Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Anthony Porter case breaks wide open; the Porter story triggered the emptying of Illinois' death row

I had a hunch that something was up with this case, as you'll read in these Marathon Pundit posts here and here. Not everything added up to me when I read the press reports of Anthony Porter's civil suit against the City of Chicago. Porter lost the case, as this AP story explains.

Here is the part of that story that caught my eye:

And an attorney for the city in the civil trial argued that police had the right man in Porter.

"The killer has been sitting in that room right there all day," Walter Jones said, pointing to the table where Porter sat.

Tonight CBS 2 Chicago's John Drummond, in an exclusive story, has dropped a bombshell on the Chicago's media and the local legal community.

This is what I'm wondering at this late hour. Will the rest of the local media pursue Simon's story as aggressively as it did other controversial high-profile cases, such as Roland Cruz/Alex Hernandez/Brian Dugan, or the 1999 version of the Anthony Porter case?

From CBS 2 Chicago:

The push is on to get a convicted killer a new trial. Attorneys for Alstory Simon believe their client was framed and plan to petition the courts Thursday.

John Drummond has the CBS 2 exclusive.

It was the Anthony Porter case that triggered then Gov. George Ryan's moratorium on the death penalty.

Porter was released in 1999 after a Milwaukee man, Alstory Simon, confessed to a private investigator retained by Northwestern University, that Simon, not Porter, killed two people in Washington Park back in 1982.

"I just pulled it up and started shooting," Simon said in his confession.

But now, two Chicago area attorneys, Jim Sotos and Terry Ekl, contend that Simon was coerced and pressured into that confession and that Simon was not the killer.

"People working on Anthony Porter's behalf framed Alstory Simon for a crime he did not commit, with fabricated, false, and flimsy evidence," Sotos said.

"I would not be involved with Alstory Simon unless I felt he was innocent and an injustice had occurred," Ekl said.

Sotos and Ekl say that veteran private investigator Paul Ciolino made several promises or money and leniency to Simon to persuade him to confess. Ciolino disagrees.

"The only promise I made to him was that I would try to make sure he didn't get the death penalty," Ciolino said.

Ciolino denies that he did anything improper.

"I don't have any rules. The Supreme Court says I can lie, cheat, and do anything I can to get him to say whatever I want him to say. The Chicago Police Department is a master at that. So is every other police department," Ciolino said.

Simon's estranged wife, Inez, told Northwestern's Project Innocence in 1999 that she witnessed her husband kill the two people in Washington Park in 1982. One year later she implicated him again.

But in a videotaped statement taped earlier this month by investigators working for Sotos and Ekl, Inez Simon, in failing health, says that she was offered money in 1999 to say that her husband was the killer. Now she recants that version and claims her husband was innocent all along.

Professor David Protess of the Northwestern University Project Innocence denied that neither he nor his staff made any promises of compensation to Inez Simon or her family. He said there is no question about Alstory Simon's guilt.

Lawyers Sotos and Ekl will request the court vacate the conviction of Simon, who's serving a 37-and-a-half-year sentence in Danville.

There is a video link on the CBS 2 Chicago web site.

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My fall road trip: Omaha


Omaha, Nebraska is one of those cities on the prairie. This picture here exemplifies that. That little gray matter in the middle--click on the image to make it larger--is the Omaha skyline. Although the grasses you see are Iowa grasses: I took this photo from Council Bluffs, IA.

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News from Australia: John Howard is a "fascist" too; Marathon Pundit gets a mention in Oz newspaper

One of the new blogroll additions is Australian Politics, started up recently by friend-the-blog Jon Ray. Apparently, George W. Bush is not alone in his status as a "fascist," Jon learned. Australian Prime Minister John Howard is being tarred with that slur too.

From The Australian:

In recent weeks, an array of columnists, cartoonists, politicians, not to mention a plethora of letter writers, have taken to depicting the Howard Government's legislative agenda, especially its industrial relations laws, as "fascist".

Of course, fascist is a cheap insult because its meaning is difficult to pin down and it invariably casts a slur on the person so described. Back in the Comintern days of the 1930s, everybody who was not a communist was a fascist, from the social democrats through to liberals, to the real thing. In the heyday of the New Left, the word fascist was flung around with gay abandon to describe anyone who did not share the ideological preferences of student radicals.

The word has been debased in the public arena. It has been misused for political purposes in the past and it continues to be misused by people who should know better.

Also of note in Australia, is that Marathon Pundit got a brief mention in the Courier-Mail newspaper there. It's the newspaper in the province of Queensland with the largest circulation, another Aussie friend-of-the-blog tells me.

I'm right under mega-blog Captain's Quarters.

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Some moron Congressman Bobby Rush

Sent by a tipster. From yesterday's Daily Southtown:

After urging the slating committee to question Dart's record on supporting minority issues in Springfield, Rush (D-1st), of Chicago, told reporters he found Dart "repulsive."

"Dart represents to me a kind of Klansman," Rush said. "One that don't wear a hood over the head but one that has a hood in the head."

(Thomas Dart, as I mentioned below, was slated by the Cook County Dems for the office of Sheriff.)

Klansman? Lovely analogy. Incidentally, I wonder what Bobby Rush thinks of his colleague on the other end of the Capitol Building, Senator Robert "Sheets" Byrd, D-West Virginia.

I did a Google search, and couldn't find any links to regarding Bobby Rush's opinion of Byrd, who once was a Kleagle in the Ku Klux Klan.

And if Bobby Rush's proposal for slavery reparations ever becomes law, the first paycheck to be docked should be, in my opinion, Senator Byrd's.

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Paul Konerko re-signs with Chicago White Sox

Whoah....there's some good news for the World Champs. ESPN has the details.


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Moron Congressman Bobby Rush

Can anyone enlighten me on what the heck Congressman Bobby Rush, D-IL, is talking about here? This comes from ABC 7 Chicago's site Monday:

"I don't have anything personally against you, but you're just repulsive to me in regards to the fact that you say one thing and do another," said U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, (D) Chicago.

Chicago Congressman Bobby Rush is accusing Dart of racial insensitivity and calling for an open primary with no party endorsement of anyone. But party leaders overwhelmingly reject that proposal.

Tom Dart received the Cook County Regular Democratic Organization's endorsement for Sheriff of Cook County in next year's primary election on Monday.

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Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church coming to Southern Ill. University to picket speech by Matthew Shepard's mother

Matthew Shepard was the unfortunate gay University of Wyoming college student who was brutally murdered by hateful hooligans in 1998.

Matthew's mother Judy is scheduled to speak at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale on December 6. And that vile cretin, Fred Phelps, plans to bring some of his Westboro Baptist Church followers to SIU to picket her appearance there.

Phelps, who is repeatedly denounced by the Southern Baptist Convention and other mainstream Christian groups, advocates the death penalty for gays, as you'll learn in this Phelps flier (which also contains a picketer claiming Matthew Shepard is in Hell).

Phelps first gained his ill-repute for showing up at the funerals of AIDS victims. Lately, he and his "church" have been picketing funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq; Phelps is under the belief that God in punishing America because of our toleration for gay rights here.

Thankfully, counterprotesters usually are there to confront the Westboro Church members, as they did earlier this month in Galesburg, IL.

Hopefully Phelps and his group will be greeted in a similar manner in Carbondale next week.

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Trolls and hackers continue to wreck milblogger's site

Illinois bloggers Mr. Right of In the Right Place and Jake of Freedom Folks once again have brought to my attention the plight of Grey Eagle's blog, A Female Soldier 2.

The actions of these "peaceful" anti-war trolls is disgraceful.

If they don't like the war in Iraq, fine; they can start their own blogs.

These "peaceniks" are vile turds.

From Grey Eagle's blog:


It was brought to my attention that my polls had been changed. When I went there, I was completely shocked by all the questions. Once again, it was originally designed to offer a voice in things. And once again it was abused. Do you people think that this is cute, or just hell-bent on trying to get me into trouble? Did I do something so offensive to you personally that you feel the need to attack me in such a personal way? Currently someone has offered to completely redesign this website with built in security. I cannot tell you how happy I am with that. To finally have a website where I can post my stories, and have visitors who do not have to contend with your hacks on soldier's tributes, insulting people with changing the polls, and the many other things you have done to this website. I know that this isn't the most secure website, I didn't realize that it was going be such a requirement when I designed it. I was obviously wrong. I wish to personally say I am sorry to anyone who has had to read or endure the messages or polls that may have been offensive on this website. You will note that the units have been removed from the menu in addition to the polls for the same security reasons. As upset and humilitaed as I am, I am not going to quit. I am not going to abandon this project, or terminate the website. I will learn, improve, adapt, and overcome your childish attacks. I should have known as soon as I saw that you were coming back out of hiding to resume posting your hateful and spiteful comments that something like this would occur.

I will hope and pray this will be the last time I have to post another message like this. But if not, know that I will not be defeated. I will not let your emails refering to me as a "baby killer", your calls for me to walk away from my duties, your questioning of my loyality to this county discourage me. I will not let your small minded attacks to my website deny me my voice, I have earned that right. And I will not continue to allow you to insult the visitors who come to this website to read or learn about life here. This is not a political website so please refrain from making it one. I will begin to delete your comments, I will backup this website so as to overcome your attacks, and I will await the completion of the new website.

Grey Eagle
"Air Assault"

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Bush defends Iraq policy

It's about time that Bush spoke up for the work that still needs to be done in Iraq.

The speech he gave at the US Naval Academy should've been given a year ago.

From AP:

"Some critics continue to assert that we have no plan in Iraq except to `stay the course,'" Bush said. "If by `stay the course' they mean we will not allow the terrorists to break our will, they're right. If by `stay the course' they mean we will not permit al Qaida to turn Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban, a safe haven for terrorists and a launching pad for attacks on America, they're right as well. If by `stay the course' they mean that we're not learning from our experience or adjusting our tactics to meet the challenges on the ground, then they're flat wrong."


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Scott Turow on killer Brian Dugan

Yesterday a DuPage County grand jury indicted Brian Dugan for murder in the Jeanine Nicarico case.

The vicious crime occurred in 1983, and to say the story is complicated is understating the issue enormously.

Instead of rehashing every detail of the case here--which would take hours, I'd like to focus on this comment from author and uber-liberal Scott Turow, from the Chicago Sun-Times:

"I hope the jury that ultimately considers Brian Dugan's fate bears in mind that whatever horrible acts he committed, he somehow had the strength of character to take responsibility for a murder for which other men had been sentenced to death," Turow said.

Strength of character? This already-convicted killer is a monster.

The Sun-Times article does a pretty good job of summarizing the Nicarico case.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

My fall road trip: The California Trail


As I touched on in my Platte River post from last night, many of the 19th century pioneer trails passed through Nebraska, one of those trails was the California Trail. This picture was taken a quarter of a mile from yesterday's Platte River picture.

(Click on the image to make it larger.)

A map of the trail is here.

The California Trail was the route that many fortune seekers took to California during the Gold Rush. Farmers, entrepreneurs, and people just looking to get away from the troubles back east followed them.

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Britain's Telegraph: Suicide bomber in Iraq was a Belgian woman

Another sad first in the War on Terror.

From the UK's Daily Telegraph:

A Belgian-born convert to Islam has become the first European woman suicide bomber, killing herself recently in Iraq, French intelligence officials have claimed.

The reports are being taken "seriously", Belgian sources said last night. If the woman, whose identity has not been released, is confirmed as a suicide bomber, she would be the first European female known to have taken part in such an attack.

European intelligence officials learned that US troops in Iraq recently found the remains of a European woman at the site of a suicide attack with a Belgian passport.

Unconfirmed reports on RTL France radio, said that the woman's Belgian nationality had been established by her home country's security service, the Sûreté de l'État.

Belgian counter-terrorism experts had established that the woman converted to Islam and was married to an Islamist radical. Her passport showed that she had reached Iraq via Turkey, and that the journey was carried out partly overland, RTL stated.


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Congressman Bobby Rush faces mortgage foreclosure

Congressman Bobby Rush, D-Chicago, may be looking for a new home. Not voluntarily, however.

From NBC 5.com:

Chicago congressman Bobby Rush is the target of a mortgage foreclosure lawsuit.

The suit alleges Rush has failed to make payments on his South Calumet Avenue home since July.

The three-story 3,400-square-foot home is valued at $215,000.

Rush and his wife run the Englewood Community Development Corp. and the congressman has used political campaign funds to support the church where he is a pastor, NBC5 reported.

Rush calls the foreclosure action "a challenge that has been rectified."

Interesting. Chicagoans send this guy to Congress to manage taxpayers' money, but he can't seem to manage his own funds. About about that church of where he's a pastor: Wouldn't its acceptance of political funds violate--assuming it has it--its tax exempt status?

The South Side congressman does know the value of money: Rush is a big proponent of slavery reparations, as you'll read here and here.

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Video shows activists kidnapped in Iraq

I hope the peace activists are released unharmed. However, for those against the war, here is a reminder that we are fighting against people who can not be reasoned with.

From AP:

Al-Jazeera broadcast an insurgent video Tuesday showing four peace activists taken hostage in Iraq, with a previously unknown group claiming responsibility for the kidnappings.

The Swords of Righteousness Brigade said the four were spies working undercover as Christian peace activists, Al-Jazeera said. The station said it could not verify any of the information on the tape.

The aid group Christian Peacemaker Teams has confirmed that four of its members were taken hostage Saturday.

Lemont High School chooses new nickname: Indians

Well, here is one high school that isn't caving in to the PC forces. Lemont High School, located about 30 miles southwest of Chicago, had been using the nickname of "Injuns" since 1969.

The school board, under the threat of a lawsuit, changed Lemont's nickname to the Titans. That didn't go over too well with the people of Lemont, so for this school year Lemont High's teams competed under no nickname.

Last night the school board voted 5-2 to adopt Indians as the new nickname for Lemont High School.

Not everyone is happy. From the Daily Southtown:

The head of the Illinois Native American Bar Association said his group opposes the new mascot as well.

"We find it demeaning and humiliating," said INABA president Kim Edward Cook, declining to say whether his group would file suit. "It kind of takes away our identity."


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Blogroll addition: McHenry County Blog

Friend-of-the-blog Cal Skinnner was a longtime state representative in the Crystal Lake area. In 2002 he ran for governor of Illinois on the Libertarian ticket.

Cal's half of the team of the McHenry County Blog, the newest blogroll addition here.


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State Representative Beth Coulson's ice cream party


Beth Coulson, R-Glenview, organized a summer reading program for local elementary students. My daughter, Little Marathon Pundit, took part and got to meet Beth at an ice cream party to celebrate her successfully completing the program. That's the state rep with my daughter.

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Monday, November 28, 2005

My fall road trip: The Platte River


"A mile and a mile deep" is what I remember hearing in school about the Platte River of Nebraska. It's pretty shallow, but no where near a mile wide. I'm sure that was just an exaggeration, but the Platte has shrunk in the recent decades. Supplying irrigation water for dry farm lands to the west has diminished the Platte, and the growing population of Colorado has also contributed to the shrunken waterway.

The Platte River was very important in the development of the American West. Several of the pioneer trails paralleled the path of the Platte. The first Transcontinental Railroad, the Lincoln Highway and Interstate 80 all were laid along the swath of the Platte River valley.

I took this picture at the southern end of Sarpy County, near South Bend, Nebraska.

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New Illinois political blog: Illinoize

Rich Miller runs the very popular Capitol Fax blog, the "go to" site for Illinois political news. Rich has spun that off, and now is the first-among-equals with his new Illinoize blog.

Marathon Pundit is one of the site's featured bloggers. My first post, Cong. Jan Schakowsky, Just full of it, is a repost of my Schakowsky post from earlier this month. Jan is a far-left Congresswoman who sad to say, represents me in Congress. It's the most popular--measured by the number of comments left--posting on the site. I was getting roughed up by the liberals there, but in one comment, #17, I put their pathetic arguments where they belong: in the cyberspace shredder. But Illinoize is a collaborative project, those libs are my co-workers.

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Chicago Sun-Times' Neil Steinberg is back

Neil Steinberg is a very good newspaper columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. Two months ago he was arrested for hitting his wife during an argument. He was drunk when that happened. Since then, Neil has spent a lot of time in rehab.

Here is his "I'm back" column from today's Sun-Times.

Steinberg was an instigator, but not in a purposeful fashion, in the Thomas Klocek-DePaul free speech battle.

From the FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) web site.

This is our understanding of the facts based on university documents, press reports, and information provided by Professor Klocek. Please inform us if you believe we are in error. On September 15, 2004, Professor Klocek was at a student activities fair held at DePaul’s Loop campus, and approached tables set up by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and United Muslims Moving Ahead (UMMA). Professor Klocek picked up an SJP handout which decried Israeli policy in the Palestinian territories, and engaged in a debate with the students at the table. During this debate, Professor Klocek cited an article by Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times that quoted the general manager of the Al-Arabiya television network as saying, “It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims.” A heated but strictly verbal argument ensued, during which time Professor Klocek argued that a Christian viewpoint, not merely a Muslim or Jewish one, should be considered in dealing with the issue at hand. The argument concluded when Professor Klocek walked away from the SJP and UMMA tables and thumbed his chin at the students in what he believed to be an Italian hand gesture meaning “I’m outta here.”

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Warren Community College student Rebecca Beach to be on Hannity & Colmes tonight

Rebecca Beach is the Warren Community College student who was the target of the ire of Professor John Daly.

After announcing the on-campus visit of an Iraq war hero on campus, Daly sent a hateful e-mail to Rebecca. Here is an excerpt:
I will continue to expose your right-wing, anti-people politics until groups like your won't dare show their face on a college campus. Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors and fight for just causes and for people's needs -- such freedom fighters can be counted throughout American history and they certainly will be counted again.

Tonight at 9pm Eastern Time (8pm Central), Beach will be a guest on the Hannity & Colmes Show on Fox News.

Professor Daly did one decent thing. He resigned once the e-mail became public. Too bad Ward Churchill hasn't followed the same honorable path.

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Jonah Goldberg in the latest National Review

Goldberg is a great writer. In the latest print edition of the National Review, Jonah has an article titled "Citizens of the World." Cosmopolitanism is discussed, in the original sense of the word. As Goldberg writes, "The World actually harks back to the Greek thinker Diogenes, who explained that he wasn't a citizen of any city (polis), but rather a citizen of the world (cosmos)."

Of course this helps explain the anti-US group think of the Left.

Goldberg goes on to say:

In a vast array of policy areas, the Left increasingly defines itself as pro-world and anti-U.S. According to a recent Pew survey, the less you like to fly the American flag, the more likely you are to be a Democrat. The more you believe the United Nations is the last, best hope in the world, the more likely you are to be a Democrat. And, saddest of all, the more you believe America is a negative factor on the world stage, the more likely you are to be a Democrat.

"Citizens of the World" isn't online yet, but here is a whole load of Jonah Goldberg National Review Online articles.

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Blogroll addition: WindyPundit

Mark of WindyPundit is a conservative blogger from Chicago's Northwest Side, and a photo-essayist as well. He told me he just picked up photography as a hobby, but based on his work, it looks as if he's been taking pictures for years.

In September, he started a photoblog series on property threatened with Kelo-type eminent domain seizures. The first entry was about the Sportif bike shop in Chicago's Jefferson Park neighborhood. The second one brought Mark into the suburbs, as he visited the threatened International Plaza in Arlington Heights.

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Fire (my coach) dot.com

A column by Mike Downey of the Chicago Tribune got me thinking on this subject of web sites dedicated to firing coaches. Fire Joe Paterno.com, the subject of Downey's wrath, has backed down a bit from its "noble" cause, and the domain owner has reserved the domain name "Keep Joe Paterno.com." Too bad the board of directors at Penn State didn't reserve it first.

My first foray into internet activism was Blue States for Bush. I got some hate e-mails, which I expected. The e-mails I got that really troubled me usually followed this line of thought.

"Your site sucks as much as Bush does. What really pisses me off is that we live in an age where any idiot can set up his own web site to spread his BS."

That "idiot" of course was me. Naturally, I disagreed with statements like that, but now I'm going to follow suit with my detractors and pretty much say the same thing, and say that "It's sad we live in an age where any idiot...."

Yes, these men (I don't know of any "Fire My Coach Sites" aimed at female coaches), are well-paid, and they're public figures who, as if it was in their job description, tolerate heckling in every imaginable form. But I've been fired from a job more than once--it's very painful.

And about these webmasters who create the sites? Are they deluded enough to believe that their "Fire My Coach Sites" have any effect on the personnel decision making of professional sports team general manager or college athletic directors?

Sad to say, my belief is yes, they probably believe they're on top of some great wave of public emotion.

In truth these people are more likely colossal jerks. There probably the same people who regularly cut into supermarket checkout lines.

In tracking down these sites, I didn't use a scientific approach. However, it seems the "Fire My Coach" phenomenon is concentrated within collegiate sports.

Below are some more of these "Fire My Coach Sites." I'm sure there are plenty more out there.

FireJoPa.com. Yes, there is another site dedicated to having Joe Paterno getting a pink slip.
Fire Quin Snyder. The Missouri Tigers basketball coach.
Fire Ty Willinhgam. The Washington Huskies (and former Notre Dame head football coach). This domain, established while Ty was the Notre Dame coach (until he got fired), was apparently started by a Fighting Irish "fan." Oh, the domain is for sale. Mean spirited inquirers need only apply.
Fire Dusty Baker.com. Chicago Cubs manager. Steve Bartman's victim.
Fire Mike Tice Now.com. The Minnesota Vikings head coach. The Vikings just ended an undefeated November.
Fire Ron Zook.com A very cruel site. The site owner got his wish, the University of Florida fired Zook, who is now the head football coach at Illinois.
Fire Joe Torre.com He's only won a few World Series trophies while manager of the New York Yankees.
Fire Mike Shula.com. Head football coach at Alabama. Looks like this soon-to-be masterpiece just got set up.
Fire Tiller.com. Tiller as in Joe Tiller, head football coach at Purdue. The guy had one bad season, and now this indignity.
Fire Mike Davis.com.Another "fan" site, from a "supporter" of the Indiana Hoosiers basketball team.
Fire Dave Wannstedt.com. The owner of this site got his wish: Dave was fired as head coach of the Miami Dolphins. He's now at the University of Pittsburgh in the same role. The site domain name is for sale, and for just $500, a Pittsburgh Panther "fan" can take over this web site.

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Sunday, November 27, 2005

My fall road trip: The I-80 Church near Milford, Nebraska


Of course that is not what this church was called. For the many of you who've driven on I-80 in eastern Nebraska, this church is familiar to you. I thought it would be pretty easy to find out some of the history of the church, but I found nothing after numerous Google and Yahoo! searches.

If anyone knows anything about this former church, please leave a comment below. It's located near Milford, Nebraska, although the town of Ruby is also close by.

Thanks to WindyPundit, a Chicago area blogger who also photoblogs, for the link.


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Immigrant Justice Convention held in Chicago last weekend

The Bald Chick of the Freedom Folks attended the November 19 Immigration Justice Convention at Navy Pier. She found plenty of things to blog about, starting with this post here.

Congressman Luis Gutierrez was there, along with my rep in Washington, Jan Schakowsky.

BC writes:

Immigrants and their supporters gathered today at Chicago's Navy Pier. Organized by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), the convention brought together people from a melting pot of ethnicities and backgrounds to cheer on immigration reform, judiciously substitute the word "undocumented" for "illegal," and repeatedly call for "justice" for all immigrants.

After a number of speakers had made their way to and from podium, I lost track of how many times I was greeted and addressed in Spanish. One speaker was introduced as "a German-American with a Mexican spirit." (???) Another speaker opened with a "buenos tardes" to the cheering crowd, made several statements about making our country a better place, then closed with "Viva Mexico!" Rather confusing to the untrained, (American) flag-waving patriot, I must confess. Just whose country does he want to make a better place?

Groups of students were trotted out. Some stepped forward to speak, including a couple who passionately lamented the way they were being denied the right to succeed in this country because they and their parents are undocumented. Rep. Janet Schakowsky announced that Sen. Dick Durbin reintroduced his Dream Act yesterday to address students in limbo because of their and their parents' immigration status.

Then there is this bit about Illnois' Democratic Governor, Rod Blagojevich:

The governor commented that...

Only in America could the fifth largest state have a governor with a name like Blagojevich." (Much audience laughter and applause.)"Only in America could the largest state have a governor with a name like Schwarzenegger." (Loud booing from the audience.)

What an idiotic (but nasty) statement. The nation's third largest state is New York, who's governor is George Pataki, by the way Rod. Pataki, like Schwarzenegger, is a Republican.

Bald Chick was not alone in documenting, from a conservative perspective, the Immigrant Justice Convention. I'm not sure who is behind this site, but it's a good one. I'm not even certain what the proper name of the site is. But I'm going to excerpt from it all the same.

How 'bout this frightening passage?

I think the absolute most disturbing comment came from a woman (yes....another bold "illegal Mexican Immigrant"), who actually made the statement in English first, then in Spanish:

"Hey......you know, half of the United States used to belong to Mexico.....I think it's about time we took it back!" (as the crowd cheers...)

Does this woman really want to be a citizen of the US? And were Blagojevich, Schakowsky, and Gutierrez in the room when the bile was poured?

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The American Thinker's Richard Baehr on Reform Judaism

Friend-of-the-blog Richard Baehr has an excellent article (a redundancy, I know) in the American Thinker here about the liberal bent of the Reform Judaism movement.

The article led Betsy's Page to remark that "reading the list of resolutions passed at their last convention reads a lot like the list of resolutions that the NEA regularly passes at its conventions."

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British professor weighs in on the Klocek case

Denis MacEoin of Newcastle University in England offers his take on Thomas Klocek's free speech struggle at DePaul.

Here's a viewpoint I've had in the back of my head, but not seen expressed before:

The ACLU has said not one word on the matter. The Association of American Professors has not lifted a finger. And the Muslim students have sent out an e-mail through DePaul, declaring a fatwa on Klocek for insulting Islam. His only hope of redress lies in taking the university to court, an action that has now been taken.

The rest of his write-up is here; MacEoin offers a good summary of Klocek's predicament as well as some other links to stories about the case, including, I'm pleased to say, a Free Republic reposting of something from Marathon Pundit.

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The Green Bay Packers and the Curse of the Packalope

Tee Bee over at Guide to Midwestern Culture has been keeping an eye on the story of the Packalope, whose distinctive headgear has been banned from Lambert, I mean Lambeau Field, because his antlers, according to Green Bay officials, fall under the "anything that can be used as a weapon" category."

The ban was announced in August. The Packalope, whose real name is Larry Primeau, has had a tough go of it recently. Visiting his web site, I learned Primeau's wife passed away last November.

The Green Bay Packers have had a terrible 2005. Does this have anything to do with the Packalope's symbolic beheading? Primeau became the Packalope in 1990. Below are the year-by-year records for the Green Bay Packers since then.

1990 6 10 0 4th NFC Central --
1991 4 12 0 4th NFC Central --
1992 9 7 0 2nd NFC Central --
1993 9 7 0 3rd NFC Central Lost Divisional Playoffs (Cowboys)
1994 9 7 0 2nd NFC Central Lost Divisional Playoffs (Cowboys)
1995 11 5 0 1st NFC Central Lost Conference Championship (Cowboys)
1996 13 3 0 1st NFC Central Won Super Bowl XXXI
1997 13 3 0 1st NFC Central Lost Super Bowl XXXII (Broncos)
1998 11 5 0 2nd NFC Central Lost Wild Card Playoffs (49ers)
1999 8 8 0 4th NFC Central --
2000 9 7 0 3rd NFC Central --
2001 12 4 0 2nd NFC Central Lost Divisional Playoffs (Rams)
2002 12 4 0 1st NFC North Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Falcons)
2003 10 6 0 1st NFC North Lost Divisional Playoffs (Eagles)
2004 10 6 0 1st NFC North Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Vikings)
*2005 2 8 0 4th NFC North --

Interesting. Since the ban, the Packers have been stinking up the NFL; they're in the basement of the weak NFC North Division. Coincidence? Maybe not.

The Chicago Cubs have the "Curse of the Billy Goat," brought on, it's alleged, by Cubs security's decision to throw William "Billy Goat" Sianis and his pet goat out of Wrigley Field during Game 4 of the 1945 World Series.

The Cubs haven't been back to the World Series since.

This afternoon, the Packers play the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are heavily favored.

Oh, I have my own Packalope story. In 2003, I ran in the Green Bay Marathon. It's a good race. Around the third mile, offering encouragement and giving "high fives" was the Packalope. I'm sure he wasn't being paid for that appearance, he was out there, I guess, because he's a decent, fun-loving guy who genuinely likes people.

The world needs more Packalopes.

About the Green Bay Marathon: Like all marathons, there was plenty of water and Gatorade at the finish line of the event. But this race also has beer and bratwursts awaiting the thirsty and hungry marathoners.

Only in Wisconsin.

UPDATE 7:00 PM: The Curse continues. The Eagles defeated the Packers today, 19-14. The Pack is assured of its first losing season since 1992.

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

My fall road trip: South Loup River in Buffalo County, Nebraska


Still on Nebraska State Route 2, the Sandhills Scenic Byway. A few days ago I posted a picture of the Loup River at sunset. The picture shows the South Loup River near the town of Ravenna in Buffalo County.


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Blogroll addition: DePaul GOP

Very good friend of the blog Derrick Wlodarz is working hard to make the DePaul Blue Demons a little less blue with his new web site, DePaul GOP.

The site is here. Good work, as always, Derrick!


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Multiple gay wedding ceremony busted in the United Arab Emirates

Well, attempting something like this in the Persian Gulf region takes a lot of guts.

My old pal, the Reverend Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, surely will approve of the harshness of the penalties that may await the "brides and grooms" from these ceremonies.

From AP:

More than two dozen gay Arab men arrested at what police called a mass homosexual wedding could face government-ordered hormone treatments, five years in jail and a lashing, authorities said Saturday.

The Interior Ministry said police raided a hotel chalet earlier this month and arrested 22 men from the Emirates as they celebrated the wedding ceremony, one of a string of recent group arrests of homosexuals here.

The men are likely to be tried under Muslim law on charges related to adultery and prostitution, said Interior Ministry spokesman Issam Azouri.

Outward homosexual behavior is banned in the United Arab Emirates, and the gay group wedding has alarmed leaders of this once-isolated Muslim country as it grapples with a sweeping influx of Western residents and culture.

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John Kerry: Flip, flop, flip

The opening paragraph of this AP article by Liz Sidoti tells all we need to know about our old pal, John Kerry:

Sen. John Kerry initially voted in favor of a Republican-sponsored resolution calling on President Bush to explain his strategy for success in Iraq. Minutes later, the Democrat changed his vote.

It's nice that by being inconsistent, John Kerry remains consistent.


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Iran watch: Leader suggests charging Bush with war crimes

Iran is a problem that, short of a revolution, won't go away any time soon.

From AP:

Iran's hard-line president said Saturday the Bush administration should be tried on war crimes charges, and he denounced the West for pressuring Iran to curb its controversial nuclear program.


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Blogroll addition: Muhammad al-Harbi site

For those who don't know his story, the site is here.

Muhammad al-Harbi was a Saudi high school teacher who repeatedly denounced terrorism.

On what seem to be trumped up charges, al-Harbi has been sentenced to serve 3 years in prison, as well as a weekly dose public floggings for almost a year.

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My fall road trip: Sherman County, Nebraska


Sherman County Nebraska had over 9,000 residents in 1930; now is has a little over 3,000.

I took this photo near Hazard, NE on State Road 68. This house was probably occupied in 1930.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

Accused Black Panther-cop shooter ordered to be extradited back to the US

Hooray for Canada today. Joseph Pannell allegedly shot Chicago police officer Terrence Knox in 1969, leaving Knox paralyzed. Four years later, Pannell jumped bail, ending up in Canada.

He's been found, and barring a successful appeal, Pannell will be coming back home for the holidays.

This AP story has more details.

Today, the Black Panthers for the most part are portrayed by the mainstream media as a slightly more radical offshoot of the Civil Rights movement. But the Panthers were Marxists, and violence followed the group around. In fact the group's original name was The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. The "Self-Defense" part of the name was later dropped.

Among the famous "alumni" of the Black Panthers include Mumia Abu-Jamal, Danny Glover, and Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush.

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Sheehan-palooza redux: Monument to Cindy unveiled in Crawford

Here's a woman who just won't go away. The next round of Iraqi elections are next month, I'm sure the Sheehan spin-machine will dismiss them as some sort of Bush-engineered gimmick.

As for the monument: Her whole movement is becoming a celebration of herself.

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Is golf next? NHL steroid problem alleged

This story does not surprise me one bit. Besides, the player had a whole season off to bulk up. From AP:

NHL players and executives denied allegations by World Anti-Doping Agency president Dick Pound that as many as a third of the league’s 700 players may take some form of performance-enhancing substances.

“I would respectfully suggest that Mr. Pound’s comments have absolutely no basis in fact,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Canadian Press on Thursday. “I find it troubling, to say the least, that he would find it necessary to comment on something he has absolutely no knowledge of.”

In an interview for a story published Friday, Pound told the London Free Press on Thursday that he spoke to league commissioner Gary Bettman and told him he thought there was widespread use of performance-enhancing substances in the NHL.


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Muhammad al-Harbi update

Found this on Roger L. Simon's site.

This is the third time I've blogged about the case of Saudi high school chemistry teacher, Mohammed al-Harbi.

A summary, from NewsMax:

A teacher in Saudi Arabia was sentenced to 40 months in jail and 750 lashes for discussing the Bible and praising Jews.

Secondary school teacher Mohammed al-Harbi, who will be flogged in public, was taken to court by his colleagues and students, according to the Saudi newspaper Al-Madina.

He was charged with promoting a "dubious ideology, mocking religion, saying the Jews were right, discussing the Gospel and preventing students from leaving class to wash for prayer,” the newspaper disclosed.

Last week a U.S. State Department report criticized Saudi Arabia for its religious intolerance, saying religious freedoms "are denied to all but those who adhere to the state-sanctioned version of Sunni Islam.”

More...
In Saudi Arabia the public practice of any religion other than Islam is forbidden, only Muslims can be Saudi citizens and non-Muslims cannot enter Mecca, Islam’s holy city.

A site supporting al-Harbi is up, you can find the site here.

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My fall road trip: Nebraska's Route 2 in Custer County


Today is a big driving day for a lot of folks, so I figured today is a good day to blog about highways and traveling.

Nebraska has several designated Scenic Byways. I'm on Nebraska's Route 2, dubbed the Sandhills Scenic Byway, which according to Nebraska's state tourism site, has been named as "one of the 10 most scenic routes in the nation."

Although, where this picture was taken, I'm east of the Sand Hills region. This part of Nebraska is the Dissected Till Plains area of the state.

Although the Sand Hills are in my rear view mirror, I did manage to find plenty of opportunities to take great photographs.

She's back in Crawford

Yes, we all know who "she" is. From AP.


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy 80th Birthday William F. Buckley!

There are many claimers to the title of "Father of Modern Conservatism"; Bill Buckley's claim is the strongest. It's a big month for Buckley, the magazine he founded, National Review, turned 50 earlier this month.

And Mr. Buckley celebrates his 80th birthday today. This George Will column nicely sums up this great man's career.


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Happy Thanksgiving America!


That's Plymouth Rock in the photo.

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My fall road trip: Loup River sunset


The Loup River drains much of Nebraska's Sand Hills region. This picture was taken in Blaine County, another one of those under-one-thousand residents counties in the Cornhusker State.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Victor Davis Hanson: The Dems' Iraq crying game

Well, according to the always insightful VDH, even the Democrats suspect we're doing better than expected in Iraq. From his Wednesday NRO article:

First, are the metrics of this war in the terrorists’ or our favor? Are the Iraqi security forces growing or shrinking? Are elections postponed or on schedule? Are Europe, Jordan, Lebanon, and others more or less sympathetic to a war against Islamic terrorism in Iraq? Are bin Laden, Zawahiri, and Zarqawi more or less popular or secure after we removed Saddam? Is al Qaeda in a strengthened or weakened position? Is the Arab world more or less receptive to democracy in the Gulf, Egypt, Lebanon, and the West Bank? And is the United States more or less vulnerable to a terrorist attack as we go into our fifth year since September 11?

I ask those questions in all sincerity since the conventional wisdom — compared to the true wisdom and compassion of those valiantly fighting the terrorists under the most impossible of conditions — is that we are losing in Iraq, our enemies are emboldened, and the Arab world has turned against us. But if we forget the banality of New York Times columnists, the admonitions of NPR experts, and the daily rants of a Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, or Al Gore, more sober and street-smart Democrats are in fact not so sure of these answers.

So these wiser ones wait and hedge their wagers. They give full rein to the usefully idiotic and irresponsible in their midst, but make no move yet to undo what thousands of brave American soldiers have accomplished in Iraq.

What exactly is that? Despite acrimony at home, the politics of two national elections and a third on the horizon, and the slander of war crimes and incompetence, those on the battlefield of Iraq have almost pulled off the unthinkable — the restructuring of the politics of the Middle East in less than three years.

And for now that is still a strong hand to bet against.


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Anti-military professor resigns from New Jersey community college

Freedom Folks first tipped me off to this story, their original post is here.

Excerpted from their blog:

Professor John Daly e-mailed her back. Read the whole story and the professor's e-mail in its entirety here.

My note...it's moved to the bottom of the page.)

Referring to Rebecca's poster advertising the event, the professor wrote...

"Your literature and signs in the entrance lobby look like fascist propaganda and is extremely offensive."

He rambles on for a while about the evils of capitalism, the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, Exxon and racism, then offers this threat...

"I will continue to expose your right-wing, anti-people politics until groups like your won't dare show their face on a college campus."

And, as if that wasn't bad enough, the professor finishes up with this gem of a suggestion...

"Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors and fight for just causes and for people's needs..."

Well, Daly's days at Warren Community College have seen their sunset. He resigned today, as this powderpuff article from NJ.com explains.

Buh-bye!

Hat tip to Brainster.

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Welcome Eric Zorn readers!

As I noted yesterday, Marathon Pundit was asked by the Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn to participate in his regular Month in Review feature on his Tribune blog, Change of Subject. Eric's November month in review is here.

Follow up on Matt Barber: Conservative online journalist fired by Allstate

I've blogged about this story a few times. Matt Barber is a Chicago area resident who seems to have been fired--Allstate denies it--because of something we wrote.

From the Daily Herald:

To insurance giant Allstate Corp., former employee J. Matt Barber is simply “one guy disputing his termination.”

But to same-sex marriage opponents, the circumstances behind Barber’s dismissal from the Northbrook-based company have made him a 36-year-old cause celebre.

Barber, a born-again Christian, says he was fired for writing an online article defending marriage and criticizing homosexuality. The Villa Park resident later filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Allstate’s action constituted discrimination on the basis of religion.

“This is about free speech,” said Barber, a non-practicing attorney. “It’s about the chilling effect that Allstate’s actions have on individual rights. How much control does a corporation have over their employees’ private activities?”

An Allstate representative, however, says Barber was using company resources on company time to dabble as an online conservative columnist.

Matt Barber is gaining the support of conservative groups and even gubernatorial candidate Jim Oberweis. who has hired Barber to coordinate his campaign in DuPage County.

“No employee of Allstate has ever been terminated for expressing their personal views using their own equipment on their own time,” spokesman Michael Trevino said.

Some conservative groups aren’t buying that explanation. They have been using newsletters and the Internet to spread Barber’s story and urge Allstate customers to cancel their policies.

“Matt’s become the symbol for politically correct repression,” said Peter LaBarbera, executive director of the Glen Ellyn-based Illinois Family Institute. “He lost his job for just giving his thoughts

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

My fall road trip: Nebraska National Forest


I didn't make it in time to take decent photos of the Nebraska National Forest to get some decent photos, as you can tell by this picture, dusk had arrived.

The junction of US Route 83 and Nebraska Route 2 is a few miles east of Thedford, in Thomas County. Thomas is one of the rarities among US counties: It has fewer that 1,000 residents. Many of the counties in the Nebraska Sand Hills also fall below the four-digit threshold.

Yes, there really is a national forest among the Sand Hills. The mostly Ponderosa Pine forest is the largest hand planted forest in the world. When designated by Theodore Roosevelt, the Nebraska National Forest had no virtually no trees.

TR was a unique president. And a great one.

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My fall road trip: Valentine National Wildlife Refuge


One more Sand Hills post. This lake is located within the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge. For the hunters out there, I discovered that this is the one place in the country where both prairie chickens and sharp-tailed grouse can be hunted. My brother the hunter was impressed.

More on the Sand Hills from this National Geographic Wild World site.


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Pajamas Media: I'm in


Well, I made a similar pronouncement a week ago regarding Open Source Media. Since then Open Source Media morphed into OSM. Now it's Pajamas Media, which was its original name, as Roger L. Simon explains in this post here.

As far the kind of pajamas I like, well they're pictured above.

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Blogroll additions from around the world

I'm getting ready for additional visitors to this blog, with the Pajamas Media (formerly Open Source Media) launch coming soon. I'm cleaning up the Blogroll, getting rid of dead boards, finally alphabetizing it. I had the Illinois blogs on the bottom of the page. But I've decided to put them all together, the same way Billy Jack wanted it.

I'd like to highlight three recent blogroll additions. It's a great honor that a soldier from US Central Command sent me an e-mail asking that I add CentCom to the blogroll. It's here.

The other two blogs tie in to the Thomas Klocek-DePaul free speech battle.

Dr. Steven Plaut is a professor in Israel; he's written several books and contributes regularly to FrontPage Magazine. His blog is here.

Here is an excerpt of his most recent entry:

Subject: Hebron Arabs Sick of "Anarchists"

I am translating parts of the article that appears at
http://www.inn.co.il/news.php?id=130800 (in Hebrew on web site)

The Arabs of Hebron are Sick of Anarchists

In recent days officials of the "Palestinian Authority" have coordinated with the Jewish community of Hebron attempt to bring to an end the activities of leftist extremist "anarchist" activists from all around the world who have congregated in order to assist the Israeli Far Left in its activism, supposedly on behalf of the Arabs of Hebron.

The collaboration began due to the arrival of the "anarchists" in the city of Hebron. Local Arabs in Hebron claim that the same anarchists who supposedly are trying to assist them are in fact behaving in a provocative and offensive manner, in violation of the moral and religious norms and standards of respect upheld by local Hebron Arabs, and especially undermine the morals of local youths.

Dr. Plaut also tipped me off to this essay from Norman Finkelstein's web site--here the Holocaust-dismissing write talks about Mother Finkelstein.

Finally, our gaze heads down to Oz, where John Ray has a new blog, Australian Politics. John helped spread the word there about Klocek's struggles with DePaul University.

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Coming soon: Marathon Pundit's participation in the Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn's Month in Review

Eric Zorn, who I agree with on some things but not others, is one mainstream media reporter who "gets" the new media. I'll be part of a monthly feature of his, Month in Review. Eric asks Illinois bloggers to contribute their opionions on what they think are important stories (or over-reported stories) each month, with the emphasis on Illinois.

Here is Eric's blog, Change of Subject.

My contributions follow this post.

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Most significant story of the month

This posting is part of Eric Zorn's November Month in Review:

The war in Iraq. Not just the war itself, but also the controversy at home; Should we stay? Should we go? November saw two funerals for soldiers from Illinois who were killed in action over there.

Winner of the month

This posting is part of Eric Zorn's November Month in Review:

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. The Hired Truck Scandal hasn't been forgotten. But Daley had a good month. Legal obstacles to the O'Hare expansion have been cleared away--at least for now. And the federal government just kicked in over $300 million for the O'Hare project. The mayor's recent call for year-round schooling--which won't see the light of day for years, if ever--still puts Daley on the side of improving education--always a good spot for a politician to be in.

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Loser of the month

This posting is part of Eric Zorn's November Month in Review:

Governor Rod Blagojevich. Scandals. Subpoenas. A possible primary challenge next year from Edwin Eisendrath.

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Most over-reported story

This posting is part of Eric Zorn's November Month in Review:

Fitzmas. The continuing infatuation among the Internet and mainstream media over US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, particularly for his role in the "Plamegate" scandal. The phenomenon has been dubbed "Fitzmas," (as in Christmas). Fitzgerald got a mention in People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" issue, as a "Brainy Guy." Fitzgerald himself is uncomfortable with that distinction--as well as-- would guess, the whole Fitzmas craze.

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Most under-reported story

This posting is part of Eric Zorn's November Month in Review:

The financial mess within Cook County Government. The Cook County Forest Preserve District is seeking an 8.5% property tax increase. Other county taxes may go up as well. The patronage-driven hiring practices of the county continue to raise eyebrows. Stroger is up for re-election next year--two Democrats and a Republican plan to run against him.

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The story to watch next month

This posting is part of Eric Zorn's November Month in Review:

The fallout from the Anthony Porter civil suit against the City of Chicago. Porter sued the city for wrongful arrest, a jury ruled in favor of Chicago earlier this month. Porter was convicted of double-murder--he was just two days away from being executed for that crime. A Northwestern University professor and some of his students uncovered evidence that delayed that execution. Based on that information, Governor George Ryan later pardoned Porter. A lawyer hired by the city for the civil suit insists Porter is the murderer. Porter's attorney, James Montgomery, says a defamation suit because of that remark is "something to consider."


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"Dirty Bomber" Jose Padilla indicted

Chicago's contribution to Islamic terrorism, Jose Padilla, was indicted this morning.

The onetime resident of the Northwest Side Logan Square neighborhood and former member of the Latin Kings street gang, has been held as an "enemy combatant" for his alleged role in acquiring a radioactive "dirty bomb" to be detonated in the United States.

This AP story has more details.

Update 6:20PM: Michelle Malkin has more deatils here.

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Britain's Daily Mirror: Bush wanted to bomb al-Jazeera

Yes, that's what it says here.

President Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar, a "Top Secret" No 10 memo reveals.

But he was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair, who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash.

A source said: "There's no doubt what Bush wanted, and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it." Al-Jazeera is accused by the US of fuelling the Iraqi insurgency.

The attack would have led to a massacre of innocents on the territory of a key ally, enraged the Middle East and almost certainly have sparked bloody retaliation.

A source said last night: "The memo is explosive and hugely damaging to Bush.

"He made clear he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera in Qatar and elsewhere. Blair replied that would cause a big problem.

I wouldn't take this report too seriously, based on the source. The Daily Mirror hired Saddam appeaser Peter Arnett shortly after he was fired by MSNBC. And the Mirror is the same which that two days after Election Day 2004, greeted its readers with the headline: "How can 59,054,087 be so DUMB?"

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My fall road trip: Still in Cherry County, Nebraska


...and heading home. Yes, the Sandhills of Nebraska consist of sand. How did that sand get there?

From Bob Dexter in 2003 for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

The Sandhills have their roots in an inland sea that covered much of the United States 60 million years ago. When the continent pushed up, river systems ran down, carrying a thick layer of sand across the plains. After the last glaciers rumbled through about 10,000 years ago, the sand blew into a desert of undulating dunes. Over time, grass gained a foothold, holding the dunes in place.

The Sandhills aren't fertile country. It takes a massive amount of land to make a functional ranch, and many of them are measured in square miles instead of acres. There are more cows than people in the Sandhills. (Only 1.1 humans, on average, occupy each square mile in Cherry County, which is substantially larger than Connecticut.) But the people you find are usually happy for company.

Tomorrow: Leaving Cherry County.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Hollinger to lose three well-known board members

Don't look for these three famous men to put their Hollinger stint on their resumes.

From AP:

Hollinger International Inc., a newspaper publisher formerly run by fallen media tycoon Conrad Black, announced Monday it will lose three well-known members of its board of directors.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson and former Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard N. Perle are among six board members who won't seek re-election at the annual shareholders meeting in January, according to a company statement.

The announcement comes less than a week after federal prosecutors indicted Black, the company's former chairman and CEO, on charges that he siphoned millions of dollars from Hollinger. The Chicago-based company publishes the Chicago Sun-Times, community newspapers in the Chicago area and a few small publications in Canada. It sold the Jerusalem Post and The Daily Telegraph of London in 2004.

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Cheney, Rumsfeld back current Iraq policy

In recent comments, both Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld don't see the need to change course in Iraq. Congressman John Murtha has not swayed their opionions.

From AP:

Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday said he strongly disagrees with a battle-tested congressman who advocates quickly pulling all U.S. troops from Iraq, calling such a proposal "a dangerous illusion."

But Cheney stopped short of joining those Republicans who have questioned the patriotism and courage of Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., calling him "a good man, a Marine, a patriot." Cheney's subdued comments about Murtha followed those of President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Another phony vet uncovered, a suburban alderman

This time it's in Marengo, IL.

From the Northwest Herald:

Community members and veterans expressed surprise and outrage over alderman Werner "Jack" Genot's confession that his war record was a figment of his imagination.

Prompted by mounting questions over his service record and factual errors in his accounts, Genot confessed in Sunday's paper that he concocted his well-known story that he was a Marine veteran of the Chosin Reservoir battle during the Korean War and spent more than 10 months as a prisoner of war.

"I'm just like everyone else in town. It shocked everybody," said Eugene Boxleitner, adjutant of American Legion Post 192, where Genot has been a member for 28 years.

Genot had been known for decades as a battle-hardened veteran. He was elected as a 4th ward alderman in 2003, and has been the face of the county's Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots for 21 years.

He spoke regularly at veterans events and told his tale to schoolchildren and area media.

Marine Corps League State Commandant Mike Ruffner, formerly commandant of the McHenry County chapter, was not impressed with Genot's confession. He said Genot sounded like he was sorry that he got caught.

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Holocaust denier/minimizer references DePaul's Norman Finkelstein

Here is John Kaminski's web site. He's "out there." Very "out there."

Kaminski writes in the Official Wire:
As trenchant Jewish critic Norman Finkelstein has pointed out, the Jewish community has made a mockery of decency by shoving this holocaust worship down the throats of everyone else.

Here's how that Kaminski article starts out:

One by one, those who oppose the manipulated version Jewish version of history are forcibly being removed from society, and silenced because their views conflict with the program of mind-contolled slavery that has been meticulously crafted by the people who control the world who control the money.

Yes, DePaul is the same school that fired pro-Israel professor Thomas Klocek for defending the Jewish state in front of some Muslim students, as this Steven Plaut article explains.

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Update of the case of the Saudi teacher sentenced to three years in prison and public lashings

Last week I blogged about the sad situation of Saudi high school teacher Muhammad Al-Harbi, who was sentenced to three years in prison as well as a weekly dose of public lashings.

From the November 14 Arab News:

The controversial case of Muhammad Al-Harbi, a Saudi high school teacher accused of mocking religion, came to a surprising end on Saturday. Al-Harbi was sentenced to three years in prison and 750 lashes--50 lashes per week for 15 weeks. The lashes are to be given in the public market in the town of Al-Bikeriya in Al-Qassim.

A number of 12th Grade students, along with some teachers from the same school, filed a lawsuit a year-and-a-half ago against Al-Harbi. He was accused of mocking Islam, favoring Jews and Christians, preventing students from performing ablutions. He was also charged with studying witchcraft. At the time, he was a chemistry teacher at Al-Fowailiq High School in the town of Ein Al-Juwa in Al-Qassim.

Today's Arab News has an update, and there is a bit of good news: There are some people in Saudi Arabia who possess common sense.

Here's an excerpt from that article:

The case of Mohammad Al-Harbi, the high school teacher charged with mocking religion and sentenced to three years in prison and 750 lashes, has not attracted attention only in the local press. Both Saudi columnists and the Saudi street in general strongly attacked what is widely seen as a harsh and unjust sentence.

The case has been a prime topic on Saudi Internet forums with Saudis of both sexes from all over the country joining in the discussions. The majority showed deep concern, not simply for Al-Harbi but also for other important factors that have been raised as a result of the case's publicity.

Many Saudis asked about the efficiency and fairness of the Saudi legal system; others severely criticized the absence of the Ministry of Education's participation in a case that not only affects a teacher's career but also affects the future of Saudi students who are apparently being taught by some teachers who sympathize with terrorists.

Well, in a cruel manner, the Saudi legal system seems pretty efficient.

Oh, in yesterday's Arab News, this article appeared: Terrorism Will Be Put to an End Within Two Years: Crown Prince.

Since there appears to be at least some Saudi teachers who "sympathize with terrorists," I don't expect the Saudi crown prince's prophecy to be fulfilled. In that article, there is nothing mentioned about Saudi Arabia reining in those Islamic "charities" that have funded so much terrorism the last twenty years.

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