Wednesday, October 01, 2014

On this day in 1910: Union terrorists kill 20 in LA Times Building bombing

Big Labor loves to fall back on its history of organizing for "the little guy," but on October 1, 1910, two union members bombed the Los Angeles Times Building--killing 20 "little guys."

From the LA Times four years ago:
The explosion destroyed the Times building, taking the lives of 20 employees, including the night city editor and the principal telegraph operator, and maiming dozens of others. Two other time bombs — intended to kill Gen. Harrison Gray Otis, the publisher of the newspaper, and Felix J. Zeehandelaar, the head of a Los Angeles business organization — were discovered later that morning hidden in the bushes next to their homes. Their mechanisms had jammed.

Eventually, two brothers, J.B. McNamara, who planted the bombs, and J.J. McNamara, an official of the International Assn. of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers union who ordered the attacks, were arrested, convicted and imprisoned.
This terror attack was part of a nationwide bombing rampage by the International Assn. of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers that damaged over 100 iron works.

I bet you didn't learn about this sad day in American history in a high school or college class.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

ILL-inois: Warden retires after report of convicted sexual predator living in her home

Man oh, man, where do we find these rascals who work in state government?

From ABC 7 Chicago:
Dixon Correctional Center warden Nedra Chandler has quit the post she held since 2005 just 24 hours after the ABC 7 I-Team reported she was living in a house with a convicted sexual predator.

Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer said on Tuesday afternoon that, "IDOC has been conducting a full investigation into Ms. Chandler, which began September 19, 2014, when she was immediately placed on Administrative Leave. She this morning notified IDOC of her decision to retire."

Chandler, 53, lived in the same Sterling, Ill., home as convicted sex offender Robert L. Swon. On Sept. 19, Swon was arrested on child pornography charges during a police raid on the two-story frame house. Police say they seized computer equipment from the home that contained sexually explicit images of children, some younger than 13.
Swon, 27, is being held in the Whiteside County Jail. He's been charged with four counts of child pornography and failing to register as a sexual offender. Swon is listed as a "sexual predator" on the Illinois State Police sex crimes web site.

QuinnFail: Latest attempt to sell state airplanes meets turbulence

In a cheesy campaign ad where he mows his own lawn, Illinois' hapless governor, Chicago Democrat Pat Quinn, boasts how he has saved taxpayers money by selling state-owned airplanes.

But Quinn won't be boasting about this sale:

From the Southern Illinoisan:
After not finding any takers among local governments or universities for the eight airplanes and one helicopter, officials offered the aircraft to the general public through an eBay-style online auction.

At the close of the bidding Monday, however, only two of the planes received bids.

Illinois Department of Central Management Services spokeswoman Alka Nayyar said the unsold planes will be re-listed for auction with a new closing date of Dec. 15.
By that time I'm hoping Quinn will be a lame duck.

ILL-inois: Another Big Labor front group shilling for Quinn

Chicago Sun-Times Building
Land of Lincoln patriots: It's time to tell your friends to get out and vote for Bruce Rauner in November. We cannot afford another four years of America's most unpopular and most inept governor.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Major unions are pumping big money into a November ballot question about raising Illinois' minimum wage which in reality is a political tool to energize Democratic voters who are also more than likely to vote for Gov. Pat Quinn and other Democrats down the ticket.

Last July, Quinn signed a bill putting on the November ballot a statewide advisory question about raising the minimum wage in Illinois for adults over the age of 18 to $10 an hour by Jan. 1, 2015.

To help organize support for this ballot question — with the anticipated byproduct turning out voters for Quinn, locked in a tight battle with GOP nominee Bruce Rauner and other Democratic candidates — on Aug. 14 a new political committee was formed in Illinois, the Committee to Reduce Income Inequality and to Support Human Rights.

In reality, this is a front group for the Illinois AFL-CIO. The officers of this new committee, Michael Carrigan and Timothy Drea, are the president and the secretary treasurer of the Springfield based Illinois AFL-CIO. The committee is running the "Vote Yes on ballot initiatives" campaign.
Repeat--the minimum wage question on the fall ballot is only an advisory referendum.

There is another union front group shilling for Quinn--the Illinois Freedom PAC.

To follow Rauner on Facebook, click here. To follow him on Twitter, click here.

To contribute to the Rauner campaign, click here.

North Dakota oil boom news: Minot AFB having trouble filling civilian jobs

Perhaps the United States Air Force needs to draft civilians to staff its Air Force base in Minot, North Dakota. AP is reporting that because of the lure of higher paying jobs in the Bakken oil fields in the western part of the state, it is that finding filling civilian positions at Minot AFB is becoming more difficult.

Imagine if President Obama and his neo-Luddites allowed the petroleum industry to thrive in the rest of the nation. If that happened--our economy would soar.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Idiocy in college sports: Weis collecting millions from two schools not to coach

On Sunday, after a miserable two seasons and part of a third as the head football coach of the University of Kansas Jayhawks, Charlie Weis was fired. It will be expensive for KU.

Oh, why isn't it UK or U of K?

Back to business...

From the Wichita Eagle:
The move also comes with a short-term cost. After this season, Weis had two years remaining on his five-year, $12.5-million contract. He will receive the remainder of his pay, amounting to about $5.625 million, in monthly installments through December 2016.

In addition to the money he'll be paid from KU, Weis received $6.6 million in severance from Notre Dame when he was fired in 2009. Tax records show he was paid around $2.1 million in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and he will continue to be paid by Notre Dame through December 2015.
Weis was fired from Notre Dame after a promising start. He briefly served as offensive coordinator for the Kansas Chiefs and spent a year in the same position for the University of Florida Gators, where his offense ranked 102nd nationally. Yep, at Florida.

So after at best a mediocre career as a college coach, KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger still hired Weis. Sunday he fired him.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame, which at least is not a state school, has been paying Weis $2.1 million annually not to coach since 2010, which is more than the Fighting Irish is paying its current and much better skipper, Brian Kelly, or anyone else at the Notre Dame athletic department. At least ND is finally done with Weis at the end of 2015--the Jayhawks will still be writing checks to Weis for another year as someone else calls the plays on the gridiron in Lawrence.

Paying players to play college football makes a heck of a lot more sense than having two schools paying one guy not to coach college football.

Related post:

Happy 150th, Kansas! With over 40 Sunflower State posts!

(Video) ABC's Jonathan Karl spends seven minutes ripping White House over ISIS spin

Watch as one of the few decent mainstream media reporters working today, ABC News' Jonathan Karl, grills White House press secretary Josh Earnests spin on how President Obama misread or perhaps even ignored the threat assessments from his own administration about the Islamic State.




I found a brick in the woods

I've discovered many astounding things in the forest preserves near where I live and work. A ten-point buck, a coyote, many wildflowers, even a "Posthenge."

Last week I found a brick. Oh, not just any old brick, but a Purington Paver, which was manufactured in East Galesburg, Illinois. The Purington Paver Brick Company was once the largest maker of bricks in the world.


There it is. Among the dirt and scattered concrete debris that was used to create the bridle path east of the Des Plaines River in Dam Number 4 Woods East in Des Plaines, Illinois, although there are many more walkers, cyclists, and runners on that trail now.

After dirt streets came brick-paved streets--and Purington Pavers could be found all over the Midwest, particularly in Chicago, but also as far away as Panama and Paris.

Paving bricks have to be durable.

Writing for The Zephyr in 2000, Terry Hogan explains:
Paving bricks start out life fundamentally different than your average building brick. Paving bricks require a mixture of clay, shale, sand, and "flux: (described without edification as, "A mixture of substances that promotes fusion at high temperatures."). Paving bricks, like those made by Purington, gained their strength and durability through kiln firing. Firing caused the brick's content to react chemically (via vertrification) to create a strong, impervious brick.
Or more succinctly, they have to be really, really strong.

Making bricks is labor intensive and so is building brick-paved streets. After World War II, constructing concrete and asphalt thoroughfares made more economic sense for cities and towns and by 1949, Purington ceased making pavers. In 1968, Charles Schott purchased Purington and he left the company to his wife when he died in 1974, the same year Purington closed its doors.

I'm sure you've heard of Mrs. Schott. Marge was for many years the controversial principal owner of the Cincinnati Reds. Schott maintained ownership of the Purington factory grounds until her death in 2004.

As for the bricks, over sixty years later they are still coveted items.

You never know what you'll find in the woods until you go there.

Related posts:

Ronald Reagan Trail: Carl Sandburg

Ronald Reagan Trail: Galesburg

Chiraq: 5 dead, at least 43 wounded over weekend

Chicago's Grant Park
The first weekend of fall did nothing to cool the temperatures of Chicagoans. Five people in Chicago were shot to death this weekend, including a 13 year-old boy ,and at least 43 others were wounded. The boy, a North Sider, was killed on the Southwest Side.



Sunday, September 28, 2014

An early unhappy Halloween: Obamas coming to Chicago to campaign for Quinn

Chicagoans will be getting an early but unhappy Halloween president early in October. President Obama, in the midst of the what even his supporters have to admit is the worst year of his presidency, will be making a rare visit to his adopted hometown later this week to attend some fundraisers and to campaign for his fellow Chicago Democrat, the inept Gov. Pat Quinn.

And the following Tuesday, Michelle Obama, who students nationwide agree has ruined the school lunch program, will be in Chicago to stump for Quinn.

Last week Obama's former chief-of-staff, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, reversed his decision to name a North Side high school after his old boss after Chicagoans complained.

Illinoisans needn't be frightened anymore. Bruce Rauner is running against Quinn.

Rauner, a Republican businessman, is a far better choice for governor.

To follow Rauner on Facebook, click here. To follow him on Twitter, click here.

To contribute to the Rauner campaign, click here