Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Iraq News Network on uniting the Progressive Left and Islam

Here's the New Fusion going the other way.

Via Front Page: an inteview with Bitish MP Galloway and Mohammad Basirul Haq Sinha on the Iraq News Network.

Note the picture of Saddam and Hugo Chavez (Chavez on Saddam: "...a brother") Here is the first question but it goes on and on if you can stomach it.

M.B.H.S.: You often call for uniting Muslim and progressive forces globally. How far is it possible under current situation?

Galloway: Not only do I think it's possible but I think it is vitally necessary and I think it is happening already. It is possible because the progressive movement around the world and the Muslims have the same enemies.

Their enemies are the Zionist occupation, American occupation, British occupation of poor countries mainly Muslim countries.

They have the same interest in opposing savage capitalist globalization which is intent upon homogenizing the entire world turning us basically into factory chickens which can be forced fed the American diet of everything from food to Coca-Cola to movies and TV culture. And whose only role in life is to consume the things produced endlessly by the multinational corporations.

And the progressive organizations & movements agree on that with the Muslims. Otherwise we believe that we should all have to speak as Texan and eat McDonalds and be ruled by Bush and Blair. So on the very grave big issues of the day-issues of war, occupation, justice, opposition to globalization-the Muslims and the progressives are on the same side.

But they now do have some other differences and they are nonetheless important. These are the very big issues that divide progressive organizations and Muslims. But they are fewer than people imagine and the more they want work together as I am doing and have been for many years with Muslims organizations and sincere as well as devout Muslims the fewer the differences are and the less the gap there seems to be. It's necessary because if we to use in English colloquialism "If we don't hang together we will all hang separately."

Our enemies are very powerful and they are currently ruling the world and if we don't stop them they will finish both of us and they will be the new tyrants, new emperors of the world for a very long time to come if we don't stop them. So it's necessary to unite these two great forces.

Thirdly it's already happening in Britain and the anti war movement. That precisely in London we did move millions of people the biggest demonstrations Britain has ever seen which was made up of hundreds of thousands of Muslims in UK and hundreds of thousands, more than a million other from the non Muslim population, hand in hand, black and white, Muslim-non Muslims, old and young, rural and urban all forged into one mighty mass-movement .They said "/No war on Iraq/" and "/Freedom for Palestine/".

Now as the organizer of those demonstrations and as the leader of the anti war movement I would be bound to say to you that this is the best model constructed anywhere in the world in my opinion. And if you compare for example the French situation where the French Left and the French Muslims who are 8 million strong are completely separate. This allowed Jacque Chirac to come along and tear the Hijaab of the young girls in France and nobody did anything about it!

The left is weaker and the Muslims are weaker because they are not together. Had they worked together Chirac would never dare. I tell you one thing Tony Blair would never dare to take away the Hijaab from the young girls in Britain. He won't try to do it because the unity between the Muslims and the progressive forces in Britain is too important and too strong.

It's Our Birthday! Two-Year Anniversary of "Davids Medienkritik"

Davids Medeinkritik celebrates two years of blogging.

Rzebro, the Pope, Paul Douglas, and the New Fusionism

Rzebro posted this link in response to my post on Moveon.org's demeaning picture of Pope Benedict XVI.

Check Rzebro's link because you'll find the organization behind it, the National Legal and Policy Center, was inspired by Illinois's Sen. Paul Douglas's authorship of the code of ethics for government.

My Dad was a fan of Paul Douglas and I've blogged twice before about Sen Douglas and Paul Shield's proposal on Paul Douglas brigades.

The New Fusionism seems more and more a reality to me.

Monday, May 30, 2005

The Clinton Books are starting

via drudge;

I think Historians will find Clinton an insignificant and transitional President.

I always liked him. Baffled, amazed, and felt betrayed by him, but I always liked him.

I figured it would take a good ten or fifteen years before we see the books that will help us understand such a flawed and complex man but Drudge is putting out blurbs now from John Harris's The Survivor.

He understood the threat of Saddam and UBL but just couldn't figure out how to defend the country.

Fox River Trolley Museum

Westside Agent and I visited the Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin today and I posted some pictures on my Trains blog: Bill Baar's Trains.

This one of the Chicago Aurora & Elgin sign is my favorite. It shows the whole West Side.

Illinois's Thomson Prison

I saw Representative Jim Sacia (R) 89th District on Comcast's Newsmaker show (I've become addicted although I can never figure out their schedule. I just bump into it.) and he mentioned Illinois has a new Prison in his district complete with a lonely Warden onboard. It only lacks the operating funds to staff it before receiving inmates.

Sacia said Illinois prisons currently overcrowded by 170% i.e. room for one inmate holds 1.7 inmates --think about it.

Google "Thompson Prison Illinois" and you don't find much except this gleaned from the Clinton Hearld,
Illinois Department of Corrections April 28, 2003
There's no money in the Illinois budget to staff and operate the Thompson prison next year but the state is exploring options for using that facility and other prisons not currently open. One option would be to turn those facilities into federal prisons. Doing so would require the Illinois Department of Corrections to first turn over the prisons to private companies to run, and the private companies would then lease the space to the federal prison system. (Clinton Herald)
The hubbub about Gitmo got me thinking about prisons. Everybody ought to spend a little time in one: as volunteer or inmate.

I know a guy who recently traded 30 days community service for three days in Cook County Jail. He didn't like taking orders from the kid in charge of his community service detail, and thought he'd do the time instead. He said he made a big mistake. I think he would've slept better if all he had to worry about those three nights was someone flushing his Bible down the toilet.

Rauschenberger and Fitzgerald

Sun Times says Rauschenberger is getting back by Fitzgerald and his millions. Good, I like them both.
With money in the bank, campaign staff on the payroll and a finance committee that includes millionaire former U.S. Sen. Peter G. Fitzgerald, Republican state Sen. Steve Rauschenberger puts the likelihood that he will run for governor next year at "90 percent or better."

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Milt's File finds a good link on "The New Fusionism"

Milt's File explains what's happening in the Conservative movment with an essay by Joseph Bottum; the new editor of First Things.

Down somewhere in the deepest understanding of what America is for—somewhere in the profound awareness of what it will take to reverse the nation’s long drift into social defeatism—there are reasons that one might link the rejection of abortion and the demand for an active and moral foreign policy. Things could have fallen into different patterns; our current liberal-conservative divisions are not the only imaginable ways to cut the political cake. But neither are they merely accidental.

The opponents of abortion and euthanasia insist there are truths about human life and dignity that must not be compromised in domestic politics. The opponents of Islamofascism and rule by terror insist there are truths about human life and dignity that must not be compromised in international politics. Why shouldn’t they grow toward each other? The desire to find intellectual and moral seriousness in one realm can breed the desire to find intellectual and moral seriousness in another.

And then this final paragraph. Politics always changing and in surprizing ways,
The angry isolationist paleoconservatives are probably right—this isn’t conservatism, in several older senses of the word. But so what? Call it the new moralism, if you like. Call it a masked liberalism or a kind of radicalism that has bizarrely seized the American scene. Mutter darkly, if you want, about the shotgun marriage of ex-socialists and modern puritans, the cynical political joining of imperial adventurers with reactionary Catholics and backwoods Evangelicals. These facts still remain: The sense of national purpose regained by forceful response to the attacks of September 11 could help summon the will to halt the slaughter of a million unborn children a year. And the energy of the pro-life fight—the fundamental moral cause of our time—may revitalize belief in the great American experiment.

War of Last Resort

from the Calvin College ad protesting Bush,

"As Christians, we are called to be peacemakers and to initiate war only as a last resort," the ad will say. "We believe your administration has launched an unjust and unjustified war in Iraq."

When America fights a War of Last resort, it's a War of Annihilation and Pacifists had best think hard about backing America into that kind of war because they are Wars Without Mercey as Dower named his history of the War in the Pacific.

Better to risk early intervention and democratic Nation building.

My Dad was waiting as part of the invasion. My Uncle one of the first Americans into atom-bombed Nagasaki after the end. Someday I'll blog their thoughts on the atom bomb.


Someone please explain this to me.

Memorial Day, War and A. J. Muste

The protest against Bush at Calvin College got me thinking of nearby Hope College and their pacifist graduate A J Muste.
from Rutherford Institute: Yet A.J. Muste, unlike Gandhi and Martin Luther King, is virtually unknown to the general public. Like most people who are not inclined to take popular positions, who don't fit neatly into the chapters of middle school history books, Muste's extraordinary life has naturally been back-shelved by the writers and librarians of modern history. After all, what do you do with a radical Christian/Marxist pacifist who stood up at a Quaker Meeting in 1940 and said, "If I can't love Hitler, I can't love at all"?
People forget the pacifists opposition US fighting in World War II and it's good to go back and read again what we these folks were saying. I find Muste depressing and chilling.

Here is an essay on Orthodoxy Today by Joseph Loconte which gives you a flavor of the pacifist outlook in the late 30s and early 40s.. On Memorial Day it's worth contemplating what the world would be like now had the Pacifists been ultimately successful. They had a lot of support in America then, as now, although few of their present day supporters acknowledge them much.

Some saw German aggression as a kind of divine judgment. "Our sins have found us, that's all," explained John Haynes Holmes, pastor of New York City's Community Church. "If Hitler triumphs, it will be as the punishment of our transgressions." A.J. Muste, a Congregationalist minister turned peace activist, compared pro-democracy hawks to "the men who tortured and killed the victims of the Inquisition." Albert Palmer, president of Chicago Theological Seminary, said Americans should be "solving the problems of social and economic justice" at home rather than condemning Germany "through a haze of Allied propaganda."

The Christian Century magazine, the nation's leading religious journal, devoted itself to opposing U.S. intervention. Writing as late as November 1941, editor Charles Clayton Morrison denounced an Anglo-American alliance as "the most ambitious imperialism ever projected." He then offered this dark prediction: "For the United States to make a fateful decision to enter this war on the mistaken and irrational assumption that it is a war for the preservation of anything good in civilization will be the supreme tragedy of our history."

I'm more of a Rheinhold Niebur guy (Niebuhr another sensible West Sider by my expansive definition graduating from Elmhurst College class of 1910) and Loconte quotes him saying,
The Christian ideal of love," Niebuhr warned, "has degenerated into a lovelessness which cuts itself off from a sorrowing and suffering world."
The degeneration's become worse my opinion but maybe I just spend time on the wrong blogs.

The Buck Stops Here: Kurdish Women's Union

The Buck Stops Here: Kurdish Women's Union Buck suggests the Kudish Women's Union as a worth place to donate.

Here's Rogre Simon's review on Jim Hake, the guy behind the donation efforts.

As the Reverend Dr tells me on Sunday, show me what you spend, and I'll tell you what you believe.

The Buck Stops Here: Math Teaching

Stuart Buck writes a post here on Math Teaching and Democrats' fears of sounding like Lynn Cheney.

Mark Shields and Paul Douglas Brigades II

Heard Mark Shields on cross-fire last night call again for Paul Douglas Brigades. I've blogged on Shields and the Brigades before here.

The Special Inspector General for Iraqi Reconstruction told me 400 people had applied for two temporary auditor-jobs in Iraq. I was in the short list of 20 but passed over for the job.

So there are 400 green-eye shade types out there who volunteered.

Friday, May 27, 2005

US Sec States for past 12 years

Heard Juan Williams interview Secretary State Rice this morning on NPR. Rice said if she completes a four year term, the United States will NOT have had a white-male as Sec State for 12 years straight: it would have been Madeliane Albright, Colin Powell, and Rice.

Interesting because I think we take this for granted in the US, but I don't think it's unoticed in the rest of the world.

Bolton and filibuster II

The same people who told me the electoral college was undemocratic and the Constitution should be changed too prevent minorities (i.e. small states) having too much power, now tell me we need to keep the Senate rules on filibuster to prevent the majority from having too much power.

Depends I guess... it all depends.

Bolton, Voinovich, and the filibuster

Thoughts on last night:

I hate it when politicians cry. Maybe it's because I'm from Illinois and therefore cynical. My thought on Voinovich choking up was he must have some emotional problem. (Hear him on radio blogger: via Galley Slaves unbelievable mp3 )

I hate it when politicians tell me I'm stupid. That's how I felt when I heard Reid say this last night, (via the Trib)

"We are not here to filibuster Bolton--we are here to get information," Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on the floor shortly after the vote was taken. Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), who led the opposition to Bolton, said, "I have absolutely no intention of preventing an up-or-down vote on Mr. Bolton." He later said he did not know whether full disclosure of the information he is seeking would sink the nomination.

It's a filibuster. I'm not stupid Mr. Reid.

I'm guessing Lott got it right. (quote from Lott below is further down in the Trib link). Democrats may turn out to be the dummies. They will have squandered a chance to filibuster a supreme court nominee for Bolton.

Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) said the setback to Bolton "is temporary, and I believe it might actually lead to his much easier confirmation when we come back." He said Democrats will be "a little bit embarrassed about this and now they have pushed it over the edge."

Galley Slaves: Kos: Voice of a New Generation

Galley Slaves: Kos: Voice of a New Generation ...and not a particularly thoughtful voice either with a new Democratic plan on abortion.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Anna Quindlen: Life of the Closed Mind

Quindlen writes we've become a country of closed minded people prone to conspiracy theories: "...everything now is a conspiracy: a right-wing conspiracy, a Clinton conspiracy, above all a media conspiracy. " Then she complains Newsweek's not given a break for making an honest mistake when they mistakenly relied on a flawed anonymous source.

Quindlen needs to do a little root-cause analysis, and understand "...most organizations spend far more time looking for culprits than causes and because of this misdirected effort seldom really gain the benefit they could gain from understanding the foundation of the unwanted situation. "

Being honest about the anonymous source would dispel a lot conspiracy theories. Conspiring to hide a lying source only adds fuel to the conspiracy theorists.

NoonShadow: Cognitive dissonance, v. DCCLII: Salvadore Allende

via Davids Medienkritik :

A new look at Salvadore Allende's thoughts... check the link to Der Speigel's article NoonShadown included here NoonShadow: Cognitive dissonance, v. DCCLII: Salvadore Allende

Andrew Sullivan and the Marines' "New Testament" Tank

Andrew Sullivan complains "...our own military seems to be advertising an explicitly Christian identity in Iraq.." with this Tank sporting the words "New Testament" on the barrel.

I have some doubts as too how offended Muslims would be by the "New Testament". I always thought Islam reinterpreted Christianity rather than rejected it.
from Comparing Christianity & Islam by PETER KREEFT
In one sense Islam is a simplification of Christianity as Buddhism is a simplification of Hinduism. But in another sense Islam adds to Christianity, for where Jews have only our "Old Testament" Scriptures and Christians add the New Testament, Muslims also add the Quran. They accept the claims of the Jewish prophets to be sent by God. They believe Jesus deepened this revelation and that Mohammed completed it. Mohammed is "the seal of the prophets." He tells you how to live Jesus' ethic (Jesus is seen only as a man, an ethical teacher).

Now the Brits like to sport the Jolly Roger which I thought would be a more common symbol on US Tanks instead of the words "New Testament".

I remember seeing HMS Conqueror return flying it after sinking the ARA Belgrano with all of its 800 hands (mostly boys under 21).

(The Falklands War a classic example of foolish men with no understanding how Democracies are slow to anger; but once roused can strike back with a ruthlessness far greater than the measured democratic revolution Bush seeks in the Arab world. )

Kerry's "war of last resort" doctrine seemed a notion that to me -- in the long run-- would have ended up giving us more in the spirit of the Jolly Roger; and a lot less in the spirit of the New Testament.
The event which bought the Jolly Roger to the attention of a post World War II public was when HMS Conqueror flew the Jolly Roger on her return from the Falklands War having sunk ARA General Belgrano. In May 1991 Oberon class submarines HMS Opossum and her sister HMS Otus returned to the submarine base HMS Dolphin in Gosport from patrol in the Persian Gulf flying Jolly Rogers, the only indication that they had been involved in alleged SAS and SBS reconnaissance operations. In 1999 HMS Splendid participated in the Kosovo Conflict and became the first Royal Navy submarine to fire a cruise missile in anger. On her return to Faslane, on July 9 1999, Splendid flew the Jolly Roger.

After Operation Veritas, the attack on Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces following the 9/11 attacks in the United States, HMS Trafalgar entered Plymouth Sound flying the Jolly Roger on March 1 2002. She was welcomed back by Admiral Sir Alan West, Commander-in-Chief of the fleet and it emerged she was the first Royal Navy submarine to launch tomahawk cruise missiles against Afghanistan. HMS Triumph was also involved in the initial strikes and on returning to port had a Jolly Roger that was emblazoned with two crossed Tomahawks to indicate her opening missiles salvoes in the war against terrorism and HMS Superb's whose flag had a dagger, for force protection, a bee for her nickname (the Super B), and two communications flashes.

More recently, on April 16, 2003, HMS Turbulent, the first Royal Navy vessel to return home from the war against Iraq, arrived in Plymouth flying the Jolly Roger after launching thirty Tomahawk cruise missiles. -- from Wikpeida

Moveon.org's Picture of Pope Benedict XVI they decided to pull down

Moveonorg_pic_of_Pope Posted by Hello

Above is the pic of Pope Benedict XVI Moveon.org had posted on their website and then removed as offensive. It is offensive, but I posted it to show where these folks are at, and because maybe they lack the honesty (or as our goofy Illinois Gov would say: 'testicular virility' ) to post what they really think... offensive as it is.

If this turns out to be fake I'll pull it down.

Here's what Novak had to say on it Sunday,
The leftist MoveOn.org's Web site on Wednesday posted a depiction of Pope Benedict XVI as a U.S. Supreme Court justice in waging its fight against President Bush's judicial nominations. The image lasted only a short time before it was pulled down.

The pope was shown with a gavel in his upraised hand, standing in front of Supreme Court depictions of the Ten Commandments, with this caption: ''God already has a job. He does not need one on the Supreme Court. Protect the Supreme Court rules.''

The MoveOn.org image contradicts Democratic claims that they are not playing the religious card in opposing Bush's judges. On the Senate floor Wednesday, Democratic Sen. Mark Dayton of Minnesota said any claims that the president's foes are raising religious issues are ''the slurs of charlatans.''

Cermaking: First post

Cermaking: First post

A new blog providing "...commentary on politics and society on Cermak Rd in Chicagoland, literature, words, and my mythtv setup."

We always called Cermak Road, 22nd street; and Roosevelt Road was 12th Street. An Oak Park cop told me Roosevelt Road was really the street of dreams.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Nathan Bierma: object-initial sentences

More important to sound you want, Calvin College's Nathan Bierma on Yoda syntax heard I on WBEZ a few days ago explain how.

Weekly Standard: The English Patient

The more I learn about bioeithicists, the more they give me the creeps; especially if they're government employees worried about budget crunches.

Check out "The English Patient " by Wesley J. Smith in The Weekly Standard.
THE MOST IMPORTANT BIOETHICS LITIGATION in the world today involves a 45-year-old Englishman, Leslie Burke. He isn't asking for very much. Burke has a progressive neurological disease that may one day deprive him of the ability to swallow. If that happens, Burke wants to receive food and water through a tube. Knowing that Britain's National Health Service (NHS) rations care, Burke sued to ensure that he will not be forced to endure death by dehydration against his wishes.

Klocek's side of the story

A letter to the DePaulia with Klocek's side of the story.

CAFTA and the Filibuster

Michael Barone has a great column in today's Sun Times on how anger is clouding Democrat's good judgement and respect for their own traditions. Barone notes,
You can see the evidence in the Senate debate, where they are claiming as a time-honored tradition their recent practice of filibustering appellate court nominees. Yet only 14 years ago, when the nomination of Clarence Thomas was before the Senate, no Democratic senator gave serious consideration to a filibuster, though there were enough senators opposed to Thomas to uphold one.
And what's worse to a bread-and-better jobs-guy like me is the party's opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
The Democratic Party was historically the party of free trade, and House Democrats provided between 75 and 120 votes for previous free trade agreements. The Democrats' rage against Bush and the Republicans is understandable. But do they really want to turn their back on their history and our neighbors?

What happened to Berkeley and the Free Speech Movement?

Klocek is the DePaul Prof who lost his job after he argued with members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and United Muslims Moving Ahead (UMMA).

David Seleb linked an on-line petition for DePaul students to express support for Klocek's right to free speech without getting canned.

Look at David's link and you'll find a startling anonymous comment I've quoted below. Startling for a guy like me who came of age with Mario Savio and the Berkley Free Speech Movement.

A Catholic in Chicago: DePaul Students for Thomas Klocek: "Anonymous said...
You must realize that freedom of speech has consequences. If we had total freedom of speech, we there would be a lot of racism and hate in our society."

Monday, May 23, 2005

Rev Dan Harper called to First Unitarian Church of New Bedford, Massachusetts

Congratulations to Rev Dan Harper on his call to the First Unitarian Church of New Bedford, Massachusetts.

We'll miss him. He did great things for the youth program in Geneva.

Air Blagojevich

Illinois GOP writes about Blagojevich's Budget Director's propensity for corporate jet style travel.

I loath flying and will exploit every telcom, internet, and computer option to avoid travel. It's not hard to do. Telecommuting works nicely.

The governor's budget director flies on state aircraft nearly once every 2½ days as he tries to find ways to control costs. In fact, Filan's 210 flights during the first two years of Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration was nearly twice as many as the previous budget director took in nearly four years.

Typically Filan, who lives in Chicago, flies on one of the six daily shuttle flights the state operates between Chicago and the capital. He isn't the only Blagojevich aide who is often aloft: The Blagojevich administration's use of state aircraft is up 27 percent from Gov. George Ryan's administration, according to an Associated Press analysis of flight records. While other state officials have curtailed their use of state planes, Blagojevich and his agencies are flying more than ever.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Blithering Idiot "...every village needs one..."

via Blithering Idiot "...every village needs one..." (And I can't figure out his perma links):

Via Peter Sean Bradley, I hve been challenged to answer four simple questions and one direction to keep the virus going. Here are the questions which I hope to complete in the near future (watch this space):

1. Total Number of Books I’ve Owned:
2. Last Book I Bought:
3. Last Book I read:
4. Five Books That Mean Alot to Me:
5. Tag 5 people and have them do this on their blog.
I'll respond later today.. off to Church to hear Westside Agent sing in the choir followed by brunch with the Kane County R's to hear Andy McKenna.

Newsweek and anonymous sources

Newsweek tells readers they're going to raise their standards on anonymous sources.

Newsweek's policy on attributing anonymous sources is not the problem here. The problem is Newsweek's policy on telling the truth once they've published false information from an anonymous source.

The source no longer deserves anonymity because they've lied. The story becomes the lie, and Newsweek owes readers the name of the person who lied and an explaination why.

Same goes for the Saddam pictures. Someone in DoD committed a crime selling pictures to the press and the press ought to name this person.

George Galloway Must be Noticed II

Current Viewpoint told Americans to pay attention to Galloway.

Christopher Hitchens writes more about him in the Weekly Standard and ends with,
Perhaps I may be allowed a closing moment of sentiment here? To the left, the old East End of London was once near-sacred ground. It was here in 1936 that a massive demonstration of longshoremen, artisans, and Jewish refugees and migrants made a human wall and drove back a determined attempt by Sir Oswald Mosley's Blackshirts to mount a march of intimidation. The event is still remembered locally as "The Battle of Cable Street." That part of London, in fact, was one of the few place in Europe where the attempt to raise the emblems of fascism was defeated by force.

And now, on the same turf, there struts a little popinjay who defends dictatorship abroad and who trades on religious sectarianism at home. Within a month of his triumph in a British election, he has flown to Washington and spat full in the face of the Senate. A megaphone media in London, and a hysterical fan-club of fundamentalists and political thugs, saw to it that he returned as a conquering hero and all-round celeb. If only the supporters of regime change, and the friends of the Afghan and Iraqi and Kurdish peoples, could manifest anything like the same resolve and determination.

The Illinois Blogosphere

The Rockford Register Star links Illinois Bloggers here today.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Cuba dissidents hold rare rally

I've been reading Natan Scharansky's The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror, and this meeting today in Cuba seems like it might be one of those moments where the "double thinkers" [the folks who pay lip service to the regime but inside know it's a failure and obscenity] in a "fear society" will become embolden to fight back. Starts small but the past 20 years have shown how quick events can unfold.

Around 200 Cuban dissidents are holding a public meeting in Havana in defiance of a ban on political opposition.

The BBC's Stephen Gibbs in Havana says there is no sign of a major police presence, and the authorities have not acted directly to stop the meeting.

US diplomat in Cuba James Cason played a video message from President Bush that praised the dissidents for coming out of the "shadow of repression".

But Cuba has expelled several European politicians who had planned to attend.

Czech Senator Karel Schwarzenberg and German MP Arnold Vaatz were seized by police and driven to Havana airport.

The European Commission has described Thursday's expulsions as unacceptable.

Two Polish MEPs were refused entry to Cuba earlier in the week.

And at least two journalists, from Poland and Italy, were detained by the Cuban authorities ahead of the meeting. --BBC Friday, 20 May, 2005, 23:42 GMT 00:42 UK

Eric Zorn asks where are Chicago's North, South, and West Sides?

Eric Zorn blogs on picking sides yesterday and the Trib has a spot for you to vote on boundaries.

I gave my thoughts on the West Sides boundaries in March Bill Baar's West Side: What is the West Side?

Chicago's railroads define the boundaries for me and their spokes radiate far into the burbs. Really as far as you can find someone who appreciates a Vienna Hot Dog and S. Rosen's poppy-seed bun.

Zorn provides some great maps. But Zorn notes one omits the West Side all together.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Delay Guilty but Osma waits until proven

Dean's a flake. I don't think he's even raising much money when he preaches to the choir.

via drudge:

Howard Dean, national chairman of the Democratic Party, said Tuesday that he thinks House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has committed crimes that could put the Republican in jail.

DeLay's office fought back with Dean's own words from the 2004 presidential campaign. The former Vermont governor had maintained that even terrorist leader Osama bin Laden should not be pre-judged if captured.

Tony Blankley on CAFTA, Free Trade and the Sugar Lobby

Mayor Daley lost his fight with the Sugar lobby and the West Side lost more jobs when the Brach's Candy Factory closed.

Now Tony Blankley writes the Sugar lobby and anti-globalization left are teaming up too further impoverish Central Americans by locking them out of US markets.

I heard historian Timothy Garton Ash on WBEZ in February say the best thing the US and UK could do to reduce world poverty was drop trade barriers and drop our agricultural subsidies.

Blankley's expectations about Central American Free Trade agreement don't offer much hope.

William Kristol on Newsweek

Here's today's Weekly Standard with some background on Newsweek's false story on Qu'ran descration.

Worth noting the POW's have Qu'rans. It's a big problems apparantly searching the cells in Gitmo when the guards have to move it. A non Muslim can't touch it. I can't imagine another country being as sensitive about something like this.

Marathon Pundit: Thomas Klocek case makes it to Huffington Post

Marathon Pundit writes the Klocek / DePaul case has made it to Huffington's blog.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Who's Newsweeks Senior DoD Source?

Watching Newsweeks Dan Klaidman on Fox this AM explain they based their story on confirmation from a "Senior Source". The source had it wrong and Klaidman ought to name him/her because they committed a crime.

'Testicular virility'

via Sun Times today:
"This is the kind of thing that I think, frankly, separates the men from the boys in leadership," Blagojevich said. "Do you have the testicular virility to make a decision like that, knowing what's coming your way?''

Asked if he believed Mell had a financial interest in the landfill, he replied that, "I have a very strong belief that's based on a lot of information, and ... but, I'm not going to comment on that.''
Ok, I'm ready to give Judy a try.

Monday, May 16, 2005

George Galloway Must be Noticed

And Current Viewpoint tells why in this Editorial.

Fox News did pick up the story on Galloy's testimony tomorrow on his role in the food for oil scandel.

Watch him because Current Viewpoint Editorial tells us,
Americans will have a rude awakening when George Galloway appears on the Hill next week. They will see the hatred of America that has become visceral in its intensity in daily British discourse. Galloway represents a considerable swathe of British public opinion; what Americans I meet in Washington do not seem to grasp is that ‘ the Britishers’ are not gung-ho supporters of America by any means whatsoever.

Marathon Pundit: Appalling DePaulia anti-Klocek Op Ed piece

Marathon Pundit: May 2005 More from John on the mess at DePaul and the firing of Professor Klocek.

The Buck Stops Here: Blog

The Buck Stops Here: Blog Stuart Buck writes he's cutting back on blogging. That would be a disappointment. Check his link on C.S. Lewis's thoughts on reading Newspapers.

Because of what this son of a bitch said

via yahoo:

Newsweek reported that Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita reacted angrily when the magazine asked about the source's continued assertion that he had read about the Koran incident in an investigative report. "People are dead because of what this son of a bitch said. How could he be credible now?" DiRita told Newsweek.

Respublica: "Oh, ok, they're sorry"

Respublica quotes Luicenne: "More people were tortured and killed in the Newsweek riots than at Gitmo."

Undisclosed sources disclose stuff because they want it printed. They have an agenda. When undisclosed sources disclose falsehoods the press owes us an explanation of who the liar is and what's the agenda. We still need to know who typed the false papers on Bush for CBS, and who talked about Valerie Plame. The Press is not obligated to protect people who mislead the press and in turn the public, and in this case resulting in lose of life.

Red Chicago: Meet the Working-class Republicans

Red Chicago: Meet the Working-class Republicans Red Chicago links a David Brooks column on the changes in political landscape. Hillary sees the key in 'working class' Republicans... (the old 'Reagan Democrats' maybe?)

Even so, Republicans have barely thought about how to use government to offer practical encouragement to the would-be Horatio Alger heroes. They've barely explored their biggest growth market. If Republicans can't pass programs like KidSave, which would help poor families build assets for education or retirement, then Hillary Clinton, who is surprisingly popular with poor Republicans, will take their place.

I have a feeling the political balance and landscape changing faster than either the Dems or Reps realize although the R's far more sensitive with electorate than the Dems. Sen Clinton more sensitive than either party to what's happening. Good for her allthough I'm always spooked by someone as shrewd and perceptive as her and with such an overwhelming lust for power. I'll never forget her Barbara Walters interview with Bill talking about Bill's indiscretions. All I could think was she desperately wanted to be 'first Lady' to tolerate sitting through that humiliating experience.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Marathon Pundit, Klocek and DePaul

Marathon Pundit wrote with this link on the AP picking up the story on DePaul's firing of Thomas Klocek because he "...argued with pro-Palestinian students at a campus activities fair last fall".

The AP wrote:
John Ruberry, who writes the Marathon Pundit blog, started following the case after Klocek staged a news conference gagged in front of Chicago TV cameras.Other bloggers also picked up on the story, and newspaper columnist Jay Ambrose described it as an example of political correctness run amok on college campuses.`There seems to be kind of a double standard as far as free speech,'Ruberry said, noting the case of Churchill, who came under fire for comparing some Sept. 11 victims to Nazis. Churchill has kept his job but is under investigation by the university for other issues.
Note Klocek arqued with "pro-Palestinian students", not Muslim Students.

The Muslims according to Front Page don't seem to fare very well with DePaul's Director of the Islamic World Studies Program, Aminah Beverly McCloud, who kept her job:

Being a black Muslim, McCloud has often found herself to be at odds with Middle Eastern Muslim Immigrants. “In their pursuit of the American dream and whiteness,” McCloud has remarked, “the new arrivals have largely ignored African-American Muslims, and have assumed that they can impose their own understanding of Islam on African-Americans.” A devotee of the Nation of Islam, McCloud has noted that the organization must impose a greater leadership role in the social, spiritual, and political aspects of Black “mainstream” culture. McCloud has said that the Nation of Islam must define what Islam is within the American culture, “because there is an impetus in this country for the immigrant community to define what is Islam, and they’re very adamant.”
I'll keep this all in mind next time DePaul asks me for money. What's Ratzinger's e-mail address again?

Frank Zeidler, Socialist Mayor of Milwaukee 1948-1960

I've blogged about Mayor Zeidler before here. I belonged to the Socialist Party in the mid 1970s and got to know Frank a bit.

I'm sure I would disagree with Frank now about Iraq, but Frank was opposed to US participation in WWII too. That was a big mistake in retrospect. Not sure Frank would agree with that reassessment either.

Frank was a long time Luthern Sunday School teacher in Milwaukee. Here's a story on him from The Luthern.

Politics or Principle? Filibustering in the United States Senate by Sarah A. Binder and Steven S. Smith

Heard Smith on C-Span yesterday talk about his new book written with Sarah Binder on a history of the filibuster
They [Binder and Smith] argue that in an era of unprecedented filibustering and related obstructionism, old habits are indeed undermining the Senate's ability to meet its responsibilities. Binder and Smith scrutinize conventional wisdom about the filibuster—and show that very little of it is true. They focus on five major myths: that unlimited debate is a fundamental right to differentiate the Senate from the House of Representatives; that the Senate's tradition as a deliberative body requires unlimited debate; that the filibuster is reserved for a few issues of the utmost national importance; that few measures are actually killed by the filibuster; and that senators resist changing the rules because of a principled commitment to deliberation. In revising conventional wisdom about the filibuster, Binder and Smith contribute to ongoing debates about the dynamics of institutional change in the American political system.

Commidification, Gay Life Style, and Stem Cell reseach

I listened to this discussion on Gay Marketing on WBEZ's Odyssey program a few days ago. One of the speakers kept referring to the commidification of gays and gay culture. The word stuck in my head. I had never heard of it before, and it seemed like worse things could happen to you besides getting commidified.

I'm queasy about stem cell research mostly because of rules around harvesting embryos and the risks of really commidifing people. I heard Illinois State Senator Tom Cross talk about this legislation this morning on WBBM. Should note Cross's child is diabetic and could benefit from stem cell research. I sill want to see stiff rules on human research in place here before I would accept this.

Proviso East's Web Page on Bataan.

Students at Proviso East did a tremendous job with their Bataan Commemorative Research Project. My Dad would have been happy to see the Illinois National Guard honored and remembered this way, and so would Victor Davis Hanson.

The Buck Stops Here: Darfur

Stuart Buck's weekly post from the Coalition for Darfur.

There is a link inside Buck's post to one by Kevin Drum titled "What to do about Darfur?

All I can do at the moment is post.

Senator Clinton

My friend the Marathon Runner sent me an email Friday asking what I thought of this from the NYT about Hillary Clinton and Newt Gingrich.

I'm all for it. I'm not much of a partisan really and appreciate seeing foes get together. On the other hand, I'm not certain how far apart these two were on many things when you get down to it.

Check out this review in Timeswatch analyzing the times wording of the story.
Friday’s front page heralded the oddball political partnership of liberal Hillary Clinton and conservative Newt Gingrich, except reporter Raymond Hernandez wouldn’t use any troublesome L-words for the former First Lady. Here’s how the writing gets crafty: “In the 1990s, these two rivals stood on nearly opposite ends of the political spectrum; he led the assault on the Clinton presidency and helped derail the ambitious health care plan she championed.” He was an assailant and a derailer, while she was an ambitious champion. In that shorthand, you can see what to expect in the rest of the article, in which Newt praises Hillary, and then the Times suspects that’s not a very good move for Newt.
Today drudge is sporting a banner from the Atlanta Constitution on Sen Clinton's commencement address at Agnes Scott College.
Clinton, a New York Democrat who has made two visits to Iraq and Afghanistan as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said she is "very proud of our country" for standing with the women of those nations. She said it is "absolutely essential to our national security and the furtherance of peace and democracy around the world" for that commitment to continue. "You cannot have democracy if half the people are shut out," the senator and former first lady said. 'You cannot have freedom if half the people are told they are inferior. You cannot have peace when half the people can . . . decide how the other half lives."

She said she hopes more young women will "contribute to that great struggle abroad."
Always hard to know what to make of a Clinton, whether to believe them or not; but if she keeps sounding like a Democrat who's militant in the defense and spread of democracy in the tradition of Wilson, FDR, Truman, and Kennedy, I'd give here a hearing. Getting a Democrat today to say they're "proud of our country for standing up in Iraq and Afganistan" and that we're carrying out a "great struggle" is a real achievment (sad to write that). If she means what she says here she could make people proud to call themselves LIBERALs again and the NYT wouldn't have to avoid the word when writing about her.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Photo Memories by Number One Daughter

PhotoMemories Posted by Hello

Number one daughter is an artist.

She created above to maybe show how her step-dad's head feels if he spends too much time blogging.

Have a good weekend all.

Podhoretz on Bolton and Voinovich

Human Events linked this by John Podhoretz on Sen Voinovich's temper. I feel so insulted by these attacks on Bolton. If you don't like Bush's foreign Policy, attack it, that's fair game. But this business about Bolton's temper is just absurd and real insult to voters intelligence. We can't understand the big issues so the Senators wallow in personalities. Or maybe they just can't deal with the issues themselves.

Other times, a nominee becomes an occasion for a senator to perform a holier-than-thou tap-dance. Such was the case yesterday with John Bolton and the Republican senator from Ohio, George Voinovich, who insulted and attacked Bolton without ever having bothered to attend one of the committee hearings in which Bolton testified.

It was comic to hear Voinovich describe Bolton as a "bully" yesterday, because the only bullying in sight was being done by Voinovich — attacking somebody who can't attack back.

And Voinovich himself knows something about bullying. In 1995, when he was governor of Ohio, he had a temper tantrum at an airport because his plane was kept on the ground while Air Force One was in the sky.

He ordered his pilot to take off, screaming at air traffic controllers all the while and daring them to "shoot us down." In an unprecedented act, Voinovich was actually fined by the Federal Aviation Administration for his behavior.

He's still at it in the United States Senate. And why not? The Senate is paradise for bullies. E-mail: podhoretz@nypost.com

Friday, May 13, 2005

David Brooks: Calling Democrats' Bluff

Brooks in fine form and hitting all sorts of nails squarely on the head here.

Sometimes you had to walk through Democratic precincts in a gas mask, the lofty rhetoric was so thick. But now we have definitive proof that they didn't mean it. It was all hokum.

Over the past few weeks, the president has called their bluff. By embracing the progressive indexing of Social Security benefits, the president has asked us to make a shared sacrifice for the common good. He's asking middle- and upper-class folks to accept benefit cuts so there will be money for the people who are really facing poverty.

He has asked us to redistribute money down the income scale. Why should programs for children and families be strangled so Donald Trump can get bigger benefit checks? He has made the hard choices. By facing up to the fact that there are going to be benefit cuts, he's offended Newt Gingrich, Jack Kemp, the supply siders and other important Republican constituencies.

So how has the St. Francis of Assisi wing of the Democratic Party responded to Bush's challenge? Does it applaud him for doing what it has spent the past years telling him he should do? Of course not.

More on Bolton and Mr. Peepers

David Brooks wrote yesterday on Bolton's nomination saying the transcripts from the new investigations stemming from the abuse allegations don't hold water --no one fired and no careers damaged. The conflicts over policy; with Bolton upholding the Administration.

If Bolton was the office bully, it seems spooky others at State would be such Mr. Peepers that they couldn't deal with him. Risks are high, stakes are huge; if you can't deal with abrasive people maybe you shouldn't be in the Foreign Policy business after all.

Might be best if the Senate launched an investigation into how many Mr. Peepers we have at State. Staff who would let themselves be intimated by Mr. Bolton had Bolton been what others claimed. That strikes me as more worrisome.

Bolton or Mr. Peepers?

"We are not electing Mr. Congeniality. We do not need Mr. Milquetoast in the United Nations. We're not electing Mr. Peepers to go there and just be really happy, and drinking tea with their pinkies up and just saying all these meaningless things when we do need a straight talker, and someone who's going to go there and shake it up." -- Sen. George Allen, R-Va.
Bloggers can be a young crowd so I linked a site on Mr. Peepers for those who can't remember. My Dad enjoyed the show and Wally Cox.

Problem of course is they don't say meaningless things in the UN and do say some very destructive things which Botlon successfully had them retract. That's why we need a straight talker like Bolton.

One of the worst things the US can do is be ambiguous. We're a hard people for the rest of the world to understand, and misunderstanding the United States -as Saddam showed- has grave consequences. That's why we need a plain talker in the UN.

Don't worry about how other country's feel. Worry do they understand the United States.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Frontpage: Teaching and Terror at DePaul

I studied accounting at the little school under the "L" tracks.

David Horwitz's Frontpage is writing "Now DePaul has made a strategic decision to become one of the leading universities in the country for Islamic Studies, filling the program’s faculty with professors resolved to spreading the word of anti-Israel zealots."

Also read this from Front Page from a few weeks ago on Thomas Klocek's firing.

Doesn't sound like the school working people attended to improve themselves anymore.

Locussolus: Overt grammatical subjects

Locussolus links an essay titled ENGLISH SENTENCES WITHOUT OVERT GRAMMATICAL SUBJECTS by Quang Phuc Dong of the South Hanoi Institute of Technology. It reflects having a lot of Americans in-country.

Dan Harper: Evolution and religion and philosophy of science

I've never found religion and science incompatible. They're different because they ask and answer different questions. I've never had a hard time reconciling the two; mostly because I see little to reconcile. Not that reconciliation a big deal for me either. I'm comfortable with ambiguity.

Darwinism on the other-hand always seemed a little logically strange because it has this panglossian quality to it. We are what we are because we're the only thing that could be given the environment. It's a tautology , although folks have argued otherwise with me, I'm still not persuaded.

Then we have the social Darwinist, and the geneticists of the 1930s who got into bed with the racialists of the 1930s. We know where that went. William Jennings Byron opposed the Darwinist from the left. He was a Democrat and Progressive and opposed Darwinism in the classroom because "Evolution is the merciless law by which the strong crowd out and kill off the weak".

Now we have the left claiming the Bush religious-right is going to convert our kids in the biology class room. Dan Harper finds a review on a new book by Michael Ruse telling us the Darwinist sometimes their own worst enemy in this debate because of their very unscientific habit of applying biological theories to social science and philosophy.

Evolution is controversial in large part, he [Ruse] theorizes, because its supporters have often presented it as the basis for self-sufficient philosophies of progress and materialism, which invariably wind up in competition with religion.

So the relgious right's not the only group with a classroom agenda. My experience is kids are pretty savvy on sorting the agendas out.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

United defaults on Pensions

What good is a defined benefit pension plan if you can't trust the payor to pay. A National system of personal investment accounts is going to look like a much better deal. Less risky than depending on United, or GM, or Ford.

It's not McGovern's guranteed national income, but merge Social Security Reform's personal accounts with accounts started by the Feds at birth, and you get something akin to guranteed national investment account. You bear the risk but I bet United Employees now wish they had something like this.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Capitol Fax Blog: Vallas stuff

The Capitol Fax Blog: Vallas stuff or maybe "I'd rather be in Philadelphia".

Respublica: Blagojevich positioning himself to run for President

Respublica gives a very compelling reason to defeat Blagojevich's re-election.

The Two Peters Plan

Micky Kaus writes in Slate on Bush's Social Security reform plan and reviews the Democratic alternative. How my friends at the Kane County Dem webpage can call themselves liberals and support an almost inevitable repeat of 1983's reforms and this time leading to an 18% regressive tax on labor is beyond me. Let's get a little Radical and try a National system of personal investment accounts. Let every worker own a piece of the world economy.
Democrats would fiddle with the benefit schedules too! The most frequently cited Democratic alternative plan is the one proposed by Peter Diamond and Peter Orszag--call it the Two Peters Plan. They estimate the total 75 year Social Security shortfall at 1.9 percent of taxable payroll, and would meet it by a combination of tax increases and benefit cuts. Specifically, as best I can make out, they make three changes in the benefit schedules:

1) They cut benefits for the top tier of wage earners, reducing by a third the amount of wages over about $44,,000 that get replaced by Social Security at retirement. This change alone saves almost 10 percent of Social Security's shortfall (.18 percent of payroll).

2) In addition, they cut overall benefits gradually to compensate for greater longevity--accounting for half of another .55 percent of payroll--or .27 percent. It's not clear how these cuts would be allocated.

3) In addition, they would impose a "legacy charge" of .97 percent of payroll, more than half of which is financed by benefit cuts, or another .50 percent of payroll.

You get the impression that Two Peters chop up these benefit cuts into little parts because they'd rather you didn't add them all up. When you do you get a benefit cut totaling .95 percent of payroll, or about 50 percent of the total shortfall. In the liberal-endorsed Two Peters' plan', as in the Bush-endorsed Pozen plan, "reductions are smaller for lower earners, and larger for higher ones."

Sure, the Two Peters plan is a gentler than the Pozen plan, which uses benefit cuts to make up 70 percent of the shortfall. But is that what all the fuss is about--70 percent versus 50 percent? It would appear to be a question of degree, and not all that much degree neither.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The New Europe

Andrew Sullivan links an essay on raise of Islamic Fascism in Europe with a focus on Holland and Amsterdam. Pillorization is failing. We in the US build a kind of consensus while respecting differences. Europe tried to get away with a kind of toleration best expressed by the Dutch as "Pillorization". It's not working.

People who accuse Bush of being the leading edge of a theocracy ought to take note of what happens in countries were everythings declared relative but no one really believes it. Buck hits this theme today too.

The Buck Stops Here: Darfur

And Buck posts this on Darfur.

The Buck Stops Here: Neoconservatism

Buck links some articles by Irving Kristol and Nathan Glazer on the history of Neoconservatism.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Vanderbilt Beach Florida

Live webcam of the beach near where my mom lives in Florida. It was just a little motel by the beach when my folks first visited in the 80s.

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's day to my mom in the sun, West Side Agent, and my sister in the burbs.

Mother's day by the way is an ancient pagan holiday and not some ploy by card companies. The pagans appreciated their moms.

Victor Davis Hanson: What Happened to History?

Anyone who starts a blog site with a reference to his forbearer's neighborhood has to be in tune with Hanson's essay on What Happened to History?

Reverence for those who came before us ensures humility about our own limitations. It restores confidence that far worse crises than our own -- slavery, the great flu epidemic, or World War II -- were endured by those with far less resources at their disposal.

By pondering those now dead, we create a certain pact: that we, too, will do our part for another generation not yet born to enjoy the same privilege of America, which at such great cost was given to us by others whom we have all but now forgotten.

Pondering is the right word here. History offers far fewer lessons than many think. Nothing repeats, and problems always new. But a sense of reverence and humility gained pondering past sacrifices helps make better decisions for the future.

Book Notes: The Living Unknown Soldier by Jean-Yves Le Naur

I understand "old Europe" a little better after reading The Living Unknown Soldier by Jean-Yves Le Naour, translated from the French by Penny Allen. Le Naour writes the story of Anthelme Mangin, an amnesiac POW during the First World War, repatriated back to France by the Germans, and than the subject of a twenty-year long court battle by families claiming him as their son, or father, or husband.

A staggering 500,000 French MIAs at the end of the war. The amazon links describe the story.

Interesting to read example of early psychiatric care at work. The Doctors deliberately infected Mangin to induce a fever and question a delirious Mangin in hope of recalling memories (it worked).

Mangin died in 1942 probably from malnutrition caused by food shortages in Asylums during the German occupation.

The Capitol Fax Blog: Question for the Evening? - Guest Blogger

Check the link: The Capitol Fax Blog: Question for the Evening? - Guest Blogger and you'll see a long list of outstanding Illinois legislators. So how come we elect the duds so often for Governor with benches this deep?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Privatization or Nationalization?

What the press and opponents (and some supporters) call privatization of Social Security with personal investment accounts seems like the first step towards Nationalization of the brokerage business to me. The Feds will become the largest single purchaser of stocks: US and Foreign. The Feds will buy with a huge economy of scale making every other broker look like an awful bad deal. Investors going to clamor to buy stocks through their personal accounts managed by the US Gov.

A progressive index to limit payout to wealthy retirees coupled with forced investing of retirment savings resulting in public ownership of vast chunks of the American Stock market. How can one be liberal and oppose that? Doesn't that all sound sort of Socialist? What am I missing here?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Congressman Rush on my flight today

Thought I was going to have Congressman Rush next to me today in the center seat, but the attendant directed him to the only other open seat on the plane that was closer to the front.

Politicians often seen on flights to DC but they seem uniformly ignored by the other passengers. I guess it's rude to voice opinions or talk politics with them. After all you have the advantage of knowing them and they haven't a clue who you are.

I've seen Sen Durbin many times. Always, as was Rush, in a nice suit. Politicians alone wearing suits and ties. I've never seen one in first class. We make them dress up and then ask they fly budget.

Michael Deaver was in first class on a flight back to Chicago about a year ago and he got up suddenly in front of me to get something from the overhead as I was boarding. It was late. I was tired. Deaver startled me a bit. I looked at him and said, "geez aren't you famous? Can I shake your hand?", and smiled and said, "no, infamous!", then extended a hand.

I shake hands with anyone remotely connected with historical personages. When I worked in the garmant factory, (that's how I know to recognize a good suit) Philmaid at 1033 West Van Buren, in the 1970's my boss was Art Lev who shook hands with Trotsky as a little boy in Polish Russia. I shook Art's hand and figure that handshake took me all the way to Stalin, Lenin, and Marx-and-Engels.

I was reading a story on Joschka Fisher's problems in the Economist when I looked up to see Rush in the aisle. If he had sat next to me, I would have asked to shake his hand, and then shown him the Economist about another old 68er who's made a mess in Germany and now getting grilled by a younger and more conservative crowd. That hand shake would have taken me back places too. Would have hoped the Fisher story would have spurred some talk out of Rush about the 60's and the 70's and the legacy we've left.

The Rambilings of a Recovery Nut: Trucks hitting bridges and viaducts...whos fault?

Check Recovery Nuts pictures of Trucks hitting bridges and viaducts and especially the first one at Root street. The city is filled with these old RailRoad viaducts that cause huge problems for anyone driving a truck in the City and business trying to accept deliveries. It's an example of the infrastructure improvments we need to make to keep business viable.

Ask Carole

Not much blogging for me today. It's a travel day and I need to go get ready. But Sun Times mentioned this blog, Ask Carole by Carole Brown the Chair of the CTA board. It's a nice start and she allows comments.

Monday, May 02, 2005


Respublica links to Demotivators. I saw this one in an Arlington Virginia office of SAIC once. It sticks in my head and still makes me chuckle. They had them all over the office which I thought odd.

Galley Slaves, Magpie Watch II and the Jonah Goldberg link

Galley Slaves continues the Andrew Sullian watch but most interesting is the link to Joah Goldberg's essay from NRO.

On the day Cardinal Ratzinger was elected to the top job, my dad was pleased. He hadn’t been following all of the hullabaloo on the web and in print about the “hard-line pope” and how this Sith Lord with a pointy hat spells doom for the Enlightenment. Meanwhile I’d been trying to get up to speed on the theological and political issues, like every other member in the 24-hour commentariat. But my dad had the better handle on things. “I like him,” he told me by phone from his bed, “because we need at least a few rocks in the river.”

The phrase has stuck with me. His meaning was obvious. The pace of the great unraveling, begun a few centuries ago, only quickens. My dad, a Jew by conviction and temperament, sees this pope as someone willing to put his shoulder to the tide, and therefore he likes him.

And than further down this quote referencing what's going on now in Holland.

Regardless, it seems to me that we have little evidence that a politics of doubt is sustainable in the long run without a politics of faith. Societies can run on fumes. They can mistake a temporary consensus as a permanent system of tolerance. But as anyone who reads about what’s happening in Holland understands, systems based solely on platitudes of tolerance can crash into chaos when its platitudes are revealed to have little philosophical superstructure. And we know what happens to democracies when faith vanishes and human will reigns supreme. Fascism was impossible without the Enlightenment. Fascism was impossible without democracy. Fascism was, indeed, the product of both. Various movements found that “alien” or “outdated” notions of liberal democracy no longer served the aspirations of the nation or the volk. Sullivan is about as dogmatically opposed to what fascism stands for as anybody out there, but by arguing for the smashing of all dogmas save the little sliver he likes, he gives oxygen to those who aren’t as selective as he in their hatred of tradition.

That's why I'm with Goldberg's Dad on the Pope. It may be easier for a non-Caholic too feel this way since I'm less invested in the internal going ons of the Church, but I too don't think society can run I fumes. We need a politics of faith and that doean't mean we all need share the same faith. There are Universal and Fundamental truths most share. That's enough.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Ramblings of a Recovery Nut

A new blog by a Chicago tow truck driver: The Ramblings of a Recovery Nut. He's just learning the ropes with blogspot, coding, and posting pictures. I'm looking forward to his posting. He's got a unique vantage point on life in Chicago.

More on Mass Graves

Sun Times publishes today on Iraqi mass graves. Curious what prompts the paper to publish a wire story on these atrocities; the genocide's been generally ignored even though the excavations have been ongoing. Eisenhower brought the press and Congressmen to witness the camps in 1945.

A skull with pink and white dentures belongs to an old woman, investigators said. A skeleton nearby was that of a teenage girl, still clutching a brightly colored bag of possessions.

The trenches full of the skeletons of Iraqi Kurds, still in their distinctive, colorful garb, buried where they fell after being shot nearly 20 years ago, bear witness to the brutality of the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Many buried in the 18 trenches were believed to be Kurds killed in 1987 and 1988 during the Anfal campaign, said Gregg Nivala, from the U.S. government's Regime Crimes Liaison Office.
Clothing is key

"These were not combatants,'' he said. ''They were women and children.''

During Anfal, hundreds of thousands of Kurds were killed or expelled from northern Iraq. The campaign included the gruesome 1988 chemical weapons attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja. The Saddam regime was carrying out a program of removing Kurds from the northern homeland and replacing them with Arabs. Many of the Kurdish victims were buried in Iraq's central and southern desert.

May First, Chicago, and Haymarket

The celebration of May First as an international labor day is rooted in Chicago. A series of strikes for the eight hour day in Chicago in 1886 resulted in the shooting of two protestors by police. The next day a further demonstration resulted in the Haymarket riot when an unknown protestors threw a bomb at the police killing one. Six more police and four protestors died in the ensuing gunfire.

Eight labor leaders and anarchists (which meant something a little different in 1886) were arrested for the bombing. Four were hung for it 1887 and their bodies buried in West Suburban German Waldheim (renamed Forest Home during World War I).

There is a large monument at Forest Home to the Haymarket martyrs. I was at the rededication of the monument in May 1971. The Chicago Plumbers Union donated most of the money to fix up the badly neglected.

The City of Chicago erected a statue to the Police near the Haymarket sited. During the 1970's in kept getting blown up by radicals. It was indestructible however the city moved it to the lobby of the new central Police station and plaque now marks the spot where it once stood.

Note the statue in German Waldheim gets vandalized now by the left and has pieces missing which is a curious statement on the left I think.

Many early American Communist leaders are buried near the memorial or had their ashes scattered there. There is a large memorial overEmma Goldman's grave there too.

The early 70s were years of detente between the United States and the Soviet Union with many exchanges of people moving between the two countries. I remember the American Communist Party's Young Workers Liberation League hosting a delegation of Young Communists from the Soviet Union and giving them a tour of Forest Home in a rented West Town's Bus.

The African-American bus driver got bent out of shape listening to the anti-American chit chat from the American comrades and hijacked the whole busload taking them to his bungalow in Maywood for coffee and a visit with his family to show while not a Rockefeller he was thankful to be a worker living in the United States. My Dad thought this a hoot and often checked me with the story if I went to far with radical-red-mode yacking.

Grinnell College graduate Carolyn Ashbaugh wrote a biography of one of the wives of the Haymarket martyers: Lucy Parsons published in 1976 by Charles Kerr. I remember the buzz in the History Department when a student got published.

Forest Home an interesting cemetery. I remember visiting on Sundays with my grandparents to tend graves of the Gronneger's buried in the Dutch corner and seeing the Gypsies picnic over in their corner. Follow the link and you'll see most of the old West Side ended up there.