Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
According to information put out by Typepad, the blog hosting company, they were the victim of a hacking attack during the night which kept most blogs from loading for a good part of the morning. I am happy to see things are back up.
Here's a view of what has happened to the homes along Vandalia in Collinsville due to IDOT's expanding of the road. As we were heading to Carisilos for dinner after Maundy Thursday church, I drove and Dale took these pictures while sitting through several long red light jams.
It looks as though the Drug Enforcement Agency has begun targeting people who go to garden centers, especially hydroponic type garden centers. They have been raiding the homes of some of those who bought supplies at these places. Chicago and Kansas City has seen this happen as agents dressed in SWAT gear burst into homes looking for marijuana.
In Kansas City, "Law enforcement agents clad in bullet proof vests and carrying assault rifles raided the home of a couple and their two children. The parents turned out to be former CIA employees. Even after no marijuana was found, police allegedly suggested to Adlynn and Robert Harte that perhaps their 13-year-old son used marijuana.
"These folks have never used drugs at all. They have the cleanest backgrounds ever," said the couple's lawyer, Cheryl Pilate. "They used a SWAT team -- or a bunch of deputies dressed up like SWAT officers using SWAT tactics -- which was totally inappropriate."
Pilate said the couple's ordeal started after the husband went to the hydroponic garden store to buy supplies for an educational indoor vegetable garden he planted with his son. The Hartes are now suing for damages."
The thing about hydroponics is that it is now a very in thing for gardeners who want year round vegetables, we are planning to set up one of those indoor gardens here at the seminary. It may well be true that the system is being used for the growing of marijuana but so far there these raids haven't found it. It makes me rather afraid of even shopping for the things we need to grow year round tomatoes and lettuces.
A Sunday tweet from David Burge (Iowa Hawk) said this: "First warm day of spring in Chicago, when the murderers come out of hibernation."This brought to mind a conversation we had with one of our seminary students Saturday morning. He's been doing weekend ride alongs with the St. Louis police department as part of a pre-public safety chaplaincy program and he told us about being at the scene of 8 shootings Friday night. He also said there is more bad stuff going on since the weather moderated.
Kmov reported Sunday night about 4 shootings since Saturday night and 42 homicides in 2014, 6 since April 6. In Chicago it is reported that 4 are dead and 36 shot in that city over the weekend.
People who mean to shoot other people will do so no matter the time of year but it does seem as though warmer weather brings more of this. No need to be couped up inside against the bitter cold. Spring also sees the start of local car break-ins and other crime. Spring ahead to making sure your vehicles and homes are secure.
There are a lot of out of business and shuttered malls across this country and a group of old mall lovers has put together photos of how 7 of these once thriving malls look now. Crestwood Plaza in the St. Louis area is one of them, as are several in Ohio, Dixie Square in Harvey for my Chicago people, and a few other states.
The story doesn't say how anyone was able to get into these abandoned malls to take photographs, but they are at once fascinating and disturbing. Crestwood Plaza looks better than most.
Leave it to Senator Coburn to find an agency of the federal govenment (the National Technical Information Service, which is part of the Department of Commerce) which charges people for requested reports that they can get for free just by googling it.
On Thursday Coburn introduced legislation the Let Me Google That For You Act — with three other lawmakers to eliminate it. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa, a co-sponsor of the bill, said, "Only the federal government would attempt to sell what you can get for free, make no money, then subsidize the failure."
The agency — which did not respond Thursday to a request for comment on the legislation — was included last year in a Government Accountability Office report on duplication in the federal government.
The GAO — Congress’ auditing arm — said 74 percent of the reports added to the NTIS repository from 1990 through 2011 were "readily available from other public sources."
We're going to miss Senator Coburn when he leaves office this year. No one else has been as dogged as he about going after wasteful spending.
North Carolina’s Board of Elections found that tens of thousands of registered voters from the state have personal information matching that of registered voters in other states, and appear to have voted in states other than North Carolina in 2012. In some cases, votes were cast under names of individuals who had passed away before Election Day.
The review searched databases in 27 other states and 101 million voter records for information such as matching names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers.
The review found that 35,570 North Carolina voters from 2012 shared the same first names, last names, and dates of birth with individuals who voted in other states. Another 765 Tar Heel State residents who voted in 2012 had the the same names, birthdays, and final four digits of a Social Security number as voters elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the election board’s executive director, Kim Westbrook Strach, told lawmakers that 81 deceased North Carolinians apparently voted in 2012 as well. While some appear to have submitted absentee ballots prior to their death, she said “there are between 40 and 50 who had died at a time that that’s not possible.”
Strach offered a series of proposals for the state to consider to better secure its voting practices and reduce fraud, including on-site digital face-recognition or electronic-signature technology.
I guess Opening Day for baseball is also the official start of spring and a perfect storm of a date for all the state departments of transportation to begin going full bore with highway and road construction.
For Illinois drivers....ugh....
IDOT will be closing lanes east and west bound on 55/70 beginning at 157 (Collinsville) and ending at 270. Drivers probably won't know what part of the roadway will be closed at any particular time or day.
And, according to the electronic message board along Vandalia in Collinsville, there will be only one lane for traffic beginning today. That's one lane for both directions which means one direction will have to wait for a flagman to let cars going in the other direction to get through and then stop them to allow the others to move.
There's no accountability from IDOT or MoDOT or any DOT to the public. They do what they want when they want.