Saturday, January 31, 2015

And their point is? Anti-racism protesters disrupt St. Louis RV Show

The protests about the shooting death of shoplifter Michael Brown have reached the silly stage.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
About 30 anti-racism activists walked through the St. Louis RV Vacation & Travel Show on Saturday with "Face Racism" and "Are you comfortable?" drawn on their cheeks and foreheads.

The silent protest at America's Center involved college students, clergy and legal activists, including a few who have been regularly protesting since the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.

Some held slips of paper with "White Only" and "No Coloreds," drawing confused looks from some shopping for RVs and trailers. A few activists left the slips of paper inside RVs, leading to complaints from attendees and exhibitors, some of whom were African-American.
Exactly what do recreational vehicles have to do with racism? Did the protesters choose the RV exhibition because the hall was heated?

Islamic State beasts behead Japanese man

The Islamic State today released a video showing the beheading of a Japanese hostage, reporter Kenji Goto.

ISIS is a cancer upon humanity that needs to be cut out.

(Photo) Doe in the snow

Google Auto Awesome put the focus on a doe with a smooth coat of fur that I photographed with my Android phone at Park Ridge, Illinois' Dam Number 4 East Forest Preserve.

(Photo) 2006 Honda Ridgline RTL

The Honda Ridgeline--a pickup truck--is on hiatus. There will be no 2015 models. In 2016 the next generation Ridgeline will hit the roads.

Here is a 2006 Ridgeline RTL that was parked on Lincoln Avenue in Morton Grove earlier this month. In addition to the tonneau cover that is hard to see, this pickup has hood air-deflector and roof rail, and crossbar options.

The color is Alabaster Silver Metallic.

Friday, January 30, 2015

North Dakota becomes 2nd state to require civics test for high school grads

Leave it to the red states to demand that its high school graduates know something about the government and nation they live in.

From the Bismarck Tribune:
HB1087 would require North Dakota students to pass the U.S. citizenship test to graduate high school.

Students that graduate in 2017 would need to get at least 60 questions on the 100-question test correct; for subsequent classes, the requirement would be 70 questions.

The bill passed the House by an 85-1 vote and the Senate by a 43-4 margin.

HB1087 came as part of a national movement called the Civics Education Initiative. The group’s goal is to have each state pass a similar bill by Sept. 17, 2017, the 230th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.
Earlier Arizona enacted a similar law.

The decline of Detroit: From 100 Catholic grade schools to just 4

There are so many ways to measure the collapse of Detroit, including this one, the plummet in the number of Catholic schools in the one-time Motor City.

From the Detroit Free Press:
As national Catholic Schools Week concludes Saturday, the four remaining elementary schools enroll 609 students combined, a fraction from peak years when there were roughly 100 Catholic grade schools in the city. The IHM [Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary] sisters were the primary teachers at the four schools from their founding years through their heydays, but there are no IHM sisters on staff at the schools now (although two retired IHM sisters volunteer at Holy Redeemer).

Romney won't run in 2016

After two failed presidential runs, Mitt Romney announced that he will not run in 2016. This news is expected to aid the nascent presidential run of Jeb Bush, who is working to gather the moderate Republican establishment.

Say what you will about Mitt, but our nation would be much better off if he was president now instead of Barack Obama.

(Video) Krauthammer: Courts will eventually overturn Obama's amnesty

Charles Krauthammer says that President Obama's executive order giving amnesty to millions of illegal alients will eventually be overturned by the courts.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Rauner: Ban public sector unions from donating to Illinois campaigns

Illinois finally has a governor who will stand up to the unions--reformer Bruce Rauner:

From QCOnline:
A public sector union, said the governor, can and has given candidates millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours, essentially saying, "After you win, let’s negotiate our pension and work rules and healthcare."

"Come on," Gov. Rauner said. "If that went on in business all the time, somebody would be out of job, at a minimum, and somebody probably would be going to jail."

Gov. Rauner said businesses with state contracts valued at more than $50,000 are prohibited from giving to state candidates. That also should be the case for unions negotiating labor contracts with the state, he said.
Unions vehemently opposed Rauner both in the Republican primary and the general election--now we can see why. Good from Bruce.

(Photos) Grand Canyon in Snow, part one

Four years ago Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I traveled to the Grand Canyon. December in northern Arizona can be cold, but luckily for us it snowed while we were driving to the national park from Las Vegas. Which meant great pictures.

This photograph was taken just south of the park. In the distance are snow clouds.

This bull elk and a male companion greeted us at the visitor's center.

As it was near the end of the day many tourists were leaving the visitor's center, warning us that they were at the Grand Canyon all day and they only saw fog. But then it lifted.

The trees give perspective to the size of these sedimentary rock formations.

The snow brings out the rock layers in this picture.

At the bottom--a long way down--is the Colorado River.

The banana yucca is a common Grand Canyon plant.

 I just had to get myself into this post somehow.

Douglas firs are common on the highest level of the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

A much closer look.

More Douglas firs.

Next: Additional pics

From The Lid: Obama launches another anti-Israel blitz via New York Times

Well, one thing about our president is that he is sadly predictable as The Lid reminds us: Obama launches another anti-Israel blitz via New York Times.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Chilly sunset on the North Branch of the Chicago River

While it's cold, tonight's sunset brought some warm colors to the North Branch of the Chicago River at Morton Grove's St. Paul Woods Forest Preserve.

Missouri: Man shot three times outside Chuck E. Cheese

Chuck E. Cheese restaurants can be stressful places--there are lots of screaming kids. But someone is St. Charles, Missouri took things way too far by shooting a man three times outside that town's Chuck E. Cheese. The suspects are still at large.

Bill Ayers endorses Jesus "Chuy" Garcia for mayor of Chicago

Ayers at 2012 Occupy
Chicago rally
Unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers has weighed in on next month's Chicago mayoral election--rather than back his friend President Obama's first chief of staff--incumbent Rahm Emanuel, Ayers announced on his web site a few days ago that he supports the candidacy of Cook County commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia.

So if you are a denizen of the extreme left--then you know who to vote for on February 24.

War on capitalism: Cop tells teens not to take snow shoveling jobs

The Nanny State did not take a holiday because of the Blizzard of 2015.

Two enterprising teens who were looking to make some money shoveling snow ran afoul of a New Jersey town's ordinance and were told by police to stop.

Matt Molinari and Eric Schnepf were handing out fliers in Bound Brook during a winter storm on Monday night.

Police Chief Michael Jannone tells the Courier News of Bridgewater ( a resident reported a suspicious person.

Jannone says the officer told the teens it wasn't safe to be out after a state of emergency was declared. The chief says the officer's concern was about their safety and not that they weren't licensed to solicit business.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Illinois governor proposes right-to-work zones in state

Forced unionization is the law in Illinois and while unions are potent force here--they are still vulnerable. For instance, I never thought Michigan would become a right-to-work state.

Illinois' reform governor, Republican Bruce Rauner, is making baby-steps into the right-to-work arena, as he explained in downstate Decatur today, an event the much of the Chicago media appears to have so far ignored.

From WUIS Radio:
"I'm not advocating that Illinois become a right-to-work state. I do not advocate that. But I do advocate local governments, local voters, being able to decide for themselves whether to be right-to-work areas, right-to-work zones," the governor said.

Rauner says it would be a tool for communities suffering from high unemployment to create jobs, "so that we can compete with Indiana, and Michigan and Tennessee and Texas, that don't have forced unionization like we do here."

But unions are powerful in Illinois, and Democrats, who control the General Assembly, are sure to fight back.
But the overwhelming majority of Illinoisans aren't union members. Three of the five states the border the Land of Lincoln are right-to-work states and Michigan is a short drive from the southeast side of Chicago. As for myself--I wish Illinois was a right-to-work state.

(Video) Inside the Reagan Library: The Heroes Gallery

There is a Heroes Gallery at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. Among those honored are the "Boys of Pointe du Hoc" at D-Day, the seven Challenger astronauts who made the ultimate sacrifice for science, and the 343 New York City firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11.

I'm certain that the Obama presidential library will not have a similar gallery.

Related posts:

Useful idiots: Foreign firm tied to Russia funding anti-fracking movement

Vladimir Lenin supposedly called unwitting communist allies "useful idiots."

The environmental movement fits that description.

From the Washington Free Beacon:
A shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

One of those executives, Nicholas Hoskins, is a director at a hedge fund management firm that has invested heavily in Russian oil and gas. He is also senior counsel at the Bermudan law firm Wakefield Quin and the vice president of a London-based investment firm whose president until recently chaired the board of the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft.

In addition to those roles, Hoskins is a director at a company called Klein Ltd. No one knows where that firm's money comes from. Its only publicly documented activities have been transfers of $23 million to U.S. environmentalist groups that push policies that would hamstring surging American oil and gas production, which has hurt Russia’s energy-reliant economy.
The foundation passed those millions along to some of the nation's most prominent and politically active environmentalist groups. The Sierra Club, the Natural Resource Defense Council, Food and Water Watch, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Center for American Progress were among the recipients of Sea Change’s $100 million in grants in 2010 and 2011.

(PJTV video) How Unions Destroy Jobs!

I'm old enough to remember when cabooses were at the end of all freight trains. What did those two men riding in them do? Not much. Investor's Business Daily's Terry Jones explains in a PJTV video that union featherbedding--spreading jobs around--leads to a decline in productivity. When railroads were deregulated--and when union power was put in check--they became competitive with other forms of transportation. The Ayn Rand Institute's Yaron Brook and PJTV host Allen Barton also participate in the discussion.

Never forget: Auschwitz liberated on this day 70 years ago

January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It was on this day in 1945 when the Soviet Red Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp, where over one million people were murdered.

Never forget!

Holocaust memorial, Skokie, Illinois

Monday, January 26, 2015

(Video) Bill Nye blames Northeast blizzard on climate change

When its a hot day it's global warming for those who believe humans are effecting climate. When it's cold--or when a blizzard hits a wide area--they call it climate change.

Bill Nye, "the Science Guy" did the latter on MSNBC this afternoon.

Oh, he's an engineer by training.

Oh, by the way, when did we become such a nation of wimps? Blizzards and snowstorms have swept through the Northeast before. Civilization will survive, even though schools will probably close tomorrow and a lot of people won't have to go to work.

Oh, don't you think it be the bomb if Nye died his hair red? Then he'd look like Beaker from the Muppets.

(Photo) Foot and bridle bridge over the North Branch of the Chicago River

One of my favorite photographic subjects is the foot and bridle bridge over the North Branch of the Chicago River in Morton Grove's Linne Woods Forest Preserve.

An inch of snow fell yesterday, which makes this picture--fancied up by Google's Auto Awesome--an black-and-white beauty.

Chiraq: 3 dead over weekend, at least 23 others wounded

The bullets were flying again in Chicago over the weekend. Three people were murdered and at least 23 others were wounded.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Omaha prayer march for murder victims ends in shoving and shouting

Omaha's skyline
This is not how prayer walks are supposed to go.

From the Omaha World-Herald:
A peaceful prayer walk descended into shoving and shouting Sunday afternoon, as the weekend shooting deaths of three young people aroused anger, fear and suspicion among some of the participants.

The trouble began, witnesses said, when a man said to be the father of victim Jakela Foster's 1-year-old child began arguing with someone who he believed knew what happened early Saturday when Foster was killed.
Omaha police officers in at least nine squad cars rushed to the scene at 3:45 p.m., about 45 minutes into the event. They dispersed the crowd that until then had been praying together and consoling one another.

"Go home," officers told the crowd as people screamed, cried and ran through neighboring yards, fearful that gunfire might erupt.

From USofArn: Westboro moonbats flee from 100 Quad Cities counter protesters

The extended Phelps family that masquerades as the Westboro Baptist Church, the gay-hating and America-despising cult, held a rally outside of a Bettendorf, Iowa church. Things didn't go as planned, as USofArn informs: Westboro moonbats flee from 100 Quad Cities counter protesters,

(CBS video) Schieffer: Obama WH once again "blindsided" by world events after Yemen collapse

Because President Obama governs--if you can call it that--from news cycle to news cycle, he gets, in the words of CBS' Bob Schieffer, "blindsided" by events, such as last week's rebellion in Yemen.

Ernie Banks ran for office as a Republican

Author at Wrigley Field
Ernie Banks, the cheerful Chicago Cubs legendary slugger, died last week. Tributes--well deserved ones--have rolled in from the sports world and beyond.

Here's an item that is often overlooked about Mr. Cub. In 1963, while still playing first base for the North Siders, Banks ran for alderman as a Republican for Chicago's 8th Ward seat. Of course he lost.

But Ernie died a winner.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Foot dragging: Pat Quinn's Illinois missed out on the fracking boom

Southern Illinois--Trail of Tears Route
Illinois' Democrats, just as in other states, are beholden to the environmentalists and their money. Still, somehow the Democratic super-majority approved fracking in the economically-challenged state in 2013, but the state took its time as far as issuing drilling permits, bowing to pressure from the greenies. That led one downstate county to sue the state last fall, even before then the Chicago Tribune wrote, "Drilling should have started by now." But unpopular incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, faced a tough election and needed environmentalist support to have any hope of winning, so the final fracking approval decision was pushed after Election Day.

After the November election, which Quinn lost, just as oil prices began to drop as a result of fracking success in other parts of the nation, particularly North Dakota, Illinois gave its okay for fracking to start. Too late. The oil boom is over--hydraulic fracking is an expensive way do drill.

Illinois' new governor, Republican Bruce Rauner, is off to a good start, but he can't turn back time. Southern Illinois, the poorest part of the Prairie State, has to wait for the next oil boom.

Rare 15D road marker in Skokie

History is all around us. You don't have to look hard but you do have to look around. Within a mile of my home are two rare Illinois 15D cement road markers. What was 15D? It was part of the state gasoline tax code that stipulated once a county built concrete highways--they would be maintained by the state.

This post is on Niles Center Road just north of Main Street in Skokie, Illinois. It was placed there in 1925 and it survives probably because it stands right next to a telephone pole--the markers aren't easy to see and they are road hazards--even if they are not on the road.

Related post:

Rare 15D road marker in Morton Grove

Classic car: 1978 VW Rabbit

Volkswagen's de facto replacement for the Beetle was the Rabbit, which was given different names in other countries, including the Golf.

Here's a 1978 VW Rabbit I saw parked on a Skokie, Illinois street earlier this week.

Friday, January 23, 2015

(Video) Hillary refuses to state her Keystone XL position

When asked in Winnipeg earlier this week about her position on the building of the Keystone XL pipeline, Hillary replied that she still has no position.

And this woman wants to be president?

(Video) Obama's YouTube interviews about as uncomfortable as you'd expect

President Obama has a longstanding invitation to appear on Chris Wallace's Fox News Sunday. He's not interested--because Wallace will ask tough questions. Unlike the three YouTube personalities who queried Dear Leader yesterday, one of whom wore green lipstick and informed Obama that Raul Castro puts the "dick into dictator." Another quasi-journalist asked Obama what super power he'd like to have.

(Video) Krauthammer: Fall of Yemen "bad news" for U.S., "huge gain" for Iran

The White House has been touting Yemen as a War on Terror success story. Of course they don't use that term.

But the successful Shiite rebellion in Yemen, Charles Krauthammer says, is "bad news" for America and a "huge gain" for Iran, an enemy of our nation.

Right-to-work: Union membership sharply down in Michigan

Heading in the right direction
If unions are so wonderful, workers would be clamoring to join them. But nearly all employees who are union members have that status only because their workplaces, with an assist from some state governments, enforce forced unionization.

Look what's happening in the Great Lakes State. From the Detroit News:
Michigan union membership fell sharply in 2014 in the wake of the state's approval of controversial "Right to Work" legislation that ended compulsory union membership for many workers — as the state fell to the 11th most unionized state, down from seventh in 2013.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday that nationally the percentage of workers in a union fell from 11.3 percent in 2013 to 11.1 percent in 2014. But in Michigan, the percentage of workers in a union fell from 16.3 percent to 14.5 percent. The total number of workers in unions in Michigan fell from 633,000 in 2013 to 585,000 in 2014 — even as Michigan's unemployment rate fell and its workforce grew last year.

Michigan had the fourth largest percentage decline. Washington State and West Virginia each saw union membership decline by 2.1 percentage points, while Rhode Island fell by 1.8 percentage points.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Santa Monica Pier: Route 66, the end of the trail

The old Route 66 started on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago and it ended at Santa Monica Pier in southern California.

Here's a photo of the "end of the trail" on the pier.

Pic taken by Mrs. Marathon Pundit.

Related posts:

(Video) Krauthammer: Obama's epitaph will say "He couldn't govern, but he sure knew how to campaign"

Last night on Fox News, Charles Krauthammer hit the nail on the head about President Obama: "He couldn't govern, but he sure knew how to campaign."

Obama is nothing more than a community organizer.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Partisan president: The 3 states Obama hasn't visited are GOP strongholds

Where's Obama?
"Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America." Barack Obama keynote address, 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Well, as president, Obama is certainly governing differently.

From The State:
Yet the Palmetto State – despite being home to historic Charleston, beautiful beaches and celebrated, albeit tortured, college sports – remains one of three states the president has not visited during his time in office. His avoidance appears to be a political calculation.

Obama ticked off his 47th state Wednesday when he flew to Idaho to promote his State of the Union address and check out a university engineering lab. That leaves South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah as the states he has yet to visit during his presidency.

They're not what you'd call a hotbed for Democratic support. Obama lost all three states by big margins in 2012.
The three states have Republican governors and two Republican senators each.

(Photo) Thawing Des Plaines River

The unseasonal January high temperatures has initiated a thaw on the Des Plaines River, as this photograph at the Lions Woods Forest Preserve shows us.

(MSNBC video) Andrea Mitchell: Obama’s foreign Policy SOTU claims "not close to reality"

Not even President Obama's leftist allies in the media, such as MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell are buying Dear Leader's foreign policy trite.

After being queried by Matthews, Mitchell replied, "I think that on foreign policy his projection of success against terrorism, and against IS in particular, is not close to reality – they have not developed a strategy."

(Video) Stephen Hayes: Obama 'lecturing' against divisive politics 'preposterous on its face'

While analyzing President Obama's divisive State of the Union address last night, the Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes called out Obama on his "lecturing" against divisiveness, saying doing so was "preposterous on its face."

True, so true.

Shiites hold Yemeni president captive

In the terrorist stronghold of Yemen, Muslims are attacking Muslims.

From AP:
Shiite rebels in control of Yemen's capital now hold the country's president "captive" at his home, his aides said Wednesday, putting in question who actually rules the Arab world's most-impoverished nation.

Embattled Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi — a top U.S. ally in the war against al-Qaida in Yemen — appears to have run out of options to continue governing the country, months after the Houthis began a blitz in September, seizing the capital and state institutions.

The increasingly weakened leadership and power vacuum are setting stage for al-Qaida in Yemen, which claimed the recent attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and failed assaults on the U.S. homeland, to grow more powerful in the chaos.

Hadi "cannot leave his house" after Houthi rebels removed his guards and deployed their own fighters there Wednesday, one aide said.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

(CNN video) Blitzer: I don’t remember another SOTU with so many veto threats

President Obama was hardly a unifier during tonight's State of the Union Address. CNN's Wolf Blitzer said that he couldn't recall another SOTU with as many veto threats.

(Photo) CCC picnic shelter at Des Plaines' Lions Woods

With an assist from Google Auto Awesome, here is what the Civilian Conserveration Corps-built picnic shelter at Des Plaines' Lions Woods looked like yesterday

Related posts:

Statue dedicated to the CCC: The Worker

Civilian Conservation Corps picnic shelter in Skokie

From Pravda: Latvia takes decisive effort to destroy 50% of Russian population

Latvian Freedom Monument
Pravda was once the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, it means "truth" in Russian. As you can well imagine, it wasn't always truthful. And it still isn't, based on this headline: Latvia takes decisive effort to destroy 50% of Russian population.

No, Latvia isn't shipping thousands of Russians to Siberian gulags in boxcars. Pravda claims that Latvia has banned the use of Russian at workplaces, but in fact, the Baltic nation is only encouraging the use of Latvian at work.

Islamic State demands $200 million or it will kill two Japanese hostages

The Islamic State terrorists group threatened its way back into the headlines early this morning.

From the Chicago Tribune:
The Islamic State group threatened to kill two Japanese hostages Tuesday unless they receive $200 million in 72 hours, directly demanding the ransom from Japan's premier during his visit to the Middle East. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to save the men, saying: "Their lives are the top priority."

Abe and other Japanese officials declined to discuss whether they'd pay the ransom for captives Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa, though their armed forces generally only operate in a self-defense capacity at home. Their kidnapping also immediately recalled the 2004 beheading of a Japanese backpacker in Iraq, carried out by the Islamic State group's predecessor over Japan's involvement in the U.S.-led war there.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Desperation: Obama cult to push SOTU on social media

Why not read a book?
Six years into his presidency, Barack Obama is directing his social media team to bolster his audience for Tuesday's State of the Union address. Dear Leader is expected to push a hard-left message that will be oblivious to the reality that for the first time he will face a Republican majority in the Senate.

Here is my social media message: Watch a movie, go ice skating, read a book--do anything but watch Obama's SOTU speech.  

As for the Obama-bots, well, they appear to be getting desperate. 

(Photo) Bare trees, blue clouds, late afternoon sun, and a thaw

What do get when you mix bare trees, blue clouds, late afternoon sun, and a thaw? A memorable image.

Photographed yesterday at Morton Grove, Illinois' St. Paul Woods.

Israel hating has spread to selfies

They are only pictures, Lebanon.

From Fox News
When does a selfie featuring two beauty queens become an international incident? When the countries involved are Israel and Lebanon, of course.

The trouble started last week, when this year's Miss Israel Doron Matalon posted a photo on Instagram featuring herself alongside Saly Griege, this year's Miss Lebanon, and her fellow contestants from Japan and Slovenia.

The picture caused an uproar in Lebanon, which has a law forbidding its citizens from fraternizing with Israelis. In 1993, the government disqualified its Miss Universe representative after Agence France-Presse moved a photo of her smiling arm-in-arm with her Israeli competitor.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

(Video) UK prime minister says it's not "war," it's "just a huge challenge our society faces"

Watch as CBS News' Bob Schieffer points out that France's prime minister says his nation is at war with radical Islam to his British counterpart David Cameron. How does Cameron respond? He says that Great Britain is not at "war," it's only "just a huge challenge our society faces."

Can you imagine Winston Churchill or Margaret Thatcher stating such gobbledygook?

Reuters: Obama legacy--a shrinking middle class

Hope and change has failed.

From Reuters:
Barack Obama enters the final two years of his presidency with a blemish on his legacy that looks impossible to erase: the decline of the middle class he has promised to rescue.

The revival of middle-class jobs has been one of Obama's mantras since he took office in 2009 fighting the worst economic crisis in generations. It was a major theme of his last State of the Union address and is expected to feature in the one scheduled for Tuesday.
As for the SOTU, viewers can expect a healthy dose of class warfare rhetoric.

Iranian official: Charlie Hebdo murders were a plot by the West

Iran believes is time to send in the clowns. As for this one, Ali Akbar Velayati, he was for 16 years the Iranian foreign minister. He was a presidential candidate in the Islamic republic in 2013.

From Press TV:
​A senior Iranian official has denounced sacrilegious cartoons published by French weekly, Charlie Hebdo, depicting Prophet Mohammad, saying the move has been orchestrated by the West.

This move is completely condemned and is masterminded by Western states, Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei told reporters on Sunday.

“The terrorist attacks carried out against that publication are also condemned like other terrorist acts and this should not be used a pretext for insulting Islamic sanctities,” Velayati, who is also the president of the Expediency Council's Center for Strategic Research, added.
"What has occurred was based on a plot and propaganda war against Islam and is completely condemned by us," Velayati said.
Sadly, President Obama believes we can reason with these Iranian loons. The Tehran Times also has a write-up about Ali Akbar.

(Video) CBS’s Schieffer in disbelief over Obama's leftist SOTU proposals: “Is this for real?”

Barack Obama continues to prove that he is will never be more than the president of the twenty percent or so Americans who believe in his leftist philosophies. On Tuesday Dear Leader will present a plan for taxes on the rich to fund his schemes, such as "free" community college.

Even liberal CBS journalist Bob Schieffer is in disbelief, asking White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer on Face the Nation this morning, "Is this for real?"

From Da Tech Guy blog: Joe Paterno’s glass wall stronger than ever

In my weekly post on Da Tech Guy blog, I look at the veneer of protection of the legacy of a longtime football coach at Penn State University--Joe Paterno's glass wall stronger than ever.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

(Photos) Dam Number 4 on the Des Plaines River in winter

Dams Number One and Two have been removed from the Des Plaines River. Three and Four are next.

Here are a couple of pictures of Dam Number 4, which is scheduled to be removed this winter.

Both of these photos were taken two days ago from the east bank of the river in Rosemont.

This is a low-head dam, which present drowning dangers for canoeists. After the water rolls over the seeming harmless dam a hydraulic boil develops, which is why low-heads are dubbed "drowning machines." The actions of the boil have prevented freezing--whereas most of the Des Plaines is presently frozen over.

Related posts:

(Photos) 1850s pioneer home in Des Plaines, Illinois

The brick house pictured here is owned by the local branch of the Izaak Walton League, a conservation group. The home was built by the Jefferson family in the 1850s by the Jefferson family. The dwelling, which I photographed on Thursday, is on River Road in Des Plaines south of Oakton. Even in winter, when you drive past it's difficult to notice.

The home is now owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.

Friday, January 16, 2015

CAIR seeks removal from UAE terrorist list

CAIR HQ, Capitol Hill
CAIR, the Hamas-linked Muslim civil rights group, was placed on the UAE's list of terror groups last autumn.

It wants off of it AP reports:
The Council on American-Islamic Relations said Friday it has sought to be removed from a United Arab Emirates' list that designates it as a terrorist organization, along with dozens of other groups.

The move comes after the Emirati Cabinet said that designated groups can pursue an appeals process to seek removal from the terrorism list.

Washington-based CAIR describes itself as America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization.

Billionaire maniac George Soros funded Ferguson protests

George Soros, to no surprise of anyone who follows his machinations, bankrolled the nationwide Ferguson protests--in essence, he tried to ignite a race war.

From the Daily Mail
Liberal billionaire George Soros donated $33 million to social justice organizations which helped turn events in Ferguson from a local protest into a national flashpoint.

The handouts, revealed in tax filings from Soros's private foundation, were given to dozens of different groups which weighed in on the crisis.

Organizers from professional groups in Washington, D.C., and New York were bussed into the Missouri town to co-ordinate messaging and lobby to news media to cover events using the billionaire's funding.

The flood of donations were uncovered in an analysis of the latest tax return by Soros's Open Society Foundations by the Washington Times.

(Video) Sacrebleu! Kerry brings James Taylor to sing for French to make them feel better

Nine days after enduring its worst terrorist attack in decades--and five days after the United States essentially stood-up France in a march in support of free expression as a response to the Charlie Hebdo murders, John Kerry came to Paris. But he was not alone. He brought James Taylor--a big liberal by the way--to sing "You've Got A Friend" to the aggrieved French.

I guess Jerry Lewis wasn't available.

Some stuff you just can't make up.

Idaho: Schools not properly using expensive broadband access

A liberal and Big Labor rally cry is that Americans need more broadband internet access--particularly students. In fact, President Obama declared so just two days ago "Today, I see broadband as not a luxury, it's a necessity," he said. "It's about helping a student access the online courses . . . that can help her pursue her dreams."

Well this dream is a big waste of money in Idaho, as AP tells us:
A new audit shows that slightly more than half of schools surveyed aren't using the equipment purchased through Idaho's pricey broadband network and that nearly 6 percent of the videoconferencing equipment can't be located.

Legislative auditors told budget writers Thursday that use of the Idaho Education Network, a program that provides broadband access to public schools, has declined since 2012.

"They're not utilizing these assets as much as we'd probably like them to," Legislative Services Office manager April Renfro said. "Overall, 47 percent is not a very high utilization rate."
A District Court voided the $60 million broadband contract in November after finding the state violated its own procurement laws. Otter has urged state officials to rebid the contract as well as propose spending $7.2 million next year to keep the program afloat for 12 more months. However, the future of the network and how it will be financed are unknowns.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

(Photo) Eastern red cedar seedling in snow

Although I found this eastern red cedar seedling among other trees--the tree is more common in fields, particularly abandoned farms and roadsides.

The eastern redcedar, despite its name, is a member of the juniper family.

Photographed in Morton Grove's St. Paul Woods.

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(Video) MSNBC, CNN won't show new Charlie Hebdo cover depicting Mohammed

We learned yesterday on Morning Joe that MSNBC and CNN won't be showing the latest Charlie Hebdo cover cartoon of Muhammad.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

FBI busts Ohio jihadist plotting to blow up US Capitol

Thankfully an informant spoke to the right people about this loon.

Federal investigators arrested a Cincinnati man and sympathizer of an Islamic terrorist group who is accused of plotting an attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Christopher Cornell, 20, who also goes by Raheel Ubaydah, was arrested after he purchased gun and 600 rounds of ammunition, according to a criminal complaint.

Cornell pledged an allegiance online to the Islamic State and often spoke of plans to commit acts of jihad. He planned "to travel to Washington, D.C., and kill employees and officers working in and around the U.S. Capitol," according to the complaint.

He is charged with attempted killing of a U.S. government officer and possession of a firearm in furtherance of attempted crime of violence.

(Photo) Oakton Street bridge over the frozen Des Plaines River

Except for a few patches, the Des Plaines River is frozen over in the eponymous Chicago suburb.

Here is what the river looked like yesterday at Oakton.

(Video) GOP rep: Radical Islamists probably inside U.S. military

On Monday, US Rep Duncan Hunter said that radical jihadists are probably in the US military.


Mother of teen recruited by ISIS says to terror group: "Leave our children alone"

This Muslim mother is talking sense.

From ABC 7 Chicago:
A southwest suburban mother is berating an organization that beheads its critics.

Zarine Khan, the mother of accused Chicago terrorism suspect Mohammed Hamzah Khan, stood in the lobby of the Dirksen federal building on Tuesday and tearfully read a message to the leaders of ISIS, the so-called "Islamic State."

"Leave our children alone," Mrs. Khan said to the TV cameras, shortly after her 19-year-old son entered a plea of not guilty to a one-count indictment charging him with trying to provide material support to a terrorist organization. "The venom spewed by these groups and the violence committed by them find no support in the Quran and are completely at odds with our Islamic faith," she said.