges of World War I. A monument at the flagpole commemorates the valor of the U.S. Marines who captured much of this ground in 1918.

Respecting the memory of American soldiers who died while in the service of their country is a task perhaps best undertaken with respect for history.

Speaking only for myself, I take it very seriously. It's a habit of thought almost certainly springing from my father's fascination with far-off events that conspired to transport a hick from bucolic Georgetown, Indiana to the Pacific Theater of Operations -- and in his case, back home again.

Others weren't as lucky, and every year on Memorial Day, I pause to reflect on the serendipity of it all.

As a prelude to Memorial Day, there tend to be scolding social media reminders to the effect that Americans fixated on holiday feasting, partying and recreation somehow dishonor the nation's military heritage. To be sure, I contribute my fair share of rants about the general populace and its chronic ignorance of history.

However, I don't think honor and bacchanalia are mutually exclusive concepts. After all, the venerable institution of the wake combines them very effectively, and what's more, the human condition is incapable of sustaining a permanent state of mourning. Life does go on.

Like the vast majority of topics pertaining to human beings, the notion of dying for one's country is inordinately complex. John Gonder once touched on it during a conversation, when he mentioned the notorious escape clause during the American Civil War, where men drafted into the Union Army could buy their way out of service by paying $300 or providing a substitute to serve (and sometimes die) in their place.

During the Vietnam War, songwriter John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival noticed it, too: Exactly how is it determined who risks dying for his or her country, and who subsequently profits from their deaths?

Dick Cheney might know the answer.

Preferably, respecting the memory of American soldiers who died while in the service of their country is a task best undertaken with a respect for history on the part of those still living, along with sadness and regret that human civilization seems not to have evolved to a point of no longer requiring violence to settle issues. War is a ridiculous concept, although humans seem enamored of it.

It's also a holiday weekend, and I suspect you are enjoying it.

Carry on, then.

Memorial Day (Snopes)

Claim: Former slaves reburied dead Union prisoners of war in May 1865, thus creating the modern observance of Memorial Day.


TRUE: In May 1865, free blacks in Charleston reburied dead Union prisoners of war and held a cemetery dedication ceremony.

UNDETERMINED: The event referenced above is the origin of the modern Memorial Day observance.

Wikipedia's article goes into greater detail.

Memorial Day 2020 (1 of 4): Howard Zinn asks, "Whom Will We Honor Memorial Day?"

Memorial Day 2020 (2 of 4): Charles Ives, from Decoration Day to Memorial Day.

Memorial Day 2020 (3 of 4): "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream."

Memorial Day 2020 (4 of 4): History matters, especially on Memorial Day.

Memorial Day 2020 (3 of 4): "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream."

I've forgotten the context, but thanks to RG for the idea; in essence, the best way to honor the departed is to live in peace, even if humans seem incapable of doing it and unwilling to try.

As I'm fond of saying, a boy can dream.

Ed McCurdy (January 11, 1919 – March 23, 2000) was an American folk singer, songwriter, and television actor. His most well-known song was the anti-war "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream", written in 1950.

Last night I had the strangest dream
I ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war
I dreamed I saw a mighty room
Filled with women and men
And the paper they were signing said
They'd never fight again

And when the papers all were signed
And a million copies made
They all joined hands and bowed their heads
And grateful prayers were prayed
And the people in the streets below
Were dancing round and round
And guns and swords and uniforms
Were scattered on the ground

Last night I had the strangest dream
I ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war


Memorial Day 2020 (1 of 4): Howard Zinn asks, "Whom Will We Honor Memorial Day?"

Memorial Day 2020 (2 of 4): Charles Ives, from Decoration Day to Memorial Day.

Memorial Day 2020 (3 of 4): "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream."

Memorial Day 2020 (4 of 4): History matters, especially on Memorial Day.

Memorial Day 2020 (2 of 4): Charles Ives, from Decoration Day to Memorial Day.

All traditions must begin somewhere.

May 30, 1868: Civil War dead honored on Decoration Day (History)

By proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, the first major Memorial Day observance is held to honor those who died “in defense of their country during the late rebellion.” Known to some as “Decoration Day,” mourners honored the Civil War dead by decorating their graves with flowers. On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery. The 1868 celebration was inspired by local observances that had taken place in various locations in the three years since the end of the Civil War.

(In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May.)

The composer Charles Ives' father served in the Union Army as a bandmaster.

Decoration Day According to Charles Ives (Prufrock's Dilemma)

Charles Ives wrote of his piece Decoration Day, the second of the four pieces included in his A Symphony: New England Holidays, that it “started as a brass band overture, but never got very far that way.”

Both musical and written remembrances conjure a time long past.

Ives' postface to Decoration Day reads:

In the early morning the gardens and woods around the village are the meeting places of those who, with tender memories and devoted hands, gather the flowers for the Day's Memorial.** During the forenoon as the people join each other on the Green there is felt, at times, a fervency and intensity--a shadow perhaps of the fanatical harshness--reflecting old Abolitionist days. It is a day as Thoreau suggests, when there is a pervading consciousness of "Nature's kinship with the lower order-man."

After the Town Hall is filled with the Spring's harvest of lilacs, daisies, and peonies, the parade is slowly formed on Main Street. First come the three Marshals on plough horses (going sideways), then the Warden and Burgesses in carriages, the Village Cornet Band, the G.A.R., two by two, the Militia (Company G), while the volunteer Fire Brigade, drawing a decorated hose-cart, with its jangling bells, brings up the rear-the inevitable swarm of small boys following. The march to Wooster Cemetery is a thing a boy never forgets. The roll of the muffled drums and "Adestes Fideles" answer for the dirge. A little girl on a fencepost waves to her father and wonders if he looked like that at Gettysburg.

After the last grave is decorated, Taps sounds out through the pines and hickories, while a last hymn is sung. The ranks are formed again, and "we all march to town" to a Yankee stimulant-Reeves inspiring Second Regiment Quickstep-though, to many a soldier, the sombre thoughts of the day underlie the tunes of the band. The march stops-and in the silence of the shadow of the early morning flower-song rises over the Town, and the sunset behind the West Mountain breathes its benediction upon the Day [Memos, 101-102].

** Decoration Day corresponds to the Memorial Day holiday that we currently celebrate in the United States to honor war veterans.

Memorial Day 2020 (1 of 4): Howard Zinn asks, "Whom Will We Honor Memorial Day?"

Memorial Day 2020 (2 of 4): Charles Ives, from Decoration Day to Memorial Day.

Memorial Day 2020 (3 of 4): "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream."

Memorial Day 2020 (4 of 4): History matters, especially on Memorial Day.

Memorial Day 2020 (1 of 4): Howard Zinn asks, "Whom Will We Honor Memorial Day?"

"No politician who voted funds for war, no business contractor for the military, no general who ordered young men into battle, no FBI man who spied on anti-war activities, should be invited to public ceremonies on this sacred day. Let the dead of past wars be honored. Let those who live pledge themselves never to embark on mass slaughter again."
-- Howard Zinn

To me, the most disrespectful act that might be directed against the fallen from past wars, or the veterans still among us, is to accept self-censorship as it pertains to discussing the honest, real-world reasons why these conflicts occurred. There's no "either-or" fallacy stipulating that we all fall into line, or else be considered traitors.

Memorialize, and never stop asking questions, even when the answers are unpleasant. Some day we might learn. If we tolerate silence, then our children obviously will be next. If we tolerate war, pestilence and mayhem, then a little Zinn is good for whatever remains of our souls

Whom Will We Honor Memorial Day?, by Howard Zinn

Published on June 2, 1976 in the Boston Globe and republished in The Zinn Reader with the brief introduction below.

Memorial Day will be celebrated … by the usual betrayal of the dead, by the hypocritical patriotism of the politicians and contractors preparing for more wars, more graves to receive more flowers on future Memorial Days. The memory of the dead deserves a different dedication. To peace, to defiance of governments.

In 1974, I was invited by Tom Winship, the editor of the Boston Globe, who had been bold enough in 1971 to print part of the top secret Pentagon Papers on the history of the Vietnam War, to write a bi-weekly column for the op-ed page of the newspaper. I did that for about a year and a half. The column below appeared June 2, 1976, in connection with that year’s Memorial Day. After it appeared, my column was cancelled.

* * * * *

Memorial Day will be celebrated as usual, by high-speed collisions of automobiles and bodies strewn on highways and the sound of ambulance sirens throughout the land.

It will also be celebrated by the display of flags, the sound of bugles and drums, by parades and speeches and unthinking applause.

It will be celebrated by giant corporations, which make guns, bombs, fighter planes, aircraft carriers and an endless assortment of military junk and which await the $100 billion in contracts to be approved soon by Congress and the President.

There was a young woman in New Hampshire who refused to allow her husband, killed in Vietnam, to be given a military burial. She rejected the hollow ceremony ordered by those who sent him and 50,000 others to their deaths. Her courage should be cherished on Memorial Day. There were the B52 pilots who refused to fly those last vicious raids of Nixon’s and Kissinger’s war. Have any of the great universities, so quick to give honorary degrees to God-knows-whom, thought to honor those men at this Commencement time, on this Memorial Day?

No politician who voted funds for war, no business contractor for the military, no general who ordered young men into battle, no FBI man who spied on anti-war activities, should be invited to public ceremonies on this sacred day. Let the dead of past wars be honored. Let those who live pledge themselves never to embark on mass slaughter again.

“The shell had his number on it. The blood ran into the ground…Where his chest ought to have been they pinned the Congressional Medal, the DSC, the Medaille Militaire, the Belgian Croix de Guerre, the Italian gold medal, The Vitutea Militara sent by Queen Marie of Rumania. All the Washingtonians brought flowers .. Woodrow Wilson brought a bouquet of poppies.”

Those are the concluding lines of John Dos Passos angry novel 1919. Let us honor him on Memorial Day.

And also Thoreau, who went to jail to protest the Mexican War.

And Mark Twain, who denounced our war against the Filipinos at the turn of the century.

And I.F. Stone, who virtually alone among newspaper editors exposed the fraud and brutality of the Korean War.

Let us honor Martin Luther King, who refused the enticements of the White House, and the cautions of associates, and thundered against the war in Vietnam.

Memorial Day should be a day for putting flowers on graves and planting trees. Also, for destroying the weapons of death that endanger us more than they protect us, that waste our resources and threaten our children and grandchildren.

On Memorial Day we should take note that, in the name of “defense,” our taxes have been used to spend a quarter of a billion dollars on a helicopter assault ship called “the biggest floating lemon,” which was accepted by the Navy although it had over 2,000 major defects at the time of its trial cruise.

Meanwhile, there is such a shortage of housing that millions live in dilapidated sections of our cities and millions more are forced to pay high rents or high interest rates on their mortgages. There’s 90 billion for the B1 bomber, but people don’t have money to pay hospital bills.

We must be practical, say those whose practicality has consisted of a war every generation. We mustn’t deplete our defenses. Say those who have depleted our youth, stolen our resources. In the end, it is living people, not corpses, creative energy, not destructive rage, which are our only real defense, not just against other governments trying to kill us, but against our own, also trying to kill us.

Let us not set out, this Memorial Day, on the same old drunken ride to death.

And as an epilogue of sorts.

Berrigan, Ellsberg and Memorial Day, by Doug Noble (CounterPunch)

Memorial Day is a day noted for its parades honoring veterans by ennobling, glorifying (and thereby perpetuating) US war and militarism. The peace community in Rochester observes instead a solemn riverside service memorializing the thousands of victims of current US war and aggression, with each victim symbolized by a single rose tossed lovingly into the river’s flow.

Victims memorialized include the casualties of US sanctioned war and aggression, from Afghanistan and Iraq to Syria to Yemen to Somalia to South Sudan to Palestine. Also the many innocent victims of drone attacks, inhumane US immigration and incarceration policies, militarization of the police, and preventable gun violence. And the worldwide victims of catastrophic climate change, fed by US policies of denial and consumption. And an entire global population victimized by the threat of nuclear Armageddon triggered by senseless US provocations of Iran, North Korea, Russia, China.

There would not be enough roses to identify and honor even the tiniest sample of the the thousands of innocent victims lost to aggressive US policies. Such roses could easily choke the Genesee River in sorrow. Yet remembrance, however heartfelt, is still insufficient. After all, in his Gettysburg memorial address, Abraham Lincoln noted the futility of consecrating the war dead without rectifying the war’s cause: “It is for us the living to be dedicated to the unfinished work … so that these dead shall not have died in vain.” What, then, might move us toward peace, a peace threatened, most of all, by our own government’s unrelenting appetite for war?

I turn to the book of Daniel – that is, the book of Daniel Berrigan and Daniel Ellsberg, two icons whose monumental contribution to peace cannot be misconstrued ...

Memorial Day 2020 (1 of 4): Howard Zinn asks, "Whom Will We Honor Memorial Day?"

Memorial Day 2020 (2 of 4): Charles Ives, from Decoration Day to Memorial Day.

Memorial Day 2020 (3 of 4): "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream."

Memorial Day 2020 (4 of 4): History matters, especially on Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Count me in, emphatically: "Like it or not, a second Age of Revolution is dawning."

I endorse the following remarks.

Covid-19 has changed everything. Now we need a revolution for a born-again world, by Simon Tisdall (The Guardian)

As global demands for justice and equality gather force, only a truly radical agenda can make it happen

... Many countries have seen small-scale Covid-related protests. Yet by and large, insurrection has not gone viral – yet.

That’s despite a consensus among business leaders, scientists and pundits that the world will never be the same again. A watershed has been reached, they say. Mostly older people are suffering now, but millions among the younger generations may have their lives forcibly upended for years to come. Like it or not, a second Age of Revolution is dawning.

So the real question is not whether but what manner of revolution is coming ...

Pints&union is taking a staycation this week, returning Tuesday 9 June.

This post has been updated to reflect Joe's decision to extend the staycation to June 8, which means we'll be reopening on the 9th of June.

At Facebook on Saturday night:

Starting today we are taking a break to clean, plan and revise May 23-June 9. While most were home in quarantine we have been hard at it since day one of this current challenge. We are stepping back to observe and rest and keep our staff and guests safe. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT. We look forward to seeing you June 9 and share our new vision and extension of hospitality. Be safe everyone, Cheers.

I don't have much to add, apart from stressing to you, the reader, that the stress is very real, and our owners and staff need a break.

As noted previously, it isn't only flipping a business model overnight from dine-in to carry-out; it's also assuming the responsibilities of the LEE Initiative outreach to displaced restaurant industry workers. That's two separate businesses in one, for-profit and non-profit, working amid all the myriad uncertainties of the pandemic.

My own two cents: Joe's most important point herein is "stepping back to observe."

The past two weeks of restaurant reopenings has revealed a division (not unexpected, by the way) among customers: some eager to turn back the clock and dine in again, others who are not willing to do so for some time to come, and yet another grouping of folks who are waiting and watching -- observing, as it were.

Pints&union is in a position to do the same. It isn't yet clear what reopening will bring for the restaurant industry.

Profits? Losses? A spike in infections? A placid return to normality? Will pent-up demand be sustained at the present unemployment rate? How long will it take for the economy to return to pre-COVID levels? Will it ever?

Conversely, as my post today at Food & Dining Magazine suggests, the time for change is now -- whether micro or macro: Edibles & Potables: Tunde Wey’s radical thinking about restaurants.

Even I don't know exactly how Pints&union will resume operations, only that we will. Literally and figuratively, all the cards are on the table. Allow me to echo Joe by thanking you for your support, especially for the growler program. There are a few already poured that may be made available for perfectly legal "speakeasy bootleg" sales next week. Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

It's been four decades since Mt. St. Helens erupted.

40 years ago (on May 18) Mt. St. Helens literally blew its ... side; not so much its top.

Mount St. Helens is most notorious for its major eruption on May 18, 1980, the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in US history. Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed. A massive debris avalanche, triggered by an earthquake of magnitude 5.1, caused a lateral eruption that reduced the elevation of the mountain's summit from 9,677 ft (2,950 m) to 8,363 ft (2,549 m), leaving a 1 mile (1.6 km) wide horseshoe-shaped crater. The debris avalanche was up to 0.7 cubic miles (2.9 km3) in volume. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was created to preserve the volcano and allow for the eruption's aftermath to be scientifically studied.

This video is instructive.

The pressure caused a landslide on the mountain's north side, which uncorked a horizontal explosion that killed every living thing within an expanse of 230 square miles -- roughly speaking, this:

After the huge blast, smaller eruptions continued over a period of six years.

As the poet once cooed, time heals all wounds. Nature rapidly is reclaiming the damaged areas around Mt. St. Helens.

Mount St. Helens Is Going Green Again

Forty years of satellite imagery chronicles a remarkable floral comeback.

Recently, the NASA Earth Observatory published satellite images of the mountain taken in the years after the eruption. Since Mount St. Helens’s collapse, life in the vicinity has bounced back. Though not yet visible from space, flowering plants like the prairie lupine have been seen on the Pumice Plain, a distinctive stretch of hostile volcanic sediment on the northern slope, the area that saw the worst devastation.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Homeless, be gone! It's the GREEN MOUSE with NAWBANY WEEK IN REVIEW.

The more things change, the more they stay precisely the same. It's not a coincidence, you know.

Delusion, meet narcissism: Jeff Gahan denies the reality of homelessness while proposing to demolish affordable housing options.

We'll get there in a moment. First, be aware that the Green Mouse is fond of the word kakistocracy.


Government by the least suitable or competent citizens of a state.

A state or society governed by its least suitable or competent citizens.

It's a recipe, or maybe a mathematical formula: Nawbany + kakistocracy = New Gahania.

It's a ruling clique of cronies, most prominently Jeff Gahan, Warren Nash, Adam Dickey, David Duggins and Shane Gibson. Josh Staten suffers a degree of cognitive dissonance because deep down he knows better, but being redevelopment chief implies a foot on the middle rung of the ladder. Todd Bailey, the chief of police? Yes, so long as he remains pliant and allows those streets to remain safe for automobiles.

Bob Caesar believes he's in the clique, although the good old boys just laugh at Bobby behind his back. Jason Applegate desperately wants to be part of the fun; for reasons that have little to do with his qualifications, the clique is willing to use him. That's why Applegate spearheaded Thursday's assault on the homeless (below).

The New Gahanian kakistocracy is all male, all white and all bound up with pay-to play monetization via the mayor's band of campaign donors -- but we already knew that.

A few weeks ago Allen Howie's Idealogy newsletter inadvertently addressed the fundamental problem with the kakistocratic clique's unpreparedness to deal with our new realities.


World War Z, the Tenth Man and You

In the 2013 Brad Pitt film, World War Z, a deadly virus washes over the globe unchecked, turning millions into zombies. But one place remains a safe harbor: Jerusalem, which managed to erect high walls around its perimeter before the outbreak reached the city.

Pitt’s character asks one of the city’s top officials how they were able to respond in time. He replies that they overheard communication from a small country about “zombies.” Why would you even pay attention to something so ludicrous, Pitt wonders.

The official then tells him about the tenth man, an idea created in the tragic wake of the Holocaust, the Munich Olympics and the Yom Kippur war — all events his nation’s leaders believed were impossible until they happened.

“If nine of us with the same information arrive at the same conclusion, it’s the duty of the tenth man to disagree,” he said. “No matter how improbable it may seem, the tenth man has to start thinking with the assumption that the other nine are wrong.”

What does all this have to with your company?

When you consider threats or opportunities, it’s often as a group. And what emerges is consensus — you act on the challenges or possibilities everyone can agree on. Outliers get voted off the island.

But a group can be wrong. A lone voice can be right. And in business, the greatest successes go to the contrarians. The early adopters. Those who question the assumptions.

So whether you’re thinking about an updated business model for this new normal, rethinking your marketing and messaging, or revisiting your product and service options, consider designating a tenth man.

Of course, the tenth man may be a woman. They could be (and maybe should be) someone from outside daily operations. Maybe even someone from outside your industry. They need to be someone who can speak freely without repercussions. Someone you’ll listen to. And someone with experience in thinking differently.

You’re as unlikely to have to deal with zombies as you are to hang with Brad Pitt. But every business would be better prepared for a rapidly-changing future if it embraced the idea of the tenth man. Who’s yours?


Who's Jeff Gahan's tenth man?

That's the whole point, because there isn't one, and there cannot be.

As we've observed for years, membership in the clique is based primarily on one abiding qualification, that Dear Leader's narcissistic genius is not questioned. It's intellectual inbreeding, and outside blood need not apply.

It's why the crisis of the pandemic is tantamount to Toto pulling back the Wizard's curtain; the coronavirus simply cannot be mollified with a $100,000 HWC Engineering study. COVID's ripple effect will expose municipal government's conceptual nudity, and it won't be a pretty sight.

Our kakistocrats don't know how to do their business if it's not business as usual. Grasping for straws, looking for something or someone to blame, they found an easy target.

Same as it ever was: the homeless.

New Albany turns down $50,000 request for homeless shelter, by Daniel Suddeath (Hanson's Christian Digest)

NEW ALBANY — Despite approving the appropriation unanimously on initial readings in February, the New Albany City Council rejected a $50,000 funding request for Catalyst Rescue Mission on Thursday night.

The vote was 6-3, with council members Al Knable, Scott Blair and Josh Turner supporting the request.

Those opposed to the measure cited their beliefs that not enough funding is going directly to programming for homeless residents after they enter the shelter, and that the New Albany Trustee's office is already providing many of the services that Catalyst offers.

Councilman Jason Applegate said that in reviewing the financial information provided by Catalyst Executive Director Jim Moon, only about $2,700 of the $50,000 would have gone to programming and food.

"I couldn't get over where it was such a small percent of this money that goes to the programs that help people," he said.

Can we be honest, just for a moment?

A garden-variety space alien beamed down to observe politics in Nawbany would require no more than ten minutes to grok this situation.

First, our DemoDisneyDixiecrats HAVE ALWAYS been hostile to funding requests pertaining to the homeless.

Second, Republicans were in favor of the Catalyst funding (well, except the perpetually befuddled David Aebersold), thus dooming it, given a pliant, boot-licking DemoDisneyDixiecratic majority.

I suppose we’ll see an editorial in Extol Magazine spinning the vote.