Monday, October 30, 2006

Dan Seals Partisans Attempt Google Bombing Aimed at Independent Republican Congressman Mark Kirk

This isn't a political blog, but it's a week and a half before the election, and most of us are busy figuring out what we want to do come election day. In fact, I'm pretty proud of myself. For several days now, I have been avoiding those pesky animal posts which seem to have plagued me most of October. But I digress.

If you have been following the Mark Kirk - Dan Seals contest in the 10th Congressional District of Illinois, you'll be struck by the charges on Democrat blogs that incumbent Mark Kirk has no thoughts other than those of the administration. That's a lie. You would think that the the Democrats would be happy enough pushing their tired old agenda which continues to fascinate them, rather than focusing on the opponent. I mean, if you're all about isolationist America, higher taxes, and the road to socialized medicine, why would you ever vote Republican?

By now you're wondering if I have any point at all to make, so without further ado, I share today's interesting finds, both about the upcoming election. The first is about "Google Bombing" by the Democrats, a concerted effort to try to influence search engines in favor of their party and their candidate. I wondered why in my Internet travels in search of election wisdom I saw so many blog posts about what articles to link to in your blog and precisely how to do it. Now I know and you can read about it for yourself here, here, here and here. The second find is that Mark Kirk is a pretty independent Congress guy, ranking 208 out of 245 members of Congress in loyalty according to the non-partisan Hill Monitor. (Hat tip: Marathon Pundit )

P.S. I have a very good pumpkin picture that I have repeatedly tried to upload but doesn't show. So if about 6 pictures mysteriously show up at the top of this blog, please don't think I've been partaking of Christmas spirits long before the season . . .

Update: Further research has revealed the diabolical plan:

* Step One: With help form readers at Dailykos and MyDD, I will compile a list of seventy article, one for each targeted race. Every article will focus on a different Republican candidate, and will be written by as generally trusted a news source as possible. It will also present as unflattering a view on the Republican candidate as possible. All of these articles will be placed into a database that I will maintain with the help of willing volunteers.

*Step Two: Once the database is complete, BlogPac will purchase Google Adwords that will place each negative article on the most common searches for each Republican candidate. Simultaneously, I will produce an article on MyDD that embeds that negative article into a hyperlink that names the Republican candidate. I will then send a copy of that post out to as many bloggers as possible, who can also place the post on their blogs. One posting of this article will be enough.

* Step Three: All further discussion of the Republican candidates in question on all participating blogs should include an embedded hyperlink that will increase the Google search rank of the article on the given candidate.

It's not surprising that the "negative link" for Congressman Kirk is local CBS news. Ah yes, CBS news, that trusted, non-partisan source when it comes to elections; yeah. Oh, and the list of sites.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Wilmette to You: Happy Reformation Sunday

Today is Reformation Sunday. If you are a Protestant Christian, take a few minutes to pause today to remember the greatness of the Reformation and the world-transforming events which it brought about. People started addressing God on their feet instead of their knees. Bibles, such as the Geneva Bible, pictured above, became widely available, and literacy soared. Reformations thologians discussed and wrote about forms of governence which provided the basis for the founding of the American Republic. The die was cast for the opening of society to the common man.

Our children know little from their schools of this transforming nature of the Reformation, and most of us don't know enough about it, either. You might enjoy looking around on this site and this site to learn a little bit more about it.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Wilmette Voters Beware

**Updated with new information on November 6, 2006 - scroll down **

Want to be a star and end up with a video of you posted on the Internet when you vote? Well, I didn't think so, but if a few left left-wing outfits proceed with a plan that I just discovered via Youtube, pictures of you on Election Day going to and from your polling place, and maybe standing in line, may be available on the Internet from Sweden to Sri Lanka to Somelia for the viewing pleasure of others.

A new website,, is being set up to organize volunteers nationwide to take video footage of polling locations and post the videos to Youtube. Hey, what about laws against invasion of privacy, a non-public person's right to privacy when in public, and a person's freedom from having his photo used by others?

I am stunned to read that one of the partners in this effort is the Lawyer's Committe for Civil Rights Under the Law. They, of all people, should be sensitive to the gross violation of individual civil rights and the threat to civil liberties that this initiative would entail. Voter intimidation at its worst!

Don't tell me about good intentions to document polling-place irregularities; eyewitnesses are capable of doing that without posting pictures of voters for all the world to see.

**UPDATE: 9:31 pm** Just viewed a few videos. Not much there. Lots of "I was told" etc. Go to and see for youself. You could get pretty bored, though.

**UPDATE: Thanks to continuing coverage from Michelle Malkin, We've found this 50-state quick legal guide to photographing and video taping election activities. You should check the details for your state--it's an excellent resource. Also: don't forget that the laws vary from state to state, so check the state in which you are voting.

Note: In Illinois the election judges remain in firm control of the polling place. All complaints should be directed to them. Theoretically, each polling place has judges from both parties which should result in fair hearing. If the judges fail to take action and they are not administering election law subject to their oath of office (and not just because you didn't like their ruling), then the police or states attorney should be contacted. Also in Illinois, the facts and circumstances surrounding the video recoring can be taken into account, so its probably fair to say that taping might be appropriate to document illegal activities, but should not be done to record photographically an orderly election process. Whatever the case, you cannot be photographed while you vote.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Measuring the Drapes: “If we leave they will follow us here . . .”

Many Americans are still undecided on the upcoming Congressional race. With that in mind, you might want to visit U. S. News and World Report’s Michael Barone Blog. Barone has an audio link to an hour-long conversation in the Oval Office between President Bush and several prominent conservative journalists. Well, maybe its more like a soliloquy. Nevertheless, technology has given us a tremendous chance to listen to this in-depth discussion of what the President is thinking about Iraq in light of the upcoming Congressional election. One of the notable quotes: “I don’t think religious people murder; I think people are misusing their religion to justify their murder.”

The record is clear: President Bush has consistently opposed terrorism and has never opposed Islam. With that in mind, it’s good to find out that some Muslims outside the United States have an interest in Muslim/Christian dialogue. For a very interesting recent post from Pakistan, just click here.

And speaking of Muslims, this week has seen the celebration of the Eid holiday (the date seems to vary based on the country), which marks the end of Ramadan. For a bit of diversity, you might enjoy reading some of the blogs on this list, (scroll down to see the list) which features blogs from Pakistan with holiday greetings to its readers.

Mark Kirk - Dan Seals Debate Tonight

Mark Kirk and Dan Seals are debating tonight, October 26, 2006, at 7:30 p.m. at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. Closest Parking is Lot B. Don't settle for spin; take this opportunity to see both candidates in person.

If you are going to the Debate from Wilmette, make sure you allow plenty of time due to rush-hour traffic. Better leave by 6:00 if you don't want to be late.

Don't ask me how to get there, ask Google by clicking here. In fact, I am thinking that I may be switching to Google Driving Directions from my old friend Mapquest. While I feel disloyal changing, Google is just quicker and easier.

Update: I just don't know what to say about some of those Seals' supporters in the audience; it might be unkind. Rumor is that they from out of the district. Likely, because much of the legwork for Seals has been from outside the district, so it would make sense. I sure hope so.

Update: Paul Tully has done a great job with his coverage of the debate. Go read his post.

Updage: Anne weighs in with a post on a "kinder, gentler jihad."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Puzzle: October 25, 2003

No, that's not a typo, I know it's 2006. I took this photo 3 years ago today, and thought I would share it with you. As far as photos go it may not be very good, but it's one of my earliest digital efforts and I still like it.

This is a sight that hundreds and maybe thousands of Wilmette residents see almost every day. In the event you don't recognize it instantly, I'll put the location as the first comment.

Wilmette's Latest Visitor

Who comes creeping
In the night?
When the moon
Is clear and bright?
Who paints the tree leaves
Red and gold
When the autumn days
Turn cold?
Up the hill and down he goes
In and out the gold grain rows
Making music crackling sweet,
With his little frosty feet,
Jack Frost!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wilmette Weekend: "Read the Book"
In the Line of Fire - Parvez Musharraf

There are plenty of non-terrorists in Pakistan who are not 100% happy with their President, Pervez Musharraf, and two of the reasons are 1) They really want those elections which he promised and 2) the government is still silencing their blogs. President Musharraf's recent tour of the United States sticks in their craw as an awfully expensive public relations tour at the country's expense.

While President Musharraf said that the proceeds of his new book, In the Line of Fire, which he promoted during his US trip, will go to charity, he has provided no details. That fact isn't sitting very well with many of his countrymen either.

So a couple of bloggers have done what they believe is the right and fair thing. For full details, check this blog and this blog. Along with some very well crafted argument, these bloggers have included a link to a pdf file of President Musharraf's entire book. It will likely take a few days for anyone to notice this, so if you're curious I'd suggest you check this out now.

Update: I've read to page 25, but must now put it down and get to work. Get the book! So far it is an absolutely great read. Maybe even buy it. Better yet, it reads fast.

Update 11-6-06: Here's a review on the book, done today by a Pakistani blogger who I featured on Blog day. It's worth reading.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Thoughts on Government

Need a little old-time TV to provide some relief from those unending elections ads? How about a few wise words from a famous Chicago economist via India?

Amit has a great old video interview of Milton Friedman posted on his website, along with a transcript if you don't feel like watching the half hour show. While it's a little dated, the show reflects important economic truths. (Friedman was Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, from 1946 to 1976.)

Excerpt: "There are the well-meaning sponsors and there are the special interests who are using the well-meaning sponsors as front men. You almost always when you have bad programs have an unholy coalition of the do-gooders on the one hand and the special interests on the other."

Go have a listen!

Note: Okay, okay so the above is a little deep for this blog. But, never fear, I didn't forget the animals and am posting a link to a postively wicked story about a mouse.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Coyote Alert in Wilmette!

It was shortly after dusk last summer, that I thought I saw something, an animal loping purposefully down the street. I would guess it was maybe a foot or a foot and and a half high, and quick, with a long bushy tail. It was so dark and it happened so fast that I almost thought I was dreaming. Sort of like that time I saw a mountain lion out West appear suddenly a few feet from me and then slink off, I find it hard to understand what's happening without the help of a narrator from the National Geographic.

I now know that I must have seen the coyote, the one that Wilmette police report has been the subject of several worried phone calls from residents. But not to worry, they tell us, just don't feed them or, for that matter don't feed the birds.

Don't feed the birds? That one mystifies me. I suppose coyotes like birds, but they like rabbits better. Do you think the message might have been garbled from Don't plant the bulbs? While we are told that the coyote population is increasing due to a deficit of wolves, I think it might be that they enjoy those tasty well-fed rabbits who, since Spring, have munched just about everything down to the ground in our garden as well as several small bushes that I planted.

But seriously, tell the kids to stay away from any stray dogs they see, because a coyote looks a lot like a dog, and their teeth are very very sharp.

Have you heard this? It's the sound of the coyote. Minnesota has info here and there is advice for Washington, DC residents here. Plenty of pictures here. And, of course, I did have to check the National Geographic.

Note to self: forget the fact that we have an animal theme going this month. You want to end up being an animal blog? Get a grip.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Dan Seals for Congress? Peace at Any Price!

I wrote earlier on why Dan Seals, is wrong for the North Shore and wrong for Congress. Seals, a Democrat, lives in the ultra-liberal 9th Congressional District but is running for office in the far more moderate 10th Congressional District. Now, the Backyard Conservative has a post on Seals and Israel, which is worthy of your consideration. You can read it by clicking here.

With Saddam Hussein planning a comeback, and the Mideast rubbing its hands in glee at the prospect of a Democrat Congress, this election matters and it matters a lot.

Somebody took a video of Seals at an interview earlier this year and posted it on You Tube. If you believe that United States should support Israel, you will want to see that video and you can do that by clicking here.

Interested in poll numbers? Commentary on that, along with a number of interesting posts on the 10th District race at GOPulse, based much further north in the district.


Friday, October 13, 2006

From Wilmette to Africa in One Click

Like that elephant? Since it seems we have a bit of an animal theme going this month, this gentleman from Africa seem to fit right in. While I have been looking for a zoo with a great web site for you, but came up empty, I'm sending you to a brand new blogspot blog instead. Since there is no written explanation, it's anyone's guess, but the blog seems to be photos from someone's very exciting African safari or vacation. You'll love the animals there, and you can see them all by clicking here.

There is only one day of pictures, but plenty of them with lots of animal pics. Quite a "first day" for a blog!

And after all that snow--gone today--that blog looks really, really hot.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

It's Snowing in Wilmette - October 12, 2006

No. It's snowing! On October 12? Yes!

Needless to say, Blame Canada. I'll try to get a picture to share.

Oh, and choose the Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving on Daily Lit. I'm reading it now and it's perfect for Hallowe'en--or maybe just perfect.

And speaking of Hallowe'en, even October 31 is way early for snow.

Break out your parka--I am.
Update:I went out on an errand and took some photos. These pictures don't show how cold and blustery it was. I actually had to drive in blizzard conditions for a bit. These photos are are pretty interesting, and likely represent a once-in-a-lifetime sight.

And yes, if you are visiting from a land where it is always warm, the snow is the white stuff.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Books In your E-mail Inbox

Always promising yourself you'll read more books but never finding the time? Here a clever idea: have a book e-mailed to you in convenient short fragments on a regular basis! At you can choose from a few hundred books, and decide to have them delivered daily, Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays, or weekdays. You can even choose what time to have your book fragment sent. Convenient, no?

If you want the next fragment right away, just click the link in the email, and it will be there, pronto!

While the copyright has long expired on anything available at Daily Lit, there are classics enough to brighten your lunch hour or commute for quite some time. Give it a try--I am.

I don't know how I stumbled across this find, but I'm glad I did.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Smokey the Bear and Election Wisdom

Forest fires still represent a terrible threat to the American West, but it took an act of war to organize an awareness campaign 62 years ago. That campaign is the longest-running public service campaign in history.

Every American surely knows Smokey the Bear (more properly Smokey Bear), the ursine Forest Ranger who taught us our role in preventing forest fires. If you are a fan, you will love the great little Internet Museum dedicated to preventing what are now called wildfires. A complete collection of posters that feature the fire-fighting bear can be found at, as well as Radio and TV ads, including such greats as Bing Crosby and the Sons of the Pioneers. The little Internet museum is wonderfully curated and an extremely well designed. While the TV ads don't reflect the improved technology that has emerged since the site first went online (try using the Real Player option), its well worth a visit. You can even find sheet music for a fun song activity with the kids this weekend.

Oh, yes, notice something vaguely religious about Smokey? Such as maybe he is praying? Maybe even on Government Property? With The Election a few weeks away, we thought we would point out that this poster is from the early 50's, showing that religion is a traditional American value, and not something George Bush dreamed up just to scare the living bejeezus out of the looney left.

And speaking of elections, did you see the website of the Democratic Party that purports to support our vets and their families? At the time of this posting, it features a Canadian soldier. I imagine they will fix that before long, but who's in charge there, anyway? Shameful. Update: The picture has been corrected; an American flag has been substituted for the Canadian soldier. Much better. Further update: They now have an American Flag, and some troops that look like doughboys, but I bet this time they are Americans.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Contemplating - Two

I'm still contemplating.

In the meantime, you might want to go on over to Andy Carvin's Blog. Andy has probably done more than any other person to raise awareness and action in the United States on the Digital Divide. Long ago, his work convinced me why the Internet access shouldn't be limited to the well-to-do, and why we need to encourage policies that work toward Internet access for all.

Andy's father-in-law is quite sick. He has been suffering from an infection following surgery, and Andy asks for your thoughts and prayers for his recovery. Since Andy has so many friends on the Internet, I was thinking you might be one of them. He also has some links to some beautiful music that his father-in-law, David Cornwell, composed in his retirement.

Please spread the word.

UPDATE: Such sad news. While Andy's father-in-law was making terrific progress, a side effect from a medical test with horrific results led to his untimely death on November 7, 2006.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Wilmette's Monkey Business

I imagine that most people in Wilmette enjoy investing , so I don't need to review any of the literature, or the historic article, where a monkey picking stocks makes more money than highly trained investment professionals.

Today's Chicago Sun-Times column by David Roeder has the latest results from their stock-picking monkey here, and it's so funny I hope you will take the time to read it. There are also some well-deserved comments on corporations whose main business seems to be abusing the consumer that are sure to tickle your fancy.