Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
Chicago Local Elections Tomorrow!
Friday, February 23, 2007
Iran plans New Lesbos
Monday, February 19, 2007
Ferrari 599 GTB vs Carrera GT
I have to agree with the guys from the Autoblog that the Ferrari Enzo would be a better comparison. The Ferrari 599 may have more horsepower than the Porsche Carrera GT but the Carrera puts its power down so well partially because it is a mid-engined car, partially because it is a Porsche and partially because it is practically a race car. I have had occasion to get a ride in a Carrera GT on a race track and I have to state that I have never been in a quicker car. The fact that it is street legal is almost shocking.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Could This Possibly Be Legal? Chicago’s 46th Ward
Here in Chicago politics is a contact sport involving large contracts, lots of jobs, easy living and a lot of money. Among the most open practitioners of old style, smash-mouth Chicago politics still working in our fair town is hard-left Alderperson Helen Shiller. Ms. Shiller has been the target of some of our town’s finer journalists including the late, great Mike Royko and has lived to talk about it. It has been the opinion of many that Ms. Shiller has been able to stay in office through old-time vote stealing and voter roll-padding. It has not been a secret that during Ms. Shiller’s twenty-plus year tenure as Alderman that the ward government has encouraged the relocation of the state’s discharged psychiatric patients resulting in about 40% of the state’s psychiatric discharges ending up in the 46th Ward of Chicago. This in turn resulted in a large number of warehoused people and a large number of homeless shelters being set up in the ward. The warehoused people allow for easily induced voters, traditionally wine or currency, currently $5 seems to be the amount that we hear about as the cost of a vote. The homeless shelters allow for another type of vote fraud, phantom voters. Every homeless shelter in the 46th ward has voter registration numbers in the 95% to 100% range making those lost homeless people in Uptown among the best organized voters in the United States. The turnout from the shelters has also been well above any national average and has been rumored to be at nearly tyrant levels.
During the 1980s and into the 1990s Shiller was helped by her then sidekick Walter “Slim” Coleman, a Marxist hazard from Harvard who is now a Methodist Minister and is providing “sanctuary” to Elvira Arellano at his Aldalberto United Methodist Church here in Chicago. Slim helped Helen perfect the strong-arm fraudulent politics that has become the norm in the Uptown neighborhood. It really is a shame because the neighborhood has some very beautiful housing stock and it runs along the shore of Lake Michigan. Don’t even get me started on the confluence of gangs, heroin, shelters and the powers that be in Uptown. Let me put it this way, between McCormick Place and Waukegan, a distance of over 45 miles of lake shore the least expensive property near the lake is 7 ½ miles north of McCormick Place in Helen Shiller’s 46th ward. It has been common knowledge that for Uptown to get past its problems that there needs to be a political change in the 46th Ward.
Helen Shiller’s far left politics had her battling Mayor Daley early in his mayoral career; however Ms. Shiller has been co-opted by the Daley administration on a variety of fronts. For starters the Daley folks have gone after their foes in elections and Ms. Shiller has not been immune to those threats, especially as her ward has finally started to see some gentrification during the past decade; and of course there are the city contracts in each ward that every alderman has some say in. It is fair to say that even the leftist Helen Shiller is in the Daley camp and the mayor has endorsed her. For the first time in recent memory Shiller seems to have a serious challenger in James Cappleman and to the extent that you can get any news about a minor election this one is worth watching. For starters you have to take an occasional look at the hysterically named What the Helen blog that linked this afternoon to a post on the Buena Park Neighbors message board suggesting that Helen Shiller may be “campaigning” within 50 feet of a polling place, even if it is an “early voting” polling place I think that the same laws apply. The poster who witnessed what was likely a legal breach and inspired the title of this post also noticed some desperation in the Shiller campaign:
“My girlfriend and I went over to Truman to vote early for Cappleman, and guess who is wandering around the lobby just outside the voting area . . .The alderbeast herself Helen Shiller.
Then one of the poll watchers tells us Shiller was at her building earlier in the morning with doughnuts and coffee for the residents, while encouraging them to vote for her.
Talk about you desperate politician.
While we were voting there were only 5 people there and 4 of them were from my building and all voting for Cappleman, so I feel good about that.”
It is also worth noting that Alderman Shiller broke her contract with the League of Women Voters by using her campaign website and her official city website to link to a surreptitiously obtained video of a League debate. She claimed that she didn’t sign the contract or hear the spoken warnings before the debate and that her suit was at the cleaners, she got a flat tire, the sun was in her eyes… You get the idea. Anyways this should be an interesting race to watch and it looks like What the Helen will be a daily stop until after the elections. God help us if there is a recount.
Tancredo Should Try a Hookah
Hat Tip: Dr. Sanity and her Carnival of Insanities.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
This Autoblog post about a Tribalwar member named “Dweeb” shows his car (pictured above) frozen solid while parked near a burst water pipe. That photo reminded me of a funny story. I once lived a few doors down from the Chicago Fire House across from Wrigley Field; in the neighborhood many of us knew the firemen and some of us would use their Coke machine regularly. Well, I was over in the fire house one below zero day to get a Coke when the guys were just returning from a frozen run. While talking to the firemen about working in those frigid conditions one of them recalled another frozen car. This car was a brand new BMW that was parked in front of a fire hydrant and as you the reader can only guess there was a fire across the street from the hydrant on that below zero day. The commotion of the fire trucks and sirens did not alert the BMW owner to his peril so the firemen hooked up to the hydrant by breaking the driver and passenger windows and running their fire hose through the car. One of the guys made sure that the hose’s leak sprayed through the inside of the car. I must point out that the selfish BMW owner was endangering the firemen and all of the people living adjacent to the hydrant with his illegal choice of a parking spot. After several hours of fighting the fire in below zero temperatures it came time for the firemen to retrieve their hoses, not content to leave the BMW with a few broken windows and a ruined and iced-down interior one of the guys took his window shattering tool and hit the windshield. The tool that he used makes spider cracks form in glass so that the glass can be broken without shattering; this meant that if the BMW owner attempted to scrape the prodigious amount ice off of his windshield that his scraper would go right through the glass. The lesson here is not that firemen are assholes, again the ignorant BMW owner had endangered many lives with his selfish actions; the lesson is that you should never park in front of fire hydrants.
Q: FDR, JFK & Eric Cantor? A: They All “Get It”
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Is Obama an Al Queda Strategist?
Update: The title is a rhetorical question based on the fact that Senator Obama's "strategy" suggestion for the US is very similar, if not the same as that given to the US by al qaeda leaders during numerous threatening television broadcasts. It saddens me that so many of my fellow Chicagoans have been using the same rhetoric in regards to the Iraq war as used by the most despicable oppressors of my lifetime, the jihadists.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Federal Deficit Down 57% - New Math Confuses Media
Hat Tip: Instapundit
Monday, February 12, 2007
Geography Baseball at Sears School
While casting around for subjects to write about some time back I thought that I would write about a game that we played in Jr. High, Geography Baseball. I did the obligatory Google Search and was surprised to find that Geographybaseball.com exists and further that the proprietor of the site claims to have “invented” the game and has trademarked the name. I was a little shocked by that because the man who “invented” the game of Geography Baseball has been dead for some time now. The bio of the alleged “inventor” of the game,” Robert A. Pierce says that he started his teaching career in 1969. The Social Studies teacher I had during both seventh and eighth grade was the late Robert Karp and we played Geography Baseball during the ’71-‘72 and ’72-‘73 school years. Mr. Karp had been playing the game with his students at Joseph Sears School for over a decade by the time I came along. While searching for anything concerning Mr. Karp on the web I found that my Sears School classmate Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) (here’s Mark’s blog) had submitted Mr. Karp’s name as his most memorable teacher for the National Educational Association’s National Teacher Day last May. Mark’s quote is great:
"Mr. Karp invented 'Geography Baseball' and turned it into a right of passage in our town. We memorized the locations of Georgia (then in the Soviet Union), Goa (in India) and the Gobi desert (in China). It sparked an interest to see each of these places and to understand America's role in the world. I have seen each one and am now working to expand language and exchange opportunities for all American students. Mr. Karp has passed away, but I carried his legacy as a nursery school assistant, middle school teacher, and now as a congressman."
I’m glad that Mark got Mr. Karp’s name out onto the internet as the inventor of the game although it is probably something that Mr. Karp would not have taken credit for. Anyways, here is how we played the game Geography Baseball At Joseph Sears School starting sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s.
The game was played on Fridays in Mr. Karp’s classroom, the classroom contained large pull-down maps on three walls; all of the maps were pulled down on game day, after school and during lunch time for studying. Each class was divided into two evenly matched teams and each class was given two lists of geographical points (city, town, mountain, river…) and as the season progressed different classes got differing lists each week. The first list was for “Singles”, an obvious play on the “baseball” theme of the game and consisted of 50 relatively easy places to find on one of the maps. The second list contained 50 spots representing “Doubles”, another transparent riff on Major League Baseball and those were more difficult places. Both lists got more difficult during the two years that we played the game, some “Doubles” migrated to the “Singles” lists but both required study each week.
When the game started each team divided into sides of the classroom and sat according to the “order” that the week’s “manager” had written on their “scorecard” and turned in to the “Umpire”, “Commissioner” and all around Grand Poobah, Mr. Karp. It is worth noting that the randomness of baseball was introduced into the game by Mr. Karp through his “on the field rulings” that were often arbitrary; for instance one could be called out for touching the map too hard or by not touching the map and both were potentially arbitrary. Just like in the game of baseball the rulings sometimes stole a line smash.
To begin the game the “visitor” team would send their first “batter” to “the plate” by having that student walk up in front of the class and behind Mr. Karp’s desk. When the student was in the “batters box” Mr. Karp would ask a question from the singles list and the student had a limited amount of time to walk over to a map and point at the place in question. Another bit of randomness was that the better students had much less time on the easy ones. At that point the “batter” has a choice of taking “first base” or going back up to “the plate” to try their hand at the “doubles” list. The same rules applied to the doubles questions except that “rulings on the field” were likely to be even more stringent. I think that the player is out if the “doubles” attempt is a failure. If the “batter” is successful at “the plate” again the student has another choice of taking second or attempting a “triple”. A “triple” could be attained by standing in front of the classroom and accurately reciting a report on a current event without verbally stumbling. The “Homerun” consisted of bizarrely out of the way spots that were both obscure and difficult to find on a map, these “homeruns” came from a “secret list”, parts of which were occasionally “left” on Mr. Karp’s desk so that we could see what we were up against. Naturally the normal rules of baseball applied as far as advancing runners, scoring runs, outs per side and the number of “innings”.
Mark was correct to describe Geography Baseball was a right of passage in our town and frankly a pretty good one. The game made the rather dull task of memorizing geographic locales and turned it into a game that also included socializing as part of the studying process (all of us had an atlas but none of us had pull-down maps at home) and even included some public speaking. The game was eventually discontinued at Joseph Sears due to the complaints of some vocal parents that their children were spending too much time preparing for geography. Years later many of us learned that Mr. Karp had been a fighter pilot in the Pacific during World War II, that tidbit explained why we all had to know the name of damn near every island and atoll in that ocean. Flying Debris referred to Mr. Robert Karp here.
As to the gentleman who has trademarked the game I must ask you to take care of the game that so many of us played years ago, it is a great game and motivator.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Barack Obama – The Audacity of BS II
“The President told the American people about Iraqi attempts to acquire yellow cake during the State of the Union. The Vice-President made statements on national television expressing certainty about Iraq's nuclear weapons programs. Secretary Rice used the words "mushroom cloud" over and over again.
We know now that even at the time these unequivocal statements were made, intelligence assessments existed that contradicted these claims. Analysis from the CIA and State Department was summarily dismissed when it did not help the Administration make the case for war.”
That nonsense comes from none other than the thoroughly discredited Joe Wilson, a prevaricator of little skill. The assertions that Mr. Obama passed on had been thoroughly debunked by a report from the US Senate that was made public over sixteen months earlier. Heck that news was even in the Washington Post. The Post wrote that “(t)he panel found that Wilson's report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts.” Flying Debris recently commented on this Joe Wilson nonsense in I Am Not Dick Cheney; in that post a troll was asked:
“Do you realize that those who have promoted this Wilson story, both inside and outside of the CIA have been promoting the idea that unelected employees of the Federal government have every right to use their positions to undermine the elected government of the United States?Do you realize that this form of fascism is being promoted largely by those who describe their political opponents as fascists and worse every day?”
Hysterically just four paragraphs before that dishonest assertion Senator Obama stated that “(t)his political war - a war of talking points and Sunday news shows and spin - is not one I'm interested in joining. It's a divisive approach that only pushes us further from what the American people actually want - a pragmatic solution to the real war we're facing in Iraq.” Four paragraphs later he lays on the bs that had been publicly debunked over sixteen months before his speech. Senator you have not simply joined the “war of talking points” you have become just another Sherpa of bs.
Barack Obama – The Audacity of BS
What Mr. Howard may not realize is that Senator Obama would have the US bugging out of Iraq already; during a November 2005 speech to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations the Senator stated “(f)irst and foremost, after the December 15 elections and during the course of next year, we need to focus our attention on how reduce the U.S. military footprint in Iraq.” At a repeat appearance at the freshly renamed Chicago Council on Global Affairs the Senator called for the US to commence withdrawing from Iraq this year. Then during the announcement of his Presidential candidacy Senator Obama said “(t)hat's why I have a plan that will bring our combat troops home by March of 2008.”
Yesterday Senator Obama told Al Qaeda in Iraq that if they can just hold out for another thirteen months while continuing to light off a few bombs every day or so that they are largely home free. He also told the people in Iraq who have been fighting against the forces of tyranny that their efforts will be for naught thirteen months from now if he gets his way. He has told the Iraqis who are fighting for their liberty that he will support those who want to kill them. Senator Obama is smart enough to not phrase his ideas in that way but I would bet Dinars to Dollars that the Iraqi people are smart enough to know what the Senator actually said.
I owe a big hat tip to the Gateway Pundit, who wrote a typically great piece on PM Howard’s comments and posted it at some ungodly hour this morning.
Update: While doing some research for this post I ran across some more Obama bs that that should not be left uncommented on. It seems that Mr. Obama has taken to passing on at least one moonbat conspiracy theory; but he sounds so wonderful while telling fables that it just makes one want to swoon.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
BBS Wheels In Bankruptcy?
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
KOS Says “Screw Them!” - Sue Them!
I Am Not Dick Cheney!
Do you realize that crucial accusations made by Joe Wilson were shown to be lies in his own Senate testimony* and that of his CIA “superiors” and his own wife?
Do you realize how unusual it is for a citizen to be sent on such a mission by the CIA without having to sign a silencing agreement?
Do you realize that the CIA authorized Mr. Wilson’s NY Times piece while knowing, as later Senate testimony has shown, that the central tenet of the piece was a lie? Mr. Wilson’s CIA controller testified under oath that the Wilson trip helped to solidify the argument that the Iraqi government was seeking yellow cake (a partially processed form of uranium) from Niger. Not the other way around as Mr. Wilson wrote at the time and has blathered on about for years.
Do you realize that Mr. Wilson’s testimony only came to light due the Republican Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan) who inserted the testimony into the Appendix over the objections of the Committee’s Democrats? The evenly split Intelligence Committee voted straight party lines on whether or not to release Mr. Wilson’s testimony, thus the only way that it saw the light of day was the insistence of the Republican Chairman. Did you know this?
Do you realize that Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush were elected?
Do you realize that nobody at the CIA holds elected office?
Do you realize that those who have promoted this Wilson story, both inside and outside of the CIA have been promoting the idea that unelected employees of the Federal government have every right to use their positions to undermine the elected government of the United States?
Do you realize that this form of fascism is being promoted largely by those who describe their political opponents as fascists and worse every day?
As to Scooter Libby, if he lied to Fitzgerald they will likely get him. However the idea that Executive branch does not have the right to defend itself from baseless and false public claims made by federal employees who hide behind the skirt of a possibly rouge agency is ridiculous. It has the obligation to defend itself from such attacks.
For those who are interested in finding out what Mr. Wilson and his CIA handler said under oath rather than what Mr. Wilson has said in public see here, here, here, and here. There is of course, more where those came from.
Ever since the NY Times published Mr. Wilson’s article I have wondered aloud why the CIA sent an middle aged white guy to the African nation of Niger, don’t they have any black guys?
* The link to the Senate version of Mr. Wilson’s testimony is missing now that the Democrats are in control of the Senate, culture of corruption indeed.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Clinton on Toyota: “Obscene Profits Should Pay for Alt-Fuels”
The above is Satire! I Hope!
Debate? We Don’t Need No Stinking Debate!
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Is Jessica Erin’s Song the New Bear Fight Song?
Saturday, February 03, 2007
The Chicago Bear Defense
Chicago Bear Fans!
The Chicago Bears – NFC Champions
The above photo was taken during the NFC Championship Game two weeks ago and shows what Bear fans live for, defensive victories. An intentional grounding penalty on the Saints occurred in their own end zone resulting in a safety. For us Bear fans a safety would be far superior to a touchdown if it weren’t for the five extra points that a touchdown gives you. People in this town still speak in awe of middle linebacker Dick Butkus, with good reason. The last Bear championship team, the 1985 team was a defensive juggernaut led former Bear tight-end and then Coach Mike Ditka, the last hire of George S. Halas Sr. (whose birthday was yesterday). I recall a sports crazed New York friend of mine commenting at the time that really “Ditka is the Bears” My response was that “no, Butkus is the Bears.” So it was with Chicago’s love of defensive prowess this year, the Bear’s starting quarterback has been Rex Grossman, a guy who has been up and down during his first full season. During Grossman’s struggles the Bears relied on the defense and frankly some pretty good luck to continue their winning ways. That incredible Bear defense that seemed to rest a bit during some of the later half of the season has shown up during the postseason. The Vegas line immediately established the Colts as 7 point favorites, a fact that warmed the cold hearts of Bear fans everywhere. This Bear team, especially the defense, thrives at being the underdog and we Bear fans know it. Go Bears!