Saturday, November 29, 2008


The Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual and temporal leader, on Friday said sex spelt fleeting satisfaction and trouble later, while chastity offered a better life and "more freedom."

"Sexual pressure, sexual desire, actually I think is short period satisfaction and often, that leads to more complication," the Dalai Lama told reporters in a Lagos hotel, speaking in English without a translator.

He said conjugal life caused "too much ups and downs.

"Naturally as a human being ... some kind of desire for sex comes, but then you use human intelligence to make comprehension that those couples always full of trouble. And in some cases there is suicide, murder cases," the Dalai Lama said.

He said the "consolation" in celibacy is that although "we miss something, but at the same time, compare whole life, it's better, more independence, more freedom."

Considered a Buddhist Master exempt from the religion's wheel of death and reincarnation, the Dalai Lama waxed eloquent on the Buddhist credo of non-attachment.

"Too much attachment towards your children, towards your partner," was "one of the obstacle or hindrance of peace of mind," he said.

Revered by his followers as a god-king, the Dalai Lama arrived in Lagos on Friday on a three-day visit following an invitation from a foundation to attend a conference. He has made no political speeches in the west African country.

He leaves Friday night for the Czech Republic and then on to Brussels to address the European Parliament before heading to Poland, where he is due to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The 73-year-old Nobel Peace laureate has been a mainstay on the diplomatic stage ever since he fled his native land for neighbouring India in 1959.

Still based in northern India, the Dalai Lama has increasingly been in the spotlight since protests in Tibet turned violent in March this year, just months before the Chinese capital Beijing hosted the Summer Olympic Games.

Regarded by his many supporters outside China as a visionary in the vein of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his accent on non-violence to achieve change.

However, he is reviled by the Chinese government, which has branded him a "monster" and accused him of trying to split the nation.

And in a related here.

Friday, November 28, 2008


And they just kept shopping. Black Friday at Wally World.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


The story's pretty simple. A now resigned U of I gymnastics coach is accused of covertly videotaping a male gymnast in the locker room. For details, if you care, click here .

Now my question is this. If you're a guy and interested in other guys' body parts, why not just look at the guy in his unie? Those gymnastics unies don't leave much to the imagination anyhow.

Coach, I'd hold off on the CareerBuilder.Com for now. I think you've been iron-crossed off the list.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Your friendly basin does not often use c&p but this is too stupid

Even if there was no sex in this, I think, even in Lake County where strange is the norm, keeping somebody else's minor child in your closet is probably not the community involvement that schools are looking for in their young teachers.

This might not even be a crime--he might not have known she was a MP--but it's definitely not fast track career activity.

Note that they met at a car show. Maybe we need liaison officers at the Tin Dusters next year.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I wrote rather unintelligibly yesterday about two "friends" who, in different spheres, utterly trashed my friendship. Hold that thought.

For kind of confusing reasons, I have two cell phones. Usually, I just carry one of them and I have the other one on "call forwarding". That way, I get all my messages. Somehow, I configured them yesterday so each one was forwarding to the other one--Which gets the caller nothing. Like the NASA toolbag, their call just tumbles into space. Maybe I'll fix it sometime Monday.

Anyhow, one of the two subjects from yesterday was wearing my phones out. It finally dawned on him that one of my phones is a BlackBerry and the email still works. I appreciated the written apology.

Tomorrow, I'll crash test the delete button. These things tend to work out for the best.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


......You think you have, divide the number in half and then subtract two."

This advice was given to me by one of the many lawyer-mentors who have enriched my life.

It is, however, very difficult for me to practice because I have this kind of PollyAnna belief in the good spirit of everyone around me.

I am getting better at it, though. This past week, had I not already divided and subtracted, I would have had to scratch two off the list. But thanks to my mentor, I had already identified these two guys, in two different spheres, (I don't think they are even acquainted with one another) as non-starters.

Fellas, you know who you are (If you have to wonder, it's not you.). Slimed by those who posed as friends, but not surprised, because I already knew who you were. Loyalty didn't leave the building. These guys never brought it with them. I'm just another week smarter.

(And, yes, I do know this is too cryptic to decipher....But it made me feel a lot better to write it.)

Saturday, November 22, 2008


This is kind of a continuation of yesterday but I'd like to ask you to internalize it. This one's about you

Step One: Picture your own personal darkest hour--The thing you did of which you're most ashamed.

Step Two: Remember Every Detail, How You felt, Your physical symptons, If your close people found out about it, how it made them feel;

Step Three: Try and figure out any compelling reason your children should know of your darkest, most shameful time.

Step Four: Yeah, me neither.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I have an acquaintance. Let's call him "Todd". Todd rec'd a death threat back when he was 23. It had to do with a woman and a triangle, the usual. He reported it to the police. Still, he decided to carry a small, portable weapon in his car. He was stopped for a traffic violation and the small, portable weapon was discovered. Inconveniently, it was a sawed-off shotgun. Todd did just under four calendar years in a Federal Prison. Happily, he studied Animal Husbandry while there and later earned an advanced degree. He's an expert in Otters and Ferretts. His consulting company's consumers are State Gov'ts.

He married when he was 33 and has two kids in High School. I think Todd's 57. He rec'vs public funds. His kids don't know he's a convicted felon. They were born more than a decade after the offense.

I have a good friend. Let's call him "Harry". Harry had a bad hard drug habit when he was about 19. But he had a way to pay for it. He had a gift for organization and he became a dispatcher for Mexican weed "Trunk Runners" (a little fabric softener and you're on your way!). A couple of the runners were caught and worked a wire on Harry. Four and a half calendar in a Federal Prison. Harry studied and worked in some kind of medical lab in the Prison. He became a type of Certified Lab Tech when he got out. He is the lab manager for a very large governmental unit here in the Midwest. He is probably 60. he married late in life and has a beautiful, zany, sweet daughter, ten, and a son, 14, who's a serious basketball player. They don't know their Daddy's a convicted Felon. In fact Harry's afraid to apply for a pardon because his conviction might come up a Google search by one of his kids. They were born more than a decade after the offense.

Ok, I tell you that to ask you this: Todd gets lots of public funds. Harry works for a governmental entity. The public has, I guess, an interest in knowing whether these guys are trustworthy. At what point does the public's right to know trump the kids' right to maintain unquestioned love and admiration for their Daddy? Pretty much can't have both.

I don't know the answer. I think part of the path out of this Rubik's cube of a decision is to have a professional, mature, experienced and educated editor--separate and apart from the guys responsible for getting the story--making the decision. There's gotta be a reason why "reporter" and "editor" are two separate job description, right?

For me, if it's a close case, I'm resolving it in favor of the kids. But, as I often admit, I have never committed any journalism.

I kind of wonder whether the reporter who might get his big scoop about Todd or Harry would take a minute between high fives to think about children crying and family dynamics being inexorably altered. That would pretty much tamp down the "scoop" celebration for me.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


The Cable News networks have been giving big play to piracy in the African Coastal areas.

Kiddies, it's not like piracy has ever gone away. In the 70's and 80's it might have taken the form of hi-jacking 18 wheelers, but it's always been around.

In one of the great career tracks of all time, an old teammate of mine became a career pirate during the snow cocaine craze. He would interdict the money ship and the drug ship coming together on the high seaws for the exchange and (with all due respect to Joe the Plumber) redistribute the proceeds. He always believed that the Coast Guard knew who he was and what he did and chose not to detain him or search his warcraft. Oh, and for all of you cartel types, he's where you'll never find him and I don't know where he is.

When the bottom dropped out of the snow cocaine market, he retired. Interestingly, he always filed tax returns on his "import-export" business and paid a little tax. He said the hardest part about being a pirate was finding a path to get the money to a depository. Taking on hundred in bengies in a valise large through an airport had to be a little more trick than anyone needed, even before 9/11.

I'm sure he thought of himself as a Robin Hood, benign pirate. I don't know about that, though. When you start flashing automatic weapons people tend to get dead and that's not too benign.

BTW, this guy had no spouse and no children. He wasn't putting innocents into harm's way.

Do not try this at home.


Is there a loan or grant committee anywhere that doesn't require a business plan before advancing money to an applicant?

Congress has just dramatically suggested that the Big Three file some kind of plan suggesting what they would do if they got the money they seek. Wow, what a concept!

Two questions: If you are a CEO of one of B-3, why wouldn't you have raced to have a rock-solid plan in front of Congress before you ever asked for a dime? If you are Congress, why would you talk to these people until they had a recovery plan in front of you and your staff had had a chance to examine it?

Doesn't sound like there are too many grownups in this equation.

But I'm sure Congress gave them a big TYCB


Bush goes to great pains to be the "Un-Clinton" so I think we can expect fewer exit pardons and more organized pardons.

Given how close the S&L thing hit to the Bush family, I'm guessing he will have some sympathy for long-rehabilitated financial criminals. For example, I like Michael Milken's chances.

Even though the law places no fetters on the presidents clemency powers, my guess is that the administration treats the Justice Dept's guidelines as if they were law. As a consequence, I doubt if the two INS agents who shot the dope dealer get any kind of clemency. They don't meet standards.

Libby doesn't have an application on file and I doubt that W would tarnish his legacy by going any further than he already has on that one.

W. has been stingy with clemency. It will be interesting, given his recovery background, to see if he pardons some drug cases and some addiction-based offenses.

In an act of incredible cheek, John Walker Lindh, has an application on file. Johnny Boy, I don't like your chances.

Monday, November 17, 2008


BHO wants to make HRC, a very competent and well-trained Senator, Sec'y of State. Lou Piniella wants to make Kosuke Fukudome, a very competent and well-trained Right Fielder, a Center Fielder. All of this is happening in Chicago. The common principle is weakening one position to achieve baseline competence in another. In both cases, the cost/benefit ratio doesn't crack out.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I'm no expert on the Presidential Records Act but I see a huge difference between W's hotmail account and BHO's BlackBerry.

W. was necessarily using equipment that belonged to the government. BHO owns his Blackberry and the service. He uses it for personal contact and to review information. It helps him stay outside the Presidential Bubble. Yes, the GPS portion would have to be disabled, security and all. But I have difficulty seeing that the text between him and his sister belongs to anybody but him.

If we have president-elect who wants to stay in touch with real people, it seems to me that should be encouraged.

Crackhaids unite!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


A comment came in (I don't know how I missed this) November 10, 2008 to a thread that I started June 13, 2007.

I think it was the only time I wrote about NASCAR.

Touch 'em all, Tara, nobody's going to beat that one!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Bailout won't touch home loan crisis--peachy.

Thanks for the Memories, Hank.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Oh, how grateful I am to the organizers of the Quincy Veterans' Appreciation Parade for their work, their passion and their ability not to let the perfect become the enemy of the good. I shall write more about these humble giants later. But this is for the Vietnam vets who quietly watched the parade.

Today, Brother, I want you to know I saw you. You were back away from the sidewalk, watching the parade quietly. But I saw you on every block. You and I had talked earlier about your time in country, or we hadn't. You were wearing unit insignia, or you weren't. You were wearing a Vietnam Vet's ball cap, or you weren't. You had the "in country" ribbon on your fatigue jacket, or you didn't. You and I were acquainted, or we weren't But I saw you, Brother. You were there on every block, because you had to be. And I saw you.

Brother, I knew why you couldn't be inside the parade elements. We have never been easily aborbed within the rank of our other brothers, from other times. You couldn't stay away, either. You felt guys from Korea and the "Greatest Generation" and even the very special Gulf war stars could never understand what it was like to return home and be spat upon, to go back to work and find people keeping sharp objects away from you, to go to college and have the seats next to you in class empty. So you stayed back, not only out of the parade but as far away from the route as you could place yourself and still see. But, brother, I saw you.

Brother, you knew that we formed our own veterans' group. You knew that its only purpose is to make sure future veterans are never treated as our brothers....and you..have been treated. And you know, hard as we try, we're failing. Despite all the patriotic speeches, our country "can't afford" us, just as it "can't afford" the new crop of our brothers and sisters who will need services.

I saw you, Brother. The long salute as I walked was for you. When I touched my heart right after saluting, it was for you. It was to tell you I saw you, Brother, more clearly than you can ever know and on every block of this parade route.

And, now, I want to tell you something else. The people who were out there are ready to thank you. I understand why you could not walk with us this time. But you saw the same people I saw. They want to make it right. Next year, let them see you as I saw you. Let them embrace you. Any element in that parade would be proud to have you, Brother. Walk with me next year. Sure, one parade and one round of applause will not fix forty years of apathy for your service. But you deserve the applause and the gratitude. Come out and accept it.

Know this, my brother: I saw you on every block, gave you the salute you deserve and touched my heart to let you know that your service and your sacrifices after serving touched it far deeper than these, or any, words can express.

Next year, walk with me, Brother.


There's always one. Wolfowitz, Bert Lance, Web Hubbell, Bebe Rebozo, Lyndon Johnson's closet gay guy in the bathroom at Union Station. Always.

Right now, my best guess is Valerie. She likes that TV camera and offers a lot of opinions about what the prez-elect is pledged to do. That's a combination that can become combustible in no time flat!

Who's your candidate?

Monday, November 10, 2008


In the 80's and 90's I used to to the West Coast a lot. It was there I first discovered Circuit City. Man, they used to be fun. The boxes would boom and the breakdancers would spin on the floor. They could have easily gotten a cover charge.

Then they became just another big box store, but with a great selection. Then they became a narrow band non-discounter. They moved into the midwest maybe ten, twelve years ago, featuring rude pimple ranchers, limited stock and a 'tude that held to the principle that the customer was not only always wrong, but probably a puss-bucket too. Finally, maybe three years ago, they instituted a 25% restocking fee, without any notice in their advertising (Oh, yes, they had it four point on the back of their receipt paper and there was a lords-prayer-on-head-of-pin sign on the wall.)

I'm shocked about the bankruptcy and cutback--shocked that it took this long to take place. My last trip into a CC was a rude encounter in Springfield. I needed an item for a gift, knew just what I wanted and knew they had it. When they wouldn't honor THEIR OWN coupon, I walked out without it. Haven't walked back in since.

Don't let the liquidators hit you in the hindquarters on your way out, boys.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


I'm a Mozilla, open source guy whenever I have a real choice. All things considered, I think Firefox is easier to use than IE (I think Microsoft agrees with me, that's why they keep making IE look more like Firefox). That being said, there's just no denying that Blogger works better in conjunction with IE.

If you're a Firefox user and a blogger, try it both ways and see if, right now in this slice of time, I'm not right.

On another subject, Blogger is giving us more ways to show and invite comments. I'm going to gradually try some of them and I really want reader's comments, here or at

Thanks for your help in improving the product.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


It was with great regret that I whacked some links, most notably "50 Miles out...." and "Oracle".

Some blogs exist for a specific purpose. Once their targets were extinguished, they had no more Reason for being. Others, like Dick Tuck, start off fast and find out how difficult this really is to do day-in and day-out. In any event, this was just a clean-up. If there's somebody out there blogging about West Central Illinois or even statewide Illinois politics or policy, email me at and I'll examine the quality (not the leaning) of their work and consider linking them.

I've added a link to something called Quincy Magazine. Don't know where it's going, but they sure take some pretty pictures..

Good bye, O. Good bye "Fitty". Good rides.

Friday, November 07, 2008


My bloghost is blocking comments and has been since about three this afternoon. It is not your friendly Basin doing it. I'm sure it will quit soon.

We are going to try fully visible comments for a while and I'll be whacking some dead links.

As soon as comments are enabled again, let me know any Tri-State or political links you might prefer. If you can't get through on comments, you can always email @

Thanks for your patience and participation.


Newsweek's "all access" piece is dribbling out, as it always does.

For the very young or previous residents of another planet, Newsweek mag has made a deal with both candidates in the last seven elections. They tail the candidates and promise not to write about anything they see or hear until the election is in the can (they cheated a little in '00).

Anyhow, the big ballyhoo is the carping between Palin Staff and McCain's people. The "shopping spree" is a big deal. (Does anybody think we would be having this discussion if the candidate had been Time Pawlenty and he'd gone out and bought custom made suits, shoes and the trimmings? What a bunch of sexist horseflop.)

What I find fascinating is how long McCain had the information that it was a virtual certainty he was toast. As early as Oct. 22 he saw the polling data that there were not enough uncommitteds to pull him through and the early voting in Colo and maybe even NC had sealed his fate. Confronted with the same information many years earlier, George McGovern mailed it in. It is said that McGovern invented the Hangar-Op just so he could give his nine minute speech and blow town. Much as I admire many things about Fritz Mondale, he wasn't much better when he knew he was down the road. (To be fair to Mondale, he just wasn't a very demonstative guy.)

McCain might have swerved around a little in those last three weeks and some of his attacks might have been a little screwy, but the guy never gave an inch. Kenny Hulshoff can't say he lost because the top of his ticket let the air out of the ball. Norm Coleman probably loses if McCain hadn't sewed so many positive seeds in those last days. He was a warrior to the end. When he fought, he fought all the way with everything he had. He only conceded when it was the correct and patriotic thing to do and then he did it magnificently.

Presidential politics has dealt McCain many bad hands. When he finally had his real shot, it was no shot at all. All of Shrubbie's chickens (If you'll pardon my Wright-ism) came home to roost right on top of McCain's head.

His campaign will be criticized from the outside. His former staffers will pick one another apart from the inside. None of that probably matters. What political historians will record is the fullness of his effort and the fact that he didn't let his party or the two-party system down. He did his best to give the people a choice and that's a pretty cool thing.


Lists two things: October 24, 2008 "Blues (hockey) game with Governor Palin."

"November 4, 2008--Don't forget to Vote" (or some such).

Next week they add the following:

"January 20, 1953--Dwight D. Eisenhower Inauguration."

Thursday, November 06, 2008


You're going to be looking at a lot of legislative proposals from the new administration. You will hate them all. If you try to kill them, you will look vengeful, retributive dorks. The majority will emphasize they're just trying to clean up your messes. The editorial pages will kill you.

Instead, get language concessions. Get sunset clauses. Get promises they won't screw around with capital gains for a year. Get something and look like you're wistfully supporting the new president. Nobody's going to vote for a spoilsport party picking on a sympathetic new leadership figure at mid term. Survive by not getting killed, not by catching the obstructionist label.

Here in CD-17: Continue to wait for the decennial census and redistricting. You can't beat Phil Hare in the currently configured anyhow and it makes you look stupid to have the odd dragon lady or psychoabortiongunguy on your ticket. 2012's your big chance--nyuck, nyuck--to get beat by John Sullivan!

Oh, and to our friends in Missouri--Try to recruit another up-and-comer like the Blunt Instrument. In a state you should own, he was the gift that kept on giving (to Democrats). Boy, I just can't wait to see that dynamic Peter Kinder get a lot of stuff done this term. Would have loved to see a Kinder-Bringer race. Sweepsville! Jeremiah was a bullfrog!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


No, Silly, not that kind of color--the color green. P-E-O (President-Elect Obama) raised money in guerilla fashion and in traditional fashion. It allowed the campaign to fight very hard in places which would have otherwise been conceded.

Because of the money, there is no more "map". There is just 50 battlegrounds.

Of course, that leaves the other issue: That McCain/Feingold thang really took the money out of politics, didn't it?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


As a general rule, it wasn't a good idea to be significantly older than your opponent this year. The worship of youth continues as our nation ages--an interesting concept.

As I write this, Cass County was voting to tax itself on Retail Occupation for School Infrastructure and Adams County whacked it. It don't know what it means, but it's interesting.

Kent Snider is as close to a Free Agent on the Adams County Board as any nominal member of any party. It's not like the local elephants knocked themselves out to advance his career.

Brown County advanced a very deserving Associate Judge to Circuit Judge and Judge Lagoski deserved it richly. Still, her opponent conducted an honorable but clever campaign. I hope he has a satisfying "B" plan because he's pretty good people.

Local Clerks all seemed to have done a good job with this election. The complaints I have heard on both sides of the river were generally minor to picky.

Democracy wins another round.


Things I am interested in seeing this Election Day:

We might have as many as thirty million more voters than '04--do we have the staff and infrastructure to handle it?

Will we emerge with a reliable voting preference and issue-concern among early voters as a whole?

Will we emerge with a reliable voting preference of cell phone only voters.

Will we know more about the impact of online views and other internet products politically (We know the web is a superior place to raise money, but is it also a place to persuade voters?).

Whom will Blago appoint to fill the empty senate seat?(Okay, we might have to wait a bit for that info).

Will the contest for Brown County Circuit Judge be the lowest spending contested judicial election in the history of our State and who will win?

What will Oracle do with all the spare time?

Can Nixon pull Page in behind him (Jay has been most generous with his coattails)?

Will Kenny Hulshof practice law in NEMO or Lobby in Washington?

Does Baker (no, not you, Mark) have enough of a finishing kick?

How Late Can St. Louis City hold its boxes so it can say it put Obama over the top?

Can the School infrastructure sales tax fly in under the radar, while most voters see it for the first time on the ballot?

If Con-Con passes, will Geo. Lewis and Matt Hutmacher re-up as delegates?

Will somebody whip out millions over three years for an aging and offensively failing Jason Varitek? (Oh, wait! That one's not on the ballot.)

Monday, November 03, 2008


This new round of Aaron-to-the-rescue ads contains some interesting deceptions.

First "Aaron gets veteran his well deserved benefits." Get Serious! Veteran's bennies come from the FEDERAL Government and Aaron was a STATE Representative. Gosh, maybe he doesn't know the difference!

Second, "Aaron Completes Adoption". Uh, hello! Adoption is accomplished in the JUDICIAL Branch of Government. Aaron is in the LEGISLATIVE branch. Gosh, maybe he doesn't know the difference!

Non political ad observations: If you run a mobile phone store and you want to cut your own TV ad, in your own voice, learn how to pronounce "Cellular".

Not a triumphal weekend for broadcast advertising. Spuds McKenzie doesn't live here anymore.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


.........Please Stay the Hell Away!

listened to the Park and City Officials explain how it was going to work. Highlights:

If you get on the grounds and you're detected as having no ticket, you're screwed.

If you get on the grounds, have a medical emergency and need to be transported, you're screwed.

If you're non-approved press, you're screwed.

If you need to go to a warming center, you're screwed.

If you want use your cell phone, you're screwed.

The whole thing sounds like a date with Elizabeth Hasselbeck....probably better on television.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


On business in Chicago. Staying at a private home and my host is away. Nobody knows me in this neighborhood.

Cell Phones are off. Not watching television. Not reading the paper. Just doing peace.

In about an hour I'll be busy as all Hell, but right now, I'm doing peace.

I've flunked meditation about a hundred and eighty-three times. I'm no good at just thinking about nothing. This accidental peace time is as close as I've ever come to a meditative state. I had to come to an undisclosed location to achieve it. Maybe Dick Cheney's onto something. Trouble is, I don't think there's anyplace in the Basin I could achieve this state.

Anyhow, kind of a neat exerience.