Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Obama wants to circumvent the Senate to implement UN anti-global warming rules

Chicago's Douglas Park,
January, 2014
Students who took President Obama's constitutional law class at the University of Chicago are entitled to a refund.

Dear Leader wants to enact an anti-global warming treaty--without the approval of the US Senate.

And we are only a few months removed from the coldest winter in the history of Obama's adopted hometown of Chicago.

From the New York Times:
The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.

In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.
Morton Grove, IL, March 2014

To sidestep that requirement, President Obama's climate negotiators are devising what they call a "politically binding" deal that would "name and shame" countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.
This summer has been cool too. Leaves on the trees where I live are beginning to change colors. Yeah, it's August.

Former American killed fighting for Islamic State in Syria

I may be offending some people, but any American who fights for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, is no longer an American.

The terror group offers Christians and Yazidis a choice: convert to Islam or die. Those who refuse, including children, are sometimes crucified. Or beheaded.

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
A former Minnesotan who graduated from Robbinsdale Cooper High School was killed in Syria last weekend, the first American to die fighting for the terror group that calls itself the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIL).

Douglas McAuthur McCain's death is one of the first clues that U.S. officials have as they try to identify the Americans who have joined a group that has vowed to remake the Middle East. And his death is evidence that ISIL is willing to use Americans on the battlefield rather than sending them back to the United States to launch attacks.

(Photo) Young black-crowned night heron

At the dam that connects Big Bend Lake and the Des Plaines River at dusk on Saturday, I saw a juvenile black-crowned night heron looking for fish. There was heavy rain earlier that day, and many fish were being pulled over the dam--making the fish easy pickings for the young avian.

Unlike the adults, the youthful heron has brown plumage with white speckles.

Why not a Reagan exhibit? Lincoln presidential library planning Adlai Stevenson exhibit

Reagan statue, Dixon, IL
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is planning a special exhibit on Adlai Stevenson II, a former Illinois governor and a two-time failed Democratic presidential candidate.

Surely a more popular attraction would be one centered on the only president born in Illinois, Ronald Reagan, the greatest president since Lincoln.

Just a thought. But it's a good one.

Or is Reagan, a Republican, too scary a figure for the liberals who run the library?

Lincoln, was you know, was our first Republican president.

Related posts:

France: One in six support Islamic State terrorists

There is a some disturbing revelation from France to report. One is six people livng in the land of liberté, égalité, fraternité supports the terror group the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

From Vox:
In any case, the big, scary, surprising, number here is France: 16 percent of those surveyed say they support ISIS. That's an awful lot. And that number gets even larger as the demographics get younger, as shown in this by-age breakdown published by Russia Today (the poll was commissioned by Russian state media, almost certainly to tar and/or troll Western countries, but that doesn't make the findings any less disturbing).
Estimates of the Muslim population of France range from five to ten percent.

Detroit water shutoffs could be back today

Detroit Water and Sewerage Department's moratorium on water shutoffs for delinquent residential customers expired yesterday.

Will the citizens of Detroit blame everyone else if their taps run dry?


Monday, August 25, 2014

Bloody Chicago: 5 dead, at least 42 wounded over weekend

Summer drags on in Chicago and so do the shootings. Five Chicagoans were shot to death over the weekend and another 42 were wounded. One of the dead is a three year-old boy, who apparently was playing with his father's gun.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

(Photos) Illinois & Michigan National Heritage Corridor on its 30th birthday

As I noted this morning in this space, today is the 30th anniversary of President Reagan signing the legislation creating Illinois and Michigan National Heritage Corridor. It was our nation's first National Heritage Area.

The Reagan-esque beauty of the I&M Corridor is that no government authority controls all of it. The National Park Service plays only an advisory role in National Heritage Areas. This portion, as  you can see on the sign, is overseen by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. Oh, there I am on the right. Behind me is the parking lot at this portion of the trail in Willow Springs. It is difficult to find, but if you locate the Willow Springs Metra Centra on Google Maps, you'll find the lot just north of of the railroad tracks.

Pictured above is the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Slowly nature is filling it in. When it opened in 1848 it was six feet deep and sixty feet wide at its surface. There were towpaths on both sides--barges were usually pulled by mules. This lyrics from the folk song Low Bridge, "I've got a mule and her name is Sal--15 miles on the Erie Canal" suddenly makes sense.

The Corridor is about 100 miles long and runs from Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood to Peru in LaSalle County. Most of Corridor is crossed by a trail. This portion, which begins a few miles northeast of Willow Springs at LaGrange Road near Palos Park, is named for the legendary John Husar, a longtime outdoors columnist for the Chicago Tribune and a champion of preservation of the Des Plaines River valley, part of which includes the canal.

Cyclists are more numerous than hikers or runners on the asphalt trail.

To me, this picture looks like a previously missing still from The African Queen. Okay, I may be exaggerating , but the trail was smothered by oppressive tropical-like humidity on this afternoon.

As for the canal, commercially it was a mixed success. Railroads siphoned business from the I&M just a few years after it opened, but it paid off its debt on time and it reached its peaked tonnage in 1882. But by 1914 commercial traffic had almost completely vanished. In 1933 the canal was closed to even recreational use. The Civilian Conservation Corps worked on I&M restoration, including some locks, but that project ended when our nation entered World War II. The canal was largely left to decay until 1984.

Varieties of goldenrod populate the sides of the trail.

The tall tree is a black walnut. As for the man who signed the National Heritage Corridor legislation into law, Ronald Reagan learned to swim in the Hennepin Feeder Canal near Tampico, Illinois.

I found a patch of yellow jewelweed too. The orange variety is much more common in Illinois.

Reagan first became aware of his love of nature when his family moved from Chicago to the much smaller western Illinois town of Galesburg in 1916.

Canal recreation doesn't exclude fishing. This man was trying his luck near the trail parking lot. Above him is Willow Springs Road.

Poke berries are ripening along the Corridor. The leaves of the American Pokeweed are edible if properly prepared, otherwise they are poisonous. The berries were once commonly used for dye.

Our journey is almost done--Little Marathon Pundit walking back to our car.

Related posts:

Cal-Sag Channel sunset

After another visit today to my hometown of Palos Heights, Illinois, I drove over the Harlem Avenue bridge over the Cal-Sag Channel, where I saw the sun at dusk perfectly positioned at the center of the Norfolk Southern Railroad bridge to the south.

I had to quickly park my car at 115th and Harlem and run back to capture this view. I returned just in time.

From Da Tech Guy on DaRadio: Beware of the anti-Rahm

Do you think Rahm Emanuel is a bad mayor of Chicago? Well, the nation's third largest union can do a lot worse if Chicago Teachers Union thug Karen Lewis succeeds him. From my weekly post on Da Tech Guy on DaRadio: Beware of the anti-Rahm in Chicago.