Chicago trader, car nut, sports fan and political junkie. "Flying Debris" refers to warning signs behind the staging areas at drag strips. I happen to enjoy the sign reading "Caution Flying Debris Please Stand To The Right". Others may take amusement and solace in the sign over on the left side of the drag strip. Please don't look for much (if any) quarter mile blogging.
If these reports are to be believed, and I currently see no reason that they should not be, one should wonder if the anti-American loser in question is a friend of Ellen of Ellen's Tenth... The man in question is a Chicago lawyer named Jay Grodner who has an office in Ellen's hometown of Deerfield, IL. Grodner & Assoc. has a Chicago phone number (available on Google) that has been disconnected so this creepy little man could not be reached for comment. In the past hour this goof has also taken down his law firm's web sites (unless it was hacked, which I doubt, after all there is no humor on the site, it is just gone) however here is a cached version of one of the sites.
Jay Grodner of Grodner Assoc. has been accused of vandalizing the car of an Illinois Marine who had Illinois license plates on his car that celebrate the military. This, ahem, adult "keyed" the Marines car, meaning that the pig has been accused of scraping his key along the side of Sgt. Mike McNulty's, car causing $2400 worth of damage. Grodner, a contemptible loser has said that he might pay the $100 deductible. This man went to law school? What kind of crap education did he receive? Hey Pythagoras, do you think that McNulty's insurance company would be okay with paying for your criminality? Sheesh!
Hey Ellen, what do you have to say about your fellow Traveler?
Mr. Grodner, not only am I only starting to write about your sorry ass but I come from a family of lawyers, meaning that I get free legal advice.
Democratic congressional primary candidate Dan Seals has an interesting sentence in his silly e-mail that I missed when I first read his note. One paragraph begins with "Our Congressman, Mark Kirk...", that is amazing. Dan Seals' congressperson is Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), a notoriously wacky and shrill loudmouth who is hard to miss. Why is Dan Seals lying to his potential constituents before he has even won the primary?
I have talked to some Ron Paul supporters and some left-wing Democrats lately who seem to think that a commodity based currency is preferable to our current state of free-floating exchange rates. The argument against the most popular plan, a Gold Standard (or a Silver Standard) is simple enough to be a bumper-sticker; America's wealth comes from the minds of Americans, not from the ground of America. That is not completely true, we certainly sell base commodities across the globe. Yet most of our wealth has been and will continue to be derived from further processing commodities at all levels and from the amorphous intellectual properties that spring from the minds of so many Americans.
The Gold Standard was a real bonus for America during the decade following the 1848 discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, Ca. The more gold that was dug out of the ground the wealthier America was in comparison to other nations. This episode ended with the Panic of 1857 that was exacerbated by the sinking of the "Gold Ship", the SS Central America, a ship sinking that cost America 30,000 lbs. of gold worth of wealth. In all fairness concerning the 1857 Panic, the end of the Crimean War and the end of the concurrent speculative excesses set off the economic turmoil. The collapse in grain prices spread the pain throughout our then rural economy.
As a local aside the Crimean War and the American Civil War were very important factors in turning the Chicago Board of Trade from largely a local business organization to a local business organization that also featured grain trading (later to exclusively feature grain trading and then, over a century later, financial futures). The need for grain during those two wars combined with Chicago's location as the terminus of the growing railroads that reached out onto the plains and it's home on the edge of the Great Lakes turned the Chicago River in what is now downtown Chicago into the world's grocery store.
This post only touches on the problems of a commodity based currency but it does feature a central argument, that we no longer dig our wealth from the ground.
Long time Chicago Tribune columnist Terry Armour died at age 46 on Friday. My prayers are with him and his family. I am lucky enough to have met him and he was a very good guy, I was also in his sports page column once in 1993.
An odd title indeed but there it is. I know a college professor who is a Jesuit Priest. The man speaks more than a handful of languages, he has worked out of the Vatican during various times and during one of those Roman stints was as a member of some sort of crack exorcism team. I was reminded of him while reading this article reporting that the Vatican has ordered Bishops to set up their own exorcism squads to combat satanism.
My friend was very closed mouth about it but did admit to participating in a number of exorcisms in Africa during the '70s. All that he would say about participating in exorcisms was that he had witnessed things that he never believed possible but that he would not say anything more. When asked if the Linda Blair portrayal from the Exorcist was accurate he just repeated that he had seen things that he didn't believe possible.
Update: UPI has reported that the Vatican is denying any expansion of the exorcist corps.
As Flying Debris mentioned in this post, candidate for the Democratic nomination for the Illinois 10th US Congressional District Dan Seals really doesn't get it. Earmarks were last year's Democratic issue, to be used during the campaign that Mr. Seals lost last year. As TA from Team America's Tenth District Blog pointed out in this excellent post over 71% of the dollars that Mr. Seals is complaining about in the e-mail below is for a Veterans Hospital in the 10th District. This is a sentence that I find amazing, "(a)gain, I am sure that there are good projects in there." As TA points out in the post linked to above, it's part of the public record, and come on, Seals hasn't worked in years, you would think that he'd have learned how to use that Google thingy by now.
It's that time of year again. The snow is on the ground, the holiday spirit is in the air, and the gift-giving is underway.
And nowhere is this gift-giving more apparent than Congress' most recent spending bill, which gave billions of dollars in pork to the big special interests and lumps of coal to our children, grandchildren, and future generations to come.
That's right. Just this week, Congress sent a spending bill to the president that contained a side-splitting 9,000 earmarks, pet projects of individual members of Congress that are slipped into legislation at the last minute, financed with taxpayer money, and never debated or scrutinized before being signed into law. Given that we as a nation are already in debt, future taxpayers, like my kids, will pick up the bill.
Some of these earmarks surely go to good projects.But too many of them don't.The problem is that the process of earmarking doesn't give us any way to tell. That's because the decisions about what gets funded and what doesn't get made behind closed doors and without debate.That is an invitation for waste and abuse.
The Democrats that took control of Congress in 2006 point out that they have taken steps to reform this process.They have not gone far enough. The system of earmarks should end.9000 earmarks isn't a victory for anyone, but it is a definite loss for the taxpayer.I can think of no good reason why we should continue supporting a system that encourages waste and abuse.
Our Congressman, Mark Kirk, can apparently think of 140 million reasons.He asked Congress for a staggering $140 million in pet projects to be funded by taxpayer dollars. Again, I'm sure there are some good projects in there.But if so, why not bring them into the light and have them voted on?The only one who has anything to lose is the project that shouldn't receive any funding in the first place. And that's the way it should be.But this is Congress, where it is better to take than to give.It's one more reason why we need a change in Congress.
Thanks to a local blogger for passing on the Seals e-mail, the mystery blogger desires anonymity, I think.
Where do the Democrats find these people? Buried in the latest defense bill is an obscure provision giving American lawyers the ability to sue the current Iraqi government for the actions of the last Iraqi government. This disgrace was inserted into the bill by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).
Here is what the disingenuous Lautenberg said about his effort to use the blood of American soldiers to help major Democratic donors, he said that the insertion would allow "American victims of terror to hold perpetrators accountable — plain and simple." Let me be plain and simple for you and your fellow party members Mr. Senator, you jerks have spent the last five years telling the world that Sadam was not a terror threat. Today you want to take more from the Iraqi people by holding some of the victims of Sadam's terror regime hostage to other victims of Sadam's terror regime.
These Youtube videos contain some good and interesting analysis from two political veterans who are involved with the PR giant Edelman. Toby Moffett and Tony Blankley represent the Democrats and the Republicans respectively. This appears to be a weekly endeavour and at this early juncture both Toby and Tony appear to be way too even keeled to really go after one another but remember the election isn't until next November. This enterprise may take a few afternoons at McCormick & Schmick's on K Street during the next 43 weeks but I hope that they keep it up, the first two editions of T&T are pretty good.
I have been out of commission for a few days, laid low by a stomach virus that I would wish on nobody, not even Ellen of Ellen's Tenth... However I must comment on the Christmas Eve dinners that I have attended for the last two years. One life-long friend of some in-laws has brought along two borders from Baghdad whom she has put up while they study medicine in Chicago. Last year she brought along a medical doctor who is now doing research in St. Louis, this year she brought his younger brother who is studying dentistry here in Chicago.
The last two holiday dinners have been a fascinating study on how to avoid the 800 pond gorilla in the room by a few folks afflicted with BDS. As the only family member who is part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" I have always gotten along with those Iraqis very well, not only are they both great guys but we seem to understand what is at stake in this world and we understand freedom. It may be that over the years I have known scores of people who came from tyrannical regimes, whether it was a college roommate whose family left Cuba or a fellow exchange member who watched family members shot in Cambodia before his mother carried him to Thailand, there is even an old family friend whose mother carried her for three weeks to the American Zone in what would later become (the former) West Germany. Those people all have harrowing tales of their and their family's search for freedom.
Last year's dinner saw a few liberal memes exploded. Last year our Baghdadi doctor was asked whether it was the American invasion that drove a wedge between the Sunnis and the Shiites, "didn't they get along before the invasion?" That question elicited laughter from the doctor. The doctor was also adamant that America had done the right thing in invading Iraq despite the incredible hardships then faced by his family. Although not a particular hardship he did tell a story that related how society was then still fragmented; to get Fed-Ex packages to his Baghdadi family the packages were addressed to random street corners in Baghdad and a member of his family would meet the driver to sign for the package. For months they didn't trust the driver, apparently there had been robbery problems and worse with deliveries in Iraq. Our doctor friend stressed that people from all levels of Fed-Ex had been very helpful with their deliveries and that they later became very appreciative of the Fed-Ex drivers they got to know.
This year our dentist friend told how much things had gotten better in Baghdad and Iraq since the surge had started, things like deliveries are no longer a problem. Like his brother last year he was very excited about and appreciative for the help that America has given to his nation and about the possibilities that the future holds for his nation. As our friend started to expound on the changes in Baghdad and the success of the surge a few in the room started to comment on how terrible it has been that Bush didn't appoint General Petraeus in the very beginning. Our guest is not up on American domestic politics so I had to pipe up that "Lincoln went through a few Generals before finding U.S. Grant, didn't he?" Our dentist friend later asked me about what I had said about Lincoln and was happy to hear that there is such a great example of a parallel in American history that concerns the revered Lincoln; it makes for good rhetoric and it changed the conversation back to Baghdad on a dime.
Bottom line is that our family's Muslim Christmas Eve guests have been very appreciative of the sacrifices that America has gone through to help their nation during the past nearly five years.
My opponent, Dan Seals has run for congress in the Illinois 10th once already but he continues to show that he doesn't understand the district. That is no surprise, the man has never lived in the 10th district. He has also shown that he may not be up to speed on American politics. According to 10th district blogger TA at Team America's Tenth District Blog, Mr. Seals has been sending out e-mails decrying the use of earmarks in the latest budget passed by the House. Somebody should probably tell Mr. Seals that the Republican Party is no longer running the US House of Representatives, that of course means that Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) is not in a leadership position that could put a stop to earmark abuse. The use of earmarks was a Democratic strategic argument during the last election, the one that Mr. Seals lost. Thus it is more than a little strange that he would try that strategy again, especially when the Democratic Party leaders are to blame for any earmarks in this budget. Mr. Seals is running as a Democrat.
It is noticeable that the earmark system has become much more opaque since the Democratic takeover of Congress just 12 months ago. Many of the commenters at Team America's Tenth... have taken Mr. Seals to task for stating that he would have voted against the earmarks that represent needed projects for the Tenth District. But seriously folks, why the heck should Dan Seals care? He lives in Janice Schakowsky's district.
TA rightly recalls that Rep. Kirk helped to kill the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" that Flying Debris commented on here after finding that Dan Seals' biggest supporter, Ellen Beth Gill of Ellen's Tenth District Blog had taken Rep. Kirk to task for cutting off that pork-barrel project in an inane post titled "Imagine No Way to Get to O'Hare". Because Ms. Gill was so confused about O'Hare, Flying Debris wrote the following in order to help Ms. Gill understand the Chicago are economy:
As a friendly note to Ms. Gill; O'Hare is a serious piece of infrastructure that affects millions of people in the tri-state area and around the nation; and I'm not even talking about the air travelers. To see an example of O'Hare's importance to the non-traveler Ms. Gill and her cohorts may want to take a drive along the southern boundary of O'Hare Airport. Drive down Irving Park Road west of Narraganset and take a look (to the north) at the traffic coming out of the O'Hare shipping terminal. For some further education they should trail some of those trucks that leave O'Hare and follow them down to the Joliet area, a booming trans-shipment are for the entire Midwest. It could be an educational field trip of sorts. Then they could try the same exercise in Ketchikan, the amount of industry that is reliant on air transport is underwhelming and it is hard to imagine the industry that would rush to take advantage of easier access to the Ketchikam airport other than tourism. I guess that somebody has to stick up for the wealthy fishermen of the 10th district and their desire to catch (non Lake Michigan) salmon and Ms. Gill fits the bill.
...and boy does he fit the mold. A mutual friend informed me that the guy had become a "substantial" fund raiser for America's Crazy Uncle, Ron Paul. This should not have taken me by surprise but I didn't realize that the guy in question was at all political. The news should not have taken me by surprise because although the man is a nice guy and I enjoy his company he can be a nutcase. Although I could write an entire post on his foolish actions I will only mention one eight day period, on one Friday afternoon he was arrested for public drunkenness after throwing-up on a Chicago Policewoman at the Taste of Chicago, the following Friday afternoon he was arrested for exposing himself on the EL after leaving the Taste of Chicago. Obviously beer was involved. As mentioned above I could go on and I could even include funny photos but I believe that the above eight days should suffice.
When our mutual friend was telling me that news on the trading floor a guy with a Ron Paul button overheard us and started going on about how Ron Paul was going to set us free or some such nonsense. However the kicker was when he announced with a flourish that when Ron Paul "gets elected" that they will "blow-up that building across the street!" Well the building across the street from the Chicago Board of Trade is the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (I don't think that he was referring to the Union League Club of Chicago) and he wants it blown up because Ron Paul and his supporters have been advocating junking the Federal Reserve System and going on some sort of gold standard. The Ron Paul supporter went on to say that "they have been ripping us off!" The gold standard is something that must make sense to economically unsophisticated people as those are the only ones who seem to advocate it. I have yet to meet a Ron Paul supporter whom I could respect but maybe there is one out there.
Well, I got that headline wrong, or did I? The lame and often juvenile Time Magazine named Vladamir Putin as their Person of the Year. They screwed up, General Petraeus was the Real Man of the Year, along with his troops. What Time and their ilk have missed is the fact that much of human history has been spent fighting against tyranny of one sort or another. 1776 was, up to that time, the very high-water mark for freedom, ever. This fight against tyranny is still taking place today, everywhere from Saigon to Baghdad to Tehran to America's Democratic Party.
In light of this fight against tyranny Time Magazine has decided that the most important man of the last year was one who expanded tyranny rather General Petraeus, the man who has led a force that has heroically fought against tyranny and currently has tyranny on the run. I guess that I should thank Time for regularly reminding me why I stopped reading their silly magazine back in high school.
Illinois Senator and Presidential Candidate Barack Obama (D-IL) has continued his alliance with Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who recently testified in an outrageous lawsuit that centers on his actions while working at his family's business, the Broadway Bank here in Chicago. Mr. Giannoulias represented the bank five years ago as they made a $1 million loan to a woman in her 80s who could not fill out the loan agreement, in Mr. Giannoulias' own words she could not afford the loan that was co-signed by felons with convictions for bookmaking, prostitution and get this, bank fraud. This case was known during both the 2006 regular election and the primary election, despite knowledge of this outrage Senator Obama chose to put his own "rock star" name behind the candidacy of Mr. Giannoulias and frankly that endorsement is why Alexi was elected.
Mr. Giannoulias' family bank the Broadway Bank in Chicago made a $1 million loan to an 83 year-old woman who could not fill out the loan form and who was brought to the bank by two felons and another person. One of those men had twice been convicted of bank fraud. Mr. Giannoulias admits that he knew that the felons were involved and that in his own words "I'm not sure it would be a prudent loan." Well sure, the loan payments were $9,845 per month while the bank's own loan documents show that Ms. Billings had an income of about $10,000 per month.
This is an outrage because Mr. Giannoulias helped to facilitate the fleecing of an older woman and now his family bank is suing to take the woman's home. Additionally Mr. Giannoulias testified in court that he did not remember many of the issues surrounding the loan. So he doesn't remember anything about two felons and an elderly woman who couldn't fill out the loan forms who borrowed $1 million from his family bank. His testimony begs the question, is the guy incompetent or did he perjure himself? It also begs the question, what the heck kind of Community Banking is his family involved in? This case has been publicly known and the local media has largely ignored the issue and they have also ignored the involvement of Barack Obama in this man's career. What the heck is Senator Obama doing? Just this week the Obama campaign has continued to align itself with a man involved in that mortgage scam by featuring Mr. Giannoulias at the hometown Chicago campaign headquarters ("Chicago Volunteer Headquarters") in what the Chicagoist ironically described as "celebrity phonebanking" for the next few evenings.
The Granny-Grifter will be at Obama's "Chicago Volunteer Headquarters" Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and in another ironic use of the term "celebrity Phonebanking" Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) will join Giannoulias on Wednesday evening. The irony comes from the fact that during the months preceding Ms. Schakowsky's initial primary run to replace retiring twenty-four term congressman Sidney Yates her husband, Bob Creamer committed a massive check-kiting fraud that used multiple banks in three states in order to keep his salary as the head of a charity intact. Anne at the Backyard Conservative summed up Rep. Schakowsky pretty well just the other day.
This should be outrageous to anybody who has dealt with elderly family members, imagine if your mother or your grandmother was the victim of this scam involving mobsters and a politician. Barack Obama is just another part of the crooked Democratic scam politics that is Chicago. Obama Still Allied With Granny Grifter Part II.
EL Rider Confronts Speculation - Hat In Ring for 10th District Run
After weeks of speculation (all of it unwritten and unspoken) that I, the EL Rider, would run for the United States Congress in the upcoming election, I have decided to end the guessing game. I will run as a write-in candidate for the Democratic nomination for the Illinois Tenth District seat in the United States House of Representatives. This will likely come as a shock to my two opponents who thought that they only had each other to worry about; now they have to worry about history. I will run on the John F. Kennedy platform from 1960, lower taxes and strong national defense. Oddly that platform would make my opponents some sort of two-headed Nixon.
Some would say that I cannot run for that seat because I live outside of the district, poppycock I say. Of my opponents only Jay Footlick actually has a residence in the district, he rented a pied-a-district last July and my other opponent Dan Seals has never lived in the district. However, it should be noted that both have dined in the district. On the other hand, like the sitting Republican Congressman Mark Kirk I grew up in the district and have played on ball fields up and down the length and breadth of the 10th district. Further I have been gainfully employed in Chicago during the past three years and for decades before that, something neither of my opponents could honestly state.
As a nod to the Clinton campaign of 1992 my campaign committee has been organized in the manner of a "war room" (the term is also used in the trading business) but it will be referred to as the "war room without Carville or Stephanopoulos" or WRWCoS for short. The WRWCoS has advised me that although I currently live in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park, one if the many diverse Chicago neighborhoods that made up the "Seals Coalition" during the last election, that I should consider moving into the 10th district. Some (well, one) have suggested that I move back in with my mother, who lives in the district (thanks Mom) but I have decided to put down more permanent roots. So later this week I will be looking at an apartment above the Glenview House, I plan to sign a one year lease on my own pied-a-district that will terminate months after Mr. Footlick's lease. As a big nod to the personal life and career of Democratic Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts I will also be on the, er, lookout for one of those super-rich North Shore divorcees to shack-up with.
As a further tribute to the Clinton campaign of 1992 I will effectively refuse to release any tax returns or any information concerning any futures or option trades that I may or may not have placed at any time until well after any election that I may win. I will however state here and now that I have not traded any cattle futures during this century. If pressed I will offer access to "original trading records", that's right, "original", meaning the paper that I scribble on. I am legally required to keep those records for five years and the first ones that I would find today would be from the fall of 2002. Thank you Mrs. Clinton. I'd like to give another shout out to former Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO, Democratic Senator and current New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine who has inspired me to state unequivocally that I will make no statements concerning any corporations, partnerships, holdings or hedge fund interests that I may own or may be partner to. Thank you Mr. Governor and best wishes with the recovery, I know how bad the cold weather can be to bone injuries, my prayers are with you.
Some have asked, "hey EL Rider, why didn't you just turn in petitions like everybody else?" That is a great question and frankly the answer doesn't make my faith in the WRWCoS look very well placed; they ordered the phone books for Lake County, Indiana. The WRWCoS had planned on using the popular "Link Method" of sequential petition listing. At the last minute we had to regroup and run as a write in, something that Lake County Democratic Party Chairman Terry Link nearly had to do. Later events showed that certain bloggers are starting to catch on to this popular ruse, so maybe the error was a blessing.
As an attempt to not alienate or offend anybody I promise that I will not speak any language other than English. I am Irish Catholic but I swear that I will not send out any pamphlets containing anything written in Gaelic or any images of Irish people drinking beer on St. Patrick's Day.
To my two opponents I say, more to follow.
El Rider For Congress - I Don't Live There Either!
Sunday Porsche Blogging: the $1600 Porsche Phone, Is There No Substitute?
Well not to be outdone by Apple, Porsche Design has come out with a Porsche cell phone. Sadly this follows the Ferrari cell phone. Currently available in Germany, Britain and Dubai the $1600 Porsche flip phone (with camera phone and a 3-speaker MP3 player) will be available here in the US sometime next year. Will it clash with Paris' Bentley? Only time will tell. If you were diligent I bet that you could find a decent and drivable Porsche 924 automobile for the price of that cell phone. Sure you would have to put up with some indignities and at some undetermined point in the future the car would present you with a bill exceeding it's value but you can't drive Lake Shore Drive in a cell phone.
Porsche Design is not part of the automobile company although it offers products through Porsche and it's dealerships. Porsche Design was formed by 911 designer and grandson of the company's founder Butzi Porsche after the family decided to remove themselves from the management structure of the automobile and engineering company in the early 1970s. However Porsche Motorsports may want to supply this latest bit of Porsche gadgetry to their racers at circuits like Le Mans. Flying Debris noted while live-blogging the 2006 Le Mans 24 Hour race that when a class leading Porsche 911 GT3R broke down at Arnage the driver did not have a cell phone to communicate with his pit, possibly costing him the lead: "(t)hey also said that the driver was not carrying a cell phone. Yep, spend $1 million plus and get stuck on the circuit without a device that is given away for free."
Well Vodaphone and others will not be giving away the pricey Porsche phone for free but I am sure that the driver in question would have gladly paid $1600 for the use of a cell phone while surveying the beautiful French countryside at Arnage and watching the previously lapped Panoz repeatedly pass him by. Here is a video from Arnage at 3 AM during last summer's race:
I try not to wander over to the pit of ignorance that is Ellen's Tenth... due to the fact that like petulant, spoiled third-graders they bring nothing to the table. Well the head dip Ellen Beth Gill has another in what must be an unending string of boring posts that blame Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) for everything bad that has ever happened to anybody Ellen has ever met, and her psoriasis. Only joking about the possible psoriasis, that may be the one thing that Ellen has not blamed on Congressman Kirk.
How many people should die in order for some of our fellow countrymen to not feel any discomfort? Would the allegedly virtuous among us trade the lives of the murdered Cantor Fitzgerald employees in order to make themselves feel better about themselves? How about the murdered employees of Marsh McLennan? How about the murdered employees of AON Insurance? How about the lives of the WTC janitors and support staff? How about the lives of all of those courageous firemen? How about the lives of the murdered Pentagon employees?
In that post I stated that the strange Democratic leader Harry Reid supported protecting those who would murder Americans in order to make himself and his fellow travelers feel more righteous about themselves. I guess that Ellen and her crew have been feeling a wee bit down about themselves lately (well, not just lately) and they need to buck themselves up by supporting terrorists. Lovely people.
While reading the drivel that passes for insight up in Ellen's hell it struck me that those folks have absolutely no clue concerning strategy of any sort. Not really a shock but notable. What are those people willing to do to protect Americans? Well, if we catch the culprits after they kill Americans the Democrats may be willing to make you pay for the terrorist's lawyers. Are they willing to make a terrorist uncomfortable for 35 seconds? No. Screw you. And screw yours.
Last week I wrote a few posts on the disgraceful Democratic Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias who ripped off an 83 year-old woman who did not qualify financially for the $1 million mortgage (as he admitted under cross examination), could not fill out a mortgage application while using a mortgage scam run through his family bank with the help of convicted mobsters. The mobsters have felony records including bookmaking, prostitution and one of them had been convicted twice of bank fraud. Mr. Giannoulias claimed "I know nothing" repeatedly in court. That strains credibility unless the Broadway Bank of Chicago is in the business of making loans to 83 year-old ladies and their mobbed-up associates in order to perpetrate frauds. Additionally the pompous Mr. Giannoulias was elected with the help of "squeaky clean" Barack Obama. Where is Ellen when her friends, with the help of their mob associates are ripping off senior citizens with mortgage scams and getting elected to public office with the help of Barack Obama? The last linked post even includes a Barack Obama commercial for the mortgage scam artist. Where is Ellen? Nowhere, that's where she is, nowhere.
She's a real nowhere girl Living in her nowhere world Making all her nowhere plans For nobody
But I digress. This is the Democratic world in a nutshell: they will endanger your life and the lives of your friends and relatives so that they don't have to accept the world as it is. That might shatter their carefully crafted world of delusion. They live in a fantasy world where everything is wonderful except for that evil Bush (Kirk) who brought all of this Islamo-fascism to the world. If it weren't for Bush (Kirk) those jihadists would be making beautiful rugs for orphanages around this wonderful world of ours. Additionally the mortgage problems that we have been experiencing during the last year are the fault of Bush (Kirk). You know, he (they) own(s) property so it must be his (their) fault. The mortgage problems really, really, really have nothing to do with mortgage scams and frauds run by Democratic leaders. Heaven Forbid.
So I was working here on my computer when the shuffle on my iTunes came up Blues Brothers so I figured that I would take a break and search YouTube for Blues Brothers videos. This is what I came across, James Brown, er, the Reverend Cleotis James showing Jake the light and singing about the jingle-jangle of a thousand lost souls.
10th District Democrat Let Fingers Do Walking on Fraudulent Petitions
The good folks working with TA up at the Team America's Tenth District Blog earlier uncovered numerous dead signatories to the nominating petitions of Illinois State Senator Terry Link, the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Lake County, Illinois. Well they have outdone themselves with their investigation of Mr. Link's petitions by noticing that the names were apparently copied out of the phone book and the signatures allegedly forged. It was not immediately noticeable due to the fact that the petitions show the first name first, however they have compiled a long list of pages that list the last names alphabetically or in reverse-alphabetical order (TA charitably calls the later "sneaky"). They have found people with only a first initial listed in the phone book who's petition entry contains only the same first initial, TA's group contacted some of them who claimed to never sign anything with just the first initial. They found other instances in which those telephone customers were listed on the nominating petition with incorrect names that start with the correct initial. In spite of all of that I have to agree with TA that the following pretty much closes the deal:
Aritha Walker (sheet 41, line 23) is listed as living at 245 Jackson, in North Chicago. Aritha lives on Jackson, but at a different street number. "245" is April Walker's house number at a completely different street in Mundelein. April Walker is the entry in the phone book immediately above Aritha Walker.
All of us who appreciate honest elections and honest campaigning owe a thanks to TA and his mystery sleuths. Considering all of the talk I hear from the Obama campaign on new ways to "do" politics I'm sure that former Illinois State Senator Barack Obama would also appreciate their work.
They have done a heck of a great job ruining the Chicago Transit Authority so now they have turned to Metra, Chicago's local commuter rail service. Suburban Republican Congressman Mark Kirk (US 10th) had this to say: "(t)he bottom line is this: California, Florida [and] Texas do not suffer from this kind of political gridlock," Kirk said. "Our inaction in Springfield could lead to a huge windfall for other states."
The congressman's statement pretty much says it all about our state, the political gridlock is the Democratic Party.
How many people should die in order for some of our fellow countrymen to not feel any discomfort? Would the allegedly virtuous among us trade the lives of the murdered Cantor Fitzgerald employees in order to make themselves feel better about themselves? How about the murdered employees of Marsh McLennan? How about the murdered employees of AON Insurance? How about the lives of the WTC janitors and support staff? How about the lives of all of those courageous firemen? How about the lives of the murdered Pentagon employees?
We now know that at our nation has used "waterboarding" on all of three al qada terrorist leaders and that the technique was successful 100% of the time. We further know that Abu Zubaida cracked after 35 seconds. The technique was used on that terrorist for all of 35 seconds, lo and behold the next day he told his interrogators that Allah had visited him and told him to cooperate. They did not use the waterboarding technique on that al qada leader for extended periods as has been demonstrated by various liberal groups here in the US.
So that's what our nation did, made some terrorist uncomfortable for 35 seconds, 35 seconds. Let me repeat that, our nation made a murderer uncomfortable for 35 seconds. Many of us had similar experiences at the local pool as children. Right on schedule Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid, in his most serious sounding voice (actually a poor attempt at gravitas where nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition) would trade the lives of hundreds or even thousands of innocent Americans in order to keep the likes of Abu Zubaidat comfortable for an additional 35 seconds. Thank you Senator Reid.
Many of these, ahem, adults, claim that by waterboarding our enemies we give those enemies an excuse to torture our captured soldiers. This is an argument that is so divorced from reality that it should be relegated to junior high. We are not, nor will we in the foreseeable future be at war with Sweden. We are and likely will continue to fight barbarians who practice actual torture, not the type that I suffer through while attempting to listen Democrats discuss this issue. Our enemies use torture techniques that are appalling, including electrical shocks, hanging and beheading, they likely laugh at the very idea that 35 seconds of discomfort is being defined as torture by American Democrats. Furthermore the last American enemy to abide by what we have come to know as the Geneva Conventions were some members of the German Luftwaffe. Yes that's right, the Nazis were our last enemy to treat some of our troops humanely. It should be noted that this was not true throughout the German military or even the Luftwaffe.
We should all ask our Democratic friends (and some Republicans, hello Sen. McCain) to what extent should we endanger our lives and our way of life in order to make some feel virtuous about themselves? Who among us would trade 35 seconds of discomfort to a terrorist for any American family?
This is the plane used by Led Zeppelin during their 1977 American Tour.
Zeppelin disembarks the Starship during their 1973 American Tour. That plane was used by many rock bands and was owned by Bobby Sherman and his manager.
An authentic 1973 rock groupie aboard the Starship.
...and I have the hearing loss to show for it. I saw them play at the old Chicago Stadium and it was a fantastic show but yeh, my ears were ringing for days afterwards. One of the things about Zeppelin tours was that they were the craziest thing to hit town, wherever they went. The photos above include the planes that they used on the 1977 and 1973 American tours. The use of a full sized jet allowed Zeppelin to stay in a major city while flying in for shows in surrounding cities. They stayed in Chicago while they toured the midwest so we read about their antics in the Chicago papers. Their plane, which for the 1977 tour wore their trademark Swansong label on it's tail, was parked near the military side of O'Hare, right off of Manheim Road. During a time when rock bands were trashing hotel rooms and outraging the local populace wherever they went, Zeppelin was the king of such behavior. Jimmy Page drank the better part of a bottle of Jack Daniel's during the three-plus hour show that I saw but on the plus side for him, he was probably just heading down to the Checker Board after the show.
Check out this very early video of Communication Breakdown:
When I read this article about some Aussie academic named Barry Walters who has suggested taxing people who have the temerity to have children and then tax them yearly for the outrage of rearing children, I wondered why Barry didn't simply imitate his obvious hero Mao and kill the baby girls?
Yes, as a seventh grade student I made a phone call to Henry Kissinger and President Richard Nixon while they were in Peking (now Beijing) on their historic China trip. A little background is in order, especially as I have posted a picture of the Kenilworth Police Station at the top of this post. That is where I spent part of the evening. During Junior High a few of us figured out how to make free long distance phone calls by switching some wires in a box on the outside of what was then the Chicago & Northwestern (now Metra) train station in Kenilworth, IL. We could then use the outside phone booth for free and the bills went to Chicago & Northwestern. This was a fairly big deal during the early '70s as phone rates were both regulated and very high. We really didn't have anybody to call outside of our area code except during the summer. During the summer we could call friends at camp and friends visiting out of town relatives.
Well during a boring February evening (the town ice rink must've melted) a few of us got the brainstorm to call Nixon and Kissinger while they were in China. Yeh, I know, hopelessly political. So we headed over to the train station, switched some wires and soon I was on the line with a long distance operator asking for a person-to-person line to Peking. Well the operator asked a very reasonable question, "Pekin, Illinois?" No I answered, Peking, China. We knew the hotel that the American delegation was staying at so I asked for that hotel and requested a person-to-person connection to either Henry Kissenger or President Richard Nixon.
Needless to say this prank got some attention at AT&T and the local Bell, they called the railroad to report the phone calls, the railroad promptly called the Kenilworth Police who quickly crossed the street to find two scrawny seventh graders making phone calls from the outside phone booth. Well we spent about an hour explaining to the police how we had rigged the phone booth for our use and how we had figured it out in the first place.
I was reminded of that bit of childhood hijinks by this hysterical story about an Icelandic high school student who called President Bush on a private White House line. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
The music world certainly lost a shining light forty years ago this evening when the plane carrying Otis Redding and his back up band the Bar-Kays crashed into Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin. His biggest hit, (Sittin' on the) Dock of the Bay was recorded on December 7, 1967 and released after his death.
I just saw a Dewar's television commercial announcing that December 5 is "Repeal Day". Repeal Day celebrates the anniversary of the repeal of the 21st Amendment and the end of Prohibition, December 5, 1933. Surprisingly the Vodkapundit also seems to have missed this uncelebrated American milestone.
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Dennis Kucinich and More
Flying Debris has mocked Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh) in the past and likely will do so in the future so it seems reasonable to also offer an invaluable history of the Kucinich years in Cleveland. At age 31 Mr. Kucinich became the youngest mayor of a big city in America and within months the citizens of Cleveland attempted (unsuccessfully) to recall him, Kucinich survived by a few hundred votes. While Mayor Mr. Kucinich appointed a twenty-one year old sophomore co-ed from Cleveland State as Police Superintendent and appointed a twenty-four year old former Merrill Lynch stockbroker (9 months) as Finance Chief and the city literally went bankrupt. All of that and more can be found in this long but interesting article from the Cleveland Scene.
I have long disagreed with the analysis that says that the city of Cleveland gained hundreds of millions of dollars by it's decision to hold onto the city-owned electrical company. I like to point out that the city government's economic collapse caused people to flee the city and that the bankruptcy increased costs that the city had to pay in subsequent years. I do however agree that those problems were the fault of Mr. Kucinich and his caustic style rather than the fault of a city owned utility, per se. Although the one in Cleveland was not well run and had been hemorrhaging money for decades.
Old-line Democratic Chicago goo-goo politician and current professor at UIC Dick Simpson wrote this ridiculous article in this morning's Chicago Sun Times. The title "Can we revive '60s-era ideals" should give any reader a clue as to what the thing is about. The article is the sort of nonsense that many of us have come to expect from those old-line 60's goofballs, including this money quote "Today, we no longer believe that anything is possible. We no longer expect to achieve peace, democracy or justice in our lifetime." When I read those sentences I wondered, is this loser Simpson commuting from Cuba? Does this clown believe that the United States is not a democracy?
Amusingly fools like Simpson constantly talk about a lack of democracy in the United States while spending their pathetic lives shilling for communists and communist ideals. If you need a good laugh, or you want to roll your eyes at the warbling of a child, by all means go read the Sun Times article.
As I pointed out in this post last week concerning another less than stellar local school, college students should be very wary of any professor who shills for communism due to the fact that those professors are simply not very smart. How any person could espouse the ideas of Karl Marx after having observed the disgrace that those ideas wrought during the previous century is beyond me. Such a person could easily be defined as an idiot or one who has serious personal (mental?) problems. Hello UIC!
The term goo-goo is a reference to naive "good government" types who usually get everything wrong and typically would throw you under the bus in order to get their way. I think that the late, great Mike Royko popularized the term.
FDR's famous "day of infamy" speech concerned Dec. 7, 1941. That was the infamous day that the Japanese Imperial Navy bombed the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The photo is of a grave in the Punchbowl. May those souls rest in peace.
As Flying Debris pointed out earlier today the Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias was involved in an alleged mortgage fraud five years ago. Mr. Giannoulias' family bank the Broadway Bank in Chicago made a $1 million loan to an 83 year-old woman who could not fill out the loan form and who was brought to the bank by two felons and another person. One of those men had twice been convicted of bank fraud. Mr. Giannoulias admits that he knew that the felons were involved and that in his own words "I'm not sure it would be a prudent loan." Well sure, the loan payments were $9,845 per month while the bank's own loan documents show that Ms. Billings had an income of about $10,000 per month. So thats great, when he was working at the family bank he saw the collateral of property in the 1100 block of West Washington St., just west of the traditional Greektown. However when on the witness stand Mr. Giannoulias had a revelation, hey maybe $165 per month is not reasonable for an 83 year-old woman to live on.
Mr. Giannoulias is currently the State Treasurer here in Illinois thanks to the effort of one Barack Hussein Obama, yep that guy who's running for President. Senator Obama (D-IL), spent considerable energy helping the campaign of Mr. Giannoulias, both during the primaries and the general election. This scandal was known during that time. The commenter on this post, an alleged North Side Serf pretty much summed it up nineteen months ago:
Mr. G is the personal pet, sorry, "candidate", of rock star senator Barak Obama. You know, Mr. Clean, voice of a new generation, blah, blah. There is NO WAY Obama, scion of Ricahrd II's Chicago dynasty and beloved of the patroage army that toils there, is clean of the filth of Chicago and Illinois politics, among the most corrupt in the nation. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Chicago Tribune had an interesting observation of Mr. Giannoulias, "(h)e appeared largely unruffled during about three hours of questioning, though he frequently could not remember details, often repeating, "Again, that was five years ago." Let me get this straight, the guy is in his first month of a new job at the family bank, he has a strong academic and athletic background (Boston U Cum Laude, Basketball), one would hope that this loan was an unusual loan, what with the bank fraud convictions, and the size of the loan at a bank that descries itself as a "Community Bank". Add to all of that, the public has known about this for some time so Mr Giannoulias has known about this brewing scandal for years and he still can't remember. I just don't buy the whole "I Know Nothing!" line that Mr. Giannoulias has been using in court, the guy isn't an idiot. Think about your first months or even years in different jobs, it's the odd things that stand out, like felons and 83 year-old ladies.
So what did Sen.Obama see in Mr Giannoulias? Well they both play basketball and they both excelled at universities in Boston. I will confess that I always figured that it was money, and that likely played a part. Fair or unfair that is the life of a politician. I will also state that during the 2006 election I found those Obama/Giannoulias commercials to be odd, after all we knew a lot about Giannoulias' Granny-Gate by that time; so what the heck was our Senator doing pushing this guy?
Welcome MyDD readers, this post from early January has a list of Obama posts on Flying Debris. Ms. Hu is correct, there is more out there, my list of posts is long and misses at least two subsequent posts and I'm not a professional.
...Like the ones in Berkeley Cal., where the Code Pink whiners hold sway and assorted losers do bray.
(to the tune of White Christmas, may I suggest a nice Dean Martin version?)
Don Surber points out that, yeh, sure, the Democrats "support the troops". In the mean time, back in the real world they are forcing civilian contractors to give out pink slips (firing notices) during the Christmas season. I recently heard Head-Whiner Harry Reid (D-Head-In-Ass) claim that the Republicans were hurting union members by not funding the military. Now let me see, the Democratic leadership wanted to endanger airline passengers by the (unsuccessful) insistence on using union workshop rules at Homeland Security. Anybody who has flown during the past few years knows that added union rules and featherbedding are not what is needed at our nation's airports. Things are bad enough as it is. Now they are ignoring troops in the field to (unsuccessfully) make sure that their union constituents are well cared for back in their own districts.
I grew up as a Democrat in a Democratic family and for the past 2+ decades I've been wondering when the parents who left their children at the Democratic Party would return to pick them up; the kiddies have had a few accidents and they need to be changed.
Not only has Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and his family supported Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) financially but Senator Obama returned the favor by helping Alexi, a banker to mobsters, get himself elected as State Treasurer. The Giannoulias family must have been ecstatic to get this sap off of the family payroll. Where does it stop with Obama's bad judgement?
Democratic Culture of Corruption: Illinois Dem Part of Mortgage Scam
The Illinois State Treasurer, Alexi Giannoulias testified in a mortgage fraud suit yesterday and he pulled the Sgt. Schultz Defense, "I know nothing, I see nothing, I say nothing!" Flying Debris wrote about Alexi the, ahem, banker here more than nineteen months ago. Alexi (if I may call him that) was once a loan officer at his family's bank, the Broadway Bank here in Chicago. While there he approved a loan that anybody with half of a functioning brain would have recognized as fraudulent. Mr. Giannoulias is a man who has supported and has received support from Democratic Presidential primary candidate and Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D-IL). Mr. Obama has received money from the Giannoulias' and he helped raise funds for this disgraceful man's State Treasury run.
Alexi agreed that his family bank would write a mortgage for get this, an 83 year-old woman who could not fill out the forms, who did not have the means to repay the loan and the loan was cosigned by people with a history of bank fraud, prostitution charges and bookmaking. One of the men in question is named Michael “Jaws” Giorango he is a man Alexi described as "a good person." Well the money is gone and somehow I doubt that the octogenarian went on a million dollar spending spree, rather I suspect that the mobsters who Alexi thought were good co-signers (especially the one with a record of multiple bank frauds) probably spent the funds.
To paraphrase Paul Simon (the musician not the late Senator) on the subject of Alexi Giannoulias - "still pimping, after all these years, still pimping after all these years," to the tune of Still Crazy After All These Years.
It is also notable that the blue-state Chicago Sun Times consigned the linked article that makes a local Democrat look terrible to page 8 while featuring Dennis Quaid, his lovely wife and the terrible story of his children on the front page.
Captain Morgan and Others take on Author and Jihadists!
Captain Morgan is the copyrighted image of Diageo.
Former buccaneer and current rum spokesman Captain Morgan has lashed out at and has threatened violent protests against author Kes Gray after the author decided to rename a fictional character Morgan the Mole instead of it's current name Mohamed the Mole. Captain Morgan, formerly of Wales stated that it is a grave offense to compare him or any other Morgan to "that murderous, backwards pedophile Mohamed!" Morgan went on to say that although he was once a "privateer", that he had turned his life around "years ago" in order to bring people together with "high spirits".
The Captain was joined by a legion of supporters who work for JP Morgan and even some retirees who had worked for Morgan Guarantee. The pirate was also joined by numerous individuals named Morgan, led by Hall of Fame baseball player Joe Morgan.
The former buccaneer Captain Morgan stated that "Aye Matey" he would take on any of those "thugs with me trusty sword!" Stating that the Islamic world is full of men who "whine, cry and have kiddies do their jobs", Morgan stated that he was "going to deal with that wuss of an author" before "dealing with those hajis!"
Warning:The above is satire.
See this great post by Dr. Sanity on the issue. She is much more fair than your humble correspondent.