Friday, July 31, 2015

(Video) Clinton dodges on arming military recruiters

Earlier this month five members of our military--including four at a US Marines recruiting station--were murdered by a terrorist. Guns are banned at recruiting offices. This evening in a rare interview, Hillary Rodham Clinton dodged a question from a New Hampshire reporter who asked Her Royal Pantsuit if she favored arming military recruiters--which is something most level-headed people support.

(Photos) Abandoned one room schoolhouse in Three Rivers, Michigan

Earlier this month when Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Garezers Latvian Center near Three Rivers, Michigan.

On the Garezers property--which was previously the Lone Tree Girl Scout Camp--is the old Pleasant Hill School. I believe it was still in operation in the 1960s.

The staff at Garezers calls the schoolhouse "Ziemeļblāzma," which means northern lights.

It was last used as a dormitory for Garezers' teachers. This was what it looked like inside on July 4.

You will find this historic structure on the corner of Hoffman and Day Road east of Three Rivers.

Swiss bank's contributions to Clinton Foundation soared after Hillary resolved its IRS dispute

In Chicago--where Hillary Rotten Clinton was born--it's called a bribe.

From the Daily Caller:
Donations to the Clinton Foundation by Switzerland's largest bank surged after Hillary Clinton worked out a deal in 2009, which has raised concern by authorities.

After Clinton helped resolve a dispute between the Internal Revenue Service and UBS by way of a tentative settlement, the bank’s donations to the Clinton Foundation increased from less than $60,000 in 2008 to a total of $600,000 by the end of 2014, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The bank revealed that it joined together with the family's charitable foundation to launch entrepreneurship and inner-city loan programs with lends totaling $32 million, while also paying Bill Clinton his biggest single corporate source of speech income since he left the White House, $1.5 million, to participate in a series of question-and-answer sessions with UBS Wealth Management Chief Executive Bob McCann.

UBS is just one of many companies that engaged in the Clinton's organization and the State Department under Mrs. Clinton.
Americans? Do you want four more years of Clinton chicanery?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

UK Telegraph travel writer on Chicago: "While no longer an economic and cultural powerhouse..."

In a mostly glowing travel rundown of the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, Chris Moss gets in a sharp jab against Chicago. "While no longer an economic and cultural powerhouse," Moss writes, "the city has an enviable rock, jazz and blues live music scene, a world-class gallery in the Art Institute of Chicago and one of the most impressive skylines on the planet."

Two major credit agencies have rated Chicago's debt as junk. Chicago's population is the lowest it's been since the 1920s.

The truth about Barack Obama's adopted hometown is spreading. His fellow Democrats have destroyed Chicago.

Rot in hell: Mullah Omar is dead

The Islamo-supremacist Taliban today acknowledged the death of its leader, Mullah Omar--which the Afghanistan government reported yesterday. The one-eyed demon harbored Osama bin Laden while he plotted the 9/11 attacks. Mullah Akhtar Mansour, Omar's long time assistant, is the new leader of the Taliban.

May his term be a short one.

Baltimore's July murders match May killings--which were a 25 year high

The human carnage continues after Baltimore's inept mayor gave rioters space-to-destroy in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray in April. With two days left in the month--42 people have been murdered in Maryland's largest city in July. That's the same number of people killed in May--and that bloody month was the deadliest in 25 years.

On this day in 1975: Jimmy Hoffa disappears

Notorious crooked Teamsters union boss Jimmy Hoffa disappeared on this date in 1975. He was last seen in the parking lot of a suburban Detroit restaurant. When news broke the next day of Hoffa's disappearance--no one, including me, expected him to resurface alive.

Mafia influence was strong when Hoffa ran the Teamsters. The union's current president is his son, James P. Hoffa.

The elder Hoffa's presumed murder is still an open criminal case.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dem congressman from Philly indicted on racketeering charges

Illinois isn't the only state with congressmen who find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday accused U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah of using his campaign coffers, charities he created, and federal grant funds he controlled to bankroll a failed 2007 Philadelphia mayoral bid, and line the pockets of family members and close political allies.

The 11-term Democratic congressman, who holds a seat on the powerful Appropriations Committee, was charged in a 29-count racketeering conspiracy indictment that alleges he channeled hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay off an illegal $1 million campaign loan as well as the college debts of son Chaka "Chip" Fattah Jr.

In addition, federal authorities said, Fattah, 58, accepted bribes including stacks of cash, payments toward a Poconos vacation home, and college tuition for an au pair from a lobbyist seeking his help to land an ambassadorship with the Obama White House.

Big loss in Michigan Supreme Court for public-sector unions

Michigan UAW local
Without forced dues money--unions wither and die like an unwatered house plant. Mandatory dues from public-sector workers is different--the taxpayers foot the bill. And public-sector unions lobby for more government which means more government spending. That's how Illinois was transformed into a basket case.

Anyway, back to the Great Lakes State.

From the Detroit News:
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that about 35,000 state employees should have never been subject to paying union fees, giving conservative supporters of the state’s 2013 right-to-work law a major victory.

In a 4-3 decision, the high court declared unconstitutional the Michigan Civil Service Commission’s longstanding rules authorizing labor unions to collect fees from state employees as a condition of employment.

The United Auto Workers, which represents and collects dues or fees from about 17,000 state employees, challenged whether the law applied to its members because their employment terms are set by the constitutionally autonomous Civil Service Commission.

From Doug Ross: PLUNDER AND DECEIT: Mark Levin pulls back the curtain on an ominous future for America's next generation

Talk radio host and former Reagan administration Justice Department official has written another superb book, Doug Ross tells us: PLUNDER AND DECEIT: Mark Levin Pulls Back the Curtain on an Ominous Future for America's Next Generation.

Enjoy the future today. Because the federal government is spending it now.

Obama will give Pell grants to federal jail birds

And what is Obama offering the victims of these crimes?

From CNN Money:
The Obama administration will soon give some inmates the chance to take college courses on the government's dime.

The Education Department and Justice Department on Friday are expected to announce a pilot program giving some prisoners access to federal Pell grants. The aim is to test how effective correctional education programs can be in breaking the cycle of repeat offenders.

Congress banned prisoners from being eligible for Pell grants in 1994. Since then, the prison population has grown significantly to 1.6 million nationwide, and calls for reform are coming from President Obama -- who recently became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison -- as well as members of both parties.

The administration can't lift the ban on Pell grants without Congressional approval, but the Education Department can use its authority to temporarily run a pilot program.
Pell grants are not loans. Of course taxpayers are footing the bill. So these grants aren't really free.

And once again, Obama is bypassing Congress to advance his far-left agenda.

Retired IL state workers contacted about working during possible AFSCME strike

Public-sector unions are not your friend. They may soon strike in Illinois. But the Land of Lincoln's reform governor is planning ahead.

From the State Journal-Register:
The administration of Gov. Bruce Rauner has been contacting retired state employees to determine if they would be willing to return to work on short-term contracts in the event of a strike.

The calls apparently have been made over the last several weeks as the Rauner administration and the largest state employee union, Council 31 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, have continued negotiations on a new labor agreement.

Study: Wind farms drive away prairie birds in the Dakotas

Not only do wind farms slice and dice some birds--others just don't like nesting near them.

Where are the protests by the environmentalists?

From the Grand Forks Herald:
Seven of nine grassland bird species were displaced from breeding habitat on mixed-grass prairies after wind turbines were built at sites in North Dakota and South Dakota, a study found.

The U.S. Geological Survey report, recently published in the journal Conservation Biology, found that susceptible bird species avoided turbine locations for years after construction, including species in "serious decline."

Bird species that avoided wind farms included the western meadowlark, the North Dakota state bird, which has been in decline in the state. The meadowlark moved 300 to 1,000 meters from the turbines, or more than 984 to 3,280 feet.

Other species included the bobolink, which also moved 300 to 1,000 meters, and grasshopper sparrow, which moved 300 meters, or 984 feet.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Abandoned Detroit high rise: Lee Plaza

In addition to being the Tire Dumping Capital of the World, Detroit is also the Vacant High Rise Capital of the World.

Here's one of them: The Lee Plaza at 2240 W. Grand Boulevard in the NW Goldberg neighborhood--which opened in 1929. Like many empty Motor City empty skyscrapers, it's in the Art Deco style.

Originally a luxury apartment with hotel amenities, the Lee was later converted to senior housing. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981, but the structure has been vacant for over twenty years.

Unlike many abandoned Detroit buildings, the Lee is bricked off and fenced off--making vandalism a much tougher task. But not an impossible one.

UPDATE November 19: A developer is proposing a $200 million project to restore this building.

Global warming news: Power rates may be going up because of polar vortex

Despite global warming, Chicago area consumers will may soon pay more for electricity and heat because of bitter cold weather.

From the Chicago Tribune:
Though the polar vortex seems a frost-bound memory, Chicagoans may now feel its bite in a new, unexpected way — higher electricity bills.

Beginning next month, power plants in northern Illinois and other states will be able to make more money from consumers in order to shore up electricity in frigid weather and prevent the scramble to keep the lights on that occurred during the extreme winter of 2013-14.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Fitch joins Moody's in downgrading Chicago Public Schools debt to junk

Chicago Sun-Times building
Chicago--the Junk City--is getting junkier.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Less than a week after the Chicago Board of Education voted to borrow as much as $1.16 billion by selling bonds, another financial ratings agency has lowered its credit rating for the nation’s third-largest school system to "junk" status.

The move is another indicator the Chicago Public Schools will pay higher interest rates when planned bond sales occur in the coming months.

Fitch Ratings announced Monday it lowered its rating on CPS' general obligation bond debt one notch, from 'BBB-' to 'BB+' with a negative watch. The move follows Moody's Investors Service rating CPS' debt at junk status in May.
Related post:

Chicago: Junk City

Italianate home on US Route 12 in Michigan

On the way back from Detroit I traveled down US Route 12, which was once an Indian trail. In 2001 it was designated a Michigan Historic Heritage Route.

In unincorporated Somerset Township in Hillsdale County near the Ohio border I came across a stately Italianate home.

Don't you just want to pull into the driveway? In this part of the Great Lakes State Route 12 is known as Chicago Road.

Here's a closer look at that gem. Patriots live inside--they have two US flags flying out front.

Related post:

Morse-Scoville House, Constantine, Michigan

Chiraq: 7 dead and at 34 wounded over final July weekend

July is ending badly on the bloody streets of Chicago. Seven people were murdered over the weekend and at least 34 others were wounded. One of the fatalities was a 15 year-old Southwest Side boy.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

(Exclusive video) Pfleger blames Illinois' new governor for high unemployment and poverty at MLK event

On July 25. 1965 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the Village Green in Winnetka, Illinois. Fifty years and a day later the 2015 Justice Project was held to celebrate King's legacy and mark the golden anniversary of his visit to Chicago's North Shore.

One of the speakers at this afternoon's event was the vitriolic Father Michael Pfleger, the longtime pastor of St. Sabina's Church on Chicago's South Side. He used the occasion to attack Winnetka's most prominent citizen, Bruce Rauner, a Republican.

"And I can't be here without saying this," the left-wing activist began, "because I wouldn't be true to myself. But one of the reasons that we have so much unemployment and poverty right now in the state is one of the residents of Winnetka--Governor Bruce Rauner. Governor Rauner you need to care about the people on the South Side of Chicago and the West Side of Chicago. Governor Rauner--you need to be out here today and learn from the people in your community."

Who says the Republican reformer doesn't care?

And since Rauner was sworn into office in January, the jobless rate in the Land of Lincoln has gone down.

Pfleger needs to learn the facts.

Rauner pulled state funding from a youth program that the meddlesome priest controlled earlier this year--Illinois is broke, by the way. That's something Pfleger didn't mention in his speech.
Martin Luther King plaque,
Winnetka, IL

Seven years ago Pfleger was suspended by then-Cardinal Francis George for mocking Hillary Clinton from the pulpit of Trinity United Church of Christ--then the home of Obama's toxic minister, the Reverend Jeremiach Wright. President Obama has cited Pfleger as one of his spiritual mentors.

Pfleger's social service groups received over $1 million in funds from the controversial Neighborhood Recovery Initiative--which has been called a political slush fund--from Rauner's Democratic predecessor, Pat Quinn. The NRI was unveiled shortly before Election Day five years ago.

Is Obama planning another Utah federal land grab?

People in Utah are still angry President Bill Clinton's declaration of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument under the Antiquities Act. Utah's congressional delegation was given just a day's notice above the action--which blocked energy and mineral exploration on nearly two million acres of land.

Is President Obama planning a similar move? Several top officials attended an Native American meeting at Bears Ears in southern Utah, east of Grand Staircase, which has raised eyebrows there.

From the Deseret News:
The proposal is charged with controversy and any move by the Obama administration to unilaterally protect the region would likely set off an explosive political reaction. There are still bitter memories in southern Utah of a similar political uproar when President Bill Clinton designated the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in 1996.

"They're stealing our lands from us. I think we've been really good stewards of it," said Brent Johansen who represents a group of ATV enthusiasts called SPEAR, San Juan Public Entry & Access Rights, which stands in opposition to the protection plan.

"It's a fight," Johansen said. "It really is."

Among the Obama administration officials who attended the unusual inter-tribal gathering was Jonathan Jarvis, director of the National Park Service. Also in attendance were Steven A. Ellis, deputy director of the Bureau of Land Management, and Arthur “Butch” Blazer, deputy undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

From Da Tech Guy: Obama's war on the majority

President Obama hopes to continue to "fundamentally transform" America even after he moves out of the White House. From my weekly Da Tech Guy post: Obama's war on the majority.

(Video) CNN panel pans Clinton’s email excuses, agree it's a major problem for her

Hillary Clinton's decision to wipe clean the email server she used while serving as President Obama's secretary of state will continue to haunt her, a CNN panel agreed this morning.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Junk City: Judge rules Chicago pension reform unconstitutional

The bad news continues to roll in for Chicago. Moody's, based on the Illinois Supreme Court ruling on the state's pension reform as being unconstitutional, downgraded the city's bonds to junk status in May--which will cost taxpayers millions. But a court hadn't ruled on Chicago's pension reform until yesterday when a Cook County judge tossed out as unconstitutional the city's 2014 reform.

The Illinois constitution has a strong protection clause.

Chicago's hard-pressed taxpayers will suffer the most. The smart ones will move away.

(Photos) Two southwestern Michigan Carnegie libraries

If you've attended a public school in the last quarter-century, you've no doubt learned that rich people, particularly rich white men, are evil.

Andrew Carnegie was born into poverty in Scotland but by the time he retired was one of the richest men in America if not the world. When he died in 1919 he had given away 90 percent of his fortune.

One of his philanthropic efforts was the establishment of public libraries. Carnegie would match the funds raised of municipalities throughout the English-speaking world that wanted these learning centers

I encountered two Carnegie libraries in southwestern Michigan earlier this month.

Now an arts center, the Three Rivers Public Library in St. Joseph County opened in 1904. Its facade is made of local pink granite.

The Bronson Public Library in Branch County is in the Classical Revival style that many other Carnegie libraries utilized. People began checking books out there in 1910.

Detroit is the tire dumping capital of the world

Among the surprising discoveries I made during my Detroit trip is that many vacant lots, abandoned factories, and forsaken houses have piles of abandoned tires on them.

How do they get there? They're illegally dumped, as the Detroit News explained yesterday.
The economics go like this: State law requires that tire wholesalers charge customers disposal fees when they buy new tires, but they don’t set the price. So big shops charge $3 to $8 per tire. They pay haulers 50 cents to $2.50 per tire to take them away.

Salvageable tires are sold to used shops. Those that can't be resold are supposed to go to Silver Lining or the state’s 20 other recycling centers. That costs haulers money, though, so many simply toss the tires, Marshall said.

“There’s a big incentive to dump what you can’t sell,” he said.

Al Baydoun, service manager of Excel Auto Care on Plymouth near Southfield, said unlicensed crews regularly visit his shop in rented vans, offering to take tires for 25 cents or 50 cents apiece. Baydoun said he refuses the offers because, at those prices, he has no doubt they're illegally dumping tires.
And since Detroit is burdened by miles and miles of urban wasteland--it's an obvious choice for criminals to dispose of old tires.

Besides being a nearly eternal eyesore, the old tires provide breeding spots for disease carrying mosquitoes and they are a fire hazard.

Detroit is the tire dumping capital of the world.

Friday, July 24, 2015

(MSNBC video) Chuck Todd: "I think they blew it when they didn't turn over the server immediately"

Even NBC's uber-liberal Chuck Todd is critical of Hillary Clinton today.

NY Times: Criminal inquiry is sought in Hillary email account

More troubles for Hillary Clinton.

From the New York Times:
Two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state, senior government officials said Thursday.

The request follows an assessment in a June 29 memo by the inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence agencies that Mrs. Clinton's private account contained "hundreds of potentially classified emails." The memo was written to Patrick F. Kennedy, the under secretary of state for management.

It is not clear if any of the information in the emails was marked as classified by the State Department when Mrs. Clinton sent or received them.

But since her use of a private email account for official State Department business was revealed in March, she has repeatedly said that she had no classified information on the account.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Corporate welfare flop: Mitsubishi expected to close Illinois car plant

Despite $29 million in tax breaks handed out by failed Illinois Governor Pat Quinn just four years ago--Mitsubushi appears to ready to say sayonora to the Prairie State. When the giveaway was announced by the Chicago Democrat--he claimed it would save 1,200 jobs.

From the Bloomington Pantagraph:
Mitsubishi Motors is planning to end production at its subsidiary plant in Normal as demand for its cars grows in Asia and declines in the United States, according to reports by Reuters News Service quoting Japan's Nikkei news service.

Mitsubishi Motors North America spokesman Dan Irvin declined to comment Thursday night, telling The Pantagraph, "We do not have a statement at this time, however, as an organization, we continuously assess our supply chain to ensure we remain competitive and best positioned to serve our customers."

This report is the second in as many months in which the fate of MMNA, which has its only car production facility in Normal, was called into question.
The plant opened in 1988 as a joint venture between Chrysler--which has had its own problems of late--and the Japanese car maker. Jim Thompson, a Republican, was governor at the time and he handed the automobile manufacturers tax breaks too--$160 million worth.

A few years later Chrysler sold its half of the factory to Mitsubishi.

Because of the old-Chrysler connection, the plant's workers are represented by the United Auto Workers. The local's contract expires next month. No another Japanese car plant's workers are represented by the UAW.

In 2011 Quinn also lavished tax breaks onto Sears so it wouldn't move its headquarters out of Illinois--right after he signed into law a massive income tax hike for everyone else, including of course myself. Sears is now on its last legs.

Corporate welfare doesn't work. And if Illinois wants to reverse its decline it needs to have low taxes for everyone.

Sears and Mitsubishi should focus their energies onto offering good products at a good price instead gaming the system in their favor.

UPDATE July 24: It's official--MMNA announced today they are closing the Normal plant and they are seeking a buyer for it.

(Photos) Detroit's scavenged Harry B. Hutchins School

There's a beautiful old junior high school on Detroit's north side--Harry B. Hutchins Intermediate School at 8820 Woodrow Wilson Street. Well, it was beautiful. Crosman Alternative High School moved into the facility in 2007--the school closed three years later.

Hutchins is for sale. But let the buyer beware.

The exquisite entrance way. Lily Tomlin is an alumnus of Hutchins.

This is what the school looks like from its back yard. The invasive and difficult-to-kill tree-of-heaven, also known as ailanthus, which one of Detroit's most common trees, dominates.

Amazingly, there is a Colorado blue spruce in the yard--it looks to be about ten years old.

Hutchins School was unique for its time--it was built as educational institution for what we now call middle school students. Yes, Detroit was once on the forefront of education innovations. However, Detroit Public Schools--in what can only be deemed sheer incompetence--never bothered to board up the school when it closed. Which means that anyone can and will walk right in and take anything they want.

The old auditorium. Metal thieves, wire strippers, lighting fixture filchers, and souvenir hunters have picked the old school clean. Although the high ceiling in this room--at least for now--have protected these lights.

It's hard to believe that this school has been closed for only six years.

As Detroit native Alice Cooper sang, "School is out forever."

The former Hutchins gymnasium. There is a balcony surrounding the facility.

The former library teaches a sad new lesson now. This room had the more broken glass than any other here. While I was in the library I heard the sounds of gunfire--fortunately that was the only time that happened when I was in Detroit. Nights must be horrible in this neighborhood--most of the street lights near Hutchins don't work.

While the vandals are responsible for the destruction of Hutchins--neglect by DPS is the midwife of this Motor City eyesore. Before it closed, $2.4 million in bond money was sunk into this school. What a colossal waste. Squandering cash greatly contributed to Detroit's current status as a failed city.

ILL-inois: Suburban highway commissioner apologizes for performing duties from Florida

Among the duties of an Illinois highway commissioner is snow removal. Performing that job from Florida is a new twist.

From CBS 2 Chicago:
All this week, 2 Investigator Pam Zekman has been reporting on a suburban road commissioner who has been doing his job by phone from Florida. Today, he made an apology to voters.

Oswego Township Road Commissioner Gary Grosskopf issued a written statement today defending his 26 year record on the job, but also apologizing for the negative perception of all of his Florida trips.

As we first disclosed, Gary Grosskopf's cell phone records show he was in Florida for 321 days between the end of April last year through June of this year.
Grosskopf didn't return any of Zekman's calls, or course.

The Chicago area endured another brutal winter this year--worst day was the Super Bowl Sunday blizzard.

Muslim professor at black college complains of "dirty Jewish" thugs and "Obama's homo uprising"

A village in Pakistan is missing its idiot.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
A longtime Lincoln University professor drew ire from Pennsylvania officials in 2010 when he called for the destruction of Israel and questioned whether the Holocaust ever happened.

But Kaukab Siddique, a 72-year-old associate professor of English, kept his job. Now he's mouthing off again.

"Don't be scared of these dirty Jewish Zionist White Supremacist thugs," he wrote in a Facebook post in May.

Earlier this month he wondered why it took Bill Cosby's accusers so long to come forward. Is it because "many women are sluts"?
Lincoln University is an historically black college located in suburban Pennsylvania. Professor Siddique, a native of Pakistan, was so unhappy with the US Supreme Court's ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, he said, "The servants of Allah, will oppose Obama's homo uprising..."

The school receives some state funding. And yes, Siddique is tenured.

One week ago today: Four marines and one sailor killed by terrorist

It's been a week since an Islamic terrorist murdered four United States marines and one sailor in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Sadly, the White House response--where our commander-in-chief lives--has been muted.

But America is far better than the current occupant of the office of the presidency.

We're still the Land of the Free because of the brave.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

(Video) Gipper's Grove time lapse and Reagan quote

There is a Gipper's Grove at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Libary.

"Like a tree growing strong through the seasons, rooted in the Earth and drawing life from the sun, so, too, positive change must be rooted in traditional values" – Ronald Reagan.

Related posts:

(CNN video) Reporter says Hillary is "going to need to find a way to convince voters to trust her again"

Hillary Clinton's second presidential campaign is faltering, as a poll shows that the former First Lady is trailing several GOP candidates in swing states.

This morning CNN's Jeremy Diamond said that HRC is "going to need to find a way to convince voters to trust her again." Well, good luck with that. Once trust is lost--think of that cheating partner or a duplicitous co-worker--it is not easily regained.

And I'm not the only person who has never trusted Hillary.

One year ago today: Iran seizes Washington Post reporter

President Obama's new pals in Iran are holding four Americans as hostages. One of them Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian. The Obama administration, the world's worst negotiators, were unable to free these hostages. Perhaps it was because they never asked.

It was on this day in 2014 when Rezaian was jailed. The liberal Post, aware of the ineffectiveness of the White House, appealed today to the United Nations to free their reporter.

Poll shows Hillary behind GOP in swing states

Voters are not as stupid as Hillary Clinton believes them to be.

From CNN:
Hillary Clinton trails three top Republican presidential candidates in head-to-head matchups in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia, a new survey shows.

The latest Quinnipiac University swing state polling released Wednesday shows the Democratic frontrunner trailing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in each of those states.
Hillary's history of deceitfulness includes her lying about a video being the inspiration behind the Benghazi killings and her using a private email server while she served as secretary of state--then wiping it clean.

And that's just the recent history.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

But he's still in prison: Some Blago convictions vacated

This is not a big deal. The megalomaniac Democrat who helped destroy Illinois still has to obey the "lights out" command every night.

From ABC 7 Chicago:
An appeals court vacated five convictions and threw out the sentence of former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Tuesday afternoon. The rest of Blagojevich's convictions were affirmed by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

"He's optimistic that justice will prevail eventually," said Patti Blagojevich, his wife.

The Blagojevich family and his legal team were hoping for more, calling the ruling "disappointing" and "shocking". Though the appeals court threw out five counts, they said the long-awaited decision "is not justice."
"Most people would look at this and say 'Wow, if a quarter of his counts were reversed, and so a quarter of his sentence should be taken off' - but that's not the way that it works," said Lauren Kaeseberg, Blagojevich attorney.
No it doesn't.

(Photo) Allstate billboard above Detroit Highwaymen clubhouse

When you have a one-percenter outlaw motorcycle gang clubhouse in your neighborhood--even if it may be closed--it's a good idea to have insurance, Allstate implies in a billboard above this building emblazoned with Detroit Highwaymen on Michigan Avenue in Detroit's Michigan-Martin neighborhood.

More from in 2011:
The Highwaymen Motorcycle Club is headquartered in southwest Detroit and has numerous chapters in the city of Detroit, in several cities in southeast Michigan, and has chapters in other states. Prosecutors were able to prove the violent nature of the club when witnesses testified to a range of criminal activity including armed robbery, attempted murder, conspiracies to kill witnesses, use of firearms during acts of violence, and the distribution of large amounts of marijuana, cocaine, and steroids.

Evidence at trial also established the highly structured organization and chain of the command of the Highwaymen. These six defendants represented many of the officers, or bosses, of the enterprise. Evidence also showed that other members of the club were heavily involved in narcotics trafficking and theft offenses.
It's a good thing that Allstate is "proud to represent southeast Michigan."

If the clubhouse is closed why is there no graffiti on it? Almost every other vacant Motown building has been tagged and retagged.

I think I know why.

UK man arrested in plot against US soldiers in Britain

Members of the American military are targets everywhere.

From ABC News:
A British man has been charged for allegedly planning a terrorist attack on U.S. military personnel in the U.K., according to a statement released today by Britain's Crown Prosecution Service, which prosecutes criminal cases investigated by the police.

Junead Khan, 24, from Luton, U.K., was arrested on July 14 under the Terrorism Act for being involved in the plan with the intention to commit acts of terrorism.

Khan allegedly was planning to run over a U.S. military member with a car and attack him with a knife, potentially while wearing a suicide vest, officials said at a court hearing in Westminster Magistrates' Court in London today.

Khan's uncle, Shazib Khan, 22, also was arrested, and both are accused of plotting to join ISIS in Syria, officials said.
If Americans know anything about Luton--it's as a frequent Monty Python punchline. But today's reality is no joke--Luton is a center of British Islamic radicalism. Even Wikipedia notes that.

From Gateway Pundit: US flags at state capitols and US capitol at half-mast but White House still at full-mast

Last month the White House was lighted up in the colors of the gay flag after the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. But after four marines and sailor were killed in Chattanooga by a probable jihadist, President Obama apparently has a different attitude. From Gateway Pundit: US flags at sate capitols and US capitol at half-mast but White House still at full-mast.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Detroit's vacant Michigan Central Station

One of Detroit's most noticeable vacant, or if you prefer abandoned, landmark buildings, is Michigan Central Station. a former train depot in the Beaux Arts style in the Corktown neighborhood that closed down in 1988. It was built about two miles from downtown with the hope that the train station would expand central Detroit's growth, which was the same flawed strategy that doomed suburban Atlanta real estate mogul Charlie Croker in Tom Wolfe's A Man in Full. Then the tallest train station in the world when in opened in 1914, it was built with streetcars--what we now call interurban trains--in mind.

Automobiles didn't figure in to the architect's plans. Yeah, in Detroit--go figure.

However, behind the fence and menacing barbed wire is what appears to be a cab stand that may have been added later.

For years the old station, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was unfenced and anyone--graffiti taggers and urban explorer--could walk right in, which is the same situation the former Fisher Body 21 plant is in today. The station is owned by well-known Detroit real estate developer Manuel "Matty" Maroun--whose firm is putting windows back in. However, Maroun hasn't stated his intentions in regards to the old station.

If you saw the Robocop reboot, yes, this is the windowless building in a helicopter close-up.

This is relief is above the entrance. Man oh man, they don't build them like that anymore--and that's a real shame.

In front of Michigan Central Station is Roosevelt Park. Other than these letters, a few benches, and the mowed grass, it's more of a park in the classic western states sense. It is just an open space. There are no swing sets or slides--and the only person playing in the park was a millenial flying his drone.

As for the station, it has been suggested that it could be turned into a high-speed rail hub. That will not happen. If a high-speed rail network is built--and it will take a lot of taxpayers dollars for that to come about--that hub will not be in a city with a plummeting population. Michigan Central Station did not expand Detroit's downtown into Corktown a century ago--and high-speed rail will not be Motown's savior.

Sometime soon I will post about Detroit's People Mover and its under-construction interurban line. If you are a liberal who likes trains--be forewarned--you won't like what I have to say.

Detroit mayor, other city officials, use private email accounts

Renaissance Center, Detroit
Detroit needs transparency probably more than any other city.

From the Detroit Free Press:
City of Detroit officials, including Mayor Mike Duggan, sometimes use private e-mail accounts to conduct the public's business — a practice that concerns open records experts and one that has hounded Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Duggan explained his tolerance for city employees using private e-mail accounts for official business after the Free Press obtained records through the Freedom of Information Act showing Melvin Butch Hollowell, the city's top lawyer, using both his Gmail account and city-issued e-mail account to communicate with a Detroit International Bridge Co. executive during negotiations for the pending Riverside Park land swap.

The city's e-mail policy prohibits workers from sending, receiving or forwarding "confidential or sensitive City of Detroit data and information through non-city of Detroit e-mail accounts." The policy, dated March 2013, specifically lists Gmail as an example of a non-city account.
The city's attorney says that these emails sent on the Gmail server were not confidential or sensitive. Well, if so, then release them.

From my post at Da Tech Guy:

I walked its streets--the tragedy of Detroit.

Chiraq: 3 dead and at least others 31 wounded over weekend

It was another bloody weekend in Chicago. Three residents were murdered and at least 31 others were wounded. The death toll may rise, as the bodies of a mother and her three children were discovered Saturday night. Their cause of death is undetermined.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Not a wimp: George H.W. Bush released from hospital

When George H.W. Bush was hospitalized in an intensive care unit three years ago--reporters were readying the publishing of their obituaries of the 41st president. But Bush returned home. Last week Bush 41 broke a bone in his neck--and today he was released from the hospital. On his 85th and 90th birthday the former Navy pilot took a parachute jump.

His critics liked to call him a wimp in the 1980s, But the 91 year-old "Poppy" just might outlive them all.

Good for him.

From Da Tech Guy: Obama declares war on the suburbs

Do you live in a suburb? Well you should know that President Obama has you in his crosshairs. From my weekly Da Tech Guy post: Obama declares war on the suburbs.

Uh-oh: Trump says McCain is not a war hero

At a candidate forum in Arizona yesterday, Donald Trump had this to say about John McCain, a man he's been feuding with for years. "He's a war hero 'cause he was captured. I like people that weren't captured."

McCain endured inhumane torture during his years in the notorious "Hanoi Hilton." As for being captured, McCain was shot down deep in communist territory.

As for Trump, he graduated high school in the mid-1960s--and he was part of the core demographic group that fought and died in the Vietnam War. Trump received a student deferment and later a medical deferment due to a bone spur.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Westboro Church reportedly planning Chattanooga funeral protests

Belleau Wood US Marines
Memorial, Des Plaines, IL
Even though the Rev. Fred Phelps, the founder of the cult known as the Westboro Baptist Church, died last year the hatred continues.

From the Chattanooga Times Free Press:
Messages appearing to originate from the Westboro Baptist Twitter account indicate that the small church plans to picket the funerals of slain servicemembers killed in Chattanooga.

Claiming that God sent the gunman to the military installations in Chattanooga, Westboro Baptist on Saturday indicated that it planned to protest the funerals of the slain Marines and Sailor.

Blaming the killings in part on the acceptance of gay marriage in the U.S., the church said it would protest the funerals "with a helpful message."
Often the so-called church is a no-show for their threatened protests. We can only hope that is the case this time.

Detroit: Crumbling factory next to a cemetery

Here's an epiphanic Detroit photograph. In the background is part of the massive Packard plant ruins--a small part of the world's largest abandoned factory.

Ashes to ashes--dust to dust applies to us and our buildings.

Visitors to the graveyard are greeted with this ominous warning.

Yes, the sign reads, "For your own safety while visiting cemetery--lock your car and be alert."

I'll have more on the Packard plant in the coming weeks.