Saturday, October 31, 2015

Leftist Chicago Teachers Union head calls governor a sociopath

CTU member at an
Occupy Chicago rally
Karen Lewis, the left-wing extremist who is the president of the Chicago Teachers Union, called Illinois' Republican reform governor, Bruce Rauner, a "sociopath" at a Friday luncheon. Sitting silent in the audience as Lewis bellowed were the Prairie State's gerrymander kings, state House speaker Michael Madigan and state Senate president John Cullerton.

Keep it classy, Karen.

Soldier Field, Chicago skyline, Lake Shore Drive and fall colors

Here's a photograph from the autumn of 2014 that I found while looking for something else--it is the work of Mrs. Marathon Pundit.

Here you see part of the Chicago skyline, Soldier Field, Lake Shore Drive, and some fall colors.

On this day in 1926: Houdini dies in Detroit

David Stott Building
One of the world's greatest entertainers, magician Harry Houdini, died on Halloween in 1926 at Grace Hospital in Midtown Detroit.

Like another dominant entertainer of his era, Buffalo Bill Cody, it's difficult to separate the legend from the facts with Houdini's life from the legend. And so it is with his death.

Houdini's last performance was on October 24 at the long-ago demolished Garrrick Theatre at 1122 Griswold Street in downtown Detroit, just south of where the David Stott Building now stands. Suffering from appendicitis that may have been caused by a punch to the stomach by a Montreal college student who responded to the magician's longstanding challenge that he could endure a gut punch, Houdini struggled through his show with a high fever.

At first Houdini was optimistic that he would pull through, but on October 31 he uttered his last words, "I'm tired of fighting."

There is no historical marker at the site of the old Garrick--not for the theater and not for it being the site of Houdini's last performance.

I mean, wake up, Detroit, you have a tourist attraction right under your nose.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Yellow Maples at Dam Number 4 Woods South

I discovered a section of Dam Number 4 Woods South in Park Ridge, Illinois that is not overrun with European buckthorn. There are tall sugar maples and inches-high sugar maples too. And it's a nearly all yellow view.

(Video) Hillary pressed on scandals by voter

Watch as a New Hampshire voter asks Hillary Clinton the question that the mainstream media won't.

Devil's Night house in Detroit

At 7343 Churchill Street in Detroit is a sprawling abandoned home that was built in 1914.

Okay, as far as vacant houses, this one isn't particularly remarkable. But stick with me on this one.

On the left side of the porch you'll see a sign.

Every year on October 30--which is known as Devil's Night in Detroit and the rest of southeastern Michigan--barbarians and insurance fraudsters burn down abandoned buildings. The festivities often begin on the evening of the 29th, although the other 363 days of the year are hardly arson-free. Detroit averages over ten arson fires a day.

Community leaders responded with Angel's Night in the 1990s to control the mayhem, which has been somewhat successful. Signs such as this one, which reads, "This building is being watched, stop Halloween arson," are being utilized for Devil's Night 2015. And there is a curfew for anyone 17-and-under in Detroit until Halloween is over.

Here's what else is amazing about that house--it's not in the Detroit empty wastelands such the area surrounding the Packard Plant, it is just two blocks from the Motown Museum and a half-mile from the prestigious Henry Ford Hospital. Urban ruins are always nearby in the Motor City, which is a sightseeing tip that you won't see in a tourist brochure.

The Devil's Night house has something else going for it--apples that can be picked right off of the tree. And there aren't attack dogs there anymore.

At one time there was a trick and a treat here.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Chicago area man who wanted to join ISIS pleads guilty to terrorism charges

Fortunately for America--and the world--this creep, Mohammed Hamzah Khan, was caught before he could enlist in the Islamic State.

From ABC 7 Chicago:
On Thursday, at age 20, Khan stood before a federal judge in Chicago pleading guilty to attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization. The Bolingbrook man faces up to 20 years in prison. If he continues to cooperate with law enforcement officials, however, prosecutors said they would recommend an actual prison sentence of only five years.

The agreement does call for an unusually lengthy period of court supervision once he gets out -- at least another 15 years.

As part of the plea deal, Khan must seek "psychological and violent extremism counseling" once he is released from prison. He must perform at least 120 hours of community service per year and allow authorities to search his cellphone, email and computer four times a month for the first 7 1/2 years.
Investigators found that Khan had spent months honing his jihadist views via social media. On his YouTube account, they pointed to one of Khan's favorite videos from Syria: "We shall chop off their heads with swords... and by Allah we shall make the ground spit out their corpses," referring to the infidels who don't tote the ISIS line.
Too bad Khan wasn't charged with treason as well.

Ottawa portion of Illinois & Michigan Canal could be re-watered in 2017

I&M Canal at Ottawa
Here's an update on the Illinois & Michigan Canal. Last autumn, in honor of the thirtieth anniversary of Ronald Reagan signing into law the creation of the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor, I traveled through most of it and blogged about it.

One of the dry segments of the canal is in Ottawa. But that may change.

From MyWebTimes:
The summer of 2017 now is the target time for an Illinois National Guard engineer unit to excavate, grade and prepare sections of the long-dry canal bed to again hold water.

The nonprofit Ottawa Canal Association hope to re-water the 2,900-foot dry section of the canal between Guion and Walnut streets with three feet of water, so it can be used as a tourist draw and for recreational purposes, such as kayaking.

In 2012, the Ottawa City Council voted down seeking a state grant for the re-watering project — hesitating at paying a 20 percent share of the grant amount. The next year, the OCA approached the Illinois National Guard to see if the canal project could be a match for an annual two-week training session for the 766th Engineer Battalion headquartered in Decatur.
The Guard was already committed for projects, but things are clearly looking up for 2017.

Related posts:

I&M Canal NHC at 30--an 18 post series

Illinois & Michigan Canal at 30: Ottawa

Detroit is still America's crime capital; bottom in reading and math

Eight Mile Road in Detroit
Many people shook their heads in horrified disbelief when I told them I vacationed in Detroit this summer. I guess its because that according to Forbes, based upon violent crime statistics including murder, Michigan's largest city remains America's crime capital.

That's not the only bad news the Motor City received this week. Students at Detroit Public Schools have the lowest reading and math scores of any big city school district.

Criminal activity, not of the violent sort, extends into the administration of DPS, as you will read below.

Related posts:

Detroit schools kickback scheme explained in ex-principal's emails

Crooked former Chicago Public School CEO's Detroit tenure now under investigation

Pennsylvania college drops Crusaders nickname

The whitewashing of America continues. Ironically, the choice of Crusaders as this school's team name had nothing to do with religion. It honors an effort, which essentially failed, of a university official who battled to maintain amateurism college athletics.

Some donors have told Susquehanna University that they intend to keep their cash now that the "Crusaders" nickname and logo are being replaced.

Others offered donations in support of Monday's decision to move on from the moniker that dates to 1924, according to university president L. Jay Lemons.

The issue has split opinion in three directions: approval, refusal, and apathy.

By Wednesday, a day-old petition to keep the name had passed 1,500 signatures. Supporters are rallying on Twitter and Facebook. There's been a run on Crusader merchandise at the campus bookstore.
This is another example of political-correctness run amok. If Muslims don't like the Crusaders name, they don't have to enroll at Susquehanna.

Related post:

PJ Media Video: California Scalps the Redskins

(Video) Hillary dodges on whether she stands by VA comments

Last week Hillary Rotten Clinton made the audacious claim that the well-documented wait-times scandal at Veterans Administration hospitals was not "widespread."

When a reporter at a New Hampshire television station asked Hillary if she stands by her comments about the VA--she dodged the question.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bright red and orange maples at a cemetery

Fall colors and cemeteries are appropriate pairing--dying meets death.

Bright red maples are nicely complimenting St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery on Harms Road in Skokie, Illinois right now.

(Photo) Graffiti makes an abandoned Detroit building uglier

Graffiti taggers and street artists earnestly believe that their vandalism beautifies harsh urban landscapes.

That is not the case with with this apartment building at 5149 Moran Street in Detroit.

PJ Media Video: California Scalps the Redskins

California legislators, who really need to find something better to do--such as lower taxes and cut government spending, recently passed the Racial Mascots Act. It forces four schools that have the nickname of Redskins to pick another name.

John Phillips of PJ Media has more.

Hastert pleads guilty, expected to serve six months

ABC 7 Chicago is reporting that as expected, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, entered a guilty plea in federal court in Chicago. The Plano Republican agreed to deal from prosecutors that recommends that he serve no more than six months in prison.

Hastert is accused of violating banking laws and lying to federal officials in regards to making payments to a male student who says the former high school wrestling coach sexually abused him.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

FBI issues alert that cops may be attacked by anarchists on Halloween

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning police departments in twenty cities that cops may be attacked on Halloween. One of those cities is Detroit, which is no stranger to Halloween-related mayhem.

From ABC 7 Detroit:
The Grim Creepers are proposing the Halloween revolt. They're part of an extremist group known by feds as the National Liberation Militia.

Detroit Police Assistant Chief Steve Dolunt acknowledges the serious nature of the threat. He learned the group has encouraged members to wear Halloween masks and create a disturbance to lure in officers and then to use weapons on them - weapons such as bricks, bottles and firearms.
Yes, cop lives matter.

Hastert's many friends abandon him as he heads to court to plead guilty

Ten years ago former House Speaker Denny Hastert was second-in-line to the presidency. Now after a blackmail and sex scandal--that goes back to his days as a teacher in Yorkville, Illinois--"the Coach" has largely been abandoned by his once large crowd of supporters.

The Plano Republican will plead guilty in a Chicago federal court on Wednesday to charges related to banking irregularities and lying to federal officials.

From Chuck Goudie of ABC 7 Chicago:
John Dennis Hastert will appear in court at 9 a.m. to change his plea to guilty, but in the court of public opinion, Hastert has already been sentenced to the cold shoulder. Big-name public figures who run awry of the law can usually count on die hard supporters to send letters of praise to judges in an effort to solicit mercy. Not so the in the case of the USA versus Hastert - where the I-Team has learned the judge's mailbag is nearly empty.

When ex-Speaker Hastert walks the media gauntlet into the federal building on Wednesday, he will be surrounded by dozens of people. But he may still feel very alone, at least according to the barometer of letters written on his behalf.

Since his indictment May 28, only three letters have been received by Judge Thomas Durkin in Chicago, the I-Team has learned.
Hastert allegedly sexually abused male students while he taught at Yorkville High School.

(Photo) The abandoned Faith Prayer Healing Temple Church of God in Christ in Detroit

Just east of Hamtramck in Detroit is the former Faith Prayer Healing Temple COGIC (Church of God in Christ) at 6515 Miller Street. Its pastor-elder was Grady Billing, Jr.

Although I didn't--you can just walk in to the decrepit old church.

Related post:

(Photo) The abandoned Apostolic Faith Church of Love in Detroit

Chicago aldermen want to make it harder for themselves to be investigated

Chicago's Grant Park
For the past 40 years a Chicago alderman has been sentenced to prison every 18 months or so. The latest to join Club Fed is Sandi Jackson of the 7th Ward; Jesse Junior's wife checked in for an extended stay last week. 

So it shouldn't be a surprise that the public servants of the Chicago City Council want to make it difficult to be investigated.

From a Chicago Tribune editorial:
Chicago City Council members are about to make life easier for themselves. They're running their inspector general — the person assigned to investigate them and their staffs — out of town.

The contract of Legislative Inspector General Faisal Khan, who has warred with the aldermen since he was hired in 2011, expires in November. There's no chance the aldermen will renew it. But they're also making no moves to replace Khan.

The most logical step would be to expand the powers of the city's inspector general, Joe Ferguson, to allow his office to investigate complaints into aldermen and their staffs. But the aldermen are in no rush to do that either.

The aldermen created the LIG job and hired Khan, but set him up for failure. He can't launch an investigation into aldermanic or council staff corruption on his own. He has to wait for a complaint. He can't investigate anonymous complaints. He needs permission from the city's Board of Ethics to pursue an investigation. He has to inform the subject that he or she is under investigation.

Islamic State ties captives to ancient Roman columns and explodes them

I'm interested in learning what Koran verse justifies this apalling atrocity.

From CNN:
ISIS, which comes up with more and more heinous methods of execution, has ramped up its cruelty: Members of the group tied three people to the pillars in the ancient section of Palmyra and killed them by detonating the pillars, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The group said it learned of the killings from local sources in the city, which has been under ISIS control since May. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights relies on activists inside Syria to document human rights violations in the country.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Agriculture making a comeback in Detroit

Hoop house on Detroit's
east side
Farming is making is experiencing a resurgence in the Motor City.

A massive five-year plan was announced Monday for a blighted neighborhood on Detroit's east side.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan joined a jovial Gary Wozniak in announcing a $15-million plan to turn 22 blocks around the former Chene-Ferry Market into an urban agriculture hub for the city.

Wozniak is the CEO of the nonprofit RecoveryPark, which essentially repurposes blighted abandoned land in Detroit into specialty urban farms through RecoveryPark Farms, a for-profit arm creating agricultural jobs for Detroiters.

RecoveryPark Farms specifically hires ex-offenders, recovering addicts and others who would have barriers to employment.
The thirty five acres of land for RecoveryPark won't resemble rural Iowa; hoop houses for vegetable cultivation is what Wozniak has in mind. Besides, most Detroit vacant land has building foundations hidden in the soil. Try plowing that.

(Photos) Palos area fall colors--part two

Last week I visited my mother in Palos Heights, Illinois, which is where I grew up. I posted some fall colors photos on Friday--here are the rest of them.

Three elderly people walk up an incline at the Palos Park Woods North Forest Preserve at Kean Avenue late in the morning.

Later that day--from the bottom of that slope--is how the trail looked. Look closely--there is a man on horseback in this pic.

To the east at Paddock Woods red oaks and hickories dominate the landscape. The path you see is the Sag Valley Trail.

Here we have red, orange, brown, and green.

McClaughry Springs Woods has a 100 foot tall moraine--I'm looking up it here as the sugar maples look back.

Mill Creek is a stream the runs through McClaughry Springs. As you can see, we haven't had much rain lately.

A red oak peeks out over the creek.

A final look at Mill Creek.

The Cal-Sag Channel in Palos Heights is in its autumnal glory.

My Friday Palos fall colors posts contained many wetland shots, so I think that it's appropriate to end with one. Pictured here is Cranberry Slough Nature Preserve at 95th and LaGrange Road in Willow Springs, the site of a rare Illinois peat bog.

Earlier post:

(Photos) Palos area fall colors--part one

Chiraq: 6 murdered and at least 28 wounded over weekend

The last full weekend before Halloween was another violent one in Chicago. Six people were murdered and at least 28 others were wounded. The shootings occurred all over Chiraq--and one of the fatalities took place in the normally quiet Jefferson Park neighborhood on the Northwest Side.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Creepy Brawny paper towel commercial

Brawny, the paper towel brand, has a creepy new commercial, "Stay Giant, Detroit," featuring Michigan's largest city

The Motor City--I have to correct the narrator--has more than "a little bit of rust."

And when I see the Brawny mascot, I somehow can't help to think of the the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters.

From my post at Da Tech Guy:

I walked its streets--the tragedy of Detroit.

From Da Tech Guy: Biden’s praise of compromise rings hollow

"Uncle Joe" Biden was eloquent last week when he announced that he is not running for president in 2016 as he hailed bipartisanship. However, the truth is much different as a explain in my weekly post at Da Tech Guy: Biden's praise of compromise rings hollow.

Medieval: Man carrying spear chases man carrying sword in Wichita

Things are crazy in Kansas. From the Wichita Eagle: Man carrying spear chases man carrying sword through south Wichita.

I guess the return to the World Series of the Kansas City Royals didn't calm their nerves.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

(Photo) The abandoned Apostolic Faith Church of Love in Detroit

I just love this jewel box building at 12045 Rosa Parks Boulevard in Detroit that is the former home of a church. I zoomed in on my photograph and I learned that it is the former home of the Apostolic Faith Church of Love. Its pastor-elder was James M. Boyer.

I believe that's a sculpture of an eagle above the doorway, or it could be a peace dove.

(Photos) Detroit's Parker-Webb Building and Fluxus

There's a fantastic looking old building in downtown Detroit that has been for the most part overlooked by architectural historians--the Park-Webb Building at 400 Grand River.

According to Detroit1701 it was the structure originally hosted a meat processing company. The architect and date of construction are unknown.

But there's more--a plaque near the doorway.

It reads,"Čia gimė FLUXUS įkūrėjas Jurgis Mačiūnas, 1931.11.08 -- 1975.05.08."

Translated from Lithuanian it means, "The founder of FLUXUS. George Mačiūnas. was born here." Mačiūnas was an avante-garde artist who created Fluxus boxes for "happenings," inside those containers were various objects that artists would react to in ways only they could probably understand--performance art, I guess. Yoko Ono was a Fluxus enthusiast, which is all I need to know.

Mačiūnas was born in Lithuania, not Detroit. Perhaps he hosted a Fluxus exhibition at the Parker-Webb Building once.

Or was this mistake was affixed onto this structure to create a discussion point? Or better yet, a happening?

If so, then Fluxus lives.

Friday, October 23, 2015

(Video) Anti-American Obama says GOP is "down on America"

Remember, this is the man who said that he wouldn't wear a US flag pin because it represented a "substitute for I think true patriotism."

Today at at Democratic Party event President Obama said that Republicans are "down on America" like "Grumpy Cat."

Has Obama ever said that he loves America? Has he ever said that it's the world's greatest county? It is, by the way.

Our first anti-American president has hollowed out our military and he's empowering enemy nations such as Iran.

Chafee chucks campaign

Upsetting dozens, Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. And to think that only last week I learned how to spell his last name.

(Photos) Palos area fall colors--part one

Yesterday I visited my mother in Palos Heights, Illinois--she still lives in the family home. The fall colors are at their peak.

That's 87th Street heading west.

There are many wetlands in the Palos area.

The tree, probably a red oak is in the Buffalo Woods Forest Preserve.

That's Hidden Pond. It isn't much of a pond anymore, vegetation is filling it in--albeit naturally.

Here's a scene from White Oak Woods.

LaGrange Road is also US Route 20, US Route 12, US Route 45 and the U.S. Grant Memorial Highway in northern Palos Township. All but US Route 45 veer off to the east at 95th Street.

A Metra Train pulls out of the Palos Heights station--looking down on sumac trees.

A truss rail bridge over the unseen Cal-Sag Channel.

Next week: I go deeper into the woods

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Cirrocumulus clouds reflected on Big Bend Lake

Cirrocumulus clouds are beautiful. Especially when reflected on water, as they were earlier this month at Big Bend Lake in Des Plaines, Illinois. 

(PJ Media video) Got Law? How Hillary Clinton's Lawlessness Gets Ignored...

Right now Hillary Rodham Clinton is testifying before the Benghazi House Select Committee. But when you get the change, I recommend that you take a look at Bill Whittle's PJ Media Afterburner where he discusses our lawless former secretary of state.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Detroit schools kickback scheme explained in ex-principal's emails

Detroit Open School is
now closed
A few days ago on Da Tech Guy blog I wrote about the public education racket and Detroit made its way into that post.

Here's some more from the Detroit Free Press:
In a series of conversations with her boss in November 2014, Kenyetta (KC) Wilbourn, the former principal of Mumford High School, laid bare the nature of alleged corruption in the Educational Achievement Authority, according to an account contained in hundreds of pages of documents and e-mails released by the EAA this week.

Wilbourn acknowledged that she would help vendors score school business by ghost writing their responses to bids. She would take a cut of vendor payments and allow vendors to overbill. In one case, she said she had a vendor hire her uncle to channel money to her cousin.

"She said she was taught all of this during her DPS days by veteran principals," EAA Chancellor Veronica Conforme wrote in a summary of the conversations she sent to district lawyer Michelle Crockett, who later forwarded them to the FBI. DPS is a reference to Detroit Public Schools, where Wilbourn worked for years before joining the EAA, the special school district created in 2012 to turn around Michigan's lowest-performing schools. Wilbourn mentioned specifically a former principal who now works as an administrator for DPS as her mentor in how to work vendors to her advantage.
Remember when you pay your property tax bill that some of that money is "for the kids."

Wilbourn once drove a Maserati.

Related posts:

(Photos) Detroit's Abandoned Caroline Crosman Alternative High School

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

Back to the Future: Reagan was a fan

Reagan statue,
Dixon, IL
Who else was a fan of the Back to the Future series?

None other than our 40th president.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Ronald Reagan would've just been another "Back to the Future" fanatic today.

The Republican icon enjoyed how he got to be a punchline in the first film (When Marty McFly travels to the past and tells Doc Brown who is the current president, the mad scientist responds: "Ronald Reagan? The actor?! Then who's vice-president – Jerry Lewis?"). He liked the scene so much that he apparently had the projectionist rewind the film and play it back.
Related posts:

Axis of evil: Assad visits Putin

A new axis of evil is coalescing. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited Vladimir Putin in Moscow today. Rather than fighting terrorism, Putin's military is in Syria to bolster Assad's shaky regime.

This is the vile eye doctor's first trip abroad since the start of the Syrian Civil War. Third World rulers are often deposed when they leave the countries they misrule. But apparently because of his new ally, Assad believes he can travel from Syria and safely return as its dictator.

Breaking: Biden not running for president

In a White House Rose Garden announcement, Vice President Joe Biden, with Barack Obama at his side, said he is not running for president.

So ends the political career of Crazy Uncle Joe.

Sex-for-repairs scandal at Baltimore public housing

Riots, a sky-high murder rate, and now this.

Baltimore is a hell-hole.

From NBC 11 Baltimore:
Four new victims joined seven others in a sextortion federal lawsuit against the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, alleging top officials within the agency were aware of complaints.

On Tuesday, amendments to the lawsuit detail new facts, including an affidavit from a victim who was a Baltimore Public Housing resident and who worked as an administrative assistant for the deputy executive director of the authority.

In her affidavit, she said that in May 2015 she told the deputy executive director about demands from maintenance men for sex in exchange for repairs to her public housing unit. This was in addition to complaints, which are already in the public record, to lower-level housing authority managers and investigators in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

According to the affidavit, maintenance men in Gilmor Homes left the woman and her daughter without heat for two winters because she refused to have sex with them.
I can only imagine the howls from liberals if these allegations were made about workers at a private housing development, as opposed to a government-run establishment, which of course is the case here.

Oh, these maintenance workers are unionized.

According to one affadavit, a worker told a resident awaiting repairs, "You get what you ask for, you get what you pay for and you get what you put out."

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Michigan city may drop Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples Day

Columbus statue, Chicago
Yspilanti, Michigan, the home of Eastern Michigan University, may become the next city to drop Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day. The town's mayor, Amanda Maria Edmonds said in a resolution that "dislocation, disease, war, disenfranchisement, and other atrocities devastated" the native people of the western hemisphere.

It is not known if Ypsilanti plans to celebrate the proposed Indigenous Peoples Day with Aztec and Mayan-inspired human sacrifices.

From my post at Da Tech Guy:

'Tis the season for attacks on Christopher Columbus

(PJ Media Video) Democratic Party Growing Increasingly Leftwing

In a PJ Media Poll Position video, John Phillips discusses the leftist tilt of the Democratic Party.

Not content with destroying Europe--America appears to be the next target of the far left.

Jesse's daugter-in-law: Sandi Jackson reports to federal prison

What a family the Reverend Jesse Jackson has. His half brother, Noah Robinson, is serving a life sentence for racketeering and murder-for-hire. His son, former congressman Jesse Jr, just completed a sentence for using campaign funds on personal items. Junior's wife, Sandi Jackson, a former Chicago alderman, reported to a federal prison this morning to begin her jail term for tax evasion.

Sandi is the latest member of Chicago's City Council to spend time in federal custody. She won't be the last.

Still, Mayor Rahm Emanuel wistfully discusses "Chicago values." Just what are those?

ILL-inois lost nearly 7 thousand jobs last month, but government jobs up

The unemployment rate in Illinois went down from 5.6 percent to 5.4 percent, but statistics lie. The Prairie State had a net loss of 6,900 jobs. But the state gained 2,100 government jobs, even though Illinois' population is declining.

Monday, October 19, 2015

ILL-inois suffers another debt downgrade

After twelve years of misrule and fiscal malfeasance at the hand of two Chicago Democrats, Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn, as Illinois governor, voters chose Republican reformer Bruce Rauner to right the sinking ship. But because of grotesque gerrymandering by two other Chicago Dems, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, Rauner faces Democratic supermajorities in the General Assembly. They are holding the budget hostage because they refuse to agree to Rauner's reform proposals, which include redistricting reform.

The petulant game by the Democrats caused Fitch to downgrade Illinois' debt rating to BBB-plus--the lowest of the 50 states.

Blago cheering on Cubs from his prison cell

Marathon Pundit in front of Wrigley Field
As if the Chicago Cubs didn't have enough problems. They are over a century past their last World Series win and they are 0-2 in the NLCS against the New York Mets.

And because his wife made a letter to his daughter public, the nation is reminded that with the possible exception of Bill Murray, the Cubs' best known fan is none other than disgraced former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich--who tells his daughter that he's watching the North Siders from his prison cell.

Isn't one Cubs curse enough?

Disclosure: I am a Chicago White Sox fan.

(Photos) Three Rivers, Michigan's three rivers

Three Rivers, Michigan in St. Joseph County gets its name because, well, of course, because it has three rivers passing through it.

Above is the St. Joseph River. In 1683 René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle's expedition took this waterway upstream to reach what is now South Bend, Indiana--they portaged there and carried their canoes to the Kankakee River. From there they journeyed to the Gulf of Mexico.

Spanning the St. Joseph is a rail bridge.

Did someone say Portage? Here is number two, the Portage River.

The Portage flowing into the St. Joe. Amazingly, Michigan has three other Portage Rivers.

Your humble author standing on East Michigan Avenue on the Portage bridge. That's a Ronald Reagan T-shirt I'm wearing.

And now for number three: the Rocky River. With a 28 mile-long length this river is the shortest of the three.

Kayaking is popular on the Rocky.

Mrs. Marathon is looking good at the river.

The Rocky flows into the St. Joe at Conservation Park. As for that river, its mouth is at Lake Michigan.

Related post:

(Photos) Downtown Three Rivers, Michigan