Monthly Archives: September 2009

Rev. Jesse and Amoeba Phil

From Mr. Patrick Hickey, about the latest from what he calls Wilmette-Talking-To–Winnetka, Chicago’s premier leftist-public tee-vee station:

Last night I witnessed Race-baiting Professional Rev. Jesse Jackson serve up more nonsense to the ever supple-spined Phil Ponce on Chicago Tonight. In essence, the arch-race-baiter and Cop Hater, Jesse Jackson, parsed the Fenger murder into a ‘Lack of adequate Police’ nonsense.

Jackson even blamed [torturer] Burge [long-time gone from scene] for the Fenger beat down – click my post title for the WTTW Jesse Fest. [Host with the leastest Phil] Ponce could not be anymore amoeba-like in his Bill Moyers cupped chin-gee-whiz Jesse affection.

See Jesse, see Phil here.

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Shooting Drudge down

It is to chuckle, if not laugh out loud (LOL to texters), to read this alleged refutation in Sun-Times of Drudge Report’s story, now scrubbed, about pressure on WFLD-32 to drop its coverage of the anti-Olympics web site.

Chicago 2016 spokesman Patrick Sandusky said he did speak to the Fox news outlet Thursday about possibly doing a follow-up story to the station’s first piece after questions about the site arose, but he never demanded they stop reporting on the Web site. “It’s what anyone in my position would have done,” Sandusky said.

That sure ices it.  The 2016 spokesman denied it, so Lew Lazare can use this lede:

A Drudge Report news blog item was off the mark in an item it posted late Sunday night.

And the copy desk can faithfully compose this head:

Drudge wrong on Web site report

And if you weren’t convinced, this should do it:

[A] WFLD spokeswoman released a copy of a story the station intended to run on its Monday evening newscast. In that story, WFLD said it “chose” to discontinue referring to the ChicagoansForRio Web site until “its authenticity could be verified.”

After that friendly call from the 2016 man.

A little nuance, please, from S-T? 

On the other hand: As noted above, Drudge has scrubbed the item, which does nothing to erase the incredibility of the S-T story, assuming credibility is important.

[Tip of fedora to Political Lore]

Condolences

God bless Father Pfleger for being on hand to console the grieving mother over the murder of her son outside a South Side community center.

And our condolences to him on having no reason to bus kids and mothers down to the State of Illinois building to protest inaction on new gun controls to go with unenforceable gun controls already in place. 

He would have to protest against easy accessibility to lethal two-by-fours.

Murder by board

He did manage something quotable, however:

“No longer should our children be living in this kind of fear,” said the Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina’s Church. “It’s time to forego guns and two-by-fours and have that stop being the way we treat and handle each other.”

Note he said “forego,” not “ban.” Nothing profound there, but enough to head off a new slogan, “Two-by-fours don’t kill, people do.”

The joke’s on this vendor

This story out of Johnson City, Tenn. — just west of Knoxville, 61,000 souls — hits a nerve.  How so?  Because I wore a “NoBama 08” baseball cap around Oak Park during last year’s campaign and had a number of people ask me where I got it.  A number of others gave me a hi-sign when they saw it.  Others gawked.  Two people objected.

One, the counter woman at USA Liquors at Harlem and Madison, took me to task, as did an OPRF student on her way to school, very briefly.  Neither were anything but good-natured about it.  But if I were looking for something to go with my cap now in Johnson City, I’d be out of luck. 

Dan Fuchs used to sell such items in the Johnson City mall, where business was just starting to pick up and he was looking forward to the Christmas season.

Fuchs anti-Obama design

One of Fuchs’ anti-Obama T-shirt designs.

[His] business, the Graphic Edge, printed slogans and pictures on items such as coffee cups, bumper stickers and T-shirts. He said more than half of his business came from the sale of anti-Obama merchandise. Bumper stickers with slogans such as “SOS: Stop Obama’s Socialism,” “Nobama,” and “Chicago got the party, but the country got the hangover” were displayed around the small stand.

Now it appears Fuchs is out of business at the mall, but mall officials say this decision was not based upon political views.

Fuchs thinks so.  He says

mall officials . . . told him to take down the anti-Obama items on display by closing time or face immediate eviction [on Thursday].

That’s not how it happened, said Marsha Hammond, the mall’s marketing director.

Mall General Manager Tembra Aldridge and Melinda Davis, the mall’s specialty leasing representative, suggested that Fuchs also display items in support of Obama. The mall had received several complaints from customers regarding the anti-Obama items, she said. Hammond also said that it was Fuchs’ decision to remove the items completely from display.

Nope, says Fuchs.

“I was given no choice. I was given . . . the option of taking it down or get out, receive an eviction at closing time.”

His had been a market decision to stock the anti-Obama merchandise, which had grown to 60% of his stock.  He

hadn’t initially set out to create anti-Obama items. One day . . . a customer asked for an anti-Obama shirt to be printed. A few days later . . . another customer asked for another similar item.

Then some of these items were put on display . . . most were completed upon customer request, Fuchs said.

Most got a kick out of the materials. 

“People would look at them and laugh or whatever, and I would always ask ‘what do you think about it? Do you approve?’ or some silly little remark,” he said. “I would say that probably 95 percent were positive, only 5 percent were not.”

Here in Oak Park, the responses would be pretty much reversed.  But if there were such a vendor with such a product, in Oak Park he would have been allowed to continue, as long as he paid the rent, right? 

I mean, look, didn’t that ex-homosexual Christian fellow have his day in the sun (at Buzz Cafe) talking up his book on changing one’s life style?  Didn’t he?  He didn’t?  Hmmm.

Ah.  One more thing.  This Fuchs fellow, gone from the mall, says he’s going to sell his stuff on the Internet, which is where I found my NoBama ‘08 cap, I forget exactly where.  It might have been here.  Or here, where the motto is

“Hope” fading?

Express yourself.

Voice your concerns over the President’s direction with anti-Obama designs from our community.

Is this still a great country, or what?

Big guns in place for 2016

The drums, they are a-thumping for 2016 in Chicago:

The 2016 Olympic Games in Chicago would bring the world to our doorsteps.

The games would bring sorely needed development to the near South Side.

The Games would bring jobs.

But perhaps, most importantly, the Games would bring magic.

Thank you, Sun-Times, for my favorite editorial today in the whole, wide world.

When Chicago’s businesslike 2016 Olympic bid team makes its final presentation in Copenhagen on Friday, expect to hear its purposeful pitch softened by emotional chords, with first lady Michelle Obama, and perhaps her husband, President Barack Obama, bringing the appeal to its crescendo.

After 2 1/2 years of working to convince International Olympic Committee members that Chicago can deliver a compact Summer Games in the heart of the city, the bid team needs to warm it up to slide past emotional favorite Rio de Janeiro, as well as well-connected Madrid and well-financed Tokyo, observers say.

Thank you, Chi Trib, for this Front Page above-fold right-hand column BIG-NEWS item. 

P.S.: I love that “purposeful pitch,” which in another context would have been a slider just nicking the outside corner, down and out.

My drop in bucket

My alma mater, Fenwick High School, asked alums what we want in a principal, whom the school will be hiring soon.

They asked:

What are the strengths of the School – those core values you want to honor and preserve?

I said:

Catholic identity, high academic standards, good learning environment

They asked:

What are the challenges facing the school that need to be addressed during the next 3-5 years?

I said:

Emphasizing personal responsibility and freedom in a time of increasingly statist solutions to national economic and social problems. Elucidating the diversity of Catholic-based thought in this matter.

They asked:

What personal and professional qualities would you like to see in the next Principal of Fenwick High School?

I said:

Personal integrity, keen intelligence, high managerial capability.

Off top of head, you know.  Better ideas, anyone?

Later: Reader M. approves:

Catholic identity, high academic standards, good learning environment

If the principal sees to that, he will have all the qualities within himself that everyone wants him to have.

Boy, that “Catholic identity” thing is elusive in many Catholic schools today.

Some do not come running

Chicagoans for Rio! is the Fox-Chicago Channel 12 WFLD-TV’s execrable, damnable minute and four seconds that — heavens to Betsy! — portrays a web site that argues against and provides testimonials against Chicago 2016 Olympics. 

Horrors! Disloyal! Woefully outside the box! Clearly a case of The Enemy of the People arising in our midst.

Just so you can judge for yourself how horrible and disloyal, the site is Chicagoans for Rio 2016, which says

It would be exciting to host the Olympics here in Chicago.  But you know what be even better?  Rio de Janeiro.  Just let Rio host the 2016 Olympics.  We don’t mind.  Honest.

Second City vs. Marvelous City.  Go marvelous!

And for a capsule commentary that sums the Rio First concept, look to Larry Horist’s letter in Sun-Times:

First and foremost, all those businesslike economic projections flowing out of City Hall and the Chicago boosters are fabrications, theories. . . .  Should we get the Olympics, the costs will be higher than projected and the income lower. The promised ancillary benefits will never materialize. The [deleterious] impact on the working-class taxpayer will be significant.

. . . . [V]irtually every independent accounting authority says the city’s projections are nothing but hype. Even the promised insurance policy that is supposed to protect the taxpayers is full of holes — billions of dollars in costs will come out of Chicago workers’ paychecks. Our hard-earned money will be redistributed to the rich and powerful friends of City Hall.

In the twisted irony of Chicago politics, those who will scoop up millions of dollars in windfall profits will have the best accommodations, the best seats, the best parties. The working-stiff footing the bill will watch the hometown Olympics on television, find it impossible to get into a restaurant, stand in long lines for entertainment venues and have to make their way to work in super congestion. I say: Go! Go! Rio! [Italics added]

Oh, and by the bye and FYI, Drudge has it that the Chicago Olympic Committee said don’t run that minute and four seconds clip, because

its broadcast “would harm Chicago’s chances” to be awarded the games.

The station’s news director ordered staff to hold fire after the report aired once last Thursday morning, claims a source.

The committee is right: the Go Rio movement would hurt their project.

 

Mysterious zoning

An oracular explanation is sought at Chicago’s long-overdue Department of Zoning Oversight Fellowship Forum for a favorable outcome at City Hall.  First, PDB channels keys:

If you lose your keys, you might put yourself in their place and ask, where would I be?  Then you might be able to find your keys through a sequential path of logic, or you might just stumble across them by dumb luck.  Both result in a found set of keys, but only one path demonstrates that something is at work here beyond your understanding, a higher order.

Fair enough.  As for the long-sought favorable outcome in which the zoning administrators gave approval for three (3) sets of drawings, leaving the architect with incomplete “cosmic understanding” of what happened:

Since there appears to be no sequence of logic here, it fits that Zoning exhibits not simply a higher degree but an altogether different level of complexity.  Some might call it divine.

He thanks “the oracle,” likening the challenge to “trying to take the white out of rice.”

Always on Sunday: In the liberal park with Clarence

I appreciate Chi Trib’s Clarence Page because he tells me how libs are reacting to this or that issue of the day, like the recent guerilla journalism practiced in l’affair ACORN.

This catching of ACORN people in the act was done by “pranksters,” he says. Conservative objections to ACORN demonstrate an “obsession.” Fox News’s Glenn Beck becomes “deranged” at the mention of it, as in his anti-newspaper crusade: “Pick up the phone” and call one to complain, urged Beck.

All in all, the video prank became an “embarrassment [that] sends to the world the worst possible picture of low-income Americans, the very people whom ACORN is supposed to help.” (No fair!) It “spurred Washington’s usually sluggish funding gears to spin into warp drive,” says Page, stretching metaphorical possibilities. How about, It turned off the spigot?

Page alludes to ACORN’s voter-registration fraudulency, finding consolation in a claimed lack of voting by Mickey Mouse and others. He notes Obama’s legal pleading for ACORN in a motor-voter case in 1995 but says nothing of his teaching ACORN people how to do things the Alinsky way.

Neither does he say anything about ACORN’s Alinsky-style picketing and muscling of bankers in its push to give out mortages to people who later defaulted and helped the real estate market sputter and slow to a crawl. Nor of Obama’s recent professing ignorance of ACORN’s prolific funding by the feds over many years. Nor of Obama’s presidential campaign’s hiring ACORN for millions within the last two years.

But one does not read Page for that sort of information. One reads him to catch the latest on what libs are saying, and one should not complain but be thankful for what one gets when he opens up his Tribune op-ed page on any given Sunday.

==============

Instant response: Friendly challenge from Rick in Ann Arbor:

Clarence Page ought to check with his personal psychoanalyst, just to make sure that his parole from the Mental Hospital is still good.  . . .  HOw can he possibly judge that my objection to ACORN is an obsession ???  Beside being of dubious intellectual talent, is he also a Board Certified Psychiatrist ??

Not that I know of.

Possible great thoughts before, during, or after church

If you haven’t gone to mass or service or Unitarian discussion group yet or if you have gone already or don’t intend to go, here’s something to mull.

Provocative opening shots:

* “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.” — Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

* “Any one thing in the creation is sufficient to demonstrate a Providence to an humble and grateful mind.” — Epictetus (55 – 135)

About Aristotle:

* “It is with a certain awe,” says William E. Carroll (“Aquinas and the Big Bang,” First Things, November 1999), “we read that magnificent chapter in [Aristotle’s] Metaphysics in which he demonstrates the existence of a Prime Mover and First Principle of all things. That a pagan philosopher, by the unaided light of reason, should acquire so clear a conception of the Godhead in Its unity and simplicity, is marvellous.

…………………….

“[I]n a chapter only less sublime than that we have been contemplating, he clearly asserts the unity and simplicity of God: “The Prime Mover is indivisible; is without parts; and has absolutely no kind of magnitude”{Physics, VIII. xv. § 26}.

. . . . What Aristotle fails to see is the nature and operation of God as Cause. He fails to see that the highest act of causality is creation. He fails to see how the preservative act is a continuation of the causative act.

Creation didn’t happen just once, it keeps happening.

About Aquinas:

* In the thirteenth century . . . scholars such as Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas wrestled with the implications for Christian theology of the most advanced science of their day — namely, the works of Aristotle and his Muslim commentators, which had recently been translated into Latin.

Following in the tradition of Muslim and Jewish thinkers, Aquinas developed an analysis of the doctrine of creation ex nihilo [from nothing] that remains one of the enduring accomplishments of Western culture. His analysis provides refreshing clarity for our often confused contemporary discussion of the relationship between science and religion.

Then Chesterton, from Orthodoxy:

* My own positive conviction that personal creation is more conceivable than material fate, is, I admit, in a sense, undiscussable. I will not call it a faith or an intuition, for those words are mixed up with mere emotion, it is strictly an intellectual conviction; but it is a PRIMARY intellectual conviction like the certainty of self of the good of living.

A first principle, we might say. Which is hard to argue with, yes. And one man’s insight is another raw impulse. On the other hand . . .

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