Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Hello Marathon Pundit readers! I'm off for San Diego for a little more than a week.

I don't have a laptop, so I probably won't be doing any blogging. I will have my "ears open" and will still be working on the Klocek story. Let's just say I'm not (nor are others) done with this sad case of squelching academic freedom.


Monday, March 28, 2005

Klocek Update: Missing Link on Dean Dumbleton

Well, a lot of information on the Klocek case came my way late Friday. As you may have guessed, in addition to being a father and husband, I have a full-time job. And Sunday was Easter. Anyway, in my very long post from yesterday, I had this quote from Dean Susanne Dumbleton, of the School of New Learning (SNL) at DePaul from the DePaulia, which was published--I believe--in early October 2004

"Administrators discussed the situation with Klocek and determined that it was an isolated incident and not typical behavior for the professor, (School of New Learning Dean Suzanne) Dumbleton said. She further explained that Klocek has had an otherwise positive career of 15 years, and explained that he is a very well read, intelligent instructor who made an error in judgment. There had been no previous student complaints regarding Klocek's conduct and he had a positive relationship with the university."

Here some more from that same DePaulia article:

"In my meeting with the students on Sept. 23, I apologized to them for the insult and disrespect they had endured, acknowledged the seriousness of the offense, and informed them that this teacher had been removed from class. I repeat that apology now. I sincerely regret the assault on their dignity, their beliefs, their individual selves, and I continue to be saddened by the fact that they have experienced such pain at the hands of a person who taught at my school, which has defined commitment to social justice as one of its core values. Indeed, our mission says: “SNL deliberately works to shape a more just, livable world; to ensure that those who have historically been ignored, excluded, marginalized, oppressed and economically disenfranchised benefit from the many learning opportunities available through SNL and beyond. "

Okay, folks, at least to me, it looks like it's about Dr. Klocek's freedom of speech.

And here is the DePaulia link: "Special to The DePaulia: SNL seeks to resolve situation"

Sunday, March 27, 2005

DePaul staffer speaks out for Klocek follow up

After his fall semester suspension, Professor Klocek was offered a course in the spring, not the winter suspension, my tipster pointed out to me. The school I attended worked on semesters, so the quarterly system throws me off.

Also, I've been asked to focus on this excerpt from DePaul student Selma Nasser's letter to the DePaulia.

"Klocek is responsible for the education of our community. How can we be certain of his conduct within the classroom when he publicly disrespects DePaul students? An educator who betrays his responsibility and violates the student-professor code of ethics has no place at any respectable academic institution, let alone a teaching institution that prides itself on the noble mission of Saint Vincent dePaul. If a professor needs to have discriminatory views, the DePaul community should be protected from them. "

It seems to me that the administration of DePaul caved in, to "protect" its students from views a few people view as "discriminatory."

PC thought run wild.

DePaul staffer speaks out for Klocek

Yesterday morning I received an e-mail from a DePaul faculty member, a supporter of Professor Klocek. He sent some valuable links from the DePaulia, and gave me a rundown of his opinion on the suspension of Adjunct Professor Thomas Klocek.

In his e-mail, this staffer told me "DePaul's claim that there is no free speech issue involved strikes me as nonsense."

We spoke on the telephone last night (by mutually agreement, after the Illinois-Arizona game); we spoke for about an hour.

The incident in the DePaul cafeteria with the Professor Klocek and the two Muslim students occurred on September 15, 2004. This issue appeared on my source's radar screen later that month, when he (and the entire student body and faculty of DePaul, all 28, 000 of them) received an e-mail from DePaul President Dennis Holtschneider apologizing for two unnamed "insensitive" incidents by DePaul faculty members. One of the instances, it turned out, was the cafeteria confrontation involving professor Klocek and the Muslim students.

In the e-mail, Holtschneider states that the behavior of the two faculty members was in contrary to the DePaul philosophy of acceptance of other cultures, races, religions and sexual preferences.

Shortly after this e-mail was sent, the DePaulia, the school's weekly newspaper, published a detailed account of the cafeteria confrontation, "Loop professor takes heat for conduct."

Klocek came to one of the two Palestinian groups (UMMA and SJP) and began a discussion that apparently became quite heated by all accounts. According to my source, and this is mentioned in the DePaulia article, Klocek referred to a recent article written by Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, the general manager of Al-Arabiya news channel, entitled "A Wake-Call: Almost all terrorists are Muslims."

That opinion piece was written in the aftermath of the Beslan massacre on September 3 in southern Russia.

The opening sentence of the Al-Rashed article was "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. "

This DePaulia article also reported on Klocek's suspension from DePaul's School of New Learning, and also included this revealing paragraph:

Administrators discussed the situation with Klocek and determined that it was an isolated incident and not typical behavior for the professor, (School of New Learning Dean Suzanne) Dumbleton said. She further explained that Klocek has had an otherwise positive career of 15 years, and explained that he is a very well read, intelligent instructor who made an error in judgment. There had been no previous student complaints regarding Klocek's conduct and he had a positive relationship with the university.

Not to jump around too much, but note there is no mention of Klocek's " health issues that affected his teaching" which the university president referred to in an e-mail forwarded to me last week. See my Friday post.

A week or two later (not sure of the time line), this letter from the editor appeared in the DePaulia, written by Dean Susanne Dumbleton. It's a must read.

Here is the a key excerpt:

On Sept. 15, at the Loop Student Involvement Fair, these assumptions were violated. The students’ perspective was dishonored and their freedom demeaned. Individuals were deeply insulted.

Our college acted immediately by removing the instructor from the classroom. This is a part-time faculty member, whom the university contracts for individual courses. He has no further responsibilities with the university at this time.

In my meeting with the students on Sept. 23, I apologized to them for the insult and disrespect they had endured, acknowledged the seriousness of the offense, and informed them that this teacher had been removed from class. I repeat that apology now. I sincerely regret the assault on their dignity, their beliefs, their individual selves, and I continue to be saddened by the fact that they have experienced such pain at the hands of a person who taught at my school, which has defined commitment to social justice as one of its core values. Indeed, our mission says: “SNL (School of New Learning) deliberately works to shape a more just, livable world; to ensure that those who have historically been ignored, excluded, marginalized, oppressed and economically disenfranchised benefit from the many learning opportunities available through SNL and beyond.

To me, it sounds like an issue of academic freedom in regards to Thomas Klocek's troubles with DePaul.

Possibly, possibly, that may have been the end of it. But Selma Nasser, one of the students who involved with the September 15 discussions with Tom Klocek, in her words "re-lived the nightmare, the feelings of outrage, inadequacy, hurt and disappointment" when she saw the professor, once again in the school cafeteria.

In a letter to the DePaulia, Professor deserved harsher treatment, Nasser calls for Klocek's dismissal from DePaul:

"How could anyone in good conscience allow this incident to slide with anything less than his permanent termination and requiring his apology?"

As this is a very long post, I'm going to end it here from now. To summarize, for the winter quarter, Professor. Klocek, because of his "health problems" was offered one class to teach in the winter quarter, under the condition he accept monitoring via unannounced classroom visits. Klocek viewed this as demeaning--he refused and here we are today. He's been suspended without pay by DePaul, and as an adjunct professor, does not enjoy the protect of tenure.

There's a lot more to this story. Some of the minor details are just plainly wrong, according to my source. Look for some follow up details late tonight or early tomorrow. Then I go on vacation.

The final word comes from my tipster: "DePaul's claim that there is no free speech issue involved strikes me as nonsense."

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Fighting Illini win!

May not be able to blog aboug Klocek and his battles with the administration tonight. The emotional shock of the Illinois-Arizona game--Deron Williams is my early pick for the Man of the Century, has me tied in knots.. but Arizona was a worthy opponent, easily giving Illinois' it's toughest battle of the year.

Back to DePaul (as noted in prior posts, the host school for this game). Look for another post, or perhaps a couple. Let's just say this, to counteract the letter from the President of the University, more so than ever, I'm convinced it's about academic freedom.

Happy Easter to all of the Christian faith!

Thought I was going to take today off from blogging...

...but I've discovered more information on DePaul and Dr. Klocek. Busy day for me, but look for a posting sometime tonight, as I watch the Fighting Illini battle on DePaul's home court in the final game of the Chicago regional.

Friday, March 25, 2005

DePaul President Responds on Klocek

A friend of this blog forwarded this e-mail to me, from the DePaul University's President, the Reverend Dennis Holtschneider:

Thank you for your recent letter regarding adjunct instructor Thomas Klocek, and for the evident concern and ideals you hold deeply in your heart. As you might suspect, the early media accounts of this situation had omissions and inaccuracies, which were then repeated via Web sites and blogs.

Because this is a personnel matter and privacy rights must prevail, and also because this instructor is threatening legal action unless the university pays him a great deal of money, I am not able to respond in full detail. However, this issue is not about academic freedom. It is about inappropriate and threatening behavior.

DePaul University has great respect for academic freedom. You can findevidence of DePaul's commitment to the free exchange of ideas throughout the university--in the formal curriculum, the range of faculty scholarship, and our co-curricular activities. On a daily basis, faculty and staff are committed to fully exploring with students the most important ideas of our time, including difficult and contentious issues. Our mission leads us to engage ideas in ways that respect the dignity and worth of each individual. This commitment and mission applies to this incident, as well.

Last September, while students were passing out literature at a table in the cafeteria, Mr. Klocek confronted them in a belligerent and menacing manner. He raised his voice, threw pamphlets at students, pointed his finger near their faces and displayed a gesture interpreted as obscene. This continued for some time before other students in thecrowded cafeteria summoned staff help to intervene.

After conversations during which Mr. Klocek would not acknowledge the inappropriateness of his behavior, we reached a mutual decision that he would withdraw from his single-course teaching assignment, with pay and medical benefits, while he attended to personal health issues that we discovered were impacting his effectiveness in the classroom.

DePaul offered to give Mr. Klocek a spring quarter class assignment if he met with the students to apologize for his behavior and if the program director could drop by his class to ensure that the healthissues that affected his teaching were resolved. He refused.

As an adjunct instructor who is hired on an as-needed basis each term, Mr. Klocek does not receive the same privileges as full-time tenured professors. However, the university and its Faculty Council have encouraged him to file a grievance and receive the hearing he claims he was denied. In the six months since that suggestion was made, Mr. Klocek has not done so. Instead, his lawyer threatened DePaul with litigation and demanded a large sum of money. Then, he hired a publicist in an attempt to exert pressure to secure the financial settlement.

DePaul is continuing to honor its century-long tradition of academic freedom, open-expression, and due process. But DePaul also will continue to insist on the highest professional standards of behavior from our faculty and staff. Our students and alumni deserve no less.

Fr. Dennis Holtschneider, C.M.President

Quick notes, as I had a tough 11 hour day at work and I'm pretty tired:

The words "menacing" and "belligerant" were also used in DePaul PR spokesperson's Denise Mattson's description of Dr. Klocek's confrontation with the Muslim students.

In another e-mail, another friend of the blog remarked that--in a tip of that hat to the classic Clint Eastwood westerns--that there were eight students and one 58 year-old professor at the September 15 cafeteria showdown. What did the Muslims think, that the bespectacled Dr. Klocek was Clint's "Man With No Name?"

In short, I don't buy this explanation.

E-mail from DePaul Pres on Klocek

A tipster sent me an e-mail to my home account (I'm at work, and can only access my blog e-mail on my cell). Assuming there are no disclaimers within the e-mail, I'll post it in it's entirety tonight.

In a nutshell, the e-mail claims Klocek's health problems were hindering his performance.

Still, this didn't seem to be a problem prior to his "menacing" run-in with the Muslim students on Sept 15.

The president of DePaul did state that Dr. Klocek's lawsuit prevented the school from responding in a complete matter on the issue.

More later.....

Thursday, March 24, 2005

DePaul "digs in its heels" on Klocek

Scott Jaschik writes about Dr. Thomas Klocek in today's edition of Inside Higher Ed.

Here are some interesting excerpts:

"Klocek also isn’t afraid of letting people know that... he’s taught at DePaul for 15 years, and received strong student evaluations during that period..."

It goes on...

According to Klocek, he looked at some of the materials being given out by the pro-Palestinian group and argued with some of its members about what the materials said. “I tried to remind them of a number of perspectives, the Christian perspectives, on the conflict,” he said. Klocek, who is Roman Catholic, said that he considers himself a supporter of Israel, but that his main point that day was to point out the terrorist acts committed by Palestinians.

Klocek acknowledges that “there was a certain amount of raised voices,” especially when four students from the Muslim group joined the four students from the Palestinian group in debating him. But he said “no one was pushed or shoved or threatened.”

According to Klocek, he eventually decided to leave and made a gesture ("thumbing of my chin") to indicate “I’m out of here.” The students reported that the gesture was obscene.

Denise Mattson, a spokeswoman for DePaul, described the dispute in a different way. She said that the students noticed Klocek before he stopped by their table, walking back and forth and “acting in an odd way.” Once he arrived at the table, he was ‘belligerent” and “menacing,” Mattson said, shaking and pointing his finger very close to students’ faces. He was so threatening that other students who were present “ran to get help from staff, saying that students were being attacked by a professor.”

Mattson said no physical attack took place, and that the closest anything came to it was when Klocek threw some of the materials he picked up back at the students. And she said that Klocek returned to the activities fair even after university officials asked him to leave.
She said that the subject of the argument had nothing to do with the university’s concern. “It could have been about anything,” she said. “DePaul took action because we had to protect our students.”

Okay, there is always more than one side to a story, as best exemplified in the classic Akira Kurosawa film Rashomon.

I'm going to side with Dr. Klocek on this. Fifteen years on the job, with mostly positive feedback. A wise administation would side with the professor too.

Let me return to one of Denise Mattson's comments: “DePaul took action because we had to protect our students.”

And Denise admits "no physical attack took place."

Klocek, did point a finger, though.

Question for you, Denise: What did these students need protection from? Do they need to be protected from viewpoints that they disagree with???? Do they need to be protected from the holocaust denial professor, Norman Finkelstein, too?

Denise can be contacted via various methods, shown below. As always, please use this information responsibly.

Denise Mattson
Assistant Vice President for Public Relations
Phone: (312) 362-6225
Cell: (312) 420-9637
E-mail: dmattson@depaul.edu

Klocek case discussed on Michael Medved Radio Show

Several tipsters here have informed me they heard the the case of suspended DePaul professor Thomas Klocek being discussed on Michael Medved's radio show. Michael was in town broadcsting from North Park University on Chicago's north side yesteday Tuesday and Wednesday.

Medved's show only recently became available here in the Chicago area (on WIND 560), so I've only been listening to him for a couple of months. Knowing what I know about Michael's political and ethical philosophies, I'm pretty sure he was very supportive of Dr. Klocek and came down very hard on the stonewalling bureaucrats at DePaul.

There's a link on Medved's site to this March 11 Klocek article from Front Page magazine, written by Joel Mowbray, entitled Muzzled by Muslims. The article comes down hard on DePaul administration, especially the Dickensian named Dean Dumbleton.

As posted below, here once again is Dean Dumbleton's e-mail address: sdumblet@depaul.edu

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Shocking: DePaul has a Jewish holocaust denial professor

DePaul University is still pretty silent about the protection of Dr. Thomas Klocek's "free speech" rights. A huge hat tip to Steven Plaut of ChronWatch, who discovered that, get this, a holocaust denier who is also Jewish as an assistant political science professor. Read all about that here.

A revealing if not horrifying excerpt:

Depaul's sudden horror at the supposed "unprofessorial behavior" by Klocek (they allege he made an impolite hand gesture to Muslim students who had been calling him names) stands in sharp contrast with the university's record regarding Norman Finkelstein, the most openly anti-Semitic Jew on the planet. Depaul employs Finkelstein as anassistant professor in political science, this after Finkelstein got fired from two NY area adjunct teaching jobs (at NYU and Hunter College) because of his pseudo-scholarship and fraudulent rantings against Jews and Israel.

Finkelstein is a disciple of Holocaust Denier David Irving and claims Irving is an authoritative historian. Finkelstein refers to the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis as the "Six Million" in quotation marks and says that nearly every Holocaust survivor is a fraud and a thief and a liar. (Finkelstein's own parents are Holocaust survivors, and Finkelstein has long tried to capitalize on this as a way to legitimize his own anti Semitism. The psychiatry department at Depaul might have interesting things to say about this.)

Finkelstein routinely libels Holocaust survivor, philosopher, and writer Elie Wiesel in scurrilous terms. Finkelstein is the star on every Holocaust Denial neonazi web site on earth, serving as the "Jew who proved there was never any Holocaust." He has been denounced as a fraud and anti-Semite by Alan Dershowitz, historian Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Dennis Prager, Professor Omer Bartov, the World Jewish Congress, and just about everyone else on earth, gentile or Jew. The NY Times compared Finkelstein's book to the old czarist forgery, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, ever popular with Saudis and Counterpunch columnists. Last year Alan Dershowitz made wiener shnitzel out of Finkelstein in a public debate. So naturally, Norman Finkelstein recently became the poster boy for the anti-Semites over at Counterpunch.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Who to contact at DePaul about Klocek

A tipster sent the first two along: Let them know how you feel about DePaul's treatment of Dr. Thomas Klocek:

John B. Simon, Chair of DePaul's Trustees
Jenner & Block
One IBM Plaza
Chicago, IL 60611-7603
Office: (312) 923-2921
Fax: (312) 840-7321
Email: jsimon@jenner.com

The Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., Ed.D.
PresidentDePaul University1 E. JacksonChicago, IL 60604
Office: 312-362-8890
Fax 312-262-6822
Email: president@depaul.edu

Oh, I found this one on my own (via Yahoo! search) , and by scrolling through this post on Little Green Footballs

Susanne Dumbleton
Dean of the DePaul School of New Learning
( 312) 362-6733
Email: sdumblet@depaul.edu

The rest of these came from the above mentioned LGF post.

DePaul Ombudsman:
Email: eudovic@depaul.edu

Bridget K. Butwin
Vice President & General Counsel
(312) 362-8052
Email: kbutwin@depaul.edu

John J. Kozak, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Email: kozak@depaul.edu

Brenda Wilson-Hale, J.D.
Vice President for Development
Email: bwilsonh@depaul.com

Elizabeth F. Ortiz
Senior Executive for Institutional Diversity
Email: eortiz4@depaul.edu

Please use this information responsibly!!!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Other bloggers supporting Klocek

Two superb blogs, Roger L. Simon and Little Green Footballs, have weighed in on the Thomas Klocek case. Roger L. Simon's take is here, and Little Green Football's viewpoint, the March 20 "Outrage of the Day" is here.

For those interested in learning more about Dr. Klocek's (pronounced Klo-check) situation, scroll down a few posts. Here on Marathon Pundit, I orginally commented on Klocek's situation on March 1, this ABC 7 Chicago article was the inspiration for that, and of course subsquent postings. Other than this Chicago Jewish News article, that local media has been strangely silent on the Klocek story. The local newsradio station, WBBM 780, had an March 1 article, since pulled (too old?)

The national media, and of course the bloggers are doing a much better job getting this story out. Let's hope the Chicago area media finally jumps into the fray.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

More support for Klocek

Jay Ambrose wrote about Dr. Thomas Klocek in the Manchester Union Leader earlier this week. See my blog post for Wednesday. The Naples Daily News--free registration required--has Jay's update on Dr. Klocek. The professor's not doing well, but at least this story, and the story of hypocrisy within academia, is finally starting to get out.

As it was kind of cumbersome to register for the Naples Daily News, I'm printing Jay Ambrose's article in it's entirety. He seems like a nice guy (we've exchanged a couple of e-mails, so I hope he doensn't get mad). But register for the Naples Daily News after you read this!

Squashing speech at DePaul ,The new McCarthyism wrecks the career of a professor at DePaul.

By JAY AMBROSE, via SHNSMarch 18, 2005

Back in September of last year, Thomas Klocek did what you'd think is perfectly OK for a professor to do — mandatory, even, for one who is intellectually honest and believes it his mission to challenge students to think clearly and know what they are talking about.

It may have wrecked his life, however, when he stopped at a table at a student-activities fair to debate for maybe 20 minutes with students maintaining that Israel was murderous in its treatment of Palestinians.

He argued back. Israel, he said, tries to avoid civilian casualties in warring against terrorists, but Palestinian suicide-bombers don't care who they kill as long as they are killing Jews. He talked about how Christians have been persecuted in that part of the world with hardly a murmur of protest by others. He quoted a prominent Muslim spokesman who had observed that the vast majority of Muslims aren't terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims.

In the end, he was angry and the students were angry, but angrier still, it seems, was the administration of DePaul University, which suspended Klocek from further fall teaching with pay but without the hearing called for in the rules of how faculty members are supposed to be treated.

The dean of the School of New Learning gave him no chance to face those offering their accusatory version of the exchange, and it has now in effect fired him. Some planned teaching assignments were canceled, and no new ones have been coming his way.

I talked on the phone to Klocek, this recent victim of a politically correct, new McCarthyism that is crushing free speech and stinking up DePaul and a scary number of other American universities. He is a 58-year-old man whose savings are nearing depletion and who is now trying to survive by borrowing money and piecing together jobs providing him maybe 15 percent of what he had been making. Afflicted by a potentially fatal kidney disease, he is also worried about how he is going to find health insurance if DePaul drops him from its insurance program.

On top of that, he agreed in answer to a question, the emotional impact has been huge. Think about it. You are not tenured, which is to say, you are among the least privileged faculty members on campus to begin with. For 14 years you do the tough work, teaching the courses no one else wants to teach and taking on whatever unpleasant duties others are avoiding. You belong, though. You love teaching, writing and critical thinking. And then one day, you're nothing, even though you find out through freedom-of-information laws that student evaluations of your performance over your time at DePaul have been overwhelmingly positive.

To justify its pummeling of him, the administration has said that it's his attitude and threatening behavior toward students that's at issue, but no one says he threatened anyone. Yes, when one student said Israel was to Palestinians what Hitler was to Jews, he walked off, thumbing his chin. Was this obscene? No. I checked around various sources, including a Google search on the Internet, and what it means is you irritate me, I've had enough, I'm through with this.

Polite it definitely was not. But this is a reason to smash his career? Of course not.

Let's save Klocek. He has lawyers, and he may win a settlement in court, but he would rather stay out of court. He'd rather get back to doing what he was doing. Maybe if enough people who care about free speech and plain old human decency would write DePaul and otherwise make their concerns known, the university will do what is right.

It's worth trying, and we may deal the new McCarthyism a much-deserved blow along the way.

Jay Ambrose, formerly director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Chicago Jewish News on DePaul's Klocek

Well this is the best and most in-depth article about Dr. Thomas Klocek, the DePaul Univerity professor who has been suspended for views that Palestinian students at DePaul have deemed "racist." It's the cover story of the Chicago Jewish News. A must read.

Edited March 27, 2005. The article from the Chicago Jewish News on Professor Klocek is no longer available online. It is available on Free Republic. However, there are a couple of graphic photos posted (that have nothing to do with DePaul and Klocek) as follow up posts on the Free Republic thread. Rough stuff, so I don't recommend that you scroll past the article. That being said, the original Chicago Jewish News article can be found here: "GAG ORDER: IS DePaul University silencing a professor for his pro-Israel views?"

Congressman: Take McGwire's Name Off Highway

From AP via CBS 2 Chicago:

ST. LOUIS (AP) Mark McGwire was so popular in St. Louis after his 70-homer season in 1998 that a stretch of Interstate 70 was named after him.

Now, a St. Louis congressman who was part of the House Government Reform Committee says McGwire's name should be removed from the highway over his refusal to say if he used performance enhancers.

William Lacy Clay says he was disappointed in McGwire's testimony yesterday. He says baseball fans want to know if McGwire was using steroids when he set the home run record.

In 1999, a five-mile stretch of I-70 through St. Louis was named "Mark McGwire Highway."
The chairman of the state Senate Transportation Committee says McGwire's name will remain, as far as he's concerned. Senator Jon Dolan says McGwire was and is a hero to Cardinals fans.

The CBS 2 Chicago link is here, the article is reposted in its entirety.

The US Postal Service as a rule, does not put people on stamps until ten years after they've died. Presidents get on a stamp after a year. Good rules.


I saw investment analyst Wayne Rogers on Fox News this morning. Yeah, he's the former "Trapper John" from M*A*S*H*. His post Hollywood life has turned out well, which is why he isn't doing infomercials on low-wattage UHF TV stations at 4am.

Wayne mentioned that not a single refinery has been built in the United States in over twenty years. Now that ANWR drilling will become a reality, we will need refineries to make this crude oil into something useful, such as gasoline. Less crude, in other words.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Obama on ANWR

Well, ANWR, that is the bill to allow drilling for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, passed the senate yesterday.

Three Democratic senators crossed the line and voted for to support drilling there. Both of Hawaii's senators as well as Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. Senator Barack Obama, D-IL, just this past Monday, as I blogged here on that same date, said this:

"And if you turn on the news, you can see that our dependence on foreign oil is keeping us tied to one of the most dangerous and unstable places in the world.''

Obama voted against the ANWR bill, which will help us lessen our dependence on foreign oil.

So much for "vision" from a "New Democrat"

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Manchester Union Leader shows DePaul Prof Klocek support!

Although it is a paper based in a small market in a small state, the Manchester (NH) Union-Leader is a very influential publication. In an opinion piece written by Jay Ambrose, writing about the "New McCarthyism" in America, he shows how this McCarthyism is making America an unhappy place. A place where a hard left professor such as Ward Churchill gets support from the liberals defending his right to free speech. Churchill claims among other things, that America is a fascist state, and the 9/11 victims pretty much deserved their fate.

But if that free speech does not play-along with left-think, even the crazy-left variety, then suddenly some individuals have fewer free speech rights than Ward Churchill. Such is the case the Harvard President Lawrence Summers and DePaul Professor Thomas Klocek. I've blogged about Dr. Klocek here, and I will continue to support his case. Read here and here about him.

And here is the Union-Leader article referenced above.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

...And so it begins....

...And so it begins....Those are the words King Theoden said to Lord Aragorn at the beginning of the battle of Helms Deep in "The Two Towers."

As virtually everyone knows, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (my alma mater) is the number one ranked basketball team in the nation and they have an excellent chance to win their first hoops national championship.

The team nickname is the "Fighting Illini." The Illini, or Illinois Indians were a tribe based in the north central part of the state. That state is of course called Illinois.

The mascot for the Fighting Illini is Chief Illiniwek, who has represented the football and basketball teams for the unversity since the 1920s. About 2o years ago, activists began complaining that the Chief is "insulting" to Native Americans. And racist In my opinion, the Chief is insulting to these activists. Your "man on the street" Indian could care less about Chief Illiniwek one way or the other. And some probably like him!

Still, complaining about racist mascots is an excellent way to get media attention. Especially when it involves a top-ranked team. Which why this afternoon the up-until-now unknown Illinois Native American Bar Association filed suit in Cook County Court (135 miles north of Urbana-Champaign, but very close to many media outlets) to essentially, kill off the Chief.

They say Chief Illiniwek is a racist caricature and "violates civil rights." I guess we have to wait for the suit to go to trial before we'll learn how the Chief violates peoples' civil rights.

And if the Fighting Illini go to the Final Four, expect more civil rights violations.

David Limbaugh on Hyde

David Limbaugh has been following the possible Henry Hyde retirement, and spoke with a rumored candidate for that seat, State Senator Peter Roskam. It's in David's blog.

Henry Hyde Retiring?

Nationally, Henry Hyde is best known for his role as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee during the Clinton impeachment proceedings. Henry's been an effective conservative force in the house since arriving in Washington in 1975. According to this Chicago Sun-Times article, it looks like Henry's present term will be his last.

Democrats in Illinois are eyeing this seat as a pick up for their side, Democratic Congressional Committee chairman, Rep. Rahm "Gollum" Emanuel (D-Chicago) thinks so at least. Afterall, Melissa Bean defeated Phil Crane in a district with similar demographics here in the Chicago area last year.

"Gollum" won't be that lucky, if Hyde's seat is an open one next year. Crane was aloof and the Republican party in Illinois was asleep last year. With a strong GOP challenge against Governor Rod Blagojevich likely, look for the Illinois Republican party to keep Hyde's seat. And maybe defeat Bean, too.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Obama pushing Ethanol, after voting against Clear Skies

And if you turn on the news, you can see that our dependence on foreign oil is keeping us tied to one of the most dangerous and unstable places in the world.''

So says Senator Barack Obama in this AP article.

Of course, there is oil in northern Alaska, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I don't believe Obama has articulated a position on this, but I'm pretty sure Obama will follow the DNC party line and oppose drilling there. Alaska in not dangerous or unstable, the last time I checked.

And last month, in discussion about the Clear Skies Act (a coal friendly bill) , Barack, in a media tease, "let on" he was considering voting for it. There is a plenty of coal here in the USA, and in southern Illinois. But Obama followed the DNC line last week, voting against it.

New York Times says Saddam has WMD in '03

Well, according to the New York Times, no friend to the Bush Adminsitraion, Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq really did have weapons of mass destruction, but moved them to a neigboring state prior to hostilities breaking out two years ago.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

New veteran's monument in Marseilles, IL, close to I-80

I was referred to this site by a Free Republic poster named Wingrider. Motorcyclists from Illinois, the Illinois Freedom Run, have raised money and built a memorial in Marseilles, IL, not far from I-80, the nation's most travelled interstate. The memorial honors all American troops who've give their lives in all the Middle Eastern conflicts since 1980.

In addition to the Marseilles memorial, the Illinois Freedom Run has been placing small memorials throughout the state on various highways. They hope to do something by this May for the Paris, IL based National Guard Unit, the 1544th Transportation Co. (blogged about here), a group the suffered heavy losses in Iraq.

Here is their site.

Cigarette tax hikes to benefit terrorism?

Since the 2001 recession state governments, to make up for lost revenue, have turned to an old reliable to bring in more cash: the sin tax. As fewer people smoke, non-smokers such as myself can laugh and say "They're being taxed and I'm not."

Well, it just may be that states such as Illinois that are considering drastically increasing taxes on cigs, might be reaching the point that people who keep getting pushed, pushed and pushed, may be ready to push back. Smuggling (buying smokes from a state with cheaper tobacco taxes, such as Indiana), or purchasing cigarettes tax-free over the Internet, will be the way to go for significantly more of the otherwise "law abiding" citizens.

Leave it to Daniel Pipes, however, to come across an article from the San Francisco Argus which warns that our enemies in the War on Terror may attempt funding their evil causes through cigaratte smuggling. Not good news.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Boeing CEO: Beware the Ides (or just before) the Ides of March

Harry Stonecipher, the 68 year-old CEO (until this past Monday) of Chicago based Boeing, had a bad start to this week. He got fired for having an affair with 48 year-old Debra Peabody, a Boeing VP. Since getting dismissed from the aerospace giant, Harry's wife has filed for divorce--after 50 years of marriage.

Should Harry now files suit against Pfizer, manufacturer of Viagra?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Lawyer sues himself, accidentally, in Madison County, IL

Madison County, IL is in the Metro East part of the state, that is, the Illinois side of the St. Louis sprawl. In early January, President Bush visited Metro East, touting his since passed class-action suit reform bill, which switches jurisdiction for many of these cases to federal courts. Shrewd lawyers loved to pick Madison County to file such cases, knowing that crazy jurors and even crazier judges are in abundance there.

Well, you can find crazy lawyers there too. Perhaps he's suffering withdrawl symptoms, but according to the Madison Record, Alton attorney Emert Wyss accidentally sued himself by suing a company he owns. Alton is in, you guessed it, Madison County.

Hat tip to the excellent online conservative journal, the Illinois Leader.

Obama no longer posturing on Enviro-vote

Last month I posted here that Barack Obama was only posturing when he claimed he was considering voting for the Clear Skies Act, which would greatly benefit the coal mining industry, once a major employer in southern Illinois.

His stance was a phony one, in my opinion, as he was playing the media in an attempt to appear "open-minded" and "thoughful" as he prepares for his eventual presidential run.

Well, he voted against that bill yesterday. He follows the party line just like that obstructionist Dick Durbin. Besides, Obama doesn't need much support from southern Illinois to get re-elected.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

More on the DePaul professor

A few posts back, I commented on a DePaul University professor who's been suspended for practicing his version of free speech. But unlike phony-Indian "Psycho" Ward Churchill, the usual crowd of lefties isn't lining up to support Thomas Klocek of DePaul University. Klocek criticized "the Palestinian cause" and Muslims in general. There are more details here from the DePaulia. We have not heard the last of this story.

Some closure to the Dave Matthews Dumping incident

Back in August, a tour boat was dumped with 80 gallons of human waste from a motorcoach. Speculation almost immediately centered on a tour bus for the Dave Matthews Band. Today, the driver pleaded guilty to the charge. There's still some civil cases out there, but this story is just about over.

I have to mention it, but Dave Matthews Band was part of the anti-Bush Vote for Change tour last fall.

I'm back!

Some things came up, but now I'm back!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Peoria Pundit on the Lefkow killings, Matt Hale

Go to Peoria Pundit scroll down a bit if you have to. You'll get a lot of good insight on World "Church" of the Creator founder (and East Peoria native) Matt Hale, and of course the Lefkow killings.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Tragic death of a marathon runner

Today's Chicago Tribune has a very sad story about Ivan Gomez, who I ran with a few times last summer in conjunction with the Chicago Area Runners Association Marathon Training Program. Ivan was an aspiring boxer who ran into some troubles with the law, suffered from substance abuse problems, and seemed to be moving past his troubles.

Boxer lost fight with demons

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Free speech??? DePaul University professor in trouble over anti-Palestinian comments

Much has been made of "Psycho" Ward Churchill's free speech rights by the left. In a little know case, a DePaul University professor (not tenured, unlike Ward Churchill) made comments, that according to ABC 7 Chicago:

"The students claimed professor Klocek's arguments were racist and hurt their feelings. They went to the dean of the school and 10 days after the debate the professor was suspended without a hearing," said John Mauck, Klocek's attorney.

It continues:

DePaul student Ben Myer witnessed Klocek arguing with the group students for justice in Palestine.

"As I was walking over, professor Klocek was explaining to my colleagues that there was no such thing as Palestinians, that they don't exist. He made aggressive gestures toward the students. He approached in a very confrontational way," Myer said.

Mainstream views? Probably not. But many non-politicized historians of the Middle East have written that the Arabs of Palestine were immigrants to what is now the state of Israel to seek work from the Jewish immigrants during the late Turkish and British Mandate eras of the Holy Land.

But his views are certainly not as imflammatory as the acid spewed by "Psycho" Ward Churchill of Colorado Univeristy, who called the 9/11 victims "little Eichmanns." Eichmann, as in the head of the Nazi death camps, Eichmann.

Read the rest of the ABC 7 article here.