Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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 wht that medal 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

Report: Kerry secretly meeting to save Iran deal, undermine Trump

John Kerry was a traitor when he gave comfort and aid to the enemy during the Vietnam War when he lied to Congress about atrocities committed American soldiers during that conflict.

And he's a traitor now has he works with rogue state Iran--he met with their foreign minister last week in an effort to rescue the deeply flawed Iran nuclear deal, one that President Trump may scrap this week.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Morton Grove's Doughboy Monument with magnolias

If you are anywhere near Morton Grove today head over to the municipal library where you'll see my town's World War I Doughboy Monument graced by magnolia blossoms.

Of course this is the centennial year of the end of the First World War.

The Dukes of Stratosphear-The Mole From The Ministry

XTC had a psychedelic alter ege. the Dukes of Stratosphear. In this quintessentially English video--filmed outside an English manor, the blokes from Swindon, in a tip of the hat to the "I Am The Walrus" segment of the otherwise worthless Beatles movie, Magical Mystery Tour, the Dukes perform "The Mole From The Ministry."

From my post at Da Tech Guy:

(Review) XTC: This Is Pop

CNBC’s Sara Eisen On 3.9% Unemployment: "That is a wow number."

Yesterday the new jobless numbers were released--and unemployment is down to 3.9 percent.

CNBC's Sara Eisen had this to say, "That is a wow number."

Friday, May 04, 2018

Priceline CEO says Detroit is a top destination

Blogger near Detroit
last autumn
Your beloved Blogger Laureate of Illinois is always ahead of the curve. After all, I've vacationed twice in Detroit in the last four years.

From the Detroit News:
Pack your bags, America. Detroit is emerging as a top travel destination.

Brett Keller, CEO of the Priceline, said the online travel agency has seen an interesting rise in travel in Detroit and Cleveland during an interview with "CBS This Morning" on Friday.

Keller, in his first network interview since he became CEO in 2016, said Detroit is a fast-growing market that many could drive to during their summer vacations.

"This year, we've seen an interesting rise in some urban locations, specifically, in Detroit and Cleveland," Keller said during the interview. "Think they're going through a bit of a renaissance. There's a lot of interesting new culture happening, new restaurants, breweries, night scenes..."
And yes, the urban exploration, what the haters call "ruin porn."

Fake news exposed: Trump rips NBC over botched story on wiretap

More fake news from the Trump-hating establishment media.

From Fox News:
President Trump blasted NBC as “wrong again” early Friday over its erroneous report suggesting the phone lines of his attorney Michael Cohen had been wiretapped in the weeks leading up to the FBI raid on his properties.

“NBC NEWS is wrong again! They cite ‘sources’ which are constantly wrong. Problem is, like so many others, the sources probably don’t exist, they are fabricated, fiction! NBC, my former home with the Apprentice, is now as bad as Fake News CNN. Sad!” Trump tweeted.
The president’s tweet came after NBC News issued a correction to its original report released Thursday. Initially, the outlet reported that Cohen’s phones were wiretapped prior to the FBI raiding his home, office and hotel room last month.

But NBC later said other officials clarified that investigators were only logging phone numbers, but not listening in.

ATF agent shot in head on Chicago's South Side, suspect at large

Abandoned home, Back
of the Yards
There is bad news out of the Back of the Yards neighborhood.

From ABC Chicago:
An ATF agent was critically wounded in a shooting on Chicago's South Side early Friday morning.

The agent was on a federal mission with Chicago police assisting when shots rang out near West 45th Street and North Hermitage Avenue in the city's Back of the Yards neighborhood.

The initial calls of shots fired come in around 3:15 a.m. Authorities requested a medical escort to transport him to Stroger Hospital.

"We got shots fired by police. We have an ATF agent shot. He's the one going to the fire station right now," an officer said in the call.
The suspect is still at large.

The gangs of the Back of the Yards are armed with high-powered weapons.

Related posts:

Top Ten Most Violent Neighborhoods in Chicago #10

(Photos) The abandoned homes of Chicago's violent Back of the Yards neighborhood

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Clinton: Being a capitalist probably hurt me because so many Dems are socialists

Hillary Clinton expressed a rare display of truth she told an interviewer that she her campaign was probably hurt--in the primary cycle of course--because she is a capitalist and so man Democrats are socialists.

That's something to ponder when you vote in the November midterms

Rudy Giuliani: I'm sorry Hillary, but you're a criminal

While the news cycle is dominated by reports that then-candidate Donald Trump reimbursed his attorney, Michael Cohen, for the $130,000 non-disclosure agreement payment paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels, left out of reporting on Rudy Giuliani's revelations is that he had something very interesting to say about Hillary Clinton.

"I'm sorry, Hillary, I know you're very disappointed you didn't win," the former New York City mayor said, " but you're a criminal."

Of Clinton's mishandling of classified information, "James Comey fixed the whole case."

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Mark Dice: Starbucks Has Censored Me for Mocking Them

Online censorship of conservatives is alive and well.

No surprise: Detroit's QLine light rail ridership falls short of projections

Oh, I warned them. I predicted that ridership of Detroit's light rail commuter service, the QLine, would fall short of forecasts.

Just as that Disney-esqu Motor City flop, its monorail, was a flop.

From Crain's Detroit News:
Detroit's QLine collected just $417,050 in fares from passengers after the Kresge Foundation-funded free rides ended last Labor Day as ridership in the first year of the Woodward Avenue streetcar was 500,000 under initial projections.

From mid-May 2017 through the end of April, the QLine averaged about 3,700 daily riders, with ridership plunging to an average of 2,700 during a prolonged stretch of cold weather between November and March.

Free rides last summer on the new 3.3-mile long streetcar line boosted the total ridership in QLine's first year to 1.35 million, nearly 500,000 fewer riders than its operator had set as a goal to achieve a minimum daily ridership average of 5,000 passengers.

Detroit's People Mover
The privately-operate QLine projects to net $1.2 million in total revenue by its May 12 first-year anniversary, one-fifth of the actual $5.8 million operating cost that's being subsidized by private interests. The QLine, which cost $144 million to build, charges passengers $1.50 to ride for unlimited rides within three hours and $3 for a 24-hour pass.
Like the monorail, known as the People Mover, the QLine looks impressive--it gives the feel that Detroit is modernizing. But liberals, who have run Detroit into the ground, are obsessed with symbols, but not so good with effective results.

As I've noted many times before, leftist love trains because unlike automobiles, they only go where there are tracks.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Michelle Wolf doubles down after White House Correspondents' Dinner

Of Michelle Wolf's White House Correspondents Dinner rant, Fox Business Channel's Stuart Varney says it was "a vulgar, unfunny, personally insulting rant directed right at the Trump team."

Wolf knew what she was doing. Before her hate-spew, she deleted over 20,000 Tweets, hateful ones that called Eric Trump "an abortion" and referred to Serena Williams as "a man."

And the leftists who hired her had no ideal about Wolf?

Of course in liberal-land it's okay to insult a conservative woman's appearance, as in the case of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but not that of a leftist female.

Mark Dice: Girl's Prom Dress is "Racist"

A young woman cannot even where a dress with an Asian design because, leftists argue, that is "cultural appropriation" and racist.