Sunday, December 19, 2010

Edgar County's Ed Motley sworn in, history made

A guy to watch: Sheriff Ed Motley.

The Telegraph: Can't learn a foreign language? Not true, say scientists

All it takes is saying the word over-and-over; 160 times. One word at a time I guess.
All one needs to do is listen to a word 160 times over that period, found Cambridge neuroscientists.

After that the brain will have formed a whole new network of neurons specifically tasked with remembering that word.

The process happens far quicker than previously thought, they found.

Dr Yury Shtyrov and his team made the discovery after placing electrodes on the heads of 16 healthy volunteers to monitor their brain activity.

First they recorded the pulses generated when they listened to a familiar word. Then the volunteers were made to listen to a made-up word, over and over again.

Initially the brain had to work hard to recognise the new word. But after 160 repetitions over 14 minutes, the new memory traces were "virtually indistinguishable" from those of the already familiar word, said Dr Shtyrov.

He said: "What this suggests is that practising language is important. Every little helps.

Dekalb Daily Chronicle: Hultgren gets committee assignments in U.S. House

The Chronicle on Hultgren's committee assignments,
Republican Randy Hultgren has been selected to serve on the Agriculture Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee when he arrives in Congress next year as the representative for the 14th Congressional District.

Hultgren had expressed interest in the energy and commerce committees, as well as the financial services committee. In the Transportation Committee, he would have hands-on work with railroads – including following the Canadian National purchase of the EJ&E railroad – aviation, roads and public works projects.

Hultgren beat Democratic incumbent Bill Foster in the November election for the 14th Congressional seat. The 14th Congressional District contains much of DeKalb County.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Klocek v. DePaul University: The Silver Lining

A press release on the Klocek case plus a link to Marathon Pundits thoughts on the case:

Sad time to be a DePaul Alum...

On Monday, November 29, 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court decided not to hear Professor Thomas Klocek’s appeal, bringing an end to his five-year suit against DePaul University for destroying his reputation.  The case had been litigated in the Circuit Court for years in front of a number of different judges: two of which ruled Klocek properly stated valid claims against DePaul; the last of which, however, unexpectedly threw the entire case out on the eve of the trial in 2009.  The Appellate Court was unwilling to disturb any of the Circuit Court’s holdings, issuing a short order, rather than a published opinion, simply rubber-stamping the Circuit Court result. 
As those who have followed the case may recall, little more than six years ago, Klocek was a well respected part-time professor at DePaul’s School for New Learning who, as DePaul’s own Father Kevin Collins put it, was “more likely to talk an ear off about religious and historical fine points than mean to offend” and was “as gentle as he was opinionated and on the erudite side.”  This gentle and erudite man, who had enjoyed a fourteen year unblemished record of teaching diversity and culture courses to working adults at DePaul apparently talked about religious and historical fine points with the wrong groups (the Students for Justice in Palestine and the United Muslims Moving Ahead) on the wrong campus.  What he understood to be a simple, albeit contentious, dialogue lasting all of five minutes with the student activists about their pet issues, turned out to be beyond DePaul’s threshold for academic freedom.
The students with the help of the Council on American and Islamic Relations quickly filed complaints with the administration demanding Klocek’s removal, and in a rush to a politically correct judgment, DePaul caved.  Instead of caving privately with an eye to Klocek’s rights and reputation, DePaul’s administration, without a hearing or even notice to Klocek of the students’ charges against him, made a public spectacle of defending the students from the professor who had dared to “dishonor” their perspective and “assault” their beliefs.  Though DePaul later claimed Klocek was suspended for his conduct and not his views or his speech, Dean Susanne Dumbleton, Klocek’s supervisor, ruled that “No one should ever use the role of teacher to demean the ideas of others or insist on the absoluteness of an opinion, much less press erroneous assertions.”

John Mauck of Mauck & Baker, attorneys for Thomas Klocek, had this statement:  “On behalf of Professor Klocek and Mauck & Baker, we express sincere appreciation for the hundreds of e-mails of support, prayers, and financial contributions.  We do not think justice was done in this case.  By faith we take consolation in realizing that justice was not done in the trials of John the Baptist, Yeshua, Stephen, or Paul yet God brought about extraordinary blessings from those legal “defeats.”  Dan Gruber, a strong supporter of Professor Klocek, particularly in his defense of Israel, has reflected from a biblical perspective on this battle.  His reflections can be found here.  Mr. Gruber is a renowned scholar on Israel and has authored several books including: The Separation of Church & Faith: Copernicus and The Jews, The Church and Jews: The Biblical Relationship, and Rabbi Akiba’s Messiah: The Origins of Rabbinic Authority.
Tom Ciesielka
TC Public Relations
312-422-1333 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              312-422-1333      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Senator Mark Kirk and Congressman Elect Randy Hultgren at the St Charles Illinois Town Hall December 11, 2010

St Charles Mayor DeWitt said this was the first time ever a sitting Illinois US Senator paid a visit to St Charles. Kirk and Hultgren spent an hour and a half fielding questions from a standing room only crowd at the Norris center in St Charles. The video below is Kirk responding to a question from a Progressive Democrat on China, Trade, and losing American jobs. The two heads just in front of my camera belonged to Tea Party activists from Huntly. Interesting to hear their reactions to the question and Kirk's response.

More pics in a bit. Hultgren did a stellar job fielding a question from a young Hispanic Student from Glenbard West on the Dream Act.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Obama walks out of his own Presser and leavs Bill Clinton to take questions

Obama leaves about 10:57 because he's keeping Michelle waiting at the White House Christmas Party. It's pretty startling thing to see. This is the whole White House version of the press conference. Pretty foolish thing for Obama to have done. Makes him look awfully detached and weak on a key issue effecting our economy.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Specialist Bowe Bergdahl: the Hostage President Obama should be concerned about instead of the GOP

Offensive to hear the Commander in Chief accuse fellow Americans of Hostage taking when the Taliban still hold an American GI: Specialist Bowe Bergdhal, hostage.

That's tone deaf to an extreme.

Arlene Jones: No city sticker - No run for mayor!

I've heard local MSM pundits mock this, but it's a big deal for City Residents to shell over for these stickers. If Rahm was a Chicago resident, he should have paid for one. Not to mention filing an Illinois tax return. Via Arlene's facebook,
Wait a second! Rahm claims HE IS A RESIDENT OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO. EVERY CHICAGO RESIDENT HAS TO BUY A CITY STICKER! THAT IS PLAIN BS about taking car to Washington and then buying a sticker when you returned. What about the JUNE 2009-2010 STICKER? Rahm is showing that he wants to only play by his own rules. No city sticker - No run for mayor!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Multi-talented felon testifies against Sarno -

Multi-talented felon testifies against Sarno -

A Cheerful hood,
In a cheerful, nasal voice, Knight described with a scholarly warmth his role in more than a dozen holdups and burglaries he committed with alleged members of Sarno's crew — often laughing as he recalled mishaps and sometimes mangling the pronunciation of the Italian surnames of his alleged co-conspirators.

Co-defendant Mark Hay, a serial burglar and prison pal of Knight's who also testified against Sarno, mentored him in robbing jewelry stores, Knight said. Alleged fence Mark Polchan, who is on trial with Sarno, taught him how to identify quality stones, he said.

When Knight was robbing a store, he would wear stage makeup, wigs and false beards. He smiled as he described how he once arrived at Polchan's Justice home after a holdup and Polchan remarked, "Wow, you really don't look like yourself."

Knight testified that another Sarno co-defendant, Samuel Volpendesto, took a keen interest in Knight's chemistry skills after watching Knight make his own fireworks at a July 4 party in 2002. Knight said Volpendesto quizzed him on making bombs, asking how to make a device that would blow out the windows on a building without damaging the structure.

Speaker Pelosi Censures Charlie Rangel

I like Rangel. But I like a lot of far less than perfect people. Rangel's a classic example of not knowing when it's time to move on.

Welcome to the National Veterans Art Museum

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Health Care Reform: Cutting Supply of Care to reduce Costs of Care?

An example of the weird way the Feds approach the high costs of care not be adding to supply, but by cutting supply.  Solving the problem of the scarcity of care, by making care more scare.  In this case the care is Durable Medical Equipment for seniors.
North Carolina’s leader in home medical equipment advocacy and education, NCAMES, is mobilizing its membership base to support efforts led by Rep. Sue Myrick (R - NC, 9th District) to have the Federal government address fatal flaws in a bidding program affecting thousands of seniors and patients in need beginning in January 2011. The bidding program decides which home medical equipment companies can service patients who use Medicare to pay for their equipment

Copies of a November 24 letter co-signed by Rep. Myrick and Rep. Bruce Braley (D - IA, 1st District) which was sent to Donald Berwick, M.D., Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), were distributed to hundreds of NCAMES member companies statewide. In the letter, Reps. Myrick and Braley press Dr. Berwick about a recent study revealing that more than 40 percent of the companies selected by CMS’ flawed bidding program to provide HME services are financially unstable and unable to provide necessary medical supplies.
“The bidding program managed by Dr. Berwick’s agency is killing small businesses across North Carolina and needlessly endangering thousands of home medical equipment patients,” Beth Bowen, NCAMES Executive Director, said.
According to Bowen, testimony at a Congressional Subcommittee hearing this past September was overwhelmingly against the CMS bidding program, with example after example given of its negative effects such as forcing home health care patients into institutional care. Bi-partisan support for halting the bidding program has been growing over the past few months, Bowen said, with elected officials like Rep. Myrick pushing CMS harder to address concerns.
For example, Rep. Myrick pointed-out in her letter that many contract winners chosen by CMS actually have credit limits of less than $10,000, are on credit hold, or are so far behind on their payments that their accounts have been turned over for collections or legal process.
The CMS bidding program, “has a poor track record” Myrick wrote, emphasizing that seniors will have difficulty obtaining the supplies and services they need, and “The new system could drive out quality suppliers who have reliably served seniors in the past.”
And here's Don "PJ" Berwick's response to Congress via Bid News Blog,
WASHINGTON — AAHomecare reports that in his first appearance at a Nov. 17 hearing on health reform before the Senate Finance Committee, CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, M.D., singled out national competitive bidding program as an example of how the federal government can save money.

When Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, questioned him about projected savings under the Affordable Care Act, Berwick responded that the costs of DME had fallen 32 percent in “the trial” (Round 1) of the bid program, “returning something like $150 million I think back to beneficiaries in those nine trial areas.”

According to AAHomecare, “Berwick focused only on short-term savings attributable to the bidding program and not on the sharp reduction in patient choice and access to quality care that will result from the misguided program and the badly designed bidding system.”
Focused only on short-term savings. Next step is reduce demand-for-care to meet the reduced supply-of-care and Liberalism's getting pretty raw about how to reduce demand for care.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Paul Krugman's Conscience of a Liberal: Bring on the Death Panels.

Via Net Hentoff: Real Death Panels Are Coming Our Way
NEW YORK Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winner in economics and an influential New York Times columnist, also has a blog, "The Conscience of a Liberal." On ABC's "This Week" (Nov. 14), during a discussion on balancing the federal budget against alarming deficits, he proclaimed the way to solve this problem is through deeply cost-effective health care rationing.

"Some years down the pike," he said, "we're going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes." That would mean the U.S. Debt Reduction Commission "should have endorsed the panel that was part of the [Obama] health care reform."

Sarah Palin was one of the first, and the most resounding, to warn us of the coming of government panels to decide which of us -- especially, but not exclusively, toward the end of life -- would cost too much to survive.

She was mocked, scorned from sea to shining sea, including by the eminent Paul Krugman for being, he said, among those spreading "the death penalty lie" as part of "the lunatic fringe." (Summarized in "Krugman Wants 'Death Panels,'" Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Nov. 15.)

Soon after he had left the ABC studio, someone must have alerted Krugman that -- gee whiz -- he had publicly rooted for death panels!

Swiftly, on his blog, Krugman admitted he had indeed said those dreaded words, but:

"What I meant is that health care costs will have to be controlled, which will surely require having Medicare and Medicaid decide what they're willing to pay for -- not really death panels, of course, but consideration of medical effectiveness and, at some point, how much we're willing to spend for extreme care."

"Extreme care," Professor Krugman? To be defined by government commissions, right?
Extreme Care... Liberalism as we've known it spent. That's the Death Panel at work now. The idea and conscience have gone bankrupt and no extreme care's going to revive the ideological corpse.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Roskam's Blog Release: What They’re Saying About Rep. Roskam’s New Leadership Post‏

A nice roundup from Roskam's office. I think Roskam's going to be able to bridge fidelity to principles and working on shared goals. The GOP made a good choice with him.
“Rep. Peter Roskam was named chief deputy majority whip of the incoming GOP-controlled House on Monday.  The Wheaton Republican will rank fourth among House Republican leaders, giving Illinois a voice at the upper levels of the party’s hierarchy.”

 Chicago Trib
“Mr. Roskam is positioned to be a go-between with the White House for the House GOP leadership. He and President Barack Obama served together in the Illinois Senate and collaborated in Springfield on issues such as death penalty reform.”

Daily Herald
A staunch conservative, he has nonetheless developed a reputation for reaching across the aisle including working with President Obama on death penalty reform while they served together in the state Senate.  More recently, at a meeting with the House Republican Conference in January, Obama agreed with Roskam that advancing the South Korea free trade agreement is critical to expanding markets for American manufacturers.”

ABC 7 Chicago, November 29, 2010.
US Congressman Peter Roskam is adding a new job title to his resume.  He is slated to become a republican leader in the newly elected Congress. Roskam is taking the title of chief deputy majority whip so he will be the highest ranking appointed Republican leader.  Only Congressman John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy rank higher in leadership.
“[T]his isn’t Roskam’s first foray into leadership politics.  He had a leading role in America Speaking Out, the online grass roots initiative that helped Republicans develop the Pledge to America, the GOP’s agenda document.” 

Republicans will try to position Roskam as a go-between, of sorts, with President Barack Obama.  The two served together in the Illinois Senate, and Roskam has sought to remind Washington that the president legislative with Republicans as a young legislator in Springfield.
Roskam’s elevation to deputy whip could put him on a fast-track for higher leadership positions in the future,” and “Roskam could help the GOP better reach out to President Obama: He served with the president when he was an Illinois state senator and is one of the few House Republicans who has a personal relationship with Obama.”

Monday, November 29, 2010

Rahm Emanuel's Accomphisments as Congressman: Blagojevich, Emanuel lead push for imported drugs

Just one of those aspects from Emanuel's past (one that added an article of impeachment for Blagojevich!) that main stream media is giving Rahm a pass on in the race for Mayor. The Sun Times on the effort as part of her lookback on Blagojevich's impeachement: Flashback: Emanuel, Blagojevich lead imported drug push. Dec. 24, 2003. How many times we have to flashback this story?
Chicago Sun-Times

December 24, 2003 Wednesday

Blagojevich, Emanuel lead push for imported drugs

They are the medicine men. More so than others, freshmen Gov. Blagojevich and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) have put the issue of importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada on the national political and health policy agenda.
The two, who will mark a year in office next month and have a knack for scoring headlines on this one, have been relentless in pressuring the White House to find a safe, legal way to allow cheaper drugs from Canada to U.S. medicine chests.

Now the White House faces a rebellion that goes further than Blagojevich and Emanuel could have imagined: The GOP governor of New Hampshire and the Democratic mayor of Boston say they will break the law and start buying drugs from Canada.
"This is not an issue that the Bush administration or [Health and Human Services Secretary] Tommy Thompson wants to cave on," said Bill Knapp, Blagojevich's Washington-based political strategist.

It's going to become a thorny matter for the White House going into an election year because it will be a challenge for the president's team to separate the science and public health concerns from the populist politics.

Since the importation focus is on Canada, safety questions are harder for the Food and Drug Administration to raise because U.S. consumers probably figure they would have heard by now if Canadians were getting sick from their own bad pills.

Emanuel latched on to the issue earlier in the year when he became a co-sponsor of a drug importation bill. Though he was not the first on the legislation, he was the one who orchestrated a successful congressional and media strategy to get it passed on a bipartisan roll call in the House, though it never was incorporated into the new Medicare prescription drug law.

Blagojevich realized Emanuel handed him a gift when Emanuel urged him to take up drug importation because Illinois could save millions of dollars by buying Canadian drugs for state retirees and employees.

Politically, it put Blagojevich on the popular side of a consumer issue and could fuel his possible presidential ambitions. The January issue of Money magazine named Blagojevich one of its people to watch'' next year for setting the stage for a 2004 showdown.''

The governor asked the FDA in September for permission to legally buy Canadian drugs and, anticipating a rejection, launched a national campaign to organize other cash-starved governors and local officials to keep the heat on the FDA.

The FDA, throughout the Clinton and Bush administrations, has not allowed foreign drugs in the United States because they could be counterfeit, old, or mislabeled.
The new Medicare bill did provide for the Health and Human Services Department to study drug safety over the next year.

Blagojevich, who has vowed not to break the law, seized on that safety study language Monday to ask Thompson to let Illinois run a pilot importation project.
The FDA already all but officially said no to his request, saying the new law made no provision for any such pilot study involving the purchase and distribution of Canadian drugs in the United States.

The Bush administration sees Blagojevich and Emanuel as demagogues.
Blagojevich is inviting the nation's 49 other governors -- all told there are 28 Republicans and 22 Democrats -- to a drug importation summit in February. Won't the Bush team have to put more on the table than a year-off study? Blagojevich, said Knapp, is calling their bluff.''

Future of Blagojevich's papers in Quinn's hands

Mike Riopell writing in the Daily Herald.
Rod Blagojevich left the governor's office nearly two years ago, but many of the papers documenting his administration are still there.

When a governor leaves office in Illinois, papers about his policies or his correspondence with other officials go to the Illinois State Archives, where they're kept to record history.

Blagojevich didn't leave office in the typical way, though, when he was ousted via impeachment trial in January 2009.

What happens to his papers in the meantime is largely up to Gov. Pat Quinn, said David Joens, director of the Illinois State Archives.
Gotta wonder if there's a shredder at work to rewrite some of this sorry history.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Suburban fire and police pensions underfunded by $5 billion -

Suburban fire and police pensions underfunded by $5 billion -

Great, St Charles makes this list, St. Charles, the board overseeing pension cash has used some to pay the board president's wife for clerical work and to send board members, all expenses paid, to out-of-state conferences while the pension fund's health worsened.

The flaws and excesses were long masked by a strong economy, when big investment returns pushed average funding levels to nearly 80 percent a decade ago — which many experts consider to be healthy. The latest figures from 2009 show suburban public-safety pension funds, on average, have just 52 percent of the assets needed to be fully funded.

Though the true cost will vary from place to place, the unpaid tab averages nearly $2,700 for every suburban household. A strong economy could boost investment returns and lessen the liability, but experts say the financial sins of the past are too great for pension systems to merely invest their way out of them.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

 I've been all over the place on the web today.  Giving thanks for humor seemes the way to end the moring.

Enjoy: Obama Outlines Moral, Philosophical Justifications For Turkey Pardon

Obama Outlines Moral, Philosophical Justifications For Turkey Pardon

Roosevelt Road Zombie Walk - Hitchhikers from Hell 10.30.10

We did't call Roosevelt Road a Street of Dreams for nothing. The neigborhood on a Zombie Walk in front of the old Bottle-and-Cans tavern and just a few doors from the now gone Parky's Hot Dogs.

Presence of US, allies allowed in Quetta

Via The Dawn with a HT to the Pakhtunkhwa Peace Forum,
WASHINGTON: Pakistan has allowed the US military and its coalition partners in Afghanistan to maintain a presence in Quetta, says a Pentagon report to Congress.

The report, which was released to the media on Wednesday, also notes that tensions between India and Pakistan have a direct impact on Afghanistan and therefore, the United States must consider relations between South Asia’s two nuclear neighbours while making any strategy for Kabul.

“Pakistan Army General Headquarters recently approved a US Office of Defence Representative and Coalition presence at the Pakistan military’s 12 Corps HQ in Quetta,” the Pentagon tells Congress.

Earlier reports in the US media said that Pakistan also had allowed the CIA to expand its presence in the Balochistan capital.

“Yes, we have asked for that, and we continue to ask for that,” said a Pentagon official when asked if the United States wanted more actions against alleged militant sanctuaries in Quetta.
Need to ask Bill Roggio at the Long War Journal for the significance of this move.

St. Charles considers fire, ambulance stations

Via the Kane County Chronicle. This one's hit me right out-of-left-field although I wondered what was behind the advisory questions on the ballot in the last election. A sign of the fiscal crunch on Government and there's sure to be more of this sort of thing all over Illinois.
The St. Charles Countryside Fire Protection District announced to a standing-room-only crowd Wednesday morning that it plans to decide by February whether it will proceed with opening its own fire and ambulance stations once its contract with the city ends April 30.

Residents said they felt ambushed by the announcement, not only because it happened the morning before Thanksgiving, but also because the advisory referendum results indicated support for a 10-cent tax increase and opposition against a reduction in service.

Many said they view the proposed change as a reduction.

Der Spiegel: French Village Evacuated to Clear German WWI Munitions Depot

More on WW1 via Der Spiegel.
An entire village in northern France has been evacuated for a week while bomb removal experts clear 30 tons of shells -- 1,652 in total -- discovered in a German munitions depot from World War I.
I lived in Germany near the French border for three years in the early 80s during some unusually warm summers in Europe. The heat caused a few unexploded bombs from WW2 to go off in Berlin as I recall. A boy scout troop also returned from a souvenir hunting trip to France with glass balls still filled with Gas. The unexploded contents of gas filled artillery shells.

The WWI Diary of Ernst Jünger

The year 2014 will mark the 100th year since the start of World War 1. I'm starting a label for WW1 posts and starting with this one the newly published memiors of Ernst Jünger from Der Spiegel. An immensely popular author with his book "Storm of Steel" in Germany pre-WW2, and a guy who raises some issues for Germans today,
Jünger's book could help open up a new chapter of remembering the conflict in Germany, and historical interest is bound to increase with the coming of the 100th anniversary of its outbreak in 2014, said Kiesel.

"None of the victorious nations shunned calling their soldiers heroes. But it has always been problematic to describe Jünger as a hero, there was always an outcry against it. The time may have come to approach that difficult debate again to restore a certain equality, even if these solders were involved in a war for which Germany bears the main guilt."

It may also be interesting to explore why Jünger didn't noticeably suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, an affliction that has hit large numbers of soldiers who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Kiesel said keeping a diary to write down the events in detail shortly after they happened may have helped.

But most importantly, Jünger's crystal-clear descriptions unwittingly offer a fresh reminder of the devastation and terror caused by all wars.

An entry on August 28, 1916, written during the Somme battle, reads: "This area was meadows and forests and cornfields just a short time ago. There's nothing left of it, nothing at all. Literally not a blade of grass, not a tiny blade. Every millimeter of earth has been churned up and churned again, the trees uprooted and torn apart and ground to sludge. The houses shot to pieces, the bricks crushed into powder. The railway tracks turned into spirals, hills flattened, everything turned to desert. And everything full of corpses who have been turned over a hundred times. Whole lines of soldiers are lying in front of the position

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Religion through a Chicago Cop's Eyes

A book I'll have to read although I'm not certain why Chicago gives up so many writers with this kind of view.  I'm thinking Algren and the rest of the gritty realist sorts.  I'm not convinced they've captured the real.  Anyways, it's a book I'll pick up.  From the Review: Beyond Christianity or Creed: Religion of Realism from a Chicago Cop 
Preib encounters traces of specifically Christian faith, but the religion that obsesses him is, as for Melville or Whitman, something beyond the limits of Christianity or any other creed; the “religion” at the center of these essays is the root of endurance, what keeps the people of the city slogging on, day to day. This is a stripped-down, gritty notion of the religious, but one that resonates with deep association in American history and, as Preib argues, one rooted not in metaphysics or inherited tradition so much as in the “promise in seeing the city at it is.”

Maneuvering around a leaky corpse, trying to figure out the best angle of approach to avoid getting fluids on your uniform or your skin—if such a moment is the root of a religious conception of the world, this religion is not for the weak of heart or stomach. Indeed, “realism” emerges from rough scenes—encounters with gang bangers, crime victims, the hopeless, the dead—scenes many civilians will never see. But Preib writes as a cop, with more than a passing interest in being read by his fellow cops. His indicting descriptions of self-serving lawyers, journalists, and professors is coupled with a persistent sense that only a select few are able to handle the truth of the world as it is. To embrace Preib’s realism, then, “You just have to be tough enough to ride it out.”

Preib is, to borrow his description of Whitman, “a tough motherfucker.” His prose has the blunt gait of an incident report, yet deeply measured, contemplative, each clean sentence clearly the work of lengthy reflection. His interest is not just in the facts, after all, but in how one can make sense of these facts; interpretation, in this case via formal framing through writing, allows one to go from the “realism” of the streets to the “religion” of the city.
Chicago's a very tough town but the professed tough Mother Fuckers seldom as tough as they say and the truely tough families who thrive despite it all seldom written about in the local lit. Ok, I haven't read the book it, so let me hold back the rest of the judgement.

This link over at The Wagon and Other Stories from the City

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Election analysis: Blue turns red in many city precincts - Galesburg, IL - The Register-Mail

Election analysis: Blue turns red in many city precincts - Galesburg, IL - The Register-Mail

A take on the election from Galesburg Illinois. Knox County Republican Party Chairman Marc Young on the Red Tide that swept Galesburg,
For Young, Republican gains in the election served as a “wake-up call.”

He said his “friends in Cook County,” which remains a Democratic stronghold, seemed to think the rest of the state was “out of touch with them.”

“I think it’s the other way around,” Young added. “As far as Galesburg is concerned, I certainly hope that’s the case. I certainly think the silent majority is becoming more vocal.”

Black Caucus mum on Tea Party Republican who wants to join

Levois picks up the story over at It's My Mind.

In the news of last weeks US House gains there are now two new Republican members of Congress who just so happen to be Black. One of them was a veteran of the Iraqi war. And it's his story that I'm posting right here.

ObamaCare Waivers

Obama White House Hands Out 111 Obamacare Waivers- Hides It on Website

The Green Eye Shade guys at CMS handing out waivers to clout heavy Corporations.  As we said at HCFA long ago, you can't make this turkey fly.

National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum

Updated X1

Some pics from the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum at Indiana and 18th in Chicago.

Update: Coverage over at the Chicago Journal.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy: Inside a school for suicide bombers

A preview of her documentary on training young suicide bombers.

Government states case against alleged bombing crew -

As Gov Quinn lets the good times roll turning Illinois into another Nevada, Mike Sarno reminds Chicago the outfit's still with us. They'll figure out a way to profit from Quinn's gambling for sure.

Government states case against alleged bombing crew -

Ed Smith 8th alderman not to run: sources :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: City Hall

Ed Smith 8th alderman not to run: sources :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: City Hall

Ald. Ed Smith (28th), Chicago’s longest-serving black alderman, has told Mayor Daley he intends to resign, becoming the eighth sitting aldermen not to stand for re-election in a difficult year for incumbents, City Hall sources said Friday.

Smith refused to discuss his impending resignation and brushed past a reporter seeking comment.

Smith is a veteran political warhorse swept into office during the historic 1983 election that made Harold Washington Chicago’s first African-American mayor.

Smith was an institution. Tough job, tough ward; I'll miss him.

Monday, November 08, 2010

State Senator Tells His Side Of Polling Place Run-In « CBS Chicago – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic, and the Best of Chicago

State Senator Tells His Side Of Polling Place Run-In « CBS Chicago – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic, and the Best of Chicago Illinois Sen Mike Noland gets in a tangle with cops at a polling place. Seems he didn't have any id save a ticket.
Police reported they were called to the polling place at St. Monica’s Catholic Church on Route 25 in Carpentersville when Noland (D-Elgin) refused to provide identification to election judges. They said that in lieu of his driver’s license, Noland showed the officer a traffic ticket he had been issued for allegedly driving without insurance.

“Every election day, I visit as many polling places as I can so I can thank the election judges for serving,” Noland said Friday. “I say, ‘I’m Sen. Michael Noland, and I want to thank you for giving your time for this.’ The visits also allow me to gauge how high the turnout [of voters] is, though I don’t ask the judges for any numbers.”

“At St. Monica’s, I was not talking to any voters, and I was not wearing any campaign buttons or doing any campaigning inside the polling place,” Noland said. “But St. Monica’s had very demonstrative Republican judges. They said that unless I had credentials allowing me to be there, I had to leave, and right away, they called the police.”

Noland said he had only the traffic ticket instead of his driver’s license because he had not had his auto insurance card with him when he was pulled over by police one time recently. “I do have insurance, but I had forgotten to put the new proof-of-insurance card in my glove compartment,” he said.

Rezko gave Gutierrez a deal on town house :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: The Watchdogs

Rezko gave Gutierrez a deal on town house :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: The Watchdogs

The Sun-Times reported in 2006 that Gutierrez got the cheapest price on any of the 17 riverfront town houses in the Rezko development. Others paid $495,000 and $660,000, in some cases for smaller town homes. The congressman sold his unit in March 2006 for $610,000 -- 40 percent more than his purchase price.

Gutierrez was accompanied to the 2008 FBI interview by defense lawyer Michael Deutsch of the People's Law Office.

"I'm not going to go into what was discussed or why," said Deutsch, who said his office has done work with the Puerto Rican community and that Gutierrez has been a "good supporter" of that effort.

It's not clear why the FBI interviewed Gutierrez. The U.S. attorney's office would not comment.

Accompanied by a Lawyer from the People's Law Office....that's precious.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Coalition of black leaders backs Rep. Davis for mayor :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Politics

Coalition of black leaders backs Rep. Davis for mayor :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Politics

Davis and Braun? Geez I can't think of two older fossils. This has gotta be some backroom deal to split up the black vote. The "leaders" would to everyone a big favor and just butt out and let the candidates and voters figure it out for themselves. "Leaders" just slip way to fast into "Dealers" and Chicago's got too many of those.

AQAP claims responsibility for cargo planes plot - The Long War Journal

AQAP claims responsibility for cargo planes plot - The Long War Journal

via Long War Journal,
In a message released to jihadist websites on Friday, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility for two explosive packages found aboard cargo planes in late October. The Long War Journal has obtained a translation of the statement.

Addressing President Obama, the AQAP statement reads: “We have directed three strikes at your planes within one year, and we will continue, by the grace of God, to direct our strikes against American interests and the interests of her allies.”

The “three strikes” include Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab’s attempt to bring down Flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009, the recent plot involving explosive devices shipped via cargo planes and, oddly, the downing of a UPS airliner on Sept. 3 in Dubai.

The first two strikes are known AQAP plots, but the third had not been previously identified as an act of terrorism. Officials in the United Arab Emirates have told the press that there is no evidence of an explosion on board the plane before the crash, which killed the two pilots on board. But they are reportedly investigating the crash once again in light of AQAP’s statement.

Read more:
Addressing President Obama.... strange this story doesn't make MSM as far as I can tell.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Kane County Chronicle: Hultgren’s work has already begun

Lauzen's comments over in a story on Hultgren's victory.
State Sen. Chris Lauzen R-Aurora, is taking some pride in Hultgren’s victory.

“It was our volunteers who got him past Hastert Junior,” Lauzen said, referring to the primary between Hultgren and Ethan Hastert, son of the former speaker.

“I think Randy’s votes are going to more closely match the values of the district,” Lauzen said. “A lot of folks appreciate Bill Foster’s work ethic and intellect, but [Hultgren] will reflect the values a little more closely.”

But for all the victories Republicans made Tuesday, Lauzen cautioned that winning an election is just a first step.

“This is just an invitation to go to work,” Lauzen said. “They should not think of it as the end of something. This is just the beginning of something.”

Lauzen said Hultgren and the other GOP winners will have to repeal the healthcare bill and replace it, extend the Bush-era tax cuts and rein in government spending.

“They don’t have to pass it into law, they just have to pass it out of the House because that is what they have control over,” Lauzen said. “Promises are broken if they do not get it out of the House.”

Though he said he is not declaring his intent to run in 2012, Hultgren said he would like to represent the district for a few years. His promise and platform closely matches what Lauzen laid out as the task for House Republicans.

“And I will be holding town hall meetings, holding listening tours, listening to constituents and hearing their frustrations and suggestions,” Hultgren said. “That is so important if we are going to represent and be their voice in Washington D.C.”
A lot of work ahead in the next two years.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Keep Keith! | The Weekly Standard

Keep Keith! | The Weekly Standard

Kristol's final thoughts which are probably the real reason for dumping Olberman,
Perhaps Olbermann violated NBC News “policy and standards.” But NBC doesn’t have real news standards for MSNBC—otherwise the channel wouldn’t exist. It’s a little strange to get all high and mighty now.

But there’s now a Republican House, and perhaps GE is trying to curry favor by dumping Olbermann?

Republicans of the world, show you believe in the free expression of opinion! Tell the crony corporatists at NBC—keep Keith!

Joel Pollak Urges Tea Party To Stay Engaged

Tom Mannis recorded Joel Pollack's remarks after the election. Awfully impressive young man.

Clout St: With subpoenas flying Hendon won't run for mayor

Hollywood Hendon needs to slow it down. Subpoenas not the only problem, Via Clout Street.
Hendon also said his much-publicized attack on state Sen. Bill Brady, the Republican candidate for governor who he labeled a racist, “has nothing to do with” his decision, though he did concede “it was unfortunate that I got carried away, and I will talked to Bill Brady about it when I see him. . . . I’m glad it didn’t hurt (Governor) Pat Quinn.”

In the days after he made the remarks, Hendon, 55, went to Rush University Medical Center, where he learned his blood pressure had spiked to dangerous levels.

“They said I was lucky to be alive,” he said, adding that he’s going to try to be less emotional from now on. “I’m changing my ways, because I like to be here.”

Pat Quinn's Tea Party Supporters

h/t The Illinois Observer for picking this up from the ABC Exit Polls.  15% of those expressing strong support for the Tea Party Movement voted for Pat Quinn.  Quinn's still a rebel, even to some strong Tea Party folks, despite those years of playing ball with Blagojevich.

Joe Walsh, Randy Hultgren, and Robert Dold on WTTW with Carol Marin

Nice interview... Carol's a little hung up on the Tea Party.  All three do a nice job.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Those Kirk Quinn Voters

Maybe Brady spending a little more time shaking hands in Northern Cook would have helped overcome some of those Quinn Who is this guy? ads?

Some selected columns from Cook County's nicely done Suburban Cook County Election Results site.

Township Mark Steven Kirk Bill Brady Jason Plummer # Voted Kirk NOT Brady
Northfield 19,769 16,475 3,294
Wheeling 26,857 23,855 3,002
New Trier 15,056 12,708 2,348
Niles 13,014 10,911 2,103
Worth 19,937 18,263 1,674
Orland 20,155 18,639 1,516
Maine 18,903 17,393 1,510
Lyons 16,880 15,545 1,335
Palatine 19,465 18,249 1,216
Elk Grove 12,362 11,344 1,018
Schaumburg 16,351 15,365 986
Proviso 11,163 10,282 881
Bremen 10,483 9,684 799
Evanston 5,250 4,506 744
Palos 9,575 8,919 656
Oak Park 4,580 4,046 534
Leyden 8,941 8,450 491
Bloom 6,670 6,298 372
Thornton 7,391 7,068 323
Stickney 3,280 2,958 322
River Forest 2,179 1,871 308
Hanover 9,277 8,970 307
Lemont 5,069 4,767 302
Riverside 2,961 2,668 293
Norwood Park 3,541 3,249 292
Cicero 2,424 2,220 204
Rich 4,689 4,505 184
Barrington 4,066 3,906 160
Berwyn 2,992 2,837 155
Calumet 478 481 -3
Suburban Cook County 303,758 276,432 27,326

And here's the same table but now sorted by the percent of Kirk voters who didn't go for Brady. It's the Liberal 'Burbs and I'd call these Kirk-Quinn voters Liberals who couldn't stomach Giannoulias but perfectly happy with Quinn. It helped that Kirk was a familiar face.

Township  Mark Steven Kirk  Bill Brady Jason Plummer  # Voted Kirk NOT Brady Pct Kirk vote NOT Brady
Northfield  19,769 16,475 3,294 17%
Niles  13,014 10,911 2,103 16%
New Trier  15,056 12,708 2,348 16%
Evanston  5,250 4,506 744 14%
River Forest  2,179 1,871 308 14%
Oak Park  4,580 4,046 534 12%
Wheeling  26,857 23,855 3,002 11%
Riverside  2,961 2,668 293 10%
Stickney  3,280 2,958 322 10%
Cicero  2,424 2,220 204 8%
Worth  19,937 18,263 1,674 8%
Norwood Park  3,541 3,249 292 8%
Elk Grove  12,362 11,344 1,018 8%
Maine  18,903 17,393 1,510 8%
Lyons  16,880 15,545 1,335 8%
Proviso  11,163 10,282 881 8%
Bremen  10,483 9,684 799 8%
Orland  20,155 18,639 1,516 8%
Palos  9,575 8,919 656 7%
Palatine  19,465 18,249 1,216 6%
Schaumburg  16,351 15,365 986 6%
Lemont  5,069 4,767 302 6%
Bloom  6,670 6,298 372 6%
Leyden  8,941 8,450 491 5%
Berwyn  2,992 2,837 155 5%
Thornton  7,391 7,068 323 4%
Barrington  4,066 3,906 160 4%
Rich  4,689 4,505 184 4%
Hanover  9,277 8,970 307 3%
Calumet  478 481 -3 -1%
Suburban Cook County  303,758 276,432 27,326

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Rhinelander Beer staging comeback

Politics over and it's time for a beer. Rhinelander's been one of my favorites and it looks like a road-trip to the North Woods in order to see how this is going,
More than 40 years after the final barrels of beer were unceremoniously dumped from the vats of the Rhinelander Brewery along the Pelican River, Rhinelander Beer may finally be coming home.

Jyoti Auluck, a native of Calgary, Alberta and president of the newly-formed Rhinelander Brewing Company, completed a deal Monday to acquire the Rhinelander and Rhinelander Light beer brands and all related assets from Monroe-based Minhas Craft Brewery.

Minhas will continue to brew the beer under contract with the Rhinelander Brewing Company, but Auluck has plans to build a brewery in Rhinelander and bring the brand back to its hometown.

Rhinelander Lager and Rhinelander Light brands were long produced at the famous and historic Rhinelander Brewery on Ocala Street in Rhinelander, which opened under the business partnership of Otto Hilgermann and Henry Danner in 1882.
And here's the new website.

Hultgren looks to grow jobs, get parties to work together in Congress - Downers Grove, IL -

Hultgren looks to grow jobs, get parties to work together in Congress - Downers Grove, IL -

And then this...

After conceding defeat shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday, Foster is looking forward to a vacation.

“Key West is one of the possibilities,” Foster said.

He blames his loss and the loss of many other Democrats on the frustrations of voters about the economy. He said Democrats not communicating some of their accomplishments might be partly to blame, but added if they had told the truth about what the state of the economy had been, it could have triggered a depression.

“We’re being punished for our patriotism,” Foster said.

What an odd thing to say, punished for our patriotism, than off to Key West.

Dan Rutherford's guidebook for Republican statewide candidates in Illinois!

Fran Eaton's comment over at Rutherford's facebook page was asking Rutherford for a guidebook for statewide candidates.

I'll tell you one chapter. If I had a nickle for every facebook even invite I received from Rutherford, I'd be a millionaire. The guy seemed to be everywhere. I didn't get the same vibe from Brady and it's clear he should have been everywhere in Chicago and the collar counties. Voters needed to get the feel of him and too many didn't.

Hultgren Statement On Tonight's Victory

A lot of hard work and phone calls prevails over a lot of Foster's money.
Congressman Foster called to concede approximately 15 minutes ago...

Hultgren Statement On Tonight's Victory

"Over the last 14 months, we've all worked tirelessly together in our fight to restore fiscal sanity, and our victory tonight was a testament to our American resolve for freedom, entrepreneurship, limited government, low taxes and economic growth.

"I am forever grateful for the unparalleled outpouring of support my family and I received during this endeavor, and I cannot stress enough the important role my supporters played in this election.

"This was also an important victory for the people of the 14th district. Despite millions of dollars of negative ads, our community rejected the negative politics of fear and lies, and focused on the issues of job creation and economic growth.

"Going forward, I want to reaffirm my commitment and vow to the people of the 14th Congressional District that this is their seat, and they are my boss. I look forward to working for them. I will listen to them.  And when they express your opinion and counsel and make their voice heard, I won't just hear, I'll listen. Public service is a sacred trust, and I will always expect to be held accountable."

- Randy Hultgren

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Islamic regime of Iran plans to execute Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani immediately

A sad Press Release to have to report.
PR 84
1 November 2010

The Islamic regime of Iran plans to execute Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani immediately

According to news received by the International Committee against Stoning and International Committee against Execution on 1 November 2010, the authorities in Tehran have given the go ahead to Tabriz prison for the execution of Iran stoning case Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. It has been reported that she is to be executed this Wednesday 3 November.

We had previously reported that the casefile regarding the murder case of Ms Ashtiani’s husband had been seized from her lawyer’s office, Houtan Kian, and found missing from the prosecutor’s Oskoo branch office so as to stitch Ms Ashtiani up with trumped up murder charges. Ms Ashtiani’s son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, and her lawyer, Houtan Kian, have warned of the regime’s plan to do so on many occasions. With the arrest of Ms Ashtiani’s son and lawyer on 10 October and her not having had any visitation rights since 11 August and after fabricating a new case against her, the “Human Rights Commission” of the regime has announced that: ‘according to the existing evidence, her guilt has been confirmed.’ In fact, the regime has created a new scenario in order to expedite her execution.

The International Committees against Stoning and Execution call on international bodies and the people of the world to come out in full force against the state-sponsored murder of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. Ms Ashtiani, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, Houtan Kian and the two German journalists must be immediately and unconditionally released.

International Committee against Execution
International Committee against Stoning

The High Life

This one's great!

Government High Life from RightChange on Vimeo.

Trick or Treat: Paychecks vs Food Stamps

US Marines launch operation against Taliban stronghold near the Pakistani border - The Long War Journal

Sadly our politics preempts coverage of our Marines in a tough fight in a very tough place.

US Marines launch operation against Taliban stronghold near the Pakistani border - The Long War Journal

8 Germans killed in Oct. 4 Predator strike in North Waziristan identified - The Long War Journal

Germans seem to be suckers for extremism. Here's Long War Journal on the German Taliban and eight of them you've come to the end of their Jihad.

8 Germans killed in Oct. 4 Predator strike in North Waziristan identified - The Long War Journal

Randy Hultgren in Sycamore with Sen Scott Brown

Some pics and a message from Hultgren's campaign,
We're estimating that Bill Foster and his liberal cronies in Washington DC have spent 5 million dollars smearing Randy and spreading lies in their desperate attempt to hold on to power.

As you go to the polls, remember to bring your friends and neighbors with you, and continue to help spread the truth about Randy's strong pro-economic growth, pro-freedom record. If you encounter anybody who believes the lies being peddled by Congressman Foster, be sure to correct the record, and also to send them here for a complete refutation of Bill Foster's shameless lies.

Also, I wanted to share pictures from today's amazing parade in Sycamore. Over a 100 Hultgren volunteers were joined by Senator Scott Brown!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Attack Ads, Circa 1800

Or maybe, Attack Ads by a Unitarian and a Univeralist fellow traveler....

Pathetic whimper of a decaying liberal Ancien Regime

Nile Gardiner on Krugman via The Telegraph
Not only is Krugman’s article one of the most ridiculous pieces of scare-mongering in the history of modern American journalism, but it is the pathetic whimper of a decaying liberal Ancien Regime that is spectacularly crumbling. It also illustrates just how out of touch liberal elites are with public opinion, as well as economic reality. The tired old blame Bush line no longer works, and as a recent poll showed, the former president’s popularity is rising again.

Whether Krugman likes it or not, the American people are turning overwhelmingly against Barack Obama’s Big Government agenda, and are looking for free market solutions to getting the country back on its feet, creating jobs and cutting the nation’s debt. As poll after poll shows, Americans are rejecting the liberal status quo and embracing the political revolution sweeping the country. My guess is that historians will look back on November 2010 not as a “catastrophe”, as Krugman declares, but as the beginning of a powerful new era for the United States, when conservatism and the cause of freedom made a striking comeback.
A revolution for sure. A whole generation of Liberal Politicans into History's dustbin it seems, and the rest left groping why then calling the electorate fools.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A New Yorker endoreses Bill Foster

Considering Bill Foster seems to have moved to Long Island, it figures a Progressive from the Empire State endorses him.  Scroll down the link Progressive Candidates in Illinois for the accolades.