Thursday, August 31, 2006

The latest from our Saudi allies: Wife's ownership of a camera phone leads to divorce

Here's the latest happenings from our lovable Saudi allies. Remember, when invited to a Saudi wedding, do not give a camera phone as a gift.

From the Arab News:

Ten years and five children later, a Saudi man decided to end his marriage. The reason? He discovered that his wife owned a camera phone. The Al-Watan daily reported yesterday that the man became incensed when he learned that his wife had owned the phone for the past two years and never told him about it. He demanded that his wife get rid of such a tool of moral corruption, but she refused and he divorced her. The two are now in divorce court bickering over child custody.

My advice: Seek counseling.

Related posts: The latest from our Saudi allies: Sale of dogs and cats banned in the Kingdom

The latest from our Saudi allies: Police accuse maid of driving car

The latest from our Saudi allies: Man faces 500 lashes for bowing before dancer

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

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Chicago setting for Bush assassination film

The Sheraton Hotel is somewhat isolated, as unlikely as that sounds since it's located just northeast of Chicago's Loop, so it's the place where presidents coming to Chicago usually speak at, or stay a few nights--as Bill Clinton did when the Democratic National Convention was in Chicago ten years ago.

The US Secret Service likes the place.

So the idiots who made a movie about a successful assassination attempt against President Bush did their research.

From NBC 5 Chicago:

A provocative new film about President George W. Bush is about to hit the Toronto Film Festival.

It's a mock documentary called "Death Of A President" and portrays Bush being assassinated.

The film is set to be released in October 2007, and film shows the president being gunned down here in Chicago as he leaves the Sheraton Hotel. The film's director said it's meant to be thought provoking, not sensationalistic.

He said it explores the effect the assassination would have on the war on terror, and on American society.

Bullshit. If that was their point, they could've put a "Bush-like" president as the target in the film.

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Aussie PM to Muslims: Learn English, integrate

Australia seems to be having the same problem integrating Muslim immigrants that Europe faces, and to a lesser, here in USA. The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, seems to be taking the right approach, as Australia reports:

John Howard has singled out Muslim migrants for refusing to embrace Australian values and urged them to fully integrate by treating women as equals and learning to speak English.

The call for a shift in attitude among some Muslims infuriated community leaders last night, and comes as The Australian can reveal the Prime Minister's own Islamic advisers have already accused Mr Howard and senior ministers of fuelling hatred and mistrust by using "inflammatory and derogatory" language.

Mr Howard said: "There is a section, a small section of the Islamic population, and I say a small section, which is very resistant to integration."

"Fully integrating means accepting Australian values, it means learning as rapidly as you can the English language if you don't already speak it," the Prime Minister said during a radio talkback discussion.

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DePaul's Finkelstein: "We are all Hizbullah now."

Jew hating Jews are becoming a growing species on this planet. Which brings to mind this apocryphal quote by Vladimir Lenin:

"The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them."

Which takes us to this article by Paul Bogdanor in the Jewish Press:

"If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide." – Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbullah commander

"I say this without fear: for those who believe in freedom and dignity, we are all Hizbullah now." – Norman Finkelstein, Jewish anti-Zionist

That any human being could proclaim his support for a movement whose goal is to annihilate all the world's Jews must be shocking to the normal observer. That a Jew could take this position seems all the more astounding.

Yet Norman Finkelstein, university professor and best-selling author, is by no means unique among Jews in his allegiances. His mentor, Noam Chomsky, has publicly embraced the murderous Sheikh Nasrallah. In fact, during the recent war, Chomsky was among several Jewish signatories to an open letter offering "solidarity and support" to the "resistance" in Lebanon and Palestine – meaning Hizbullah and Hamas. And these pledges of loyalty to genocidal fanatics have become quite common among Jews who distinguish themselves by their hatred for Israel.

Finkelstein, as regular visitors to this blog know, is an assistant professor of political science at Chicago's DePaul University.

As for myself, I believe in freedom and dignity, and I'm defiantly opposed to Hizbullah, Hezbollah, or whatever Western spelling is in use today.

Here's a Finkelstein funny: Yesterday on his website he called the head of the Anti-Defamation League "The Grand Wizard." Check out the subhead.

Hat tip to Steven Plaut, again.

Related post: Prof. Klocek to be interviewed on Constitutional Public Radio Friday afternoon

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Report: University of Illinois to drop Chief Illiniwek mascot

The current Chief Illiniwek graduates next spring, so this appears to be a good time for my alma mater to cave in to the forces of political-correctness.

From AP:

Chief Illiniwek will likely no longer be the official symbol of the University of Illinois after this year, according to a published report.

Citing unidentified university sources, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday that the university tentatively plans to drop the controversial American Indian mascot at the end of the men's basketball season this year, leaving open the possibility that the school's teams could host NCAA events in the spring.

The NCAA has deemed Illiniwek and his dance a "hostile and abusive" use of American Indian imagery, and Illinois is barred from hosting postseason NCAA events. The athletic association placed Illinois on its list of noncompliant schools last August and has upheld its decision through two university appeals.

In June 2004, the university's Board of Trustees adopted a resolution establishing a process to seek what it terms a "consensus conclusion" regarding Chief Illiniwek's future. It set no timetable for reaching that conclusion and maintained as late as June of this year that the process is ongoing.

Despite howls of protests that the Chief is offensive to Native Americans, this study came up with surprising results.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

White Sox beat Devil Rays, gain ground in AL wild card race

For the second straight game, the Chicago White Sox played poorly but managed to defeat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Although the Rays have never been a good team in their decade of existence, for some reason, the White Sox struggle against them.

But in the game two of the three-game series, the Devil Rays did their job and handed the White Sox two gift-wrapped victories, highlighted by a Tampa Bay two error eighth inning that allowed the White Sox to win tonight, 5-4.

The game was aired on broadcast TV, so I'm hoping my mother got to see some of it. (See below post.) While growing up on Chicago's South Side in the 1930s and '40s, she got hooked on the Sox when their top players were future Hall of Famers Ted Lyons and Luke Appling.

After my father died, she got away from following the team, but got drawn in again last season during the White Sox World Series run last year.

Minnesota lost this evening, so the White Sox are now 1 1/2 games ahead of the Twins in the AL wild card race, and the South Siders are 4 1/2 games behind the Detroit Tigers, who split a double header tonight with the New York Yankees.

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My mother had a bad fall last night

My mother had a fall down the stairs last night and broke her hip. Her spirits are as good as you could expect, but if you want to send Marathon Pundit's mother a get well greeting, send it to:

Mrs. Janet Ruberry
Palos Community Hospital, Room 433
123rd Street and 80th Avenue
Palos Heights, IL 60463

Give her a blogger's hello!

Baldness cure? Hope for 47% of the population

As for myself, will I live long enough to see this at the local pharmacy, and will my insurance pay for it?

From AFP:
In a finding that could help treat an inherited form of baldness, a research team in Manchester claims to have discovered a protein "code" that instructs cells to sprout hair.

By sending the code to more cells than usual, the scientists at the University of Manchester say they were able to breed mice with more fur -- a feat that could potentially be replicated in humans.

"During human development, skin cells have the ability to turn into other types of cells to form hair follicles, sweat glands, teeth and nails," explained Denis Headon, who led the research.

"Which cells are transformed into hair follicles is determined by three proteins that are produced by our genes," he said.

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Prof. Klocek to be interviewed on Constitutional Public Radio Friday afternoon

Thomas Klocek, fresh from a Sunday night appearance on the Andrea Shea King Show, Central Florida's top talk outlet, will grace the airwaves of Florida again this Friday. This time, he'll be a guest on Constitutional Public Radio, where Andrea is joined by her partner Mark for some terrific talk radio.

Broadcasting from Florida's Space Coast, CPR is beamed from AM 1510 WWBC. If you're outside their broadcast area, you can listen on the internet.

As regular visitors of this blog are aware, Professor Klocek a longtime DePaul instructor, was fired after expressing his free speech rights in an out-of-classroom discussion with some Muslim DePaul students.

Sunday's show was recorded by DePaul student Derrick Wlodarz, a member of the DePaul Conservative Alliance. It's a great listen and available here.

Preceding Professor Klocek on Friday will be blogger Kitty Myers of the Kitty Litter blog--she'll be on at 3:30PM Eastern (2:30PM Central). Professor K. will be on at 4:05PM Eastern, (3:05PM Central).

What's become known as the Thomas Klocek Affair began almost two years ago when Klocek walked past a couple of exhibit tables of Students for Justice in Palestine and United Muslims Moving Ahead.

Andrea and Mark have a chatroom set up, and I'll be there Friday afternoon, while listening to the show.

In addition to being radio talk show hosts, Andrea and Mark have their own blog, Radio Patriots.

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CAIR still silent on Fox News reporters forced conversions

Fox News journalist Steve Centanni and his cameraman Olaf Wiig were kidnapped, and since released, by Islamic radicals earlier this month.

During that ordeal they were forced to convert to Islam. Both men have since recanted.

As I noted on Sunday, this is a favorite Qur'an verse of those apologists of Islamic terror:

Sura 2: 256. Let there be no compulsion in religion.

CAIR is still silent on these "conversions."

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Saudi Arabian Airlines: Women, off thee to "the back of the house"

I've read snippets here and there about Muslim groups complaining about some Muslim women being discriminated against in the workplace because they choose to wear the veil. The belief is that these women, according to this line of thinking, are shunted off to generally less lucrative positions in "the back of the house," such as shipping, customer service, and bookkeeping. Client and customer-facing position, taking their argument one step farther, pay more, so veiled Muslim females get paid less, and therefore they're discriminated against.

I have no idea if any of this is true.

The next time I hear this complaint, I'm going to forward my post to whoever makes it. I'll ask them why don't they blow the whistle on the same thing happening to women in Saudi Arabia.

From Wednesday's Arab News:

Saudi Arabian Airlines announced yesterday that it would not employ Saudi women in the future as flight attendants, crewmembers, or as ground support staff.

Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper mentioned in July that the carrier was studying the replacement of non-Saudis with Saudi women. But in an interview with Arab News, Saudia Director General Khaled Al-Mulhim said this would not happen. "We are studying the employment of women, but I do not think it would be as stewardesses or as employees working at airports,” he said. "The employment would be limited to departments which are ready to have women employees and not on-board flights or at airports."

That means, "the back of the house."

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Gilligan's Island SS Minnow up for sale

Have some extra money? Need a three hour tour? Here's the ticket:

From Australia:

The ship that stranded the crew and eclectic passengers of 1960s' television classic Gilligan's Island on an uncharted desert island following a torrential storm is up for sale.

The SS Minnow set out on a "three-hour tour" with actor Bob Denver (Gilligan) and his gang, who wound up as castaways for three years on US primetime television, and their buffoonery was replayed around the world for many decades.

"It's the same boat that was on Gilligan's Island ... They used it when they went out on the water," said agent George Schultz, who is selling the boat for a retired friend, Canadian Scott Taylor.

The vessel, named after former US Federal Communications Commission chairman Newton Minow, whom show creator Sherwood Schwartz was quoted as saying "ruined television", is the third of four boats used in the sitcom, according to a fan website.

Perhaps Geraldo Rivera can do a special on prime time television searching for Mr. Howell's riches.

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Chicago chef busted for serving foie gras

When he's not (scroll down a couple of posts) part of the Democrats jihad against Wal-Mart, Chicago Alderman Joe Moore is ridding the city of the menace of foie gras, a duck liver delicacy opposed by many animal-rights activists on the grounds of animal cruelty.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
A daily special at a Lincoln Square restaurant has triggered the first -- and only -- official complaint stemming from Chicago's controversial ban on foie gras.

A caller to the city's 311 non-emergency system complained that foie gras was being served over the weekend at Block 44, 4365 N. Lincoln. The restaurant is not refuting the claim.

Rick Spiros, the chef at Block 44, acknowledged that he served "about eight orders" of foie gras on Friday night even though he knew the liver delicacy is illegal in Chicago. It wasn't an act of defiance, so much as a desperate effort to avoid wasting expensive food, he said.

"I had a couple pieces left over, and I just got rid of it. I just did it. I'm a bad chef, I guess. People loved it. People bought it. One person complained? I'll take the slap on the wrist. I'm not in fourth grade. I had the decision to make, and I served it. Whatever the repercussions are, I'll deal with it," Spiros said.

Mayor Daley, who also opposes the Wal-Mart ordinance, didn't veto the foie gras ban, but said there are more important things Chicago's City Council should be looking into than a gourmet item that until recently was served in about a dozen Chicago restaurants.

Related post: Mayor Daley says phooey on Chicago foie gras ban

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12 year-old Scottish girl feared kidnapped by father for arranged marriage

I wonder what the Muslim Council of Britain, the UK version of Council on American Islamic Relations, will have to say about this story?

From Tuesday's Scotsman:

An international hunt has been launched for a 12-year-old girl after she was allegedly abducted from her home in Stornoway and taken to Pakistan, amid reports she is to be married to a man of 25.

Molly Campbell went missing from school on Friday. It is believed she was taken by her father and elder sister and flew with them to Lahore.

Police say they want to reunite the girl with her mother, Louise Campbell, her legal guardian.

Last night reports quoted Molly's grandmother as saying she feared the schoolgirl had been taken to become a child bride.

Molly's father is a Pakistani, and a barbarian as well. The grandmother says that Molly doesn't know the man (not that knowing him would make it okay), and like most 12 year-olds, Molly "wants to stay with her mum."

Molly should be sent back, unharmed, to Scotland immediately. And her father, Sajad Ahmed Rana, should be surrendered by the Pakistanis to British police and charged with kidnapping, child abuse, and child endangerment. For starters.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Dems overreach on anti Wal-Mart jihad getting more notice

Friend of the blog Marshall Manson over at Edelman e-mailed me a couple of columns that hammers home the point that the Democratic Party's jihad against Wal-Mart could be a self-defeating venture for the Democratic Party.

And defeats are something the Democratic Party experience regularly, so it should be no surprise that the Dems are pursuing a foolish venture.

Robert J. Samuelson of Newsweek and Sebastian Mallaby of the Washington Post have go into more detail in their respective columns.

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Klocek Florida radio interview from Sunday night audio available online

Thanks to Derrick Wlodarz for tuning in last night to Andrea Shea King's WDBO AM 580 (Orlando) interview of former DePaul professor and free speech champion Thomas Klocek.

You'll find Tom Klocek and Andrea Shea King here.

Derrick is a member of a rarity at Chicago's DePaul University: A group espousing common sense, the DePaul Conservative Alliance.

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DePaul's Finkelstein crosses the line, again

On his website, DePaul Assistant Professor Norman G. Finkelstein posted a reprint of a Financial Times article about the uproar among Argentinean Jews who noticed that money from their fellow Argentines is being sent to Hezbollah.

Here is the subhead of Finkelstein's reposting:

Isn't it time to surround the Simon Wiesenthal Center and levitate it...over a cliff?

Beyond repulsive.

Hat tip to Steven Plaut in Haifa.

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Chicago suburbs say "Wal-Mart, yes"

The continued short-sightedness of Chicago's alderman in regards to Wal-Mart becomes more striking when considering that Chicago's suburbs, some of them such as Niles that directly border the City, are welcoming Wal-Mart with open arms.

From this morning's Chicago Sun-Times:

While Chicago politicians debate the big-box ordinance, suburban officials say they are thrilled to collect Wal-Mart Stores' hefty tax dollars, and they express no qualms about the wages Wal-Mart pays.

Indeed, suburban leaders say Wal-Mart has helped invigorate once-moribund shopping centers because other retailers are eager to open near a Wal-Mart. Two shuttered Montgomery Ward department stores now house thriving big-box retailers as a result of Wal-Mart's entry into north suburban Niles and south suburban Lansing, officials said.

The Austin community on Chicago's West Side is counting on a new Wal-Mart store to help boost its fortunes, too. Wal-Mart has already hired more than 400 of the 500 employees who will work at the store at 4650 W. North Ave., site of a long-abandoned manufacturing plant. The store is scheduled to open Sept. 19.

But Wal-Mart has put off plans to build 20 more stores, most of them SuperCenters that sell groceries, inside Chicago's city limits in the next 10 years until the big-box ordinance's fate is decided.

The under-construction Niles Wal-Mart, pictured, that border suburb's second, is two miles from Chicago's city limits. It opens on October 18, I plan to be there for the grand-opening.

The other Wal-Mart in Niles is a half mile from the City.

In Chicago, 2.25 percent of most retail sales goes to the City. The "big box" living wage" ordinance, unless vetoed by Mayor Daley, will probably mean 8,000 fewer jobs for Chicago residents. Wal-Mart is looking to build these SuperCenters in inner-city neighborhoods, where there is a paucity of decent retail shopping.

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Sunflowers at dusk

The Marathon Pundit family enjoyed a late afternoon picnic at the Linne Woods Forest Preserve in Morton Grove, Illinois.

I took these photos with my Canon digital, just steps from the North Branch of the Chicago River.

Related post: Sign of late summer: Sunflowers

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Blogroll addition: Thomas Klocek Free Speech & Academic Freedom Support Group

Friend of the blog, filmmaker Grant Crowell, has set up a blog of his own, Thomas Klocek Free Speech & Academic Freedom Support Group. He's off to a good start, compiling a multimedia library on clips involving this important free speech.

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UPDATED! Tonight! Fired DePaul professor and free speech proponent Thomas Klocek to be guest on Andrea Shea King show

There is a chatrooom feature. Chat with Andrea (and friends) live!

Thomas Klocek will be the guest on the Andrea Shea King Show tonight at 10pm Eastern, 9pm Chicago time.

Klocek was a popular and respected 15 year adjunct professor at DePaul University in Chicago, the nation's largest Catholic college who was fired after a heated discussion with some Muslim students outside of the classroom.

Constitutional Public Radio broadcasts from Orlando, Florida on AM 580 WDBO. If you don't live there, you can listen on the internet.

Regular visitors to Marathon Pundit have read about the Klocek case. Now you have the opportunity to hear it from the professor's own words.

Andrea and her producer Mark have their own blog, Radio Patriots.

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Centanni and cameraman released after forced conversion to Islam

Kidnapped Fox News journalist Steve Centanni and his cameraman Olaf Wiig were released by their captors this morning in Gaza.


From Fox News:

Both of the men were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint, Centanni said.

"We were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint," Centanni told FOX News. "Don't get me wrong here. I have the highest respect for Islam, and I learned a lot of good things about it, but it was something we felt we had to do because they had the guns, and we didn't know what the hell was going on."

Apologists for Islamic extremists such as CAIR like to quote this Qur'an verse:

Sura 2: 256. Let there be no compulsion in religion.

Although CAIR did call for the release of the two Fox News journalists, as of 12:15pm CDT they're silent on Centanni and Wiig's forced conversion.

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Georgetown U. banning Protestant ministries from campus

Hmmmm...Georgetown University's most famous alumnus is a Southern Baptist, former President Bill Clinton. Despite his liberal leanings, Bubba has enough common sense to know that the Washington DC Catholic college has left the Kingdom of Heaven and entered the Kingdom of Moonbats.

From Saturday's Washington Times:

Georgetown University has banned outside Protestant ministries from holding on-campus events and using the school's name, prompting group leaders to question whether the prestigious Catholic school is restricting religious choice.

"All we're wanting is diversity," said Kevin Offner, a staff leader for InterVarsity Graduate Christian Fellowship. "We're simply saying, 'Can't we worship and conduct our meetings in a way appropriate to our tradition?' And it feels like [Georgetown is] saying 'no.' "

In a letter last week to leaders of the campus's Affiliated Ministries, the Rev. Constance C. Wheeler, a Georgetown Protestant chaplain, said that "as a result of our new direction for the upcoming academic year, we have decided not to renew any covenant agreements" with the groups.

The decision -- which affects a few hundred students belonging to six Christian groups -- forbids the ministries from having any "activity or presence" on campus, including worship services, retreats or helping students move into their dorms.

Georgetown, meanwhile, recently accepted a $20 million dollar gift from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal to open a Center for Christian-Muslim understanding.

This despite the fact that there is almost certainly not a similar institution in Saudi Arabia.

Georgetown is home to one of America's pre-eminent Islamic-terror apologists, Professor John Esposito. His good work has not gone unnoticed, as Esposito gained a mention in David Horowitz' latest book, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America.

About that Saudi prince, Alwaleed bin Talal. If his name sounds familiar, it's because he's the same guy who, while attempting to donate $10 dollars to 9/11 victims in 2001, sneaked in this statement, claiming that the US, "should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause."

New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani of course refused to accept Bin Talal's check.

But let's not be too hard on Georgetown, though. Perhaps the school is holding out for a $20 million donation from the Reverend Jerry Falwell.

Hat tip to Ed Lasky of the American Thinker, with an assist from Richard Baehr.

Related posts: Tea with terrorist lovers at Georgetown University

Georgetown, DePaul and some other schools: No military recruiters, please

Pro Hezbollah petition online

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Mr. Right has a Cindy Sheehan photo caption contest up

Cindy Sheehan, that world traveling (who pays those bills?) "Peace Mom" is the gift that keeps on giving. Mr. Right sets up a Sheehan Lampoon-alooza photo caption contest here.

Visit him, cheer him up. He's upset as I am that the White Sox lost a big game last night.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Pajamas Media Blog Week in Review's latest podcast is available

The August 25 edition of Pajamas Media Blog Week in review is downloadable here. Free weekly subscriptions are available at the iTunes site.

Joining moderator Austin Bay are Daniel Drezner, a recent Chicago resident, and Gerard Van Der Leun of American Digest, Pajamas Media editor-in-chief. In discussing the never ending Iran problem, it is Van Der Leun, not Drezner, who speaks of a "Chicago Way" in confronting the Iran mess--using force. Although none of the panelists think the Chicago Way (it's a tip of the hat to The Untouchables movie), is a likely scenario.

The possibility of our enemies using oil as a weapon is another topic of discussion.

Looking ahead for stories to watch for in the next week to ten days, Drezner predicts a new round of Wal-Mart bashing as the annual Labor Day analyses of why unions are struggling in the 21st century are written.

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Thomas Klocek defense fund seeking donations

There are quite a few expenses involved in the legal work involved in legal work regarding Professor Thomas Klocek in his battle for his free speech rights against DePaul University. A fund has been set up to pay for some of the costs of justice.

Send contributions to the below address:

Thomas Klocek Defense Fund
C/O Cole Taylor Bank
PO Box 88481
Chicago, IL 60680

For more on the Klocek affair, here is the Foundation on Individual Rights in Education file about his case.

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Another big series for the White Sox: Twins in for three

The White Sox are coming off a disappointing series split with the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers. As I've commented before, the Central is "where the action is" this year in Major League Baseball. The Twins are just a half-game behind the White Sox for the AL Wild Card spot. The Sox are 5 1/2 games behind Detroit.

The weekend the White Sox host the Twins for a three game series. The South Siders are off to a quick start, they're leading the Twins 3-0 in the fourth inning. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians are in front of the Tigers, so the Sox can do a lot tonight to help their cause in their battle to win an American League playoff spot and successfully defend their World Series title.

As for the Twins, Brad Radtke, a top Twins pitcher, is pitching with a partially-torn rotator cuff tonight. Tough and admirable, but I still hope the White Sox win.

UPDATE 10:40PM CDT: The Sox squandered that three run lead; the Twins beat the White Sox 5-4.

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More marathon fibbing by a politician?

It seems that marathon running and politics don't mix.

Republican Congresswoman Jean Schmidt gained national attention when Democrat and Iraq war veteran and Paul Hackett gave her a scare when she ran for election to win what was thought to be a safe seat in congress in a by-election in Ohio last year.

Now she's getting some more unwanted attention. As I discovered in 2004 writing for Blue States for Bush, Kerry's claim to have run in the Boston Marathon could not stand up to scrutiny. He lied.

From the Cincinnati Post:

State elections officials agreed Thursday to examine a complaint accusing U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt of doctoring a photo on her Web site to embellish her performance in a 1993 marathon though records back her claim.

The photo of Schmidt, who received a public reprimand in April from the Ohio Elections Commission for claiming on her Web site that she had two college degrees when she had only one, depicts the suburban Cincinnati Republican near the finish line at the Columbus Marathon.

A time clock shows 3:19:06 - for 3 hours, 19 minutes, 6 seconds - which would have made her one of the top finishers. But a newspaper article listing the overall winners does not include Schmidt, said Nathan Noy, of Piketon in southern Ohio, who is seeking to run as a write-in candidate against Schmidt in the November election.

Noy said he believes the photo may be fake and suggested that Schmidt never even participated in the event. In the photo, Schmidt is not casting a shadow on the pavement while other runners are, Noy said.

A couple of clarifications. The Post is wrong about 3:19 being a top finishing time. Columbus is a top-tier race, and the writer could only have been talking about Schmidt being a top finisher in her age group.

Just as asked my friend Chris Riley from Swansea, Mass., to travel to the headquarters of the Boston Marathon to inspect the official finishing results for the race. No Kerry.

Noy needs to one of his staffers to Columbus to take a look at the 1993 results of the marathon.

My friend Dan Curry over at Reverse Spin came across a Marathon fib by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, (D-IL). I can't remember the precise times, but some 2002 Blago campaign literature claimed "Gov. Elvis" ran a speedy 2:53 or so 26.2 miler in Chicago in the 1990s. His time actually was 3:07. A great performance--a race that almost any runner would take pride in. But that wasn't good enough for Elvis.

Blagojevich owned up to the fib, sort of. He blamed the "mistake" on campaign staffers.

Hat tip to fellow Pajamas blogger Pat Curley of Brainster, from the chat room of the Radio Patriots.

UPDATE 6:05PM CDT: Blogger Whisky Tango Foxtrot points out to me that Schmidt's people have come up with some documentation backing her finishing time. Noy should ask to see that documentation, as my experience with the Boston Marathon contact I talked to in 2004 was less than satisfactory--He was covering for Kerry.

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Illinois Runs' Beth Onines to be on NBC 5 Chicago Sunday night

My dear friend and 85-time marathoner Beth Onines will be interviewed by Mike Adamle (the former Northwestern All-American and Chicago Bears rusher), on the Sunday night NBC 5 sports show Sunday night at 10:30pm.

Mike's a marathoner too.

Beth is the executive director of Illnois Runs, a group I serve on the board of directors of--a great honor for me.

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Back from the shop...

Took the computer towers in the shop this morning....hopefully I won't be writing about "light blogging" for a while.

DePaul alum Mayor Daley writes recruiting letters for St. Xavier University

Hat tip on this one to my mother.

DePaul's most famous alumni are Chicago Mayors Richard J. Daley and his son, Richard M.

In yesterday's Chicago Tribune, there is a Jodi Cohen article about the current mayor writing recruiting letters--on City of Chicago letterhead--touting modest St. Xavier University.

From the Tribune, free registration required:

Every summer St. Xavier sends a rosy recruitment letter to more than 100,000 prospective students, on the official letterhead of Mayor Richard Daley, signed by the mayor, with a large, bold return address: MAYOR'S OFFICE.

Apparently it's caught the teenagers' attention.

"The letter is certainly a factor in a huge increase in freshmen enrollment," said St. Xavier spokeswoman Deborah Snow Humiston.

About 540 freshmen are expected to enroll this fall, up from 270 in 1998, the year before the mayor's first pitch on behalf of the college. Most attend class on Chicago's Far Southwest Side, but St. Xavier opened a second location in Orland Park in 2004.

DePaul spokesperson, Robin Florczak, doesn't feel Daley is snubbing his alma mater, telling the Tribune, "We do believe his choice to earn his bachelor's and law degrees is the best endorsement DePaul could receive."

But as far as I know, Daley doesn't do anything substantial for DePaul other than list the Chicago Catholic school in his official biography.

By no means am I claiming that this has anything to do with DePaul's recent public embarrasments, such as the Thomas Klocek affair, the Ward Churchill fiasco, Norman Finkelstein, or the moonbat inspired "Confronting Empire" series, but it makes you wonder if Mayor Daley has less than affectionate feelings about DePaul.

DePaul didn't become a left-wing nuthouse in the last few years. Has Daley noticed?

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

New York Sun on the Dems jihad against Wal-Mart

The New York Sun is the latest publication to scratch its heads in bewilderment regarding the obsession among many Democratic politicians to tear down Wal-Mart at any opportunity.

Who is driving the ‘Anti-Wal-Mart' campaign?

Wal-Mart has recently been named by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the country's top companies for diversity. The firm was also celebrated this year by Diversity Inc., Asian Enterprise Magazine, the National Association of Women, Black MBA Magazine, Careers & The Disabled Magazine and by Hispanic Magazine for similar accomplishments.

This is the company that Democrats are campaigning against?

Wal-Mart employs 1.2 million Americans, is one of the most successful companies in the country's history, has by itself lowered the cost of living for all Americans, has inspired competitors to do the same, has improved the efficiency of American retailing and manufacturing at a time that most industries were reeling from intense foreign competition, and is currently pushing an extensive array of environmental initiatives.

This is the company that Democrats are campaigning against?

Yes, it sure is. The author of the Sun opinion piece, Liz Peek, mentions later in the article that the driving force is of course what's left of the labor movement.

I'd like to add that although unions are a smaller player in the nation's political (and economic) sphere than they were in the their glory days in the 1950s, they are consistent funders for Democratic politicians of all shapes and sizes, and they do supply a bloc of fairly reliable voters for the Dems, especially in down-the-ticket races such as state legislator.

At some point, the opponents of Wal-Mart are going to have to give up. Although the mega-retailer has taken some hits from the anti-Wal Mart drive primarily led by the United Food & Commercial Workers (Wake Up Wal-Mart), and that janitors' union, the Service Employees International Union, (Wal-Mart Watch), we won't be waking up in this century with a unionized Wal-Mart operating in all 50 states.

As they exist now, Wake Up Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart Watch are costly ventures for UFCW and SEIU. The dues paying members of these unions are going to want to see some results beyond issuing dozens of press releases each month and having hack liberals like Evanston's Jan Schakowsky tell them how great they are.

Hat tip to my friend Marshall Manson at Edelman Public Relations.

Related posts: Wal-Mart opponents try tired Leftist ploy: The cross-country bus tour

Democrats on fool's errand with Wal-Mart issue: UPDATED!

More on the Democrats jihad against Wal-Mart

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Brainster back on the radio Friday afternoon

Third Wave Dave e-mailed me the news this afternoon that Pat Curley, who runs the Brainster blog, will a guest once again on Constitutional Public Radio on Friday, August 25, at 3pm EDT, 2pm Central. Andrea and Mark are the hosts of the program, and they blog at Radio Patriots.

Broadcasting from Florida's Space Coast, CPR is broadcast on AM 1510 WWBC. If you don't live there, you can listen on the internet.

There's a chatroom feature on the site, look for me in there tomorrow afternoon.

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Cong. Danny Davis received paid trip from terror group

Congressman Danny Davis represents Chicago's West Side and the city's western suburbs. Somehow, the below article from NBC 5 Chicago left out Davis' party affilitation. He's a Democrat.

Rep. Danny Davis is on the defense Thursday over a recent trip that was sponsored by a known terrorist group.

Davis and an aide went to Sri Lanka last year on a trip paid for by the Tamil Tigers. That group is on the government's list of known terrorists groups for its use of suicide bombers and child soldiers.

Davis maintains he didn't know the Tigers paid for the trip.

Related post: Cong. Danny Davis: Silent Night, Holy Night

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Reinstate Thomas Klocek at DePaul petition nearing 1700 signatures

Head over to this site to show your support for Thomas Klocek, the former DePaul University professor who was fired for expressing his free speech rights while discussing Middle Eastern politics with some Muslim DePaul students.

The goal is to have 2,000 signatures, there are 1,691 signatures so far.

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The latest from our Saudi allies: Sale of dogs and cats banned in the Kingdom

I'm almost done reading Jared Diamond's Pulitzer Prize winning book, Guns, Germs, and Steel. In it, Diamond makes the observation that bringing up pets--the author was observing New Guinean children taking care of their pet kangaroos--is a consistent trait among humans.

Leave it the Muslim extremists to fight human nature. Most people, and even more kids, love pets, and we all know who "Man's best friend is."

In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the sale of pet dogs and cats is now banned, according to the Arab News.

The Makkah governorate, acting on a request from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, has decided to prohibit the sale of pet cats and dogs. The commission made the request after it noticed many young Saudis going out in streets with their pet dogs in violation of the Kingdom’s culture and traditions.

Saudi authorities in Jeddah have begun enforcing the decision.

The commission complained of Saudi youth, apparently influenced by Western culture, bringing their pets into public places, allegedly causing distress especially to families with young children.

The distress is for the parents of those kids; the young ones of course want to play with those cats and dogs.
The municipality is in the process of dispatching special squads to close down such shops. The growing trend in purchasing domestic pets has encouraged businessmen to open shops and clinics for such animals in Jeddah. Veterinary clinics charge SR100 to SR200 for diagnosing sick animals and the amount can increase if the animal requires special treatment or surgery.

Dogs are barely mentioned in the Qur'an, but in the Hadith, the collection of quotations of Muhammad, dogs, with exceptions made for guard or hunting canines, are viewed as "unclean." Pigs with a purpose, I guess.

Cats are viewed much more favorably within Islam than "very dirty" dogs. My guess on why the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is interested in ending Jeddah cat sales is that as different as the two animals are, they're forever linked together, like salt and pepper.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Actual headline: Santa's Village to auction off parts

No, not that Santa's Village, but an amusement park in East Dundee, Illinois will be sold off--including the rides--at a public auction in October, just as the Christmas shopping season arrives. My parents took me to Santa's Village when I was a kid, it was a second-tier park that couldn't compete with Six Flags.

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Mayor Daley says phooey on Chicago foie gras ban

North Side Chicago Alderman Joe Moore has gotten the national attention he richly craves on two issues this year. One of course is his jihad against retail giant Wal-Mart.

The other is his desire to rid America's third largest city of the goose liver delicacy foie gras. The dozen or so Chicago restaurants and hotels that serve it will have to strike it from their menus by the end of this month.

It's safe to say that most Chicagoans have never had foie gras pass between their lips, so unless the foie gras is served piping hot, the gourmet treat is not a burning issue in Chicago.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has commented that Chicago public officials should focus on more important issues.

Yesterday, he elaborated on his disgust with Joe Moore's bill.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Mayor Daley urged the City Council on Tuesday to come to its senses and repeal a foie gras ban that has made Chicago an international laughingstock in restaurant circles.

"Why would they pick this and not anything else? How about veal? How about chicken? How about steak -- beef? . . . Where do you begin and where do you end? People say veal is basically cruelty to animals. I mean -- you could go on and on," Daley said.

"They have to re-evaluate this. . . . They should come together and figure out what they've done and realize that it's a silly law. . . . It's the silliest law they've ever passed. . . . If there's five or six restaurants [that sell foie gras] and we think that's the highest priority in city government, they've lost sight of what priorities are about."

Daley also said he's not about to direct city health inspectors to rush out and enforce the ban that took effect Tuesday. "We have other real issues confronting the people of Chicago," he said.

Related posts: Ald. Joe Moore, retail genius

Ald. Moore: Putting the unions' money where his mouth is

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LA Times scolds Democrats on Wal-Mart

I opened an e-mail this morning from my good friend Marshall Manson just as Mrs. Marathon Pundit walked through the door--returning from Wal-Mart.

Knowing that I'm running 19 miles on Sunday, she purchased a lot of pasta for me to load up on.

As for the e-mail, the Los Angeles Times, a liberal publication, scolds Democratic politicians for the party's continuing demonization of Wal-Mart.

Perhaps the Dem politicos need to run marathons instead of run for office, so they can see the value of Wal-Mart to the average American, things like low cost pasta.

From the LA Times, free registration may be required:

Too bad the party can't simply draft Costco or Target to run for president. Instead, Democratic presidential aspirants -- including Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina and Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico -- feel compelled to bash one company, the largest employer in the U.S., to score points with labor organizers. The candidates are so intent on gaining tactical advantage in the primary season that they risk alienating possible supporters in the general election.

Most Americans do not want their politicians ganging up on one company. Wal-Mart may be a behemoth that employs 1.3 million people in this country and earned $11 billion in profit last year, but it still looks like bullying when politicians single out one business to scapegoat for larger societal ills. And when they start passing laws aimed at their scapegoat -- as the Maryland Legislature did when it passed legislation forcing Wal-Mart to spend a certain amount on employee healthcare -- the judiciary rightly balks. A federal judge struck down the regulation, holding that it violates laws requiring equal treatment of employers.

But there is no stopping the campaign rhetoric. At an anti-Wal-Mart rally last week in Iowa, Biden noted that the retailer pays people $10 an hour, and then asked: "How can you live a middle-class life on that?" It's clearly the company's fault, at least from a skewed senatorial perspective, that all Americans cannot live a comfortable middle-class life. How dare it pay prevailing retail wages? Bayh, who appeared at another rally, was quoted as saying that Wal-Mart is "emblematic of the anxiety around the country." That may be true. But if it's the emblem he's worried about, he should stay in Washington and work to make healthcare more affordable for working families.

The gusto with which even moderate Democrats are bashing Wal-Mart is bound to backfire. Not only does it take the party back to the pre-Clinton era, when Democrats were perceived as reflexively anti-business, it manages to make Democrats seem like out-of-touch elitists to the millions of Americans who work and shop at Wal-Mart.

True, very true.

I'd like to add an additional observation: Sen Evan Bayh (D-IN) is now deep in the anti-Wal-Mart movement. Bayh used to claim to be a moderate--a smart move for a Democrat in a conservative state such as Indiana. Since his re-election in 2004, Bayh has dropped the charade, he's now a liberal's lib. Maybe he was already. Assuming he doesn't win the presidency of vice-presidency, Bayh will face a tough re-election battle in 2010 if he chooses to keep his Hoosier senate seat.

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Pro Hezbollah petition online

You can find a list of Hezbollah supporters who've signed a petition affirming their love of the terror organization.

Of course one name jumped out at me:

Norman Finkelstein (Prof. History, DePaul Univ.) From more information on Finkelstein, scroll down a couple of posts. (Note: Finkelstein is actually a political science professor at DePaul, so this one is suspect.)

However, Finkelstein has shown interest in at least one other online petition, one belonging to the Muslim Refusenik, Irshad Manji.

A few more American university signatures I'd like to point out:

  • Ahmad Dallal (Prof. of Islamic Studies, Georgetown Univ.)

  • Osama Abi-Mershed (Prof., Georgetown Univ., US)

  • Georgetown, which calls itself a Jesuit university, has become a "Jihad U."

  • Mohammed Abed (Prof., Philosophy, Univ. of Wisconsin--Madison, US)

  • UW Madison has a 9/11 consiracy nut, Kevin Barrett, teaching a course on Islam this fall.

  • Lara Deeb (Asst. Prof., Univ. of California, Irvine)

  • UC Irvine hosted a jihadist conference in May, featuring Norman Finkelstein, entitled Holocaust in the Holy Land.

  • Georges Saliba (Prof., Islamic Sciences, Columbia Univ.)

  • Columbia College is a center of anti-Semitism in a mostly unlikely place, New York City.

    The best of the rest from outside academia:

    Chadi Nasrallah (Graphic Designer, Al-Jazeera TV, Qatar)

    Yep, al-Jihad...

    Interesting professions:

  • May Haddad (Doctor, Public Health Worker, & Cultural Activist)

  • Mounzer Sleiman (Political-Military Analyst, USA)

  • Mohamed Hussein (Sales Manager & Activist, Egypt)

  • Lamis Jamal Deek (Palestinian Grassroots Activist & Attorney At Law, NY, USA)

  • The Kids are Not Alright:

  • Fatima Sharafeddine (Children's Author)

  • Nawal Tamimi (Palestinian Pre-School Teacher, USA)

  • Hat tip again to Dr. Steven Plaut in Haifa.

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    Tuesday, August 22, 2006

    August 22--No apocalypse as of 11:23pm CDT

    Well, it's now August 23 in the Eastern time zone, so apparently there was no apocalypse today.

    Author and Middle East expert Bernard Lewis, writing in for the Opinion Journal a couple of months ago, thought that Iran might've had an unwelcome surprise in store for us today.

    What is the significance of Aug. 22? This year, Aug. 22 corresponds, in the Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to "the farthest mosque," usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (cf Koran XVII.1). This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind.

    A passage from the Ayatollah Khomeini, quoted in an 11th-grade Iranian schoolbook, is revealing. "I am decisively announcing to the whole world that if the world-devourers [i.e., the infidel powers] wish to stand against our religion, we will stand against their whole world and will not cease until the annihilation of all them. Either we all become free, or we will go to the greater freedom which is martyrdom. Either we shake one another's hands in joy at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, victory and success are ours."

    I've read two of Lewis' books, What Went Wrong? : The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East, and The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror. I highly recommend both of them. They're the types of books CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, calls "unbalanced."

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    Dershowitz spanks Finkelstein--again, brings up Klocek case

    DePaul University's resident Holocaust-minimizer, Norman G. Finkelstein, gets another well deserved verbal thrashing from Harvard professor and author Alan M. Dershowitz.

    From today's FrontPage Magazine:

    The level of "academic" discourse on the Middle-East reached a new low—quite a feat considering some of the old lows—when the notorious Jewish anti-Semite and Holocaust-justice denier Norman Finkelstein wrote a screed suggesting that I be targeted "for assassination" because of my views on Israel. The obscene article was accompanied by an obscene cartoon drawn by "Latuff," a frequent accomplice of Finkelstein. The cartoon portrayed me as masturbating in rapturous joy while viewing images of dead Lebanese civilians on a TV set labeled "Israel peep show," with a Jewish Star of David prominently featured. The cartoon aptly represents the content of Finkelstein’s piece, which accuses me of being a "moral pervert" who "missed the climactic scene of his little peep show." He also claims quite absurdly that I "sanction mass murder" and "the extermination of the Lebanese people." (I’m surprised he hasn’t accused me of kicking of puppy dogs, scowling at little children, and parking in handicapped spaces.)

    Finkelstein calls me a Nazi not once, but twice, first saying that I subscribe to “Nazi ideology” and then comparing me to Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher, who was prosecuted at Nuremberg by my mentor Telford Taylor.

    The peep-show cartoon was even too extreme for the notorious "Counterpunch," a Stalinist website that glorifies Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist enemies of the U.S. and Israel. Prior to its decision not to run this particular cartoon, Counterpunch seemed to have no standards, but even for them this one was apparently too much (though they kept in the "peep show" reference that inspired the cartoon).

    This academic pornographer, who uses "professor" in his byline even when he is spewing unacademic hate, is now up for tenure at DePaul University, a Catholic school in Chicago that recently fired a teacher named Thomas Klocek for offending Arab students during a discussion of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Finkelstein was fired by several universities at which he previously worked for abusing students who disagreed with his bigoted views. The chairman of one department where he taught said he was fired for "incompetence," "mental instability" and "abuse" of students with politics different from his own. I wonder whether Finkelstein will submit this "assassination" article as part of his tenure portfolio at DePaul. He certainly should, since it is quite representative of his "scholarship." If he submits it, will it be accompanied by the masturbation cartoon? It should, because the cartoon too personifies Finkelstein’s academic standards.

    The second anniversary of the beginning of the Thomas Klocek affair is on September 15.

    Here is the Finkelstein Counterpunch article Dersh refers to in today's write-up.

    Here's a previous Dershowitz spanking of Finkelstein.

    Related post: Norman Finkelstein article: Dershowitz' descent into moral barbarism

    Hat tip to Dr. Steven Plaut in Haifa.

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    Monday, August 21, 2006

    Sign of late summer: Sunflowers

    I took a picture of this Sunflower a couple of hours ago, once again with my Motorola V3 RAZR camera phone during my daily run.

    This flower and many others can be found in the Linne Woods restored prairie in Morton Grove, Illinois.

    Related posts:

    New Marathon Pundit photo series: Nature abhors a vacuum

    Nature abhors a vacuum--with no towers

    Nature abhors a vacuum, cont'd

    Nature abhors a vacuum, cont'd again

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    Obama walks on water in Africa

    Yesterday Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) thrilled residents of Capetown, South Africa by walking from their city onto the Indian Ocean waters to the former prison at Robben Island, where Obama viewed the onetime jail cell of former South African President Nelson Mandela.

    Did I make that stuff up? Yes. But some people are treating Obama as if he was the Savior. Earlier this month, Illinois Democratic Party Chairman and Speaker of the Illinois State House Michael Madigan ridiculed magazine cover boy Obama as "the Messiah.

    Here's an AP article about Obama's extended African trip. In the article, there is no mention of any legislation Obama has sponsored being enacted into law during his 19 months as a US senator.

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    Pajamas Media Blog Week in Review is back--and an apocalyptic Aug 22?

    This morning I listened on my iPod to the latest edition of Pajama Media's Blog Week in Review. After a month's hiatus, this superb highlight of my listening routine is back.

    Moderating is Austin Bay. Panelists are Tammy Bruce, Eric Umansky, and Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds.

    Fellows Pajamas Media blogger and Quadrophenia scholar Ed Driscoll produces.

    Topics include: The winner of the Israel-Hezbollah war (the panelists agree on who that is), Department of Defense controls over mil-bloggers, the British busting of the jihad-jet plot, and tomorrow just may be, courtesy of Iran, an apocalyptic August 22.

    Find out more by listening here.

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    Back to school...or back to the picket lines...

    Late August is back to school time. For some. While most kids are getting ready for the first day of classes, some teachers are on strike.

    In Gary, Indiana, the first day of school is supposed to be Wednesday. But Gary teachers are walking the picket lines.

    Part of the rites of autumn, I guess.

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    White Sox and Tigers four game series starts tonight

    In the American League Central Division, the World Series Champion Chicago White Sox trail the division leading Detroit Tigers by 5 1/2 games. A four game series begins today between top two teams in the division.

    However, the Central is now a three team race: The Minnesota Twins are just one game behind the White Sox. The likelihood is very high that the AL wild card will come from the Central, to the runner up will probably be a playoff team as well.

    I have a bizarre personal schedule this week, so I'll trouble covering the games, particularly tonight's contest: I have a 7:00pm Illinois Runs board meeting to attend.

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    Blogmeister USA's photo caption contest is up

    Pam, fighting the good woman's fight in New England, has her latest photo caption contest up, featuring Saddam Hussein. I placed in last week's contest.

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    Sunday, August 20, 2006

    A good reporter writes a bad column

    Rick Pearson has been writing about Illinois politics for at least a decade, and he's generally considered to be a fair and decent reporter. I'm a little biased, as in 2002, I submitted a question to Pearson that not only got me invited into the studio audience of the final gubernatorial debate between eventual victor
    Democrat Rod Blagojevich and Republican Jim Ryan, but he used my question too.

    "Blago" is running for re-election this year, he's being challenged by feisty Republican Judy Baar Topinka.

    Today Pearson unloaded a stink bomb in the Chicago Tribune. In his column, Rick wrote about the 34 city tour that the Republican party statewide ticket kicked off last week in Springfield. The tour will focus on that forgotten "corner" of the state: that part of Illinois south of Interstate 80, better known as "Downstate."

    Up until about 10 years ago, heavily Democratic Cook County, where Chicago is, was counterbalanced by the Republican suburbs and Republican Downstate. The latter two aren't as "Red" as they used to be, and Illinois is now a "deep blue" state.

    So focusing on Downstate makes a lot of sense for the GOP here.

    Rick Pearson isn't so sure, as he wrote today. Free registration required:

    Topinka said Blagojevich's treatment of the Downstate region was "rather shabby" and said her tour, which winds up Thursday in DuPage County, was meant to "go back out there and say, `Look, you count.'"

    "There is something more than just the city of Chicago and Cook County," said Topinka, who lives in Riverside. (My note: A few miles west of Chicago.) "These are very important--God knows I love them dearly--but you know, it's like a mother with many children, you love all of them, and you have to bring everybody in."

    Still, Illinois' political history is littered with candidates who stumbled while trying to strike the right symbolic note in their appeal to Downstate voters.

    Topinka chose to launch her bus tour at the historic train depot where Abraham Lincoln delivered his farewell to Springfield en route to assuming the presidency. And we all know how Lincoln returned to Springfield.

    Huh? What the heck is that supposed to mean? I'm sure Pearson didn't mean that Judy will return to Springfield as a hero, as Lincoln did.

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    More light blogging and computer problems

    Just a crazy day today, again. Ran 12 miles this morning with the Illinois Runs group I oversee, then I had to drop in at work, followed by spending the last hour trying to get this computer working. I couldn't get it past the Hewlett Packard screen, "Press F1 or F10." I power cycled it a few times, then I popped the recovery disc in. That did it.

    The HP Pavilion a300y has been great, but nothing last forever. Hopefully I'll have this one for a while.

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