To Arms, To Arms. The War Has Begun: The Midnight Riders

The Revolutionary War began on 19 April 1775. That evening Paul Revere made his famous ride. But Revere wasn’t the only rider, just the only one to have Longfellow wright a poem about him. There were dozens of other riders that night, each seeking to warn the colonial patriots that the British army was advancing and what route it was taking. One of these others had the longest ride – the 345 miles from the outskirts of Boston to Philadelphia. That rider was Israel Bissell, though in some records he’s referred to as Isaac Bissell.

Bissell, a 23-year-old postal rider when the war broke out on April 19, 1775, rode day and night with little sleep during an exhausting 345-mile journey from Boston’s western edge to Philadelphia. On the first leg, he rode one horse so hard that the animal collapsed and died beneath him as he arrived in Worcester, roughly two hours after leaving Watertown.

“To arms, to arms. The war has begun,” Bissell shouted as he passed through each little town.

(Map 1: Israel Bissell’s Route)

In addition to making his alert at every stop on the Old Post Road, Bissell also brought a message from General Joseph Palmer:

To all the friends of American liberty be it known that this morning before break of day, a brigade, consisting of about 1,000 to 1,200 men landed at Phip’s Farm at Cambridge and marched to Lexington, where they found a company of our colony militia in arms, upon whom they fired without any provocation and killed six men and wounded four others. By an express from Boston, we find another brigade are now upon their march from Boston supposed to be about 1,000. The Bearer, Tryal Russell, is charged to alarm the country quite to Connecticut and all persons are desired to furnish him with fresh horses as they may be needed. I have spoken with several persons who have seen the dead and wounded. Pray let the delegates from this colony to Connecticut see this.

While there has been some historical dispute about whether Bissell made the whole ride or just the leg to Hartford before handing off to another post rider. Regardless, he still made the longest of the midnight rides.

Bissell did eventually get his own poem. In fact he got two.  One written by Gerard Chapman. The other by Clay Perry.

“To arms, to arms. The war has begun!

Stay put!

Open thread.

Civic Obligations Open Thread: Tax Reax

You can tell a country is sinking into kleptocracy / kakistocracy when basic bureaucratic systems break down under predictable stress, and everybody’s reaction is {shrug emoji}…

Couple interesting tax-related pieces:

From Governing, “Why Low-Tax States Could Come to Dislike the New Tax Law, Too”.

When Congress capped the state and local tax deduction at $10,000 as part of its tax overhaul late last year, it was mostly officials from high-tax states such as California, New Jersey and New York that cried foul. But new research shows that taxpayers in more than one-third of states — some with relatively low income taxes — could be negatively affected by the change.
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Happy News: Trump’s Voter Suppression Czar Loses Another One

Per the hometown Topeka Capital-Journal:

U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson on Wednesday ruled Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was in contempt of court for failing to comply with her orders in a lawsuit over the state’s voter registration law.

Robinson ordered Kobach to pay for attorney fees for litigating the contempt motion, with additional remedies to be determined later.

American Civil Liberties Union attorneys complained Kobach routinely defied a temporary injunction issued by Robinson in 2016 to block enforcement of the state’s proof of citizenship law.

Kobach’s office refused to update language on its website suggesting that new voter applicants may not be able to vote after November 2016 elections. Kobach also failed to follow through on a promise to Robinson that counties would send postcards notifying voters they could participate in elections, even if they failed to show a birth certificate or other documents when they registered.

“The judge found that Kris Kobach disobeyed the court’s orders by failing to provide registered voters with consistent information, that he willfully failed to ensure that county elections officials were properly trained, and that he has a ‘history of noncompliance and disrespect for the court’s decisions,’ ” said ACLU attorney Dale Ho. “Secretary Kobach likes to talk about the rule of law. Talk is cheap, and his actions speak louder than his words.”

Kobach for years has championed the need for strict voter registration laws as a way of keeping noncitizens from voting. At a trial last month, he struggled to provide evidence to support claims of widespread voter fraud.

Kobach’s chief legal counsel, Sue Becker, continued to argue in the weeks leading up to the trial that it wasn’t necessary to send postcards. It wasn’t until the contempt hearing that Kobach “changed course,” Robinson wrote, and “claimed he had personally directed his staff to ensure that postcards be sent.”…

She also said Kobach was disingenuous in arguing her orders were ambiguous. Kobach admitted during the contempt hearing that he understood individuals covered by the preliminary injunction should be treated no differently than other registered voters.

She pointed to an ACLU witness who testified that when he called the Sedgwick County elections office, he was told it wasn’t clear whether he was registered.

Kobach’s “confusing notices, and his patent failure to fully inform and monitor compliance with the preliminary injunction order, caused confusion and misinformation,” Robinson said.

A day after the contempt hearing, Kobach said it was clear his office had bent over backward to comply with the judge’s orders. As a candidate for the GOP nomination for governor, Kobach rallies supporters by telling them he likes makes the ACLU unhappy.

“As soon as the ACLU sues, I know we have made the right decision,” Kobach said during a debate last week…

Preliminary twitter reports seem to indicate that “the office” — in other words, Kansas taxpayers — will be on the hook for whatever Kobach ends up paying in fines. Perhaps this may change a few Kansas voters’ minds about the ‘massive threat’ of (nonexistent) ‘voter fraud’?

Related reading:

Lily Update

Just got off the phone, and her blood transfusion was completed two hours ago, and all of her vitals have improved and she is resting comfortably. They are doing more blood work and will get in touch with me tomorrow and go over what all has been done, when I can come up and visit, etc. They’re all so nice and understanding and take so much time with you on the phone.

I hate this.

Thurston can not figure out why he is getting a treat every three minutes, but he is ok with it. Rosie is upstairs sleeping in Lily’s bed.

Soft, Squishy Comic Relief Open Thread: Richard Cohen Feels Himself OPPRESSED!

Give Cohen this much: Unlike the 30-something MRAs fulminating on Reddit, he’s actually old enough to remember when white men did own the world. Maybe they can adopt him as their Angry Shouty Granpa, once the current Oval Office Occupant has been carted off. Or maybe they’ll look at him, and realize how ridiculous their Very Heartfelt Grievances really are! (I kid, I kid… )

White guy BJ jackals, don’t be wounded — consider this a little Wednesday evening gift. You can look at this and remind yourself, Well, I may not be totally woke, but at least I’m not Richard Cohen.

Aww, You Guys

Thanks to Tamara and the rest of you for chipping in– I didn’t see that coming, but it sure is welcome- the estimate for Lily’s care ranged from a small used car to $6,000. And again, that’s just an estimate. I’d like to think I deserved an Oscar for not flinching and just handing them a credit card- that’s why I spent 30 years building my credit rating, so I could afford an emergency like this, right?

At any rate, I spoke with the Dr. (a nice young woman named Dr. Weimer- although I am now at the age where my first thought upon meeting most doctors is “I’m supposed to trust this kid? Do her parents drop her off at work?”) at some length, and where we stand is the following. This issue is common among mixed breed dogs, and is three times as likely to present in females than in males. It can manifest in three ways- it can simply be an issue that comes about on its own, it can be the result of an infection, or it can be caused by cancer.

We don’t know which of it it is, yet, but the fact that she has good organ function (liver and kidney did not show anything abnormal in the initial blood tests yesterday) is “encouraging.” She also has an appetite and thirst, which is also good. The priority is to stabilize her- the get some blood into her, get the blood cell count and platelet count up, all while doing some thorough tests to try to determine the cause or if there even is one. If the issue is just presenting on its own, that would be the best, so that is what we are crossing our fingers and hoping for. That would just be a matter of stabilizing her, getting everything back to normal, and going home.

Before I left they took me in the back to see her, and my goodness is that place impressive. There were AT LEAST 20 doctors and nurses and vet techs back there, and it was super clean and nice. Lily looked very relaxed and comfortable, and is just so lethargic from the low blood count that she didn’t even seem anxious. I took a t-shirt I had worn yesterday out of the hamper and brought it with me so I could put it in the cage so she would have a comforting scent with her, and again, everyone was super gentle and nice and just gushing over her. She really is an angel, and she doesn’t bark or yip, she’s just a docile lady.

Leaving her was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I was actually thinking about it on the ride home- when I left for basic training my mom dropped me off at the recruiter and I bounded off without looking back. That’s sort of how I am about things- “Ok, I’m doing this now. Ok, I am a non-smoker now. Ok, I am going to rehab and will be a non-drinker now.” I don’t know if that is common or one of my idiosyncracies, but it’s just how I do things. You’ve made yopur decision, no looking back now. Just make it work. This was a lot harder.

I have already called to check on her (because of course I have, and spoke to the nurse who was administering her first transfusion while we were on the phone. She gushed and said what a sweet dog she is and that she was doing well, and I made sure to tell her that she is very quiet and won’t display pain or anxiety by barking or fighting, that you have to pay attention to her eyes and eyebrows and her shedding (she drops hair when she is anxious). They are supposed to call me back after some of the initial testing is done.

I’m mentally exhausted but I have only cried twice, and I am going to take a nap. I do want to thank you all again for the financial help. It really means a lot. Here are some of my favorite pictures of Lily from right after I adopted her from the shelter last week nine years ago:

I love that picture with her BFF Samantha (the second best dog ever). I’ll update you when I know something.

Let’s Show Some Support

As we wait on more news about Lily, I keep going back to all the love and support you guys showed when Bailey passed suddenly – this morning especially as we retraced her final walk with Bixby for the first time.  Just your kind thoughts made that time easier.

John was especially supportive during that time.  I want to do something to make sure John only has to focus on Lily and getting her well. So…

I have not cleared this with John. He may well disapprove. But I suspect Lily’s treatment is going to be very expensive. And while he’s busy at the hospital, I’m hoping I can sneak this through…

Maybe it’s time to throw some pennies at the PayPal donation link if you can. If John doesn’t need it, I’m sure the money raised can go to blog improvements and/or an animal charity. But it does look like Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia can be expensive to treat.

Anyway, let’s show our host some love.

Sending good thoughts to Lily and John.

(and if you don’t hear from me again, you know I’ve been permanently banned for overstepping, just know it was worth it)

And Now A Word From The Home Office: Russia Announces The US Position On Future US Sanctions Against Russia

The defenestration of Ambassador Haley continues…

From Tass:

MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. The United States has notified Russia through its Embassy in Washington that it will not impose fresh sanctions against Russia for the time being, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry informed TASS on Wednesday.

“I can confirm that the US has notified the Russian embassy that there will be no new sanctions for some time,” he said.

The Washington Post’s Carole Leonnig confirmed this last night:

But it leaves an important question: who was informed first the Russian ambassador in DC or Ambassador Haley?

The US’s position on Russian sanctions has now been officially announced and confirmed by Russia through a Russian state news media outlet.

We are off the looking glass and through the map.

Stay clammy!

Open thread.

At the Hospital

This place is nicer than my hospital. I might come here and bark the next time I am unwell.

Lily is in the back being assessed. It’s a small thing, but the way the nurse so gently picked up Lily was very reassuring.

Hero Pilot Brings It In

Yesterday a Southwest Airlines flight from LaGuardia to Dallas lost an engine. That’s lost an engine, as in parts of it flew out. The pilot, Tammie Jo Shults, brought the plane to an emergency landing at Philadelphia. The voice recording between her and air traffic control shows a total professional.

Shults was a Navy fighter pilot with a number of firsts in her record. She retired as a lieutenant commander. More at the Washington Post.

She lives in the San Antonio area. I hope they give her a parade.

And Open Thread!

Lily Update

I just spoke with the vet, and while her platelet count increased, her red blood cell count actually decreased, so I am going to take her to the hospital in Pittsburgh where she can receive a transfusion if necessary. The place I am taking her to is the Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center, and this is the place that saved my brother’s girl Ellie.

In Plain Sight (Open Thread)

TPM has an interesting article about Trump’s shady fixer, Michael Cohen, who grew up ass-deep in Russian mobsters on Long Island. An excerpt (link to article here):

From the 70s through the 90s at least, the bosses of the Russian mafia in the U.S. literally ran their crime organization out of the El Caribe.

So Michael Cohen’s uncle Morton Levine’s social club was the headquarters of Russian organized crime in the U.S….

According to Levine, who is apparently still alive, all his nieces and nephews owned shares of the El Caribe and still do. Levine told the AP that Michael Cohen owned his stake in the club until Donald Trump was elected President when he “gave up his stake.”

Isn’t that fascinating? Of course, there’s lots of focus on Cohen now that the FBI has raided his office. But Cohen was a known Trump associate for ages, all the while owning a stake in the Russian mob’s US HQ.

We knew all about the Obamas’ interest rate on their Chicago home prior to the 2008 election. We heard plenty about the preacher at the Obamas’ church.

Reporters dig through records to unearth that shit. I can’t help but think crackerjack New York-area reporters overlooked a rather large story on Trump’s mobbed-up fixer during the run-up to the 2016 election.

Bourbon, short stays and normative hospice utilization versus patient centeredness

Barbara Bush died yesterday after a very short period of comfort care after she elected to stop any further attempts at curative care. She may or may not have received formal hospice care.

If I was 92 and knew that I was going downhill, I think I would elect Scotch over bourbon.  I would also elect to spend what uncertain time I had left at home with family and friends instead of in the hospital where the quantity of remaining life may be greater at no better and probabilistic lower quality of life.

If she had elected hospice care, she would have had a very short span of hospice utilization.  Hospice qualification for someone covered by Medicare has a fairly strong normative pathway.  An individual will be identified as having a high probability of death within the next 180 days in the opinion of the treating physician and the medical director of the admitting hospice. Once an individual elects hospice, they give up curative care for the primary diagnosis that led to hospice.  Ideally, then the individual uses hospice for several weeks to a few months.  Short spans of less than a week and long spans of more than six months are seen as meaningfully problems.

MedPac’s 2018 report on hospice utilization repeats a common sentiment that echoes years of previous statements:

The Commission has previously expressed concern about very short hospice stays. More than one-quarter of hospice decedents enroll in hospice only in the last week of life, a length of stay that is commonly thought to be of less benefit to patients and their families than enrolling somewhat earlier. Very short hospice stays (e.g., 25th percentile) occur across a wide range of diagnoses

We are also moving towards a medical system that is supposed to be “patient-centric” with a dozen distinctive definitions of what that actually means.  The patient and their family are the drivers of decisions while the clinicians facilitate and illuminate pathways that can be chosen.  So if a patient chooses to try one last round of treatment and then chooses to forego further curative care at the very end of life, how do we reconcile a strong normative belief on “proper” hospice utilization with patient centeredness?

Bourbon is recommended.

On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

This weekday feature is for Juicers who are are on the road, traveling, or just want to share a little bit of their world via stories and pictures. So many of us rise each morning, eager for something beautiful, inspiring, amazing, subtle, of note, and our community delivers – a view into their world, whether they’re far away or close to home – pictures with a story, with context, with meaning, sometimes just beauty. By concentrating travel updates and tips here, it’s easier for all of us to keep up or find them later.

So please, speak up and share some of your adventures and travel news here, and submit your pictures using our speedy, secure form. You can submit up to 7 pictures at a time, with an overall description and one for each picture.

You can, of course, send an email with pictures if the form gives you trouble, or if you are trying to submit something special, like a zipped archive or a movie. If your pictures are already hosted online, then please email the links with your descriptions.

For each picture, it’s best to provide your commenter screenname, description, where it was taken, and date. It’s tough to keep everyone’s email address and screenname straight, so don’t assume that I remember it “from last time”. More and more, the first photo before the fold will be from a commenter, so making it easy to locate the screenname when I’ve found a compelling photo is crucial.

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!

Errors and leaving things until the last minutes meant I don’t have pics from BillinGlendale today, but I will soon!

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Wednesday Morning Open Thread: There Will Be Twitter-Tantrums


Also, too…

You can’t always get what you want…