World Wide Wednesday

Deep Routes

An angry millenial writes an open letter to her parents’ generation that makes a whole lot of sense:

Quit telling us we’re not special.

Believe us, we bloody well know.

Earlier this month, Wellesley high school teacher David McCullough, Jr., delivered what was perhaps the world’s first commencement dirge to a crowd of teenagers on the first day of distinction many of them have ever experienced. Graduation from high school, he informed them, is a shiny induction to the hordes of mediocrity. McCullough even took it upon himself to remind the youth of their eventual funerals. (You know it’s a problematic speech when Rush Limbaugh loves it.) What parting words did the teacher have for those who survived his twelve-minute lesson on nihilism? The paradoxical exhortation to go forth and live extraordinary lives! Because, apparently, we can?

Here’s the rub: this speech is misplaced. It doesn’t belong in an address to the generation graduating into an economy that wipes its rear end with their high school diplomas. It doesn’t belong in an address to the generation who began running the rat race at age 4. It doesn’t apply to the generation that knows hard work guarantees nothing, that can’t hope to own a home before we have our own children, that pours coffee for other people’s parents for free in the name of gaining “work experience” through “internship.” David McCullough ought to have given that speech not to the graduates, but to their parents. We have not yet begun to shape the world: we are living in the one you created. And it’s killing us.

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Sports Rapport Is Closed Through Monday, July 9th

I’m headed up to Wisconsin AKA God’s Country for a week and will not be doing any posting.

If you find yourself struggling to make it throughout the week without my sports and food commentary, here are some of my greatest hits from the past year:

25 Things Wisconsin Democrats and Republicans Can Agree are Awesome


Badger Basketball: Where Are They Now?

Rooting for Allen Iverson

Aaron Rodgers Just Got Named the NFL’s Best Player by His Peers; What is His Ceiling?

With 79 NFL DUIs Since 2007, It is Time For An Automatic Four-Game Suspension

How Much Would 304-lb Tackle David Diehl Need to Drink to Blow a .18?

– Charles Barkley Says Larry Bird Drank Him Under the Table, LeBron Haters Led By Punk-Ass Skip Bayless

LeBron James Has ‘The Look’

Under the Radar, LeBron James is Having His Best Season

So Was That Egregious Pacquaio Decision Corrupt or Incompetent?

8 Better Ways to Spend $64.99 Than Ordering Pacquaio-Bradley

8 Better Ways to Spend $69.95 Than Ordering Mayweather-Cotto

Who are the Preakness Owners and How Did They Make Their Money?


A Day Trip to Auschwitz

EuroCup part I; EuroCup part II

Green Bay for Packers-Giants playoff and epic weekend

Indianapolis for Big Ten title game

Losing on a last-second hail mary to Michigan State

Losing on a last-minute hail mary at Ohio State

Madison for Nebraska, Will’s Northwoods for Packers-Broncos

Joe Paterno

Why Joe Paterno HAD to Go

Joe Paterno’s Complicated Legacy

New Emails Confirm That Joe Paterno Acted in Self-Preservation to Cover Up Jerry Sandusky


Trying the New Cantina Bell Burrito Bowl From Taco Bell

How to Make Enchilada Pie

World Wide Wednesdays

Via Google.

My Daily Meal Food Slideshows


Chicagoist Archive

On Will’s Northwoods Inn, Q101, some more.


HuffPo long read on medical marijuana industry and policy in Colorado.

On The Awl: What Return Can You Expect on That $2 Lottery Ticket?

Sconnie Nation Keeps Growing

World Wide Wednesday

How I saw the Internet this week

Deep Routes

My piece on medical marijuana industry and policy in Colorado got published on Huffington Post!

Perhaps the greatest reason for the banking issue faced by the medical marijuana industry is that the federal government has been sending mixed signals. While U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s circulation of the Ogden Memo in late-2009 seemed to imply that medical marijuana policy and regulation would be left at the discretion of individual states, the federal government intervened in January when Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh sent letters to 23 MMCs located within 1,000 feet of schools, giving them 45 days to close. In March, 25 more MMCs received letters.

One recipient of the first round of letters was Greenwerkz, the MMC that AIDS patient Damien LaGoy bought his medicine from. “They really believed that they were caregivers,” LaGoy says. “If I didn’t have any money at the time, they’d say, ‘Well, don’t go without. We’ll get you through until you can pay.’ And they did.” While there are two other Greenwerkz locations, its now-closed spot on Colfax was the only one that is reasonably accessible to LaGoy.

Greenwerkz owner Dan Rogers is understandably aggravated at the development, especially since he deliberately complied with the regulations that he was ultimately forced to shut down for violating. “We were sensitive for the 1,000 foot rule three years ago,” Rogers says. “We purposely only looked for dispensaries that we believed were over 1,000 feet. Our dispensary that got shut down was actually 1,300 feet away as the pedestrian distance goes. But as the crow flies–which is what the Department of Justice used to measure–we fell within that measurement.”

“I can say with 100% certainty that our dispensary that got closed never once sold to a kid or to an unlicensed patient,” Rogers says. “The distinguishing characteristic for me is that street level drug dealers don’t make those kind of decisions. I would turn people away because they weren’t licensed. You don’t get that luxury in the black market. A regulated model does work because it’s not worth my risking my business to sell to someone that is not compliant.”

Greenwerkz sent a letter of appeal to the Department of Justice but it was to no avail. Its location that provided 60% of the business’s overall revenue–which cost nearly $100,000 to build while providing social benefits in the forms of jobs, taxes, and community services–was forced to close its doors.

“There are responsible operators and we take this seriously,” Rogers says. “We want to be good neighbors and we want to do the right thing. We just need to be given the ability.” Government resources would have been better allocated in seeking out MMCs that do not comply with vertical integration regulation and/or have lax standards in making sure that they only sell to legitimate patients.

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Trip Diary: EuroCup Part II

What a week! I have A LOT to cover. Since I last wrote, I went to Portugal vs Czech Republic in Warsaw, Greece vs Germany in Gdansk, watched two matches in the Warsaw fan zone and an England loss at a huge sports bar in London, and had three nights where I saw the sunrise. I shared drinks, meals, and/or conversations with people from America, Canada, Bulgaria, Poland, Finland, Russia, Norway, Ireland, England, Italy, Germany, India, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Here are some of the highlights:

Czech Republic vs Portugal in Warsaw

Like Ireland vs Italy, this was a match where it was clear after about 10 minutes that the Czech Republic’s best chance to win would come from a 120-minute 0-0 tie followed by a shoot-out victory; it just looked like they could play for 10 hours and not score except via a fluky breakaway or penalty. Portugal’s goal came on a beautiful Cristiano Ronaldo header that bounced up off the ground at about a 45-degree angle and took a short hop over the Czech goalie. The timing, strength, and coordination of this goal were unfathomable:

To make it even better, the goal happened RIGHT in front of us. For this game, I was supposed to sit by myself but was struck by unbelievably good fortune. Kevin, my dad’s friend who invited me on the trip, was having issues connecting with the person he bought his tickets from on Ebay. They were supposed to meet by the stadium but the scalper’s phone was dead for an hour as repeated calls and text messages went unreturned. During this fiasco, we ran into a ticket broker from Toronto who I had met on the train back from Auschwitz the day before. He set us up with someone who had 8th-row seats which would have been between the 20- and 30-yard lines on an NFL field. These three seats ended up being in the same section as those he was supposed to buy and were seven rows closer to the field. Also, the three tickets were 150 euros cheaper in total than the two that he was supposed to buy.

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A Day Trip To Auschwitz

In Poland for the Eurocup, I had a day off from soccer yesterday. Up at 6 am after a crazy night (full story on that tomorrow…) and catching the end of Heat-Thunder, I decided that since I didn’t know when the next time I’d have the opportunity to see it again, I had to go see Auschwitz on what was really my only free day on this trip. Even though the trip was five hours each way by train, I’d do it again a thousand times over.

Once every year or two, it’s important to see direct evidence of wholesale human suffering–this can either be past or present. Ironically, there is no better cure for my own first world problems. Break-ups, career struggles, writer’s block, fatigue, clogged shower drains, and other things that seem so devastating to me are put into their proper perspective when just 70 years ago I could have been forced on a 10-day train ride cramped shoulder-to-shoulder in cabins with no food or water and arrived in Auschwitz to be sentenced to execution via gas chamber. Only pure luck dictates that my life and those of Holocaust victims are not reversed–you can’t control when, where, or to whom you’re born and the Auschwitz victims’ only crimes were existing at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Auschwitz Main Gate. Photo credit:

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So Was That Egregious Pacquaio Judgment Corrupt or Incompetent?

By now, you’ve heard about the ridiculous split decision Saturday night that gave Timothy Bradley Jr. the victory over prohibitive favorite and obvious winner Manny Pacquaio. If you didn’t watch the fight, you probably didn’t and don’t care but this judgment was more egregious than you can possibly imagine; it would have been like ruling in favor of Homer Simpson over Drederick Tatum. (And no, I did not actually pay $64.99 for the fight; I obviously streamed it for $free.99.)

Rough Approximation

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NFL News and Notes

– The Patriots gave Rob Gronkowski an extension expected to be worth around 8-years and $55 million. I will bet a dollar that his off-field problems make them regret this eventually.

The Giants extended Tom Coughlin through 2014. Will the cycle of almost fired – Super Bowl – extension – almost fired – Super Bowl continue?

– In case they’re unable to get Matt Forte into camp, the Bears have a back-up plan: defensive lineman Henry Melton will be the ‘new fridge.’ Hoping this move ends well (for the Packers, of course).

The Packers have replaced their playbooks with iPads. Hopefully there will never be a player who is tech savvy enough to figure out how to copy the files to another device before he gets cut.

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