The Fugitive Goes Home

The Fugitive Goes Home

By Bob Small

This is good Independence Day story. The world’s longest-running real-life fugitive saga is finally over. Journalist Julian Assange left the U.K.’s Belmarsh Prison, June 24, to accept plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy to obtain and disclose classified US national defense documents in the US District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands. He was sentenced to time served and granted his freedom.

Thanks to my friend, Carol of Swarthmore, for sending me this Hugo Black quote: “The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.”

Many world leaders have expressed joy for the decision and praise for Assange.

Anthony Albanese, prime minister of Assange’s Australia stated  “There is nothing to be gained by his continued incarceration and we want him brought home to Australia.”

Prime Minister Lula Da Silva of Brazil, a bit more left than Albanese, said Assange’s  “release and return home, albeit belatedly, represent a democratic victory and the fight for press freedom.”

And there were officials, especially in the US, who were definitely displeased, though.

“Julian Assange endangered the lives of our troops in a time of war and should have been prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said former Vice President Mike Pence.

“Never a ‘journalist.’ Never. He did irreparable harm. He endangered lives,” said former Assistant FBI Director Frank Fibliuzzi.

Trump-era CIA director Mike Pompeo who called Assange’s WikiLeaks a “nonstate hostile intelligence service”

Sheila Assange, who married Assange in prison that the British Labor government would not have extradited Assange if they take over the U.K.’s government on July 5.

And there is a dark lining in the silver cloud.

“The US Dept of Justice still holds the Espionage Act over journalists worldwide,” said John Simpson of the BBC.

“It will still hang over the heads of national security reporters for years to come,” said Seth Stern, director of advocacy for the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

“We all still live under a globe-spanning power structure which has shown the entire world that it will destroy your life if you expose its criminality,” said journalist Caitlin Johnstone.

Luckily, as a local blogger, we don’t worry about . . .

The Fugitive Goes Home

The Fugitive Goes Home

Legendary Bill Veeck Was Showman And War Hero

Legendary Bill Veeck Was Showman And War Hero

By Joe Guzzardi

No Major League Baseball franchise owner entertained his fans better than Bill Veeck, Jr, a true showman. Holiday doubleheaders, especially those played on Independence Day, provided Veeck with six hours to delight his fans. As owner of the Cleveland Indians, he gave away red-white-and-blue straw hats to every man who entered the ballpark, dressed ushers as founding fathers John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, and had them distribute copies of the Declaration of Independence. No cost was spared to put on pyrotechnic displays that were second to none. Veeck knew that for baseball fans young and old, Independence Day was better than Christmas. School was out, Mom and Dad had days off, the weather was warm, patriotic flag-waving parades with marching bands traversed Main Street. Independence Day didn’t begin with gifts around the Christmas tree, but, as pennant races heated up, everyone’s favorite team would play two games in a single, sun-drenched afternoon.

During his six decades in professional baseball, Veeck owned Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox. Veeck’s father, William, Sr, was the Chicago Cubs president from 1919 until 1933, and built two pennant winners in 1929 and 1933.  Bill, Jr liked to say: “I am the only human being ever raised in a ballpark.” At age 10, he worked as a ticket taker and popcorn vendor. When Veeck, 27, bought his first franchise, the AA Milwaukee Brewers, he launched what would be lifetime of gaudy baseball promotions. He gave away prizes almost every night and specialized in handing out animals: live lobsters, pigeons, chickens, guinea pigs, and his favorite, a swaybacked horse. Most of Veeck’s promotions were not announced in advance; he wanted arriving fans to wonder what the evening’s door prize would be. Veeck scheduled morning games for overnight war plant workers and served cornflakes breakfast to all the tired, hungry fans. Veeck believed trips to the ballpark should be fun, the fans, kings and queens. During World War II when nylons were hard to come by, Veeck distributed pairs to Ladies’ Day attendees. If Veeck couldn’t get nylons, he substituted orchids.

In 1951, after Veeck acquired the St. Louis Browns, he orchestrated his most memorable escapade. Browns’ manager Zack Taylor sent three-foot-seven-inch Eddie Gaedel to lead off against the Detroit Tigers. Gaedel crouched to create a non-existent strike zone as the Tigers’ pitcher dropped to his knees and delivered four straight balls. Five days later, Veeck displayed his ingenuity again with Grandstand Manager Night. Ushers handed out placards printed with “Yes” and “No” to cranks sitting behind the home dugout, and at crucial points they were asked to call the plays: Steal? Bunt? Hit-and-run? Manager Taylor watched from a rocking chair, puffing his pipe as the Browns beat the Athletics, 5-3. But Veeck shrewdly built winning teams and helped integrate MLB. His 1948 Cleveland Indians, led by former Negro Leagues’ stars Satchel Paige and Larry Doby—the American League’s first black players—won the World Series. Paige and Doby were eventually enshrined in the Cooperstown Hall of Fame.

Since Veeck had defended America during World War II, Independence Day had special importance to him. After the 1943 Brewers’ season, Veeck enlisted in the U.S. Marines Corp and was stationed in the Pacific on Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea. Approximately 216,000 Japanese, Australian, and U.S. servicemen died during the 1942-1945 New Guinea campaign. During an intense battle, anti-aircraft gun recoil smashed Veeck’s right leg. Veeck spent the rest of the war in hospitals. A few years after Veeck returned from war, infection set in on his wounded leg and doctors amputated below the knee. When Veeck’s artificial leg arrived, he threw a party to celebrate. But the infection slowly spread up Veeck’s stump, and he required 36 more operations in all. Veeck received the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award bestowed on 37 Hall of Fame members for their military service.

Veeck, once he took over the Chicago White Sox, added names to players uniforms and introduced the exploding score board, innovations that endure today. On Opening Day 1976, Veeck revisited the Independence Day meme. Veeck presented a Bicentennial-themed “Spirit of ’76” parade, casting himself as the peg-legged fifer bringing up the rear. But by 1981, he realized that the White Sox couldn’t compete in the free agent, high salary era. Veeck sold the team, his last venture as an owner. Then, he dabbled in announcing and wrote three autobiographical books. A heavy smoker, Veeck underwent two lung cancer operations in 1984. The surgeries were unsuccessful and, two years later, Veeck passed away. In 1991, the Hall of Fame inducted Veeck, a fitting tribute to baseball’s most creative mind.

Joe Guzzardi is a Society for American Baseball Research member. Contact him at

Legendary Bill Veeck Was Showman And War Hero

Legendary Bill Veeck Was Showman And War Hero

Video Of Illegals Bathing In Creek Blows Up Delco Council Meeting

Video Of Illegals Bathing In Creek Blows Up Delco Council Meeting — Delaware County’s illegal alien crisis simmered through the evening, July 3, as citizen after citizen implored County Council to act.

It exploded at the end when James Small displayed video of illegals bathing in Darby Creek at Springfield’s Rolling Green Park.

Councilwoman Christine A. Reuther, who had been just been blasted by a Springfield woman for being “so smug”, sent things over the top when she rather smugly told the crowd that Rolling Green wasn’t a county park. They should take matters up with Springfield, she said.

The meeting was soon called to a close.

Springfield, June 18, banned bathing in township parks to address the problem.

It was bizarre Ms. Reuther couldn’t get that this is everybody’s problem.

Small, of Marple, noted that two white vans filled with apparent illegals have as been seen at the Wawa on Township Line Road, Upper Darby. This is a few hundred yards from the park.

Earlier in the night, Charles Alexander of Marple told Council that it will be tarred and feathered if an illegal commits a murder in Delco He noted he has video on X of bathing by apparent illegals in Darby Creek.

Gary Rider of Marple said illegals were an obvious burden. They swim in the creek naked and cause car accidents.

“How can you let this happen in this county?” he asked.

He noted the tax burden illegals cause

“(US citizens) don’t get $1,200 a month and free medical,” he said.

He pointed out that children who don’t speak English are flood Delco’s schools and taking teachers from the children of citizens.

Carris Kocher of Concord said if sheriff’s department began using the power granted it, it could resolve illegals.

A woman who described herself as a teacher and mom asked council to protect elections and its citizens from those who come here illegally.

Tom Flocco of Media said millions are illegally crossing the border.

This means poor Americans will remain poor for generation, he said.

He accused Councilwoman Elaine Paul Schaefer of pushing hard for illegals to come to Pennsylvania and noted she was a board member of the local HIAS chapter. Illegals get free treatment at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital and are the distributed throughout the county, he siad..

Tevin Dix of the Drexel Hill section of Haverford called council liars for denying that Delco was a “sanctuary county”. He thanked God for Alexander and his video.

“Your party wants to live in a fairy tale,” he said. “You are going to use illegals for votes.

He said he was praying for them.

Sharon Devaney of Haverford noted Delco was obviously a sanctuary county and its getting worse and worse. She said she had just seen a frail 70-year-old man thrown in jail for a minor bail violation while the illegal who crippled her in a car accident seven years ago was never prosecuted and remains fancy free in the county getting free stuff.

She said she saw on the SEPTA busway in Ardmore an apparent illegal with his arms and face covered with tattoos. Face tats are a gang sign.

Rosemarie of Marple said there was proof of illegals and blasted Council’s dismissal of their concerns. She said they weren’t listening and just “hoping we go away”.

Nobody has a problem with legal immigrants, she noted.

A woman from Media and a man defended Council’s policy regarding illegals.

A video of the meeting can be found here.

And here is the video presented by James Small that turned the meeting upside down.

Video Of Illegals Bathing In Creek Blows Up Delco Council Meeting

Charlie Alexander addressing the crowd, last night. That he faced the crowd rather than Council would bring forth a smug comment by Councilwoman Christine A. Reuther about public comments being open mic night. It basically is Christine for three minutes.

Hopeful state William W. Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 7-4-24

Hopeful state Cryptowit William W. Lawrence Sr 7-4-24

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Answer to yesterday’s puzzle: Often when affairs look most desperate they suddenly assume a more hopeful state.
Gen. George Meade

Hopeful state William W. Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 7-4
Hopeful state William W. Lawrence Sr 7-4-19