Immigration activist’s delight — a Doonesbury take-off

A racist has her lunch handed to her.

New by Cynthia Clampitt: Corn in the Heartland

Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland (Heartland Foodways)

Food historian Cynthia Clampitt pens the epic story of what happened when Mesoamerican farmers bred a nondescript grass into a staff of life so prolific, so protean, that it represents nothing less than one of humankind’s greatest achievements.

Blending history with expert reportage, she traces the disparate threads that have woven corn into the fabric of our diet, politics, economy, science, and cuisine. At the same time she explores its future as a source of energy and the foundation of seemingly limitless green technologies. The result is a bourbon-to-biofuels portrait of the astonishing plant that sustains the world.

Let’s hear it for corn!

(Cynthia is smart on top of smart, riveting when she talks corn. Book has to be good.)

Risen from the news grave: a social measurement that has been taboo

Consider this article summary (from Reboot Illinois) and ask yourself what’s really, really unusual about it.

Rauner’s juvenile justice team vows retooling to keep kids out of jail chicagotribune.com – Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Department of Juvenile Justice says it will retool efforts to keep low-risk juvenile offenders out of state facilities and help those who are incarcerated successfully re-enter their communities.

A five-point plan for how to do that was unveiled Friday. It relies on a new tool for measuring young offenders’ risk factors — including mental health, IQ and family history, among others — to determine whether a juvenile would be better served with treatment outside of custodial facilities.

Give up? It’s the reference to IQ! When is the last time you saw that reference?

Rudy for Loretta, another man-bites-dog story?

Calls her “an extraordinary appointment,” urges Repubs to confirm her as AG.

May I recommend . . .

My Afternoons with Margueritte (2010)

Lovely love story . . .

Climate change denial from unexpected source

A man bites dog story to beat all. Greenpeace co-founder is a denier:

Editor’s Note: Patrick Moore, Ph.D., has been a leader in international environmentalism for more than 40 years. He cofounded Greenpeace and currently serves as chair of Allow Golden Rice. Moore received the 2014 Speaks Truth to Power Award at the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change, July 8, in Las Vegas.

I am skeptical humans are the main cause of climate change and that it will be catastrophic in the near future. There is no scientific proof of this hypothesis, yet we are told “the debate is over” and “the science is settled.”

My skepticism begins with the believers’ certainty they can predict the global climate with a computer model. The entire basis for the doomsday climate change scenario is the hypothesis increased atmospheric carbon dioxide due to fossil fuel emissions will heat the Earth to unlivable temperatures.

Lots here in important story . . .

Disappointed reader wants Eric Holder-style discussion of the blacks-only assembly

Plunging into my Wed. Journal yesterday as usual, though also looking for a letter I’d sent in — it wasn’t there! — I found myself absorbed by discussion of the recent blacks-only assembly at the high school, including a tantalizing next-day account of the special board meeting that had drawn 100 people.

Systematically going from page to page, I came to the page where the columns are, and saw two side by side about the assembly at least as background, and I thought, OK, it’s a hot issue with Oak Parkers reportedly of several minds on the matter, let’s see what’s here.

Unfortunately, it was time to move on because there was nothing there. Both columns, here and here, by citizens who care about their community, thought the blacks-only assembly was a good idea! Say what? Nothing from citizens who care about their community who thought it was a bad idea?

It didn’t help any when I did move on, to the next page, and found featured editor Ken Trainor’s regular column there, a rather lengthy meditation on the need to think hard about race relations, take a deep breath, and DO THE RIGHT THING.

But where was a guest-column pro and con on the previous page about what the right thing was in this black-assembly matter? Forget giving both sides of an issue as an ethical matter. Tall weeds there, I’ll take a pass if you don’t mind. I’m talking about reader interest. Does the Journal want readers’ eyes glued to the page or glazed over in the absence of — dare I suggest it? — disagreement on hot topic?

Concerned-citizen columns matter. Why not go with some side-by-side pro-and-con back and forth. I’ll tell you one person who will give three cheers. It’s Eric Holder, who preached open discussion some time back, calling us a nation of cowards. (That hurt, Eric.)

But forget Eric. Think of the reader, rather stopped in his tracks by an arresting debate!

Oh, about my letter that didn’t make it. Later, OK?

Jerked around by the melodramatic “Billy Elliott”

Just walked out on the 2000 film “Billy Elliott,” a sequence of cinematographic cameos in search of coherence. The boy wants to dance. The unsympathetic father and older brother, each tortured by his own failings, failures, and sufferings, blocks him, weakens, finds the value of dancing, and guess what?  . . .

After the umpteenth mini-climax demonstrating unbearable tensions of family life torn between bigotry and nobility, the film veers gradually, like a battleship trying to reverse course, towards a one per cent credible achievement of nobility. This melodrama finally did me in, repeatedly revving me up, for what? I asked myself, and went to my blog-writer and here I am.

Contrast it to the Alex Guinness and John Mills 1960 film “Tunes of Glory,” which I viewed recently on our amazing home movie machine, a TV set with built-in DVD player. In that film there was a beginning, middle, and end. Not that I am about to tell or even figure out where each part began and ended. Rather that the film ended, ker-plop, leaving me stunned and wondering.

A film that doesn’t have an ending artistically speaking but merely a final stop, that has merely jerked you around, plucking heartstrings or prompting chuckles and leading you nowhere that you hadn’t expected, is a viewer-exploiter. Nuts to that.

Losing life at hot spot on Ashland

Yelp reviewer on Dolphin, where people were shot at 3:10 this a.m., two of them killed. She was prophetic in her concerns:

2200 N Ashland Ave
Chicago
2/9/2015

Please if anyone has gotten hurt at this club by there non professional security please contact me or please send me all your complaints due to the security there and be ware with them they have a reputation of beating up customers

you are not safe there you can loose your life in there hands my son almost did  2-7-2015 by 2 security there I can’t post the story at this moment yet because we will be contacting a lawyer but if I get response from people that you may know that have gotten beat up there

I may start a  class action lawsuit  I ready reported to the alderman in that area and made police report for batterie and there’s no way of me contacting the place because the mail box is full dangerous dangerous place  Marisol1224@yahoo.com

She had it right about losing one’s life, putting onus on club security. Nothing reported about shooter or shooters in this case — outside the club.

Bouncers had expelled fighters, according to Sun-Times, but pretty rough place any way you slice it.  See also Chi Trib.

Company Man, start and finish

Originally posted on Company Man:

From the book, first page:

Five of us took the New York Central from Chicago to Cincinnati in August, 1950, arriving with hours to spare before our 6 p.m. novitiate-arrival deadline. Our destination was suburban Milford, 15 miles east of the city. Killing time, we cabbed it at one point. One of us wanted to buy a fielder’s glove. We asked the cabbie where we could find a sporting goods place. He picked up on the sporting part and was about to suggest a brothel. We cut him short smilingly. Athletic goods, yes. Sexual athletics, no.

From the book, last page:

On my last night, Brichetto and I and two or three others had a good hour or so chatting in the kitchen over a beer.  As we broke up, he commented that this is how we Jesuits should get together with each other, referring to our relaxed camaraderie.

Next…

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