Tuesday, February 28, 2006

India's Blogs: Today's Web Tourism Destination

With Newsweek's cover story on India, no doubt Wilmette's erudite residents will want to learn more about the country. The story behind the story is India's blogs; a couple of my Indian web-friends have great ones. Take a minute to look at a couple that live large in the Indian Blogosphere: Dina Mehta's Creative Chaos, and Peter Griffin's Zigzackly. Peter has a great post on how search engines can create real trouble for bloggers. Verify that odd resultby clicking here.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Wilmette: Why do the Police Enforce Parking Laws and Not Traffic Laws?

Took my life in my hands, today, parking in Poplar Avenue Lot 4 to take the train to Chicago. Illinois law is clear. The Rules of the Road (Chapter 8) state that "Crosswalk lines are white lines painted across the entire width of the pavement. Sometimes the inside area is marked with white diagonal lines for added visibility. Pedestrians in crosswalks have the right-of-way over motor vehicles." As I crossed on the white diagonal lines, the driver of the large SUV who was chatting on her cell phone smiled as she nearly ran me over.

Wilmette Police seem never fail to enforce parking laws, but I have been nearly killed several times as a pedestrian. Is there a reason that the Wilmette Police can't protect and serve pedestrians? As one Wilmette policeman told me a couple of years ago, giving tickets aggrevates the residents

In fairness, the Backyard Conservative did some investigative reporting in Wilmette today, and nearly had an accident with an illegally parked car.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Casinos and Wilmette: Follow the Money

You read it here a year ago, but I thought it was a joke. Now I find that casinos are becoming involved in Wilmette politics. They have granted over $100,000 to political groups (disguised as charities) through their own foundation. Their grants are Housing Opportunity Development Corporation $80,000; and Interfaith Housing Center for the Northern Suburbs $25,000. You can follow the money by clicking here.

Forrest Claypool at the Wilmette Metra Station

Actually Forrest Claypool wasn't at the Wilmette Metra Station, it was one of his campaign workers passing out Forrest Claypool's literature. Forrest Claypool is running for President of the Cook County Board against John Stroger. If you are taking a Democratic Ballot in March, you should read the Chicago Tribune endorsement. Then you should vote for him

Friday, February 24, 2006

Affordable Housing and Wilmette

It's no secret that the goal in Wilmette among the "affordable housing" advocates is to drive out the people who DO live in affordable housing, replace that housing with costly teardowns, and have them subsidize new residents more to the political taste of the advocates through increased property taxes.

My friend the Backyard Conservative, (and I do take full credit for encouraging her to blog) has a great post on affordable housing that is now being discussed in Wilmette, and you can read it by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

George Washington Rocks!

He does! George Washington, our first and best president, used to have his very own holiday, on his birthday, February 22. I'll bet there are plenty of Americans too young to remember that.

In honor of his birthday, I'll be reading his Farewell Address and looking at his Rules of Civility one more time. If that's not enough, Wikipedia has enough information and links to keep me busy most of March.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Some Danish Dairy Products Aren't Danish

In the midst of the cartoon crisis there is a sad tale, one sure to bring a tear to any good Capitalist's Heart. Bahrain Danish Dairy, 100% Bahraini owned, has somehow ended up on boycott lists passed out after Friday prayers in the Islamic world. Despite the name, their dairy products aren't Danish nor do they contain Danish dairy products. While the company severed its relationship with its Danish owners in 1993, for business and not political reasons, their sales are suffering, as is its management, stuck with a (currently) most unfortunate name.

We Have Met the Enemy and He is Strange

A commercial website has added a t-shirt featuring one of the now infamous cartoons to its line of political t-shirts. The outfit is located in California, and judging from what they offer, their customers are in the USA. Nevertheless, they have angered the islamic world. The website carries a selection of the emails send to them by the Offended along with their wares. A few notes are polite requests that likely would get a sympathetic hearing, such as:

"I am a muslim living in Turkey. I have been very sad when i saw your Mohammed cartoons t-shirts. Perhaps, you will be able to selling these products, but are you aware of how you hurted our hearts?" and

"Dear sir:
Can you please stop to sell The Mohammed Cartoon T Shirt . Thanks"

Some of the letters are just plain threatening, and certainly illustrate why there is a growing us vs. them mentality:

"You are dead mother f*cker. We will keep you staying sometimes and will send you to the HELL. See you next month in your house." and

"Will you stop??? We are coming *sshole. You are dead do you know this."

Then again, a number of the letters are just very, very strange. One example:

By the way I am a Liberian Muslim, who start pray after your "message", I just pray to god ask him to metamorphose people like you as he done with Jewish before, "metamorphosed them to monkeys and hogs".

For an interesting commentary on the current situation, you might be interested in reading this. For those who believe that there is nothing new under the sun, their reading should start here.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Happy President's Day!

Here's to President's Day! In a country with guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of the press, is there any U. S. President who has escaped the scorn of his countryment? The answer is no. One of the most important attributes of our Presidents is clearly their sense of humor--they need it. In fact, a sense of humor can be downright healthy.

With violence and destruction continuing abroad over several cartoons, we present several links featuring presidential humor in honor of the day.

www.jibjab.com - a classic
www.melvindurai.com/elect - pokes fun at all the 2004 candidates
www.jokesandhumor.com/72.html - Bill Clinton's plight as if written by Dr. Seuss
www.jokesandhumor.com/jokes/177.html - Hillary and Bill
www.jokesandhumor.com/jokes/379.html - a dancing President Bush
And, saving the best for last: www.billionairesforbush.com/beabillionaire.php

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Hunting Awareness

I like Dick Cheney. I even shook his hand a couple of times. And since it's well known that the Vice President enjoys the parodies of him that appear on Saturday Night Live, I think he would would approve of me sending you to a website which shows ten ways Dick Cheney can kill you. And please, no jokes about how shooting lawyers in Texas is always in season.

For Those People who Riot while struggling to understand Freedom of the Press, a special page of cartoons about Dick Cheney's embarassing accident here.

Planning an afternoon with the Vice President? Don't forget to wear something from this website.

Don't get caught with your gun up and your guard down! Attend the Quail Hunting School./

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Happy Birthday Honest Abe

Today is President Abraham Lincoln's birthday. While he was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, Illinois claims him as its favorite (historic) son and celebrates that fact with an Official State Holiday.

Abrahm Lincoln's popularity is two-fold: he grew up poor on the American frontier and managed to become President, and he issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Lincoln presided over America's bloodiest war resulting in terrible loss of life and property. His role in the deaths of his countrymen has largely been ignored. Rather, he has become a symbol of freedom and opportunity for all people and honest government, and for that reason alone his birthday is a good reason to celebrate.

For people more interested in history rather than symbols, there are some interesting websites on slavery in the North, secession, and some odd plans for black Americans.

Or perhaps you would enjoy reading the stories of Abraham Lincoln taught to schoolchildren, which are very appealing.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Dreaming of Corn Fed Cars

I've been dreaming of corn fed cars for some time now. I'd like to stop using that foreign oil. E85 ethanol, made of good old midwestern corn, is quickly becoming a reality. I would like to make Midwest Farmers rich and to stop sending all that money to the cartoon crazed Middle East.

General Motors now is promoting its Cornulator, a fun website about E85 ethanol. Take a look and take heart for the future!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Barbie Remembers her Art History Class, and Worries About her Party

Barbie was thinking and thinking today about her Art History class and those Persian miniature paintings. She remembered the summer trip she took with that class, the one with all the museums. After she thought hard enough, she found she really couldn't remember very well what she saw. It seemed so long ago. Thinking that the British Libary online might have an answer she found, not one, not two, not three , but four of the pictures she was thinking about. This made her feel very sad. If other people also remembered those pictures, maybe the party she was planning wouldn't be well attended after all.

Later on: Barbie found these pictures dating from medieval times.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Fulla Tosses Her Cookies


Fulla will have Yasmeen and Nada over. They will be wearing their snappiest house cleaning outfits for today's activity: tossing out all of Fulla's Danish butter cookies. Yesterday Fulla read Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's interview with Al Arabiya and decided Something Must be Done.

Barbie will be wearing her Princess of the Danish Court outfit. She read the same interview yesterday. Although she was thinking about writing an article on Denmark and freedom of religion and freedom of the press, she realized that it was time to prepare for a party! After all, a quick view of the list of Denmark's Embassies, consulates and other representations revealed that dozens of Danish diplomats will likely have a great deal of leisure very soon.

It's a busy day for the dolls.

Barbie, Princess of the Danish Court

Welcome! Somehow, Google keeps sending people to this blog looking for this picture of Barbie in her Danish Princess outfit which is referenced in the above post, but never before shown here. In the spirit that the Reader is always right, I'm putting the picture on the blog. We wouldn't want to disappoint.

Oh, and if you have any good links to Fulla's fashions, could you leave them in the comments section? We think those links may be in Arabic, so we can't find them.

By the way, only a few people know that Barbie and Fulla are long-time friends, having met at a school in Switzerland for very well-bred young ladies. While they are both suffering a little bit from current politics, they nevertheless maintain a spirited e-mail connection (as well as an occasional visit.)

Wilmette Residents Shaken by Phone Calls

Not much news from Wilmette these days, and that's probably good. Nevertheless, word comes via the local newspaper that several Wilmette residents have been badly shaken by recent phone calls received in the middle of the night. When the resident answered the phone a frightening beep was heard, followed by a pause, then another frightening beep. Then, in homes with multiple phone lines, the same thing happened on each line. At least one resident refused to be identified for fear of further harassment. The Police Chief said it was unlikely criminal charges would be filed, after good detective work revealed these calls were from telemarketing companies.

Did I make a mistake naming this blog? Is there any wonder why there aren't many entries?

Kind of makes you wonder what the paper covers in a slow news week.