Memorial Tributes pore in for professor who “changed the way Britain provides dental services”

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Professor Jimmy Steele had a big idea, and a wonderful one it was.

Brits, he thought, might improve their dental health. (Link here to his obit.)

The key would be . . . occasionally going to the dentist.

Until then, no one in England had ever done that.

Now, however, there is said to be one dentist working in London and another about to open a practice in Manchester.

Well done!

Pressure Mounts on Congress to Disclose Hush Payments, Name Sexual Harassers

Politico reports

Lawmakers in both parties say members of Congress shouldn’t be allowed to use taxpayer money to settle harassment claims without being named.

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) proposed legislation Wednesday that would mandate public disclosure of sexual harassment settlements — and ban Congress from footing the bill for such deals in the future. Within a few hours of introducing his bill, DeSantis had been contacted by several Republican and Democratic lawmakers asking to sign on.

“It’s taxpayer dollars at issue; taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent,” DeSantis said in an interview.

Comments:  This is public money, and the public has a right to know how it is spent.

Given the public outrage, I suspect legislators from both parties will rush to have their names listed as co-sponsors.

  • I don’t see how some version of this proposal doesn’t pass. The only way to kill it would be in back rooms, and I think the pressure is too great to do it. In fact, that’s part of what the public is angry about: background deals to protect themselves.
  • The bill should deal with non-disclosure clauses, as well.
  • The problem is not limited to the legislative broach. We need to know whether such payments have been made in the Executive Branch and the Judiciary.
  • I suspect we will see similar initiatives in state legislatures–for the same reasons.
  • Finally, we need to have a debate about whether public money should even be used for these purposes. The victims need to be compensated, but why should taxpayers, rather than the victimizers, pay?

Hillary isn’t quite sure why, but no candidates have sought her campaign advice for 2020 (really)

Hillary spoke with Hugh Hewitt on his radio show (transcript link here):

Hewitt: How many 2020 candidates have been asking you for help already? . . .

Clinton: (laughing) Well, I have to say that my message to anybody who is thinking about 2020 is stay focused on 2018. I think it is, it is too soon to start worrying about 2020. . . .

Hewitt: Who has, has anyone been to see you, yet? …

Clinton: Nobody’s actually been to see me. I see Democrats all the time, and nobody has said “Hey, I’m going to run,” or “I’m thinking about running, give me advice now,” because it is too soon.

There you have it. Nobody is seeking her campaign advice because it is just too soon.

All those great ideas about flying over Wisconsin and Michigan, and nobody to grab them. Odd.

R. L. Burnside playing “Poor Black Mattie” and Explaining How He Got His Start

After R.L. explain how he got his start and plays a bit, I have another wonderful version by Samantha Fish. Later, I have Burnside’s full version.


Although R.L. Burnside is closely connected to traditional Delta blues, he’s actually from a little outside the Delta, in the nearby hills. Some call his style, “Hill Country Blues.”

Here he explains the first time he played in public, a party where his friend, Mississippi Fred McDowell, asked him to play. For those of us who love the blues, the rest is history.

Here is one version of the lyrics (like all folk tunes, they change a bit with each rendition):

Poor Black Mattie, yeah (Poor Black Mattie)
Ain’t got a change in clothes (change in clothes)
Girl got drunk, oh (girl got drunk)
Close that door (close that door)
Poor Black Mattie (Poor Black Mattie)
Ain’t got change o’ clothes
Girl got drunk, throwed her trunk outdoor

Goin’ to Memphis to see that (goin’ to Memphis)
Worldly fair (the worldly fair)
Reason I’m goin’ (the reason I’m goin’)
Baby, there (is my baby’s there)
Goin’ to Memphis (goin’ to Memphis)
See that worldly fair
Reason I’m goin’, ’cause my baby there

Need no heater fireplace (need no heater)
By my bed (said, by my bed)
Woman I got (that woman I got)
Cherry red (cherry red)
Need no heater (need no heater)
Fireplace by my bed
Woman I got, keep me cherry red

–Poor Black Mattie


Now, here’s a wonderful version by someone keeping the blues alive, Samantha Fish, together with Lightnin’ Malcolm. They are OUTSTANDING!!

It was produced at the legendary Zebra Ranch Studios in Coldwater, Mississippi by Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars. (I can’t hear his name without thinking about another famed producer named Dickinson–Bruce Dickinson of “More Cowbells.”)


Here’s R.L. playing a full version:


Lois Lerner, infamous IRS exec, wants to keep the public from seeing the testimony that nails her

Lois Lerner and her #2, Holly Paz, say they fear harm from an “enraged public” and want their own IRS testimony sealed forever (Washington Times)

The government eventually admitted the IRS had acted illegally and promised not to do it again. The mainstream media essentially ignored the admission. Nothing to see here. Move along.

That’s what Lerner and Paz want to do now.

Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz gave taped depositions in a class-action lawsuit brought by tea party groups demanding answers and compensation for having been subjected to illegal targeting for their political beliefs.

The government settled the class-action lawsuit in Ohio and another tea party challenge in the District of Columbia in two agreements last month, admitting to the illegal behavior. The Ohio settlement also called for the government to pay $3.5 million to the tea party groups, according to one of the plaintiffs.

Ms. Lerner came in for particular criticism, with the government admitting she not only didn’t stop the targeting — contradicting the Obama administration’s claims — but also hid it from her superiors in Washington. –Washington Times

Lots of people are fighting Lerner and Paz’s motion, as is the Cincinnati newspaper.

Comment: These are public records by public officials. They ought to be available to the public.

ZipDialog Roundup for Monday, November 20

Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
Linked articles in bold purple

Merkel’s Troubles–and Germany’s After her narrow election win, she cannot form a coalition government. Prefers new election (Deutsche Welle, in English)

The coalition problem was that she needed support from the leftist Greens and pro-market Free Democrats.

She couldn’t find common ground between them.

Comment: Her larger problem is that she’s past her “sell-by” date and has a tin-ear for ordinary Germans’ disgust with open borders, which have led to millions of immigrants and serious problems with unassimilated Muslim populations.

 Charles Manson dead at 83. Remembering his victims: Rich, famous, fringe, and random (Los Angeles Times)

Comment: Unspeakable evil–with the power to persuade others to join his malign fantasy.

US designates North Korea as state sponsor of terrorism (Politico)

Iran, Sudan, and Syria are already on the list. It had been placed on the list in 1988 and removed by George W. Bush in 2008 as a carrot during failed nuclear negotiations.

“This designation will impose further sanctions and penalties on North Korea and related persons and supports our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the murderous regime.

Should have happened years ago. –Pres. Trump (quote at Reuters, link here)

Comment: The big question remains: Will China adhere to US-imposed sanctions or call our bluff by cheating on them?

 Sen. Franken: Second woman accuses of “inappropriate touching” (New York Times)

He won’t resign, says his hometown paper, the Star-Tribune.

 Roy Moore: Obstinate denials despite mounting evidence, stays in the race

Comment: His refusal to withdraw leaves Senate Republicans in a world of hurt.

Meanwhile, Moore received support at a press conference, featuring women who have worked with him.

Unfortunately, all these women have the same drawback. They are adults.