Where Obama’s Promises of Change Fell Short, by Mark Erickson

Official portrait of President-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 13, 2009.(Photo by Pete Souza)

I twice voted for Barack Obama for President of the United States of America. Now that he has less than six months left in his job as President, and since I have been rightly critical of his predecessor (and Obama’s successor . . . → Read More: Where Obama’s Promises of Change Fell Short, by Mark Erickson

More on the Pig Manure Pollution Controversy, by Mark Erickson

The Chicago Tribune has printed a four-part series on a subject I wrote about last year:

http://www.eastportlandblog.com/2015/09/22/the-pope-pig-manure-and-minnesota-water-quality-by-mark-erickson/

Here’s one Tribune article regarding pig polluters:

http://digitaledition.chicagotribune.com/launch.aspx?pbid=3e7227b1-e3b7-4fac-aa07-5f943e58b4c5

As I read the article that landed on my doorstep today I recall the book The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, which exposed the production and sale of . . . → Read More: More on the Pig Manure Pollution Controversy, by Mark Erickson

Come Into Our Scandinavian-American Kitchens, by Mark Erickson

Garrison Keillor has occasionally referenced the basement of a Lutheran church as well as a dinner entrée called a casserole (aka hotdish) during his successful, long-running radio show, A Prairie Home Companion. I was raised in a denomination, i.e., the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), which is similar to Lutheran (two sacraments: baptism and communion). . . . → Read More: Come Into Our Scandinavian-American Kitchens, by Mark Erickson

Cuba vs. US: From Secret Assassination Attempts to the Present, by Mark Erickson

President Barack Obama has spent the last few days in Cuba as part of his effort to normalize relations with the island that has endured a 50 year embargo. The Chicago Tribune reported that Obama advocated for “human rights, including freedom of speech and assembly and religion” during the trip to which President Raul . . . → Read More: Cuba vs. US: From Secret Assassination Attempts to the Present, by Mark Erickson

My Oklahoma Sooner Football Bookshelf, by Mark Erickson

I was born and raised in Minnesota, “The Land of 10,000 Lakes.” My parents had a cabin during my formative years that allowed me to seek out frogs, swim, and water ski on the weekends. Both of my parents graduated from the University of Minnesota, and my Dad attended the Golden Gopher football games . . . → Read More: My Oklahoma Sooner Football Bookshelf, by Mark Erickson

A Modern Lament, by Mark Erickson

In December 2015 I wrote about evangelical Wheaton College’s decision to suspend Larycia Hawkins, its’ first ever female African American tenured professor due to a seemingly innocuous FB post. Well, the acrimony intensified and now Professor Hawkins will not return.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/07/wheaton-christian-college-professor-larycia-hawkins-muslims-worship-same-god

In my EPB post, I referenced a similar trial of a Seminary . . . → Read More: A Modern Lament, by Mark Erickson

Lamb of God Rocks Our World While Giving Us Causes for Concern, by Mark Erickson

I went to my third Lamb of God concert a couple of days ago. They are a pure American metal band from Virginia who met at Virginia Commonwealth University at least 20 years ago. In 2003, I flew from Chicago to a municipal airport in Creighton, Nebraska for work. I had a nursing . . . → Read More: Lamb of God Rocks Our World While Giving Us Causes for Concern, by Mark Erickson

Let’s Get Serious and Start Helping Syrian Refugees, by Mark Erickson

On Christmas Eve, before eating the roast beast, my family reads the Nativity story found in Luke. Verses 1-2: “At that time Emporer Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire. When the first census took place, Quirinius was the governor of Syria.” Matthew 2 explains King Herod felt threatened that . . . → Read More: Let’s Get Serious and Start Helping Syrian Refugees, by Mark Erickson

Do We Really Worship the Same God? By Mark Erickson

Wheaton College is a nondenominational evangelical Christian institution located in the Western suburbs of Chicago that maintains a special relationship with the Reverend Billy Graham (currently 97 years old). Wheaton operates the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, The Billy Graham Museum and Archives, and the Billy Graham Scholarship Program. According to a website called . . . → Read More: Do We Really Worship the Same God? By Mark Erickson

Chi-Raq: As in Chicago and Iraq, by Mark Erickson

“16 shots, 14 months. 16 shots, 14 months. 16 shots, 14 months.” I attended a protest rally on Black Friday that was easily attended by more than 5,000 people. The protest closed down Chicago’s “Mag Mile”, which is the high-end downtown shopping mecca. We congregated at the majestic Chicago Tribune building and proceeded north. . . . → Read More: Chi-Raq: As in Chicago and Iraq, by Mark Erickson

After Paris: Is War the Answer? by Mark Erickson

In the wake of the recent bombings and killings in Paris, I offer this. But first, I must step back. Shortly after 9/11, I opined in a pre-Twitter universe to a creation similar to Twitter, something called “xnpc”, that the United States had stoked hostility by imposing sanctions and a killing machine upon Iraq. . . . → Read More: After Paris: Is War the Answer? by Mark Erickson

With No Salary Cap, Major League Baseball Salaries Continue to Rise, by Mark Erickson

Daniel Murphy’s success against the Cubs was not repeated in the World Series.

Wrigleyville and Wrigley Field were deathly quiet when I arrived at Game Four with the Mets leading 4-0, no surprise. Then the Mets’ hero of the Divisional Series, Daniel Murphy, turned to a goat in the World Series (pun intended). Now . . . → Read More: With No Salary Cap, Major League Baseball Salaries Continue to Rise, by Mark Erickson

The Pope, Pig Manure and Minnesota Water Quality, by Mark Erickson

Pope Francis has landed at Andrews Air Force Base for his first visit to the United States. There’s a lot of speculation about what he might say, especially when he addresses Congress Thursday morning in light of first visiting Cuba. I am hopeful that he will discuss American capitalism’s flaws, a theme he has . . . → Read More: The Pope, Pig Manure and Minnesota Water Quality, by Mark Erickson

Army Spends $500 Million to Train Syrians, by Mark Erickson

Last night while watching neutral Al-Jazeera TV, I saw a clip about the US Army having committed $500 million to train Syrians to fight ISIL. The clip was a Senate Armed Service Committee hearing chaired by Senator John McCain. General Austin testified about the program that strove to train 15,000 Syrians to fight. General . . . → Read More: Army Spends $500 Million to Train Syrians, by Mark Erickson

My Weekend, Die Kreuzen, Mars Williams, by Mark Erickson

Die Kreuzen

The 8/28 edition of the Chicago Tribune contained a gushing article by rock critic Greg Kot about Naked Raygun, a local 1980s “punk-rock band” that appeared on the bill with Foo Fighters, Urge Overkill, and Cheap Trick at Wrigley Field last night. The piece included snippets from Dave Grohl, former Nirvana member . . . → Read More: My Weekend, Die Kreuzen, Mars Williams, by Mark Erickson

Thank you, Mr. Bugliosi, and God Bless, by Mark Erickson

Manson Prosecutor and Prolific True-Crime Author Vincent Bugliosi, born in Hibbing, Minnesota in 1934, is best known for his prosecution of Charles Manson and his hippie cult followers. During the year-long trial, Bugliosi used vicarious liability and aiding and abetting theories to convict Manson. This skilled prosecutor described Manson as a “dictatorial maharajah of . . . → Read More: Thank you, Mr. Bugliosi, and God Bless, by Mark Erickson

The State of Music in Midwestern Baseball, by Mark Erickson

Within the last decade or so major league baseball stadiums have piped in player-selected songs when the batter approaches the batters box. The practice then spread to the high school level. When my son played varsity ball as a junior I noticed to my chagrin that all but two of the players chose a . . . → Read More: The State of Music in Midwestern Baseball, by Mark Erickson

Ministry rocked my world last weekend… by Mark Erickson

As an opponent of the militarization of American society, I always oppose the Pentagon’s continuous bloated budget and wasteful spending. In December 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that in 2013, “the Pentagon’s top 85 major-defense acquisition programs experienced overruns of nearly $411 billion.” According to the same WSJ article, the F-35 Joint Strike . . . → Read More: Ministry rocked my world last weekend… by Mark Erickson

BAND-MAID – I’ve Gotta Be On My Way, by Mark Erickson

The ladies in this five piece formed their band in July of 2013 and the rest is J-rawk history. It’s not clear why they chose to appear in this video dressed like the luscious lasses on St. Paul Girl beer bottles, but it’s a catchy rock’n roll tune.

Crunching guitars with licks, commanding . . . → Read More: BAND-MAID – I’ve Gotta Be On My Way, by Mark Erickson

Wrigley Field: Billionaire’s Playground, by Mark Erickson

The current owner of the Chicago Cubs, the ultra-wealthy Ricketts family, defied an existing legal contract signed by the former owner of the Cubs, i.e., the Chicago Tribune Company, with Wrigley rooftop businesses by significantly expanding bleacher space in right and left field. The expansion also includes the addition of video screens. These improvements . . . → Read More: Wrigley Field: Billionaire’s Playground, by Mark Erickson