Category Archives: Blithe Spirit

The good and the bad, emphasis on Trib and Sun-Times

The Baby Cage

Originally posted on wretchedshekels:

I could never use this, but it does make for an interesting post!


In the 1930s, London nannies lacking space for their young ones resorted to the baby cage. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a wire contraption, patented in the U.S. in 1922, that lets you claim that space outside your city window for your infant. Risky? Maybe, but so convenient.

It seems that this historical oddity is one that constantly comes in and out of the media and causes incredible public shock and outrage every time. It is amazing how attitudes change, so that something invented in the 1920s to do nothing but good now leaves us struggling to believe it ever happened.

In 1923 Emma Read patented the Portable Baby Cage. It was designed to solve the problem of large high rises in urban areas which left families with no open spaces to allow their young children…

View original 246 more words

Sky’s the limit for taxers, spenders, and their ilk

Wearing the tax-increase jacket

Always a problem. Republicans consistent here:

Madigan’s legislation would authorize the City Council to levy $50 million more during each of five years, starting in 2016, to devote toward city pension costs. By year five, that tax levy would stand at $250 million more than today, but Republicans added up all of the revenue collected during that period and dubbed Emanuel’s handiwork as a $750 million property-tax increase that they wanted no part of.

“A $750 million property tax-increase is the last thing we need in Illinois,” said Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, who voted against Madigan’s legislation in committee. “This is outrageous. This is going to kill jobs. I oppose this tax increase.”

Compounding the no-new-taxes issue, of course, is the distrust that the city will use the extra money for pensions. Give them money, and with their longstanding penchant for meeting immediate needs, why should people think it will go where they say it will go?

America 3.0: The mess we’re in is a long-festering bipartisan matter

From America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century, —Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come, the book under discussion April 9 at the library:

It is important to realize that the [recent] global financial crisis . . . has deep roots reaching back many decades, and that all was not wonderful with the United States through either the second Bush or Clinton administrations, despite the partisan claims of various flavors.

Hey, say the Bush and Clinton-lovers, cut that out!

The institutions of America 2.0 had been growing increasingly unworkable over previous decades, and it was only by a combination of the deep reserve strengths of America (the culture, not the government) and a series of one-time tricks pulled by various administrations that had allowed prosperity to continue, at least in fits and starts.

Izzat so? cry GW and Bubba supporters, equally offended.

The institutions of America 2.0 . . . emerged in response to a series of real problems, and for the most part managed to fix or at least alleviate those problems. Yet in solving them, they created new ones, in many cases problems that would not show themselves fully for decades, often under conditions never anticipated during the Progressive era.

The Progressives and New Dealers believed that business was consolidating itself into fewer and fewer large corporations, who among themselves would plan the future of technology and lead the economy permanently. So long as this corporate structure could be regulated and steered by the government, and so long as the individual workers could be given security and stability through membership in government-approved labor unions, this was all fine with Progressives.

What were they thinking?

They believed this was the natural direction of social evolution, and that the main problems they faced were those of stabilizing this economy and making it fairer.

You don’t think so? Come and argue with America 3.0 co-author, Oak Parker Michael Lotus at the library April 9, 7 p.m. He’ll be delighted.

Don Harmon straightens up and flies right

Sen. Don Harmon is one of top legislators in carding miles on state airplanes.

SPRINGFIELD – Despite its budget woes, the state of Illinois continues to operate a fleet of executive aircraft that ferries legislators, Supreme Court justices and statewide elected officials between Springfield and Chicago. 

The cost of operating the planes far exceeds alternative forms of travel such as Amtrak and driving.

He’s #4:

State flyers on state plane

It is true that airplanes are the only way to fly. Yet and still . . .

A library book-talk you don’t want to miss

Originally posted on Oak Park Newspapers:

The book is America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century ? Why America?s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come, co-authored by Oak Parker Michael Lotus and James Bennett.

The speaker is Michael Lotus. Date and time: April 9, 7 pmin the Oak Park library’s Veteran’s Room, 2nd floor of 834 Lake Street.

He is one of the library’s scintillating series of author-speakers, the third of six currently scheduled for April andMay ? on books aboutgrowing food and cooking it, how women of all ages can enjoy sex, how children raise parents (yes, it’s not a typo), and walk-racing in the 1870s and 1880s!

Been there, done that — 20 years ago, talking upa book on library time — and it was a pleasure, believe me.

Asthis and the other talkswill be a pleasure for you the book-reader and thinker of great thoughts.

This America 3.0…

View original 291 more words

Sen. Harmon’s Fair Tax not the real Fair Tax

The real Fair Tax has been around a while, and it’s just the opposite of Harmon’s definition. Again, he spins and spins and spins. Objections abound from Fair Taxers from around the country in Wed. Journal comments, as here, ripped from the online pages of the Wednesday Journal: . . . .


Read the rest . . . 

Cook County Republican chairmanship election a true contest

Originally posted on Oak Park Republicans:

There’s”a tug of war” among Cook County Republicans over leadership, Sneed reports in Sun-Times, citing Illinois Review, with Bruce Rauner backing chairman Aaron Del Mar, Palatine township committeeman, over challenger Chris Cleveland, “hard-charging 43rd Ward GOP committeeman.”

Hard-charging indeed. At the Feb. 5 joint city and county GOP meeting atParthenon Restaurant, Cleveland showed a video of TV news clipsshowing how he and his fellow city Republicans worked Mike Madigan over, getting him to withdraw his perennial pseudo-Republican opponent.

Cleveland came onsharp-as-a-tack, an energetic guy with a lot to say. Same for the city GOP chairman, Adam Robinson, in his talk to the group at meeting’s end. Del Mar was a no-show.

Clevelandpresents a credible challenge to Del Mar, whom Sneed’s “party purists” consider “lethargic and lazy and [who] didn?t even attract enough endorsed candidates to fill out a party ballot,? according to “a top party source.”

That’s something…

View original 249 more words

Japan pays attention . . .

Originally posted on Oak Park Newspapers:

. . . to Oak Park:

OAK PARK, Ill.—When I walked along the snow-covered sidewalk, my feet made a slight crunching sound. A cold spell lowered the temperature to 15 degrees below zero, making me hunch my shoulders. When I looked up though, my eyes were drawn to houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the maestro of modern architecture. . . .

. . . writes Eiji Hirose, Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondent for The Japan News. For him or her it was a “Trip Through Time,” about “Turning a suburb into a masterpiece,” with attention (naturally) to Frank Lloyd Wright.

In case you Oak Parkers and others have gotten blase about it all.

View original

Fairness in America, via America 3.0, co-authored by Oak Parker Michael J. Lotus

Originally posted on Oak Park Newspapers:

James C. Bennett and Oak Parker Michael J. Lotus on fairness in America, from their America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century?Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come :

State of the question:

Americans . . . expect others to work and earn what they get, and to be paid what they have earned. They think that the rewards of life should be granted to those who have earned them in an open, competitive process, while recognizing that there is a certain amount of luck involved.

Major problem:

Crony capitalism, where the winners routinely get picked based on political clout, is a system that contradicts and degrades all of these values, and seeing it in operation angers many Americans.


The “Chicago way,” where clout and connections determine all the important outcomes, has not been America’s way in most places, and we don’t want it…

View original 336 more words


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 348 other followers