Thursday, April 17, 2014

$3.7 Million Painting May Have Gone to the Landfill

Snowy Mountain Painting Worth Millions Thrown Away? It's happened again. A conscientious but artistically wanting security guard has sent a pricey piece of art to the trash collector, maybe, according to this story. Sold on Monday and missed the next day, security cameras showed a guard kicking the painting into a pile of genuine garbage. While this could be the story, isn't this also an effective method of making off with the treasure?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Feds Won't Recognize the Tribe of Pocahontas

Pocahontas and her son, Thomas Rolfe, for whom the 1965 Preakness Stakes winner and champion 3 yr. old male, out of the race mare Pocahontas, was named.

Pocahontas was captured by the English as a teenager in perhaps 1612 in what is now Virginia and married two years later to Englishman John Rolfe. Her everlasting fame is because she supposedly saved the life of John Smith who was about to be decapitated by native warriors. Although she was an international celebrity during her own lifetime, passing away in Gravesend, England in 1617, the tribe to which she and her father, the chief Powhatan, belonged is unrecognized by the US to this day, according to  this article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Somehow the federal government has assumed the right to determine if a person does or does not belong to a smaller group. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sixty-seventh Anniversary of Jackie Robinson's First Major League Game on Tuesday

Tuesday, April 15, will be celebrated in ball parks across the US as the anniversary of Jackie Robinson's intial major league game and the first for an African-American per this from Major League Baseball.

The story fails to mention exactly how Robinson got into the Dodger line-up. One might get the impression that he simply showed up one day and laced up his cleats, picked up his glove and headed out to the infield. In reality, a person never mentioned in the article, Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey, was the man who integrated major league baseball by signing Robinson to a Dodger contract, assigning him to the Dodgers' Triple AAA club in Montreal, and then bringing him up to the big club in Brooklyn. If anyone deserves to have his number retired it's Branch Rickey.

Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson in Rickey's Brooklyn Dodger office.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

An Exerpt From E. E. Evans-Pritchard's "Social Anthropology"

E.E. Evans-Pritchard
Social Anthropology and Other Essays
Free Press, NY, NY 1964
Lecture VI, Applied Anthropology
pg. 125

...for primitive peoples must have an interest for anyone who reflects at all on the nature of man and society.  Here are men without revealed religion, without a written language, without any developed scientific knowledge, often entirely naked and having only the crudest tools and habitations-men in the raw, as it were-who yet live, and for the most part live happily, in communities of their kind. We cannot imagine ourselves living, far less living contentedly, in such conditions, and we wonder-and I think we should wonder-what it is which enables them to live together in harmony, and to face courageously the hazards of life with so little to aid them in their battle against nature and fate. The mere fact that savages have no motor cars, do not read newspapers, do not buy and sell and so on, far from making them less, makes them more, interesting; for here man confronts destiny in all its harshness and pain without the cushioning of civilization, its anodynes and consolations. No wonder the philosophers thought that such men must live in constant fear and misery.

That they do not do so is because they live in a moral order which gives them security and values which make life bearable. For closer inspection shows that beneath this superficial simplicity of life there lie complex social structures and rich cultures. We are so used to thinking of culture and social institutions in terms of material civilization and size, that we miss them altogether among primitive peoples unless we search for them. We then discover that all primitive peoples have a religious faith, expressed in dogmas and rites; that they have marriage, brought about by ceremonial and other observances, and family life centred in a home; that they have a kinship system, often a very complicated system and wider than anything of the kind in our own society; that they have clubs and associations for special purposes; that they have rules, often elaborate rules, of etiquette and manners; that they have regulations, often enforced  by courts, constituting codes of civil and criminal law; that their languages are often extremely complex, phonetically and grammatically, and have vast vocabularies; that they have vernacular literature of poetry, rich in symbolism, and of chronicles, myths, folk tales, and proverbs; that they have plastic arts; that they have systems of husbandry which require considerable knowledge of seasons and soils and of plant and animal life; that they are expert fishers and hunters and adventurers by sea and land; and that they have great stores of knowledge-of magic, of witchcraft, and of oracles and divination-to which we are strangers.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Colton Barrett Racing For Athlete Octane Cycling

A national champion on the road and the track, national Div.1 Collegiate Criterium champion, North St. Paul, MN native and Marian University cycling star Colton Barrett will be riding on the Athlete Octane cycling team this summer.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

DC Cops Use Of Force Policy Is A Secret

On October 3, 2013, US Capitol Police and uniformed Secret Service agents shot to death Miriam Carey for making a legal U-turn near the US capitol and then driving away. Her baby was strapped into a car seat in the Nissan she was driving. Six months have passed but no official report on the fatal encounter has been released by authorities. This article in WND describes the current status of the situation, with no information forthcoming in over six months, except an autopsy report that showed no drugs in the system of the murdered woman.

One interesting and troubling aspect of the affair has been the refusal of either of the law enforcement agencies involved to release their use of force policies, under what circumstances are police personnel permitted to use deadly force? Why should this be a secret? Shouldn't everyone know for sure what circumstances could lead to their death at the hands of the cops? If the policies aren't made public, how does anyone know that they're not tailored to fit individual situations as they arise? What's the relationship between a police department policy and the law itself? Should the law authorize a cop to kill someone for not obeying an order?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

No Remorse Gets Newly Wed Murderess 30 Years in the Pen

Bride faces sentencing for Glacier park killing Michael Gallagher photo

 Jordan Linn Graham pushed her husband to his death off a cliff in scenic Glacier Park eight days after their marriage on July 7 of last year according to this article in the Missoulian. As is often the case, the judge in this trial based the sentence at least in part on the failure of the defendant to express remorse for her actions. She's probably pretty remorseful. Given a trip back to Glacier Park in a time machine she probably wouldin't have given new hubby Cody Johnson that shove over the edge. In fact, she might well have set the dial back 9 days or so and skipped the marriage and subsequent murder altogether.

Maybe it isn't even a curiosity that a judge would require a demonstration of remorse before pronouncing sentence, it seems to happen all the time. According to the news account she did do a substantial amount of crying during the process. It must have been transparent or badly timed or just ineffective. She needed better coaching. Defense attorneys hire jury analysts and all manner of other experts to assist in trials. I'm going to hang out my shingle as defendant remorse coach. It might be a good supplement to my current gig as a touchdown celebration coach for high school wide receivers.