Tuesday, February 19, 2019

AOC on Amazon canceling NYC campus: ‘I think it's incredible’

Socialist member of Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, speaking on Amazon cancelling plans for a New York City complex that may have provided New Yorkers 25,000 jobs, says "I think it's incredible," adding, "everyday Americans still have the power to organize and…can have more say than the richest man in the world."

Wrong. On a side note I'm not a big supporter of local officials throwing tax breaks at major corporations--taxes should be low for everyone--one of the reasons AOC is gleeful over Amazon ditching New York is that her union pals oppose the online retail behemoth.

Despite his liberal leanings Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos runs a non-union shop. The trend in America, of course, is more right-to-work states, of which New York is not one.

In so many ways, Ocasio-Cortez is on the wrong side of history.

Mark Dice on Jussie Smollett: Whoops! That Didn't Work!

In today's video Mark Dice recounts all how the mainstream media advanced the hate crime hoax of Jussie Smollett.

Incredibly, CNN, one of the guilty propagandists, is now trying to spin its way of the mess it helped create.

Dice is the author of a book, The True Story of Fake News: How Mainstream Media Manipulates Millions. One of its chapters is about hate crime hoaxes.

Monday, February 18, 2019

(Photos) Downtown Flint in winter

I was on vacation last week so I hit the road to a city that was in the news a lot a few years ago, Flint, Michigan.

Saginaw Street is the main thoroughfare in downtown Flint.

Up above is a ghost sign for Ferris Brothers Furs.

The Capitol Theatre, which opened, like most great movie palaces, in the 1920s, closed in 1990. It re-opened in 2017.

The Flint Farmers' Market--I love the possessive plural--dates back to 1905.

Pictured here is a low-head dam, also known as a weir, on the Flint River.

Of course when you think of Flint the first thing that comes to mind is the Flint Water Crisis of 2014-2017. Flint's economy began a tailspin that dates back to the early 1970s as the economy slowed and American consumers bought more import cars, particularly those from Japan. I'll cover that side of Flint in a later post. Twice in this century Michigan governors declared a financial emergency in Flint. During the second one, municipal officials decided, in a cost-saving move, to end purchasing Lake Huron water from Detroit; instead, it would pump in its own water from that lake. But Detroit, itself under a financial emergency as well as bankruptcy protection, turned off the tap to Flint, which forced the smaller city to temporarily use the Flint River for its water.

But the engineers failed to include corrosion inhibitors in its water treatment, road salt, which I learned is only used on main streets in Flint--I'll cover that later too--ate into the aging pipes which led to dangerous amounts of lead in the drinking water. Flint quickly switched back to Detroit water. Until last spring Michigan supplied free bottled water to Flint residents.

Last year an old concrete bridge, known as the Hamilton Dam, was demolished, which led to many reports that the entire dam was gone. Wrong. Who writes this crap? Just the bridge is gone. What remains, the low-head dam, is a drowning hazard.

That's Saginaw Avenue at the Flint River. The tall building is the Northbank Center building, which is now owned by the University of Michigan-Flint. It's the former Industrial Savings Bank.

The "Flint Vehicle City" arches, with electric lights, were built in 1905 in honor of the city's 50th anniversary. Electric street lights were a new technology then. "Vehicle City" refers not to automobiles, which were still viewed as a novelty then, but to carriages for horses.

Like Detroit, Flint was a hub for Michigan's lumber industry. As carriages were made of wood, Flint was a major producer of carriages, so the transition from carriages to automobiles in the early 20th century was a natural one.

In 1908 General Motors was founded in Flint.

 Sometimes life is better in black and white. Oh, beneath the arch is a Chevy Silverado, the GM Flint Assembly builds that pickup.

That's Flint's tallest building, the top half of it at least, the 16-story Mott Foundation Building. Its neighbor, the slightly taller Genesee Towers, was imploded in 2013. In a complicated transaction compounded by a lawsuit the state appointed emergency manager paid $9 million for Genesee Towers and then sold it for $1 to a corporation that demolished it.

You can't blame all of Flint's problems on the auto industry woes.

As for the photo, it's the first one I've posted when I used my new zoom lens.


On the left is William C. Durant, the founder of General Motors. In 1904 he took control of Buick from the man on the right, David Dunbar Buick.

The tallest structure is the Old Genesee Bank Building.

It's been many years since I've seen a pipe shop--other than hookah joints that is.

At night the arches are lit.

Related post of mine from Da Tech Guy:

Review of Season One of Flint Town

(PragerU) What Made George Washington Great?

John Rhodehamel, the author of George Washington: The Wonder of the Age, tells us that it is hard to envision an America without the Father of our Country.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

From Da Tech Guy: Mainstream media bias betrayed as Jussie Smollett hate crime story falls apart

Yes, I am back. I was in Flint and Detroit for a few days, which is something you'll be hearing about soon. In the meantime I am weighing in once again on a major story out of Chicago at Da Tech Guy: Mainstream media bias betrayed as Jussie Smollett hate crime story falls apart.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

(Photos) Flat chunks of ice hanging from trees on the North Branch of the Chicago River

Last week there was an early February thaw in the Chicago area which melted most of the snow on the ground and led to swollen creeks and rivers including the North Branch of the Chicago River in Morton Grove and Niles.

The ice chunks, or ice flats, are something I've never noticed before this week.

As far as I can gather, or hypothesize, there was a pause in the thaw, most likely at night as it is rare this time of year for temperatures to consistently above freezing at night, leading of course to ice developing at the top of the river. Then the river levels drop to their normal levels, leaving these ice chunks, or ice flats, hanging from trees.

Today a mix of snow, freezing rain, and sleet is enveloping the Chicago area. Oh, all of these photographs were snapped this afternoon.

Notice the icicles on hanging from the ice flats.

These photographs were taken in either Morton Grove's Miami Woods or Niles' Bunker Hill Woods.

If you decide to follow my footsteps please be careful. There are patches of weak ice along the river banks.

Ben Shapiro: AOC embarrasses self on Green New Deal

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ben Shapiro tells us, embarrassed herself with her Green New Deal. That is, if she is capable of embarrassment.

Shapiro blows the whistle on one of her advisers, Robert Hockett, a Cornell professor, who blatantly lied to Tucker Carlson about the contents of the GND.

Mark Dice on fooling AOC: Mission accomplished!

Mark Dice laid a trap for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez--he added, if such a thing is possible, even crazier things to her Green New Deal, such as offering everyone a free massage charge and forcing people to use recycled urine to brew coffee, to see if AOC would fact check it.

She did.

Happy 210th birthday, Abraham Lincoln

America's greatest president--and its first Republican one--was born in a log cabin 210 years ago in Kentucky.

Pictured is a statue of the Great Emancipator that Little Marathon Pundit photographed last month at London's Parliament Square. It's a replica of the one sculpted by Augustus Saint-Gaudens that stands on the southern end of Lincoln Park in Chicago.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Amazon shoppers: There is still time before Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is in three days. If you are looking for something for the beloved other person in your life, why not head over to Amazon and start shopping? Your beloved Blogger Laureate of Illinois receives a small commission--and you pay nothing extra.

Click on the ad and start browsing!

Students Love Green New Deal... Until Hearing What's In It

Leftist leaders know that if they place a catchy name on a proposal they're low-information supporters will tag along.

Such is the case with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez' Green New Deal.

Students at the University of Miami love the GND--until they find out what's in in.

Things like paying people unwilling to work and the complete elimination of fossil fuels in ten years.

Freshman Dem rep Ilhan Omar sends anti-Semitic tweets

Democrats, you have an anti-Semite problem. So far House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has time to attend the Grammy Awards, hasn't found the time to denounce Ilhan Omar, a star, if you are a Democrat, among the freshman class of the 116th Congress.

From NBC News:
Freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota — one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress last fall — is accused of sending a string of "anti-Semitic" tweets regarding the Israeli lobby in the U.S.

Omar, a proponent of the BDS — Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions — movement aimed at putting economic and political pressure on Israel over its treatment of Palestinians, first tweeted Sunday night that money was driving U.S. politicians to defend Israel.
She then tweeted that AIPAC — The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee — was paying politicians to support Israel.
Omar has another problem. She's been accused of marrying her brother and committing immigration fraud.

After speaking favorably of white supremacism House Republican leadership was swift in condemning US Rep. Steve King (R-IA). He has also been removed from all House committees.

UPDATE 1:55pm CST:

Pelosi and other Democrat leaders are calling for an apology from Omar.

UPDATE 3:30pm CST: Omar apologized.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

From Da Tech Guy: Laugh off AOC's Green New Deal at your own peril

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Edward Markey's Green New Deal is unintentionally hilarious. But it's still very dangerous to freedom lovers. From my weekly post at Da Tech Guy: Laugh off the Green New Deal at your own peril.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Elvis Costello and The Imposters - Suspect My Tears

Last fall Elvis Costello and the Imposters released their album since 2010, Look Now.

On this cut, the King offers a taste of Burt Bacharach, with whom Costello has worked with before. In fact one of the tracks, but not this one, was co-written with Bacharach.

Here's Elvis with the Imposters performing "Suspect My Tears."

Tucker grills Ocasio-Cortez adviser over 'Green New Deal'

Watch as Tucker Carlson roasts an adviser to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) over her envioro-whack plan called the Green New Deal. Calling the GND a plan is overly generous to it, by the way.

As for the adviser, Robert Hockett, who is a Cornell law professor, he reminds me of Jack Nance in Eraserhead.

Being compared to a character from a David Lynch movie is never a good thing.

Friday, February 08, 2019

(Photos) The abandoned Vārpa Brewery in Riga, Latvia and a nearby vacated factory

Little Marathon Pundit traveled to Europe last month and like a good daughter--which of course she is--she took some photographs that she knew her father would love.

One of her stops was Riga, the capital of Latvia. In Latvian it is spelled RÄ«ga, Latvija.

Near where one of our family friends lives is the Varpa Brewery at 239/243 Moscow Street. In Latvian it is the Vārpa alus darītava Maskavas ielā 239/243. (Capitalization is less strict in Latvian.)

 Vārpa means "stalk," as in barley stalk, in Latvian. 

The brewery began pumping out beer for thirsty Latvians in 1870.

Originally the structure was known as the Livonia Brewery, or Alus darītava Livonija. The name
change to Vārpa occurred in 1945. At that time it was the only brewery in Riga. In 1967 149 people were employed there.

That wall looks like 50 years of communism. It's part of the brewery complex. The blue and red "X" sign is a bus stop marker.

In 2004 Vārpa went bankrupt. The building was leased out until 2007. There is a proposal to demolish it and replace the old structure with apartments and retail space. 

On the same street is an abandoned factory.

A look inside.

A final glimpse.

In the same area is this crumbling structure. It looks like an old garage.

Mark Dice on AOC: She's Truly a Genius

Alexandria Ocasio Cortex, AOC, or as Mark Levin calls her, A-Ock, is a raving lunatic. Despite that, or better yet because of that, she is the darling of the left.

Her unintentionally hilarious Green New Deal is the worst thing yet to come out of her crayon box yet.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

AOC claims Latinos can't be illegals because they are descendants of Native Americans

US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY), who like US Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) suffers from having a very low IQ, powered up the dumbness today after proposing her fantasy she calls the Green New Deal. She said that Hispanics--she used the term Latino--cannot be illegal aliens because they are descended from Native Americans.

From David Harsanyi: The 10 most insane requirements or the Green New Deal

Even on the standards of the loony left,  which is now the mainstream of the Democratic Party, the Green New Deal proposed today by Sen. Edward  Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez shows just how bonkers the Dems are. It includes the nearly complete elimination of commercial air travel, abolishing internal combustion engine automobiles, shutting down are nuclear power plants, and either tearing down or rehabbing every building in America.

David Harsanyi explains in the Federalist: The 10 most insane requirements or the Green New Deal.

Ilhan Omar runs from CNN reporter when pressed on BDS support

If you are Jewish and you are reading this post you are probably a Democrat. Two members of your Democratic caucus, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, are supporters of the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement against Israel.

As for the first one, watch as Omar flees from a CNN reporter when asked if she supports BDS.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

America will never be a socialist country - Trump

"We were born free and we will stay free," Donald Trump said in yesterday's State of the Union Adress.

And then concluding, "America will never be a socialist country."

Chicago values: Cops open false police report over alderman's "stolen" car loaned to single mom

Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno (1st) is a scumbag. After all, he is a Chicago alderman, and that legislative body has sent over 30 members to federal prison since 1973.

Moreno gained national attention when a tried to prevent Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant in his First Ward. The chain is known for promoting Christian values and traditional marriage. Chicago's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, joined in by declaring "Chick-fil-A's values are not Chicago values."

What was that about prison and Chicago aldermen?

Then there are Moreno's values.

From WGN-TV:
Chicago Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno said his car was stolen. He filed a police report last month declaring the alleged theft. Now, Moreno says it was all just a big misunderstanding.

More from the Chicago Sun-Times:
Chicago police on Tuesday opened an investigation into whether Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno (1st) filed a false police report last month claiming his car had been stolen.

The investigation was opened after a report aired Monday night on WGN-TV in which Moreno shared information with a reporter that "was not previously communicated to police," Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Tuesday.

"Based on new information, Chicago police detectives have now opened a false report investigation," he said.

After the stolen vehicle report, police pulled Moreno's car over early Monday and arrested Liliya Hrabar, who was charged with criminal trespass to vehicle, a Class A misdemeanor. That charge was dropped Tuesday, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
Chicago values.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

CNN hosts: It’s great Melania invited bullied sixth-grader named Trump to SOTU, but...

There's a boy in Delaware who is being bullied because his last name is Trump. He'll be one of the guests of the first lady at tonight's State of the Union address.

A feel-good story, right?

Not if you are two hardened leftists who host shows on CNN.

Mark Dice: Look What the Russian Bots Are Being Blamed for Now

There is a lot of recent craziness out there and it involves football, Mark Dice tells us.

First, the attorney for Colin Kaepernick, the ingrate who refused to stand for our national anthem when it was played before NFL games, alleges that Russian interference, including bots, is behind the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback not having a job.

Also, watch as CNN's Don Lemon asks if her singing the Star Spangled Banner before the Super Bowl--she made the mistake of appearing on Lemonhead's show before the game--if it would threaten her career. She not only disposed of him but she performed an emotional anthem flawlessly on Sunday.

Monday, February 04, 2019

(PragerU) Why You Can't Argue with a Leftist

Author and comedian Owen Benjamin in correct. Leftists are people you cannot argue with ever.

Mark Dice on the Super Bowl: You'll Never Guess

Mark Dice discusses leftist reaction--most of it unhinged--surrounding last night's Super Bowl.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Beth from The Walking Dead sings Tom Waits' "Hold On"

"Down by the Riverside Motel, it's ten below and falling."

That lyric, from Tom Waits' "Hold On," was going through my head this week as the polar vortex enveloped Marathon Pundit world headquarters in Morton Grove, Illinois. The high on Wednesday, reached at midnight, was -10. Yes, ten below and it fell to -23. The wind chill was -55. When I walked a block west at work--yes, I showed up--I received a massive ice cream headache in seconds.

I already posted Waits' version of "Hold On" a number of years ago. Here's Emily Kinney's take, from The Walking Dead series. Kinney plays Beth. Her moving cover morphs into Waits' original. Waits' wife and frequent co-writer, Kathleen Brennan, grew up in the Chicago area, in Johnsburg about forty miles north of here, where I'm sure it was even colder on Wednesday than here.

The next day down here it warmed up to the low single digits. I still ran ten miles. Yes, I'm nuts.

Tucker reacts to Virginia's governor's offensive blackface KKK yearbook photo

Virginia's Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, who clearly favors infanticide--no I am not exaggerating--now finds himself in more trouble as his medical school yearbook page shows two people, one in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan outfit.

Friday, February 01, 2019

Tennessee's state capitol, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and more

There are many intriguing sites on the grounds of the Tennessee state capitol in Nashville. Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I visited America's Music City in early December.

William Strickland was the architect for the state capitol, it is in the Greek Ionic style, which is appropriate as an old nickname Nashville is "the Athens of the South." Strickland died five years before its completion--he's buried on the northeast wall of his creation.

The limestone building opened in 1859. Paid laborers, along with convicts and slaves, worked on the construction crew. The Tennessee capitol, according to Wikipedia, is one of only twelve that does not have a dome.

The capitol is open for tours on weekdays--but we visited on a Sunday.

The flags were at half staff as George H.W. Bush had passed away two days prior.

The capitol rests on a hill.

Andrew Jackson, Old Hickory, our seventh president, is the Great Tennessean. A statue of him on horseback rests on a prominent location at the capitol. And as you can see, the capitol building sits on a hilltop.

Scroll down to the bottom of this post for more about Jackson.

Pictured here is the burial site of James K. Polk.

Eight years after Jackson left the White House one of his protƩgƩs, Polk, was sworn in as our 11th president. His nickname was Young Hickory. Like Old Hickory, Polk was a man of action. His goals as president included annexing California and at least some of Oregon Country. Polk favored adding the Republic of Texas as a state during the campaign; his predecessor, John Tyler, three days before he left office, signed the bill that allowed the admission of Texas into the union, which occurred during Polk's first year in the White House.

The Oregon Country was split by treaty with Great Britain at the 49th parallel in 1846, two months after the Mexican War began. That conflict not only led to the annexation of California, but an area that later became Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and as well as parts of Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming.

Polk vowed to serve one term--and he did.

Here's a man who came to the White House, said what he would do, and did it.

Young Hickory's retirement was very short. The strains of the presidency took a toll on his health and he died of cholera in Nashville three months after his term of office ended. His wife, outlived him by 46 years. Both were initially buried at their home, Polk Place, but were reinterred on the state capitol grounds in 1893.

Two years ago a resolution to reinter, again, the remains of the Polks to their old home in Columbia, Tennessee was narrowly defeated by the state legislature.

Polk is the only president to serve as the speaker of the House. He also served a term as governor of Tennessee. He was born in North Carolina, not too far away from Jackson's birthplace.

He is, as of now, the only president buried on the grounds of a state capitol.

Another former governor of Tennessee who was born in North Carolina who became president was Andrew Johnson. That's a bronze statue of him. Johnson succeeded Abraham Lincoln and was one of the targets of John Wilkes Booth's assassination plot. Johnson's designated assassin, George Atzerodt, chose to get drunk instead. He still was executed for his role in the plot.

By all accounts Johnson's four years in office were a debacle, he is generally ranked by historians as one of the worst US presidents. He possessed none of Lincoln's skills as a compromiser and he was impeached, unfairly to be sure, for violating the Tenure of Office Act after he fired Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Johnson was not alone in believing the law was unconstitutional--it was repealed in 1887.

Johnson missed being removed from office by one vote in his Senate trial. He received some redemption when the Tennessee legislature elected him to the US Senate in 1875, a position he held when the Civil War broke out.

But the hostile historical verdict on Johnson, because of his opposition to most of Reconstruction, seems set. He was the wrong president for that time.

All three Tennessee presidents were Democrats.

Simply put, Sergeant Alvin C. York was one of the greatest men ever to put on an American military uniform. During the closing days of World War I, York, who was from rural Tennessee, led an attack that killed at least 25 Germans and captured 132 others. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

His heroism was immortalized in the movie Sergeant York. Playing the title character, Gary Cooper won a Best Actor Academy Award for his performance.

Sam Davis was a scout, or if you prefer, a spy for the Confederacy. He was captured by Union forces in 1863, in his possession were sensitive documents including sketches of enemy fortifications. In exchange for his life, a northern general asked Davis betray his sources. His response was, "I would rather die a thousand deaths before I betray a friend."

Davis was hanged as a spy in Pulaski, Tennessee.

Two years ago leftists protesting a police convention being held in Nashville covered the Davis statue with a white sheet and placed in front of it a crude bust of Terence Crutcher, a black man who was killed during a traffic incident by a white police woman, Betty Shelby. She was acquitted of murder charges.

Next to your beloved Blogger Laureate of Illinois is a Liberty Bell replica.

Across the street is War Memorial Plaza, which will be the subject of a future entry.

Earlier posts:

(Photos) Andrew Jackson and Nashville

(Photos) Andrew Jackson's Hermitage and Trump-hater Jon Meacham

Warren does not refute that her wealth tax is straight out of Venezuela

Pocahontas, also known as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a candidate for president, was interviewed by CNBC's Jim Cramer yesterday. And when asked about here "wealth tax," she didn't dispute that her tax is something that comes from Venezuela.