From Where I Blog

You've reached 'From Where I Blog'-- a blog created and maintained by Jim Muir. On this site you will find the news that is oftentimes missed and rarely discussed by the mainstream media. You can also count on this blog to always be hard-hitting, fair and chocked-full of stories that affect your life. I believe that once you visit 'From Where I Blog' you will return. And finally, your comments are not only welcome, they are also greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

GREENIES WILL FIND OUT THURSDAY

Green Party candidates, particularly Carbondale attorney Rich Whitney who is running as third party gubernatorial candidate, will find out Thursday how the state election board rules in their bid to et on the November ballot.

From my perspective if Whitney is on the ballot it would certainly make things more interesting and also give many voters who are not thrilled at the Democratic or Republican candidates, another option. Most so-called political experts feel like Whitney will not make a difference even if he does make the ballot.

Here's the story from the Bloomington Pantagraph.

Also, the Illinois Radio Network says that Whitney will not be allowed to be involved in the debates. Here's that story.

To try and generate some comments, what do you think, should he be on the ballot, will he make a difference and should he be allowed to debate with Blago and Topinka?

IF YOU EVER WONDER WHY THERE IS VOTER APATHY ... READ THIS STORY

I question sometimes why Illinois residents are not up in arms about the fact that we live in a state that is the poster child for political corruption. It makes me downright mad that some folks just don't seem to care and that we continue to send the same bozos back to Springfield hoping somehow that things are going to change ... which of course they never do.

Then I run across a story like this one in the Chicago Sun-Times and I realize why apathy is wide spread in Illinois and why many people have simply turned their head away from the mess and said 'what's the use in trying or caring?'

Read this and expect to get mad.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

TOMPINKA RELEASES FOUR-YEAR BUDGET PLAN TO MIXED REVIEWS

A detailed four-year budget plan was presented Wednesday by Republican gubernatorial hopeful Judy Baar Topinka. The plan, which calls for increased funding for schools and a two-year freeze on property taxes, drew mixed reviews and lukewarm responses from both Democrats and Republicans.

In an effort to present as broad of a view as possible I'm going to post several links.

Here's the press release, posted on The Capital Fax Blog. Here's the Blagojevich response.

Here's the Chicago Tribune story.

And a story in Crain's.

The Arlington Daily Herald weighs in.

The Chicago Sun-Times story.

Mayor Daley likes Topinka's casino idea.


IT'S THURSDAY ...

... and that means it's time to post my weekly column.

Comfort the afflicted ... and afflict the comfortable.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

DOES THE PUNISHMENT FIT THE CRIME?

Since I'm very, very tired of political campaigns, the JonBenet investigation and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin -- and it seems that is all that is in the news the past few days, I found a single story that will make up my Tuesday blogging effort.

The high school football season in Southern Illinois kicks off Friday night so the story is very timely.

Two young men in Kenton, Ohio, both standout high school football players decided to pull a prank and put a plastic decoy deer in the road to see how motorists would react. After setting the decoy in the road the pair then hid alongside the road and watched as motorists swerved to avoid it.

One motorist swerved too much, his vehicle left the roadway and the end result was serious injuries to the two people in the vehicle, one with a broken neck and the other with brain injuries.

OK, armed with those facts what is the suitable punishment for the two boys who pulled the bonehead stunt? The answer to that question, you'll find out, might depend on how good the high school football team is expected to be this season.

I'm going to post a link to the story and I'd love for you to comment on the following questions:

Here's the story.

* Does the punishment fit the crime?
* Should the two boys be allowed to play football, period?
* Should the high school set standards for such behavior?
* What would your reaction be if the injuries were sustained by your child?
* What would your reaction be if your child pulled the prank that resulted in serious injuries to two people?

OK, kids wade in and let me know what you think.

Monday, August 21, 2006

JonBenet, the Mayor of Chocolate City, Pat Buchanan and the Common Sense Express

A KOOK OR A KILLER?

The circumstances surrounding John Mark Karr, the man who claimed last week that he was with JonBenet Ramsey when she died, has gone from strange to bizarre.

Karr arrived in the United States from Thailand on Sunday night and apparently lived a slice of the high life on his 15-hour flight. I would hope that this might end the case for all the parties involved but I have my doubts if he is the real killer. Some are saying he's a nut that is obsessed with the unsolved murder and the little girl and has thrown himself into the center of the murder investigation.

Here's some interesting links about the case.

Champagne flight

Roast duck, soy sauce and yellow noodles

Indulging Karr ... a brilliant move

EVEN IF YOU DON'T LIKE HIM ...

Yes, Pat Buchanan gets under my skin sometimes and yes, I find him annoying most of the time. However, Buchanan has released a new book entitled "State of Emergency: Third World Invasion and Conquest of America" that is nothing short of eye-opening.

The Drudge Report offered an early glimpse at the book and it contains some amazing facts and figures. I will definitely have this on my 'must read' list.

I hate to make you mad on a Monday morning but this is some pretty amazing stuff.

Here's the link.

THE CHOCOLATE CITY MAYOR

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin just can't seem to keep his foot out of his mouth and he has it lodged firmly between his jaws again.

This time Nagin is saying that racism and red tape has slowed down the recovery in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina -- this of course despite the fact that tens of billions of dollars have been funneled into his city.

Nagin is also lamenting the fact that the population of New Orleans is still only 250,000 -- down from the 460,000 when the Katrina hit. I would bet and give odds that Houston would gladly give back the hooligans that migrated there when New Orleans went under water. You will remember a story from last week where a report showed that the murder rate and crime rate in Houston has increased by more than 17 percent during the past year.

Here's more on Nagin.

REGARDLESS OF YOUR POLITICS ...

Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican you have to admit that a full-slate of statewide candidates traveling traveling through small communities that have been largely overlooked is refreshing.

The six Republican candidates for statewide office in Illinois -- Judy Barr Topinka, Joe Birkett, Carole Pankau, Christine Rodogno, Dan Rutherford and Stewart Umholtz -- made a swing through Southern Illinois Saturday on a huge bus called "Common Sense Express."

And this is not a one afternoon, two or three city stop, this is a weeklong journey that will travel more than 2,000 miles and with stops in 34 communities -- communities like Nashville, Mt. Vernon, Greenville, Farina, Olney and Fairfield.

I covered the story on Saturday during a swing through Mt. Vernon and Nashville and was invited to ride th bus during the 20-mile ride and you got the sense that these people genuinely like each other.

Once again, regardless of your political persuasion you have to admit that a grass roots approach is refreshing.

Here's the story.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

DO AS I SAY ... NOT AS I DO

As you're aware Sen. Barack Obama made a swing through Southern Illinois this week and held a series of townhall meetings. During those meetings Obama fielded questions on a variety of topics including $3 per gallon gas and our dependency on foreign oil. Obama said global warming is being caused by gas-guzzling vehicles and added that people should switch to hybrids.

"It would save more energy, do more for the environment and create better world security than all the drilling we could do in Alaska. This is a problem we can't drill our way out of."

As reported on The Drudge Report today, as soon as Obama made that declaration he made his way through the crowd where he climbed into the back seat of his SUV and sped away from Southern Illinois.

Here's the story.


RACIAL PROFILING? OR, A DESCRIPTION OF THE SUSPECT?

I'll vote for the latter.

As always after a terrorist attack or even a thwarted terrorist attack the political correctness crowd comes crawling out of the woodwork to say that it is unconstitutional to profile Muslims in airports and train stations.

I'll link to a pair of stories that will give the pros and cons of this argument. Once again, I say it's a description of the suspect.

Racial profiling is un-American.

Reconsidering our position on profiling.

CAN YOU SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

I wrote a story a few years ago about a woman that had been arrested nine times and thought that was bad and an indictment on the judicial system. This story makes that woman look like an angel.

Man arrested for 226th time.

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME

I love baseball and look at it as a getaway from the rat race that we know as life. Nothing is more exciting than a summer afternoon or night at Busch Stadium. In the business I'm in, with mostly negative news and cynical people, baseball is an escape, albeit for a few hours, a real escape.

I ran across this column, written by Garrison Keillor, and found it masterful, accurate, heart-tugging and overall simply subperb. I know your day is frantic, so is mine, and I know you have to hurry through this blog, but take a few minutes to read Keillor's words. I did early this morning and it made my day better. Hopefully it will have the same effect on you.

Here's the column.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET INTERESTING ...

... or at least that's what some people are predicting.

I'm not big on rumors, unless of course they come from very reliable sources. I heard one of those rumors Sunday night and, given the people involved, I decided to share it with you. If nothing else, it will be fun to sit back and watch and see if this really transpires.

A good friend with good connections in Springfield and Chicago reports that a well-respected newsman told him that 'the world is going to fall on the Blagojevich administration' within the next two weeks.'

Once again, if Joe Blow at the convenience store told me that I would disregard it and go on, but when the people involved talk, well ... I listen.

Was the newsperson talking about the ongoing investigation? Was he talking about indictments that might be handed down? When asked, the reporter would only say again that things are going to get real interesting within two weeks.

Coincidentally, two weeks is roughly Labor Day -- or the official start to the 2006 campaign.

If something big happens in the next two weeks you can say you heard it hear first.

TENSIONS MOUNTING?

Maybe it's someting ... and maybe it's not ... but I found a lot of stories in the past few days that make it appear that nerves are starting to get a little frayed and that tensions seem to be mounting. Maybe it ties in with the tidbit of information I tossed out earlier or maybe the dog days and the heat and humidity of August are making nerves a little frazzled.

Read this, this, this, this, this and this.

And here's a column by Rich Miller that ties all this together.

SNOW WHITE VS. THE SUPREME COURT ... IT'S NO CONTEST

This is a sad commentary on the future.

Here's the story ... sad but true.

KATRINA VICTIMS STILL MAKING HEADLINES

Exactly one year ago this month (Aug. 29 to be exact) Hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf coast, particularly Mississippi and Louisiana. We all still remember the devastation in New Orleans where about half the city was under water and people were clinging to rooftops to try and stay alive.

The city of Houston opened its arms and took busload after busload of Katrina victims from New Orleans. Well, it appears that Houston's generosity hasn't paid off for the Texas city. In fact Houston has seen a dramatic increase in murders, crime overall and especially gang-related crimes.

What a great way to say 'thanks' for all your help.

Here's the story.

INTERESTING READING

Travel plans may alienate Muslims

Another example of the 'new' Democratic party.

You deserve a great today at McDonalds

Thursday, August 10, 2006

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING ...

I imagine I'm like most people when I wake up every morning. My first order of business, actually my second order of business, is to turn on my computer and quickly get caught up with what is taking place locally, in Illinois and around the world. Computers have literally put the world at our fingertips.

Sometimes the news we receive about what has been taking place while we were sleeping is chilling and today is one of those days. During the night British intelligence agents uncovered and then stopped another planned terrorist attack. This one was designed to blow up several planes flying from England to the U.S. The airlines to be attacked were United, American and Contintental. Apparently, from what has been released thus far the plan was simple, blow up as many planes as possible thus killing as many innocent people as possible.

Ina all 21 people, all Muslims (that's a shocker, huh?) have been taken into custody. British officials say the plot has the look of a strong connection to Al-Qaeda (another shocker).

This is just another reminder that there are terrorists working hard on a daily basis to kill innocent people. Yet, there will be those who will still scream 'racial profiling' if Muslims are singled out in airports. Once again and for the umpteenth time, it is not racial profiling ... it is a description of the suspect.

I'm going to load you up on links to the story that will dominate the news today and for several days to come.

Go here , here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

ON THE LOCAL FRONT

Republican gubernatorial candidate Judy Barr Topinka weighs in on venue shopping and Illinois' reputation as a judicial hell-hole. Here's the story.

... while Gov. Rod Blagojevich is concerned about the 'morning after.' Here's that story.


BASEBALL ... WITH NO POLITICS ON THE SIDE

I've written briefly about my feelings about the Marion baseball project and the decision by state officials to hand over $4 million to a privately funded project. In today's column I went into much greater detail. Here' that column.

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