Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Friday, December 14, 2007
Mitchell Report: Perspective
Remember the cocaine scandal of the 1980s and all of the players implicated in it?

Keith Hernandez and some other guys.

There's your long range impact of the report, fellows. People who need to run hysterical daily columns about events in the sports world today shriek that this will impact players forever and predict fire and brimstone for those implicated, but in twenty years, it won't be a footnote, even. Just something mentioned parenthetically in some sports biographies and may be included in the index.

Coming Soon
Coming soon to a newsstand near you:

Brian J. in History Magazine
Click for full size

Seriously. Any time I'm published in a magazine you can get in your local Barnes and Noble, I'm thrilled. I would prefer to get jaded, though.

Thursday, December 13, 2007
When Is It Okay For A Policeman To Lie?
According to the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission, it's okay when the police officer lies to Federal investigators in an immigration matter:
    The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission voted Wednesday to overturn the firing of Police Officer Alexander Ayala, even though he lied to a federal agent as his brother was being investigated for adopting a false identity.

    Ayala's firing came after an internal investigation alleged that he had lied to immigration officials when asked May 30 about his brother's citizenship status. He told a federal agent that his brother, Oscar Ayala-Cornejo, was a Mexican citizen living in Mexico, and that he had not spoken to him for a long time, according to testimony provided by witnesses before the commission Wednesday.

    "At that moment in time, I was being a son and brother," Ayala told commissioners Wednesday night as he pleaded for his job. "I was an immigrant, and it's hard being an immigrant here."
The rule of law takes another hit, or at least the perception does. When you have an accumulation of stories wherein suspects surreptitiously recording their own interrogations catch police detectives perjuring themselves, wherein police patrolmen are caught threatening to make up things to take citizens to jail by dashboard cameras in the citizens' cars, and wherein police officers are allowed to keep their jobs after lying in an investigation and in supporting lawbreaking by family members, you're facing an increasing suspicion on the part of the citizens that maybe the law enforcement officials aren't exactly looking out for the citizens and that, instead of being held to higher standards, are held to lower standards.

Maybe law enforcement professionalism isn't taking a hit. Perhaps the legislators' eagerness to add ever-increasing numbers of police to the streets hasn't actually lowered the standards for recruits or the training thereof. But the perception of rule of law, or lack thereof, will have a certain impact on citizenship, and not a good one.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Asylum Granted in Louisiana
Man rescued from Mississippi

(I know, I don't have much these days but comments about headlines and book reports.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Book Report: Dave Barry's Gift Guide to End All Gift Guides by Dave Barry (1994)
This book, originally published in 1994, reads something like a Lileks book. But before Lileks started with his books. And with more whackiness than general wit, which marks the difference between these two authors. In 1994, comparing a writer to Dave Barry would have been a great compliment; over a decade later, a blogger compliments Dave Barry by comparing his book to James Lileks. Meanwhile, somewhere in Indiana, a small blogger-reliant blogger has been compared to Brian Noggle, and no one noticed, and the blog disappeared shortly thereafter.

At any rate, this book looks at some things you can buy and makes some general mirth about them. Items include a pound of simulated human fat, a wire nose-opener, a can of pork brains, and a cutout of a police officer. Hilarity, Barry-esque hilarity, not Lileks-esque hilarity, ensues.

On a side note, Dave Barry makes one snarky remark about ubiquitousness of cellular phones. In 1994. Brother, you have no idea what's coming, do you? Not even in your most fevered Floridian dreams could you guess how well that quip would hold up at least a decade into the future.

Books mentioned in this review:

A Christmas Classic
Just like Andy Williams, but in medium res graphics:

Monday, December 10, 2007
Guess That Party, Republican Edition
Headline: Former state rep sentenced for fraud. Lead:
    Former State Rep. Nathan Cooper, somber and tearful in federal court, was fined $6,000 and sentenced to 15 months in prison today for an immigration fraud scheme that derailed his political and legal careers.
Oh, yeah, sounds like the same old game, ainna? We don't get the party affiliation until paragraph 8.
    The Cape Girardeau Republican pleaded guilty in August to one count each of visa fraud and making a false statement to the Department of Labor.
Has AP paid attention to the right-leaning blogosphere's game, or has it always let the party affiliation fall into the lesser paragraphs on some stories?

Sunday, December 09, 2007
Weaker Dollar Hurts Manufacturers
Foreign manufacturers, that is:
    Missouri exports hit $12.8 billion last year, up 22 percent from 2005, and experts predict this year's export sales will be even higher. Illinois exports totaled $42.1 billion in 2006, up 17 percent from the year before. Canada, Mexico, Japan, the United Kingdom and China are the top export countries for both states.
Oddly enough, the story's headline, Local companies moving deeper into exporting, doesn't mention the effect the lower exchange rates have. The story itself does mention it, though:
    LaBounty and others attributed the recent growth in local exporting in part to the weak dollar, which has fallen more than 10 percent against a basket of currencies in November compared to the same time in 2006. What that means: The cost of U.S. goods is cheaper for companies and consumers abroad.
Still, one can see that this is a "good" economy story instead of a "bad" one, which no doubt would have mentioned the lower dollar in the headline.

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."