Thursday, November 30, 2017

Steinle killer found not guilty of murder in San Francisco

The killer of Kate Steinle has been found not guilty except for a handgun possession charge just now by a San Francisco jury.

The best place to commit a crime? If you are a criminal, it's California. OJ Simpson, Dan White, Robert Blake. And now Jose Ines Garcia Zarate. The jurors couldn't even convict Zarate on involuntary manslaughter even though the bullet that killed Kate Steinle came from the gun he fired. When you accidentally kill someone with your car you are eligible for involuntary manslaughter.

In his first remarks after the verdict was announced, public defender Matt Gonzalez attacked President Donald J. Trump.

Zarate is an illegal alien who has been deported five times.

As with the OJ trial, the decision is clearly based on politics rather than guilty versus not guilty.

Not tired of winning: Dow soars past 24,000

On Election Day 2016 the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 18,000. Now it's at 24,000--that threshold was crossed for the first time this morning.

In the spring of '16 Trump promised, "We're going to win so much, you're going to be so sick and tired of winning, you're going to come to me and go 'Please, please, we can't win anymore.'"

Well, I'm not tired of winning.

Pelosi, Ryan, call for Conyers to quit

It's time, John. Oh, when is Detroit going to remove those John Conyers Boulevard signs?

From the Detroit News:
House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called on U.S. Rep. John Conyers to resign in the wake of what Pelosi called "very credible" accusations of sexual misconduct.

Ryan said he had just been briefed on the torrent of allegations against Conyers and heard what Conyers accuser Marion Brown said on NBC on Thursday.

"No one should have to go through something like that, let alone here in Congress. Yes, I think he should resign. I think he should resign immediately," said Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican, at a Thursday press conference.

Pelosi, the California Democrat, called the allegations against Conyers "serious, disappointing and very credible."
She is either very confused or received pushback from other Democrats because on Meet The Press Sunday, Pelosi called Conyers "an icon" and praised his efforts to "protect women." Except for those times, apparently, when Conyers was attacking them.

Meanwhile Conyers, who is 88, is under hospitalization for what a longtime family friend is calling "tremendous stress."

When Hillary went to defend Bill after Monica--she spoke with Matt Lauer

Thee Matt Lauer story is loaded with twisted irony, as Fox News Brent Bozell notes.

This fall former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly was chastised by a sanctimonious Lauer for his alleged sexual predatations.

But back in 1998, First Lady Hillary Clinton chose Lauer to tell the fact-challenged Clinton side of the story when the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. It was the first time I heard of Lauer, by the way.

From Bozell's column:
If you look for evidence of Matt Lauer slamming Bill Clinton for harassing Paula Jones or Kathleen Wiley, you won't find it. Look for evidence of Lauer condemning Clinton for what he did with Monica Lewinsky. Good luck. What did he say instead? When Hillary blamed Lewinsky on the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy – yes, on his show – Lauer should have immediately demanded that she provide the evidence to justify that extraordinary accusation. Instead he responded with this: "If what the President has told the nation is the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then you'd have to agree that this is the worst and most damaging smear of the twentieth century."

What did he believe should be Clinton's legacy? On May 23, 2000, this: "I hope that the American people would find it more exciting to talk about health care and Social Security and not about these personal peccadilloes."

Even after his own network broke the explosive story of Clinton's rape of Juanita Broaddrick, not even that could excite Matt Lauer. A comment here, a question there, and in no time flat the story was over. It’s how you treat peccadilloes.

But O’Reilly's not a feminist. Neither is Donald Trump or Roy Moore. Nor were Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Larry Craig, or Bob Livingston. It is why accusations against them have commanded saturation coverage and they have deserved unequivocal condemnation. They are not of the club.
And it's the Democrats and their media wing who accuse the Republicans of a "war on women."

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Oh, Wobegon is me! Garrison Keillor fired over sexual harassment claim

Imagine if NPR leftist Garrison Keillor's bucolic Lake Wobegon, Minnesota was real. And think of how the strait-laced Scandahoovian denizens who show up to work on time every day and who go to church every Sunday morning would think if Keillor walked into their town.

They'd shun him.They'd run away from him as if he was a week-old unrefrigerated hotdish.

From Fox News:
Following the announcement that Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) was terminating all contracts with famed host Garrison Keillor over sexual misconduct allegations, Keillor revealed Wednesday that he put his hand up a woman;s shirt – but that she forgave him after he apologized.

The 75-year-old host of shows like "A Prairie Home Companion" and "The Writer’s Almanac" released a statement addressing the accusations just after sharing details to the Minneapolis Star Tribune about his alleged misconduct.

"I put my hand on a woman's bare back. I meant to pat her back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches,” he told the outlet in an email Monday. “She recoiled. I apologized. I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it. We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called.”

In a more official statement on the matter, Keillor avoided directly apologizing to the woman in question. Instead, he opted for more of a farewell to the business.
"Well, that's the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average."

And where Keillor can't keep his hands to himself.

Gutfeld on Olbermann: "He came, he screamed, he soiled his diapers"

Of leftfist Keith Olbermann's quitting another media gig, Fox News' Greg Gutfeld says, "He came, he screamed, he soiled his diapers. Then he left."

This time Olbermann says he is "retiring from political commentary in all media venues."

I fear that Olbermann will be back however.

Chicago man carves up dad's body, posts selfies on Facebook

West Pullman
Chicago sure needs the League of Shows now.

"The League of Shadows has been a check against human corruption for thousands of years. We sacked Rome, loaded trade ships with plague rats, burned London to the ground. Every time a civilization reaches the pinnacle of its decadence, we return to restore the balance." Ra's al Ghul in Batman Begins.

And the holidays are supposed to be a time for families.

From ABC Chicago:
Just days after he was served with a court order barring him from coming near his father, Cook County prosecutors said Carlton Edmondson murdered the 61-year-old and mutilated the body in the basement of the older man's West Pullman home.

He then allegedly posted several selfies on Facebook, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

When Assistant State's Attorney Julia Ramirez said that Edmondson was facing a single count of first-degree murder, in addition to pending charges for violating the order of protection taken out by his father on Nov. 20, Edmondson shouted.

"The order of protection is gone," he said, smiling. "He is no longer living."

Matt Lauer fired over sexual assault allegation

The liberal media loses another icon over sexual assault claims involving co-workers. Today it's Matt Lauer, last week it was CBS This Morning's Charlie Rose. Also gone for the same reason are NPR News' Michael Oreskes and David Sweeney, and MSNBC's Mark Halperin. Noted Democratic National Committee colluder Glenn Thrush has been suspended by the New York Times for, well, you know.

Bill O'Reilly, a conservative, was fired by Fox News this spring after a string of settlements from women who they say O'Reilly acted inappropriately with became public. After a long period silence, O'Reilly did a few interviews complaining of his treatment. One of them was conducted by--wait for it--Matt Lauer!

From the Toledo Blade:
Matt Lauer was fired from NBC News on Wednesday after an employee filed a complaint about "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace," the network announced.

Savannah Guthrie made the announcement at the top of the Today show. "We are devastated," she said.

The Today show is one of the most popular and most profitable franchises on American television. Lauer was the cornerstone of the program for two decades.

So his sudden ouster came as a shock to viewers — but not as a complete surprise to his Today show colleagues. They knew that multiple news outlets were investigating Lauer's off-camera conduct.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Chicago: Federal judge orders masturbating inmates handcuffed when meeting with public defenders

Once again, I have to wonder what impoverished inmate Clarence Earl Gideon would think of how our current system that offers free public defenders to accused criminals who cannot afford attorneys, one that was created as a result of his prevailing in a US Supreme Court case, has descended into in Chicago because of some jerk offs.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Cook County jail detainees with a history of indecent exposure, masturbation or sexual misconduct will remain handcuffed "at all times" during courthouse visits while a series of recent lawsuits play out, a federal judge said Tuesday.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart did not oppose the order, which allows for a criminal court judge to have a detainee uncuffed. It also says officers "may use appropriate force or handcuffing" to stop detainees from engaging in sexual misconduct.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly's order follows a series of lawsuits by female Cook County jail guards and assistant public defenders complaining that Dart has failed to stop daily occurrences [My note, yes daily!] of detainees masturbating in front of them.

"The safety of our staff is paramount," said Cara Smith, Dart's Chief Policy Officer. "The order entered today reflects an agreement among the parties by which our office will continue to do what we have been doing to protect our staff and others from the despicable behavior by some detainees in our custody. The provisions of the order reflect what we have long been doing to address this outrageous behavior."
Another solution to this problem is for these lawyers to walk away and refuse to represent them.

Chicago, and sadly I live five miles from its city limits, is a becoming a demented and soulless place.

(PragerU Video) Just Say "Merry Christmas"

Dennis Prager, who is Jewish, says "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays." The War on Christmas is real and 'ts part of the left's to secularize America. Their ultimate goal is to remove Christmas as a national holiday, Prager argues in this PragerU video from 2016.

"So please say 'Merry Christmas' and 'Christmas Party' and 'Christmas vacation,'" Prager concludes. "If you don't you're not inclusive. Your hurtful."

Another accuser of Conyers comes forward

It's time to go away, Conyers. And it has been for a while.

From the Detroit News:
A former staffer of U.S. Rep. John Conyers said the veteran lawmaker made unwanted sexual advances toward her, including inappropriate touching, adding to allegations by other unnamed former employees that have prompted a congressional investigation.

Deanna Maher, who worked for him from 1997 to 2005, told The Detroit News that the Detroit Democrat made unwanted advances toward her three times.

Maher is the second former Conyers staffer to go public with accusations about the veteran lawmaker. Conyers on Sunday stepped aside as the the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee amid a congressional ethics probe of sexual harassment allegations involving former staffers.
More from Politico:
"I don't think he can survive this," said a senior Democratic aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "His family and his staff have done him a huge disservice by letting this go on as long as it has. He should have resigned long ago."

Christmas tree farm gets robbed

'Tis the season.

A California Christmas tree farm was burglarized just before Thanksgiving.

Related post:

Captain Santa and the sinking of the Rouse Simmons on Lake Michigan

Monday, November 27, 2017

Luis Gutierrez to retire

There's some great news out of Chicago tonight--and I don't say that a lot. US Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), the yapping anti-Donald Trump pro-illegal immigrant chihuahua, will not run for reelection next year.

Yeah, I know he's Puerto Rican--not Mexican--but he really is an annoying, squeaking pest. I can't think of a better example than a chihuahua for Little Luis.

From CBS Chicago:
Rep. Luis Gutierrez will not seek reelection and is expected to announce his decision on Tuesday.

The congressman appeared at an event Monday afternoon at the Puerto Rico Welcome Center in Humboldt Park. Sources tell CBS 2 Gutierrez has informed Mayor Rahm Emanuel of his decision to call it quits.

Furthermore, County Board Cmsr. Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa are expected to announce that they are interested in running for the seat (U.S. House 4th District).
But yes, there is bad news too. both Garcia and Ramirez-Rosa are hardened leftists.

Captain Santa and the sinking of the Rouse Simmons on Lake Michigan

During my Northwoods trip this summer Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I stopped at the shore of Lake Michigan in Thompson on the Upper Peninsula a few miles west of Manistique where we encountered the Christmas Tree Ship Michigan historical marker just off of US Route 2. It marks the departure point of the last journey of the Rouse Simmons, which sank off of Two Rivers, Wisconsin in 1912. There were no survivors.

In 1910 legendary ship captain Herman E. Schuenemann purchased a minority interest in the Rouse Simmons, which was built in 1868 and was one of the last schooners constructed for Great Lakes commerce. Born in Wisconsin a few years before the three-mast Rouse Simmons was christened, Schuenemann, who was known as Captain Santa in his adopted hometown of Chicago; transported Christmas trees from the U.P. to the Clark Street docks on the Chicago River. White pines and balsam firs, popular Christmas tree species, are common in the Northwoods. Conifer trees are not native to the Chicago area.

Had Schuenemann been operating a few decades later he'd certainly boast on television commercials that by purchasing from Captain Santa directly from his schooner decorated with electric lights--that was a novelty a century ago--you'd save money by "eliminating the middle man."
Blogger at Thompson at Lake Michigan

But by eliminating the middle man there was a terrible risk for Schuenemann.

Very soon after the Rouse Simmons and its crew of seventeen left Thompson 105 Novembers ago stuffed with anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 Christmas trees, a gale broke out. Because of its age it may not have been seaworthy. Another ship spotted the schooner with its flag flying at half mast--a distress signal of the time--off of Kewaunee, Wisconsin. The ship was not seen again until a scuba driver searching for another wreck discovered it on the bottom of Lake Michigan in 1971.

Niles, Illinois in 2007
After the sinking, pieces of Christmas trees washed up on the shores of Wisconsin and Michigan for months. In 1924 a fisherman's net recovered Schuenemann's wallet. By then Michigan's Christmas trees were delivered to Chicago by freight trains. Even today there are still some Christmas trees resting in the hold of the ship.

Coincidentally, Schuenemann's older brother perished in 1898 when the S. Thal, also carrying Christmas trees on a ship in November, sank on Lake Michigan north of Chicago.

After Captain Santa's death, his widow and his daughters continued selling Christmas trees in Chicago into the 1930s. In 1934 a shop named Captain and Mrs. Schuenemann's Daughters sold Christmas trees on the Near North Side, near the Clark Street docks.

Much information for this post comes from an article by Glenn V. Longacre that you'll find on the US Archives site and another one at

Chiraq: 7 dead and at least 36 wounded over weekend

The holiday season has arrived but of course the shootings haven't ended in Chicago. Over the long Thanksgiving holiday seven people were murdered and at least 36 others were gunned down.

Of the fatalities, one occurred in Chicago Lawn on the Southwest Side, on the South Side there were two murders in Chatham, and one in Parkway Gardens, and there was one in the East Side neighborhood over on the Indiana border. On the West Side there was a murder in Austin and another in North Lawndale.

Last Thanksgiving weekend there were eight murders and a whopping 68 people wounded.

So there is some good news.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

From Da Tech Guy: Television review: The final season of Longmire

Another binge-watching adventure is over for me. What do I think of it? From Da Tech Guy, Television review: The final season of Longmire.

Accused sexual harrasser Conyers quits as top Dem on Judiciary Committe

Downtown Detroit
We have some good news this afternoon--albeit it is only a first step of what is needed. And that's a resignation from the House by Conyers.

From the Detroit News:
U.S. Rep. John Conyers said Sunday he will step down as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee during a congressional ethics probe of sexual harassment allegations against him and a settlement with a former staffer.

"After careful consideration and in light of the attention drawn by recent allegations made against me, I have notified the Democratic Leader of my request to step aside as Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee during the investigation of these matters," Conyers, D-Detroit, said in a statement issued by his office

Accusations against Conyers first surfaced Nov. 20 when Buzzfeed News reported on a 2015 settlement he reached with a former staffer. On Tuesday, the site reported on a sexual harassment lawsuit a former staffer withdrew after a federal judge refused her request to seal the records to protect the congressman’s public reputation.
Conyers has also been accused of holding a meeting wearing nothing but his underwear.

Earlier today on Meet The Press, the increasing irrelevant House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called Conyers "an icon."

Saturday, November 25, 2017

David Bowie: Panic in Detroit

Yes, I was in Detroit earlier this month. So far my Saturday morning selection I can't think of a better tune to play than David Bowie's "Panic in Detroit."

Watch as the Thin White Duke performs it in 1976.

(PragerU video) Everyone Stand For The National Anthem

Why should everyone stand for Our National Anthem? In the latest PragerU video, recording artist Joy Villa explains.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Detroit's Berlin Wall

Late last Monday morning, while I was listening to a show on AM 910, WFDF, Detroit's Superstation, the host (whose name I didn't catch--and I listened for an hour) and one of his guests, Tyrone (he didn't say his last name), and a discussion dressed in leftism about their favorite books on the Motor City.

Charlie LeDuff was on the show too--he is the author of Detroit: An American Autopsy.

Back to Tyrone, while discussing FHA loans issued in prior to when the Fair Housing Act of 1968, he remarked that these loans were an important ladder for homeownership for the working poor. However, this financing source was not available in neighborhoods viewed as "distressed." And of course that meant areas with a black majority. To work around that problem in north Detroit, developers in 1941 built a half-mile long concrete wall that is nearly six feet high as a demarcation between the black and white sections of the Wyoming Avenue and Eight Mile neighborhood.

It still stands.

The wall passes through Alfonso Wells Memorial Playground, where is is painted.

Most of the wall looks like this. It is usually referred to as the Detroit Wall or the Eight Mile Wall.

Eight Mile and Wyoming is better than many other Detroit neighborhoods, but there still are many abandoned homes, such as this one on Mendota Street. You can see a bit of the wall on the left.

Here someone painted the wall white.

The wall wasn't effective in keeping people in our out. Two streets pass through it. And a nimble person or someone with a short ladder can easily scale it. Both sides of the wall have been African-American majority areas for decades.

Back in Alfonso Wells Memorial Playground, the Civil Rights movement is recalled in this section. Entering the bus is Rosa Parks, who moved to Detroit soon after she refused to give up her seat to a white man on an Alabama bus.

That bus is now on display at the Henry Ford Museum in suburban Dearborn.

We end with peace.

Conyers showed up to meeting in his underwear

Downtown Detroit
It's time to go, John. And Detroit, take down those Conyers street signs too.

From the Detroit Free Press, which has called for him to resign:
A lawyer who formerly worked for U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, and later ran an ethics watchdog group in the nation’s capital confirmed for the Free Press on Thursday that Conyers verbally abused her, criticized her appearance and once showed up to a meeting in his underwear.

Melanie Sloan, a well-known Washington lawyer who for three years in the 1990s worked as Democratic counsel on the House Judiciary Committee, where Conyers remains the ranking Democrat, told the Free Press that Conyers constantly berated her, screaming at her and firing her and then rehiring her several times.

She said he criticized her for not wearing stockings on at least one occasion. On another, she said he ordered her backstage from a committee field hearing on crime she had organized in New York City to babysit one of his children. Sloan made clear that she did not feel she had ever been sexually harassed, but that she felt "mistreated by this guy."

"I'm no shrinking violet," said Sloan, who went on to become the executive director for the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and later to open Triumph Strategy, a public affairs firm specializing in crisis response. "His constant stream of abuse was difficult to handle and it was certainly damaging to my self-respect and self-esteem."

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Ray Davies sings and talks about "Thanksgiving Day"

Ray Davies, a musical genius, discusses and then performs his song, "Thanksgiving Day."

President Trump's 2017 Thanksgiving Message

In his first Thanksgiving message as president, Donald J. Trump recalls this history of the Thanksgiving holiday, offers gratefulness to members of our military who are not home today, as well as those here who take care of others as well as our first responders.

"The people of this nation come from all different backgrounds but we are all one people and one American family," president reminds us. "We all share the same heart, the same home, and the same glorious destiny."

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

(PragerU) What's the Truth About the First Thanksgiving?

Radio host Michael Medved, in this PragerU video, demolishes the leftist revisionist myth that the first Thanksgiving in Massachusetts honors oppression.

(Video) Students reject US flag more than ISIS flag at UC Berkeley

The University of California at Berkeley is an anti-American sinkhole. What as a man gets more pushback from the lefties on campus when he waves Old Glory than when he displays an Islamic State flag.

Detroit Free Press calls on Conyers to resign

Downtown Detroit
The Detroit Free Press, a Gannett newspaper, is a left wing publication. They say it's time for him to go.
John Conyers Jr. has a long and complicated legacy in southeast Michigan and the U.S. Congress.

He has been an undisputed hero of the civil rights movement, a legislator of uncommon influence and power, and an aging icon whose felonious wife and sometimes-wandering pace have confounded his place in history.

But the revelations of Conyers’ alleged sexual harassment scandal and his documented use of taxpayer dollars to bury that scandal, in violation of congressional ethics rules, is less ambiguous.

It is the kind of behavior that can never be tolerated in a public official, much less an elected representative of the people.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Des Plaines McDonald's Museum to close

McDonald's Museum in 2014
As I've mentioned before, love it or hate it, McDonald's has changed the world. Ray Kroc changed the franchising model by not only making it easy for more McD restaurants to open, but insisting on uniformity standards that included special attention to cleanliness. Many other fast food chains followed.

The first McDonald's operated by Ray Kroc opened in 1956 on Lee Street in Des Plaines, Illinois. It later relocated across the street. But afterwards a replica McDonald's museum opened on the original site.

But yesterday McDonald's Corporation, which is based in nearby Oak Brook, will be razing the building.

The Des Plaines River Flood of 2013 caused significant damage to the foundation of the museum. There are no plans to rebuild.

Thanks to VV of Des Plaines for the story tip.

Conyers, Charlie Rose, colluder Glenn Thrush accused of sexual harrassment

Downtown Detroit
Yesterday was a rough day for the Democratic Party and its media wing.

First I'll discuss Conyers, who is the ranking Dem on the powerful House Judiciary Committee:

From Buzzfeed:
Michigan Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat and the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former employee who alleged she was fired because she would not “succumb to [his] sexual advances.”

Documents from the complaint obtained by BuzzFeed News include four signed affidavits, three of which are notarized, from former staff members who allege that Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the powerful House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly made sexual advances to female staff that included requests for sexual favors, contacting and transporting other women with whom they believed Conyers was having affairs, caressing their hands sexually, and rubbing their legs and backs in public. Four people involved with the case verified the documents are authentic.
Conyers is a real piece of work. In 2006 Conyers admitted that he violated House rules. He was accused of having his staff work on local political campaigns, as well as having them babysit and chauffeur his children around. The mother of those kids, Monica Conyers, served over two years in prison after being convicted of bribery. The couple is now estranged. Monica is the former presidential pro tem of the Detroit City Council.


From CBS:
CBS News has suspended "CBS This Morning" co-host Charlie Rose over allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Washington Post published claims from eight women who all worked or wanted to work for his PBS program. They describe Rose making unwanted sexual advances in the 1990s through 2011.

We've been able to reach one of the accusers. She didn't want to go on camera but confirmed the reporting is accurate, reports CBS News correspondent Bianna Golodryga. Additional women have since spoken out to Business Insider and the New York Times. Some say he groped them or exposed himself to them, and many paint a picture of a respected figure abusing his position.

Washington Post reporter Amy Brittain spent weeks reaching out to Rose's former employees and job seekers.
For his part, Rose, 75, seems somewhat contrite.

I'm saving the worst for last.

I detest Glenn Thrush. The former Politico reporter is one of the colluders with Democratic Party who was exposed by the Wikileaks scandal. Thrush asked Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta--a longtime Clintonista--to edit a story he was working on about the campaign.

After the 2016 Thrush was awarded for his, ahem, work, by getting hired by the New York Slimes.

But Thrush, who is a propagandist not a journalist, is worse than I thought.

From AP:
The New York Times says it has suspended White House reporter Glenn Thrush while it investigates charges that he made unwanted advances on young women while he worked as a reporter at Politico and the Times.

Laura McGann, a Politico colleague of Thrush's, wrote on Vox on Monday that Thrush kissed her and placed his hand on her thigh one night in a bar, after urging another person who had been sitting with them to leave.

The Times, in a statement, said "the alleged behavior is very concerning" and not in keeping with the Times' standards. The newspaper said it supports Thrush's decision to enter a substance abuse program. Thrush didn't immediately return a message seeking comment, but told Vox that he apologized to any woman who felt uncomfortable in his presence.
From Laura McGann of Vox, which broke the Thrush story:
Sexual harassment claims against yet another powerful man in media inspired New York Times White House correspondent Glenn Thrush to post an impassioned note on his Facebook page in October, calling on his fellow journalists to stand by women entering the field.

In the post, which linked to an article about the latest accusations against political journalist Mark Halperin, Thrush wrote, “Young people who come into a newsroom deserve to be taught our trade, given our support and enlisted in our calling — not betrayed by little men who believe they are bigger than the mission.”

It was a noble statement — but some Washington journalists I spoke to say it rings hollow, given Thrush’s own behavior with young women in the industry.

Monday, November 20, 2017

(Photos) The abandoned Union Station in Gary

Last week I visited Detroit. Yesterday I was in Gary, Indiana.

No, I don't have a death wish. I go where few others dare.

As for Gary, it's actually quite popular with urban explorers and unlike Detroit, it's not hostile to them.

Union Station opened in 1910, according to Wikipedia, "Built in a Beaux-Arts style utilizing the new cast-in-place concrete methods in which, after pouring, the concrete was scored to resemble stone." That method, now common, was groundbreaking then.

And it sure does resemble limestone, particularly the Joliet variety commonly used in the Chicago area.

The first photo was taken from the rail bridge over Broadway on the Norfolk Southern tracks.

The architect for Union Station was M.A. Lang.

This is the view from Broadway. Drivers will have great difficulty finding the station, as it's set between the two rail lines that are elevated. But it's easily seen from the Indiana Toll Road (Interstate 90) and from the waiting platform from a third rail line, the South Shore Line.

That's the view--with weedy Siberian elms in front--from the east.

I haven't been able to pin down a closing date for Union Station, it was probably in the late 1960s, that was when the commercial intercity passenger rail traffic market was collapsing and when white flight hit Gary.

From the outside Union Station doesn't look too bad. But from the viewing platform--what did I tell you about Gary?--it's a real mess. But keep in mind, this gem hasn't been maintained in five decades.

Also according to Wikipedia, scenes for two movies were filmed here. Appointment With Danger, a 1951 film starring Alan Ladd, and the Gary-set Original Gangstas from 1996. If was also featured in the first season of Life After People.

20 carjackings in Chicago in last week

Murders and shootings are down--at least for now--in Chicago. But of course crime hasn't vanished from Chiraq. WGN-TV is reporting that there have been at least 20 carjackings in Chicago in the last week, and they seem to be in the city's better neighborhoods.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

From Da Tech Guy: My return to Detroit

As you may have heard, I vacationed in the Motor City for part of last week. And I report on it at Da Tech Guy: My return to Detroit.

The abandoned homes of Detroit's Petosky-Otsego neighborhood

While driving east on Interstate 96 from the Brightmoor neighborhood an abandoned church caught my eye.

That part's coming.

First, here's a little bit about Petosky-Otsego. According to Google Maps, the boundaries of the pentagon-shaped neighborhood are Grand River on the southwest, Livernois on the west, Sturtevant on the northwest, Wildmere on the northeast, and Grand Boulevard on the southeast. (In the older part of Detroit, the street grid runs southeast to northwest and southwest to northeast.)

Later I'll discuss the radial street design of Detroit.

Many of the houses here are American Foursquares, which makes sense as Detroit's boom years ran from 1900 through 1930, which coordinates with the span when this home style was popular.

This one is a half block from the church.

That's the former home of the Abundant Life Christian Center at 8240 Grand River.The story of the church is a typical woeful Detroit tale. According to Detroiturbex, the a faulty generator started a fire that caused considerable but not devastating damage. While the church was awaiting insurance money for repairs, scrappers moved in looted the house of worship, stealing pipes, generators and even stained glass windows.

Calvary Presbyterian built the church, the first services were held in 1918. As white flight swept through Petosky-Otsego in the 1950s, the once large congregation dwindled. Eventually Abundant Life, which appears now to be preaching in suburban Redford Charter Township, moved in. The Detroiturbex photo of the church, taken in 2011, clearly shows the last name of the church. The elements, or perhaps a sandblaster, have removed it.

While there are not as many theories as to what the meaning is of sneakers dangling from telephone wires in the inner city as there are gym shoes hanging from those wires, there sure are a heap of them.

Another collapsed porch.

Glass block windows offer privacy and security--but a high-powered rifle still wins in the end.

Augustus B. Woodward was the first Chief Justice of Michigan Territory. He devised the radial plan, only partly implemented, of wide streets emanating from Detroit's center on the Detroit River facing Canada on the southeast, when the future Motor City was a frontier town. It's believed his idea was inspired by Pierre Charles L'Enfant's plan for America's new capital, Washington, DC.

Grand River Avenue is one of those boulevards. Woodward envisioned a great city thirty years before Michigan became a state. And great it was. But look at Grand River now. It is seven lanes of emptiness. This photograph was taken around noon on a Tuesday. Land-wise, contemporary Detroit is a city that is too big for itself. On the flipside, it's easy to quickly jump from one side of town to the other, except during rush hour on the freeways.

Woodward Avenue (M-1),  the east-west dividing line of Detroit and one of those radial streets, is named for him.

Two more abandoned American Foursquares.

It's not all blight in Petosky-Otsego, there are much newer homes on Heritage Place. But note the wrought-iron fence.

That's your typical Detroit sidewalk. Many are even worse. Which is why you rarely see people walking on them.

Illegal dumping is a challenging problem for Detroit. There are a couple of tires in that pile of trash. This week Detroit Police announced the arrest of a suburban convicted sex offender for dumping over 250 tires about  two miles from here. He was convicted of the same crime two years ago.

But at some point, my friends, the people who live in these shat-upon neighborhoods need to take ownership and clean them up, Government cannot solve every problem.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Taxwinkle opponent Fioretti proposed a commuter tax when he was a Chicago alderman

While I was in Detroit I learned that former Chicago alderman Bob Fioretti announced that he is running for president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, in other words, he's the only declared opponent of the loathed Toni "Taxwinkle" Preckwinkle, the leftist behind the county soda tax and the increase of the county sales tax.

The repeal of the hated one-cent-per-ounce sweetened beverage tax takes effect next month.

But if you see somehow see Fioretti as a friend of hard-pressed Crook County taxpayers, then you need an education. Not only is Fioretti not ruling out future tax hikes if he's elected, but it's important to remind voters, particularly suburban ones, that Fioretti, in his brief Chicago mayoral run two years ago, proposed a one-percent commuter tax.

"Yes, people in the suburbs may not want to pay it, but I;ve heard from a number of suburbanites. When they come here, they want what? They want safe streets. They want clean streets. They want emergency medical care if something happens to them," Fioretti said three years ago. "And so, a small tax – which they can deduct off of their income tax – is helpful for this city."

It's always a small tax with liberals. Until a few years when the rate goes up. That's why new taxes should be vigorously opposed.

If the Republican House tax bill becomes law, that commuter tax deduction will vanish.

Speaking of Detroit, the Motor City also has a commuter tax.

How is that working out?

Detroit: Brightmoor or Blightmoor? (Part Two)

Yesterday I presented part one of Detroit: Brightmoor or Blightmoor.

Here is part two.

The home I grew up in Palos Heights, Illinois had a yew hedge in front of it.

This looks like a sweet little home--let's walk in.

Scrappers have moved in and moved on.

Walking into an abandoned home is hazardous. Sometimes the flooring is rotted--and its collapse can cause an injury, and if this house had a basement, the fall can be fatal. But I entered anyway. And sometimes indigents live inside who may not be happy about an uninvited urban explorer barging in. Two years ago I walked into a seeming vacant house when I encountered a prostitute with a client.

On the other hand, feel free to live through me.

"And I bought a little cottage in a neighborhood serene," is a lyric from a song popularized by Gram Parsons, Streets of Baltimore. As I mentioned in Part One, Brightmoor was originally settled largely by Appalachian whites. In Streets of Baltimore, written by Tompall Glaser and Harlan Howard, a wife begs her husband to sell their farm and move north for city excitement. Had more words rhymed with Detroit, the tune could have easily been written about the Motor City.

Call me a ruin porn propagator, if you will. But your beloved Blogger Laureate of Illinois is an artist. But last year another American artist, Ryan Mendoza, shipped the facade of an abandoned home at Eight Mile Road to Europe for some bizarre exhibit. But the artist left behind an uglier mess because the shell of the old house remained. Perhaps the joke is on Detroit--many artists believe ugly is beautiful and what is attractive should be shunned. The great Tom Wolfe wrote a book on that subject, The Painted Word.

As the saying goes, "Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints."

There are few pedestrians and few cars in Brightmoor. Yes, this is the Motor City.

Near the western edge of Brightmoor there are some rolling hills, most likely moraines. On the bottom right is a driveway leading nowhere. Understandably quietude dominates, save for the occasional roar from a distant train--just as in the country--or a blaring siren, which of course is more an urban sound.

The murals read "God's work our hand" and "Peace."

That's rubble from a burned-down house. And note the emptiness in the background.

Whoah, is this a mistake? No, it's a Brightmoor two story beauty. Next to it is a typical dismal home. I asked the woman sitting on the porch if that home was recently built. She replied, "I don't know when it went up."
Then she asked me, "Do you have a smoke?"

That's right. You see three forsaken Detroit homes in a row.

Knock, knock, who's there?

There is nobody home but Siberian elms. Weed trees such as that species and another Asian invader, mulberries, are quite common in Detroit's ruins.

It's as if someone just plopped that old home there.

These Siberian elms have are blessed with glorious autumn foliage.The trees are probably ten years old--which is a good estimate of the amount of time this frame house has been abandoned.

Related post: Detroit: Brightmoor or Blightmoor? (Part One)