History-making music group for UMM - morris mn

History-making music group for UMM - morris mn
The UMM men's chorus opened the Minnesota Day program at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair (Century 21 Exposition).

Thursday, March 8, 2018

A blessing for Dad: "Operation Downfall" not needed

The late Ralph E. Williams, founder of UMM music, is at right, serving as lieutenant in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater of WWII. Wouldn't we love to know the names and hometowns of the other guys in this photo!

The world descended into insanity in the mid-20th Century. It's hard to fathom how the human race diminishes life to where so many can be killed for political objectives. My late father survived his service in the Pacific Theater in World War II. A caricature artist did his face while in service. The artist titled it "Lt. Williams" so that informs you of Dad's rank, which I'm told is impressive. The atomic bomb helped enable him to survive that smoking mess.
The grim reaper had his scythe out, ready to accept legions more war dead, had we not succeeded with the two big bombs. Speculation has always been wild about how the invasion of mainland Japan would have proceeded. We braced to accept so many more casualties. Was Japan a bottomless pit in that regard? Were the Japanese people so totally brainwashed, they were prepared to sacrifice everything? What goal could possibly have made this toll worthwhile? The explanation would be one word: insanity.
There is evidence that the U.S. was preparing for massive casualties, had we been forced to stick with conventional weapons. Our military ordered the production of half a million Purple Heart citations in 1945. Then the miracle happened: the atomic bombs that brought hostilities to a close, albeit with a terrible price for Japan. It was "The Empire of Japan" back then.
The U.S. military put this huge reserve of medals into storage. It has drawn from this stockpile ever since. We can assume they were passed out during Vietnam when the American public became less reverential toward war honors. Perhaps the medals were a means by which grieving families could be mollified or pacified some, making them less inclined to be skeptical about war aims? Certainly there was nothing passive about our young generation back around the year 1970.
We learn that as of 2012, there were still 100,000 Purple Hearts in U.S. inventory. They were leftovers from the invasion that would have been called "Operation Downfall." I presume the reference is to the downfall of the Japanese Empire. Still the name has a somber tone to it. "Jap" might have been substituted for Japan contemporaneously. I'm told there's a reason why we don't see re-runs of the sitcom "McHale's Navy" very often. The Navy men such as Tim Conway and Ernest Borgnine tossed around terms like "Nips" (for Nipponese, a degrading reference).
"Japs" and "Nips" were hostile and pejorative for a reason: it is important in war to dehumanize the enemy. Thus the enemy becomes easier to kill.
My mother, now age 93, grew up in Brainerd MN where the National Guard was sent to the Pacific Theater early-on. It was an immensely tragic story. Those Brainerd men were captured and imprisoned by the Japanese in the Philippines. I'm surprised we left our servicemen so vulnerable there. My mom Martha played with the high school band for ceremonies at the group's departure and the later somber return. A few years ago there was a visiting author at our Morris Public Library who'd written a book giving primary attention to the Brainerd group. The book as a whole was about the home front during WWII. He seemed particularly interested in what Brainerd experienced. It was one of the better attended author events at our library.
My late father Ralph E. Williams joined the U.S. Navy and spent the next three years and eight months as a gunnery officer in the Pacific. He told about the war's immediate aftermath in a "Sunspots" feature compiled by Liz Morrison: In November, 1945, my ship stopped in Japan for a day. I took the electric train into Tokyo. For 20 miles, between the port and the city, there were no houses standing. But there were thousands of tepees made of corrugated tin, with a column of smoke rising from each one. I took a long walk through Tokyo in the dark. In every doorway, there were homeless families - mothers, fathers and children, sleeping in the entrances.
My father told me various stories, always impressing on me the total humility exuded by the Japanese as he and the other officers observed, amidst all the rubble. Haunting memories to be sure for this Glenwood High School graduate of 1934 (the time of John Dillinger). My father came home and ended up as a founding faculty member at our University of Minnesota-Morris. He started the music department here and was the only music faculty the first year. Previously he taught at the U of M's St. Paul School of Agriculture.
Yours truly created the Ralph and Martha Williams Fund at UMM to ensure that the memory of Mom and Dad is always honored in the richest way possible. What better way than to invest in the future?

"Downfall" left on drawing board, thank the Lord
The Manhattan Project was responsible for preventing Operation Downfall from being deployed. "Manhattan" was so secret, few involved in the "Downfall" planning even knew it existed. Once word spread, planners initially thought the terrible bombs would be used as ground support in the invasion. The Pentagon planned for up to seven nuclear bombs to be available in the campaign. We dropped two of course, in lieu of any horrible land invasion. Those bombs fell nearly four months before the invasion was to begin.
The attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki cost the lives of upward of 250,000 Japanese civilians. A protracted ground campaign would have killed millions. I can only ponder how my father might have been drawn in. Our military was bracing for resistance from a "fanatically hostile population." We were prepared to experience between 1.7 and 4 million casualties with up to 800,000 dead. For the "Japs," between five and ten million would die. Astonishing.
But instead we got the atomic bombs, dispatched on the orders of Harry Truman. The Japanese had their own term for the defense they would mount vs. Operation Downfall. It was "Ketsugo" ("decisive"). The outlook for the emperor was grim. Japan had six carriers left. The U.S. had major success at Midway but it was not a knockout punch, though it might have looked that way in the Charlton Heston movie.
The Japanese were ready to thrust its Kamakaze pilots at the invading Allies. The Kamakazes were responsible for the death of Stevens County native Floyd Lange. The estimate is that more than 10,000 such pilots were ready to be mobilized, mostly against troop transport ships. Was there any limit to the extent of casualties that the U.S. civilian population would accept?
The Empire of Japan knew it couldn't "win" but the hope was for war weariness to cause the Allies to negotiate an end to the hostilities. Just like Robert E. Lee and the Confederates with the Gettysburg campaign. It didn't work in the Civil War and it wouldn't work in 1945 for Japan. The U.S. indeed seemed ready to accept a staggering price for the invasion of Japan, an invasion that would have dwarfed D-Day.
What possessed the human race in the mid-20th Century? We failed to learn all the lessons we might, as shown with our subsequent disaster in Vietnam. Korea presented lots of questions too. But our military was so built up for World War II, was it liberally employed just for that reason? My generation was fanatic in opposing war in the '60s and early '70s. We wanted swords to be beaten into plowshares.
But we still had the ample stock of Purple Hearts left over from "what might have been": Operation Downfall. Thank the Lord it was left on the drawing board.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, March 2, 2018

Devin Nunes helping pull strings behind dark forces

Devin Nunes
The Trump administration is coming off like "Alice Through the Looking Glass" only it's more entertaining than the Johnny Depp movie. The talk on tariffs gives it a darker look. There has been a whiff in the air for a long time that we're in a bizarre period of U.S. history. Until now it hasn't gotten to the point where there are existential fears about our U.S.
I have speculated for a while that an economic calamity could be the tipping point, a pivotal moment where we no longer just shrug about the cartoonish Trump presidency. Let's keep an eye on the conservative infotainment universe. That universe has kept supplying oxygen to the entertainment president. Will Trump go from being a curiosity to a true danger? Are we at a tipping point now at the start of March, 2018? The tariff talk looms over the financial markets.
The president teases us on gun control, looking momentarily like a hero, then succumbs to the usual gun lobby - business as usual.
The Republican party has been such a disaster. No bigger clown has emerged from this than Devin Nunes of California. Nunes is a notorious climate change denier. Is Nunes intelligent enough to know that when history records this epoch of American history, he will be near the top of the list of bad guys? He runs interference for Trump constantly, motivated probably by sheer fear of the Trump base. I'm not sure that base should even be described as "conservative." Jeb Bush is a conservative. Jeb is a patriot. Characterizing Trump is hard. The most accurate words would sound like personal attacks. Who cares? Trump himself launches personal attacks like the classic bully, calling Jeff Sessions "Mister Magoo."
Why can't skeptics return fire a little? I wonder if all those knee-jerk talk radio hosts are starting to lose a little sleep. They recognized at a certain point what their audiences wanted them to do. The audiences drove pickups with "Hillary for prison" bumper stickers on the back, like what I've seen right here in Morris MN parked outside DeToy's Restaurant in the morning. These are older guys supporting a political party that wants to diminish the social safety net, to undo the New Deal. But I doubt they really think about issues at all. They just fall for the Info-Wars premise that we ought not trust liberals, progressives or Democrats.
We're awakening a little
Special elections these days are showing us that people are scared and starting to vote Democratic. That's why Scott Walker in Wisconsin is trying to put the kibosh on special elections. Republicans don't even trust democracy anymore. They want to draw wild gerrymandering lines in Pennsylvania, and are so arrogant there, they threaten to impeach the state supreme court justices who felt they had no choice but to draw their own map. The Pennsylvania Republicans try to sell a gerrymandered map that comes off looking like "Goofy kicking Donald (Duck)."
Devin Nunes from California, a liberal state I might point out, grates on us as he appears on the news each day. I don't know his exact age but he certainly looks much younger than me. It may be a problem of simple immaturity, of failing to realize that Washington D.C. is more than a simple game of Republicans vs. Democrats. All of his quotes seem buried in that simple adversarial premise. He will be remembered as painfully obstructionist re. the Russia interference investigation.
Are Republicans favorably disposed to Russia and Putin simply because those forces intervened to put Republicans in complete charge? Us U.S. citizens will rue the day we even allowed that political party to take complete power. The GOP will create a house of cards that will completely come down, because they don't believe in government. They certainly don't believe in the social safety net. They let the gun lobby manipulate them because that lobby helps them get elected. There is no underpinning of idealism whatsoever. No sense of altruism, just a veneer of anger and resentment that reflects a shrugging of the shoulders about the welfare of average Americans. They feel everyone should simply be on their own.
The special elections at present show that maybe we've gotten awakened by smelling salts, as it were, but is it happening in time, after Trump has been allowed to install so many judges and a Supreme Court member? Remember that "infomercial" on TV for the announcing of Neil Gorsuch? I wonder if any new nominees would even agree to that type of ridiculous televised spectacle. As if Trump can manipulate the U.S. public just because of his feel for what works on TV. Isn't that fundamentally how he got elected?
Friends in high places
Nunes developed rapport with Paul Ryan because of their shared aim of applying a machete to the social safety net. He became fond of Michael Flynn and developed great rapport with the "lock her up" general. Nunes used these bonds to land on the executive committee of Trump's presidential transition team. Nunes became outright disgraced, or should have been, when he made his midnight run to the White House to be handed (by a Trump operative) some classified documents that could be used in putting forward the dubious claim of Obama wiretapping Trump Tower. Nunes at this point was like a bear with boxing gloves. He couldn't apply any finesse to make the claim credible, and even his own supporters recognized this. But he retained enough influence to be a prime "stooge" on behalf of Trump ever since.
Never mind we know Trump has a tendency to screw everyone he associates with. A number of people are still apparently willing to fall on their sword.
A flock has chosen to desert Trump. I spent all day yesterday seeing Hope Hicks' picture on the cable news TV screen. I was forced to listen to radio instead. Hicks was that pillar next to Trump, all 29 years old of her, looking like a fashion model more than a politico. And yet we accepted the premise that she was a key figure in helping lead the U.S. from the prestigious White House? She's leaving to pursue "other opportunities." What? A high position in the White House isn't good enough? Trump has reportedly called her "stupid" for her "white lies" quote.
Even if Trump chases away all his trusted advisors, he will still legally be president of the United States. Certain people will always want to be around him. He may end up with people motivated by their own shrouded interests. (Oh, maybe that's happening now.)
Why should a GOP-led government care if government has a purpose of helping the people or even ensuring the stability of our nation? Republicans don't believe in government, at least not on idealistic terms. They see government as an apparatus for furthering their own narrow, even personal ends. So we see cabinet members wasting tons of money for their own convenience and benefit. We see abuses with plane flights and office furniture.
I'm surprised not at all because I have observed political machinations all my life. Democrats can be wasteful but they believe in serving the public. That's the less of two evils now, as voters in special elections have been expressing. One thing is for sure: we are living in a period of American history that will be a treasure trove for book authors and movie producers in the future. First though we simply must survive it.
Too bad Bob Denver won't be available to play Carter Page in a movie.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Movie out of the mutant Beltway: "Mark Felt" (2017)

Only one time in my life did I sit through two showings of the same movie on the same night. That movie was "All the President's Men." Quite logical that I should be so mesmerized as I was majoring in mass communications at St. Cloud (MN) State University. I remember we were assigned the book "The Boys on the Bus." It all seemed fascinating but it came from a Beltway world that wasn't going to be relevant for us students in Central Minnesota.
The Beltway was/is a unique beast. Nothing to learn from reading about "Maximum John" Sirica. Nor the mysterious figure known by the moniker "Deep Throat." We found some levity in references to the porn movie at the time. It was a time when movies like "The Poseidon Adventure" and "Harry and Tonto" made light of prostitution. The great trumpet player Maynard Ferguson sang about how "Linda Lovelace made me a star" in new lyrics penned for "As Time Go By." I heard Maynard in concert singing "Linda Lovelace knows I'm a star." Later he employed proper taste and sang about how "Stan Kenton (his early teacher/influence) made me a star."
We don't see the giggly reference to prostitutes much anymore, as we realize so much of porn is exploitative in a dark way.
Out of the shadows as old man
Mark Felt became known as "Deep Throat" because we lacked his real name. Years passed before the mask came off. Finally we saw the consummate G-man Felt as a very old man, self-consciously old, posing in the doorway of his daughter's home.
His daughter gives a backstory in the movie "Mark Felt" which I watched this afternoon. Thanks to our Morris Public Library for having the DVD available. I'm 63 years old and have memories reverberating all over the place, not just about Watergate but about the ilk represented by Felt's rebellious daughter. She ran off back in the day to join a commune. I knew kids who were programmed like that in the early '70s. The memories are not pleasant. While I was not perfect myself, many of my peers grated on me with their values/behavior involving various vices. They rationalized these vices. Or maybe they just didn't give a rip.
Years later as if in a magical transformation, my peers became most mainstream/conventional in their values/lifestyle. I imagine many of them joined the tea party movement. Indeed, mine is a generation that in many ways I find inscrutable. Are these creatures just following some sort of zeitgeist? There's the old phrase "man without a country." Maybe I'm a "man without a generation."
Scandal loomed in our lives
But I was as fixated on Watergate as anyone. I even had the immense pleasure of spending part of the 1972 summer in Washington D.C. I was with a group that dined on the rooftop of the then-new Kennedy Center. The stirrings of Watergate were most contemporaneous. Perhaps I passed by some dudes on the sidewalk who ended up as principals.
Now we have the movie about Mark Felt, directed by Peter Landesman and produced by Ridley Scott. There's nothing subtle about how the subject matter seems to parallel what we're seeing with the Trump administration. A house of cards set to fall? My late father always said "analogies are dangerous." Good overcame evil (or mendacity) in the Watergate episode. But can we always assume good will prevail? We have no idea at present how the uncharted territory of the Trump administration will turn out. Frankly I'm scared right now.
Pat Buchanan says that Woodward and Bernstein of the fabled Washington Post were just "stenographers." I'd give them more credit than that, but they were agents helping a scorned man, Felt, seek vengeance or might we say justice. It's a story as old as the hills: getting passed over for promotion. J.Edgar Hoover croaks. Richard Nixon appoints an interim chief who he feels will grease his own intentions. It's not Felt, it's Pat Gray. Felt still has power with his immense knowledge, and indeed the movie's theme could be "knowledge is power."
We have that silly burglary. Gray tries tamping down the investigation, seeking to enlist Felt in the process. As the movie plods along, I'm genuinely irritated by the poor lighting. It's as if I'm watching "Lincoln" all over again, and the drab tone of that movie is due to no electricity in the mid-19th Century! Hey, turn on the lights, it's 1972! I was waiting for a brightening, perhaps as a symbol for when the good guys won and Nixon resigns. It could be symbolic like when the color appears in "Pleasantville." Remember that? But no, "Mark Felt" is hopelessly, irretrievably drab. Nuts!
I suspect young people will have a hard time watching all the way to the end of this movie. We don't see enough of Felt's wife. She certainly doesn't seem happy.
Felt ends up taking a hard line (even illegal) against domestic terrorist groups, maybe subconsciously (?) venting against his daughter's rebellious inclinations. Such different times, the early 1970s. Didn't Kathleen Soliah go through the kind of transformation I cited earlier, from wild-eyed hippie type/rebel to suburban mother? Maybe God created me just to be an observer.
Movie about reporters was better
Felt was indicted for his overzealousness but Ronald Reagan pardoned him. Felt wrote a book called "The FBI Pyramid." Frankly I'll take "All the President's Men" over "Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House." The distinguishing feature of Watergate was the primacy of the press, my beloved field. What a relief to see normal lighting.
Will the current "Man Who Brought Down the White House" be Rick Gates?
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, February 23, 2018

Johnson & Arndt score well but it's a defeat for boys

The MACA record dropped a little more below .500 with a loss to Sisseton. The site was the Sisseton court in South Dakota, on Monday, Feb. 19. There were bright spots for MACA like the 19 points that Jaret Johnson scored. Cam Arndt performed with an offensive flourish with his 15 points. Johnson and Arndt were also effective in rebounding.
The score was tied at halftime, 25-25. Then Sisseton raced to a 31-27 advantage in the second half. So the game's outcome was a 56-52 score with host Sisseton on top. We came out of the game with a 10-13 record.
Arndt was dead-on from three-point range three times. Johnson made two long-rangers and Connor Koebernick made one. Johnson and Arndt were followed on the scoring list by Koebernick and Jackson Loge each with seven points. Chandler Vogel put in four points. The rebound leaders were Arndt (9), Johnson (7) and Loge (6). Kyle Staebler passed deftly to pick up four assists. In steals it was Tate Nelson leading with three followed by Johnson with two.
Hancock girls: Owls 54, Rothsay 29
Wow! The Owl defense really applied its talons to Rothsay in the second half. Following a fairly close first half which ended with Hancock up by four, 24-20, Hancock surged to outscore Rothsay 30-9 in the second half. So the Owls won this game in a 54-29 final. The action was on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at home. The Owls owned a 12-10 record coming out of this game.
Ashlyn Mattson was quite in the groove with her long-range shooting. This Owl had five long-range makes and ended up atop the scoring list with 19 points. Haley Mattson and Lexi Staples each made one 3-pointer. Haley finished with 15 points. Lexi had a point total of seven, then we have Tess Steiner and Rylee Hanson each with four, Lindsay Mattson and Katelynn Jepma each with two, and Morgan Kisgen with one. Ashlyn Mattson and Steiner each grabbed nine rebounds. Steiner led in assists with three.
Rothsay is having a struggling campaign. They were led in the Feb. 20 action by Kenzie Lankow who put in 14 points. The rest of the list: Lexie Lankow (5), Jenna Fabre (3), Jayna Gronewold (2), Rachel Brendan (2), Kenadi Carlsrud (2) and Cora Honer (1).
Scrambling for answers
The human species so often repeats its mistakes. A disaster like the school shooting in Florida can bring a hurried and misplaced response. Government is absolutely famous for causing "unintended consequences" with its action. This is embedded in government.
So my fear in the current scenario is this: that the fear of kids with psychological issues will become so profound, that in the name of safety a whole lot of kids will be viewed with undue suspicion. Many who have no intent of doing harm will likely be viewed in the new rush to safety as being potential problems, and be made to suffer, perhaps to have their lives ruined.
Many young people can be diagnosed with adjustment problems as they deal with adolescence. In the age of social media they may make ill-advised comments. Kids can be impulsive. Us adults know that many kids need to be given some slack as they deal with gnawing issues. We know we need to be gentle with kids as they cope with the trials of youth - the discouragement that often happens.
But now? With schools and law enforcement no longer wanting to take any chances, "offbeat" kids could become the focus for unwarranted discrimination. Trump wants to arm certain teachers. A part of me actually feels sorry for that officer with gun who didn't enter the Florida school when the shooting started. The idea of more people firing shots just seems rather ominous and fraught with additional danger. Isn't there a popular theory that Robert F. Kennedy may actually have been finished off by an errant shot from his security guard? More guns and more bullets could just spell more danger, IMHO.
The shooter in school had an AR-15 which just rips your organs apart. Let's ban military-style assault weapons completely. Let's have a gun buy-back program all across the nation. Let's pull the rug out from the NRA (National Republican Assembly).
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Floyd R. Turbo would not be marginalized today

Remember Floyd R. Turbo? People my age certainly do. Sometimes I bring up memories and find younger people to be clueless. Let me explain that Floyd R. Turbo represented "the Trump base" many years before Trump entered the political arena. Turbo was on television in the days of Watergate. He was a character created by Johnny Carson. He talked like a typical member of today's "30 percent" i.e. the Trump base.
And we were supposed to laugh at him. He was the "everyman" who lacked education and had paranoia about the (changing) world around him. We found him to be lovable in the same way as Archie Bunker. That's another name where young people might require a primer. We all assumed back then that America was moving forward despite such dinosaurs among us. Turbo and Bunker were curiosities. Audiences laughed.
Carson had his characters just like our Minnesota radio personality Steve Cannon. Carson was a celebrity in a way that is difficult to achieve today. Carson reigned on nighttime TV in the days of the "Big 3" TV networks. Just about anyone around the water cooler could join in, in a conversation about the previous night's Carson monologue. Carson had his character "Aunt Blabby" who conformed to the stereotype of old people. "She" had a thing for Ed McMahon, remember?
Well, people my age will remember Walter Cronkite was a really big deal. Thing is, my family lived in a neighborhood where our only TV network was NBC for a long time. So, the "big deal" for us was Huntley and Brinkley on NBC. "Good night, Chet - good night, David." We read about how Cronkite made his historic commentary about how maybe it was time to withdraw from Vietnam. Why did it come down to him doing this, and why did it take so long? Our media universe then was top-down, not bottom-up like today. Today, Americans would turn on something like the Vietnam war, and the media universe would readily grease the whole effort. The new media are often an agent for good.
But today we have the "media president," the Twitter president, who is raising all sorts of questions about suitability. And we learned that international politics can get into the realm of media with nefarious motives - it's the Russia thing.
Perspective gets altered
Let's be clear that "Russia" or "the Soviet Union" were totally the bad guys in an earlier time. The Cold War was so intense, it affected the way we educated our children, as we felt we had to stay ahead of the "Russkies." The whole space program can be explained by this: our drive to be "first" in getting to the moon etc. Today I think we have come to our senses in education and have made school life less intense and rigid. Why are we having kids if we can't make life pleasant for them?
Today we'd view the Floyd R. Turbo character in a mixed way. We'd have to be careful being too critical. The Trump base, after all, made certain we'd get Trump as president. Every day we are bombarded with news about how absolutely quirky the president is. He is making certain porn stars into household names. He regularly makes assessments that are not grounded in fact. Too often, the media people who try to point this out, like those on MSNBC, are ripped as "biased" and part of the "far left." It puts progressive types totally on their heels.
Gone are the days when the Floyd R. Turbo crowd was seen as an eccentric, regressive minority. Even colleges that should know better have been forced to a degree to kow-tow to the right. Logic be damned. Science be damned. That is our world of today.
Why is it so important for Russia to scheme in order to promote the Trump crowd? Russia along with Trump sympathizers seem to want to argue that even if there was some hacking or intervention, it doesn't matter. Trump constantly asserts he would have won anyway. If the intervention was of no consequence, why was it undertaken? It's like watching Bill Belichick, coach of the Patriots, get caught cheating in some way, and then when forced to explain it, he says "well, it didn't give us any advantage anyway." Well, why did he do it ("deflategate" etc.)? If just one play in a game can be transformed from the (properly inflated) ball bouncing off a receiver's fingers, to a successful catch, it can affect the outcome of the game easily.
Peel away to find motivation
So the Russians strive to help the American right wing? Why does it matter? The Russians know that the American Republican Party does not believe in government. Republicans do not want the American people to like government. This is a key defining feature. So if you are out to disrupt America, the Republican Party is a good base from which to begin.
Republicans or conservatives can have a healthy influence toward fiscal discipline when their influence is limited. The real danger sign, one we haven't thought enough about, is when Republicans become the dominant majority. All kinds of bad things can happen when a party takes charge that does not believe in regulations. All kinds of sinister things will eventually happen, the kind of things and motivations we see exposed on the CNBC TV program "American Greed." It takes a while for these things to incubate.
Aside from the Republican Party's intrinsic traits, there is the inherent problem of "one-party rule." The Russians know this is a threat to U.S. stability. The desired checks and balances get removed.
Ties with NRA understood
Let's ask why the Floyd R. Turbo Republicans are so knee-jerk in step with the National Rifle Association. Let's review how Republicans distrust government and are even antagonistic. Well, Second Amendment loyalists talk about how our underpinning of gun rights is the potential need for the citizenry to rise up against the government! Thus they'll need their guns, right? Heaven help us, of course, if that sentiment actually begins to take hold. But this is how the Floyd R. Turbo camp thinks.
As a consequence we see government bogged down as if in quicksand when it comes to enacting common sense gun control. We could all assert ourselves and contact our representatives. But we're going up against the gun lobby and its money. It seems insurmountable now. Those wonderful kids from Florida are trying to change things. Will this enlightened drive bite the dust like all others? I suspect it will, sadly. What will rescue us? Perhaps we'll need an economic crisis that scares the hell out of us. Too bad that might be necessary.
But we must pray we can escape the shackles of the Floyd R. Turbo crowd and the porn star president.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, February 16, 2018

Home fans cheer MACA girls as they win by 11

Tigers 52, Sisseton (SD) 41
MACA came on strong for a 52-41 win in girls hoops play before the home crowd. The opponent was Sisseton, South Dakota, on February 12. The Tigers showed their characteristic strong suits. Post player Malory Anderson was important with her 21 points and ten rebounds. Further away from the basket, fans saw Riley Decker and Maddie Carrington show pinpoint shooting. Decker made three 3-pointers while Carrington sank two.
The orange and black shot out to a 25-16 lead at halftime. The triumvirate of Anderson, Decker and Carrington led our scoring. Anderson with her 21 points set the pace. Decker put in 14 points and Carrington finished with 13. Jen Solvie and Carly Wohlers each scored two. Anderson's ten rebounds put her atop that list. Jenna Howden collected seven rebounds and Wohlers had five.
Carrington dished out four assists. The triumvirate leading in steals were Carrington (6), Decker (5) and Anderson (4). The success pushed our won-lost record to 14-9.
The game summary in the Willmar paper was bereft the first names of the Sisseton players. Here Maxpreps can come to the rescue! Using that resource, I can report the following scoring info for Sisseton: Alyssa Magnuson supplied the main punch for the visitor - she had 23 points. Hannah Williams was No. 2 on the list with seven points. Then it was Kiara LaFromboise contributing four. Kellie Karst had three points followed by Libby Medenwald and Taryn Yammarino each with two. Williams and Karst each made one 3-pointer.

Boys: BOLD 62, Tigers 58
BOLD has found the ingredients to defeat Morris Area Chokio Alberta this season. February 13 action in Morris had the BOLD boys getting the upper hand in a 62-58 final. Carter Henry of the Warriors was a key ingredient with 20 points and ten rebounds. Jordan Sagedahl poured in 16 points and Gavin Vosika had eleven.
Gavin Vosika followed Henry on the rebound list with seven. Drew Sagedahl scored six points, Matthew Moorse five and Dawson Vosika two.
The individual totals in the Willmar paper add up to 60 points, while BOLD scored 62.
Drew Sagedahl scored all six of his points with three-pointers. Gavin Vosika and Moorse each made one '3'. Gavin Vosika led the Warriors in assists with six. Jordan Sagedahl had five assists. Gavin stole the ball three times.
Our Tigers carved out a one-point advantage at halftime, 26-25. Jaret Johnson was sharp in scoring though his efforts weren't enough to bring victory in the end. Johnson made three 3-pointers and led our scoring with 17 points. Chandler Vogel made two 3-pointers and Tyler Reimers made one. Johnson was followed on the scoring list by: Jackson Loge (12), Vogel (8), Connor Koebernick (6), Reimers (5), Camden Arndt (4), Tate Nelson (4) and Kyle Staebler (2). Loge with his nine rebounds topped that list, and he was followed by Arndt and Johnson each with six. Nelson led in assists with seven. Johnson was the steals leader with three.
The loss dropped our won-lost to under .500 at 10-11.

Boys: Tigers 69, New London-Spicer 66 (OT)
OK, here was a thriller. It ended with the Tigers on top, having found the tools to succeed in overtime. This was a big Section 3AA-level test for our orange and black. The thrilling ending had Connor Koebernick making a three-pointer from the corner. It came at the buzzer and gave us a 69-66 win! The Saturday action was at New London-Spicer.
Koebernick was not the player we might expect to take the decisive shot. For the night he had a modest five points, but three of those were most unforgettable. Camden Arndt was a clutch performer too. Camden connected on a jumper that helped ensure this game would go into overtime. Then he picked up where he left off in OT, making a 3-pointer. Brandon Adelman of the host Wildcats answered Arndt's '3' with a '3' of his own. Adelman would score a team-best 18 points on the night. It was Arndt who got the ball to Koebernick for Koebernick's dramatic game-winning '3' from the corner.
Halftime saw the Tigers leading by one, 35-34. NL-Spicer outscored us 29-26 in the second half. Then came our 6-3 advantage in overtime.
Jackson Loge led our scoring with 22 points. Arndt with his 20 points was second-high on the list. Jaret Johnson was our third double figures scorer with eleven. Kyle Staebler scored seven points, Koebernick had his five, and Tate Nelson had four. Arndt had two 3-pointers followed by Koebernick and Johnson each with one. Johnson and Loge were rebound leaders with eight and seven respectively. Nelson was tops in assists with five, and Johnson and Tyler Reimers each had one steal.
Adelman with his 18 points was one of four double figures scorers for NL-Spicer. Ryan Wyganowski scored 14, Brandyn Harlow 12 and Ander Arnold ten. Jon Kaelke and Caleb Maxwell each scored four points, and Jake Schmidt and Tristan Thompson each had two. Wyganowski built his point total with four 3-pointers. Arnold made two 3's and Adelman made one.
Harlow and Adelman led in rebounds with eight and seven respectively. Adelman executed five assists. Arnold, Maxwell and Wyganowski each had one steal.
The Tigers came out of the night with a .500 record (10-10) while New London-Spicer stood at 12-8.

The school shooting
At some point we'll get past the inhibitions we feel about putting forward "gun control."
Wonder why police are so jittery so often. how they'll sometimes open fire on people because they suspect a gun somewhere? Maybe the problem is that there are too many guns floating around. Way too many.
Hunters can keep their guns, I guess, though I question the enjoyment of that hobby. It seems primitive and odd. Who wants to go out to some (expletive) slough at dawn when the weather is frigid? I've done it and I now think it's ridiculous. But I guess we need to let hunters have their guns. For personal protection I suppose a simple handgun is OK, but what I don't understand is how we permit military-style assault weapons.
The National Rifle Association has a chest full of campaign money to pour into coffers of Republicans. When I go to church on Sunday, I look around now and ask: Does even one person in this sanctuary vote Republican? If so, I'm not sure I value my time there. Let's bring on the Democrats or let's bring on the socialists.
In closing I'll invite you to listen to the Nanci Griffith song "Hell No (I'm Not All Right)" which I think reflects the mood we ought to feel in the aftermath of the tragedy. Here's the YouTube link:
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Noah Kannegiesser leads wave of Hancock success

Owls 71, Brandon-Evansville 48
Years from now, fans will warmly reminisce about Noah Kannegiesser. They'll remember days like February 8 when the Owl of note scored 40 points in a win over Brandon-Evansville. The game was at home.
I of course would enjoy writing about Noah and his mates if I were still writing for the Hancock Record newspaper. I wrote sports for the Record for 15 years. I left the local print media when it seemed an anvil had landed on me, figuratively speaking. But no sweat, I can write online. The Hancock Record newspaper doesn't even exist anymore. The Ad-Viser doesn't exist anymore. The Morris paper is down to as few as ten pages in a single week.
But there are no boundaries for online writing. So I'm pleased to report on the 40 points that Noah Kannegiesser scored in the 2/8 win over Brandon-Evansville, score of 71-48. I haven't been to the Hancock gym since 2006, not since graduation that year. Kannegiesser's heroics were enough almost by themselves to sink the Chargers of B-E. Of course he gets help from his mates like Bennett Nienhaus who scored eleven points thanks to some sharp 3-point shooting. Nienhaus connected three times from 3-point range. Kannegiesser had six makes from beyond the 3-point arc.
Kannegiesser and Nienhaus were joined on the scoring list by Cole Reese (8), Connor Reese (4), Peyton Rohloff (4), Daniel Milander (2) and Kaleb Koehl (2). Cole Reese with his seven rebounds led there, while Kannegiesser snared six boards. Four Owls each executed three assists: Kannegiesser, Nienhaus, Cole Reese and Connor Reese. The steals department had Koehl with four and Kannegiesser with three.
Hancock led 32-22 at halftime. The Owls emerged from this success with a 17-1 record. Three B-E Chargers made 3-pointers led by Taylor Bitzan with three. Jake Hintermeister made two long-rangers and James Strese made one. Strese topped the B-E scoring list with 13 points.
Girls: Owls 51, CGB 46
The Hancock girls are making waves just like the Kannegiesser gang. On February 8 the female Owls downed CGB 51-46 at the HHS gym. It was Hancock's 11th win of the campaign. CGB is having a .500 season.
Ashlyn Mattson supplied chief fuel in the Owls' winning effort. Her 17 points topped the list, then we see Lexi Staples having offensive clout too with her 14. Rylee Hanson scored eight points and Haley Mattson put in six. Three Owls each added two points to the mix: Katelynn Jepma, Morgan Kisgen and Tess Steiner. Ashlyn Mattson connected three times from 3-point range. Staples made one long-ranger. Rebound leaders were Staples with nine and Ashlyn Mattson with six. Assist leaders were Staples with six and Steiner with four. In steals it was Ashlyn Mattson setting the pace with five followed by Steiner with three.
CGB's Tylaina Issendorf made three 3-point shots. Emma Botker led the Wolverines in scoring with 14 points.
Boys: Owls 63, Ashby 37
The February 6 story for the boys was a 63-37 triumph over the Ashby Arrows at home. On this night, Noah Kannegiesser's point total was 29 as he made five 3-pointers. Is there any defensive scheme that can stop him? Jordan Peterson and Bennett Nienhaus each made one 3-pointer. Two Owls besides Kannegiesser scored in double figures: Nienhaus with eleven points and Kaleb Koehl with ten. Cole Reese scored four points and Peterson put in three.
These three Owls each scored two points: Connor Reese, Peyton Rohloff and John Kellenberger. Rohloff led in rebounds with four. Kannegiesser set the pace in assists with four, and Nienhaus deftly executed six steals.
Two Ashby Arrows stood out with their offensive flair: Jaden Norby with 16 points and Scott Johnson with 14. Scott Johnson made two 3-pointers and Dakota Ecker made one. The Owls shot out to a 41-21 lead at halftime.

Girls: Owls 53, CMCS 38
The Owls' defense shone in second half play, putting the clamps on the Bluejays of CMCS in a 53-38 home win. The Owls outscored the Bluejays 25-13 in the second half. The GBB Owls could feel satisfied having accomplished their tenth win of the season against six losses.
Ashlyn Mattson was quite proficient offensively with her 17 points to lead. Tess Steiner and Morgan Kisgen each scored 14. Lexi Staples scored seven points and Haley Mattson added four. Ashlyn Mattson made three shots from 3-point range. Kisgen connected once from long range. Ashlyn Mattson with her six rebounds led there. Steiner and Ashlyn Mattson were assist leaders with five and four, respectively. Ashlyn stole the ball five times.
Two CMCS Bluejays scored in double digits: Katelyn Bulthuis with 13 points and Ellie Greenwaldt with eleven. Elli Stoel made two 3's for the Bluejays, and Greenwaldt made one. Greenwaldt stole the ball three times.

Kannegiesser reaches milestone
The big day finally came when Noah Kannegiesser reached the summit on the Hancock High all-time scoring list. The big day was a Saturday (Feb. 3). The senior guard connected on a 3-pointer in the first half, vaulting him to the top of the career list, surpassing Bree Holleman. I guess the scoring list is combined for boys/girls.
Kannegiesser would make six 3-pointers in this 71-54 Hancock triumph over CMCS at home. Kannegiesser emerged from this game with 2,340 career points. Kannegiesser's point harvest in the CMCS game was 40, right up where he often achieves.
Connor Reese joined Noah in double figures with 12. Here's the rest of the list: Bennett Nienhaus (6), Cole Reese (4), Kaleb Koehl (4), Peyton Rohloff (2), Tanner Pahl (2) and Jordan Peterson (1). Kannegiesser with his six 3-pointers was followed on that list by Nienhaus (2) and Connor Reese (1). Rebound leaders were Nienhaus and Koehl each with six. Assist leaders were Kannegiesser and Cole Reese with five and four, respectively. And in steals, Kannegiesser was tops with four followed by Cole Reese with three.
My memories of Hancock High hoops are priceless. I smile when remembering Principal Roger Clarke's son playing the "Batman" theme on his electric guitar for a girls tournament game!
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com