Sunday, August 31, 2008

Oil Higher in Emergency Sunday Session

In an emergency trading session before Hurrican Gustav makes landfall the crude oil futures market has traded from $116.65 per barrel to $118.60 per barrel and at 2:50 PM EDT October Crude Oil futures stand at $117.90 per barrel up $2.44 per barrel.

UPDATE: Monday afternoon, 5:09 EDT - October Crude Oil Futures are down $.31 per barral at $111.15. Interesting, a hurricane blows through the Gulf of Mexico oil fields, it blows through the oil industry town of Morgan City and crude is down over $4.00 per barrel.

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New York Merc Sunday Trading Session!

In this Bloomberg article about the likely effect of Hurricane Gustav on Gulf of Mexico oil production they point to this notice from the CME Group (the CME Group now owns the NY Merc and I am a CME membership holder) that there will be a Sunday afternoon online trading session in the New York energy markets. The markets open at 2:30 PM EDT with a 2:00 PM EDT pre-opening.

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Parts of Mobile Evacuated

iPhone Photo Copyright: Flying Debris

I was surprised to see the National Weather Service talking this morning about tidal surge in Mobile Bay and Bayou La Batre, although I shouldn't have been. The above photo was taken on the back pier of the Bluegill Restaurant in Spanish Fort, Alabama last April. The Bluegill is on Battleship Parkway (the Causeway) between Mobile and Mobile Bay's Eastern Shore, it is on the northern edge of Mobile Bay, a beautiful area of bayous, back-bays and rivers. The Mobile Press Register is reporting that there are now mandatory evacuations in Mobile south of I10 and in other low-lying areas. The pier pictured above likely will be underwater when the sun sets on Mobile again this evening.

The Bluegill is a fun honky-tonk type place with good live music, good food and a great staff, our dinner last spring featured a table full of baskets of crab claws that I've been missing since that evening. The Bluegill's web site says that they were blown down during Hurricane Frederick in 1979, I was within a mile of the eye wall of Hurricane Frederick when it hit Mobile in 1979. The risk of tidal surge is obviously high in the low-lying areas near Mobile Bay. Parts of downtown Mobile are very susceptible to flooding, I remember leaving town after Frederick and seeing an ocean freighter sitting on a city street. Another danger has to do with the local topography, the highest point on the Gulf Coast is a Mobile neighborhood called Spring Hill (the hill does have a spring and Spring Hill College sits atop the hill), that area is very susceptible to tornadoes during a direct hit. As things look this morning that area will be hit with tidal surge rather high winds. Good Luck and God Bless all those folks on the Gulf Coast.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Hanging Out With Unserious Baseball Fans

This afternoon I will be at Wrigley Field, the place of which Barack Obama said, "(y)ou go to Wrigley Field, you have a beer, beautiful people up there. People aren't watching the game. It's not serious. White Sox, that's baseball. South Side." I'll be sitting in the Left Field Bleachers, so I certainly hope that my Senator approves of the left side.

Obama's comments were imbecilic and is just the sort of stuff that certain people in our town tell themselves about the team (the Sox) that rarely sells out their park. I go to 3-6 Sox games per year and the last two sellouts that I have been to at Sox park, one was a playoff game against Boston in 2005 and the other was the final game at the old Comiskey Park in 1990.

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It's Palin

McCain has chosen Palin as his running mate.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack's Acceptance Speech

This is the acceptance movie part. On this historic night, the crowd is warmed-up with an autobiography.Whoa, he's out in Chicago and he "found answer" from the people he met when he got here. good thing they put Michelle on. We heard part of this Monday night.

Here he is, what's with the music? Well, no shock, they love him. Wait, "humility"? Hillary is an inspiration, one who needs about $13 million. Ted Kennedy "embodies the spirit of service", Hmm. There's Joe and his Amtrack train again. Was that Hillary's train from Tuesday night? Economy is in turmoil because of broken politics and Bush. Katrina, again? Enough, this moment is our chance to keep America's promise alive. 8 is enough, they're chanting "8 is enough" already, who has the bumper sticker? Now he's going after a McCain advisor (Gramm) who left months ago. He's into ripping on John McCain from pretty much the get-go. Change - cheers. Now he's ripping on Bush again. Whoa, he says tha he'll help people who takes risks and starts businesses? Has he seen his own tax plan? He fought on the south side? His Grandmother is out from under the bus. Our government should work for us not against us. But he's from the Chicago Machine, he should know, we work for the government. He's now his brother's keeper, but what about that brother in Kenya? Change, he has not read the tax code again, he thinks that his ideas help small businesses. What? Now he wants to cut capital gains taxes, huh? Who knew? 10 years end our dependence on oil from the mid-east. He's blaming the oil issue on McCain. Drilling is a stop-gap but he wants to tap the strategic reserves? That is not a "stop-gap" measure because Barack says so. Does he even know what he's saying? 5 million jobs that can't be outsourced in his magical new green economy. Education; he was a failure in his previous educational leadership role at the BarackAnnenberg Challenge. He's recruiting an army of new teachers, well the teachers are a huge part of the delegations. He's lowering your insurance premiums and giving you his congressional insurance coverage, this is going to get expensive. Businesses can then dump their insurance costs on the government. Uh-oh, he's going to protect Social Security. That's scary, he doesn't understand the issues involved. Now the equal pay thing, they love it. He's closing loop-holes and giving himself the line item veto. Government can't turn off the tv, fathers aren't there, now what will he do about those family problems? No answer. I guess that he'll get some "strong diplomacy" on those problems too. Who has the temperament and judgement in a debate? He is ready, just not a Town Hall format or on FOX News, or, like anything without a teleprompter. He has avoided any debate except at 4:00 PM, on July 4th, I kid you not. We were distracted from Afghanistan, you know, the terrorists who actually attacked us. That is such a simple way to look at the situation back then, it works with this crowd but it really is not a well thought out idea. Does he even know what he is talking about? Bush won't go to Osama's cave, I guess that Obama will, he can bring Tony Rezko as an interpreter. Senator Broken Clock is now aglow in the talk of the US leaving Iraq in 2011, let's see, Barack wanted out in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, he wants out in 2009, 2010 and they may agree to withdrawal in 2011. even a broken clock is right twice a day. Now he's talking about al qada, he still doesn't understand. More loose Change. Don't you dare tell him that the Democrats won't keep the country safe, he's joking right? Clear mission, sacred commitment, blah, blah... He's finishing al qada, tough diplomacy against Iran & Russia, he'll tell them about his undergrad degree in Foreign Relations. Debates again, no town hall or fox, and only on the 4th of July. But now he's not challenging patriotism, times too serious, the hiding place of the scoundrel, patriotism, right there in mile high, the scoundrel. We all put our country first, like Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. Our sense of common purpose was lost in the last 8 years. Forget abortion, just don't get pregnant. Happy talk, others are dismissive of happy talk from democrats, he claims to have new ideas, (Karl Marx 1818-1883). He "gets it", he's not typical "pedigree". Something is stirring, up Chris Mathews' leg? Election not about Barack it's about you. Enough of the politics of the past, Chicago Politics Are the Politics of the Future. Change Happens because we Demand it, a new politics, from Chicago. The Change is coming, he saw it in Illinois? Good Lord, I need a beer. The flood waters are rising again, is that what they call it now? Martin Luther King wasn't angry, come on that wasn't his thing, you know that Barack, he was not Jeremiah Wright. He's fixing the economy, cities and saving farms? Has seen the price of corn? God Bless the United States of America, ooh, Country Music for the exit, he's waving, they're rocking, how many flags did they give out? Here comes Michelle and the kids. Now for the fireworks from the roman set onstage. Ooh, confetti, the crowd goes wild. Here's Joe Biden and his wife. More fireworks and confetti, it's like a concert, the guy's a Rock Star I tell you, a Rock Star! They're all coming out for a curtain call. They're gone.

That was the view from my couch in Chicago, for the view outside od Invesco Field check out Zombie's report at LGF.

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Oh No It's..

My Senator, Dick Durbin.

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McCain's Ad...

...For tonight's acceptance speech is great, he congratulates Obama with a "job well done." Very Classy.

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Sheryl Crow Is Onstage at Obama...

...Acceptance. Afriend saw her in Chicago a few weeks ago and she complained about the political ramblings of Sheryl during the show. Sheryl Crow has left Las Vegas. Now she is singing "a change will do us good". I saw her when she was a warm-up act for Blues Traveler about 15 years ago, she sounded better back then.

The Obama Effect

Well here is the Onion's take on the Obama nomination:

Portrayal Of Obama As Elitist Hailed As Step Forward For African Americans


Obama-Fascists Go After WGN

This is getting interesting, the Obama-Fascists are so upset over the truthful airing of Obama's relationship with terrorist Bill Ayers that they have sued, they have asked the DOJ to prosecute those airing the story and now they are going after one of the nation's larger and oldest radio stations, WGN. These people are unbelievable

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hillary Clinton - Roll Call

She didn't even bother to memorize her short little speech presenting New York's delegates. It really struck me as an easy piece to put to memory. They've nominated Obama.

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Bill Clinton - Don't He Just Wish

Oh how Bill wishes he was playing the sax in some bar in Chicago while preparing for his big "encore" of 1996.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Most Important Barrel of Oil? Hillary's Speech

Thoughts on the DNC

"Barack Obama believes that the most important barrel of oil is the one that you don't use!" That was the Montana Governor, he thinks that the less than 1% of electricity that we get from solar will somehow magically morph into our largest source of electricity during the next Presidential term. (Lord help us!) Where exactly do they find these folks? Wow, the scripted chants make them sound kind of cultish. 
Hillary had a train? What's with the train? I must have missed the train explanation. I thought that she was from Park Ridge.  Hillary is rockin', she's "playing with the boys", she's "for the families" what about the village? She's fighting again. The SNL appearance was really very good. They have Tina Fey on? Does Axelrod know? The train again? "Blast 50 women into space"? Huh? Is that Hillary as Jackie Gleason? To the moon Alice! Chelsea looks pretty good. Biden does not look happy. She's changing the world with that song? Bill's rocking, their chasing dreams and she's tearing up. 
 Lot of cheering, she's proud and she's a Senator and an American and an Obama supporter. Sure lady. She's "taking back the country", wasn't that Canned Heat? She's fighting again, this time it's for the future, she was in the trenches - of the Rose Law Firm, fighting. Nice hair Bill. "No way, no how, no McCain", she's going to go all Jesse Jackson on us. Don't they get tired of that stuff? She "laughed", she "cried". Sheesh. She's fighting again, for children who already have health care. She's grateful for Puerto Rico, the territories and all those left out by the Bush administration and the pants suit girls. She made history. Tubbs-Jones and the guy from Arkansas, yes I agree, both tragic loses. Bill's getting the survivors up. Back to humor. 8 years - we're hurting - no pants suits? Wait "partisan gridlock"? Huh? She's now rebuilding and working hard and saving and affording. Clean energy, wait, what? Honey, you're a Democrat. College affordable? What, the subsidies didn't work? Taking away workers votes and restoring sanity and she's now plundering? Wow, I'm getting worn out. Genocide, terrorism and global warming, tell it sister! She's wants you to want her. Now the whole thing is for a Marine? "No limits" for Hillary, "progress is never easy", she's fighting again. Now she's got Obama fighting, sure honey. Oooh they're a mile high tonight! She's got this unknown "green economy" thing going again. Oooh, government health care - don't get sick. Hillary and Michelle - cat fight. Hillary and Joe Biden ("wise"? wtf?) - cat fight! Oooh, a Twin Cities joke, their loving it - why didn't they put it on their BUMPERS?!?!? 1848 Seneca Falls or Marx's Communist Manifesto? Publicly it's Seneca, what about Alinsky? Keep going - hey what about the Jesse Jackson thing? She's "seen it". "We're Americans, we're not big on quitting." It's back to the Children, it's always the children. She's got faith. Yeh, Godspeed to you too honey. She's done, they're rockin', I guess they told the Obama delegates, cheer! Now they've got somebody from Aurora, Co. Good Lord, Disco Inferno? Burn baby burn, indeed. 

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Obama and His Terrorist Buddy Ayers

Well the Obama people are whining like children again, this time they are whining about an ad that points out the undeniable relationship between Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers and Barack Obama. Obama and his campaign manager David Axelrod both lied while downplaying Obama's relationship with the unrepentant terrorist. Ayers is famous for being quoted in the NY Times on September 11, 2001 as saying that yes he did attempt to blow up the White House and that he and his selfish comrades did not terrorize America enough. It is notable that Bill Ayers, like his terrorist wife Bernadine Dohrn, (here is a post on their fascist-loving adopted child Chesa Boudin) he grew up in the lap of luxury. They grew up as spoiled rich kids and when they didn't get their way they planted bombs and murdered people. The Weathermen was really a group of losers who couldn't even make bombs very well, some of them blew themselves up in Greenwich Village and another bomb meant to blow up the former 1st National Bank of Chicago Building instead blew up theatergoers as they left the Shubert Theater in downtown Chicago. Barack Obama has had a very long relationship with Bill Ayers that he has been unsuccessfully attempting to hide.

The American Issues Project recently released the video below and has paid to have it shown on television stations around America, so what did Barack Obama do about this? He whined to the television networks and the stations, then he threatened the stations, then his people threatened the advertisers and then they sued. Welcome to Barack Oabama's America, if we don't like your speech we will sue you! Just be thankful that we haven't blown you up yet!

Here is the truthful advertisement:

Here is Politico's take on Obama.

The Gateway Pundit is on this trail as is Michelle Malkin, they are literally on the trail, they both went to Denver this week.

Barack Obama has surrounded himself with scumbags.

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Now Obama Is Insulting Cub Fans

Considering that the Cubs are considered one of "America's Teams" this doesn't seem very bright, rather it seems like just another thing that he and his friends "know", The Chicago Sun Times has reported that in an interview on ESPN that Obama said of Cubs fans and Wrigley Field, "You go to Wrigley Field, you have a beer, beautiful people up there. People aren't watching the game. It's not serious. White Sox, that's baseball. South Side." Like his running mate Joe Biden, Obama just doesn't think on his feet (or elsewhere) very well.

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A Button for PUMAs

As Bad As She Wants to Be - Hilary Clinton Circa 1996

Well the PUMAs and other Hilary Clinton supporters should love this button from the 1996 Democratic National Convention. The Convention was held in Chicago, home to the wild, pierced, tatooed and dyed Chicago Bulls basketball player Dennis Rodman.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

The Change of Hope

Hope Circa 1996

I think I got a glimpse of Jesse Jackson, Jr. in the background of some broadcast so I had to get a picture of this 12 year old button. This "Keeping Hope Alive" button is from the 1996 Democratic National Convention.

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Another Problematic Page on Obama's mybarackobama Web Site

Well, they just can't help themselves anymore. The official My Barack Obama web site, now featuring Joe Biden is hosting another problematic web page sponsored by Obama supporters. This one, "Boy Scouts for Barack Obama" is illegally using the Boy Scout logo and name and it is inappropriately using the Boy Scouts of America to promote a political candidate. The group also has some issues with the language, this is their Group Profile: "We are Boy scouts that want to use our rights to make this country a better place." On the other hand the Profile may just be living down to the pejorative "Obamabots."

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) web site is pretty clear on the use of the BSA logo and image:

Please note that in 1916, in order to protect the proprietary marks of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the U.S. Congress granted the BSA a federal charter (36 USC § 21 et. seq.), which gives the BSA "the exclusive right to use emblems, badges, descriptive or designating marks, and words and phrases [the BSA] adopts."

In effect, almost any logo or symbol that reasonably relates to the Boy Scouts of America or its program is protected. Accordingly, anyone seeking to use any symbols, words, or phrases that might reasonably be related to the BSA and its programs should contact the Boy Scouts of America Legal Department...

Interestingly Troop 632 in Pensacola, Florida had to issue a reminder to their Scouts on the subject of "uniforming", particularly at political events. It seems that during the 2006 campaign President Bush spoke at a rally in Pensacola that was attended by some Boy Scouts in uniform and as Kim Sheldon, the District Executive wrote, "(u)nfortunately, some of the public observing the media coverage perceived this to be a partisan demonstration by the Boy Scouts for the Republican political candidates President Bush was there to promote." In a summary of BSA rules and practices Sheldon wrote, "Scout uniforms shall not be worn to political events or rallies, protests or demonstrations where its appearance could reasonably be used to imply BSA support for a particular political cause or candidate."

So just two short years ago members of the Democratic Party whined and complained about a few Boy Scouts who wore their uniforms to an event featuring the President of the United States, today the Democrats illegally use the Boy Scout logo and name in an attempt to elect Barack Obama President of the United States. According to the My Barack Obama web site this group of 240 "Boy Scouts" has made 3,721 phone calls, they have yet to knock on any doors and they have raised $9,642.40. This Ladies and Gentleman is not what Scouting is about, this is Chicago politics, plain and simple. Get used to it, the election is still 70 days away.

The folks at reported on this issue last month and My Barack Obama continues to host Boy Scouts for Barack Obama. The always prepared Boy Scouts do have this helpful line on the BSA web site: "If you are aware of the unauthorized use of these trademarks, please contact the BSA immediately by linking to Use Form."

I should give thanks to commenter fgfm who got me on the trail of whether or not McCain was ever a Boy Scout, he apparently wasn't. However I did stumble across the previously linked post on Boy and Girl that discusses Obama and McCain on volunteering and it also discusses the Obama campaign's use of the Boy Scout name and insignia. Thanks fgfm.

They Just Don't Like FOX News


The kids at Recreate68 held a march in Denver yesterday where they attacked a reporter and a camera crew from FOX News. Wonderful, nihilists attack those reporting on them.

Here is another view and report on the same event:

Set aside the childishness, those people are what we Americans understand as fascists.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Obama's Friend the "Granny Grifter" Will Speak in Denver

Obama's strange association with Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias will likely be ignored by the media but it is worth reviewing as Giannoulias will speak in front of the Democratic National Convention in Denver on Monday night. After grad school and a stint in the Greek professional basketball league Giannoulias went to work at his family bank, the Broadway Bank of Chicago, during his first few months at the bank he oversaw a $1 million loan to an 83 year-old woman who did not understand the documents but was aided in her understanding by her co-signers, one was a Michael “Jaws” Giorango, twice convicted of bookmaking and later charged with running a nationwide prostitution ring (financed by millions in loans from the Broadway Bank, there isn't any evidence that the bank knew that their previously convicted mobster client was back in business) another co-signer was a more run of the mill local mobster. The $1 million disappeared within days and the bank soon went after the collateral, the 80-something Grandmother's home.

I kid you not, a banker whose family bank had a relationship with a convicted mobster made a $1million loan to that man, another mobster and an 83 year-old woman who could not understand the documents, whose home was used as collateral and the bank went to court to take that home. This being Chicago, a local judge ruled that every "i" had been dotted and that every "t" had been crossed so Giannoulias' bank got the now 89 year-old Grandmother's home. During the court proceedings Giannoulias repeatedly plead ignorance, he claimed to have no memory of the transaction. He claimed that he had no memory of the transaction because he had just started on he job but that statement really begs the question, if you don't remember the transaction in which two convicted mobsters and a woman come into your office with an 83 year-old woman who couldn't understand the documents that pledge her home for the loan, what are you going to remember? If that had been your Grandmother imagine how you would feel about the guy whose actions were then helping to defraud your Grandmother out of her home as he runs for state wide office with the help of your "rock star" Senator (Obama was the major reason that the guy got elected to state wide office) and now that kid will speak in front of the Democratic National Convention. Imagine if that had been your Mother or your Grandmother.

Giannoulias is where he is because of the "rock star" support of Barack Obama:

We should all ask, is Obama where he is because of people like Giannoulias?

See more here and here.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Democrats Want 4 Day Federal Work Week

What's next? Yesterday the Washington Post's Joe Davidson reported that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md) has asked the Office of Personnel Management how they could implement a four day work week for Federal employees. House Minority Leader John Boehner cracked that "Rep. Hoyer has finally given the American people a glimpse of the Majority's long-promised energy plan: drive smaller cars, wait for the wind, and let bureaucrats work less." Call me underwhelmed.

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The Cleaner Has Arrived at the UIC Library

Harvey Keitel as "the Cleaner" in Pulp Fiction

The AP is reporting that officials at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Richard J. Daley Library will relent and release their collection of public records concerning the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The fact that Barack Obama was the Chairman of that failed educational experiment and that those records likely show a relationship with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers beyond what Obama has admitted to, tells me that those files have been reviewed and culled. This is Chicago after all. The Obama team could not have used the Clinton's "Cleaner" Sandy Berger so they likely had to find a few Keitel-like characters to scrub those boxes of records clean. As the Chicago Tribune's John Kass helpfully pointed out in this column concerning the likelihood of damning evidence being made public before the November election "when Chicago had a true reform mayor, his freedom of information officer was Clarence McClain, a former pimp with a bad wig who ended up in federal prison for taking bribes. Now that the Daleys run things, forget about it." Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame just commented that "(o)f course, some will say that the delay was just so that the files could be vacuumed of any embarrassing information." A lifetime spent watching Chicago politics has made me one of those "some".

Hat Tip: Powerline

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Radicals In Their Own Minds

When I went over to the Recreate68 website to find out what sort of craziness they have planned for the upcoming Democratic Convention something really struck me, these kids are just like their parents. These poor kids have decided that best part of the Baby Boomer generation was Chicago '68. Very, very unrevolutionary and very, very sad.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Iran Releases Rocket Launch Video

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mostafa Mohammad Najjar today blasted Western governments that doubted Iran's "rocket launch" Saturday, a launch that Najjir claimed put a satellite in orbit. Explaining that the "Sahib Safir Estes" Rocket contained an Iranian invention, the "rocket cam", so that he could "prove to those evil infidels wrong!" Here is the damning video.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

New Obama Logo: Buy A Politician?

Yawn. Another Chicago politician advertises that he is for sale.

 Obama has a new logo, more lack of style over lack of substance but I really was struck by the sentiment, is Barack for sale? Senator Obama is after all part of the corrupt Chicago Democratic Machine and the corrupt Cook County Democratic Machine, both of which are for sale to the highest bidder. They are for sale every single day, for that they toil tirelessly!

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Democrats Use Cathouse Owner to Attack Mitt Romney

This is odd, the Democratic Party has enlisted Rep Barney Frank (D-Ma) to attack possible McCain running mate Mitt Romney. This is funny because Romney is clearly a family man who does not fool around. Barney Frank on the other hand once had a boyfriend who was a gay pimp and prostitute who ran a "prostitution service" out of Democratic Congressman Barney Frank's Georgetown apartment. The story of Steven Gobie is well known to those of us who follow politics, however the Democrats believe that you are just "too simple" to be able to use Google.

The use of the cathouse owner Barney Frank to attack Mitt Romney, a religious person, reminds me of an old joke: What will Armour name the new hot dog being marketed to gay people? The Barney Frank.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Union Thugs Complain About Free Speach

The AFL-CIO, a group of union thugs and three other left-wing groups have asked the Federal Election Commision (FEC) to rule on Wal-Mart's ability to speak about politics. This comes from unions and leftist groups that are spending fortunes in order to elect Democrat Barack Obama, a man who has promised to take away the rights of workers to vote on union representation. Obama has also told the Teamsters that he would take away federal oversight of that notoriously corrupt union in exchange for their support. So America's unions want to take away the free speech rights of union members and the free speech rights of employers. They are barking up the wrong tree concerning the FEC due to the fact that the Democrats have refused to vote on replacing members of the FEC so that the commision cannot meet with a quorum, thus helping Obama with his illegal fundraising that he has been doing in places like the Gaza Strip. The Democrats Orwellian name of the Obama co-sponsored bill, the Employee Free Choice Act really sounded better in its original German.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Isaac Hayes - RIP

This photo of Isaac Hayes and his Stutz Blackhawk is from this partial list of Stutz owners.

The great Isaac Hayes died this afternoon, he was found collapsed near a treadmill in his home.


Friday, August 08, 2008

Wrigley Field - August 8, 1988

8/8/88 was the date of the first scheduled Night Game to be played at Wrigley Field, the home of baseball's Chicago Cubs. The Cubs had been agitating for years to get permission from the City of Chicago to install lights at Wrigley Field and play night games at the then 74 year-old baseball palace at Clark and Addison Streets in Chicago. The strongest opposition to night games came from a group named Citizens United for Baseball in the Sunshine. CUBS, get it? They were adamant that night games never be played at Wrigley but things came to a head during the winter of 1988 and the City Council approved a license for a limited number of night games at Wrigley.

During that time I lived in Wrigleyville, directly across from Wrigley Field so I attended the neighborhood meetings that settled how the neighborhood would approach the city government and essentially what our demands would be to sign off on this change in a Chicago and neighborhood institution. The overwhelming attitude was to simply halt the construction of lights in Wrigley and deny the Cubs the right to play night games in Chicago. I attended many of the "neighborhood" meetings on the subject, that's when I realized that many of my neighbors were a wee bit nuts but I also realized that many of those "neighbors" did not live in the neighborhood. The major anti-lights group was Citizens United for Baseball in the Sunshine (CUBS), which was lead by Charlotte Newfeld, a woman who lived on Pine Grove, about a half mile from the field and across Broadway. Those meetings featured complainers from across the north side of Chicago, something that hurt those of us who actually lived in Wrigleyville.
The neighborhood meetings could have been focused on how to help the neighborhood, instead they often became liberal complaint sessions. The initial agreement between the city and the Cubs allowed for 8 night games in 1988 and 18 per year until 2002, the agreement allowed the Cubs to host the Major League All Star Game in 1990. Subsequent agreements allowed for night game parking regulations that gave us neighbors passes that restricted street parking to neighbors and guests. I was able to speak at those neighborhood meetings and repeatedly suggested that we should not concentrate on stopping what was clearly a done deal but rather that we should concentrate on what advantages we could get for the neighborhood itself. For my efforts I was repeatedly called a "corporate whore", lovely people. Ironically at that time I had not worked for any "corporation" for over five years. In the end we got nothing other than the parking passes and those "neighbors" had largely alienated the neighborhood from our neighbors the Cubs and left us with little or no bargaining room. That was all thanks to those wacky liberals, most of whom lived outside of the actual neighborhood.
A few years ago the Cubs expanded the bleachers and again the folks who lived in the neighborhood were asked for input and we were overwhelmed by those outside the neighborhood, liberal Chicago crazies. One group of objectors was lead by the late Jim Murphy, the owner of Murphy's Bleachers. It is not nice to speak ill of the dead but Murphy was a terrible neighbor and not a very good person to be around. The workers at his bar passed a misleading petition around the neighborhood (especially at EL stops) that asked the potential signers whether or not they wanted Cub fans to urinate on their lawns. The media used that ridiculous petition to make the case that the people in the neighborhood stood strongly against the expansion. Murphy also stated that because the expanded bleachers that would cantilever over the sidewalks that drunks would pass out underneath the eves. That is ignorant, drunks are as likely to pass out there as they are likely to pass out anywhere in the neighborhood. The fact is that passed out drunks are as likely to have gotten drunk at Murphy's as anywhere else. Murphy was aligned with other local bar owners who then hatched a plan to give "landmark" status to the entire neighborhood, thus taking some of the value from actual neighbors who lived in Wrigleyville so that those wealthy bar owners could continue to steal the Cubs' product by renting out their roof space.
Oh yeh, Ronny Woo Woo Wickers was also at those meetings because he held "a stake" in the neighborhood. For those who don't know him Ronnie is a nice guy who grew up west of Wrigleyville and has lived for years in shelters and rentals while attending most Cub home games thanks to the largess of players and fans. Ronnie is a nice guy but he clearly had no more stake in my neighborhood than any other outside Cub fan. Ronnie was not the only outsider who insisted that they knew better than the neighbors how the neighborhood should look. Most of the media went along with the silly notion that this was fight "for the neighbors". A CNN reporter from Atlanta and his cameraman almost attacked me for objecting to their story and for attempting to clue them in to the facts and background. Lovely people. They were just going along with the local media knowledge, I was interviewed by Anna Davlantes from NBC 5 and although she grew up west of Wrigleyville and attended Lane Tech she was equally clueless. Her cameraman got it, Anna didn't.
On the night of the first night game the Cubs played the Phillies, the game was called after three innings due to a downpour that hit the city. Before the game the neighborhood was flooded with people outside of the stadium, I had never seen that many people in the streets of Wrigleyville. Along with a friend who is a graphic designer I started a company to sell tee shirts featuring the first night game (Let There Be Lights), we could not keep the shirts in stock and we sold thousands that evening. Before the game started I got to my seat in the bleachers, a caged off area behind the seats along the back wall of the bleachers, we called those seats, the box. I met some friends and we were joined by reporters from Sports Illustrated (SI) and Sporting News, they were both amazed at the seats that we always sat in, seats that others turned up their noses at. The reporter from SI stated that "these are the best seats in baseball" due to the view of the game, the view of the fans, the view of the city and the freedom of movement. Our secret was out.
The game was rained out in the third inning so the first official game that was played under the lights at Wrigley was 8/9/88 against the Mets. The long-term effect on the neighborhood was that it brought a lot more money into the local bars and restaurants allowing them to expand and improve, places like the Cubby Bear suddenly had the money to book national acts and the local restaurants improved dramatically. Twenty years on and one of the lessons that I learned still stands, don't listen to Chicago "progressives".

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Pipsqueak Leftist Attempts to Intimidate Conservatives

This is typical, some leftist failure has decieded to target Americans who give to conservative political groups. Wonderful people, if they don't agree with you they attack you. Tom Matzzie, formerly of the now bankrupt Progressive Media U.S.A. is the leader of this effort that should make all budding tyrants happy. The Instapundit notes: "No doubt they all go around exchanging Obama Salutes and clicking their heels; I hope they're appropriately attired. . . . ."

Hat Tip: Instapundit

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Obama:On Tires, Autos and Dishonesty

Photo Copyright: AP
Barack Obama, seen here riding a bicycle with at least one flat tire last June, is clearly too ignorant to know how to inflate a tire.

First Barack Obama, a failed lawyer has lectured the populace on one subject that he is completely ignorant on, economics, now he has found time to lie on some other subjects that he and his followers are ignorant on, automobiles, oil and tires. Many Democrats insist that if my taxes go up (see: expenses) I will hire more employees and I will be giving all of my employees more health care, family leave, raises, more time off and other such perks. That of course is ridiculous, when the expenses of a business rise faster than than that business' income then that money will come from somewhere, both the owners and the employees will suffer. Most liberals do not understand this, sure when confronted with the above facts some may hedge a bit but others will announce that the business owners are evil and that they are "taking" from their employees. Let me be blunt, I am not waiting with baited breath for the feds to raise my taxes so that I can increase the compensation and perks of my employees. Period.

Now on to automobiles. Regular readers of this blog have probably figured out that I am somewhat of a car guy, one of my Porsches is a race car and I have restored another Porsche. For racing folks tires are important, we can actually obsess over such issues. Barack is correct that a properly inflated tire will raise a car's gas milage, an over-inflated tire will raise it even more! Of course an over-inflated tire is dangerous as it puts less of the tire's tread on the road giving the car less grip. However with modern tires under-inflation is less of an issue due to the strength of the modern tire's sidewalls. After some point every under-inflated tire will require more rolling force to move the car but one point that Obama and his people are likely ignorant of (my experience is that many people cannot maintain their cars due to lack of rudimentary knowledge) is the fact that modern tires keep their shape at less than optimum inflation levels. I had a slow leak in one car's front passenger-side tire (a nail) and until the tire lost dramatic amounts of pressure you could not tell that the pressure was low by simply looking at it. I keep that tire at 30 psi and even at 20-22 psi the tire shape was the same, meaning that the additional force required to roll the tire was very low. That example is of a tire that has lost 26-33 percent of it's air pressure. So to obtain Barack's magic 3% - 4% improvement in gas mileage I would have to leave the tires with much less than 70% of optimum pressure.

It is also notable that many new tires are being mounted after being filled with nitrogen. This is a racers trick, as tires roll they gain heat and the air inside expands (does Barack even know this?) and we racers like to have optimal tire pressure thus racers use nitrogen because it is an inert gas, the volume will stay the same as the tire heats up and cools off. We also use tire thermometers but that is a different story. Nitrogen molecules are also larger than oxygen molecules, thus nitrogen is less likely to leak out, especially around the rim seals which is a typical spot for leaks. I recently found out that Costco inflates the tires that they sell with nitrogen. You can find more here, although I am dubious of some of their claims. There are of course some folks who refuse to believe what us racers have known for years, I found a post by Cecil Adams who writes the Straight Dope, Cecil should really stick to what he knows best, strange sex information.

John Hinderaker of Powerline has put up another excellent post questioning Barack's numbers (or should I say numerlogy?). The real world numbers do not add up to what Barack has been claiming. Barack is of course wrong in his assertions that if Americans just kept their tires full that we would not need any additional oil. Go read the Powerline post. Barack and his pals are dead wrong because they don't have what Americans know as "common sense", they must not have many life experiences outside of their limited worlds. There is also the problem that like some children some of them will say anything to get their way.

 Obama said this about his detractors "Its like these guys take pride in being ignorant" and "You know, they think it is funny that they are making fun of something that is actually true. They need to do their homework." What an ass. Homework Barack? Is the guy still living in high school? Look, the inflation issue is one that makes sense to those who didn't actually "do their homework", those who are ignorant of the specifics concerning how oil is consumed (can you say "plastics" or fertilizers or electricity or airplanes?). Let me put it this way, I am much more accomplished than the failed lawyer Obama, who has one single accomplishment to his name, he won an election to the US Senate with the help of a dishonest press that lied to us about Obama's church and went after every credible opponent that Obama has thus far faced. Oh yeh, and Obama knows nothing about automobiles, if he did he would have would have advised that people fill their tires with nitrogen. Barack needs to do his "homework."

Thanks to the Gateway Pundit for posting the photo of Obama and his bicycle.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Obama Gets Campaign Cash From Gaza

As far as we know Obama has not taken illegal campaign cash from monks like Al Gore did a dozen years ago but the Obama campaign is taking illegal campaign donations from non-citizens living in the Gaza Strip. Atlas Shrugged has had the story on last fall's donations by the Edwan brothers who listed their state as GA and their Zip Code as 972, GA is the Gaza Strip and 972 is in Israel. Federal campaign regulations require donors to be American citizens and those regulations limit donations to $2,300 per person.

The Gaza Strip address that the brothers used should have been the first tip for the Obama campaign but what the heck, they took $24,321.41 from one brother and $5,200.13 from the other. That number brings up something interesting, why are the totals not some simple large round numbers? In this World Net Daily interview Monir Edwan claimed that he and his brother bought tee-shirts from the Obama site but he claimed to have made a profit selling the shirts at less than half the price charged on the Obama site and claimed to have received the shirts during an Israeli crackdown on the Gaza Strip. It sounds as if the tee shirt story is a lie and the WND reporter pretty much shreds it. So it is likely that the brothers made their donations on a credit card of a round number in a foreign currency, it is unlikely that they randomly chose that donation level in American dollars. Did the Obama campaign offer donation levels in foreign currencies?

This clearly illegal fund raising is in addition to the illegal fund raising raffle that they reworked as a bait & switch to pass the test of legality.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Cook County, Democratic Corruption, the CTA and Derailment Dangers

I was up in the suburbs last weekend and it appears that the suburban Chicago is attempting to catch up with Chicago corruption wise. The rail crossings for the street level CTA's Skokie Swift line have been getting some much needed rehab work this summer, repeated car and truck crossings eventually undermine the grade causing pressure on the train tracks causing them to sag, thus making the train cars unstable. The contractor who had refurbished many of the grade crossings had just finished on a crossing near the terminal near end of the line last week when the CTA called to complain that he had used substandard materials and that the rails were already sagging, needless to say he hopped into his truck to make an immediate inspection. What he found would lead him to a few days of headaches, he found that a drain pipe was draining water into the crossing's area and that his materials had not fully dried due to the occasional outflows from the drain. Upon calling the CTA and consulting plats of the area he found no marked drainage so his crew corked the drain pipe and rebuilt the grade crossing. Two days later an inspection showed that the drain pipe had been uncorked and was once again ruining the crossing, now the contractor was livid, he traced the drain pipe to a local car wash, it was their discharge.

At that point one would think, "hey this is now easy, here is a business that is illegally dumping polluted water on public property and endangering the lives of transit riders", well this is Cook County, the home of the Daley Democratic Machine and all is often not as it appears. It turns out that the owner of the car wash is politically connected with the village of Skokie and the City of Chicago, so this week the dumping that undermines a CTA railroad crossing continues. Think about that one, here is a situation that involves both the IL. EPA and the US EPA, car wash discharge can include many chemicals that should not go into the sewers. The entire project is under the auspices of the CTA, the RTA, the IL DOT and because the project is being partially paid for using federal funds it involves the US DOT. It is beginning to sound as if this story might also involve the FBI. As of last weekend the CTA stated that they would send a structural engineer out to the site to meet with the contractor next Saturday. Welcome to Cook County where it is alright to pollute if you donate to the correct party and where your pollution will be overlooked even when you endanger a train system with a deadly derailment, as long as your check clears.

This is the story of one guy I know concerning one crossing on one CTA line, multiply that by miles of train track and hundreds of miles of streets and highways in Cook County and you get an idea of the actual dangers of corruption. Our political leaders don't take the CTA so apparently they don't care if cars derail as long as they get theirs.

The obvious advice is stay off of the Skokie Swift but less obvious but more important piece of advice is to not elect Chicago politicians to national office.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Uptown Theater Sold to JAM Productions

Photo Copyright

The wonderful Uptown Theater at Lawrence and Broadway in Chicago, next to Al Capone's old bar the Green Mill and the new Annoyance Theater was sold at auction last Tuesday and awaits the ruling of a bankrupcy judge. It is appropriate that I post this news on Jerry Garcia's birthday, as the Grateful Dead had some pretty famous shows at that venue and yours truly was at a number of them. The fantastic Uptown Update has been posting on the Uptown Theater for some time now and he has posted a letter from Jerry Mickelson the owner of JAM Productions. Here is the letter, but I encourage you to visit the Uptown Update if you are interested the Uptown Theater or the goings on in Uptown.

July 31, 2008
Words can't properly express my feelings of gratitude for the incredible efforts that all of you who are part of Friends of the Uptown have put forth on behalf of saving the Uptown Theatre. As all of you know, this is not just a theatre but a work of art that will never be built again which must be preserved. This masterpiece of [architects] Rapp & Rapp should live on and never ever be allowed to deteriorate to the pitiful condition it is in today.
I immediately fell in love with the Uptown Theatre the very first time I set foot in the lobby in 1974. I knew then there was something very special about this building and have felt that way ever since.

It took some time for me to convince Plitt Theatres [the owner at the time] to let Jam use the Uptown Theatre for concerts but I did succeed in 1975 when we presented the Tubes on Halloween. Some of the acts that Jam brought to the Uptown included Genesis, Bob Marley, Steve Miller, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Leon Russell, Foreigner, Boston, the Grateful Dead, Hall & Oates, Lou Reed, the Electric Light Orchestra, the Kinks, Supertramp, Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry, Frank Zappa, Peter Gabriel, Rod Stewart, the Allman Brothers, Dire Straits, Rick James and Santana. The last concert that Jam presented was with the J. Geils Band on December 19, 1981 since the owner did not pay the heating bill, the washrooms were barely working and there were other issues which we felt made the theatre no longer safe for anyone to use.

As we all know, since that date the theatre began to slowly deteriorate. The Uptown fell into the hands of some very onerous owners during this chapter in time who did nothing but continue to let the Uptown waste away. I met with [Rudy] Mulder and [John] Terzakis and also with the not-for-profit run by Michael Morrison and then by Paul Warshauer to try to strike a deal for Jam to become involved with the theatre but all of them were impossible to deal with and ultimately each one of them helped contribute to the sad state of the Uptown as it sits today. It wasn't until Bob Lunn took control that things for the Uptown started to move in the right direction.

Over this period of time Alderman Mary Ann Smith was there to protect the Uptown Theatre through this very dark phase of ownership. Without her a developer would have torn down this treasure but thankfully Alderman Smith stood up to defend this landmark time and time again. Through her efforts the City came to understand the importance and significance of the Uptown Theatre.

It's only been one day (now going on two) since the foreclosure sale occurred. You should know there was only one bidder who showed up on July 29 to purchase the Uptown Theatre and that was UTA II, a company whose members include but are not limited to Arny Granat and myself. While initially being surprised that we were the lone bidders, we fully understand why others did not show up. The fact of the matter is that the Uptown Theatre is a daunting project that faces many challenges for it to re-open. Not only will this be a very expensive project, it will take an incredible amount of time and effort to put the pieces of this intricate puzzle together in order to ensure the Uptown Theatre's future.

We don't have all the answers today about how all of this will come together but we do know a couple of things; (1) the Uptown Theatre now has owners who truly care about saving and preserving this architectural gem; and (2) we will reach out to all of you at the proper time to have you hopefully join with us in our effort. The Uptown Theatre would not still be here today if it wasn't for you and Alderman Smith and probably won't be here in the future without you and the Alderman.

Jerry Mickelson

I look forward to returning to the Uptown and kudos to Jerry Mickelson (if he can pull this one off) for helping to save a Chicago Treasure.

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Happy Birthday Jerry Garcia

Copyright: Richard Blair
Jerry Garcia plays at the Greek Theater in Berkely, Ca. - 1976

The late great Jerry Garcia would be 66 today if he had not died nearly 13 years ago. The leader of the seminal San Francisco rock band the Grateful Dead was a profound influence on American rock and popular culture. This month's Relix Magazine has as their cover story How Jerry Got Hip (Again), it covers an emerging appreciation for the music of the Grateful Dead among younger people today, 13 years after the Dead finished leading their vagabond fans, known as Dead Heads, around America on their various tours. Many think of the Grateful Dead's music as the experimental music that they played during their early years in the '60s and during what became known as "Drums and Space" an experimental jam they played during every concert. The years of 1970 - 1974 the Dead was the most prolific band out there releasing 7 albums (four 1 record sets, two 2 record live sets and one 3 record live set), the final one being the single studio album Mars Hotel released on their then new record label Grateful Dead Records. All of that recording was in addition to near constant touring.

The Grateful Dead was considered an American roots band after releasing American Beauty and Workingman's Dead, albums that could be considered country if they didn't contain the patina and the sound of the Dead. Garcia also recorded and toured with the New Riders of the Purple Sage and Old & In the Way, a bluegrass band featuring Vassar Clemons and David Grisman.

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