Thursday, May 31, 2018

Illinois' champion of the expired ERA resigns leadership post after beinig accused of harassment by woman

Lang's Skokie office in 2006
I've always said that my state rep, Lou Lang (D-Skokie), is a scumbag who reminds of someone selling smoke-damaged furniture at the old Maxwell Street Market.

"Hey you over dere...I got some real bargains here. Follow me, you can barely smell da smoke."

Well, apparently a woman who says Lang harassed her for years agrees that he's a cad.

From the Chicago Sun-Times.
An activist who has worked in Springfield is accusing State Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, of repeatedly harassing, intimidating and humiliating her over the years.

The allegations from Maryann Loncar came at a news conference Thursday, the day after Lang helped pass the [my note--expired] Equal Rights Amendment in the Illinois House.

At the news conference, Loncar stood beside Denise Rotheimer, a victim rights advocate whose accusations helped unseat a veteran Chicago senator, and State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton.

“I was harassed. I was intimidated. I was humiliated …” Loncar said of Lang, the House deputy majority leader.
Lang resigned all of his legislative leadership posts today, including that of deputy majority leader in the Illinois House. However, his Facebook page of this posting still is titled, House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang.

“I can help you bury her if you want," is something Loncar claims he told her husband. She also says that Lang put his hand on the “lower back below underwear” and he said to her, “Does your husband know how lucky he is to have a wife like you?”

Lang remains as the Democratic committeeman of Niles Township.

He also serves on the General Assembly's Legislative Ethics Commission.

My lame-duck state senator, Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) has also been accused of harassment. He was defeated in the March primary.

I never voted for either of them.

For his part, Lang is accusing Loncar of being angry because she failed to receive a medical marijuana dispensary license.

From my post at Da Tech Guy:

Failed state Illinois creating distraction from pension crisis by trying to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

Trump says he's considering pardoning Blago

“I’ve got this thing and it’s 
fucking golden."
On this issue, I'm not on the same side as the president. Chicago and the of Illinois are being drowned by corruption. The only cure I can thinks of are long sentences such as the one Blago received for his crimes--or even better, very long ones such as the one that disgraced former mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, is currently serving.

From Fox Chicago:
President Donald Trump said Thursday that he's considering commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted of corruption, and pardoning lifestyle maven Martha Stewart, who did a stint in federal prison after she was convicted of charges related to a stock sale.

Hours earlier, Trump said on Twitter that he will pardon conservative commentator and Obama critic Dinesh D'Souza, who pleaded guilty to campaign finance fraud.

As he left Washington to fly to Texas, Trump tweeted: "Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D'Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!" D'Souza, an outspoken critic of former President Barack Obama, had claimed that his prosecution by the Obama Justice Department was politically motivated, but the presiding federal judge said D'Souza had failed to prove it.

Trump later shared with reporters aboard Air Force One his thoughts on Blagojevich and Stewart.
Blago is currently serving a 14-year-prison sentence in a Colorado federal prison, for attempting to sell, what he called "fucking golden," Barack Obama's US Senate seat, among other crimes.

One of the apparent bidders was former US Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr, who later went to prison for campaign finance fraud.

TBS' Samantha Bee calls Ivanka "a feckless c___" in Full Frontal monologue, her show has not been cancelled

Sure, Ivanka Trump is an adult. But so are Barack Obama's daughters.

What if Samantha Bee referred to them in the same manner? Would she still have a job?

Oh, I never heard of Bee or her show until ten minutes ago.

From USA Today:
During Wednesday's episode of Full Frontal, the late night host had a short but striking message for the president's daughter, who she criticized for posting "the second most oblivious tweet we've seen this week."

"You know, Ivanka, that's a beautiful photo of you and your child but let me just say, one mother to another: Do something about your dad's immigration practices you feckless (expletive)," she said. "He listens to you."

She also suggested a way to get President Trump to listen.

"Put on something tight and low cut and tell your father to (expletive) stop it," she said. "Tell him it was an Obama thing and see how it goes."

Bloody Chicago: Memorial Weekend 8 Dead, 30 Wounded in Chicago 2018

"It is amazing how I am able to remember every single shooting I have ever covered in Chicago," Victor Maggio recalls in his latest Bloody Chicago video, this one about the long--but violent--Memorial Day weekend in Chiraq.

Maggio added more shootings into his memory bank.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

(PragerU) America's 2nd War of Independence

Brian Kilmeade discusses the War of 1812 and the Battle of New Orleans in this latest PragerU video.

Alt bough I do have to point out that because of communications difficulties, the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the war, was signed before that battle, which was a decisive American victory. But that battle, and of course the war, forced Great Britain to accept Americans as their peers.

The United States was on its way to becoming w world power.

MSNBC hypocrisy on full display as Al Sharpton and Joy Reid called on to discuss Roseanne

First of all, let me get this out of the way. Roseanne Barr's Tweet about Valerie Jarrett being the baby of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes was repugnant and completely beyond the pale. The star of the top-rated sitcom on television has paid dearly for that Tweet, as Roseanne has been cancelled.

But the left remains tone deaf. MSNBC yesterday called on Joy Reid to comment on Barr. Reid earlier this year was found to have written many anti-gay blog posts as well as some homophobic Tweets about gays, which, incredulously, she blamed on hackers.

The network also called on Al Sharpton, who hosts PoliticsNation there, to express his outrage about Barr.

And the duo appeared on an MSNBC Townhall together.

Sharpton's bigoted outburst are numerous. He referred to Socrates and other philosophers as "Greek homos." He accused Mormons of not believing in God. The Reverend Al has made anti-Semitic remarks and brought race relations to a new low by fostering the Tawana Brawley hoax.

When is MSNBC going to cancel Sharpton's show? It already axed Reid's program, but that was only because it had lousy ratings.

Barr was wrong. But had she been a leftist, my guess is that she'd still have a TV show.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Mark Dice: She's Behind It All

Mark Dice is in clean up mode as he corrects the leftist Fake News media over a four year-old photograph of immigrant children behind a chain link fence--cages, said some!--that was tied to the Trump presidency.

Who was president in 2014?

Oh, when it's not President Trump's fault,  then Ivanka is the one to blame.

Chiraq: 9 dead and at least 29 wounded over Memorial Day weekend

The first weekend of summer usually means an increase in the carnage in Chicago. Over the Memorial Day weekend, despite the activation of the "Summer Mobile Unit" of 100 cops, the number of murders over the recently-concluded three-day weekend was higher then Memorial Day weekend last year. For 2018 nine people were murdered in holiday weekend violence and at least 29 others were wounded.

Although the first round of voting won't take place until February, campaigning for the next Chicago mayoral election has already begun, and rampant Chiraq violence is a key issue.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day 2018: Palos Heights, Illinois' Veterans Memorial

Yesterday I was in my hometown of Palos Heights, Illinois where I paid my respects to the city's Veterans Memorial. I remember when it was first built, the initial incarnation, funded by a Harlem Avenue restaurateur, was dedicated to the eight might who perished in an aborted mission in the spring of 1980 to rescue our hostages held by Ayatollah Khomeini's Iran.

The memorial was expanded to mark the members of our military who made the ultimate sacrifice in every conflict from the Revolutionary War through Vietnam.

The two Palos Heights soldiers who perished in that last conflict, 2nd Lieutenant Fred Andrew Hartman Jr and Lance Corporal Mark Steven Anderson, are memorialized. Both men were killed in action in the spring of 1969.

All gave some and some gave all.

Memorial Day 2018: St. Germain, Wisconsin's Veterans Memorial Wall

In the Wisconsin's Northwoods' town of St. Germain is the Veterans Memorial Wall, which consists of bricks with the names of area veterans--living and deceased--who served in our military.

The wall is at the corner of state routes 70 and 155.

Remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation on this Memorial Day. And say a prayer for those who made it home alive but have since passed on.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

XTC - All Of A Sudden (It's Too Late)

Late in the splendid Showtime documentary XTC: This Is Pop, lyrics from some of the Swindon, England's songs flash on the screen over an aerial shot of English countryside.

One of those lines was this one, from All Of A Sudden (It's Too Late):
Life's like a jigsaw
You get the straight bits
But there's something missing in the middle
And it is.

From my post at Da Tech Guy:

(Review) XTC: This Is Pop

Memorial Day weekend 2018: Houghton, Michigan rememberances

While filling up my Honda Civic last summer as Mrs. Marathon Pundit plowed our way up the Keweenaw Peninsula on Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Just before the drawbridge over the Portage Lake Lift Bridge in Houghton Michigan I found a couple of monuments.

The base of this Civil War statue reads, "In memory of the Houghton Company, July 1862--July 1865" and "The Houghton Company served three years as Company I, 23rd Michigan Infantry."

As with most Michigan Civil War regiments, the 23rd served in the Western Theatre of the war.

This Purple Heart monument, which stands nearby, reads, "Dedicated to all the men and women wounded in all our wars."

Friday, May 25, 2018

Bloody Chicago: Spring in Chicago: 6 Killed, 32 Wounded in Weekend Shootings, May 18,19, 20, 2018

It's been a while since my friend Victor Maggio was on the streets of Chicago. His car was badly damaged in an accident. And while his car is being repaired, he's back on his beat.

Sadly, spring weather brings more violence to Chicago. Children are often the unintended victims.

Speaking of automobile accidents, one three-car accident reported on here began with a shooting.

At night in Chicago, "people drive like maniacs," Maggio laments, even when guns aren't involved.

And the graffiti betrays what people think. "Help, I'm in hell," one West Side sidewalk message cries out.

Harvey Weinstein turns himself in over sex assault charges

Left out of this New York Daily News piece is that Weinstein was once a major donor to Democratic Party politicians and a longtime confidante of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein turned himself into New York authorities Friday to face rape and sex assault charges in connection with attacks on two women.

A horde of at least 100 media — some on ladders — watched the former Weinstein Company co-founder arrive with his lawyer at the NYPD's 1st Precinct in Lower Manhattan to face charges that he preyed on Lucia Evans and at least one other accuser.

Evans told investigators that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004 in his office, sources said.

The 66-year-old Weinstein, flanked by his lawyer and two detectives, emerged from a grey Toyota Four-runner around 7:25 a.m. to face a scrum of reporters and photographers.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Another reason why people don't read newspapers: Leftist Chicago Trib columnist rails against new NFL anthem rule, doesn't mention fans oppose kneeling

Yesterday, nearly two years later than it should have, the NFL mandated that all of its players must stand--or remain in the locker room--when Our National Anthem is played.

Meanwhile, Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh offers another reason why newspapers are failing--with most exppcted to fold, according to Warren Bufffet. In a politically-drenched column decrying the move, Haugh left out one key fact about players sitting down or taking a knee when the anthem plays: fans hate it.

Last season, before the Chicago Bears' only quality win of their dreadful 2017 campaign, fans booed when the opposing Pittsburgh Steelers entered the stadium after the Star Spangled Banner was performed. The Steelers were too good for the anthem.

NFL TV ratings suffered last season too.

Businesses that insult their customers don't survive.

Businesses that don't listen to their customers, such as newspapers, go under.

Watch this 2017 PragerU video to receive a much needed dose of common sense.

Breaking: Trump cancels Kim summit

Breaking news from USA Today:
President Trump has canceled a scheduled summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, citing the "tremendous anger and open hostility" displayed in Kim's recent statements.

Decline and fall: Chicago loses population for third year in row

West Englewood, South Side
Decades of corruption, malfeasance, and crime have taken their well-deserved toll on Chicago.

And people are voting with their feet.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
The nation’s third-largest city lost residents for the third year in a row in 2017, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released Wednesday.

Chicago’s population stood at an estimated 2,716,450 as of July 1 last year, compared with 2,720,275 the same day in 2016. The drop in residents represents a 0.14 percent decrease over the year.
Among cities nationwide, Chicago lost the third-most number of residents in 2017, behind only Baltimore (a loss of 5,310) and St. Louis (a loss of 4,518).
Most Cook County towns lost population too.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Mark Dice: America’s Most Pathetic Millennial

Millenial Michael Joseph Rotondo, who has no job or practical ambitions, lives at his parents home for free.

He's 30.

His parents are evicting the deadbeat.

Crook County, Illinois judge convicted of fraud will be on ballot for retention this fall

Earlier this year Jessica Arong O’Brien, a Cook County Judge, was found guilty of mortgage fraud in a federal court in Chicago.

Then her law license was suspended.

But Crook County voters will still be able to keep her on the bench this fall.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Refusing to back down three months after losing her trial at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, O’Brien filed paperwork May 2 setting herself up for a retention vote in the Nov. 6 election, according to the State Board of Elections.

O’Brien filed her paperwork the week after the Illinois Supreme Court suspended her from practicing law “effective immediately.” Meanwhile, she’s been trying to convince a federal judge to overturn the jury’s verdict.

For now, she continues to be paid as a Cook County judge but does no judicial work, records show.
Long-suffering Cook County taxpayers--that of courses includes me--are paying her nearly $200,000 salary.

Two years ago Rhonda Crawford, a Democratic candidate for judge who was working as a law clerk, actually put on a judge's robe and presided over some traffic cases before winning her election--and of course before she was sworn in. She remained on the ballot and of course moronic Cook County voters still elected her. But Crawford was not allowed to take her seat on the bench.

Last month she died--authorities are calling it a likely suicide.

O'Brien is also a Democrat.

And she has no sense of honor.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

From Doug Ross: 12 FACES: Some Truly Disturbing Images of James Clapper on 'The View'

Not for the little ones or more sensitive viewers, from Doug Ross: 12 FACES: Some Truly Disturbing Images of James Clapper on 'The View.'

Seattle’s "Amazon Tax"

Seattle might be more left-wing than Portland. Both Pacific Northwest cities have a huge homeless population.

The larger city just instituted a corporate head tax that applies to only Seattle's largest employers and that revenue is slated to pay for housing for the homeless. But why does Seattle have such a huge homeless problem, asks John Stossel? It has a cumbersome set of regulations that discourages the building of new homes and apartments.

Problem not solved.

Leftist Chicago alderman demands free parking at police station for Cubs-Sox game--and he gets it

Blogger at Wrigley Field
John Arena, a Chicago alderman, is a typical leftist. He expects other people to pay his way.

There are very few parking lots near Wrigley Field, the home stadium of the Chicago Cubs. Parking nearby is of course is quite expensive, which is wht, on the rare occasions I attend a game there, I take CTA el trains.

But Arena, a leftist who endorsed Bernie Sanders for president--socialism is not popular in his "bungalow belt" ward by the way--doesn't want to do the environmentally-sound thing and take public transportation to Wrigley. He drives his car. And he demands free parking--at a police station no less.

Who would've thought? I'm more green than a leftist!

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Northwest Side Ald. John Arena (45th) is under fire for walking into the Chicago Police Department’s Town Hall District on May 11 — two blocks away from Wrigley — and demanding that he be allowed to park there so he and his family could attend the Cubs game against the White Sox.

“The alderman did approach the 19th District desk and asked if he could park in the police lot during the Cubs game,” Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Monday.

“An officer allowed him to park there, which was actually a violation of the district’s policy. The next day, Commander Marc Buslik issued a memo reminding officers that that lot is only reserved for on- and off-duty police officers. The purpose is so that officers can properly secure their weapons, since they’re not allowed inside Wrigley Field.”

Guglielmi said Arena was initially “told the lot was full,” but refused to take “no” for an answer.
For several years Arena has been tyring to ram through, despite vehement opposition in his ward, an affordable housing project in the Jefferson Park neighborhood.

Monday, May 21, 2018

(PragerU) Playing the Black Card

Candace Owens, Communications Director for Turning Point USA, discusses the Black Card, that is, the victim industry.

Mark Dice: What Do We Have Here?

Now that body cameras are common on police officers, we're learning that not all cops are racists. In the first segment in today's MarK Dice video, we learn that pastor lied about what happened when he was pulled over for failure to use a turn signal.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Illinois-owned Abe Lincoln library and museum resorting to GoFundMe to pay off massive loan

Lincoln statue, Chicago's
North Side
"This conduct would make [Abraham] Lincoln roll over in his grave."
US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, December 9, 2008, after the arrest of Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.

Unfortunately Illinois is spending more irresponsibly than Lincoln's troubled wife did.

The Land of Lincoln has one of the worst-funded public worker pension systems in the nation. And ILL-inois has the lowest credit rating for any state--ever.

And the state-owned Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is struggling to pay off a huge loan it used to purchase some Lincoln relics, including a stovepipe hat that he may not have ever owned.

Now it's resorting to crowdsourcing to pay off that loan. Already the foundation that runs the library and museum is selling a dress once worn by Marilyn Monroe, who of course once had an affair with Lincoln.

Just kidding--that was John F. Kennedy who slept with the movie star.

From AP:
Abraham Lincoln once said, "Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way."

So it’s not improbable that the 16th president would endorse a modern fundraising method to ensure that priceless artifacts belonging to him stay in his hometown.

The crowdsourcing site GoFundMe — currently featuring requests of $800 to finance a boy’s Eagle Scout project, $5,000 to send a terminally ill little boy to Disneyland and $55,000 for a school playground — was enlisted last week for a new goal: $9.7 million to save from auction thousands of items, including bloody gloves carried the night of his assassination and a stovepipe hat purportedly belonging to Lincoln.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation in Springfield must pay the debt by October 2019 or sell off parts of the well-known Taper Collection acquired in 2007 for $25 million with a $23 million loan.
When will Illinois try GoFundMe to bolster its meager general revenue fund?

Friday, May 18, 2018

(Photos) Abandoned Chicago area automobile dealerships

One day that beautiful new car--or well-detailed used vehicle--that you drove home to show you friends and family will end up in a junk yard.

And automobile dealerships meet the Grim Reaper too.

Here are a few that I found in the Chicago area.

Up the street there is a dealership with a similar sounding name, but Harlem Motor Sales at 105th and Harlem in Chicago Ridge has left the building.

"We buy cars--top dollar paid" and "Bank financing available."

Across the street is another abandoned operation, former Yellow Freight loading docks.

There is some irony with this photograph of the onetime Grantham Dodge Plymouth in downtown Gary, Indiana.

Gary was founded as a company town in all but name--US Steel was that company--in 1906 when what was then the world's largest corporation built a massive still mill, the Gary Works, which is still operating. Gary provided much of the steel for Detroit's automobile assembly plants in the Motor City's glory years. As Detroit sputtered--because of the rise of import cars and political malfeasance--do did Gary. But parts of Detroit are enjoying a resurgence. Gary remains in a coma.

That's a ghost sign--a painted wall advertising a defunct business--in this case Bea's Auto Sales. This sign was still readable on 48th and Halsted in Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood.

That's a car shack, which used to be very common on used car lots. This one is for Ben's Auto Sales at 101st Place and Michigan in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood. I don't know if this was the same Ben's that was a regular advertiser on Chicago pro wresting broadcasts.

Nature is eating away at the parking lot, just as it is with Harlem Motor Sales.

Landmark Ford--it was adjacent to the Leaning Tower of Pisa replica in Niles--wasn't able to survive the Great Recession. It was razed a few years ago to make way for a Costco gas station.

Related post:

Office of US Rep. Danny K. Davis and three murders at Fohrman Motors

They're Lovely: Mark Dice on liberal media distorting Trump's "animals" comment

Did you hear? Donald Trump called illegal immigrants "animals." That's the story the anti-Trump media spread around the world a couple of days ago.

But upon review, Mark Dice explains," the president was speaking only about MS-13 members. not all illegals.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Leftist victory in Nebraska primary could mean Democrats will drown under their blue wave

The Democrats, which are transforming themselves into the party of Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist, might end up drowning under their own blue wave. In Tuesday's Democratic Primary election, leftist Kara Eastman defeated a more centrist opponent, Brad Ashford.

Eastman favors single-payer health care, which of course is a euphemism for a complete government takeover of health care.

From NBC News:
Washington Democrats worry Eastman's policy stances will jeopardize the party's chances of flipping the Oamaha-area seat, which leans slightly Republican.

Ashford is a Blue Dog Democrat who backs some restrictions on abortion — Eastman strongly supports abortion rights — and who won the seat in 2014, despite that year's Republican headwind. Party officials thought he was the best candidate to win it back this year (he lost it in 2016).

But in a year when Democrats seem eager to elevate women and fresh faces, Ashford fell in what some view as Democrats' first tea party moment.

The outcome caught national operatives off guard. While they say it's too soon to tell how the result will affect their plans, it seems likely the district will tumble down their priority list, if it doesn't get removed entirely.

Leftist Matt Bai, who said the Trump didn't even want to be president, predicts Pence never will be

Former New York Times chief political correspondent Matt Bai, who now writes for Yahoo, is a true yahoo, in the Swiftan sense.

I read his tripe so you don't have to.

In 2015, Bai emitted this sentiment about our future 45th president. "Trump himself doesn’t worry me. That's because I don’t think for a moment that he wants the job."

Well Donald J. Trump certainly did want that job and earlier this year he declared himself a candidate for reelection.

In his latest ooze, Bai says that his vice president, Mike Pence, will never be president. One of his inspirations for this sentiment is a column by George Will, who Bai, calls "a venerable conservative."  When are conservatives "venerable" to a leftist? Only when they break ranks with the Republicans, and Will is a NeverTrump GOPer.

The ailing John McCain is viewed the same way by liberals, except of course when he opposed The Anointed One, Barack Obama, when he had the audacity to oppose him for the presidency. Then McCain was portrayed as a man who was so out of touch with the mainstream that he couldn't type an email--but that's because his war injuries prevented him from using a keyboard.

What's it like. Bai, to be so wrong?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Mark Dice: The "Deportation Bus"

Michael Williams, a Republican running for governor in Georgia, doesn't have one of those cushy campaign buses that are nicer than many folks' homes. His is an adapted jailee "deportation bus."

Chicago is most corrupt city, report says

Surprised? You shouldn't be. And the author of the report. Dick Simpson, knows his subject.

He's a former Chicago alderman.

From ABC Chicago:
A report released Tuesday ranks Chicago as the most corrupt city in the country and Illinois as the third-most corrupt state.

"What we find is a very dreary picture. In nearly every sector, whether you talk about aldermen, you talk about Chicago schools, you talk about contracts, in every area corruption is still rife in the city of Chicago," said Dick Simpson, lead author of the "Continuing Corruption in Illinois" study and a University of Illinois Chicago political science professor.

The study was released by UIC's Political Science Department. READ THE FULL REPORT

Simpson called former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett the corruption poster child for taking $2 million in bribes. He also cites the convictions of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert in a sex abuse scandal, Congressman Aaron Schock's indictment on fraud and theft charges, and the pending case against Chicago Ald. Willie Cochran for bribery and extortion.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

PragerU: The Suicide of Europe

In the most recent PragerU video, Douglas Murray, the author of The Strange Death of Europe, discusses what appears to be the end of the culture that brought us the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and democracy.

In other words, the good stuff.

Ingraham on Trump: Results vs. resistance

Democrats and their media allies offer resistance to Donald Trump, whereas the president offers results.

For instance, Laura Ingraham points out, Trump's three predecessors vowed to move our Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, that nation's capital.

Trump actually followed up on his promise.

And regular Americans are noticing that Trump delivers.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Illinois' state-owned Abraham Lincoln library and museum to sell its Marilyn Monroe dress to repay loan

Marathon Pundit family with the Lincoln
family--John Wilkes Booth on the far left.
(Booth's wax figure has since been removed
from the museum.)
And why does the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, which is owned and operated by the state of Illinois, have a Marilyn Monroe dress among its artifacts?

Other than being familiar pop art icons, our 16th president has nothing in common with Monroe. Oh, part of that Lincoln library Monroe haul is a bust of Carl Sandburg--whose biography of our greatest president earned him a Pulitzer prize--was once owned by the movie star.

Wow, that's a reach.

Why does the ALPLM own this dress?

Perhaps the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library is interested in Marilyn's old dress. Now there is a connection to be sure.

From AP:
The foundation that supports the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, is selling a black dress once owned by movie star Marilyn Monroe to raise funds to repay a loan used to buy artifacts relating to the 16th president and keep the presidential relics available for public viewing.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation is putting nine items up for auction in Las Vegas June 23, including photos of the 1950s movie icon by photographer Arnold Newman, The Chicago Tribune reported . The wool dress could sell for more than $60,000, according to Julien's Auctions.

"Getting (Monroe) items is becoming more and more difficult," said Darren Julien, president and CEO of the auction house. "The supply's less and less, but demand's more and more because you have people in Asia and Russia and all over the world that are collecting pop culture - especially Marilyn Monroe."

Foundation officials hope proceeds from the auction will allow the foundation to avoid selling presidential memorabilia.
Last week the library announced that he may have to sell off the Lincoln items it purchased with that loan, including the gloves the 16th president was wearing when he has assassinated and a stovepipe hat that he may not have even owned.

Illinois is suffering from negative population growth, it has one of the worst-funded state worker pension systems, and it has the lowest credit rating ever for a state.

The state can't run the state and it can't run its Lincoln library.

Illinois used to be the Land of Lincoln. Now it's a national punchline.

Related post:

Life imitates SNL: Abraham Lincoln library foundation may be forced to sell off artifacts to pay debt

(Photos) The abandoned Ahmeek Stamp Mill

"Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity."
Ecclesiastes., 1:2.

"Like wind on the plains, sand through the glass
Waves rolling in with the tide
Dreams die hard and we watch them erode
But we cannot be denied
The fire inside "
Bob Seger, "The Fire Inside"

US Route 41, a byway, is the main route on Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula, which itself is part of the much larger Upper Peninsula of the Great Lake State. A byway of that byway is M-26, that is. Michigan State Route 26.

And that is where you will find the unincorporated community of Tamarack City and the ruins of the Ahmeek Stamp Mill.

That metal machine on top of the concrete platform is a stamp, a steam powered crusher of rocks. The goal was to extract copper from those rocks. Only two of the old stamp foundations are seen here, there are eight of them, each had its own stamp, according to the resourceful Copper County Explorer.

On the right up in the sky are birds.

Look for the abandoned stamp mill on M-26 near Golf Course Road.

Here are three more foundations, along with the eponymous-on-the-Keweenaw wild sweet pea.

There's a tiny display case dedicated to the history of the complex where this photograph, courtesy of Mike Schmitt of Tamarack City, is pinned.

Yes, that's what it looked like decades ago.

The nearby Ahmeek Mine opened in 1902, the stamp mill began operations in 1904. In the 1920s the largest mining company on the Keweenaw Peninsula, Calumet and Hecla, took control of both.

Copper Country Explorer explains what that metal device might be:
Dominating that floor is this interesting item – a shallow "bowl" protruding up from the wash floor’s surface. This would be another modern addition to the complex, most likely added by C&H [Calumet and Hecla] during its tenure. I say this mostly because there’s a ton more of these to be found at C&H’s own mill ruins down the shore. I’m not exactly sure what type of machine they belong to. They could be from a type of circular wash table known as a Buddle. They also could be part of a Chilean Mill, a type of regrinding machine. They also could be part of a floatation tank, which used chemicals and agitation to separate fine particles of copper.
Had people forgotten about the Ahmeek Mill, perhaps legends would describe this place as Spinal Tap did in the song "Stonehenge."

"In ancient times,
Hundreds of years before the dawn of history
Lived a strange race of people, the Druids
No one knows who they were or what they were doing
But their legacy remains
Hewn into the living rock, of Stonehenge."
Spinal Tap, "Stonehenge."

This concrete foundation once supported a massive steam turbine.

Adjacent to the ruins is Tamarack City Park. The park obviously is public property but the old mill is not, I saw a couple of "No Trespassing" signs. I'm curious as to who owns the land. If it's Houghton County, which I suspect it is, then they should turn this area, with signage including "No Climbing" and "Enter at Your Own Risk," into an urban exploration park.

Gary, Indiana has entertained doing something similar with the abandoned City United Methodist Church.

These pedestals used to support ball mills.

Wikipedia tells us what those are:
A ball mill is a type of grinder used to grind and blend materials for use in mineral dressing processes, paints, pyrotechnics, ceramics and selective laser sintering. It works on the principle of impact and attrition: size reduction is done by impact as the balls drop from near the top of the shell.
After reading that entry, I've gone from being clueless to confused. Engineering is not exactly my long suit.

The Ahmeek Stamp mill closed sometime in the 1960s and the buildings were razed in the following decade.

Calumet and Hecla was acquired by Universal Oil Products in 1968. A few months later C&H workers went on strike. The two sides were unable to agree to terms and the mines were shuttered.

And so ended copper mining on the Keweenaw Peninsula. The nearby White Pine Mine in Ontonagon County closed down in 1997.

Writing this post would have been impossible without research done at the Copper County Explorer site.

Here is Part One of its post on the Ahmeek Stamp Mill. And for more read Part Two.

This other Copper Country Explorer entry is about Tamarack City Park.

Next: The Quincy Mill

Related posts:

(Photos) Gay, Michigan

(Photos) The Quincy Mining Company Historic District

Mark Dice: I Love Global Warming

Did you know that in an effort to fight global warming, Los Angeles is painting streets to reflect the heat?

Mark Dice knows.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

President Trump's 2018 Mother's Day message

In his Mother's Day address, President Trump heaves well-deserved praise on the mothers of America.

"Since the earliest days of our republic, America’s strength has come from the love and courage and devotion of our mothers," Trump says in a video released today on Twitter. "They helped us gain our independence. Through their grit, determination, and incredible spirit, they pioneered the West and settled the frontier. During World War II, America’s mothers helped build the greatest arsenal for democracy."

Our president also had warm words for his mother, the Scottish-born Mary Anne MacLeod.

From Da Tech Guy: Failed state Illinois creating distraction from pension crisis by trying to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

The Democrats, led by my leftist state rep, Lou Land (D-Skokie), are stuck in the past and stuck on stupid. From my weekly post at Da Tech Guy: Failed state Illinois creating distraction from pension crisis by trying to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

In My Arms Again - Shoes

When you think of Illinois and the late 1970s and early 1980s power pop phenomenon, one band comes to mind, Cheap Trick.

But about an hour east of Cheap Trick's base in Rockford is Zion, where Shoes emerged.

Here are Shoes performing "In My Arms Again" from their Present Tense album.

Report: Democrat 'blue wave' could be more of a ripple

That "blue wave" of Democratic dominance in this fall's midterms might not amount to much after all.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Former Illinois Democratic congressman Mel Reynolds sentenced prison again

Mel Reynolds continues to destroy whatever career he has.

From USA Today:
Disgraced former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds is headed back to prison.

The controversial ex-congressman from Chicago was sentenced Thursday to six months in federal prison for failure to file income tax returns for four years, from 2009 to 2013, despite making about $400,000 as a consultant for two Chicago-area businessmen in Africa during that time.

Reynolds, a Democrat who served in the House from 1993 to 1995, saw his storybook political career upended when he was convicted in 1995 of sexual assault of a 16-year-old campaign worker.

While serving his sentence for the statutory rape conviction, Reynolds was convicted on a series of charges that included bank fraud, misusing campaign funds and making false statements to the Federal Election Commission. Those charges resulted in an additional 78-month federal prison sentence. He served 42 months on those charges before then-President Bill Clinton commuted the sentences

Pelosi on if she'll raise taxes: "That's accurate"

This has been a very busy news week so this story was unfortunately overlook.

Two days ago House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi vowed to roll back the Trump tax cuts if the Democrats recapture the House.

That means a tax cut.

Remember that in November.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Life imitates SNL: Abraham Lincoln library foundation may be forced to sell off artifacts to pay debt

Lincoln library cornerstone
In a mildly amusing Saturday Night Live bit where Jason Sudekis, playing the recently arrested Rod Blagojevich using the worst attempt at a Chicago accent ever, the-SNL Blago screams out during a US Senate hearing, "Hey, would any of you guys be interested in purchasing the actual wedding ring of President Abraham Lincoln? Cuz I got it, and yes, it is for sale--$250 Gs."

That sketch was prescient, as Springfield's Lincoln Library Foundation may be selling some Honest Abe valuables to pay off some debt.

The Lincoln library and museum, which is a Disney-esque tribute to the 16th president, is owned by the bankrupt-in-all-but-name state of Illinois.

From the State Journal-Register:
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation said Thursday it may have to resort to selling artifacts in its possession if it cannot resolve financial issues over a loan it obtained to purchase a vast collection of Lincoln artifacts a decade ago.

The organization issued a statement that it has met with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office about its financial problems but did not get any financial commitments from the administration.

“If the Foundation is not able to secure commitments in the very near future to retire most if not all of the remaining $9.7 million debt, it will have no choice but to accelerate the possibility of selling these unique artifacts on the private market which would likely remove them from public view forever,” the statement read.

The foundation — which is separate from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum — paid $25 million in 2007 to acquire the Barry and Louise Taper Collection, an extensive collection of Lincoln artifacts and other objects.
Among the items that were in that hall were a stovepipe hat that Lincoln is said to have worn, a book from 1824 that contains the earliest known sample of the Great Emancipator's handwriting, and items tied to his assassin, John Wilkes Booth.

A wax figure of Booth greeted Little Marathon Pundit and I in the museum's atrium eleven years ago when we visited. It was finally pulled because, the Peoria Journal Star reported last year, "it sent the wrong message."

Ya think?

Lincoln, but not his wife, Mary Todd, was a frugal man. Unlike current Illinois spendthrifts such as state House Speaker for Life Michael Madigan (D-Chicago). He owned only one suit that was viewed as suitable by his secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, for Lincoln to wear when his body lay in state.

Illinois, because of massive unfunded pension debt, suffers from the lowest credit rating ever recorded for a state.

ILL-inois: Every person in state owes $11,000 for unpaid pension debt

It's no surprise that Illinois is one of the few states with a declining population.

This is the legacy of House Speaker for Life Michael Madigan (D-Chicago).

From Bloomberg:
Three years ago today, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state’s attempt to cut its employees’ pension benefits to chip away at a retirement-system debt that’s swelled to almost $11,000 for every man, woman and child.

Since then, Illinois’s credit rating was downgraded to the verge of junk, its bonds have tumbled and its largest city -- Chicago -- was stripped of its investment-grade status by Moody’s Investors Service. And Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-led legislature have made no real progress toward a new plan that doesn’t violate the state constitution’s ban on reducing benefits.

“Illinois failure to address its pension crisis has resulted in further deterioration of the state and cities’ financial condition, exorbitantly high borrowing costs, and an inability to address other critical needs at the state and local level,” said Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, a Chicago nonprofit that tracks state and municipal finances. “Time is not your friend when your liabilities are compounding and your revenues are not.”

The funding shortfall across Illinois’s five retirement systems climbed to $137 billion by last June, a jump of about $17.8 billion since 2015, after the government for years failed to made adequate contributions. That pension deficit -- more than four times larger that its debt to general-obligation bondholders -- is adding hundreds of millions of dollars in costs to Illinois’s budget each year as the government plows more money in to catch up.

Iran Nuclear Deal Explained: Six Reasons Why Trump Is Right

"It is clear to me that we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement," Trump said Tuesday about the flawed nuclear agreement with the rogue nation of Iran. "The Iran deal is defective at its core," he continued, "if we do nothing we know exactly what will happen."

National Review puts Trump sentiments into more measured terms.

Trump, Melania, and Pence welcome three Americans held by North Korea home

Today has been an historic day.

A couple of hours ago President Trump announced on Twitter that he'll be meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong In next month in Singapore.

But while most people were sleeping, Trump, accompanied by the First Lady and Vice President Pence, welcomed back to America three men who were held captive by North Korea that were freed by his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.

Historic: Trump to meet Kim next month in Singapore

Two years ago, actually two months ago, leftists were claiming that President Donald J. Trump would lead America into a nuclear war.

The opposite appears to be happening.

From CNBC:
President Donald Trump said Thursday that his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would take place June 12 in Singapore.

It marks the first time that a sitting U.S. president will meet with a North Korean head of state – and a stunning turnaround in U.S.-North Korean relations from last year, when the nations appeared to be on the brink of conflict.

The president revealed the date and location for the highly anticipated meeting in a tweet Thursday morning.
A sitting US president has never met a North Korean leader.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

New York Slimes slammed Pompeo for his absence as Iran deal was cancelled, but then it was learned that he was in North Korea rescuing Americans

When you are the New York Slimes and all you have in your hand is a Trump-hating hammer, then every problem is a nail.

From Brian Flood for Fox News:
As the New York Times was bashing Mike Pompeo for being missing in action while President Trump tore up the Iran nuclear deal, it turned out the secretary of state was busy rescuing three Americans who have been held captive in North Korea.

In an apparent jab at the administration, The Times’ headline said, "At a Key Moment, Trump’s Top Diplomat Is Again Thousands of Miles Away."

The Times' story noted that “Senior State Department officials were momentarily speechless on Tuesday when asked why Mr. Pompeo did not delay his trip by a day to be in Washington during Mr. Trump’s Iran deal announcement.”
But on Twitter President Trump explained why Pompeo was away.
"I am pleased to inform you that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the air and on his way back from North Korea with the 3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is looking so forward to meeting. They seem to be in good health," Trump wrote. "Secretary Pompeo and his ‘guests’ will be landing at Andrews Air Force Base at 2:00 A.M. in the morning. I will be there to greet them. Very exciting!"

Pompeo bringing three freed Americans home from North Korea

Sure, we should celebrate the release of these three Americans, but we should still grieve the death of Otto Warmbier, another American who was imprisoned by North Korea who returned home in a coma, dying a few days later.

From BBC News:
North Korea has freed three US citizens from prison, according to a tweet from US President Donald Trump.

It is viewed as a goodwill gesture ahead of a historic summit between Mr Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Mr Trump said he would greet the men when they return with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has been in Pyongyang to arrange the planned talks.

Kim Hak-song, Tony Kim and Kim Dong-chu were able to "walk on the plane without assistance", the White House said.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

(PragerU) Walt Disney: American Dreamer

Hard work and determination made Walt Disney a success. Not government handouts, Glenn Beck tells us in this latest PragerU video.

Mark Dice on males and violence: They solved it

The fake news peddlers over at CNN are claiming "patriarchy," not guns, are what is behind rampant violence in America, Mark Dice informs us.

That's a load of crap. Fatherless households, particularly in urban areas, are largely to blame.

Monday, May 07, 2018

(Photos) The Quincy Mining Company Historic District

Last summer I made my second, but hopefully not last, trip to the Keweenaw Peninsula on Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It's a fabulous place where history and nature meet. As Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I plot our escape from corrupt and bankrupt Illinois, Keweenaw, also known as Copper Country, is on our lists of refuges. Although we should probably visit in the winter before we make the decision to relocate there.

That sojourn gave me the opportunity to enjoy the Quincy Mining Company Historic District, which is just north of Hancock. It's part of the Keweenaw National Historical Park, which is on US Route 41 just north of Hancock.

That's the #2 Shafthouse straight ahead with one of the site's many ruins on the right.

Ah, but what is this? North of Quincy Mine is the unincorporated village of  Mohawk and the Mohawk Snow Stick.

The Keweenaw is 50 miles long and 15 miles wide, it juts out into Lake Superior. As colder air comes in contact with slightly warmer lake water, it produces lake effect snow. The all-time record for snowfall there is 390.4 inches--32 feet--which is believed to be the highest snow accumulation in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.

Yes, the winters are brutal there.

So far 304 inches of snow have fallen in the winter of 2017-18.

Here's a closer look at those decayed buildings in front of the shafthouse.

The Quincy Mine opened in 1846 as the U.P. copper boom, America's first, was starting. It closed in 1931 but reopened for a spell during World War II, shutting down for good in 1945. From 1862 until 1882 it was America' most productive copper mine.

Some of the early investors were from Massachusetts, they named the mine after Quincy, a town south of Boston, where John Adams and John Quincy Adams were born.

Copper mining was not new to Keweenaw, 7,000 years ago Native American mined copper there.

Over on the other side of US 41 there are more ruins.

Mining dryhouses--this is all that remains of the one at Quincy--were locker rooms with sinks, a place to wash up and change in and out of work clothes.

Here's a close up of the dryhouse.

Wild sweet peas, brought to Keweenaw by immigrant miners, flourish on the peninsula. They're common in Detroit too.

Invasive? Yes. Beautiful? That too.

Experienced miners from Cornwall, England brought their expertise to Keweenaw. Michigan copper mining quickly surpassed those of Cornwall. The only remaining copper mine on the Upper Peninsulas is the four-year-old Eagle Mine near Marquette.

Cornwall's last mine of any type shuttered in 1998.

The Cornish brought pasties, a meat and vegetable-filled pastry, which are similar to pierogis, to the Upper Peninsula, where they are still widely available.

Pasty rhymes with "nasty."

This photograph was taken in 2009 in Munising.

Basalt fieldstone was used for many of these structures. Basalt is an igneous rock, fieldstone, is well, rocks just lying around, or in the case of mining areas, it's waste rock.

Ironically, fieldstone buildings are common in Massachusetts and the rest of New England.

An old mine hoist.

Here you'll see the Number 2 Hoist House (left) and Old No 2 Hoist House, the last one is now the visitors center, where Mrs. Marathon Pundit spent most of her time while I was taking pics--it has a strong Wi-Fi signal. Urban exploration, even in a rural area, isn't a chick thing. As for myself, I suffered through The Vow with her at one of those expensive movie theaters where you can order dinner. Fortunately for everyone else at the show, I ate lightly and I was able to keep my food down.

Nice digs, right? This is what a typical miner's home looked like.

Cow vetch is another European invader that I found at Quincy Mine.

Here's an outlier, a sandstone structure.

"But man in feeble, man is puny," Elvis Costello sang in "Red Cotton."

And so are man's creations.

The Quincy and Torch Lake Railroad once hauled copper out of the Upper Peninsula.

Nature always wins in the end.

Related post:

(Photos) Gay, Michigan