Curtis Dahlgren
Channeling our inner Chicago (when yo hot, yo hot - and when yo not, well . . . )
By Curtis Dahlgren
January 25, 2011

"Moral considerations make up three quarters of the game: the relative balance of manpower accounts for only for the remaining quarter." — Napoleon I (1769-1821)

IT'S DIFFICULT TO KEEP UP WITH IT ALL, even though I follow the news as an almost full-time avocation. We need to talk about "the week that was." Let's start with the easy stuff, the weather. From Nashville to Asheville and beyond, it's been colder than Hell, Michigan. Here are some examples of the temps from last Friday:

Nashville 22; Asheville 21; Myrtle Beach 26; Hilton Head 31; Jacksonville 35; Tallahassee 28; Biloxi 29; New Orleans 35; Brownsville 42.

On Monday it was 31 in Chihuahua, Mexico and 35 below in northern Minnesota, which means what? Nothing actually. And remember that the next time the climate change enthusiasts try to use anecdotal evidence to prove man-made "global warming."

"Now that 2010 has gone down as one of history's hottest years," starts out an article in Monday's USA TODAY ("States take lead in efforts to fight climate change; They're joining forces and spending more, but higher costs are a worry"). Who writes that stuff anyway? And who's writing our "history" books? If you're saying that that was one of our hottest decades, YOU LIE (my dad tried to make a living farming through the 1930s).

Speaking of those "costs," I should say so, given the price of crude oil. And for those of you who moved to the South and turned up your noses at the North, for your information, the cost of heating my house this winter has been about ten bucks — the cost of about two gallons of fuel mix for my chain saw.

Speaking of "Four Seasons," I watched the Bears-Packers game on Miscauno Island in the Menominee River between Michigan and Wisconsin. That's also an old hideout for the Chicago mob. Sweet!

"When you're hot, you're hot and when you're not you're not."

"What goes around comes around."

"It's the Law of averages."

"Every dog has its day."


"Karma." [see Napoleon quotation again]

For the State of the Union Address, I hope the President shows a little humility this time, rather than the usual looking-down-the-nose professorial tone (while slurring his S's). It's been a bad week for Chicago.

- The Bears blew it (a 337 pounder — #90 — scored the winning TD on an 18 yard run after intercepting a pass — shades of #72's touchdown on a run of one yard or so in a Bear-Pack game long ago).

- The University of Wisconsin beat Northwestern.

- UW-Milwaukee beat Butler.

- Rahm Emmanuel got booted off the ballot.

- Keith Olbermann pulled the plug on himself.

- Paul Ryan (R-Wis) was chosen to give the GOP response to the State of the Union.

Not bad for Cow Country USA. The weekend before the SOTU mirrored what happened last November. The Dems even lost the President's old Senate seat to a meany moss-backed Republican. And in Cheesehead Land, Russ Feingold lost his butt, I mean seat (and Wisconsin got a true conservative governor who is openly courting Illinois businesses). Suppose McCain had won in 2008 and that a Dem had won his old Senate seat; imagine what a big story that would have been for Olbermann and the other "news" media (I don't even call them "mainstream" anymore — they're simply the Liberal media).

If there's a lesson to be learned from that NFC championship game, it's that the gift of gab can carry you only so many years (and that sometimes backwards). The Prez may have a way with words (the SOTU is his 901st "talk" at us), but he doesn't have a monopoly on the words anymore. I used to work in Janeville, Wisconsin and my boss personally knew Paul Ryan (don't you think he looks a bit like Ronald Reagan?).

[I forgot to mention, but Chicago lost the Olympics, too (LOL, although lots of Chicagoans were happy about that).]

I must say that some Bear fans who lost bets took it all in good humor, but others have vowed to not even watch the Super Bowl game. Not to jinx the Packers, but so far it's been a pretty good year. Green Bay goes into Dallas with six starters on the Injured Reserve list, and I understand that they've never trailed by more than seven points in any game this year. Does that not testify to the importance of depth and determination, and the rest of Lombardi's "4 Ds"?


A "suicide bomber" blew up an airport in Moscow and killed scores of people. The bomber will probably turn out to be someone driven by poverty and "desperation," not religion again. Meanwhile back in Iraq, a "poor" Islamist blew up more than 51 Shiite pilgrims south of Badhdad (the story made page 4A of the USA TODAY). Dumb question, but how can it be called the Religion of Peace when they're killing each other? Catholics don't usually kill Catholics, or Lutherans, Lutherans (shoot — in America they don't kill each other either).

What is wrong with this picture: Christians continue to move out of Iraq, and in Monday's paper is a story about "Gaza militants" who killed 21 Coptic Christians in Alexandria on New Year's Day ("The deadliest attack against Christians in more than a decade). The story made page 6A. I think there ought to be a moment of silence during the State of Union speech for all the Christians killed in Iraq, Egypt, and other parts of Africa, not mention Russia and other parts of the world.

By the way, a consolation prize for Illinois Democrats is that Bill Daley is to be White House chief-of-staff and that over 100 New York mobsters have been eliminated from competition — er, I mean circulation. Locking up 90-year-old New Yorkers is all fine and dandy, Mr. DOJ, but what are you doing about the M13 gang bangers and other mobsters? That's a story for another day, but while we spend tons of money on law enforcement, we can't even slow down gun- or drug- or human-trafficking on the southern border.

P.S. Speaking of pulling the plug, it's great that Representative Giffords is "responding" to visits by her family members, but I'm having eerie memories of Terri Schindler's "responses" to her family's visits. One judge pulled the plug on her anyway, so I wonder if the Hemlock Society or other pro-euthanasia groups would've been so quick to pull the plug on Gabby as they were on Terri.

That's one of those politically unspeakable "social issues," these days, but it demonstrates the danger of getting the government involved in picking winners and losers (in business or anything else). This is America and there's no excuse for Federal involvement in end-of-life consulting - or giving medical doctors incentives for getting RESULTS.

We all know the implications and ramifications of the aging Baby Boomers, don't we?

For two years now the Administration has been looking for ways to cut $100 million dollars in spending, which comes to 33 cents for every man, woman and child in the country (even less if you count the illegal aliens among us). Ha! The current national debt comes to around 45 thousand dollars per every man, woman and child - plus there are unfunded future entitlements totalling unspeakable amounts.

Speaking of "social issues
," another one ignored in political campaigns is the number of homocides in America. Some of our cities have had averages of one murder per day (not to mention that in Milwaukee one baby dies every other day — mostly due to "co-sleeping" suffocations). I believe I heard that there are 34 gun murders every day in the USA, and we've had a spate of cop-killings lately (none of which were by Tea partiers).

[As for the Moscow airport bombing, to paraphrase Rush Limbaugh, "We didn't have anything to do with THAT one either."]

The "wild, wild West" was never like this! Is it the kind of guns we have or the kind of "people" we have now? What we do know is that the President has nominated as ATF Director a man who has "called on Congress to ban thousands of commonly owned firearms by misrepresenting them as assault weapons" (USA TODAY, page 5A, 1/14/11).

My "quote-of-the-week" comes from the same article ("NRA decries nominee for ATF): "'The agency badly needs a confirmed director,' said Ronnie Carter, a former deputy director of the bureau. 'The vacuum hasn't been good for the organization's standing. You can't fight the good fight for budgets and resources if you don't have permanent leadership,' Carter said."

Now there's a sign of their priorities. "Follow the money." It's okay to lie about the definition of an "assault weapon" — which are not easily available to gang bangers — as long as the ATF gets its funding "resources," eh? Shoot — maybe even George Tiller would still be with us if he had had his own gun for self-defense.

PPS: Can you still say "fight the good fight"? What about the "TONE"?

Well, that's MY State of the Union Address, and I'll bet I could have given it all in about half an hour!"'

But just one more thing, ma'am:

In a recent column I mentioned that a Congressional oversight chair had said that "we may never know" where the TARP money went. I have since found the article (USA TODAY, 11/08/10, p. 7B), and it's worse than I thought. In a book review of "The Weekend That Changed Wall Street" by Maria Bartiromo ('Wall Street' digs into tale of Lehman negotiations, by Kerry Hannon) is the following:

"One eye-opening exchange is her interview with Elizabeth Warren, then the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, charged with reviewing TARP. 'When I [Bartiromo] asked her where the TARP money has gone, I was taken aback by her answer . . .

"'We not only do not know. We're never going to know . . . Paulson had failed to establish even minimal reporting procedures.'"

"Bartiromo's final analysis: 'The Lehman weekend changed Wall Street, not because of the failure of a single investment bank . . [but] because it was a stunning moment when the confidence of a nation and the world was blown.' Bartiromo writes:

"'Capitalism is not a tangible entity with inherent value like a precious jewel. Its value is wholly dependent on public trust?'"


© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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