Saturday, December 31, 2005

MSM fabricators

The below post links to Michelle Malkin's blog, who hammers Kathleen Parker very hard (deservedly so) on her screeching anti-blog column, where Parker writes that newsrooms:

"...are filled with carpal-tunneled wretches, overworked and underpaid, who suffer near-pathological allegiance to getting it right.

Michelle mentions some of the recent lowlights (there are so many!) of those journalists who fell way short of "getting it right."

I have one addition to Michelle's list, former Chicago Sun-Times reporter Wade Roberts.

From the Chicago's Columbia College Chronicle:

"...Wade Roberts refused to accept the top spot in the newly created School of Media Arts. Then chair of the Interactive Multimedia Program, Roberts was appointed new dean in May 2001—a controversial move that resulted in Carolyn Hulse’s stepping down from her post as interim chair of the Journalism Department in protest of Robert’s credentials.

In 1985, Roberts was fired from the Chicago Sun-Times after his editors accused him of fabricating a story about a group of fans in a Texas bar during the Chicago Bears’ failed Superbowl bid. (My note, that game was a regular season contest, the Bears defeated the Dallas Cowboys 44-0, and the Bears went on to become Super Bowl Champs that season.) Roberts is currently acting director of the Interactive Multimedia Program...

Wade Roberts remains a member of Columbia College's faculty, you can find him in the Interactive Arts and Media Department of the downtown Chicago school.

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2005 blogging in review

Yes, 2005 was a great year for blogs--unless you're a mainstream reporter (I'll make exceptions for MSM reporters who do blog).

Michelle Malkin has a great rundown of the closing year's best moments in blogging.

As far as this blog, I take pride in helping along the Thomas Klocek-DePaul free speech story, as well as being among the earliest of the bloggers to sound the alarm on that vile group of military funeral protesters, Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church.

Here's to a great 2006. Happy New Year!

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Illinoisans to be able to "vote early and vote often" until 2008

We can't let that great tradition of vote fraud in Illinois just whither away, can we?

Not till 2008, according to AP. More from that article:

Even though they'll miss a Jan. 1 deadline to have voter fraud-busting measures in place, Illinois' top election official says current systems safeguard against abuse and authorities are making progress in complying with the federal Help America Vote Act.

The law, passed three years ago after the 2000 presidential-election snafu in Florida, requires states to have comprehensive voter-registration databases working by Sunday to ease authorities' search for duplicate names, removal of outdated registrations and other anti-deception measures.

Illinois is in a precarious position when it comes to complying with election laws, given its history. The adage, "Vote early and often" originated in Chicago, where decades of machine politics managed to get dead people to the polls and spawned the legend of thousands of votes for Richard Nixon in the 1960 presidential election resting at the bottom of Lake Michigan.

State Board of Elections Executive Director Dan White said Friday that a statewide database of voters was available to local election officials in 2004 so that they could compare their voter rolls to the state list. But the board still must create a two-way system, allowing counties and other local election bodies to send updated records to the state.

Of the statewide offices, all but one are held be Democrats, and all of those Dems are running for re-election in 2006. So voters will be able to fully participate in the 2006 state elections in Illinois, before the voter database is up and running two years later.

This message has been brought to use as a public service. And for more information on this topic, read Hugh Hewitt's If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends on It.

Interesting, isn't it, that this story comes out on a very low readership day.

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Christmas Muslim conversions to Christianity in France

Interesting story, much like the previous post, because of the source. This time it's Islam Online reporting.

At the Porte de Clingncourt underground terminal in northern Paris, a couple of youths are busy distributing gospels among passers-by in their annual tradition on the eve of the New Year. But most of the receivers were apparently Muslims and Arabs at the heavily populated Muslim area of Saint Quen.

“An increasing number of Muslims convert to Christianity especially on Christmas,” Fadila, a Parisian of Algerian origin, told while handing out gospels translated into Arabic to people of North African appearance.

“Arabs and Muslims are fed up with the badly damaged image of their faith [in the West] and escaped to the Messiah. Every Sunday the Church of Saint Quen receives a new batch of Muslims,” added Fadila, who converted to Christianity three years ago.

French Arabs have changed their names to spare themselves police and employers' discrimination, and dozens have opted for the new lease of life to escape the harsh reality.

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Gaza's gone out of control

And this is from the Arab News, a Saudi publication. It's likely that the situation is worse than described in this article.

Angry over the killing of a colleague, Palestinian policemen yesterday stormed the Rafah crossing point in the Gaza Strip and forced its closure for much of the day. The unarmed European Union observers — responsible for enforcing the terms of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement that opened the border last month — fled to a nearby Israeli military base.

Gaza has experienced a wave of shootouts, kidnappings and armed takeovers of government buildings in recent months, undermining Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ efforts to impose law and order in the wake of Israel’s withdrawal from the area last September. Two days after the abduction of three Britons, the police were completely in the dark about their whereabouts or the identity of their kidnappers.

(Those hostages were released yesterday.)

Just a real mess. These are the same people who one day could be in charge of, nominally I guess, of the West Bank.

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Friday, December 30, 2005

American Council of Trustees and Alumni blog on the "Scandal Fatigue" at DePaul

Second to last day of the year, and it's time for perhaps my last DePaul posting of 2005. A tipster sent this one my way.

From the blog of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni; the first two links go to Erin O'Connor's blog, the last to FIRE.

DePaul University deserves to be on the list of universities whose bad administrative behavior has been a repeated source of embarrassment this year.

Last spring, DePaul suspended adjunct professor Thomas Klocek for getting into an argument with some pro-Palestinian students who were promoting their views at an informational table. The students were offended that Klocek disagreed with their position, and filed a complaint against him. Without according Klocek the minimal due process of allowing him to face his accusers, and in blatant disregard for the free expression and open debate that is supposed to characterize university life, DePaul punished Klocek by removing him from the classroom and then defaming him. Klocek is currently suing the university for defamation of character.

This fall, DePaul confirmed the impression it created last spring: that it is a campus where a political double standard reigns supreme, and where individuals who do not subscribe to the university's official ideological orthodoxy are silenced and punished. DePaul paid political provocateur Ward Churchill thousands of dollars to come speak--but then punished the College Republicans when they sought to criticize both Churchill and the university's decision to invite him. When the CRs posted a flyer that protested Churchill's visit simply by citing Churchill's own words, they received a disciplinary warning and were banned from attending the follow-up discussion session with students Churchill had scheduled. When they protested this treatment, they were also banished from DePaul's Cultural Center.

DePaul has worked hard this year to shame itself publicly and to make it clear to all that it is not a university where a genuine concern for intellectual diversity and robust, open debate thrives. The university's culminating effort on this front was its bad faith response to FIRE when that organization intervened on behalf of the College Republicans. Misquoting school policy and misrepresenting the facts of the case, DePaul responded to FIRE that the university's actions toward the CRs was entirely consistent with school policy and that no wrong had been done. FIRE has gone public with the details now, after giving DePaul a substantial period of time in which to think better of its indefensible stance.

DePaul is now in for another fatiguing round of self-induced scandal. One might ask at this point what the university would do differently if it were actively trying to destroy its own reputation.

Incidentally, yesterday in the Chicago Tribune, free registration required, Kathleen Parker had a mainly negative column about bloggers.

This is the concluding paragraph:

We can't silence (bloggers) but for civilization's sake--and the integrity of information by which we all live or die--we can and should ignore them.

Well, speaking from my little corner of the blogosphere, the above paragraph is a load of garbage. The Klocek case is just one example of a story that has seen the light of day because of blogging.

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Welcome Right Wing News readers

Marathon Pundit was chosen as site of the day by Right Wing News!

Awesome! And thank you, RWN!

Welcome Eric Zorn readers

Chicago Tribune columnist is having a "Bloggapalooza" today with a rundown of what local bloggers think were the top stories of 2005. My choices can be found by scrolling down to yesterday's posts. Eric and I agreed that the Chicago White Sox winning the 2005 World Series was the top local story.

Eric's Bloggapalooza is here.

Some friends-of-the-blog took part too, including Rich Miller of Capitol Fax, Cal Skinner of McHenry County Blog, and Jason Hinds of "Song of the Suburbs."

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North Dakota: The nation's safest state

So says the attorney general of North Dakota in a Grand Forks Herald article, although driving-under-the-influence arrests are up.

The picture is from one of our family trips, this trip was in 2004.

Those pockmarks on the "Welcome to North Dakota" sign are bullet holes. There is room for improvement in North Dakota crime prevention.

UPDATE December 31: Commenter WC Varones suggested those bullet holes are a crime deterrent. Could be!

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Predictions for 2006 from the National Review

Can be found here. Some are unlikely to happen, some are tongue-in-cheek, some hopefully will happen.

Here's one from Victor Davis Hanson:

Serious social unrest in Iran by midyear.

More holocaust denial from the Tehran Times

Sad, but it must be a weekly feature at the Tehran Times, the World Weekly News (where Bat Boy Lives!) of Middle East journalism. This time the Times, a tool of the Iranian government, drags out Australian holocaust denier Frederick Toben to spill his sewage onto the internet.

Toben says that the holocaust was "a lie" and Israel was built on that "lie."

Holocaust denial, it seems, is becoming a very popular topic in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Call me an alarmist, but it's becoming clear to me that the Iranian government, by attenuating its demonization of Israel, is prepping its population for something more sinister than the name-calling against Israel it has engaged in since 1979.

I hope I'm wrong.

Below are recent some MP postings on the Tehran Times and holocaust denial:

Tehran Times interview with a holocaust denier(Nov 11)
Tehran Times cites DePaul's Norman Finkelstein in hateful
(Dec 11)
Tehran Times digs up another Nazi lover (Dec 26)

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Tea with terrorist lovers at Georgetown University

Earlier this month, Georgetown accepted a $20 million dollar donation from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia. Harvard received a gift for the same amount from the aforementioned Prince Wally.

The money for Georgetown, a Catholic university run by the Jesuit order, is designated for its Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. To be sure, there is no such Christian-Muslim Understanding Center in Saudi Arabia.

The prince first came to the attention of the American public in 2001, when Rudy Giuliani turned down an offer of $10 million for post 9/11 charities when Prince Wally emitted this remark at a ceremony where the prince announced his donation:

From CNN in 2001:

The prince's statement said the United States "should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause.

"While the U.N. passed clear resolutions numbered 242 and 338 calling for the Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip decades ago, our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of Israelis while the world turns the other cheek,"

This coming February, a group of radicals, the International Solidarity Movement, will descend upon Washington DC to for this event, according to Front Page Magazine.

The following announcement was put out to ISM activists in the United States:

Palestine Solidarity Movement

Fifth Annual Divestment Conference
("Fifth Annual National Student Conference of the Palestine Solidarity Movement")

Georgetown University

February 17 - 19, 2006

More information to come.

The Palestine Solidarity Movement is a front group for the International Solidarity Movement. Who is the International Solidarity Movement? They're a group of terror apologists who specialize in recruiting westerners to serve as protesters in the Middle East, indoctrinating them with the faulty logic that they enjoy some sort of de facto diplomatic-type immunity to do whatever they want to promote their version of "peace" in that part of the world.

That belief led to the unfortunate death of ISM protestor Rachel Corrie in Gaza in 2003.

It gets worse, though, for Georgetown.

From Front Page:

The Palestine Solidarity Movement has held national conferences on major university campuses four out of the last five years, first at UC Berkeley, then U Michigan, Ohio State and Duke University. At the last conference held at Duke University in 2004, Huwaida Arraf, one of the PSM's main organizers, admitted that the Palestine Solidarity Movement works with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, all illegal terrorist groups per the US state department. That particular event was also found to be an anti-Semitic hate fest which also produced articles in the campus newspaper later attacking Jews in America as a "privileged class." At the earlier event at U Michigan, chants of "Kill the Jews" were heard among the attendees. Divestment from Israel is a major theme, an attempt to hurt the Israeli population and force it to capitulate to PLO demands; in other words, an extension of the Arab boycott against Jews in the Middle East for having their own country. Public reaction to the 2004 Duke event no doubt made finding a venue for another conference difficult which might explain why there was no such conference held at a major university in 2005.

Clearly Georgetown University is a hotbed of radicalism. Oh, because of the "Don't ask, don't tell" controversy, GU is one of those universities that bans military recruiters from its campus. Those recruiters of course, are seeking soldiers and sailors to fight in the War on Terror.

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2005's top local stories: Cross blogging with the Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn

As I've noted before, Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune is an MSM reporter who understands new media. Last month, I contributed on Eric's Change of Subject blog for his November Month in Review posting.

Eric asked a whole bunch of Illinois bloggers to take part in his year-in-review entry on his site. Below is my view of things, Illinois-wise, in 2005. For the lesser-known stories, I've added links.

Top story: The Chicago White Sox end 88 years of World Series championship-free baseball in Chicago.

2) The various scandals involving the Governor Rod Blagojevich's administration.

3) The various scandals involving Mayor Richard Daley's City Hall.

4) The corruption trial of former Governor George Ryan.

5) The near-perfect season for the University of Illinois men's basketball team.

5) The scrum of Illinois Republicans lining up to run for statewide office in 2006.

6) The Chicago Bears coming out of hibernation.

7) The unraveling of Hollinger International (parent company of the Chicago Sun-Times).

8) The East St. Louis vote fraud convictions.

9) Campus free speech controversy comes to Illinois: Professor Jonathan Bean at Southern Illinois University, Former Professor Thomas Klocek of DePaul, and Ward Churchill's speech at DePaul.

10) Barack Obama's first year in Washington.

Look Eric's 2005 posting here.

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UMass Mao-book hoax-ster update

Mid-month, a University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth student made up a story that he checked out a book written by Mao Tse-Tung from that school's library and got a scary visit from the Feds for his effort.

Here's what the New Bedford Standard-Times wrote on December 17.

A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book."

Two history professors at UMass Dartmouth, Brian Glyn Williams and Robert Pontbriand, said the student told them he requested the book through the UMass Dartmouth library's interlibrary loan program.

The student, who was completing a research paper on Communism for Professor Pontbriand's class on fascism and totalitarianism, filled out a form for the request, leaving his name, address, phone number and Social Security number. He was later visited at his parents' home in New Bedford by two agents of the Department of Homeland Security, the professors said.

The professors said the student was told by the agents that the book is on a "watch list," and that his background, which included significant time abroad, triggered them to investigate the student further.

Lefty bloggers jumped all over this story with glee, since it gave them yet another opportunity to denounce "that fascist Bush." As I mentioned here last week, Teddy Kennedy bellowed his complaint about the Mao book "visit" from the authorities. (Free registration required on that last one.)

On Christmas Eve, the student confessed his sins to the New Bedford Standard-Times. The paper said they wouldn't reveal the scammer's name.

And UMass Dartmouth administrators told the liar that he wouldn't be punished. Bloggers such as InstaPundit cried "foul!"

Now a UMass professor, with the familiar sounding name of Clyde Barrow, joining the growing numbers who feel the fabricator should be punished.

From this morning's Boston Globe:

The head of policy studies at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth wants the university to suspend a student who made up a story about being grilled by federal antiterrorism agents over a library book and to reprimand faculty members who spread the tale.

Following the student's admission Friday that it was a hoax, Clyde Barrow, chairman of the policy studies department, said UMass should punish the student and faculty members, in particular two history professors who repeated the unsubstantiated assertion of the history student to a New Bedford Standard-Times reporter.

''It's unbelievable that this student is not being suspended for a semester," wrote Barrow, who said he does not know the student's identity. ''It's even more unbelievable that the faculty who jumped the gun on this story and actively promoted it on campus, the Internet, and blogs will walk away from their misconduct without any consequences."

Barrow said further in an e-mail to the Globe that the professors' apparent lack of skepticism came as little surprise to him because they are a ''dogmatic and zealous group of politically correct but chic anti-Americans."

This Barrow guy rocks. DePaul needs a guy like him.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Bloggers on the road

Tee Bee at Guide to Midwestern Culture is taking a circumnavigation tour of Lake Michigan. The Crazy Politico is certainly the only person on the planet who commutes between Zion, IL and Fredericksburg, VA. He's back in Virginia, with photos on his blog taken in Maryland.

Pat at Brainster is traveling too, and says his postings will be light. He's made such predictions before, and blogged a lot all the same.

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Patriot Guard Riders form to control Fred Phelps protests

Hat tip to Third Wave Dave again. The loudmouth kooks of the Westboro Baptist "Church" and the Reverend Fred Phelps have organized opposition against them, the Patriot Guard Riders. There have been significant counterprotests against Phelps, notably this bad day for the Westboro folks a few months ago in Tennessee.

I've been closely following the nuts from this church for almost six months. The congregation consists of Reverend Phelps and his 100 or so relatives and in-laws. Phelps first gamed infamy for picketing the funerals of AIDS victims in the 1980s.

The mentally unbalanced Kansan is operating under the delusion the God is punishing America for its toleration of homosexuality--he views each soldier's death as a message from God that America needs to "repent." The group's web site is here, it's called God Hates Fags.

For the most part, wrongly, the MSM has chosen to ignore Phelps and his protests. As often the case these days, once again, this is a blog-driven story.

Bill Hobbs' blogging ignited the August Tennessee protests. Some Soldier's Mom sounded the alarm in Arizona. Here in Illinois, Peoria Pundit and Capitol Fax filled in the sizable void that the local media left for us.

Michelle Malkin has more on her blog.

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Knight-Ridder writer latest to predict Iraqi Civil War

Previous predictions of post-Saddam civil war in Iraq have been wrong. Tom Lasseter of the Knight-Ridder Newspapers feels the Iraqis are getting ready for their Fort Sumter.

He writes:

Kurdish leaders have inserted more than 10,000 of their militia members into Iraqi army divisions in northern Iraq to lay the groundwork to swarm south, seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and possibly half of Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, and secure the borders of an independent Kurdistan.

Five days of interviews with Kurdish leaders and troops in the region suggest that U.S. plans to bring unity to Iraq before withdrawing American troops by training and equipping a national army aren't gaining traction. Instead, some troops that are formally under U.S. and Iraqi national command are preparing to protect territory and ethnic and religious interests in the event of Iraq's fragmentation, which many of them think is inevitable.

The soldiers said that while they wore Iraqi army uniforms they still considered themselves members of the Peshmerga -- the Kurdish militia -- and were awaiting orders from Kurdish leaders to break ranks. Many said they wouldn't hesitate to kill their Iraqi army comrades, especially Arabs, if a fight for an independent Kurdistan erupted.

The latest from our Saudi allies: No gym classes for girls

Our steadfast friend in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, has once again exhibited it's wisdom in handling women's issues: There will continue to be no physical education classes for girls at Saudi schools, as the Arab News reports.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Illinois may crack down on military license plate fraud

I see these license plates all the time here in the Land of Lincoln--commemorative license plates honoring Illinois vets who've been awarded Purple Hearts or Bronze Star. There are also special plates for ex-POWs.

Sadly, there are some fabricators of the autobiographical sort who have those license plates--and they haven't earned the right to place those tags on their vehicles.

Now, something may be done about that.

From CBS 2 Chicago:

It takes battle scars to earn the Purple Heart medal but only a military discharge to get an Illinois Purple Heart license plate.

Recent cases of fraud are moving politicians to crack down.


The bill itself provides for a $1,000 fine, but it could grow stronger. The bill will be ready for introduction to the state legislature this spring.

"It's wrong and it's ugly and we won't stand idly by and let it continue," said Secretary of State Jesse White.

The Illinois secretary of state, a veteran of the 101st Airborne Division, is pushing legislation that would make it a crime with a $1,000 fine for anyone who lies to get military license plates.

One more idea: Put their names in the local newspaper with an accompanying photograph.

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Too much Yuletide spirit: Bears-Packers Christmas Day game rowdiest of the year at Lambeau

And to top it off, the Packers are having a dreadful year. But let's give a congratulations to the 2005 NFC Champion Chicago Bears!

From AP:

Green Bay police say that while the Bears were taking care of the Packers on the field, officers were taking care of a record number of rowdy fans.

Sunday's game earned the dubious distinction of being the season's most disorderly in the stands. Police arrested 25 people and ejected 60 from the stadium.
Commander Ken Brodhagen says those numbers eclipse the rap sheet from a Monday night game in November. In that game against the Vikings, 15 people were arrested and 52 kicked out.

The arrests were for charges ranging from possession of marijuana and underage drinking to unlawful conduct and resisting an officer.

The ejections were for smoking or urinating in inappropriate places, disrupting fans and being disorderly.

And once again, the Green Bay Packers play at Lambeau, not Lambert Field.

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2006 Turin Olympics: Keeping an eye on terror

Looks like the Italians are doing a lot of sensible things in trying to prevent a 21st Century version of the Munich terror attacks at next year's winter games in Turin, as AP reports.

Fearing possible terrorism at the Turin Olympics, Italian authorities are conducting surveillance on "numerous" people through telephone wiretaps and other intelligence operations, an Italian security official said Tuesday.

Luigi Rinella, the Italian police's liaison with the U.S. government, said those under surveillance included suspected Islamic militants, but he stressed that anti-globalization protesters and anarchists could also make trouble during the Feb. 10-26 Games.

"Clearly at this moment, the sensibility is to groups that we call Islamic terrorist that are connected to al-Qaida," he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Washington.

Al-Qaida has been quiet lately, and would surely enjoy a comeback in a big way at such a high profile event such as the Olympics.

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The post Christmas respite is over at work. It was like waking up to find 3 feet of unforecasted snow outside. Hard to believe I just have one post today so far, and it's about Jeff Reardon.

Former Twins pitcher arrested on robbery charges

Another sports star has gone astray. This time it's Jeff Reardon, a former relief pitcher for the Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, and the Montreal Expos.

Those bloggers with the Northern Alliance won't be happy when they hear this news.

From AP:

Jeff Reardon, one of the top relief pitchers in history, blamed medication for depression after his arrest for a jewelry store robbery.

Police said Tuesday that the 50-year-old Reardon, retired since 1994 and sixth in career saves, walked into Hamilton Jewelers at the Gardens Mall (Florida) on Monday and handed an employee a note saying he had a gun and the store was being robbed.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Neil Steinberg on Muslims' "privacy violations"

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg, no fire breathing conservative, weighs in on the recent media reports that federal investigators have been testing radiation levels near mosques.

Would you feel offended -- persecuted, oppressed, trod upon -- if you discovered that the federal government had parked a van outside your church, bowling league, supper club, sniffing the air for excess radiation as part of a larger attempt to keep terrorists from blowing up an atom bomb in the center of the Loop?

Me neither.

So though this spot usually waves the flag for privacy, it holds less than the usual sympathy for the protests from Muslim groups, who feel wronged because the government for some strange reason feels that future terrorism might come from their direction, and has conducted a few rather desultory checks for heightened radiation levels.

Ignoring reality is a luxury we can't afford. It is ludicrous to waste limited security resources patting down Lutheran grandmothers as a smoke screen for checking guys from Saudi Arabia. Muslims in America have a legitimate grievance, but not with the United States government. I wonder how much they complain to those elements of their own culture that have placed them in this awkward situation in the first place? My bet: not much.

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Dershowitz, Finkelstein, and Chomsky

You need to be a subscriber of The Times Higher Education Supplement to see the whole article. If you want the whole thing, I've got a copy that was e-mailed to me, leave a comment below if you'd like to read the whole thing with your e-mail address.

DePaul's holocaust-minimizer Norman Finkelstein usually teams up with MIT's far-left guru Noam Chomsky to attack noted author and Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz.

But here, they seem to differ on the correct tactics to go after Dersh.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Noam Chomsky, for example, thought that he should focus on the "facts of the matter" with regards to Dershowitz and "his devastating refutation of Dershowitz's claims (either unsourced, or distorting the few sources) supporting Israeli criminal actions" rather than on the allegations of plagiarism, particularly since he says it is unclear what counts as plagiarism. Dershowitz, for instance, has responded to extensive claims by Finkelstein that he plagiarised from Joan Peters' From Time Immemorial (which argues that Palestinians do not have a strong claim to Israel) by saying that he may have used some of the same sources, but he had them checked independently from the original documents. Shlaim believes the plagiarism charge "is proved in a manner that would stand up in court."

Chomsky says he told Finkelstein that if he insisted on the plagiarism line, Dershowitz would "seize on it to try to evade the main topics", as would the media "which tend to prefer gossip to contents" and that this would marginalise "the crucial parts of the book, which have to do with the real world and what is happening to people - and for the US in particular, the decisive role the US is playing in blocking a political settlement for 30 years and supporting serious crimes". He adds: "The interesting question is what we learn about the intellectual/moral culture from the fact that [Dershowitz] can get away with it."

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Tehran Times digs up another Nazi lover

Some Canadian guy named Paul Fromm is featured in today's Tehran Times, and he's another of the Norman Finkelstein ilk who claims that Jews are using the holocaust for financial gain and political power. The Jew-hating at the Tehran Times has increased of late. Not a good sign going in to 2006.

Here's a quote of his:

The holocaust religion serves the purpose of controlling people. It buys Israel substantial immunity from criticism. It allows special treatment of Jews in most Western countries. It allows Jews to have disproportionate control of the media and the economy in Western countries, while all the while portraying themselves as a persecuted minority. Discussion of the holocaust would undermine the privileged and powerful position Zionists hold in most Western countries. Therefore, anyone discussing or questioning aspects of the holocaust story must be silenced.

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Another Marathon Pundit guest blog appearance

Marathon Pundit will be one of the participating bloggers on Eric Zorn's Change of Subject blog for his end of year review. Eric's a longtime Chicago Tribune columnist, and a one time Marathon runner. His Tribune blog is here.

The War on Christmas: The Chicago Front, A Marathon Pundit Exclusive

On December 17, Chicago attorney Andy Norman wrote the op-ed, Misunderstanding Constitution leads to censorship at school, decrying the secularists' attack on Christmas.

An excerpt:

Historically, students and teachers across America have celebrated the Christmas season by decorating classroom bulletin boards and Christmas trees, learning songs for the annual Christmas program and exchanging Christmas cards and gifts with classmates.

Yet, in recent years, misconceptions have arisen about the legalities of Christmas celebrations in public schools. As a result, many school officials have removed nearly all references to this historic day, including references to Jesus and the history of Christmas, and have begun new "traditions" that violate the Constitutional rights of students and teachers by prohibiting seasonal religious expression.

Daniel Elbaum of the Anti-Defamation League, disagreed, as he explained in his retort to Norman on December 22.

Here's an excerpt from his letter to the Sun-Times. (Note, this letter is no longer available as a free link on the Times' site.)

In ''Misunderstanding Constitution leads to censorship at school'' [Commentary, Dec. 17], Andy Norman overgeneralizes an important area of constitutional law and denigrates efforts to make our schools inclusive to students of all faiths and backgrounds. Norman writes that public school officials are not required to ''obliterate religious observance and expression.'' True, but the Supreme Court has made very clear that schools must not cross ''the laudable educational goal of promoting a student's knowledge of an appreciation for this nation's cultural and religious diversity, and the impermissible endorsement of religion.''

Now we (finally) get to the exclusive part. Marathon Pundit has obtained Andy Norman's response to the ADL letter.

Dear Mr. Elbaum,

I enjoyed reading your letter in the Sun-Times yesterday, which responded to my op-ed piece. You have a legitimate perspective and I agree with most of what you wrote. However, I'd like to correct two misimpressions. First, I am not simply dealing with isolated examples of political correctness run amok. There is a concerted attack in our country to drive the free exercise of religion completely out of the public square and even some private settings, which is highly offensive to many of us who were raised in the Judeo-Christian tradition. In the (false) name of separation of church and state our religious liberties are being eradicated. This is a critical issue because our country has always embraced and accommodated religion. Moreover, there is no better time to raise this than now, at the time of Christmas and Chanukah, when people are listening.

Second, I disagree with your "heckler's veto" implication for the same reason you accuse me of citing isolated examples of political correctness. Jewish children adjust easily to the concept that they are a minority and we should not fear such minor offenses. I am Jewish and grew up in East Rogers Park, a mixed neighborhood, in the 1960's. Yes, I was uncomfortable because I did not know the words to the Christmas carols we sang and did not celebrate Christmas. But it never occurred to me or any of my Jewish friends to complain, or try to stop the Christian celebrations. I knew then as I know now that we live in a Gentile culture and they are entitled to commemorate their faith; indeed God chose us for His people because we were small and nondescript, and knew that we would be minorities in the Diaspora. Deut. 7:7. It is my belief that the "heckler's veto" approach taken by the ADL over-emphasizes the Establishment Clause to the point of endangering Free Exercise Clause freedoms. This is a dangerous imbalance which we will continue to fight against.

Chanukah Sameach v' Baruch HaShem.

Andy Norman

There is a book by Fox News' John Gibson--I read the first 50 pages of my niece's copy last night--about similar scenarios, and it's called The War on Christmas.

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LAPD coming to Chicago to recruit cops at the Gay Games

The 2006 Gay Games will take place in Chicago. Actually, athletes don't have to be gay to participate in the festivities, and there is a marathon.....

Back to the reason I'm posting this. The Los Angeles Police Department will be in the Windy City in July at these games to recruit cops for the force in an effort to make the LAPD more diverse, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

There are gay people in Southern California, right?

Not only will the police force that formerly employed Sgt. Joe Friday be there to wook for a few good men and women, they'll be a co-sponsor of the games.

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One year ago: The Asian tsunami

The world remembers.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Marathon Pundit Christmas card

That's Little Marathon Pundit there, at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Merry Christmas!

Christmas greetings from the blogosphere

Merry Christmas from Cal Skinner at McHenry County Blog.
As well as Michelle Malkin.
Freedom Folks.
Cao's Blog, too.
And the Right Place.
And over there is Crazy Politico.
And from sunny and warm Australia, courtesy of Australian Politics.

Merry Christmas!

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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas from Marathon Pundit!

Here's one more Christmas card from the blog. One more tomorrow. Cal Skinner, yet another friend of the blog, mentioned in the comments section, "What no picture of a runner?" Well, here you go, Cal. Cal's internet home is the McHenry County Blog.

Blogroll addition: DePaulCA

DePaul student and friend-of-the-blog Derrick Wlodarz sent me a Christmas Eve e-mail telling me that the DePaul Conservative blog, DePaulCA, is up and running. It's because of Derrick and young Illinoisans like him that I'm confident Illinois will be a Republican state once again. The blog is here, and it's a good one.

A couple of DePaul odds and ends I wanted to get out there again, since a lot of new people have been visiting Marathon Pundit. One of the ironies of Ward Churchill's appearance this autumn at DePaul was that Todd Beamer, who shouted at "Let's Roll" on ill-fated Flight 93 on Sept. 11, was a DePaul alumnus.

And DePaul is one of the plaintiffs in the case FAIR vs. Rumsfeld. DePaul and other universities, organized as FAIR, are asking the government to take their side in okaying its ban on military recruiting on their campuses, in response to the Defense Department's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the armed forces.

Liberalism, for now, is deeply entrenched at DePaul. Big things have small beginnings, and DePaulCA may be the impetus for change there.

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News from Massachusetts: Another liberal hoax, and Solomonia contributes to new blog

Hat tip to Bill Baar's West Side for this first one. Did you know that some student Massachusetts checked out a book from a library on Chairman Mao, and got a visit from the FBI because of his literary interest? It's from the Universal Unitarian Service Committee Human Rights blog.

Media Nation cites an op-ed written by Ted Kennedy, or one of his staffers, parroting the same whine as the Unitarians on the Mao book tale.

Blog of M'Gath says this story is a hoax.

Shocking. (Sarcasm off.)

This is the original article, I think, about that Mao story, from a New Bedford, MA newspaper.

More news from the Bay State. Good friend of the blog, Sol from Solomonia, will be assisting Aaron Margolis with his Hub Politics blog.

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Friday, December 23, 2005

22 Democrats vote against Christmas resolution

From NewsMax again. This resolution was passed by the House of Representatives last week by an overwhelming vote of 401-22.

The text of the resolution read as follows:

Whereas Christmas is a national holiday celebrated on December 25; and

Whereas the Framers intended that the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States would prohibit the establishment of religion, not prohibit any mention of religion or reference to God in civic dialog: Now, therefore be it resolved, that the House of Representatives –

(1) Recognizes the importance of the symbols and traditions of Christmas;
(2) Strongly disapproves of attempts to ban references to Christmas; and
(3) Expresses support for the use of these symbols and traditions, for those who celebrate Christmas.

Those 22 who voted against the resolution were all (surprise!) Democrats. Here they are, they include my own rep, Loony Leftist Jan Schakowsy of Evanston, IL. Another member of the Illinois house delegation, Bobby Rush of Chicago's South Side, is an ordained minister.

Of course, the Democrats are by their own admission, having trouble connecting with "people of faith." It's easy to understand why.

Here are the Grinches of the Democratic Party:

Congressman Party-State District
Ackerman D-NY 5th
Blumenauer D-OR 3rd
Capps D-CA 23rd
Cleaver D-MO 5th
DeGette D-CO 1st
Harman D-CA 36th
Hastings D-FL 23rd
Honda D-CA 15th
Lee D-CA 9th
Lewis D-GA 5th
McDermott D-WA 7th
Miller, George D-CA 7th
Moore D-WI 4th
Moran D-VA 8th
Payne D-NJ 10th
Rush D-IL 1st
Schakowsky D-IL 9th
Scott D-VA 3rd
Stark D-CA 13th
Wasserman Schultz D-FL 20th
Wexler D-FL 19th
Woolsey D-CA 6th

Intellectual diversity of campus? No way!

So says this report available from Front Page Magazine. Hat tip to Steven Plaut.

NewsMax the latest major online publication to report on DePaul censorship

Posted Thursday evening on NewsMax.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Alistair Cooke's bones stolen by transplant crooks

The famed broadcaster, best known in the US for his years as host of PBS' Masterpiece Theatre, suffered the indignity of having the bones from his corpse stolen by body parts snatchers--those bones were sold for tissue transplants for about $5,000.

A Brooklyn, NY mortuary is under investigation for similar illegal sales of human bones and tissues, according to Britain's Daily Telegraph.

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Christmas at Arlington National Cemetery

Courtesy of Chicago bloggers Freedom Folks. Congrats on making it on to Malkin's blog.

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Head of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood leader calls holocaust a myth

And (see previous post) while we're on the subject of the holocaust, I came across this article on al-Jazeera this afternoon.

The head of the Muslim Brotherhood, the main opposition force in Egypt's parliament, has echoed Iran's president in describing the Holocaust as a myth.

"Western democracy has attacked everyone who does not share the vision of the sons of Zion as far as the myth of the Holocaust is concerned," Mohamed Akef said in a statement on Thursday.

"American democracy ... steers the world into the American orbit delineated by the sons of Zion, so that everyone must wear the Stars and Stripes hat and keep away from the Zionist foster child," he wrote in his weekly statement.

Also this afternoon, this AP article reports on the December 15 death of Dr. Heinrich Gross, an Austrian psychiatrist who'd been accused of taking part in Nazi atrocities and "experiments" at a clinic in the early 1940s.

Besides concentration and death camps, inhumane "research" on people was another evil manifestation of the holocaust, which of course Mohamed Akef says never occurred.

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DePaul: No friend of Israel

So said Bill Dennis yesterday in Peoria Pundit. Also yesterday, an online publication I hadn't heard of, Axis of Logic, published this op-ed by Mark Weber about his opposition to the United Nations' decision to name January 27 Holocaust Rememberance Day.

Axis of Logic has a whole section devoted to far-Left terrorism apologist Robert Fisk, so ths gives you an idea of what type of publication it is.

A little more than a week a ago, that halcyon for truth, the Tehran Times carried a slighly different version of Mark Weber's article, which I blogged about here. Axis of Truth has the whole thing in its unabridged ugliness.

Weber quotes Norman Finkelstein, an Assistant Professor of Political Science at DePaul University.

Norman Finkelstein, a Jewish scholar who teaches at DePaul University in Chicago, writes in his bestselling book, The Holocaust Industry, that "invoking The Holocaust" is "a ploy to delegitimize all criticism of Jews." He adds: "By conferring total blamelessness on Jews, the Holocaust dogma immunizes Israel and American Jewry from legitimate censure... Organized Jewry has ex­ploited the Nazi holocaust to deflect criticism of Israel's and its own morally indefensible policies."

Sounds like the stuff David Duke churns out.

Klocek, who defended Israel, is gone from DePaul, as prior posts explain.

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More lumps of coal in DePaul's stocking

It just keeps getting worse for Chicago's DePaul University. FrontPage Magazine once again adds to the discussion the Thomas Klocek free speech case.

This Phyllis Chesler article discusses campus Muslims crying "racism" every time someone doesn't agree with them.

Incidentally, Islam is not a race. They should be using the word "bigotry" instead of racism, as I digress into a William F. Buckley mode.

Okay, I'm back. This paragraph of Chesler's piece deals with Klocek and DePaul.

Then there is the 2004 case of De Paul university professor Thomas Klocek. Professor Klocek, who had taught at De Paul University for fifteen years, visited a student fair on campus and engaged in dialogue with some Muslim student supporters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. He defended Israel. He questioned whether Rachel Corrie had indeed been murdered in cold blood and whether Israelis were really treating Palestinians in the same way that Hitler treated the Jews -- as the Muslim students' literature and posters claimed. He insisted that "the Israeli Armed Forces have exercised very careful restraint in their responses to what has been almost daily suicide bombings." Whereupon eight students descended on the single professor. A verbal melee ensued. Despite their clear superiority in numbers, the students donned the garb of victims, complaining that they were "harassed" and "threatened." They further alleged that Klocek had made "racist remark." The students met with their advisors who alerted various administrative deans. The deans wasted no time capitulating to the student agitators. They apologized to the offended students and suspended Professor Klocek. As of this writing, a lawsuit is under way.

WorldNetDaily has a write-up too, based mostly on FIRE's interest in the College Republican free speech struggle there. (See previous post.)

WorldNet does a good job putting together, at the end of the article, a nice summary of Thomas Klocek and Ward Churchill articles.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

FIRE puts DePaul University's feet to the fire

Big hat tip to DePaul student Nick Hahn of My Political Agenda.

First, a flashback to Tuesday's Chicago Tribune article about Thomas Klocek's free speech struggle at DePaul University, as the Chicago college's president, Father Dennis Holtschneider, speaks out about free speech:

"I get accused of being against free speech," Holtschneider said. "But freedom of speech for students requires they have a professor who treats them with respect."

Well, the free speech problems at DePaul go beyond its reprehensible conduct in the Klocek affair.

FIRE, by the way, is short for Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

From the organization's mission statement:

The mission of FIRE is to defend and sustain individual rights at America's increasingly repressive and partisan colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience—the essential qualities of individual liberty and dignity. FIRE's core mission is to protect the unprotected and to educate the public and communities of concerned Americans about the threats to these rights on our campuses and about the means to preserve them.

Protecting the unprotected is FIRE's specialty, which is why it agreed to take up the cause of suspended DePaul Professor Thomas Klocek and the abuse of his free speech rights at DePaul.

It's apparent that the bullying of Klocek was not an isolated incident at the Catholic university.

On October 20, Ward Churchill spoke at DePaul. Churchill is best known for his comment that the victims of the September 11 terrorist attack were "Little Eichmanns," as in Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi bureaucrat who oversaw Hitler's holocaust.

The DePaul Republicans were almost completely stymied in their attempt to utitilize their free speech rights to protest Ward Churchill's on-campus appearance there. That speaking gig, it's important to point out, was partly paid for by tuition dollars.

It's believed Churchill was paid about $5,000 for his 90 minute speech.

FIRE has opened a second case against DePaul, the first one of course involved the Klocek incident.

Here is that new case, DePaul University: Censorship of Student Group Protesting Ward Churchill, which includes some really creative anti-Ward Churchill posters.

More from FIRE, specifically its online publication, The Torch:

DePaul = Deceit

Every so often, FIRE gets a case where the behavior of university administrators is truly mystifying. Our most recent case at DePaul is one example, and is the subject of today's FIRE press release. That press release, and particularly its related links, is chock full of information about how DePaul went about silencing a group that was critical of the university's decision to sponsor a campus lecture and workshop by Professor Ward Churchill. It's truly a chilling story.

Oh, that man who gets "accused of being against free speech," DePaul President Fr. Holtschneider, can be reached at

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News you missed: Vice President Cheney to lead coup in Iraq

Thank heaven for the Tehran Times. After all, even the New York Times overlooks important stories such as Dick Cheney's coup plotting.

I'm sure the folks at Democratic Underground will take this claim quite seriously.

From the esteemed Tehran Times:

During his meeting with the leaders of Arab regional countries, Cheney convinced them to recognize a government that would assume power in Iraq after a coup.

Therefore, it is quite certain that the U.S. vice president had taken the preparatory measures in Baghdad to stage a coup with the help of former Baath leaders, some members of Iraq’s minority communities, and Allawi.

The U.S. wants to stage a coup before withdrawing from Iraq in order to establish a secular government with Arab nationalist tendencies led by Allawi that would oppose the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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Castro, Chavez...and now Morales

The left has a new hero in Evo Morales, Bolivia's president-elect and latest champion of "the people."

The socialist is off to a predictable start: Today he reiterated his promise to nationalize the Bolivian oil and gas industries.

Of course he won't stop there, and what will result in about 10 years will be a completed destroyed economy.

Just like Castro's Cuba. The process is going on now in Chavez' Venezuela.

Oh, Morales is a coca farmer.

Buh-bye, Bolivia.

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Senate blocks ANWR drilling

Think about the move by the Senate to not allow the drilling of oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge when gasoline prices go back up to $3.00 per gallon next summer.

Syrian president stresses Iran's right to peaceful nuclear technology

So says the Tehran Times....

Is this suppossed to make us feel more comforatable with a nuclear Iran?

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stressed Iran's right to gain access to peaceful nuclear technology in accordance with international laws and regulations.

Making the remark at a meeting with the visiting Iranian Vice-President Hossein Dehghan here Wednesday, al-Assad hailed Iran's efforts in the political arena to safeguard the interests of regional countries.

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Saddam claims jailhouse beatings

Is this ploy a tactic of Ramsey Clark's legal strategy?

From AP:

Saddam Hussein launched into an extended outburst at his trial Wednesday, alleging he had been beaten and tortured by his Americans captors while in detention after a witness testified that his agents had tortured people by ripping off their skin.
Chief prosecutor Jaafar al-Mousawi said he would investigate and that if American-led multinational forces were abusing the former Iraqi leader, he would be transferred to the custody of Iraqi troops.

"I want to say here, yes, we have been beaten by the Americans and we have been tortured," Saddam said,, before gesturing to his seven co-defendants around him, "one by one."

After sitting quietly through several hours of testimony, Saddam said he'd been beaten "everywhere on my body. The marks are still there."

More on the Alstory Simon case...

Monday night Paul Meincke of ABC 7 Chicago became the latest local media outlet to report on the Alstory Simon/Anthony Porter case.

Anthony Porter was just a couple of days away from being executed, until Northwestern University Professor David Protess and some of his journalism students presented evidence to the state that not only blocked that execution, but led to then-Governor George Ryan pardoning Porter. In turn, the Porter case directly led to George Ryan's decision to commute all Illinois death penalties to life-in-prison.

Last month, Anthony Porter's civil suit against the City of Chicago ended with a victory for the defendant.

Walter Jones, an attorney representing the city made this statement during the trial:

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

Alstory Simon, the man who confessed to the murders Porter was originally convicted of, has now recanted.

He raises some interesting allegations.

From Paul Meincke's ABC 7 Chicago report:

Simon's confession meant freedom for Anthony Porter who was convicted and nearly executed for the Green-Hillard murders. His confession wasn't the only evidence against Simon. His estranged wife Inez Jackson Simon, after 17 years of silence, told private investigators and later a grand jury that her husband committed the murders.

Inez Simon's cousin Walter Jackson, who is in prison, signed a statement saying Simon told him years earlier that he had taken care of Jerry and Marilyn.

Case closed.

But in a recent interview taped for Simon's lawyers, Inez Jackson Simon, now suffering from years of drug and alcohol abuse, says she was not even in the park when the murders occurred.

Simon claims seven years ago she was coached and coaxed into fingering her husband with promises of money from future book and movie deals on the Anthony Porter story. Walter Jackson has now told Alstory Simon's lawyers that Simon never told him he was the killer.

But then what of his convincing confession given to a private investigator?

"He had me convinced this was my only way out. He had me convinced the police was coming to arrest me, and that they had enough evidence to put me on death row," Simon said.

Northwestern's Protess denies these new accounts of what occurred in the Green-Hillard murders.

However, I find it intriguing that an attorney in court made the statement that Anthony Porter was the real killer. This is a man with a lot to lose, not a jailhouse snitch

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Welcome Little Green Footballs readers

The next three posts are about the Klocek case and his free speech struggle with Chicago's DePaul University.

More Klocek: Ill. AAUP writer speaks out on the former DePaul prof

The Thomas Klocek news (I have two prior posts) is coming in bunches today. A tipster sent me this article, from the Illinois Chapter of the American Association of University Professors. The article is by John K. Wilson, it's there on the site, you just have to scroll down a bit.

An excerpt from A Tale of Two Professors Under Attack at DePaul:

The DePaul administration accuses Klocek of ‘threatening and unprofessional behavior,’ although it never specified any threats made by Klocek. AAUP guidelines protect extramural speech of all academics, including adjunct instructors. Removing an instructor for an argument outside of class is a violation of due process, and firing him is even worse. Extramural comments are only subject to punishment if they indicate professional misconduct, and hostile arguments may be unpleasant but certainly do not rise to that standard.

Although some critics point to Klocek’s firing as an example of political correctness, it primarily reflects the powerlessness of adjunct faculty and the corporatization of colleges where students are seen as customers and those who offend them will be removed.

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Thomas Klocek's free speech struggle with DePaul: A blog-ography

With this morning's article about the Thomas Klocek case in the Chicago Tribune, a lot of people are just now hearing about this sad story. So I thought I'd put together a series, by no means complete, of excellent articles and blog postings about this case.

Neil Steinberg and the Chicago Sun Times: In September, 2005, Professor Klocek read this Steinberg column. What Neil wrote was the intellectual basis of Klocek's ill-fated discussion with the Muslim students at DePaul.

That column was based on this op-ed by Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, the general manager of the al-Arabiya television network. This is the opening sentence of that article:

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.

March 1, 2005: My first posting on the Klocek case. The ABC 7 Chicago article that I based my blog entry is no longer available unfortunately.

Later that night, Michelle Malkin became the first big blogger to cover the Klocek story.

About two weeks later, the Chicago Jewish News published this excellent account of the what happened in the cafeteria at DePaul's downtown campus between Klocek and the Muslim students.

On March 19, Roger L. Simon, another big blogger weighed in.

The next day, mega-blogger Little Green Footballs made the Klocek case its "Outgrage of the Day." Many LGF visitors, 447 of them in fact, added comments to the Klocek posting.

The story was now everywhere in the blogosphere.

On March 22, Israeli Professor Steven Plaut published the first of his several articles about Klocek and DePaul. Plaut brought up DePaul's resident holocaust minimizer, Norman Finkelstein, in that column. Yes, Klocek, who defended Israel is gone from DePaul, but there is a professor who the Anti Defamation League called a holocaust denier among the DePaul faculty.

Around this time, Jay Ambrose of the Scripps Howard News Service wrote several columns about Klocek. Here is one of them, "A Question of Decency."

Chicago writer Richard Baehr has been a great supporter of Thomas Klocek, his well-circulated American Thinker piece hits DePaul hard.

Associated Press joined in on May 14, in this article by Nicole Dizon. It was published by many news sources--this reprint is from FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. That organization has been very supportive of Professor Klocek.

Klocek filed his defamation suit against DePaul a month later.

On June 20, the Klocek case was briefly mentioned on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor.

September 15 marked the first anniversary of Professor Klocek's discussion with the Muslim students at DePaul.

On October 10, John J. Miller's detailed account of the Thomas Klocek case appeared in the National Review.

Later that month, the hero of the extreme left, Ward Churchill spoke at DePaul. Churchill was paid about $5,000 for a 90 minute speech at the school's Lincoln Park campus to exercise his free speech rights. We all know what happened to Klocek when he tried to express his....

Ward Churchill's visit to DePaul gave the Klocek story new momentum in the blogosphere, as this press release points out.

There is plenty more "out there" in the blogosphere about Professor Klocek and DePaul, as the reader will learn by typing "Klocek" and "DePaul" into any internet search engine. See what you find.

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Chicago Tribune article on Thomas Klocek

Ron Grossman of the Chicago Tribune has written an excellent piece on Thomas Klocek and his free speech struggle with Chicago's DePaul University. Outside of ABC 7 Chicago, the local media until now has ignored this compelling story of political correctness gone out of control.

That article is here. Free registration may be required.

Since his suspension and de facto firing from DePaul after attempting to have a discussion about Israel in front of some Muslim students, Klocek's financial situation has gone from uncertain to frightening.

One thing I didn't know about Klocek, his father was a Chicago bridgetender. My maternal grandfather was too.

A few excerpts from that article:

Meanwhile, Klocek does what he long has -- eke out an adjunct's living. Just before 6 p.m., he parked the car at Daley College. Sensing the handful of students in his first class hadn't done the assignment, Klocek had them read it aloud. He has learned to cut a little slack for young people who come to class after a day's work.


Some newfound friends have turned his predicament into a demonstration of Karl Marx's proposition that history repeats itself: first as tragedy, a second time as farce. In his case, both are playing simultaneously.


"I'm not the ideal poster boy," Klocek said. "But freedom of speech is a cause worth fighting for."

I'll have more on Klocek and DePaul later today.

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Monday, December 19, 2005

Ohio man runs a marathon in all 50 states in 2005

Third Wave Dave sent this my way. This AP article discusses the accomplishments of Craig Holcomb of Streetsboro, OH, formerly chief financial officer at a company called Little Tikes. Holcomb quit his job, sold his home and ran 48 marathons, plus two ultra-marathons, in each of the 50 states.

All in one year.

Curiously, the AP article left out Holcomb's marital status.

Craig has a website that documented his achievement. I noticed in addition to running two ultramarathons, he actually ran three. Craig ran in Chicago's starcrossed and presumably now defunct Lakeshore Marathon: That Memorial Day race inadvertently--but stupidly--added an extra mile to the official marathon distance of 26.2 miles.

I ran two marathons in 2005, one of those, the excellent Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon, was one that Holcomb also ran.

Interestingly, there is a club, perhaps support group is more accurate, of runners who've run 50 marathons in 50 states. Craig is believed to be the first person who's achieved the 50 marathons in 50 states distinction in one calendar year.

A friend of mine finished his "50 marathon in 50 states" a couple of years back. I asked him upon completion if there was a "typical" 50-stater. He replied that for the most part, "the typical runner who does this is a retired person living in an RV and running 6 hour marathons."

Craig smashes that stereotype, he's just 38, and he won two of the marathons he entered: a race in South Dakota and one in Kentucky.

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House approves ANWR drilling

Well, it's about time! Hats off to House Speaker Denny Hastert for finally getting this through the lower chamber.

From AP:

House lawmakers opened the way for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and approved $29 billion for hurricane relief during an all-night session today, bringing their legislative year to a close.

The House also narrowly passed a plan to cut deficits by almost $40 billion over five years in legislation hailed by GOP conservatives as fiscal discipline and assailed by Democrats as victimizing medical and education programs for the poor.

The ANWR provision was attached to a major defense bill, forcing many opponents of oil and gas exploration in the barren northern Alaska range to vote for it. The bill, passed 308-106, devoted money to bird flu preventive measures and $29 billion to hurricane relief, including funds for reconstructing New Orleans' levees.

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Iran's descent into lunacy: All western music banned

Even classical music. If George Orwell was still alive, he'd say "I told you so!"

Will the Left jump up and scream "censorship?!?"

Will President Bush reciprocate and ban Iranian music? If he does, will anyone notice?

From AP:

Hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has banned all Western music from Iran's state radio and TV stations — an eerie reminder of the 1979 Islamic revolution when popular music was outlawed as "un-Islamic" under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Today, though, the sounds of hip-hop can be heard blaring from car radios in Tehran's streets, and Eric Clapton's "Rush" and the Eagles' "Hotel California" regularly accompany Iranian broadcasts.

No more — the official IRAN Persian daily reported Monday that Ahmadinejad, as head of the Supreme Cultural Revolutionary Council, ordered the enactment of an October ruling by the council to ban all Western music, including classical music, on state broadcast outlets.

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