Monday, April 5, 2021

Mitch McConnell trying to block Brent Spence Bridge improvements — Again!

Once again, Senator Mitch McConnell (R Kentucky) wants to block improvements to the Brent Spence Bridge. As I recall, this is the fourth time Senator McConnell has tried to block improvements to the bridge. He was successful the previous three times; I expect him to fail this time.

If you're not familiar with it, the Brent Spence Bridge is an I-71-I-75 bridge that crosses the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. A significant amount of the U.S. GDP travels across this bridge. Kentucky does not want the bridge to charge tolls, but, absent of Federal funding, the bridge will need to charge tolls.

On Monday, April 5, McConnell claims that Kentucky doesn't need the $2.4 billion that it is allocated under the American Rescue Plan Act. I guess he doesn't want Kentucky to spend the money because he opposed it.

Mitch McConnell didn't say, "Just write the checks and then look the other way while we pass voter-suppression bills" but that's his implication. He doesn't want corporations involved in politics, but he really wants the money that comes from corporations. Rachel Maddow explains. Sorry, Mitch, you can't have it both ways!

Last November, Kentucky citizens re-elected McConnell to the Senate despite previous opposition to improvements to the bridge and now Federal aid to the Commonwealth. What do you see in him, Kentucky?

Here is an article with more information.

Updated April 6 to add opposition to Kentucky receiving Federal aid

Updated April 7 to add Rachel Maddow's blog on Mitch

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Jeopardy! Guest Hosts Ranked

As Jeopardy! uses guest hosts in 2021, I am going to rank them.

So far, I feel that all of them have done a creditable job. Yes, I know that some are opposed to Dr. Oz for other things separate from Jeopardy!, but I am not holding that against him in this post.

Aaron Rodgers improved as the shows went on. I could see him as a permanent host. Up next: Anderson Cooper.

Spoiler alert: The returning champion Monday trolled Aaron during Final Jeopardy! Monday. The Huffington Post has the story.

I'm using air show dates to show when each person was the guest host.

1. Ken Jennings  January 4, 2021 through February 19, 2021

2. Katie Couric  March 8 through March 19

3. Aaron Rodgers  April 5 through April 16

4. Mike Richards  February 22 through March 5

5. Dr. Mehmet Oz  March 22 through April 2

Updated April 6

Updated April 17

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Teams by State — 2021 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament

This blog post lists the 2021 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament (Championship) teams by State and District of Columbia.

States are listed in order of number of teams, then alphabetically. For each state, the number of teams from that state in the tournament are listed after the state in parentheses.

Abbreviations in parentheses {example: (APPST)} are abbreviations used by the CBS Sports NCAA Bracket. Abbreviations in brackets {example: [UIUC]} are not used by CBS Sports, but are commonly used by the universities themselves.

Please list any errors in the comments.

Texas (7)  Abilene Christian University, Baylor University, Texas Southern University (TXSO), Texas Tech University, University of Houston [UH], University of North Texas [UNT], The University of Texas at Austin

Virginia (5)  Liberty University, Norfolk State University (NORF), University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Virginia Tech

California (4)  San Diego State University [SDSU], University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), University of Southern California (USC)

New York (4)  Colgate University, Iona College, St. Bonaventure University, Syracuse University

North Carolina (3)  Appalachian State University (APPST), University of North Carolina [UNC], University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG)

Ohio (3)  Cleveland State University, The Ohio State University [OSU], Ohio University

Oklahoma (3)  Oklahoma State University, Oral Roberts University, University of Oklahoma

Connecticut (2)  University of Connecticut [UCONN], University of Hartford

Florida (2)  Florida State University, University of Florida

Illinois (2)  Loyola University Chicago [LUC], University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [UIUC]

Iowa (2)  Drake University (DRKE), University of Iowa

Kansas (2)  University of Kansas, Wichita State University (WICH)

Maryland (2)  Mount St. Mary's University (MTSM), University of Maryland

Michigan (2)  Michigan State University (MSU), University of Michigan

Oregon (2)  Oregon State University [OSU], University of Oregon

Pennsylvania (2)  Drexel University, Villanova University

South Carolina (2)  Clemson University, Winthrop University

Utah (2)  Brigham Young University (BYU), Utah State University

Washington (2)  East Washington University, Gonzaga University

The remaining states and Washington, D.C. have one university each in the tournament.

Alabama  University of Alabama

Arizona  Grand Canyon University

Arkansas  University of Arkansas

Colorado  University of Colorado at Boulder

Georgia  Georgia Institute of Technology

Indiana  Purdue University

Kentucky  Morehead State University [MSU]

Louisiana  Louisiana State University (LSU)

Missouri  University of Missouri

Nebraska  Creighton University

New Jersey  Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey [RU]

Tennessee  University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Washington, D.C.  Georgetown University

West Virginia  West Virginia University

Wisconsin  University of Wisconsin—Madison

Friday, May 10, 2019

11-year forced to bear rapist’s baby?

Laws are not abstract things to be used for making points with a politician’s base. They affect real people.

In this case, an 11-year-old who became pregnant after being raped must, by Ohio law, carry the fetus to term and give birth to it. I assume that any miscarriage will cause the opening of a criminal investigation.

Will this birth happen? I doubt it; there will be an abortion. Do the politicians care about the burden they have placed on this girl who is not even a teenager? I doubt it.

But we must stop passing these laws just to pander to the misguided. They can believe what they want but they should not be allowed to inflict their views on others.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

We need to prevent violent crimes

Our various law enforcement officers and prosecutors are very effective at stopping crimes being committed and also investigating and prosecuting crimes after they’ve been committed (but see Note).

Now we must move to the next level: Stopping crimes from being committed. From two fathers who shot their own sons in the face, to a shooter at a synagogue, to a truck driver who is unable to stop a speeding truck without killing people, we need to figure out where, when and how for the police to intervene before these horrible things happen.

This issue was tackled in the movie “Minority Report” (2002). In my vision, the PreCogs in the movie would be replaced by artificial intelligence programs running on supercomputers. For the sake of all of us, I think the research and development of such a system is more important than going to the Moon or Mars or self-driving cars. How many lives could be saved if even 10% of violent crimes could be stopped before they happen?

I predict that this is possible in my son’s lifetime. But is anyone working on this now?


Note: Not all departments are good at solving crimes. One glaring example is the inability of the Chicago Police Department to solve a string of 51 killings of women, going back to 2001, most involving women of color. Some suspect a serial killer is on the loose.

And then there’s the Baltimore Police Department, which has destroyed 521 rape kits without processing them since 2010. There will be no justice here.


Originally posted on my Facebook page on April 27, 2019.

Friday, February 22, 2019

One year anniversary of the shootings in Parkland, Florida

It’s been a year since 14 students and three adults were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The Miami Herald wanted to know how many children have been killed in the year by gunfire since that day. Their total: 1,157. They ran short stories of each of these victims in the paper February 12.

My opinion: It’s too easy to get a gun and bullets(!) in this country, especially those with a known mental illness or a felony conviction. In many cases, the problem is not a lack of of laws, but lax enforcement. I don’t want to take away the right of law-abiding citizens to own guns; I want small, incremental changes made in the existing laws and better enforcement until the problem is reduced to a level society can live with — and I have no idea what that level is.

[This was originally posted on my Facebook page February 17. The comments from that post are included below.]

Friday, November 23, 2018

Ignoring mental health crisis leads to tragedy — Guest blog

This guest blog is a Letter to the Editor of The San Diego Union-Tribune, published November 19 (on page B5 in the print edition). This letter, along with the earlier Letters to the Editor, were prompted by a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California on November 7, leaving 13 people dead.

Re “Another mass shooting has readers looking for answers” (Nov. 8): This California tragedy is another sad example of what can happen when parents, who know their son and can see he needs medication or treatment, call the police for help to get their child taken to a hospital on a 5150 evaluation hold and are subsequently told by the police crisis team that he doesn’t meet the criteria of “a threat to himself or others” or is “gravely disabled.”

When will our country change the laws and definitions of when persons with a neurological disorder can be involuntarily medicated and treated until they are returned to rational thought? This untreated state, coupled with our weak gun ownership laws, is the crux of why these shootings are occurring.

A doctor on NPR responded to a reporter’s question, “What we can do to stop this from happening?” His response: “If you see something, say something.” Exactly what his parents did.

Linda Mimms, Poway

Linda shared this Letter to the Editor on Facebook on November 19 with this comment:

When will our society's inhumane laws change in the treatment of neurological brain disorders? When the efforts of thousands of advocates for change—including families, doctors, legislators, and anyone who cares about improving the broken system now in place—force the issue and produce positive results.

Linda Mimms lives in Poway, California.