Friday, December 29, 2017

Iran - 29 Dec 2017 - Public protest against high prices continue in Qom

Protests against Iranian Government in #Qom

This is a bit like Protesters shouting Death to the Pope in Rome. I watch little MSM now but I'm guessing these protests uncovered.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Duckworth and Durbin go Pritzker

If the GOP powers that be don't derail her, I think Ives can really give this guy a run for the money even though he's got plenty of it.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

So, this is me, I am Omar Mohammed, a Mosuli historian

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Durbin, Duckworth not among Democrat lawmakers donating money from Franken's PAC, state GOP says

Durbin, Duckworth not among Democrat lawmakers donating money from Franken's PAC, state GOP says: The waning months of 2017 have seen a rash of sexual harassment allegations surfacing, and U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) is one of the more recent notable people to have these allegations brought against them.

Stefan Zweig, born #OnThisDay in 1881 #TuesdayThoughts

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wołyń/Volhynia (2016) Trailer (english subtitles)

Another brutal one the slaughter between Poles and Ukrainians in Galicia in 1944. Wikipedia has the best info on it. It's pretty staggering thing to watch. Left me numb.


Prisoners of the Caucasus (English subtitles) / Кавказские пленники 2002

More essay than documentary on Russia's War in Chechnya.

Come and See Trailer (with music): 1985 Soviet Film

I cut the cable some time ago and just stream things now. Mostly foreign movies from YouTube. This was a 1985 Soviet film on the German occupation of Belorussia. I think it's the most brutal movie I've every wathed. Wikipedia quotes an interview with the Director Elem Klimov,
The 40th anniversary of the Great Victory was approaching. The management had to be given something topical. I had been reading and rereading the book I Am from the Burning Village, which consisted of the first-hand accounts of people who miraculously survived the horrors of the fascist genocide in Belorussia. Many of them were still alive then, and Belorussians managed to record some of their memories onto film. I will never forget the face and eyes of one peasant, and his quiet recollection about how his whole village had been herded into a church, and how just before they were about to be burned, an officer of the Sonderkommando gave them the offer: "Whoever has no children can leave". And he couldn't take it, he left, and left behind his wife and little kids... or about how another village was burned: the adults were all herded into a barn, but the children were left behind. And later, the drunk men surrounded them with sheepdogs and let the dogs tear the children to pieces. 
And then I thought: the world doesn't know about Khatyn! They know about Katyn, about the massacre of the Polish officers there. But they don't know about Belorussia. Even though more than 600 villages were burned there! 
And I decided to make a film about this tragedy. I perfectly understood that the film would end up a harsh one. I decided that the central role of the village lad Florya would not be played by a professional actor, who upon immersion into a difficult role could have protected himself psychologically with his accumulated acting experience, technique and skill. I wanted to find a simple boy fourteen years of age. We had to prepare him for the most difficult experiences, then capture them on film. And at the same time, we had to protect him from the stresses so that he wasn't left in the loony bin after filming was over, but was returned to his mother alive and healthy. Fortunately, with Lyosha Kravchenko, who played Florya and who later became a good actor, everything went smoothly. 
I understood that this would be a very brutal film and that it was unlikely that people would be able to watch it. I told this to my screenplay coauthor, the writer Ales Adamovich. But he replied: "Let them not watch it, then. This is something we must leave after us. As evidence of war, and as a plea for peace."
The full movie link is available at the end of this trailer. Prepare yourself if you chose to watch.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Full transcript: Jeanne Ives interview

Full transcript: Jeanne Ives interview: DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) -- The following is a transcript of Republican primary gubernatorial candidate Rep. Jeanne Ives' remarks made on Tuesday during an interview with WCIA Capitol Bureau Chief Mark Maxwell.

Good interview although why in the world anyone should give a hoot about any Politician's views on divine punishment beyond me.  Get real here Mark... this is Illinois; not some Seminary.

Carter's Role in Zimbabwe - The New York Sun

Least we forget the guy who helped give Zimbabwe Mugabe.

Carter's Role in Zimbabwe - The New York Sun

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Ives mounts challenge to Rauner in Republican primary

Ives mounts challenge to Rauner in Republican primary: After weeks of speculation, State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) has decided to take a concrete step towards challenging incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Jeanne Ives: Illinois Governor Sends Nonexistent Tax Dollars To No-Limits Abortions

Illinois Governor Sends Nonexistent Tax Dollars To No-Limits Abortions: This is what ‘working together’ looks like in Illinois: submitting to the majority party and the entrenched interests who fund their campaigns.

Does U.S. Media Help Russia Destabilize The United States?

Does U.S. Media Help Russia Destabilize The United States?: These documents suggest Russia’s attempt to ‘hack’ the 2016 election was about more. A main target and beneficiary of that effort is the American press.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Bringing Soviet Planning to New York City

Bringing Soviet Planning to New York City

Mattis on North Korea: US 'must stand ready for WAR'

Movie: Mine Land

Cut the cable so now I just stream videos. Here's a Danish film on the demining business. True story and I think something like 2,000 German POWs were killed or maimed doing it.
As World War II comes to an end, a group of young German POWs are captured by the Danish army and forced to defuse and clear 2 million land mines from the Danish coast. With little to no training, the boys soon discover that the war is far from over. Inspired by true events.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Taliban parades forces openly in Nimroz | FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban parades forces openly in Nimroz | FDD's Long War Journal

We're in trouble if the Taliban can move freely like this.

Jeanne Ives?

From WTTW, 
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, despite buckets of campaign cash, may be in for a primary fight in his 2018 re-election battle for governor. 
Suburban Republican lawmaker Jeanne Ives (Wheaton) is considering getting in the race, citing her frustration with the governor's signing of HB40, a law that will increase access to abortion for state Medicaid recipients and would continue to make abortion legal in Illinois should the U.S. Supreme Court choose to overturn it.
 My first thought's leave Rauner to the GOP and run as a Third Party along Tea Party principles: all responsible fiscal-policies, good-government, and leave the cultural stuff with the culture 'cause there's a limit to what a Governor of Illinois can do.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

WWII veteran, Bataan Death March survivor gets his medals

WWII veteran, Bataan Death March survivor gets his medals
Joe Romero spent 42 months as a prisoner of war, mostly doing hard labor in a lead and zinc mine, but also serving on “burial duty,” his daughter, Ana Marie Gonzales, said.
“My dad said there was nothing more beautiful than seeing the flag when he was liberated,” Gonzales said.
As a kid, my Dad reminded me of Maywood and Bataan everytime we passed Bataan Drive.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

History of Soldier Field: Heck of a place to take a knee during the Pledge

Seems most have missed the tragedy of the venue to Steelers chose to sit out the National Anthem. Via the Illinois Sports Authority
Soldier Field was designed in 1919 and opened on October 9,  1924, as Municipal Grant Park Stadium. The name was changed to Soldier Field on November 11, 1925, as a memorial to U.S. soldiers who had died in combat. 

Friday, September 08, 2017

US airstrike kills 4 Shabaab fighters in 2 separate airstrikes | FDD's Long War Journal

US airstrike kills 4 Shabaab fighters in 2 separate airstrikes | FDD's Long War Journal

Dimon and Durbin

Jamie Dimon funnies via Jamie Dimon leaves Wall Street perch to have a say in Washington
During his interactions with lawmakers, Dimon can be brash and expresses annoyance with Congress’s inability to advance legislation, people who attended the meetings said.
Sometimes he would show his lighter side. 
One day in July, Dimon spotted his Democratic Senator Richard Durbin, an old foe who championed a rule that slashed debit card fees and which Dimon has called “downright idiotic.” 
Durbin was withdrawing money from a non-Chase ATM when Dimon approached from behind and quipped: “We welcome competition.” 
A Durbin representative confirmed the interaction, first described by a Politico reporter in a tweet, took place but declined to elaborate.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Rock Island Confederate Cemetery Rock Island, Illinois

And here's the Rock Island Confederate Cemetery in Congresswoman's Bustos's District.
The Confederate Cemetery covers a rectangular, three-acre parcel of land, bound by Rodman Avenue and a post-and-chain fence to the north, Confederate Avenue to the south, and heavy tree cover to the east and west. A paved walkway extends from Rodman Avenue to the edge of the burials, passing a six-foot tall obelisk the Daughters of the Confederacy dedicated in 2003 to the Confederate veterans who died at Rock Island. At the south end of the grounds, opposite the monument, is the cemetery’s flagpole. Four Confederate cannons sit near the entrance, two each on either side of the monument.

Confederate Mound at Oak Woods Cemetery Chicago, Illinois

Southsiders of a certain age know about Chicago's Camp Douglas. My Dad would point it out every trip south on Lakeshore Drive. 1965 was the centenary of the Civil War so there was much more talk of the war in the 60s than today perhaps. 4,200 graves of Confederate Soldiers who died at the camp were interned at Oak Woods Cemetery and memorialized with a statue dedicated by President Cleveland (a Democrat btw) in 1895.
Confederate Mound is an elliptical plot, approximately 475 feet by 275 feet, located between Divisions 1 and 2 of Section K. The most prominent feature of the plot is the Confederate Monument, a 30-foot granite column topped with a bronze statue of a Confederate soldier, a figure based on the painting “Appomattox” by John A. Elder. At the base of the tapered square shaft are three bas-relief images: “The Call to Arms” showing a group rallying for the cause, “A Soldier’s Death Dream” depicting a fallen soldier and his horse on the battlefield, and “A Veteran’s Return Home” showing a soldier arriving at a ruined cabin. General John C. Underwood, a regional head of the United Confederate Veterans, designed the monument and was at its dedication on May 30, 1895, along with President Grover Cleveland and an estimated 100,000 on-lookers. In 1911, the Commission for Marking the Graves of Confederate Dead paid to have the monument lifted up and set upon a base of red granite; affixed to the four sides of the base were bronze plaques inscribed with the names of Confederate soldiers known to be buried in the mass grave.
Update: Lee Bey writing in 2010,
The fix-up would rejuvenate one of the most spectacular, if little-known, monuments in Chicago. The two-acre mound at Oak Woods features a 46-foot Georgia granite monument topped by a bronze statue of a Confederate soldier with this arms folded and looking downward.‚ The names of the dead are written on bronze plaques near the base.‚ Cannons and stacked cannonballs mark the perimeters of the mound. Here's what the monument looked like before the scaffolding went up:

The dead were prisoners at the notorious Camp Douglas, a Union training base turned prisoner-of-war camp near 35th and the Lake. As a prison camp, Douglas was called "eighty acres of hell" because of the disease and cruelty manifest there. After the war, the federal government bought land within Oak Woods and buried the dead prisoners there without much fanfare.‚ But by the 1890s, ex-Confederates within Chicago and in Georgia raised the funds to design and build the monument, which was dedicated in 1895.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Modern Healthcare: Hospital volumes laid low by high-deductible health plans

The results of hallow insurance via Modern Healthcare.
The ascendency of high-deductible insurance plans is making it just that much more difficult for hospitals to hold the margins they've come to enjoy, he said. In 2016, for the first time, more than half of all workers (51%) with single coverage faced a deductible of at least $1,000, according to a study released last September by the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust. The study showed that 29% of workers were in high-deductible plans compared with 20% two years earlier.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Chicago's Westside East On Lake Street From Austin Blvd( 6/19/2017)

Nice video of what's a scenic drive for some of us, or at least a memory drive.

About Rich Miller's for the Bruce Rauner pivot

Rich tells the Guv to pivot yesterday and I agreed with a lot of what he said till this,
Rauner campaigns a lot better than he governs, however. If he finally rights his ship, he does have a chance. Committing July 27 to sign the Trust Act, which will provide strong state protection for undocumented immigrants, is a good start.
Strongly protecting undocumented immigrants while taxpayers, wage earners, and pop consumers take it on the chin (and wallet) seems a pivot towards a losing trail. 

Rauner needs Democrats in Cook County and the suburbs to win.  He needs African American votes from those dwindling numbers of them willing to stay in Illinois.  Rauner needs to go a little Trump to get those votes. 

Illinois protects enough people breaking laws.  Rauner wants to win he better start hammering Rahm Emanuel, TIFs, and the appalling degradation of life in Chicago for those outside the Northside.   If anyone needs strong protection in Illinois its the citizens of the South and West sides.

On Wednesday, CNN’s Jim Acosta took White House aide Stephen Miller to task for President Trump’s proposed immigration policy reform, which seeks to institute a “merit-based system for green cards based on the ability to speak Engli...

On Wednesday, CNN’s Jim Acosta took White House aide Stephen Miller to task for President Trump’s proposed immigration policy reform, which seeks to institute a “merit-based system for green cards based on the ability to speak Engli...

Friday, August 04, 2017

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Politico's Health news: Jared Kushner on the Cerner VA deal

A very interesting thing out of Politico's Health news.  I watched a lot of big names struggle with this one for years.  If this story just half true, it is a very big deal.  

KUSHNER ON VA: White House adviser Jared Kushner's pep talk to a swarm of Congressional interns got attention for the burning issues it contained - Israel-Palestine peace, for one example. But we at Morning eHealth, after taking a listen to the full audio (posted here by Wired), noted another interesting subject: the Cerner/VA deal. 
Kushner explains that getting the deal done is "one of the great successes we've had so far" in overhauling the department. Here's how, according to Kushner, the deal got done: He was "talking about the issue" with David Shulkin, and they called Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Mattis and Shulkin convened the top five EHR guys from each department. 
"We said, guys, we want a solution to get us on one system. This is absolutely crazy," Kushner said, and apparently, the group of EHR experts were given a deadline of two weeks to solve the problem. They managed to solve the whole thing in that time - when, by comparison, "they've been holding Congressional hearings since 2000. Sixteen years and nothing's happened."

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Daily Line: Most (Illinois) legislators aren’t aware that CPS finances are in Grade A, emergency meltdown

Two points worth noting from Mike Fourcher's The Daily Line.  I worked for a guy who told me his job was pointing out the painfully obvious.  Mike's doing that here and the shockingly obvious thing here is the blindness of many Illinois Legislatures.

3. Most legislators aren’t aware that CPS finances are in Grade A, emergency meltdownIn off the record conversations with a dozen or so non-Chicago legislators this past week, all knew that CPS was in financial trouble, but few comprehended the true magnitude of the problem. More than a few eyes popped when I said that without state help or a significant property tax increase, CPS was looking at a nearly $1 billion operating deficit. 
4. Non-Chicago legislators think Chicago needs to start raising its own taxesEven knowing how big Chicago schools’ money problems were, non-Chicago legislators, Democratic and Republican alike, seem to agree that the city needs to start raising its own property taxes. Most knew Chicago’s TIFs were diverting a large portion of property tax revenue for schools and that Chicago has kept property taxes lower than other parts of the state. In their minds, Chicago should be solving its own problems. The city’s internal TIF struggles and fights about equitable property assessment are entirely irrelevant to them as they look at Chicago’s tremendous property wealth in comparison to the rest of the state.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Brits in Raqqa Syria

Dunkirk's Mark Rylance from Milwaukee

I saw Dunkirk yesterday at the big screen at Elgin Marcus Theater (that's a must if you see it). Looked up the actor who plays the civilian skipper who took his ship to evacuate troops and discovered he's from Milwaukee. Former Wisconsinite Mark Rylance wins Tony for 'Twelfth Night' More on the movie later but it's five stars from me. A "guy" film, but still five stars.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Footage from dead foreign #ISIS fighter's phone shows them shooting at civilians and laughing during the killing within #Mosul

The six renegade Democrats: Connor, Costello, Moylan, Mussman, Stuart, Yingling

Here are the six Democrats who broke with Madigan and joined Governor Rauner on his veto of a 32% tax hike.  At least we could frame the narrative that way but few seem inclined to do so.  Instead these six slide under everyone's radar about.

That's Madigan's plan of course and we shouldn't let him get away with it.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

About this George W. Bush and Barack Obama Both Popular in Retirement thing

They may be popular now in retirement but they both left Tump (and us) with dreadful threats from North Korea.

I wonder if this kind of thing some kind of warning that the US prepared to do these interventions again.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Where's Tony Rezko's Book?

Haven't heard much about Tony Rezko lately.  Seems like a great time for him to be writing his Tell All book.  There's gotta be an easy ten million from his story, and I would imagine he could use the cash.

So, we're waiting.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me, Trailer

Another Siberian Gulag Trek flick. I seem to watch these in the winter. Here's the trailer. You can find it with English subs on Youtube.

Russian movie with English subtitles: Penal battalion (Shtrafbat)

Another Russian War flick I watched. There's 11 episodes and the English translation a bit odd. They used an automated subtitles app but with movies like this you don't need much translation. Good series and interesting to see how Russian media viewed the War from today's perspective.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Demo-Tipps from Ernst Thälmann for Today

I showed friends attending demos today tipps from Ernst Thälmann in the DDR's classic Führer seiner Klasse "Ernst Thälmann" Thälmann depicted as a pretty snappy dresser in these films.

Spies Are Scum scene from "Spy Who Came in from the Cold"

One of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies. The shot on Civil Servants hurt a bit.

Gabbard and Kucinich to Syria

Looks like Congressman Kucinich tagged along with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard to Syria.  Al Nashra has them meeting Lebanon's General Abbas Ibrahim

This is a curious trip.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Trump Inauguration Protesters Work Hard For His Re-Election

Trump Inauguration Protesters Work Hard For His Re-Election: Protesters against Donald Trump's inauguration are putting forth their best effort to ensure that there will be a second Trump inauguration to protest.