Saturday, September 30, 2006

Mr. Right's latest caption contest with New York's biggest crook

And that crook is Kofi Annan. Click here to enter the contest. Clash of Civilizations has a contest too. Yours truly placed first in that tourney last week.

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Junk yard art in Sag Bridge


At the corner of Archer Avenue and Ill. Route 83, you'll find the unincorporated town of Sag Bridge. Also there is this great use of old vehicles. The Cosby Kids from the old Fat Albert cartoon would be proud.

UPDATE: Since I'm heading out of town, check out more great photo blogging at WindyPundit's blog.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Pajamas Media's Politics Central podcast and video with Senator Joe Lieberman

I just got back from a mid-afternoon run. I had my iPod with me, and I listened intently to this great podcast of Pajamas Media's Roger L. Simon interviewing self-professed "JFK Democrat" Joe Lieberman for Politics Central. Lieberman of course is running as an "independent Democrat" in defense of his Connecticut senate seat this fall.

Lieberman speaks quite philosophically about the extreme partisanship in Washington today, and is quite grateful that he "didn't have to wear his pajamas" for the interview.

Listen or download the podcast here. Free subcriptions to Politics Central are available at the iTunes web site.

And obviously there is a video too, filmed by Andrew Marcus.

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Support for fired DePaul professor Klocek growing

Since my Thursday post on the Reinstate Thomas Klocek (have you signed it yet?) three more blogs have joined the chorus in support of the fired DePaul University instructor.

They are:

Third Wave Dave
Shadow of Diogenes
The Radio Patriots

And one more...
Fellow Illinois bloggers Freedom Folks.

When people find out about his story, and how Klocek got the shaft from his employer of 15 years, they typically get angry.


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Chapter 61 on the Dems' uselessness in using Wal-Mart as a political issue

Today's chapter comes from USA Today, whose editorial board is not exactly similar to that of the Wall Street Journal. For those unfamiliar with the anti-Wal-Mart jihad, it's a union inspired drive by the Democratic Party.

From a USA Today editorial:
Running against Wal-Mart looks like a losing political strategy. The chain's low prices have made it enormously popular with shoppers, as many as 127 million a week, including many low-income voters.

Hat tip to Marshall Manson for the USA Today op-ed.

Scroll down a few posts to read about the well-received grand opening of Chicago's first Wal-Mart.

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French teacher receives death threats for writing anti-Islam article

As long as liberals are going to keep demanding that Americans refer to Islam as a "religion of peace," it would be a big help if Muslims would stop killing people.
Ann Coulter, 2002

Here we go again. Once again France is a battleground in the Clash of Civilizations.

From AFP:

A French philosophy teacher was under police protection Thursday after receiving death threats over an article he wrote in a national newspaper that accused Islam of "exalting violence," school and police officials said.

Robert Redeker has not attended classes at his secondary school near Toulouse in southern France since September 19, when his opinion column appeared in the right-wing daily Le Figaro.

"He received written death threats in the form of emails. On the face of it they were pretty serious," said the lycée's headmaster Pierre Donnadieu.

More...
Likening Islam to Communism, he said that "violence and intimidation are the methods used by an expansionist ideology ... to impose its leaden cloak on the world."

On the other side of the world is Australia. I found interesting paragraph from Mark Steyn's column in the October 9 National Review:

Step forward, Andrew Robb, parliamentary secretary to the Australian minister of immigration. Speaking to 100 A-list Aussie imams the other day, he told them to shove the victim mentality and quit trying to pass off all criticism as "Islamophobia": "We live in a world of terrorism where evil acts are being regularly being perpetrated in the name of your faith," said Mr. Robb. "And because it is your faith that is being invoked as justification for these evil acts, it is your problem."

Michelle Malkin has more.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pajamas Media's Sanity Squad on Bill Clinton, liberalism, and narcissism

Of course Pajamas Media couldn't overlook Bill Clinton's anger (or was it a performance?) during that Chris Wallace interview on Fox News.

This week, "Bubba" is stretched out on the Sanity Squad's analyst couch. The Sanity Squad consists of four mental health professionals (and bloggers): neo-neocon, Dr. Sanity, Shrinkwrapped, and Siggy. Joining the panel this week is another analyst/blogger, Gagdad Bob of One Cosmos.

Part of Clinton's narcissism is his obsession about his legacy. As Siggy notes:

Mr. Clinton himself understands that his legacy will not be one of greatness but of mediocrity, which is quite unfair since he was quite a good President. But if he can't have what he wants, he's going to be a victim. He had to know that within hours his own record of deceit would be put up for all the world to see.

Politics, the panelists note, attracts narcissistic types. And Bill Clinton, in my opinion could be the most narcissitic president ever.

I can think of another president who was campaigning in regards to his legacy, and it's one Clinton doesn't want to be compared to: the nearly impeached Richard M. Nixon. Dick Nixon had to do it because no one else would. Clinton, being perhaps the most in-love-with-himself president ever, has no choice either. Narcissism is central to his being.

Liberalism, as a quasi-religion, is also discussed among the panelists.

It's great podcast. Listen or download here.

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ABC News on Pajamas Media

Julie over at Pajamas Media e-mailed me this Michael S. Malone article from the ABC News web site. An excerpt:

That's why, longtime readers of this column will remember, I cheered the arrival of Pajamas Media, the first real aggregator of the blogosphere.

Pajamas got off to a shaky start — stumbling just enough to satisfy those who had predicted it to fail but eventually finding its legs.

Now that the mainstream media have moved on to other stories, Pajamas is pulling in hundreds of thousands of readers each day, all drawn to its attractive mix of stories, viewpoints and, increasingly, videos.

Right now, especially on the big international stories, nobody covers events from more perspectives and with greater nuance than Pajamas Media.

Okay, as I'm with Pajamas, I'm not an unbiased source, but what "shaky start" is Malone referring to here? It's been quite smooth as far as I'm concerned.

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CNN story covering illegal immigration leads to more illegal immigration

Sometimes covering the news means making more news; this is such a story.

From the Grand Forks Herald. Free registration required.

When CNN came to cover a story on Minnesota's Northwest Angle recently, it apparently led to some illegal crossings into the United States an official says.

"CNN within the last two or three months visited the Northwest Angle and did a story on crossing access," said Glen Schroeder, chief patrol agent of the Grand Forks Border Patrol Sector.

The Northwest Angle, part of Lake of the Woods County, juts north out of Minnesota, but it is mostly water, with some land bordering Manitoba and some adjacent islands.

Since CNN's coverage of the area, U.S. Border Patrol has reported an increase in illegal border crossings, according to Schroeder.

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Have you signed the "Reinstate Thomas Klocek at DePaul" petition?

Support the cause of free speech on college campuses by signing the Reinstate Thomas Klocek at DePaul petition. Click here to read and sign. So far, there are 1,768 signatures, the goal is to have 2,000 signatures to present to the administration of DePaul University.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Musharraf: Bin Laden in Afghanistan

Well, if he's alive, he has to be somewhere.

From the Times of London:

President Musharraf dismissing a French intelligence report that Osama bin Laden had died of typhoid, said yesterday that he believed the al-Qaeda leader to be hiding in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar, possibly with the help of an Afghan warlord. "It's not a hunch," the Pakistani President told The Times. "Kunar province borders on Bajaur Agency. We know there are some pockets of al-Qaeda in Bajaur Agency. We have set a good intelligence organisation. We have moved some army elements. We did strike them twice there. We located and killed a number of them."

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"Obama's candidate" Giannoulias needs to explain alleged mob ties, says state house speaker

Alexi Giannoulias was an unknown candidate for state treasurer until US Senator Barack Obama agreed not only to endorse "Mr. G.," but "St. Barack" went further than that by appearing in a Giannoulias television commercial. Alexi went on to thrash the state party's endorsed candidate. However, the chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party, Michael Madigan, refuses to back "Obama's candidate."

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

But Giannoulias, 30, became engulfed in controversy. The Chicago Tribune published articles about millions of dollars his family-owned bank loaned to two convicted felons and an alleged money-launderer.

Broadway Bank is not accused of anything illegal, but it has been a political embarrassment for Giannoulias, who first called one of the men a "very nice person," then later said he had been too "cavalier."

The bombshell from Madigan recalls his cryptic comments in 2002 about never-explained "indiscretions" of then-Democratic gubernatorial nominee Rod Blagojevich. This time, Madigan is being more pointed.

"I mean my history in politics, if you were alleged to be connected to the mob, you were done, but life seems to go on," he said.

The Sun-Times article is by Carol Marin, who somehow leaves out Obama's role in getting "Mr. G." onto the fall ballot. Obama hasn't backed off from his endorsement of Giannoulias, but said in April:

What I have said is that it is important that all this information come out in a clear, straightforward way and that the voters of Illinois know exactly what was taking place.

But why did Obama endorse Giannoulias? Obama said Mr. G. did a lot of work for his 2004 senate campaign, and prior to that, Obama used to play basketball with the young banker. Giannoulias describes Obama as "a mentor." I'm not claiming Obama had any knowledge of the loans in question, but maybe, maybe, Obama's judgement isn't perfect.

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Lines of people greet first Chicago Wal-Mart

The retail chain Alderman Joe Moore and other city council members don't want in Chicago was enthusiastically greeted by West Side Chicago residents earlier today at the grand opening of Chicago's first Wal-Mart.

From AP:

Lines snaked around the mega-retailer's West Side building long before it opened, filled with residents excited to welcome the store, its bargains and its jobs to the area.

"I love this store," Edwards said. "It's about time we get nice stores in this neighborhood."

Bringing Wal-Mart to Chicago was a four-year journey that pitted unions and small business owners against politicians and activists eager to bring jobs to the city's economically depressed West Side.

More than 15,000 people applied for the 400 jobs at the new store, where an estimated 98 percent of workers live in the neighborhood, said store manager Ed Smith.

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Dershowitz clobbers Finkelstein, "Rabbi" Lerner

Professor Alan Dershowitz gets his meat hooks out for DePaul's University's Norman Finkelstein, as well as "Rabbi" Michael Lerner in today's FrontPage Magazine.

Finkelstein is a political science professor at DePaul, and he's the Chicago school's resident holocaust minimizer.

Last month I wrote an article called "Norman Finkelstein’s Obscenities," a response to Finkelstein’s latest screed, "Should Alan Dershowitz Target Himself for Assassination?" As the title of the article suggests, Finkelstein puts forward in his article what he believes to be a justification for my assassination as a war criminal, based on my support for Israel.

Nor was this the only obscenity in the article. Not by a long shot. As I wrote in my article, Finkelstein piece was accompanied by a:

cartoon drawn by "Latuff," a frequent accomplice of Finkelstein. The cartoon portrayed me as masturbating in rapturous joy while viewing images of dead Lebanese civilians on a TV set labeled "Israel peep show," with a Jewish Star of David prominently featured.

And now over to "Rabbi" Michael Lerner. Using a broad definition of the term, he could be a rabbi.

From Discover The Network:

Though Lerner identifies himself as a duly ordained rabbi, many of his critics dispute that claim - on grounds that he was given a controversial private rabbinic ordination by "Jewish Renewal" rabbis, whose ordinations are recognized only by those within the Jewish Renewal community and Reconstructionist Judaism. Orthodox Judaism, the Reform movement's Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the Conservative movement's Rabbinical Assembly all consider such ordinations invalid.

Now back to Dershowitz:

I found out recently that Rabbi Michael Lerner, founder and editor of Tikkun magazine, has been circulating the Finkelstein article from his Tikkun e-mail account and under Tikkun letterhead. Lerner apparently didn't have the stomach to attach the cartoon, despite the fact that the inspiration for the disgusting cartoon comes directly from what Finkelstein writes in the article circulated by Rabbi Lerner, as I showed in my previous article:

Finkelstein, as Dershowitz has noted, is a big pal of Noam Chomsky, Hugo Chavez' favorite author.

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Blagojevich barbecue in Illinois part three

Dan Curry over at Reverse Spin is skewering scandal plagued Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Click here for the next course of the Blagojevich barbecue.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Obama gets first bill enacted into law, Oprah supports presidential run

Well, St. Barack has done it. Senator Barack Obama, who's being mentioned as a 2008 Democratic presidential candidate, got the monkey off his back of not seeing legislation of his become law when President Bush signed his "Google for Government" bill. The bill will allow taxpayers to track federal spending, and could be a useful tool to track pork barrel waste.

Meanwhile, fellow Illinois resident Oprah Winfrey is supporting the state's junior senator if St. Barack does decide to run for president in 2008.

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Chicago's first Wal-Mart to open Wednesday

This opening of Chicago's first Wal-Mart has been planned for a couple of years, so Alderman Joe Moore's efforts to keep Wal-Mart from expanding into Chicago wouldn't have effected this store on Chicago's West Side. The store's grand opening is tomorrow.

Moore tried to put a "living wage" ordinance into law. Moore's bill would've only applied to large retailers with stores with floorspace over 90,000 sq. ft. Viewing it as a job-killing machine, Mayor Richard Daley vetoed the bill, and more Wal-Marts will be coming to the city.

It's better to have a low-paying job than none at all.

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Obama family made $1.67 million last year

I was hesitating on posting this story, until I remembered that Barack Obama accepted the terms of his book deal just before he was sworn in as a senator last year, pulling the same sleazy move Hillary Clinton did with her book deal.

From AP:

According to joint tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service and released to The Associated Press, the Obamas, with their two girls, had $1.67 million in total income last year — about $70,000 more than the total for all of 1998 through 2004.

Book royalties and advances brought in about $1.2 million for the senator-author whose first book, an autobiography published about a decade ago, became a best-seller during his 2004 campaign.

In late 2004, Obama landed a three-book deal worth $1.9 million with publishing houses under Random House Inc. The first book under the contract, Audacity of Hope: Reclaiming the American Dream, is scheduled for release in mid-October and is to focus on his political convictions and how he became the Senate’s only black member.

I'm sure the book will do well. But why the big advance? Obama has a full-time job, and didn't have to leave it to write the book.

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USS Enterprise deployed in Indian Ocean; Iran a target?

Perhaps the Navy aircraft carrier USS Enterprise is in the Indian Ocean for routine maneuvers. Then again....

From Channel Newsasia:

The USS Enterprise aircraft carrier is deployed in the Indian Ocean and "prepared for all contingencies," its top commander said on Monday, as speculation rises over possible US military action against Iran.

"We're always prepared for any contingency," said Rear Admiral Ray Spicer, speaking to reporters in Washington via teleconference.

Spicer commands the Enterprise Strike Group, which includes the nuclear-powered Enterprise and its warplanes, the cruiser Leyte Gulf, the destroyer McFaul, the frigate Nicholas - the last three armed with guided missiles - as well as the attack submarine Alexandria and a combat support ship.

He spoke to reporters as US news media speculates on US military preparations for a possible conflict with Iran.

Jimmy Carter will be the first person to protest any military strike against Iran. Of course, the Iranian mess was of his creation.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Blagojevich barbecue in Illinois, part two

Rich Miller's Capitol Fax does a good job keeping track of Illinois politics. In today's Southwest News Herald, Rich throws Governor Rod Blagojevich, a Chicago Democrat, back onto the fire.

An excerpt:

If you think Gov. Rod Blagojevich gets bad press now, imagine how harsh the coverage would be if we knew what he was hiding.

For instance, we know from sources that the governor’s own office and his various agencies have been served with dozens of federal subpoenas involving countless criminal allegations, but Gov. Blagojevich won’t even confirm receiving a subpoena. He won’t say how many subpoenas he’s received. He won’t say what the FBI is looking for.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan (My note, another Chicago Democrat) is supposed to issue a legal opinion on whether the governor has to comply with reporters’ Freedom of Information Act requests on the subpoenas. As of this writing, though, her office has been silent.

Just think of the nuclear explosion that would result if voters could finally see the details of what the feds are looking for and who they’re looking at.

Blagojevich is running for re-election this fall, he's opposed by State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, a suburban Chicago Republican.

The latest poll has "Blago" leading Topinka by 10 percentage points, but the poll was taken before JBT's latest ad blitz focusing on the $1,500 birthday check to Blago's then seven year-old daughter.

Related post: Blagojevich barbecue in Illinois

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"Blues Brothers church" damaged by fire in Chicago

Remember the religious conversion, the "message from God" in the classic 1980 film The Blues Brothers?

The church where that memorable scene was filmed was damaged in a fire earlier this month.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

The Southeast Side church made famous by its appearance in the movie "The Blues Brothers" -- Pilgrim Baptist Church of South Chicago -- had planned a big celebration for its 89th birthday Sunday.

The church -- where James Brown sings a spirited rendition of "The Old Landmark" in the 1980 movie -- had undergone major renovations over the last few years.

But last week, an electrical fire at the church so badly damaged the sanctuary that it can't be used for at least six months. Two rooms in the church were badly damaged by smoke, flames and water. Firefighters had to break out eight new stained-glass windows to fight the fire. The pulpit and pews were taken away for repair from smoke and water damage.

"All the work we had done is gone," said pastor Hilliard Hudson. The church has spent about $165,000 on the renovations, raised solely from member donations.

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Pope meets with Muslim leaders, alludes to rights of Christians in Muslim nations

The Pope had that much anticipated meeting with Muslim diplomats today. Did he apologize for his controversial comments about Islam? Of course not. But in a subtle fashion, he's laying down the law to the Muslims.

From AP:

Pope Benedict XVI told Muslim diplomats Monday that "our future" depends on good relations between followers of both faiths as he sought to put to rest anger

The pontiff also quoted from his predecessor, John Paul II, who had close relations with the Muslim world, calling for "reciprocity in all fields," including religious freedom. Benedict spoke in French to a roomful of diplomats from 21 countries and the Arab League in his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo near Rome.

"Reciprocity in all fields." Muslims in living in the West expect, no, make that demand that we not only respect their faith, but that we change our ways to accommodate it. However, Christians, Jews, and members of other religions living in the Muslim world face widespread if not institutional discrimination.

Pope Benedict XVI wants that to stop.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Anarchy in the UK: Muslim cleric declares area off limits to infidels

In the latest Pajamas Media podcast--scroll down one post--Mark Steyn talks about the problem of the failure of Muslims to integrate into Western European society. Here's cites two examples, here's a third for that sure to growing pile of incidents.

From a Philip Johnston op-ed in the Daily Telegraph:

When Abu Izzadeen, the firebrand Islamist militant, berated John Reid last week for "daring" to visit a Muslim area, the Home Secretary bridled, as did many others, at his suggestion that part of London was off limits for a British minister of the Crown.

There was nowhere in this country from which anyone should be excluded, Mr Reid said; nowhere that could be called exclusively Muslim.

The Bosnianizing of Europe continues. But good for Reid for standing up to the extremist. Others, I fear, aren't so resolute.

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Pajamas Media Blog Week in Review with Mark Steyn

British educated Mark Steyn is perhaps our nation's best newspaper columnist, his latest Chicago Sun-Times column is here.

Steyn joins moderator Austin Bay and regular panelist Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit for the latest Pajamas Media Blog Week in Review.

The continuing Muslim over-reaction to the Pope's comments on Islam is discussed in detail, as is Steyn's upcoming book release, America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It. The book probably doesn't have a happy ending.

As always, Pajamas blogger Ed Driscoll produces.

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Bears beat Vikings in field goal fest

In the early days of the old NFC Central--before Tampa Bay was added to the division--the Central was nicknamed the "Black and Blue Division." Games between the teams were known for tough defensive battles with low scores.

The Central is now known as the NFC North, and Tampa Bay was sent to the new NFC South, where they belong.

Two Black and Blue Division veterans, the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings, faced off today in a game that featured hard hitting, sacks, and a low final score--but a lot of field goals, four three pointers by the Bears, three for the Vikes. The final score was 19-16, with the visiting Bears on ending up on top.

The Vikings were leading late in the game, until Bears tackle Tommie Harris forced a Vikings fumble that led to the only touchdown scored either offense today, a 24-yard touchdown pass from Bears quarterback Rex Grossman to wide receiver Rashed Davis.

The Vikings fell to 2-1 for the season. The Bear are now 3-0, with all three wins coming against their NFC North foes.

It was the first Bears victory in Minneapolis in five years.

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Blagojevich barbecue in Illinois

My good friend Dan Curry at Reverse Spin is doing a great job keeping both of his eyes on the debacle that's known as the Rod Blagojevich administration.

The Democratic governor, who bragged to the media last year about having the "testicular virility" to make tough decisions, has been dodging the media so he wouldn't have to answer questions about a $1,500 birthday gift his seven year-old daughter received from Michael Ascaridis, whose wife took a state job two weeks after the generous present was received. Beverly Ascaridis flunked the civil service exam for that position. Oh, the job she got was located in remote Whiteside County, but it was moved to the Chicago area, presumably for her convenience.

Fishy? I think so

The media did catch up to "Blago," and Curry found two embarrassing Blagojevich performances on YouTube, where the viewer hears repeatedly from "Virility Boy," about how Michael Ascaridis is a "lifelong friend," along with attacks mixed in on his Republican opponent, Judy Baar Topinka. But there are no solid answers from Blagojevich on that check.

"Deer in the headlights" comes to mind. The first video is here, the second here.

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Kitty Myers' mother passes away

Blogger Kitty Myers, who blogs at Kitty Litter, has some sad news: her mother passed away. She has my prayers.

As many of you know, my mother had a very close call earlier this month--she broke her hip in a very bad fall. I visited her yesterday afternoon, she looks great, and only when she struggles out of bed can you tell she's been badly injured.

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Mr. Right's new photo caption contest with Hugo Chavez

Noam Chomsky's favorite Venezuelan, Hugo Chavez, is the object of Mr. Right's scorn this week. Enter the metaphorical tomato-tossing here.

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200 years ago today: Lewis & Clark expedition ends


America's greatest earthly exploring journey ended 200 years ago today when the Lewis & Clark Expedition returned to St. Louis.

America and the world would never be the same.

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One day one of these reports will be correct...

France looks into bin Laden death report

I hope it's wrong. Personally, I'd rather see him dragged back to the "Land of the Infidels" in chains and an orange jumpsuit.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Autumn Almanac


As regular visitors to this blog know, I'm a huge Kinks fan. And today I began to see evidence--leaf color change--that fall, or autumn, is almost here. (I didn't take the photo today, that's from my archive of photos from last fall. That photo was taken at Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge in Nebraska.)

Below are the lyrics to "Autumn Almanac," a 1967 Kinks single.

From the dew-soaked hedge creeps a crawly caterpillar,
When the dawn begins to crack.
It's all part of my autumn almanac.
Breeze blows leaves of a musty-coloured yellow,
So I sweep them in my sack.
Yes, yes, yes, it's my autumn almanac.

Friday evenings, people get together,
Hiding from the weather.
Tea and toasted, buttered currant buns
Can't compensate for lack of sun,
Because the summer's all gone.

La-la-la-la...
Oh, my poor rheumatic back
Yes, yes, yes, it's my autumn almanac.
La-la-la-la...
Oh, my autumn almanac
Yes, yes, yes, it's my autumn almanac.

I like my football on a Saturday,
Roast beef on Sundays, all right.
I go to Blackpool for my holidays,
Sit in the open sunlight.

This is my street, and I'm never gonna to leave it,
And I'm always gonna to stay here
If I live to be ninety-nine,
'Cause all the people I meet
Seem to come from my street
And I can't get away,
Because it's calling me, (come on home)
Hear it calling me, (come on home)

La-la-la-la...
Oh, my autumn Armagnac
Yes, yes, yes, it's my autumn almanac.
La-la-la-la...
Oh, my autumn almanac

Lyrics courtesy of Dave Emlen's Unofficial Kinks Web Site.

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Friday was "Protest the Pope" day in the Muslim world


Thanks to the Sanity Squad (scroll down a few posts), I have the cycle of protests in the Muslim world figured out. Friday is mosque day for Muslims, and after being fired up by an extremist cleric, Muslims protest their current "hate," which is now the Pope's speech on "violent" Islam. Previous "hates" of 2006 were those Danish Muhammad cartoons, Israel (the thing to hate when there is nothing new to hate), and President Bush, particularly after his "Islamic fascist" comment.

And today their were "hate-protests" across the Muslim world, with the the Pope of course still the target of that hate.

Have a nice weekend!

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Tom Ciesielka to be on WGN Radio's Bill Moller Show

In the early days of the getting-the-word-out phase of the Thomas Klocek affair, one of the key people was Tom Ciesielka of TC Public Relations. On Saturday you can hear Tom on Chicago's 50,000 watt powerhouse, WGN-AM 720.

And if you live outside WGN's signal, you can listen in live on the internet.

From TC Public Relation's press release:

Tom Ciesielka from TC Public Relations will be Bill Moller’s guest on WGN radio’s “The Money Show” on

Saturday, September 23 at 1:30 pm Central. Bill and Tom will discuss how to:

  • Use Past Successes to Drive Your Future Career or Business Goals


  • Work with Others to Advance Your Dreams


  • Recognize that the Road to Success is Paved with Appreciation


  • Be Honest with Yourself Before Promoting Yourself to Others


  • Avoid Short Term Gains that Could Hurt Your Long-Term Life


  • Hope you can tune in!

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    Prescription drug wars: Target to match Wal-Mart's $4 generic drugs

    This is how capitalism is supposed to work: competition bringing low cost goods to customers. And it looks like it's working.

    Target announced earlier today that it would match its chief competitor's price cut on 150 generic prescription drugs in Florida. Wal-Mart started rolling the price ball downhill yesterday, and the world's largest retailer plans to take its pricing strategy to all of it's USA stores next year.

    Will others join in? Where I live, Chicago-area based Walgreens dominates the pharmacy market. If Wal-Mart and Target make the generic pricing strategy a nationwide policy, Walgreens and others will be hard-pressed not to follow suit.

    As for union-funded Wal-Mart Watch and Wake Up Wal-Mart, they need to know that in terms of the overall economy, a "living wage" isn't the only answer to any real or perceived problems.

    But look for the jabs against Wal-Mart to continue. Last night during Jay Leno's Tonight Show monologue, Jay quipped that Wal-Mart's price cuts still mean that Wal-Mart employees can't afford prescription drugs.

    However, Jay did get in a very funny joke about Willie Nelson's tour bus being a giant bong, with the tail pipe being the the inhalation port.

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    CAIR's Saudi connections

    See that building? According to a Robert Spencer FrontPage Magazine article, it was built with the help of Saudi money. It's CAIR's headquarters, conveniently located a few blocks from Capitol Hill on New Jersey Avenue.

    From FrontPage:

    A few days ago Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American Islamic Relations was on Tucker Carlson's MSNBC show to discuss Pope Rage, and Carlson did a fairly good job pressing him on some points -- although Hooper was so combative that Carlson twice had to calm him down and reassure him that he agreed with him.

    At the end of the segment, however, after he got Hooper to tell the Saudi government that execution for apostasy was wrong, Carlson challenged Hooper on CAIR's receiving money from the Saudi government. Hooper declared: "To my knowledge we don't take money from the government of Saudi Arabia."

    Well, I know that Ibrahim Hooper words his statements as carefully as the Pope does, as in the memorable incident when Hooper told Rachel Neuwirth about allegations that CAIR supported Hamas and Hizballah: "CAIR does not support these groups publicly." So I'm not quite sure how to take this new statement. Does he mean that they don't take money from the Saudi government, but from individual Saudis? Or that CAIR may take money from the Saudi government, but if it does, no one is telling Ibrahim?

    Spencer goes on to quote passages from Frank Gaffney and friend of the blog Daniel Pipes, who note that money that originally came from Saudis, but maybe, maybe not from the Saudi government, does end up in CAIR's bank account.

    It's a tough task to make sense of financial dealings from the Islamic world, but to be sure, some of CAIR's cash was really at one time Saudi riyals.

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    Pajamas Media's Sanity Squad on Islam and the Pope

    I don't know what the rest of the world is waiting for, but The Sanity Squad podcasts are something that should be on any sane person's "must-download" list.

    The Sanity Squad consists of four mental health professionals/bloggers: neo-necon (small "n" is correct), Dr. Sanity, Shrinkwrapped, and Siggy.

    Their latest podcast is entitled, The Sanity Squad: A Religion of the Perpetually Paranoid. The four psychology sages put all of Islam on their analysts' couch.

    Actually, since it's Islam, there'd have to be two couches, one for each gender--with a partition between the two, but I think you get my point about the couch.

    Islam's violent reaction to the Pope's controversial comments about Islam and violence draw the ire of the Squad.

    Shrinkwrapped noted that the anti-Pope protests "were well orchestrated," taking place after Friday "inflammatory services."

    But Siggy steals the show. Among his brilliant comments:

    The Judeo-Christian world civilizes, the Islamic world fantasizes.

    And...
    The Judeo-Christian world builds things, the Islamic world of today tears things down.

    Download here. Free Politics Central podcasts subscriptions are available on the iTunes web site.

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    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    Pajamas Media's Politics Central podcast with Senator Jim DeMint

    Pajamas blogger Austin Bay took part in a blogger podcast with Senator Jim DeMint, R-SC.

    Jim talked about his wireless device version of the Emergency Broadcast System, the WARN Act, that will be put into place if the bill is passed into law. The WARN act is part of the Port Security Bill, which the senate approved 98-0 last week.

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    Milblogger's wife seriously ill with cancer

    Military blogger SC Eagle has fought for freedom in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, his wife is fighting for her life--against cancer in Germany.

    The Radio Patriots, Andrea and Mark, are leading a rallying cry for SC's wife, Ellicia.

    A PayPal account has been set up to cover "Leesha's" home-health care. Hospice care is not covered by their insurance.

    Leesha's breast cancer has spread to her brain. She's in a very tough battle against that awful disease.

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    Wal-Mart offering $4 generic drugs in Florida

    The company the Left loves to hate, Wal-Mart, is doing what you think the Lefties would be thrilled about--selling generic drugs cheap. The retail behemoth is test-marketing a program in Florida, selling generic drugs for as low as $4 per prescription.

    But the anti-Wal-Mart group, Wal-Mart Watch, is tying this good news to their perception that Wal-Mart is stingy with health care benefits with their one-million employees.

    Can't they let it rest just once?

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    Ill. Lt. Governor's tea bag protest might lead to jammed sorting machines

    Pat Quinn is the Lieutenant Governor of Illinois. Before becoming Rod Blagojevich's ticket-mate, the Oak Park Democrat was a kind of Prairie State Ralph Nader--a consumer advocate known for using stunts to get his name in the media.

    Quinn and Blagojevich are up for re-election this year, and Pat is doing his part by drumming up some media noise. Consumers in Illinois have just been hit by huge rate increases. As a protest, Quinn is suggesting that Illinoisans include empty tea bags with their next electrical payment to show their displeasure with the new rates.

    One problem: The US Postal Service is concerned that the empty tea bags could damage sorting equipment at postal facilities.

    I have a better idea. If somehow Illinois residents are dense enough re-elect team Blagojevich/Quinn, next April,Illionis taxpayers should enter $1,500 in Monopoly money with their state returns. Why $1,500?

    That amount matches the $1500 birthday present check given to Gov. Blagojevich's then seven year-old daughter, Amy, by Michael Ascaridis. Shortly after he sent the check, Ascaridis' wife Beverly obtained a $45,000 a year state job.

    When you mail the phony cash, tell 'em you got the idea from Pat Quinn.

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    Chicago White Sox: Thanks for the memories

    The Chicago White Sox lost to the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers last night on the city's South Side.

    Mathematically there is still a chance they'll make it into the American League playoffs. Realistically, with 10 games left to play, the White Sox trail the Minnesota Twins by 5 1/2 games in the wild card race, an essentially insurmountable lead. So the Sox will be spending the first Monday in October cleaning out their lockers instead of practicing for the first round of the American League playoffs.

    However, for a little while longer, the South Siders are the defending World Series champions. It's a great feeling for the lifelong White Sox fan. And with a core of talented athletes locked in to long-term contracts for the Sox, "Wait 'till next year" isn't a hollow slogan. However, the White Sox need to do something about that unreliable bullpen. Back up the truck...

    Meanwhile on Chicago's North Side, the Cubs are in last place.

    What does that have to do with the White Sox?

    Everything.

    It's a Chicago thing.

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    Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    Bush says he'd send troops to Pakistan--Pakistani newspaper reports US choppers there

    These two reports from today are probably coincidental, but one never knows.

    First from AP:

    President Bush said Wednesday he would order military action inside Pakistan if intelligence indicated that Osama bin Laden or other top terror leaders were hiding there. "Absolutely," Bush said in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

    Next, from the Pakistani newspaper Dawn:

    Six US helicopters violated Pakistan's air space by intruding into Lawara Mandi area of the North Waziristan Agency on Tuesday morning, officials and residents said.

    Eyewitnesses said that the US helicopter gunships had intruded into Lawara Mandi area, about 55 kilometers west of Miramshah after militants attacked allied forces in Pipali area of Afghanistan, close to Pakistani border.

    They said that the helicopters violated Pakistan's air space more than six times in the area, but did not take action. Pakistani security forces did not react against helicopters.

    The sources said that constant air space violations by US helicopters triggered tension and senior military officers flew in helicopters from Miramshah to assess the situation.

    I can't find a story that corroborates this report, but it is an intriguing article when juxtaposed Bush's comments from earlier today.

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    Venezuela's Chavez calls Bush "The Devil"

    Venezuela's nutjob leader Hugo Chavez gave a speech at the United Nations this morning. George W. Bush spoke there yesterday, and Chavez made this reference to the president:

    The devil came here yesterday. He came here talking as if he were the owner of the world.

    Chavez made the sign of the cross when he made that statement.

    Although being the devil isn't such a bad thing, as Al Pacino and Robert De Niro have played "Old Scratch" in recent years, so the part comes with a certain amount of penache, something the buffoon Chavez doesn't possess.

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    Poll: Over 80% of Thais back coup

    Things sure move fast in Thailand. Already a post-coup poll is complete: over 80 percent of the respondents favor yesterday's removal of their prime minister.

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    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    Ex-Archbishop of Canterbury strongly backs Pope on Islam and violence

    Support is trickling in for Pope Benedict. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, is on B16's team in regards to the Pope's recent comments on Islam.

    The person who sits in the Archbishop of Canterbury's chair is the spiritual leader of the world's Anglican Christians.

    From the Times of London:

    The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey of Clifton has issued his own challenge to "violent" Islam in a lecture in which he defends
    the Pope’s "extraordinarily effective and lucid" speech.

    Lord Carey said that Muslims must address "with great urgency" their religion’s association with violence. He made it clear that he believed the "clash of civilisations" endangering the world was not between Islamist extremists and the West, but with Islam as a whole.

    "We are living in dangerous and potentially cataclysmic times," he said. “There will be no significant material and economic progress [in Muslim communities] until the Muslim mind is allowed to challenge the status quo of Muslim conventions and even their most cherished shibboleths."

    Whew...strong stuff from Carey. The current Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, is a wimpy chap who is not capable of making such statements. If he had...maybe Muslims would start to listen. Oh, he's talked about it, as you'll read here, but there is no meat in this Archibishop's stew. Besides, if Williams did strongly support the Pope's comments, well, it would mean more churches would get firebombed.

    Sorry, but it's the awful truth, in my opinion.

    Latvian president Vike-Freiberga bidding to become UN secretary general

    Picking Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga to become the next UN secretary general makes a lot of sense. Which is why the UN will pick someone else. But she's pursuing the job all the same.

    Vike-Freiberga speaks five languages: English, German, French, Latvian, and Spanish.

    She's lived as a refugee in Germany--in a displaced persons camp--after World War II.

    And for a few years she lived in a Muslim country, Morocco, when it was still a French colony.

    But the Russians don't like her: Relations between Russia and Latvia are chilly. China is looking for an Asian to for the position--no Asian has been secretary general in over three decades. Both Russian and China have full UN veto rights.

    Still, Vike-Freiberga has a chance: No woman has ever been UN secretary general.

    Related: News you probably missed: Latvian president addressed joint session of Congress

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    Fight high cell phone taxes

    Disclosure: I work in this industry. But no one asked me to post this information.

    Actually I heard about this organization when I was in Washington in July, I saw a billboard for My Wireless.org at a few subway stops.

    Oh, if you don't support putting a lid on taxes, then you're visiting the wrong blog.

    Here is the site for My Wireless.org. And as they say on TV, tell them Marathon Pundit sent you.

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    The Pope, Islam, and dialogue

    I just read five or so op-eds about the importance of dialogue between the Vatican and the Islamic world.

    None of these articles touched on one sensitive point. Christians who convert to Islam can pretty much do it.

    On the flipside, Muslims, in accordance to their faith, are not allowed to leave Islam. Apostates can face a formal or informal death sentence, but in more generous circumstances, ostracization from family and (former) friends is the end result.

    Achieving dialogue between Islam and the Vatican won't be easy. It may not even be possible.

    First fall DePaulia is out, no mention of Klocek controversy

    After a summer hiatus, the new DePaul school newspaper is out. Ever since the outside-DePaul world started taking notice of the Thomas Klocek free speech controversy, the school paper, The DePaulia, has for the most part ignored the case.

    That pattern continues. Until this issue, there has been no DePaulia published since May. Since then there have been two major revelations in the Klocek case. Wesley Thompson, the former DePaul Student Government Association president, backed Klocek's version of what happened during the 2004 cafeteria discussion with the Students for Justice in Palestine and United Muslims Moving Ahead.

    And the role of CAIR Chicago, the local outpost of the Chicago Council of American Islamic Relations, became public. CAIR, which touts itself as a civil rights organization, recommended that DePaul fire Klocek.

    Aren't real civil rights groups supposed to expand rights and employment opportunities?

    CAIR Chicago has a big presence at DePaul, something the DePaulia is not likely to report on anytime soon.

    Ironically, the DePaulia did report on the cafeteria encounter shortly after Klocek was suspended by DePaul. The DePaulia piled-on the professor, going to print without getting his side of the story. The article does note that the DePaulia did contact Klocek, but that he failed to respond before the paper's deadline.

    Klocek told me that the DePaulia did not contact him for that story at all.

    In fairness to the paper, the following spring the DePaulia did publish an op-ed by Klocek outlining his side of the story.

    In the blogosphere, however, the Klocek affair is still a big story. But not in the DePaulia.
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    Monday, September 18, 2006

    Iranian supreme leader: Pope part of US-Zionist conspiracy

    After being told by an advisor that the Pope was outraged by one of many Soviet atrocity, Josef Stalin reportedly replied, "How many divisions (of troops) does the Pope have?"

    The correct answer to that question is none then, none now.

    But leave it to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's boss, to see things differently:

    From the world's greatest newspaper, the Tehran Times:

    Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said (in Tehran) on Monday that Pope Benedict XVIÂ’s offensive remarks were part of a U.S.-Israeli conspiracy to create a conflict between religions.

    Ayatollah Khamenei stated that the comments were part of the same conspiracy that started with the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which was devised by great powers intent on creating crises between religions to "pursue their evil objectives."

    "Leaders of the global arrogance have already defined the links of the chain in this U.S.-Zionist project by attacking Iraq," he observed at a meeting with members of a committee responsible for promoting prayer.

    "The issue of the insulting cartoons and the remarks of some U.S. politicians about Islam are different links in the chain of conspiracy to begin a crusade, and the Pope's remarks are the latest link in this chain," he added.

    Clarification: Israeli troops were not part of the coalition of troops that invaded Iraq in 2003. Nor were the Vatican's Swiss Guards. Although not all of the Swiss Guards are guys in pretty uniforms--many of the guards are perform similar functions in less flamboyant clothing--that the US Secret Service does here.

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    Latvia's big 2006 event: NATO summit

    Since Mrs. Marathon Pundit was born in Latvia, I keep a close eye on the Baltic nation.

    Latvia will be a big story later this year: The annual NATO summit will be held in late November the Latvian capital, Riga, on what was once Soviet occupied territory.

    Of course with the increased attention will come risk: Jihadists view the summit as an opportunity to cause havoc.

    Of course history does tend to repeat itself, and Latvians are having their nation become a battleground in major wars, such as the early 18th century conflict between Russia and Sweden--the Great Northern War, as well as two more infamous conflicts: World War I and II.

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    One reason why Obama for president in 2008 makes sense

    Unlike Senators Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and a few others, Barack Obama doesn't have to answer for his 2002 senate vote to authorize force against Iraq. Barack was a state senator then.

    On the bottom of the ticket--if Hillary gets the nomination--there is no way, NO WAY another 2002 Democrat hawk on Iraq can take that spot.

    That helps Obama too if he chooses to sit out the primaries two years from now. Or next year, if New Hampshire follows through on its threat to put on its Democratic primary in 2007 to spite the DNC.

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    Blagojevich kiddie check story catching fire in Illinois

    Scroll down a few posts to see my take on Ill. Governor Rod Blagojevich.

    Rich Miller at Capitol Fax has an excellent run-down of the latest write-ups on Rod Blagojevich and the $1,500 birthday check given to his seven year-old daughter. People who don't ordinarily pay attention to politics are watching this story.

    On a different front, a Chicago Sun-Times/NBC 5 Chicago poll shows Blagojevich far ahead of his Republican challenger, Judy Baar Topinka. This poll not only has Blagojevich above the coveted 50 percent mark, but Blago leads Topinka by 30 points. All previous polls I've seen have "Blago" below 50 percent, with an average 10 percentage point lead over Topinka.

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    Revised: Disbar Fitzgerald, David Corn may have said in latest Pajamas Media Blog Week in Review

    For the second time in four days, I listened to David Corn in a Pajamas podcast.

    The latest podcast is Pajamas Media's Blog Week in Review, where Corn joins regulars Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit and moderator Austin Bay--Ed Driscoll produces.

    Social-networking sites such as My Space, Wal-Mart's new The Hub, and others are discussed in relation to how such sites might effect the political process.

    The fireworks start when Corn and Reynolds discuss "Plamegate." David has a new book out, co-authored with Michael Isikoff, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War. There's a chapter on the Plame-Wilson imbroglio. While talking about the Special Prosecutor (and US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois) Patrick Fitzgerald, Corn says Fitzgerald should be disbarred, because he continued to prosecute the case for two and-a-half years, even though Fitzgerald knew Richard Armitage was the leaker.

    It's possible that recently convicted former Illinois Governor George Ryan agrees with Corn on that one.

    UPDATE 7:00PM CDT commnenter has posted that Corn may have been quoting the conservative arguement that Fitzgerald should be disbarred. I'm unaware of any conservative call for that to occur. Still Corn deserved the benefit of any doubt. If I erred, it was out of irresponsibility, since I listed to that portion of the podcast at least five times before I wrote this post.
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    Sunday, September 17, 2006

    Little Marathon Pundit's 10th birthday party


    Here's Little Marathon Pundit with her party guests, with magician Frank Kay, who entertained them this afternoon.

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    Marathon Pundit makes National Review's Phi Beta Cons

    Here's the post from John J. Miller on the still fairly new National Review Phi Beta Cons blog:

    Klocek Two Years On
    [John J. Miller 09/15 11:48 AM]

    Today is the second anniversary of the incident that led DePaul University to fire instructor Thomas Klocek, who had the gall of questioning anti-Israeli activists on his campus. Marathon Pundit offers a good overview of what happened.

    Here is my summary post from Friday.

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    Still more bad news for Ill. Gov. Blagojevich

    Gov. Rod Blagojevich, D-IL, got more bad news this morning when he picked up his Sunday Chicago Tribune on the doorstep of his Chicago home.

    Blagojevich broke tradition when he was sworn in as governor by not moving into the Governor's Mansion in Springfield, but that's another story.

    From the Chicago Tribune, free registration is required:

    Skirting state hiring rules, Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration gave jobs to at least 360 people whose applications were sent through back channels by the governor's office and other political heavyweights, a Tribune investigation has found.

    More than 70 workers with political pedigrees were hired through internships meant for college students--even though all were older than 35 and a few were in their 60s.

    In addition, Blagojevich's administration nearly doubled--to more than 740--the number of high-level state jobs he can fill without following hiring rules.

    In a broad examination of hiring across state agencies, the Tribune found that these maneuvers and others were used to systematically subvert a process that is supposed to be free from political influence.

    Federal invetigators have been looking into the hiring practices of Gov. Blagojevich since last year.

    Last week, the Tribune disclosed that the governor's daughter Amy, then a seven year-old, received a $1,500 birthday check from Michael Ascaridis. Beverly, Michael's wife, took a state job shortly after the gift was received. Blagojevich didn't report the gift until two years later, when the FBI asked him about it.

    In a race that mysteriously has received little national attention, Blagojevich is running for re-election this year. His opponent is Republican Judy Baar Topinka--her chances to unseat "Blago" continue to improve.

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    Saturday, September 16, 2006

    Tehran Times: New crusade being planned


    As I've remarked before, the Tehran Times is to good journalism what the Jerry Springer Show is to quality television programming.

    The Farce-eys are at it again, getting their robes all tangled up over the recent (scroll down a couple of posts) comments by the Pope about Islam.

    When Muslims aren't whining about "Islamophobia," it's only because they're screaming "Crusade."

    From a Tehran Times article by Hassan Hanizadeh:

    The increasing wave of Western offensives against Muslims, which began with U.S. President George W. Bush’s remarks and continued with the publication of disrespectful cartoons in a Danish newspaper, is part of a plot to start a new crusade against Muslims.

    Undoubtedly, this propaganda is not accidental and purposeless, but rather within the framework of a comprehensive strategy to implement the theory of clash of civilizations put forward by U.S. theorist Samuel P. Huntington.

    Regrettably, following the suspicious 9/11 attacks, the West is increasing the psychological and propagandistic pressure on Muslims to prepare the ground for the expulsion of Muslims from the United States and European countries.

    The Pope’s rude remarks are actually code words for the start of a new crusade, heralding a dark future in relations between Islam and Christianity.

    Relations right now are pretty darn dark, in my opinion.

    Later in the article, there's the spurious claim that the "Zionist regime" (always blame the Jews) is part of the crusade, since it's scheming to become the Hong Kong of the Middle East.

    And Hanizadeh moans about a Daily Telegraph piece about how Muslim soldiers in the early days of Islam used to behead prisoners of war.

    The more things change....

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