Friday, September 30, 2005

Iranian blogger in danger of his life

Sometimes we forget how good we have it living in a free society.

From Faith's Potkin Azarmehr:

What a marvelous prerogative it is to just log on to my weblog, write away and know that my life or liberty is not in danger.

Sadly this is not the case for Iranian bloggers. Along with the newspapers, Iranian bloggers have been at the receiving end of a vicious onslaught by the Islamic judiciary. Many have been jailed and received unbelievably long sentences. One of the Iranian bloggers in danger right now, is Ahmad (Iranian name Aryo), Seraji from the town of my birth, Tabriz.

Aryo was kidnapped outside his house by ten Islamic secret service men in two unmarked cars. Despite being outnumbered, Aryo fought the plain clothes agents fiercely until the agents had to resort to using chloroform dabbed handkerchief over his nose to put him out and drag him away.

Aryo was arrested on prior occasions too and on one occasion after his release, he travelled to Tehran and chained himself to a pole outside the UN headquarters in Tehran, to protest at his ill treatment and the abuse of his human rights in the Islamic Republic. Needless to say, the apathetic UN staff paid no attention, what do they care about an individual protesting at his human rights abuse? they are there to draw a salary.

An excellent blog source of news from Iran is Regime Change Iran.

Marathon Pundit analysis: Jim Edgar won't run for governor, but Blagojevich should still be sweating

Despite press reports to the contrary, Illinois' Governor Rod Blagojevich is definitely vulnerable in 2006 when he's up for re-election. Former Governor Jim Edgar, a popular Republican from downstate Charleston, served in Springfield--when Springfield was still the state capital--from 1991 to 1999, announced this afternoon that he won't challenge Blago to get his old job back.

Edgar's legendary 1994 re-election saw him win 101 of Illinois' 102 counties. Even heavily urban (and Democratic) Cook County went red for Edgar, as Jim annihilated Democratic challenger Dawn Clark Netsch.

Blago's approval ratings are low. The multiple scandals in Chicago hurt Blagojevich in a number of ways. For one, even in Illinois, voters will tolerate only so much corruption. The convictions upon convictions in the ongoing investigation of Mayor Daley's City Hall will result in fewer "foot soldiers," both in the private and public sectors, participating in "get out the vote efforts" next year. Why? Because of a lot of them will still be in prison in November, 2006.

Also, an emasculated Daley Machine won't be able to throw around as "muscle" as it has done in the last few elections, as the focus among politicos even in 2006 will be on who will be Chicago's mayor in 2007. Will Daley be viewed as a "lame duck" next year, even if he makes it clear he'll be a candidate again? Daley was re-elected with over 80% of the vote in 2003, and unless Alan Keyes is his opponent, Mayor Daley will have to hustle --and be lucky--to get over the 50% threshold next time. If there is a next time.

Then there is East St. Louis, home of the local Democratic Party's "$10 per vote," incentive promotion last year. That racket won't be up and running anytime soon, as several Dems there, including the head of the East St. Louis Democratic Party, were found guilty of vote fraud and are likely headed to prison. Because of that, the Democrats can count on receiving several thousand fewer "sure thing" votes in East St. Louis than in previous elections.

Elsewhere in Illinois, cheaters may be looking over their shoulders, afraid the Feds will be drifting their gaze away from East St. Louis and Chicago, to their own counties and townships.

Vote cheaters, by the way, are almost always Democrats, despite what Jim Lampley has claimed in his comical Huffington Post columns.

Blago has numerous ethical problems, and to keep this post short, I'll only cite the most recent, his being implicated as the "Public Official A" involved in an Illinois teachers unions fund scandal.

More unions: The Teamsters and SEIU split from the AFL-CIO this summer. The union led voter-registration drives--concentrated in heavily Democratic areas--and their election day blitzes, won't be going away, but the efforts will be less concentrated, or perhaps overlapping.

The effect will be the same, probably fewer "safe" Democratic voters finding their way to the voting booth next November in the Prairie State. (And other states, too.)

Those union-led vote drives, viewed by many in the conservative media as ineffective, are looking at the end-result, shortsightedly, from a national perspective. They've have been very successful in Illinois and other heavily unionized states. Just because the White House and Conress is still contolled by Republicans doesn't mean that the political push for the Democrats by the unions has been futile.

Jim Edgar will not be running for governor. But the incumbent, Democrat Rod Blagojevich, should fear any Republican opponent.

New blog: Opposition building against upcoming Ward Churchill appearance at DePaul University

DePaul has really walked into a big mess by inviting Ward Churchill to speak at the Chicago college on October 20. Nicholas Hahn III started the "My Political Agenda" blog this week. It appears he's a DePaul student, as well as a member of a minority group there: a conservative.

Hahn and some other DePaul University students met with DePaul's Jim Doyle, who is the Vice President of Student Life there.

From Hahn's blog:

Since DePaul actually does have a minority, and it's not the one you're thinking of, the Republicans and I have spearheaded an opposition against Churchill's planned speaking engagement. We met recently with a Mr. Jim Doyle, Vice President of Student Life, and even with stunning facts, convincing rhetoric, and an emotionally moving anecdote, Mr. Doyle retreated from his Catholic and American obligations and said, "...we are not inclined to cancel at this time..."

Mr. Doyle, you say you stand for "academic expansion?" I say you stand for al-Qaeda. Your cowardly bones cannot withstand the Catholic and Patriotic duties you must carry out as a University administrator. I'm just as for academic expansion as you are, but I recognize our horizons are guided by Catholicism. You've seemed to ignore that just to appease the anti-American vocal minority on this campus.

What this University doesn't seem to fathom, is that we have NATIONAL support. Governor Bill Owens has just publicly extended his support. Members of the national media have been contacted. And probably most important to the University...we have the support of MANY top-tier donors to the University. I guess at this point, we have an ultimatum, "Revoke his funds, or we'll revoke ours."

Blagojevich denies flip-flop on 'pork' projects

Well, Illinois is a blue state, so I guess it makes sense we have a governor who's a flip-flopper.

From AP:

As a candidate, Rod Blagojevich promised to end the practice of letting lawmakers earmark money for their favorite projects. As governor, he's approving those projects and talking about authorizing even more.

Blagojevich said Thursday he doesn't see a contradiction.

The Democratic governor said his earlier criticism was aimed at the way the money was handed out — as a pool to be divvied up according to lawmakers' wishes with little public review.

Now that he can review the projects, Blagojevich said, he has found the "overwhelming number" to be worthwhile uses of state money.

Blagojevich said he is talking to legislative leaders about approving more of the "member initiatives" if they can agree on a screening process to make sure all the projects support education, health care or the economy.

Oh, Blagojevich is up for re-election next year.

Most underreported story of September is...

...well, according to me, the chaos following the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Looting, synagogue torchings and a flow of weapons into Gaza from Egypt leaves the Middle East--and the world--less safer than it was on September 1.

And we weren't that safe then.

Yes, Hurricane Katrina and the storm's aftermath dominated the news for most of September, making it difficult for other important stories to receive attention. But the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, and the continuing violence going on there, should have been covered more extensively by the media.

This story is not going away.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Phelps Westboro cult adds another soldier funeral protest

Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church in addition to the two protests planned on Friday, will then travel to rural Maryland on October 3 to picket the funeral of Sgt. William A. Allers, who died in the service of his country.

Phelps and his "vile cult of losers" show up to protest at the funerals of soldiers killed in action, claiming God is punishing America for our acceptance of gay rights.

Chicago White Sox: AL Central Champs!

Hey, we flirted with disaster, but the Chicago White Sox clinched the AL Central in Detroit this afternoon!

The White Sox are overdue for a World Series Championship, the last one was in 1917.

George Ryan trial: Scott Fawell testifies against old boss

Here is the latest on the trial of former Illinois George H. Ryan: Scott Fawell, Ryan's one-time top aide, provided damaging testimony against his old boss. The defense hasn't cross-examined Fawell yet.

Read about it from Eric Krol of the Daily Herald here.

Also, find more details in CBS 2 Chicago George Ryan trial blog.

The trial has recessed until Monday.

The Hill: Dems decry 'culture of corruption,' silent on Schakowsky's husband Robert Creamer

Yesterday, as virtually everyone who follows politics knows, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was indicted for allegedly committing various fundraising misdeeds.

As expected, top Democratic leaders spoke out on what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called a "culture of corruption" among Republicans.

From The Hill:

Jan Schakowsky, Democrat from Illinois commented:

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said she was glad that Republicans had followed their rules and required DeLay to step down. “He’s done what the rules require, and I’m happy to see that,” she said.

Schakowsky's husband, political consultant Robert Creamer, recently pleaded guilty to check-kiting and tax fraud charges. He committed these crimes while running the "pro-consumer" Illinois Public Action Council.

No word from Pelosi, et. al, on the "culture of corruption" within the senior House leadership of the Democrats. And Schakowsky, one of the Dems' deputy whips, is a member of the Democratic House leadership.

Jan's hubby Creamer was no "Mr. Mom," as he worked on political campaigns for powerful Democrats including Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, and western Illinois Congressman Lane Evans.

Oh, from the same article, just too good not to mention:

Mike Malaise, a campaign manager for former Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas), who is challenging DeLay, said the indictment showed DeLay had not been doing work for his Sugar Land district.

Wow, Malaise! Well, with a last name like that, you know where he stands!

Obstructionist Dick Durbin lifts seven-month hold on insurance bill

Has Dick Durbin ever gotten a bill through the senate? Or does he just block legislation?

From AP:

After months of blocking a Senate bill because he claimed it shortchanged his state, Sen. Dick Durbin announced Thursday that he has won assurances that Illinois' state health insurance pool would get an extra $1.6 million a year in federal funding under a compromise version.

Durbin, D-Ill., had put a hold on a measure sponsored by Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., after it had passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee on unanimous consent more than seven months ago. He lifted the hold Wednesday, his spokesman said.

At stake was more than $300 million in federal funding nationwide for the approximately 30 high-risk health insurance pools that provide coverage for those with medical conditions that make it impossible for them to get coverage in the regular market.

Durbin had argued that Gregg's original bill would benefit smaller states at the expense of larger ones, such as Illinois, which would have suffered a funding cut of 60 percent while South Dakota's funding would have more than doubled.

Roberts confirmed as Chief Justice

From AP:

John Glover Roberts Jr. won confirmation as the 17th chief justice of the United States on Thursday, charged by the Senate with the responsibility of leading the Supreme Court through turbulent social issues for generations to come.

He was being sworn-in at the White House later in the day by Justice
John Paul Stevens' name, the court's senior member and acting chief justice since the death of William H. Rehnquist.

The Senate voted 78-22 to confirm Roberts — a 50-year-old U.S. appeals judge from the Washington suburb of Chevy Chase, Md. — as Rehnquist's successor. All 55 of the Senate's majority Republicans, and half of the Democrats, voted for Roberts.

Chuck Shumer, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Dick Durbin, John Kerry, Evan "I'm a liberal now" Bayh, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Diane Feinstein, and Barbara Boxer were among the prominent senators--all Democrats--who voted against Roberts.

Most overreported story of September

Eric Zorn does this on his blog once in a while, and I'm probably going to do this as a regular monthly feature here.

So, no big surprise, the most overreported story of September, 2005 is Cindy Sheehan. On the surface, the last sentence is not grammatically correct (verb-subject error), but since Mother Sheehan turned herself into an event sometime ago, she's not just a person anymore.

Pam Meister in Connecticut has come up with a song for Mother Sheehan on her Blogmeister USA site, it's here. And brush up on your Beethoven, it'll help you enjoy the post more.

Tomorrow, the most underreported story of September. It's something I blogged about a couple of times that first became news during the Hurricane Katrina aftermath. But even taking that in account, this story was buried and is continuing to obscured.

DSL fixed

Or at least I hope so. The line technician just jeft.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

John Roberts, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, and People for the American Way

John Muir, a columnist for the Southern Illinoisan, just may have gotten to the bottom of the dreck of the Chuck Schumer-Dick Durbin posturing in regards to the upcoming full-senate vote on the confirmation of John Roberts as the next Chief Justice:

And, oh my, what pride in the state of Illinois I felt when both Sen. Dick Durbin and Sen. Barack Obama both said they would vote against Roberts. I would guess, particularly in the case of Durbin, that his "no" vote is based on him being squarely in the "mainstream" of what Illinois residents want and believe. Or then again, it could be based on what television producer Norman Lear wants and believes.

According to a story that appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Durbin and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., attended an event in Los Angeles on behalf of People for the American Way, a liberal activist group founded by Lear. The event was held the weekend prior to the Judiciary Committee vote and, according the story, Lear lashed out at Democrats for not mounting more resistance to Roberts' nomination.

While there will be those who claim I'm jumping to conclusions, it certainly does seem a little more than ironic that only four days after the conversation with Lear, both Durbin and Schumer voted against the Roberts confirmation. It was probably just a coincidence, don't you think?

During the hearings, Roberts gave one particular answer that sums up why some Democrats cannot vote for his confirmation. Ironically, that answer came under questioning from Durbin about "personal freedom."Durbin asked: "If you've made one point many times over during the course of the last three days, it is that as a judge you will be loyal and faithful to the process of law, to the rule of law. But, beyond loyalty to the process of law how do you view the law when it comes to expanding our personal freedoms?"

Roberts' answer, I think, is all we can hope for from any judge.

Roberts answered: "Somebody asked me, 'are you going to be on the side of the little guy?' And you obviously want to give an immediate answer. But as you reflect on it, if the Constitution says that the little guy should win, the little guy is going to win in court before me. But, if the Constitution says that the big guy should win, well, the big guy is going to win, because my obligation is to the Constitution. That's the oath. The oath that a judge takes is not that 'I'll look out for particular interests' ¦ the oath is to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States and that is what I would do."

Don't you have to believe Roberts sent cold chills down the spines of some of the Democrats when he noted the oath of a judge is not to look out for "particular interests?"

Brilliant writing. And brilliant analysis in Muir linking Norman Lear to the Schumer and Durbin opposition to John Roberts.

Moron Norman Lear and People for the American Way here.

Fred Phelps Westboro cult is back protesting soldiers' funerals

Bastards. I should have known shortly after my "wishful thinking" post that Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church just might have been scared off from protesting the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan--he would resurface, like some sort of presumably drowned reptile emerging from a polluted swamp.

He's back.

On September 30, Phelps and his "vile cult of losers" will attempt to ruin the funeral Sgt. Lawrence Morrison in Yakima, WA, as well as Lt. Mark Dooley's funeral in Rutland, VT.

Here's how a town in Tennessee confronted Phelps and his cult last month.

Also, the "vile cult of losers" line came from a Tennessee newspaper op-ed, I can't remember which one.

Hey Phelps: From hell's heart I stab at thee...

Professor X on the latest at IUPUI, "Oohie-Poohie" and William Bradford

William Bradford, a real Native American, is the victim of a witch-hunt at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. A Libertarian sort, tenure is apparently being denied to him by the Leftists there for a variety of reasons, but mainly, because Bradford refused to sign an IUPUI (they really call it "Oohie Poohie") law department faculty petition in support of phony Indian and upcoming DePaul University speaker Ward Churchill.

"Professor X" has been documenting the atrocities at IUPUI, here is his latest masterful article.

Oohie-Poohie. Stink. Stank. Stunk.

Chicago White Sox win, Indians lose

The Chicago White Sox defeated the Detroit Tigers 8-2 tonight, and since the Cleveland Indians were edged by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Sox are now three games up the Tribe in the AL Central.

Magic Number is 2 for the White Sox to win the Central. The wild card, a consolation prize for the Sox, is there's to lose. If they win tomorrow afternoon, it's they're in the playoffs!

Governor Ryan trial starts, prosecution fires away

The George Ryan trial will be the big Illinois story in October. Much--but not all--of the decline of the Illinois Republican party can be traced to the stench left behind from the four years of George Ryan's 1997-2001 term as governor.

From Eric Krol of the Daily Herald:

Former Gov. George Ryan traded state contracts to “a select inner circle of his friends and associates” in return for vacations, gambling cash, and even the band at his daughter’s wedding, federal prosecutors said Wednesday during opening statements in his federal corruption trial.

“This is a case about betraying the public trust,” assistant U.S. attorney Zach Fardon told jurors.
With that opening salvo, Ryan’s historic trial began. Ryan and co-defendant Larry Warner, a Chicago businessman, face a combined 22 counts of racketeering, extortion, perjury and mail and tax fraud.

Although he has not been directly implicated in any wrongdoing, current Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, has many people in the Land of Lincoln humming the legendary line from "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who:

'Meet the new boss/same as the old boss"

DSL problems

T.S. Elliot said "April is the cruelest month," but for this blog, September has been a rough one here. First a faulty modem, and now an off-and-on DSL connection.

I work in the Telecom field, I realize things sometimes just don't work, and there is not just one person responsible--so I'm not going to rant.

Someone is coming tomorrow to take a look at the line in the morning.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Governor Ryan trial to start Wednesday

From CBS 2 Chicago: Opening statements in the corruption trial of former Gov. George Ryan could be less than 24 hours away. Both sides are expected to have a jury selected today, and the historic trial will likely begin tomorrow.

St. Louis' Busch Stadium, 1966-2005

The Belleville News-Democrat has a great series of articles about St. Louis' Busch Stadium, home park for the St. Louis Cardinals, and for a while, the current Arizona Cardinals.

No. 2 Leader of al-Qaida in Iraq Killed

From AP:

U.S. and Iraqi authorities said Tuesday their forces had killed the No. 2 official in the al-Qaida in Iraq' name organization in a weekend raid in Baghdad, claiming to have struck a "painful blow" to the country's most feared insurgent group.

Abdullah Abu Azzam led al-Qaida's operations in Baghdad, planning a brutal wave of suicide bombings in the capital since April, killing hundreds of people, officials said. He also controlled the finances for foreign fighters that flowed into Iraq to join the insurgency.

Was this guy one of those "freedom fighters" Cindy Sheehan was talking about?

CBS 2 Chicago's George Ryan trial blog

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan, a Republican loved by the left and the Oprah crowd, is on trial on various corruption charges in Chicago.

CBS 2 Chicago, which already has a great web site, has added a George Ryan trial blog. It's here, and it will be added to the blog roll.

DePaul professor Norman Finkelstein to speak to Students for Justice in Palestine tonight

DePaul Assistant Professor Norman Finkelstein will speak Tuesday night at DePaul's Lincoln Park campus on Chicago's North Side. The event is sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine.

The program will be held at DePaul University's Schmitt Academic Center, 2320 North Kenmore Avenue in Room 154 at 7pm

Finkelstein is the author of Beyond Chutzpah : On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, as well as The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering.

Professor Alan Dershowitz unloads on Norman here.

Dr. Steven Plaut writes here about Finkelstein, and also about Thomas Klocek. The latter, of course, is the suspended DePaul professor who defended Israel against verbal attacks by the Students for Justice in Palestine.

Yes, the name should sound familar. They're hosting Finkelstein tonight.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Cindy Sheehan publicizes herself, has a 1960s moment

Yeah, I know, she got arrested. And her name is in the media.

Oh, wait: That's the point!!!

And then there's this---from the Canadian Press:

As a crowd of several hundred people chanted "the whole world's watching," Sheehan was the first to be taken into custody.

That is sooooo 1960s. Democratic National Convention, 1968, Chicago.

Again, there are some people who have not gotten over the '60s.

Peace-folk types: Can you try to be original?

Illinois ACLU awards banquet Saturday

Cal Skinner, friend of the blog, informs me that the Illinois ACLU Awards banquet is this Saturday at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago.

A bunch of Illinois politicians will receive awards, Democrats, will receive awards.

Here's my idea for the ACLU: Stop fighting for "rights" of camps that want to accommodate teen nudists, and support something meaningful, such as the Academic Bill of Rights.

As regular visitors to this blog know, there are some free speech issues at some Illinois universities.

Light blogging

Today just turned out crazy. Nothing horrible, busy at work, minor car issues equals light blogging today. Good thing I had a lot of weekend posts.

New Orleans Times-Picayune on the Katrina horror exaggerations

Yes, there were crimes, some horrible, but according to this New Orleans Times-Picayune article, there has been some significant exaggerating going on by the media and NOLA city officials.

After five days managing near-riots, medical horrors and unspeakable living conditions inside the Superdome, Louisiana National Guard Col. Thomas Beron prepared to hand over the dead to representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Following days of internationally reported killings, rapes and gang violence inside the Dome, the doctor from FEMA - Beron doesn't remember his name - came prepared for a grisly scene: He brought a refrigerated 18-wheeler and three doctors to process bodies."I've got a report of 200 bodies in the Dome," Beron recalls the doctor saying.

The real total was six, Beron said.

Of those, four died of natural causes, one overdosed and another jumped to his death in an apparent suicide, said Beron, who personally oversaw the turning over of bodies from a Dome freezer, where they lay atop melting bags of ice. State health department officials in charge of body recovery put the official death count at the Dome at 10, but Beron said the other four bodies were found in the street near the Dome, not inside it. Both sources said no one had been killed inside.

At the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, just four bodies were recovered, despites reports of corpses piled inside the building. Only one of the dead appeared to have been slain, said health and law enforcement officials.

That the nation's front-line emergency management believed the body count would resemble that of a bloody battle in a war is but one of scores of examples of myths about the Dome and the Convention Center treated as fact by evacuees, the media and even some of New Orleans' top officials, including the mayor and police superintendent. As the fog of warlike conditions in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath has cleared, the vast majority of reported atrocities committed by evacuees have turned out to be false, or at least unsupported by any evidence, according to key military, law enforcement, medical and civilian officials in positions to know.

"I think 99 percent of it is bulls---," said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Lachney, who played a key role in security and humanitarian work inside the Dome. "Don't get me wrong, bad things happened, but I didn't see any killing and raping and cutting of throats or anything. ... Ninety-nine percent of the people in the Dome were very well-behaved."

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and NOLA Chief of Police come out of this article looking not so good. I'm not surprised.

John Hinderaker at Powerline has this report. (Found thru Michelle Malkin's blog.)

The media's enthusiastic mis-reporting of falsehood as fact seriously damaged the rescue effort:

Compass conceded that rumor had overtaken, and often crippled, authorities' response to reported lawlessness, sending badly needed resources to situations that turned out not to exist.
It's time for some accountability here. The conventional wisdom is that no one performed particularly well in the aftermath of Katrina--not local, state or federal authorities, and not considerable numbers of private citizens. But it now appears clear that the worse performance of all was turned in by the mainstream media. Congress should promptly investigate, and try to get to the bottom of the following questions:

* How did so many false rumors come to be reported as fact?* Do news outlets have any procedures in place to avoid this kind of mis-reporting? If so, why did their procedures fail so miserably?
* To what extent were the false rumors honest mistakes, and to what extent were they deliberate fabrications?
* To the extent that the false reports were deliberate, did the press pass them on through sheer negligence, or did some reporters participate in deliberate fabrication?
* Did the widespread breakdown in accurate reporting stem only from a failure to follow proper journalistic standards, or did it also reflect a deliberate effort to damage the Bush administration by passing on unconfirmed rumors as fact?
* In deciding what stories to report, did the news media consider the likelihood that passing on false rumors would damage the rescue effort?

Excellent questions.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Running and blogging

Marathon Pundit is entered in this year's Chicago Marathon, I haven't missed one since my first in 1990. Way up on the blogger food chain is Hugh Hewitt, who has run some Marine Corps Marathons in Washington DC.

On the other side of the political fence is Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune, who used to run in the same running group I'm in. He's run at least one Chicago Marathon.

Eric took a long hiatus from running, but he recently wrote he's back in the game, and that he trains on the North Branch of the Chicago River Trail--where I also run--but I haven't encountered him yet.

Ohio blogger Robb at Running at the Mouth is entered in the Columbus Marathon on October 16, a week after my Chicago run.

A blogger I greatly admire is Dakota Pundit. She's taken up running, and between that and some catching up at work, has found little time to blog.

I commented on her blog that some of my most inspired posts have popped into my head during my morning 10 mile run. My idea for her? Somehow try to blog and run. (And keep her job.)

Any more runner/polibloggers out there?

Florida Presbyterian church opposes national Presbyterian Israeli divestment policy

In a September 2004 National Review Online article, Eugene Kontorovich commented on the irony that the national Presbyterian Church, like Baathist thug state Syria, supports divesting funds from third-country firms doing business in Israel.

But the Jewish State is a democracy, and Syria is a brutal dictatorship.

Illinois-based Caterpillar draws specific ire from the divestment crowd, including the Presbyterian Church (USA) , likely due to it's "role" in the Rachel Corrie death. Sober-minded individuals view Corrie's death in Gaza as a tragic accident, she either slipped and fell, or refused to get out of the way of an oncoming Caterpillar bulldozer destroying an alleged terrorist hideout with escape tunnels.

Is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a complicated situation? Absolutely.

Of course the impetus for the divestment drive of the Presbyterian Church and others (the World Council of Churches followed their lead six months ago), is the Israeli treatment of the Palestinian people. By "people," and "treatment" I believe that includes Israeli security and military attacks against such groups as Hamas and Hezbollah.

And as for the Palestinians, a "free" Palestine, based upon the underreported and continuing chaos following the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, is not likely to become a boring Norway-style democracy.

Want more? Then there is the issue of Palestinian treatment of non-Muslim holy sites. A few years ago, Palestinian militants turned Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity into a terrorist fortress. They left the sacred site with bullet holes in the walls--the rest of the church was for the most part scarred by piles of filth.

And earlier this month, after the Israeli Gaza withdrawal, within hours, most of Gaza's synagogues were destroyed by arsonists. Although one will be still standing, that former synagogue will become a Hamas museum.

(Hat tip to Solomonia)

True, those last atrocities took place a year after the Presbyterian Church (USA's) divestment move. But what's just happened in Gaza shows us the kind of people they've sided with when they voted with their pocketbooks against Israel and companies that do business there.

But at least one Presbyterian Church is speaking up. One of the issues the First Presbyterian Church of Bradenton, FL has proposed to the national Presbyterian Church, in support of a Mississippi church group, is the rescinding or significant modification of the Presbyterian Church divestment move against Israel.

A wise move, let's hope they win out.

It's here in the Truth in Love Network site, a Presbyterian blog.

Their proposals will be voted upon November 17 meeting of the Presbytery.

Hat tip to reader Larry Rued.

Eminent domain issue in Chicago: Sportif Bike Shop update

In early June, I had a post about the Sportif Importer Ltd. Bike Shop. The store is located in the thriving Jefferson Park area on Chicago's Northwest Side.

The original June 6 article I blogged about is no longer available on the ABC 7 Chicago web site, I did find this re-print on Free Republic.

A summary: A developer, Demetrius Kozonis, has enlisted the assistance of Chicago Alderman Patrick Levar to have the site declared "blighted," and therefore available for an eminent domain land grab so Kozonis can build some expensive condominiums where Sportif now stands.

Sportif has been at the same location for 35 years. The location is a good one--just blocks from an entrance ramp onto I-90, as well as the Jefferson Park "el" train stop.

Since my June 6 post, I've driven past Sportif and through that neighborhood. Neither the store or the area is blighted. Only a broken "S" on the storefront looks bad.

On June 23, in an idiotic decision, Kelo vs. New London, the US Supreme Court greatly strengthened the hand of local governments in their ability to seize properties such as the Sportif Bike Shop in "blighted areas."

As far at Sportif and the surrounding neighborhood, you can decide for yourself if it's a slum. Mark at Windypundit has a separate photoblog, with pictures of Sportif and its surroundings.

The photo in the upper left hand corner is courtesy of Mark's photoblog.

It's the first in a series of photobloggings Mark will be doing on Chicago area buildings facing similar eminent domain predicaments.

Neil Young speaks out on the Farm Aid funding controversy

A little more than a week ago, the Chicago Tribune ran a story charging the Farm Aid organization gives just 28 % of the money it raises to family farmers. The goal of Farm Aid is of course, to raise money for family farmers.

At a pre-Farm Aid concert press conference last Sunday, an angry Neil Young tore a copy of the Chicago Tribune in half.

Neil's calmed down slightly since then, and is quoted here in today's Chicago Tribune, while being interviewed by the Trib's Geg Kot.

Free registration required.

(Greg Kot writes)

Clearly, Young had plenty to discuss with his visitor. But the first order of business was Farm Aid and the Tribune article. In response to Young's remarks and a phone conversation with the artist last week, James O'Shea, the Tribune's managing editor, said: "The Tribune stands by its story."Young said he'd be talking to his lawyers about filing a lawsuit.

Young: "We've enjoyed a lot of respect and support from people over the years, especially here in Chicago," he said, "and we have to let people know they can't do this to us."

Q. You're taking this personally.

A. Yes, I am. This is going to turn into something as big as I can make it. I'm going to try to do everything I can to rattle the cages of the people responsible and to let them know that if you try this again, the same thing will happen. [The article] has been on CNN and all the wire services. It's been distributed around the country. The fallout is as bad as you could imagine. The potential is that it damages Farm Aid's reputation to the point where we can't help the farmers. If everybody believed it, it would be very undermining. We're a grass-roots organization. We've been taking on corporate entities for a long time trying to protect the family farm. And frankly this article looks like it came from a corporate entity. I'm not going to back off, unless we get cooperation, a retraction, some sort of a sign in the paper that is agreeable to us that this was irresponsible, not factual, and slanted. If we can't get that we're going full on the attack. This is a severe blow that needs to be answered.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Update: Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church

Well, actually, in a way there isn't much to update. And that's good news. Since his thrashing in Tennessee last month, there have only been a few Westboro Baptist "Church" protests at funerals of American soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

For those unfamiliar with "the Reverend" Fred Phelps, he and his Westboro Baptist Church have convinced themselves that God is punishing the U.S. because of our tolerance of gays in our society. Soldiers getting killed in Iraq is part of a Divine plan, or so they think.

Oh, the old nut Phelps still is making a lot of noise on his web site, God Hates Fags, about picketing the funerals of soldiers' recently killed in action, but his last publicly acknowledged funeral protest was over a week ago in his home state of Kansas.

(And about Kansas. Kansans view him as an embarrassment to their state.)

Lately, the Westboro cult has been celebrating the destruction brought upon the gulf coast by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

But the wrath of decent Americans just may have scared Phelps' group away from funeral protests. I'm not sure how it happened, but somehow via Tennessean Bill Hobbs' superb blog, the word got out in the Volunteer State to confront the Westboro Baptist Church head on.

Thank you Bill and the people of Tennessee.

Mother Sheehan's Rally

Today in Washington, Cindy Sheehan's rally against the war took place. Michelle Malkin was there with her camera. This is just one of the great photos she took. More available on her blog, including one with a sign suggesting the castration of Vice President Cheney.

If the Leftists got their way, would they want the castration to take place at Abu Grahib?

UPDATE 10:45 PM CDT: Although he wasn't in DC, Pat over at Brainster has put together his photo scrapbook of today's Mother Sheehan's Leftist Mardi Gras in Washington.

UPDATE 11:00PM CDT: Curt's pic fest at Flopping Aces is a must-see too. He's got links to other Cindy sites.

Also, now she's had her "big moment" again, it's time for Cindy to go home and find a job.

"Happy U.," Chicago Magazine's puff-piece on DePaul, is online

Earlier this month I posted that Chicago Magazine had an article in its September issue about DePaul University, entitled "Happy U." At the time, the article wasn't online--now it is.

According to the Princeton Review, DePaul has been named the "happiest" school in the country. Read the article here.

But as I remarked earlier, you'll find no mention of the Thomas Klocek controversy or Professor Norman G. Finkelstein in the "Happy U." article.

Here's a collection of articles about DePaul offering a different viewpoint, courtesy of Discover the Network, a project of FrontPage Magazine.

Hurricane Rita hitting Gulf hard

The Texas and Louisiana Gulf coast is getting clobbered by the rains of Hurricane Rita.

Michelle Malkin and Geosciblog are doing an excellent job keeping track of the storm.

Chief Illiniwek to make appearance today

And the Fighting Illini play 17th ranked Michigan State in the Big 10 opener for both teams. Go Illini!

UPDATE 4:15 PM: Bad day for the Illini, as Michigan State, Michael Moore's favorite school, beat up on Illinois, 61-14.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Conservative Black group calls for Congressional Black Caucus, Hillary, to denounce Charles Rangel's anti-Bush comments

An African-American conservative group, Project 21, is speaking out against outrageous comments made my New York City Congressman Charles Rangel.

From their press release:

Members of the black leadership network Project 21 are demanding that the
Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) join with them in condemning remarks made by CBC member Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) in which he called President George W. Bush '"our Bull Conner," referring to the 1960s segregationist icon.

"Charles Rangel's comments are morally vacant and beneath the pale, but obviously not out of character for him and his supporters," said Project 21 member Mychal Massie. "How many blacks today suffer from beatings, fire hoses or have dogs set on them for trying to seek a seat at a lunch counter or go to school? How many of us today are living under inflexible, legislated segregation?"

Massie adds: "Rangel's comments may play well with those who embrace ignorance, but it will not resonate with Americans who eschew racial demagoguery. We demand that the CBC and Senator Clinton join with this overwhelming majority of their fellow citizens in banishing hate speech such as this to the trash heap of history."

Rep. Rangel made his comparison of President Bush to the former Birmingham, Ala., police commissioner at the Congressional Black Caucus's 35th Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 22. As reported by the New York Sun, Rangel also said, "If you're black in this country and you're poor in this country, it's not an inconvenience -- it's a death sentence." Sen. Clinton was also in attendance at the event, as were Sen. Barak Obama (D-Ill.), Reps. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and former entertainer Harry Belafonte.

I like that last bit....former entertainer Harry Belafonte. Calling it like it is!

Another DePaul Moonbat speaker: Slavery reparations proponent Dorothy "The Hat" Tillman

Tuesday anti-Semite Norman Finkelstein will give a speech at DePaul, as posted here yesterday. And of course, last week, Marathon Pundit reported that Ward Churchill, Moonbat of all Moonbats Ward Churchill, will be speaking at DePaul's Lincoln Park campus.

Any conservatives scheduled to speak there? Not that I can see.

Fair and balanced? Not!

But I did see the Chicago Alderman Dorothy "The Hat" Tillman will rant at DePaul on October 5. Who is Dorothy Tillman?

She's a major force in the slavery reparations movement.

From In These Times magazine:

Chicago has become the de facto center of the slavery reparations movement. Alderman Dorothy Tillman organized the first national reparations conference in 2001 and was the prime mover of a city ordinance that supports congressional hearings on reparations. Tillman later successfully lobbied the City Council to pass the Slave Era Disclosure Act, an ordinance that requires companies doing business with the city to reveal connections to slavery. Chicago was the first large city to pass such legislation.

Norman Finkelstein, Ward Churchill, Dorothy Tillman. It's an elite group, but only if you're a Hard-Leftist.

More Chicago City Hall indictments

More problems for Illinois Democrats: Four former City of Chicago employees, as well as one current one, have been charged in the ongoing corruption investigation at City Hall.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Federal prosecutors charged one current and four former city employees Thursday with taking part in a hiring scheme at City Hall, in which political workers who did City Hall's bidding were awarded city jobs or promotions at such city departments as Water, Streets and Sanitation and Aviation.

Robert Sorich, 42, who was initially charged in July, ran Daley's patronage office and allegedly oversaw a list of thousands of people who filled city jobs. The list noted which jobs they held and who their source of political clout was. Those jobs were supposed to be free of politics under the federal court's Shakman decree.

Sorich's attorney, Thomas Durkin, said Sorich did nothing wrong but "had an incredibly difficult job and had to placate a variety of competing interests in order to make the city run efficiently.

"Chicagoans don't want their city to run like the post office or FEMA," Durkin said.

Two of Sorich's friends, Timothy McCarthy, 37, and Patrick Slattery, 42, were also charged with taking part in the hiring scheme. All three live in Bridgeport. Their attorneys said their clients would fight the charges.

FEMA? More Bush bashing?

Marathon Pundit has obtained copies of the indictments.

Although not charged, Victor Reyes, an important cog in the Daley Machine--he's the head of the Hispanic Democratic Organization-- has been implicated in the scandal. So has the HDO.

The HDO is an effective "get out the vote" group.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

More charges filed in Lodi jihad case

Huge hat tip to our man in central California, Third Wave Dave. And congratulations Dave for the plug you got on Michelle Malkin's site, a badge of honor for any blogger.

I've never been there, but Lodi to me means two things, the old Creedence Clearwater Revival Song, Lodi, (Oh Lord, I'm stuck in Lodi again) and produce boxes that I encounter at the local supermarket with "Product of Lodi, CA" emblazoned on them

Here's the third, the Lodi terror cell. From AP:

Hamid Hayat, 22, was already charged with lying to the FBI about attending a terrorist training camp in Pakistan. The new indictment adds the more serious charge of providing material support to terrorists.

Hayat "intended, upon receipt of orders from other individuals, to wage jihad (holy war) in the United States," the indictment alleges. It says he provided support and resources for carrying out acts of terror between March 2003 and June 2005, when he was arrested.

Prosecutors have said Hayat admitted in videotaped interrogations that he "intended to commit jihad in the U.S. He did not have any orders to fight at present; however, he was awaiting such orders."

If convicted of all charges, he faces up to 31 years in prison.

It may not be Lodi, but he'll probably be stuck somewhere for a long time.

Norman Finkelstein to make DePaul speaking appearance on Tuesday

The DePaul chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, one of the groups instrumental in getting pro-Israel professor Thomas Klocek suspended, will be hosting Norman Finkelstein (see previous posts), will be somewhere on the DePaul campus at 7pm Tuesday night. From Finkelstein's site:


Place: DePaul University, Chicago Time: 7:00 p.m. Sponsors: Students for Justice in Palestine Contact:

Here is the October 2nd "hit piece" against Klocek, from that same DePaul chapter of SJP.

There are people at DePaul who say the Klocek and Finkelstein cases are unrelated. I don't think so.

Oh, don't forget, on October 20, Ward Churchill will grace the Lincoln Park campus of DePaul.

UPDATE 7:55PM Sunday, Sept 25: FrontPage Magazine's Discover the Network is back online, and so is it's section on the Students for Justice in Palestine.

More from the Solomonia "DePaul's Albatross" posting

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, Solomonia had a great post on his blog, "DePaul's Albatross", about Norman Finkelstein, a DePaul professor the Anti-Defamation League has called a holocaust denier.

This part of Sol's post actually comes from JAT, the Jewish Action Task Force. I was unable to find the original link, so what I've cut-and-pasted has come from Sol's blog.

JAT has an action item that's also a very good resource. I paste large portions of it here:

SUBJ: Anti-Semitism at De Paul University

In the past three years, De Paul university has:

  • hired a notoriously anti-Semitic and unscholarly professor;
  • fired a professor for advocating a factual approach to the Middle East; and
  • sponsored an anti-Semitic art exhibit with "scholarly" captions that misstate history.

Write to the President of DePaul University asking that he convene a panel of disinterested scholars from other universities to look into the situation at DePaul and to determine why the university has three times taken positions antithetical to the high standards of scholarly rigor expected of American Universities. And ask why in these three cases where Jewish issues were involved, the commitment to uphold evidence-based standards of fact was ignored.
I'm going to remove the contact info and suggested letter. No sense in posting it here. If you'd like it,
subscribe to the JAT list and email the team.

Or you can e-mail DePaul's president at

The anti-Semitic professor JAT is referring to is of course Norman Finkelstein, Thomas Klocek is the suspended professor, and you can learn more about anti-Semitic art exhibit here.

Tonight's O'Reilly Factor: Bill cleans Phil Donohue's clock

Because of the Jet Blue scare last night, the early showing of the O'Reilly Factor was pre-empted, but I got to see that late night re-broadcast of Bill O'Reilly tying up Phil Donahue in knots and throwing him into a trash can, as the two argued over the silly Cindy Sheehan rally taking place this weekend in Washington.

Okay, I'm exagerrating, but not a lot, because TWICE O'Reilly threatened to throw Phil Donahue off his set.

Mr. Marlo Thomas did get to mention Halliburton once during the discussion.

Good news, Fox is rebroadcasting last night's Donahue segment tonight at 8pm (7pm Central) and 11pm (10pm Central)

Roberts vote moves to full Senate

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of John Roberts as the nation's next Chief Justice. Final approval of course belongs to the full US Senate.

These five Democrats voted against Roberts. No surprises here:

  • Dianne Feinstein of California, Joseph Biden of Delaware, Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, Charles Schumer of New York and Dick Durbin of Illinois.

Illinois state senator running for seat on Vicente Fox advisory council

Martin Sandoval is a Democratic state senator from Cicero, IL.

He's also running for a seat to serve on a Mexican government advisory council created by President Vicente Fox.

From the Chicago Tribune, free registration required, an excerpt:

If state Sen. Martin Sandoval succeeds in his next election Saturday, he will serve in Mexico City as well as Springfield.

Sandoval is running for a seat on an advisory council created by Mexico President Vicente Fox in 2002 to incorporate Mexicans living in the United States into his government's policymaking.

Sandoval would be the first elected official in the U.S. to serve on the advisory council. That raises the peculiar prospect of the Cicero Democrat offering policy advice in an official capacity to Mexican Cabinet members while creating laws in Illinois.

The possibility has some observers praising his vision while others blast his judgment, calling the potential moonlighting arrangement a conflict of interest.

As it turns out, no law or rule prohibits it, in Mexico or in Illinois. Mexican officials call it an honorary position.

Sandoval, who was born in the United States to Mexican immigrants, said he realizes that some might raise eyebrows at the thought of a man who swore an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution influencing policy in Mexico City.

Senator Sandoval: You're either an American, or not.

UPDATE 10: 50 PM CDT: Found this on a Free Republic thread about this case.

United States Constitution, Article I, Section IX

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.

Does that apply to officials at all levels of government, or just the federal branch?

Dershowitz clobbers Amnesty International over scapegoating Israel

It's a huge understatement, but the Islamic world has a problem with the way women are treated within its society.

Spin it all you want, send me hate mail, but it's true.

A site that up till now I was unfamilier with, the NGO Monitor, has this Alan Dershowitz article posted. That article was originally published by Canada's National Post.

Hat tip (again) to Dr. Steven Plaut of Moonbat Central.

An excerpt:

The hard left's compulsive need to single out Israel for what is often undeserved condemnation is damaging the human rights movement, weakening the anti-war movement and wounding other progressive causes such as feminism. By heaping disproportionate blame for the evils of the world on the Jewish state, these anti-Israel zealots are not only ignoring the real problems faced by many, they are also providing excuses to the perpetrators of real evils.

Consider, for example, a recent report by Amnesty International ("AI") on violence perpetrated against Palestinian women by Palestinian men in the West Bank and Gaza. The report purported to be "part of the global AI campaign to stop violence against women." Such violence is a serious problem, especially in the Arab and Muslim world, because so few leaders within these groups are prepared to condemn it and so many even justify it as a necessary means of maintaining family honour and male dominance.

The AI report documents honour killings of women who had been raped. In one such case, a 17-year-old girl was murdered by her own mother after she was "repeatedly raped by two of her brothers." In another case, a 21-year-old "was forced to drink poison by her father" when she was found to be pregnant.

The AI report places substantial blame for these and other killings on -- you guessed it -- Israel! Here is AI's conclusion, listing the causes of the violence directed against Palestinian women, presumably in the order of their importance: "Palestinian women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are victims of multiple violations as a result of the escalation of the conflict, Israel's policies, and a system of norms, traditions and laws which treat women as unequal members of society."

Dershowitz goes on to explain that he asked for statistical back-up from Amnesty International that could verify their charges against the Israel. AI wouldn't give Dersh anything.

Not surprising.

As far as those hard-leftists who are demonizing Israel, and acccording to Dershowitz, actually weakening the overall struggle for human rights, Alan names some names. They included Cindy Sheehan, London Mayor Ken "The Red" Livingstone, and Alexander Cockburn of the Nation.

The final words go to Dershowitz:

These are but the tips of a very large and ugly iceberg of bigotry. International conferences on feminism, apartheid, slavery and environmentalism have been unable to agree on anything other than condemnation of Israel. If real peace is to be achieved -- and if human rights movements are to retain credibility -- this obsessive focus by the hard left on Israel must end. There is no indication that, even as the Jewish state takes painful steps toward peace, these unjustified attacks are diminishing.

FrontPage Magazine's "Discover the Network" site hacked again

According to David Horowitz, Chinese Communists are once again the culprit of this crime. It's a great site, and I use if often. I guess it's too effective for some. Here is the URL, if you'd like to bookmark it:

If you want to know the left, the above site is an indispesnsible resource.

Cleveland Indians punish White Sox 8-0

It was a rough night for the White Sox.

In an interesting side note, Comcast Sports Network lost their sattelite feed, and the first 5 1/2 innings of the game weren't broadcast.

Until the cable signal came back on, however, the game was close.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

DePaul blogger alum speaks out

From "The Wolf," at The Guards of Magog.

I'm growing increasingly ashamed of the left-wing nuttiness from my alma mater.

Thanks for the link backs, Guards.

Geosciblog, great blog, especially on Hurricanes

If you want some Hurricane blogging with a healthy dose of conservative politics, "Joe Six Pack's" Geosciblog is the place to visit. And he's a huge fan of The Who.

By the way, one of the great things about blogging is bloggers can bring their expertise into the "marketplace of ideas," no matter how seemingly trivial. Again, that's no matter how seemingly trivial.

Joe can use his knowledge of weather science in a way few mainstream reporters can. My marathon running has come in handy on a few occasions, as John Kerry found out last year on my "Blue States for Bush" site. Betsy of "Betsy's Page" is a teacher, Pat Curley of Brainster is an expert on comic books, Peoria Pundit lives in Peoria, and therefore knows if it plays in Peoria, it'll probably play it'll play anywhere in the USA.

Groucho Marx made that last observation, and I'm not going to question Groucho on anything.

Third Wave Dave lives in central California, and was able to bring his own insight on the busting of the Lodi, CA jihadist cell.

Outside of their local media there, does anyone seriously think many mainstream reporters live anywhere near Lodi?

Blogging is important, blogging is here to stay, blogging is changing the world.

Longer prison sentence sought for East St. Louis vote fraud figure

Thanks to Cal Skinner for the tip!

In an update from yet another underreported story, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Carr is seeking a prison stay beyond the usual sentencing guidelines for Kevin Ellis, East St. Louis' former director of regulatory affairs.

From George Pawlaczyk of the Belleville News-Democrat, an excerpt:

A federal prosecutor has asked for a longer sentence for Kelvin Ellis, the city's former director of regulatory affairs, because Ellis allegedly ran a "massive," illicit political operation from City Hall.
During a monthlong trial in June in federal court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Carr won vote fraud convictions against five East St. Louis politicians, including Ellis.

On Friday, Carr filed a motion asking U.S. District Court Judge G. Patrick Murphy to consider sentencing Ellis on the vote fraud conviction from 51 to 63 months in prison instead of the range of 41 to 51 months called for in sentencing guidelines.

Carr alleged that Ellis "assisted in perpetuating what the evidence has shown to be a massive, unchecked system of vote-buying, which has gone on for decades in East St. Louis to the point where the pervasiveness of fraud has eroded the publics' confidence in elections."

Ellis' attorney, John O'Gara of Belleville, said Monday, "We will certainly respond to (the motion) by filing an objection at the appropriate time." Ellis, who is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 3, is being held in federal custody and could not be reached for comment.

During the trial, witnesses testified that Ellis, a Democrat, enlisted the help of workers in his own office to be part of what he called his political "A team."

The Belleville News-Democrat, as I've noted before, has done a superb job reporting on the East St. Louis vote fraud story. AP has ran a few articles, but for the most part, the mainstream media has ignored this violation of one of America's sacred rights: the right to free and fair elections.

Illinois stops for the pro-troops Move America Forward tour

Thanks once again to Third Wave Dave for the "heads up."

For other Move America Forward stops, click here.

Thursday, September 22nd Rockford, IL

7:00 PM - Rally & News Conference. “Support the Troops” banner-sheets will be on display, for you to sign and include a message of support. The sheets will be sent to the troops upon the completion of the nationwide bus tour and Washington, D.C. rally.
Audience members will recite the pledge of allegiance to protest the ruling against the pledge by activist U.S. District Judge, Lawrence Karlton.
--> Address is Road Ranger Truck Stop - US 20 Bypass & IL 2 S - Rockford , IL 61102


Friday, September 23rd Chicago, IL

7:30 AM - Rally & News Conference at Marriott Hotel in Downtown Chicago. “Support the Troops” banner-sheets will be on display, for you to sign and include a message of support. The sheets will be sent to the troops upon the completion of the nationwide bus tour and Washington, D.C. rally.
Audience members will recite the pledge of allegiance to protest the ruling against the pledge by activist U.S. District Judge, Lawrence Karlton.

--> Members of the press and the public are invited to our News Conference at Marriott Hotel in the Old Town Conference Room. The address is 540 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

Pro-troops, DC-bound Move America Forward bus tour in Chicago tomorrow night

California blogger Third Wave Dave reports:

Move America Forward, the Sacramento based pro-America organization, has hit the road again in support of America's troops. The caravan left San Francisco Monday and will arrive in Washington D. C. on Saturday the 24th. Their last caravan arrived in Crawford, Texas, to help off-set the bed-wetters huddled around Cindy Sheehan during her vigil outside President Bush's home.

Mother Sheehan is organizing yet another anti-war rally in D.C. on the 24th and MAF will be pulling into town to hold a pro-troop rally at the same time. In the meantime, while traveling from sea-to-shining-sea, MAF's caravan will be stopping in many cities and holding mini-rallies in an attempt to gain more support for their cause and their organization. They will be doing this on the dollars we've sent them and with little or no media attention. Make that NO MEDIA ATTENTION.

I don't have details on the Chicago appearance, such as the location, but the time of arrival is listed as 8pm. When I found out more, I'll update this post.

Solomonia has the definitive Norman Finkelstein post

This is blogging at it's best. Sol at Solomonia nails Norman Finkelstein and DePaul to the wall using dull and rusty chunks of metal. The post is entitled DePaul's Albatross.

A quick summary:

Norman Finkelstein posted various David Letterman-style "Top 10" lists about himself on his web site. Except these lists are all critical of Finkelstein. Sol believes these lists came from the web log CampusJ.

These include:

The 10 Nuttiest Things "The Nutty Assistant Professor" Has Said
The 10 Most Devastating Things People Have Said About Finkelstein
The 10 Biggest Lies Finkelstein Has Been Caught Telling
The 10 Most Despicable Things Finkelstein Has Said About Others

In that last batch, I want to bring out this quote timely quote:

....on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre"The Centre is renowned for its 'Dachau-meets-Disneyland' museum exhibitions and 'the successful use of sensationalistic scare tactics for fund-raising."

Here's what Sol says about Finkelstein's bizarre negative vanity:

Do you think DePaul University knew who Norman Finkelstein was before they hired him? If they did, they could have asked. Finkelstein has a wonderful resource on his own "issues" posted right there on his own web site. Apparently reposted from CampusJ, most people would re-post this stuff in order to respond to it. Finkelstein clearly feels no pressure to do so. Far-Leftists like Finkelstein wear this stuff as a badge of honor.

Sol's Finkelstein post is great, visit his blog and if you have a blog, link to it. He's also been a strong supporter of Thomas Klocek, the pro-Israel professor suspended by DePaul last September.

Finkelstein, incidentally, has been quite upfront in accusing Alan Dershowitz of plagiarism and not attributing sources in one of his books. I was unable to find the CampusJ post Sol cited.

If Sol is correct, and I bet he is, then he's caught Abnormal Norman committing a sin he's accused Dershowitz of: not attributing sources.

UPDATE 7:15PM Sept 20, 2005: The sources are listed on the site, in a round about fashion, but they're there.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

White Sox win!!!!

This was baseball at it's best. Close, neck-and-neck extra innings game with a dramatic home run by Joe Crede to win it for the White Sox. True, had the Indians won, I'd post something different. But the White Sox won, and that's what counts to me.

Jon Garland, the ace of the Chicago White Sox staff, is on the mound for the South Siders Wednesday.

Little Marathon Pundit meets Illinois State Representative Beth Coulson

Beth Coulson is a fine Illinois Republican state representative whose constituency includes Morton Grove, Glenview, Skokie and Wilmette.

Today she hosted an ice cream social for grade school students who successfully completed a summer reading program. My 9 year-old daughter, "Little Marathon Pundit," was there. Work kept me from attending, but Mrs. Marathon Pundit was able to take her, and handed Beth a Marathon Pundit business card.

Beth promised my wife she'd visit here. Hello Beth!

Ms. Coulson had a photographer at the event, and she promises she'll send a Beth-and-Little-Marathon-Pundit pic our way.

What hath Finkelstein wrought?

Here is one of the reviews from, Norman Finkelstein's, Beyond Chutzpah : On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History. More on the DePaul professor in the previous post.


Amazon will probably do the right thing and pull this "review." Yes, there are some reviews that are less strident and not racist, but DePaul should realize, when you hook up with a guy like Norman Finkelstein, this kind of dreck will come to the surface. Also, doing a Google or Yahoo! search on Norman Finkelstein, will take you to a lot of white supremacist sites.

UPDATE 9:15PM. 9/20/05: Amazon pulled the offensive post today.

Today's news: Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal dies--in Chicago, Holocaust denier Norman Finkelstein has a book signing

Simon Wiesenthal, the legendary Nazi-hunter, died this morning in Vienna at age 96.

From the Wiesenthal Center web site:

"Simon Wiesenthal was the conscience of the Holocaust," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the International Human Rights NGO named in Mr. Wiesenthal’s honor, adding, "When the Holocaust ended in 1945 and the whole world went home to forget, he alone remained behind to remember. He did not forget. He became the permanent representative of the victims, determined to bring the perpetrators of the history’s greatest crime to justice. There was no press conference and no president or Prime Minister or world leader announced his appointment. He just took the job. It was a job no one else wanted.

The task was overwhelming. The cause had few friends. The Allies were already focused on the Cold War, the survivors were rebuilding their shattered lives and Simon Wiesenthal was all alone, combining the role of both prosecutor and detective at the same time."

Overcoming the world’s indifference and apathy, Simon Wiesenthal helped bring over 1,100 Nazi War Criminals before the Bar of Justice.

Meanwhile in Chicago, Norman Finkelstein will take part in a book signing at the Barnes & Noble bookstore located on the DePaul University Loop campus at 12:30 pm today. Finkelstein is a DePaul professor who has been called a holocaust denier by the Anti-Defamation League.

Finkelstein will be autographing copies of his latest book, Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-semitism and the Abuse of History. The link comes to us from the Barnes & Noble web site, there has been one review of the book-- a five star rave-up from another anti-Semitic Jew, Noam Chomsky.

Finkelstein's writings and speeches are drenched with anti-Israeli comments and sentiments.

And Marathon Pundit readers are well aware what happens to pro-Israel professors at DePaul.

White Sox in trouble

Tonight's game against the Indians, as well as tomorrow's, are crucial after last nights White Sox loss to the Indians.

Monday, September 19, 2005

First issue of The DePaulia since June is out, no mention of Klocek or Finkelstein

The student newspaper of DePaul, The DePaulia, is back from it's annual summer hiatus.

While the DePaulia was away, the two biggest stories in the mainstream media involving DePaul were:
No mention of either story in The DePaulia.

The DePaulia does manage to sneak in some Bush-bashing. At least they have their priorities in order.

Moron Finkelstein tomorrow.

Congresswoman Schakowsky's leftwing rant about Janet Jackson's nipple

Jan Schakowsky, Democratic congresscritter from Evanston, and Marathon Pundit's rep in Washington, posted this bizarre statement on her web site last week, which I've excerpted.

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky today spoke in support of protecting free speech and diversifying media ownership at the Future of Music Policy Summit.
Representative Schakowsky’s statement is below:

I don’t know what it was about Janet Jackson’s nipple, but it set off a frenzy in Congress. The baring of her breast created an obsession in Congress about getting “indecency” off the airwaves. (I wonder what Freud would say.) Nobody was concerned about the violence of the act, the ripping of her clothes, but that children may have seen something that I am sure all of them had already seen.

The reason I oppose Congress’s answer to indecency on the airwaves – raising fines against broadcasters and artist to $500,000 per indecent incident – is because the excessive fines against artist is a form of censorship and would violate the right to Free Speech. I believe that raising fines would be more successful at undermining our First Amendment rights and creative expression than it would be successful in cleaning up the airwaves. Those fines would amount to what William Shakespeare describes as “art made tongue-tied by authority.”

No one can believe that the fear of those fines would not prohibit artistic expression. Not every artist gets the salary of Janet Jackson and can proceed as the fine would just be the cost of doing their thing. The average musician makes just $36, 290 per year. The average actor makes merely $23, 470 per year. Even a fine of $11,000 – current law – could destroy an artist who was found to be “indecent.”

I believe that if the fines are raised to $500,000, artists would become so obsessed with not being “objectionable,” so afraid of the financial devastation the indecency fines could cause for them, that they could self-censor away their creativity and truly sensational (in the good sense) performances. We are heading down a slippery slope when Big Brother decides what constitutes free speech and artistic expression. This legislation threatens to undermine both our Constitution and our creativity.

Personally, I am much more concerned about protecting my grandchildren’s First Amendment rights than I am about them seeing Janet Jackson’s nipple.

Those grandchildren of Congresscritter Schakowsky have a grandfather who is an admitted tax cheat and check-kiter.

Professor X on the latest from the IUPUI witch hunt

We go from a fake Indian to a real one. Marathon Pundit has been keeping an eye on the odor emitting from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, or IUPUI, also (yes, it's true) "Oohie-Poohie."

William Bradford, a Libertarian Professor of Law there is the target of a Moonbat witch hunt.

Unlike the aforementioned Ward Churchill, Bradford actually is a Native American.

"Professor X" has been keeping an eye on the stench in Indianapolis, his latest FrontPage Magazine article is here.

Oohie poohie. Stink. Stank. Stunk.

Ward Churchill's DePaul flier available here

Mark the date, October 20, 2005, DePaul University.

Ward Churchill will be at DePaul.

That e-mail address reads:

Farm Aid artists, organizers, denounce Chicago Tribune

Yesterday in Tinley Park, IL, the 20th anniversary Farm Aid concerts took place. There was much controversy, as the day before the Chicago Tribune, citing IRS records, claimed that just 28% of the funds raised by Farm Aid goes to those who the organization is supposed to be helping: family farmers.

The Tribune article did not go unnoticed yesterday at the shows:

From the Daily Herald:

In its span of 20 years, Farm Aid has long named corporate farms and unfair government policy as the twin foes in its battle to save the family farm.

But during its daylong anniversary concert in Tinley Park Sunday, the chief nemesis named onstage and off was the Chicago Tribune.

The newspaper ran a story Saturday that cast a pall over the organization's festivities, reporting the charity organization spent less then 28 percent of its revenue in its mission to help the family farmer.

The story was publicly met with denouncements of the newspaper from artists: Farm Aid co-founder Neil Young tore the paper in two during a morning press conference.

In the middle of his band's set at the Tweeter Center, Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy said, "Chicago Tribune, you should be ashamed of yourself I don't care if you say one nice thing about us again. You (expletive) up."

During a backstage interview with the Daily Herald Sunday, Glenda Yoder, associate director with Farm Aid, said the story was "highly inaccurate."

Curiously, as of this writing, there is no mention of the Farm Aid backlash against the Chicago Tribune in either the Trib's print or online editions.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

WorldNetDaily on DePaul, Thomas Klocek, and Ward Churchill's upcoming visit

As reported here last Thursday, Ward Churchill, the phony Indian loudmouth and alleged plagiarist from Colorado University, will be expressing his "unique" thoughts at Chicago's DePaul University on October 20.

As WorldNetDaily reports today, this is the same university that suspended Professor Thomas Klocek for defending Israel in front of some of Palestinian students there.

Free speech for some at DePaul....but for one man, a suspension.

Jury selection for George Ryan's trial begins Monday

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan became a hero the Left and the Oprah crowd for emptying out Illinois' death row. However, the Republican left an odor that hangs over the state party to this day.

Jury selection for his trial on various corruption charges begins tomorrow.

His successor, Democrat Rod Blagojevich, who ran on a "reform" platform, is facing ethical problems of his own.

The first link is from the Chicago Sun-Times, the second is from the New York Times, free registration may be required on the last one.)

Rod's up for re-election next year. It'll be an uphill battle for him.

20 miles this morning!

Had my last long run this morning, a twenty mile run along Chicago's lakefront. Beautiful day, but a tad humid. Three weeks to the Chicago Marathon.

Ran near Soldier Field this morning, got an uplifting whiff of the barbecued coals and the bacon on the grill. A nice smell half way into a twenty miler.

More East St. Louis corruption

Marathon Pundit has blogged about the "$10 per vote" fraud case that led to guilty verdicts in June.

Not wanting to be left out, the police chief of East St. Louis has been caught accepting bribes, leading to his resignation.

Hat tip to Cal Skinner:

From the Belleville News-Democrat:

Sgt. Freddie Wills resigned Friday from the city's Police Department as part of a deal with federal prosecutors to drop charges against him.

The 13-year police veteran entered into an 18-month-long pre-trial diversion agreement with prosecutors. Under the agreement, prosecution will be deferred against Wills on charges of wire fraud and obstructing justice. If he doesn't violate any laws during the 18-month period and cooperates fully with prosecutors and other law enforcement agencies, the charges will be dropped.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Illinois blogger sued for $1 million yesterday

Hat tip to Obiter Dictum on this one. I don't know much about this case or this blogger, but Proviso Township, IL (west of Oak Park, east of DuPage County) is not known for its high standards of public service or ethics. Of course, we're talking about Illinois here, so that may not mean much.

The blog is Proviso Probe, here is the post about the suit.

UPDATE 1:30 PM Sunday. I've fixed the link. Thanks to Cal Skinner for pointing this out.

Doh! Prison locked down after warden loses keys

From AP:

Prisoners at the Jacksonville Correctional Center in central Illinois spent four days on lockdown after an assistant warden lost a set of keys.

The set of about ten keys, which was still missing Friday, included a master key that opens doors to cell houses and two prison wings.The "high minimum security" institution of 1,400 male inmates was locked down from last Friday until Monday after a search failed to turn up the keys.

"We don't believe this poses a serious threat to the safety of the facility," Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Sergio Molina said.The keys could have been lost between April 8 and last Friday, Molina said. They were not necessarily lost at the prison and were authorized to be taken home.

The department is investigating and disciplinary action may be possible, Molina said.