Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Monday, December 09, 2013
Clyde and the X Country Team - The Man is Dead Center Front Row Tossing the Leo Lion "L"
I pick up ten guys every morning along a route that comprises Englewood, Grand Crossing and Bronzevill neighborhoods. My first passenger is a freshman named Clyde B@@#$^% who lives in the concrete pocket that intersects the Metra line, the Skyway and Vincennes/Wentworth along the Dan Ryan.
Leo freshman Clyde is a perfect gentleman, mature beyond his years, thoughtful, tough and suffers from no self-esteem issues, whatsoever. Clyde is unarguably the shortest man at Leo High School, but stands much taller than some of classmates. He ran cross-country and is a member of the freshman basketball team now playing .500 ball with a victory over Calumet (Perspectives) and a tough loss to the Fighting Irish of Bishop McNamara on Friday. Clyde can steal and handle the ball, but can not shoot to save his life and neither can his team mates. They'll get there.
I take the grey van from the lot on Sangamom each morning and drive north on Halsted to 74th Street, make a right to south bound Stewart, a left on 75th Street and quick left at Normal. I am at Clyde's in less than six minutes. His Mom is a nurse raising two boys in Englewood and paying Catholic school tuition. She is a valiant young woman. Clyde's brother attends a Chicago public grade school. He too will attend Leo High School.
Clyde emerges from the warmth of this home promptly at 6:30AM, climbs in to the passenger seat next to me with genuine, " Good Morning, Mr. Hickey!" Morning Clyde! We begin the morning dialog.
We then talk all manner of things from stray dogs in the neighborhood, to Josh McCown's rightful place as Bears QB, to basketball practice, to the glorious Chicago architecture between 63rd and 35th Street along Dr. King Drive. We pick up Chris A##$%^^ in the project homes still called South Park at 66th. Chris is a classmate of Clyde's and a profoundly serious guy who keeps his own counsel. For the last couple of weeks, construction projects on King Drive required us to detour through Washington Park to 55th Street. This was grist for the Columbian Exposition narratives mill and Burnham's far-sighted development of the south side from the Lake west to State Street.
As I mentioned, we take in the beautiful homes and apartment buildings on Dr. King Drive. My favorite is on the north east corner of 43rd Street.
Clyde prefers the Chicken and Waffle House at 39th & King Drive for more than just the aesthetic but culinary graces bestowed beyond its portals.
We pass the Victory Monument of the Fighting 8th Illinois Regiment and arrive at 35th & and Dr. King Drive, take a right and quick left into the strip mall for the Dunkin Donuts Munchkins that will tide over the seven to eight gents who will join my two passengers for the journey to another day in Catholic education. Clyde's appearance in the door is cause for excitement among the early morning Coffee Anne crowd, Roy the mall maintenance manager and Miss Marie get greeted by the young man and then query Clyde's doings as he places the order for his fellow travellers. This fourteen year old gentleman is one of the best examples of what Leo High School is all about.
I look forward to my drives with Clyde.
Friday, December 06, 2013
WTTW is a forum for unified voices - a kind of harmony from one note sung by a chorus of group thinkers. Last night's Phil Ponce hosted Hootenanny made A Mighty Wind! Let's see they had Forrest Claypool and a CTA numbers guys, journalists from Chicago's two big newspapers and audience of concerned citizens who appeared to be culled from the last WTTW Pledge Drive, or lured with tote bags away from the early specials line at Heartland Cafe, some kid from Northwestern who loves Ventra Cards and some old guy in a baseball cap who got cut-off. The twitter was . . .let's say a Mighty Wind in favor of Forrest's continued payday.
Ventra Cards are here to stay . . .Doo Dah, Doo Dah.
Get a load of this pillow talk. ( Update at 11:05 AM)
Here is the video!
Ripe for satire, but has no shelf life. Check, Please!
Posted by pathickey at 3:44 AM
Thursday, December 05, 2013
" Soon as we finish hacking up these Square Heads, I'm gonna have me a solid lie down, some snacks and then write some more of my Meditations. . . . . Hey, you hear about the German barber? He charges only 4 Aureii ( $1) - an Aureus a side!!! That's a knee slapper, Q! Ain't it? Hey, . . . What - am I boring you, Quintilius? Hey, pay attention to me, Tribune, I can still have your 'nads shredded by wild hogs. Good battle, huh? We got any cold Falerian left or did my kid drink the last of it? How about the red with a little less lead in it."
Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor 161–180 CE, setting forth his ideas on Stoic philosophy. Wikipedia
The Meditations is a series of twelve books by the Roman Emperor, who would become most famous for his role as Russel Crowe's patron and Joaquin Phoenix's Dad in the great gladiator movie Gladiator. Irish actor Richard Harris plays the geezer Imperator, who gets snuffed by his kid.
Marcus Aurelius spent most of his life as a soldier-Emperor on the German frontiers of the Empire. He was a Stoic* in his philosophy. Americans are no allowed to be stoics. It is believed that baseball great, Korean War hero and sportsman Ted Williams was the last American male stoic. Sarah Palin is the last stoic.
Recently, I learned that nine lost meditations had been discovered by dumpster divers in Saudi Arabia. Finding the ancient manuscript wrapping uneaten lobsters. I immediately obtained a copy of the find and set about translating these pearls of wisdom.
I -Si aliquid est natum esse in ientaculum?
II -Ego sum adeo eger haedis cutem, diebus, post horas, cera cum stylo scribere.
III- Aliquam felis non haerent inter dentes arida dies tenent phone.
IV -Donec in metus congressu eruit.
V- Sed non deserit, nisi sunt tumidi,
VI -Et tamen ego me omni tempore quo libri bibliotheca eam oblitus pulvinar dui.
VII- Quis est, qui magna est frigidissima est quid? Locutusque est ieiunium, tardus incessus, quo bonum Mohair Sam.Sapiens erit semper amor Sam Mohair
VIII- Denique, ut in vino decocta Beer puteum spiritus frumenti et jugibus a forsit, Matey.
IX- Qui relicto in latrina paper volumen vacuum, et non ex necessitate moventur, ut domus. Et ego eum in provincia anus quatere canum fera fame sues senatus! Stoicorum sum, sed non finem;
1. Have we got anything to snack on?
2. I am so sick of these kids always smoothing the wax after I take hours writing with my stylus.
3. Fresh Dates will not stick between your teeth; dried dates hold the phone.
4. I like girls who put out on the first meeting.
5. We ain't leaving until we are heaving!
6. I had the book with me all the time and nevertheless forgot to put it in the library drop box.
7. Who is the coolest guy who is what am? Fast Talking, slow walking, good looking Mohair Sam. ( video) Cats always dig Mohair Sam!
8. Beer on wine; mighty fine; beer on distilled spirits of grain and you hae a problem, Matey.
9. Who left the latrine paper roll empty and did not replenish that household necessity? I will toss his anus and him with it in an arena of starving wild dogs, pigs members of the Senate! I am a stoic, but there are limits!
First published Mon Apr 15, 1996; substantive revision Mon Oct 4, 2010
Stoicism was one of the new philosophical movements of the Hellenistic period. The name derives from the porch (stoa poikilê) in the Agora at Athens decorated with mural paintings, where the members of the school congregated, and their lectures were held. Unlike ‘epicurean,’ the sense of the English adjective ‘stoical’ is not utterly misleading with regard to its philosophical origins. The Stoics did, in fact, hold that emotions like fear or envy (or impassioned sexual attachments, or passionate love of anything whatsoever) either were, or arose from, false judgements and that the sage—a person who had attained moral and intellectual perfection—would not undergo them. The later Stoics of Roman Imperial times, Seneca and Epictetus, emphasise the doctrines (already central to the early Stoics' teachings) that the sage is utterly immune to misfortune and that virtue is sufficient for happiness. Our phrase ‘stoic calm’ perhaps encapsulates the general drift of these claims. It does not, however, hint at the even more radical ethical views which the Stoics defended, e.g. that only the sage is free while all others are slaves, or that all those who are morally vicious are equally so. Though it seems clear that some Stoics took a kind of perverse joy in advocating views which seem so at odds with common sense, they did not do so simply to shock. Stoic ethics achieves a certain plausibility within the context of their physical theory and psychology, and within the framework of Greek ethical theory as that was handed down to them from Plato and Aristotle. It seems that they were well aware of the mutually interdependent nature of their philosophical views, likening philosophy itself to a living animal in which logic is bones and sinews; ethics and physics, the flesh and the soul respectively (another version reverses this assignment, making ethics the soul). Their views in logic and physics are no less distinctive and interesting than those in ethics itself.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Atlantic Magazine Interview Bashing NYC Public Schools Uses Picture of Leo Catholic HS's Immaculate Halls at 7AM
Jim Young/Reuters Photo from 2012
Knowing my interest in inner city schools, a buddy of mine forwarded an interview appearing in the recent issue of The Atlantic. The feature is an interview with a disgruntled NYC public school teacher entitled " It Feels Like Educational Malpractice." The interview is nice, but not exactly ground-breaking for anyone who has taught in a big city school.
It was a very poor neighborhood with a lot of English-language learners who knew little or no English. With poverty comes this condition called Toxic Stress. It explains why the children were so difficult to handle, needy, and so behind in learning. When your dad is in prison or your mom is on drugs, or your mom drank alcohol when you were a fetus, if you didn’t sleep the night before because you were allowed to play video games all night, or maybe there was a shooting, your cognitive ability is harmed. It rewires their brain so they’re unable to employ working memory, which is what you use when you’re learning. We’re charged with being the parents of these kids, being the friends, the mentors. Teachers are given all these social responsibility towards children that aren’t ours. It’s a failure of the system to address the poverty that creates the achievement gap.
Tell me about it. Public schools can not do much about it. Catholic schools can and do. I work at Leo High School in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood of Chicago. Not NYC. What is interesting and kept my eyes darting up the page from the prose to the photo was . . .Jesus! That ain't a big Apple Public School! That's Leo High School . . .right here on the south side!
About a year ago Reuters ( link up and enjoy the photos # 6 is the one The Atlantic features) did a very nice story written by Chicago veteran news person Mary Wizniewki. She was accompanied by a photographer and arrived at dawn of the Leo day for several days and soaked up how Catholic schools do what public schools can not and may not do. We have a crucifix in every room of the schools, stained glass windows in the cafeteria offering a litany to Our Lady, and Catholic value based instruction. Most students are not Roman Catholic. All have been accepted at solid colleges and universities.
The thing that struck me most was the photo (above and linked) - that is Leo HS at about 7AM. I am here between 4:30 and 5:00 AM daily. Some guys arrive before I go out at 6:20 AM to pick up students in Bronzeville and Canaryville. I open the doors, because Leo offers the most positive and safe hours of the day for our guys.
It is interesting that The Atlantic chose a photo of an inner city classroom and hall of a school built by Chicago Catholic parishioners in 1921 and opened in 1926 and still operating to help young men succeed on faith based path.
Funny no NYC public schools were featured.
The photographer must be the gent identified in The Atlantic piece.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
No one wants an innocent person punished, unless one is nuts. One can be nutty enough to play act the role of Atticus Finch and Che Guevara in one costume : The Ambulance Chaser Revolutionary Journalist. That is the situation facing the Innocence Project's former Wildcat Fagin - Professor Dave Protess, of the Huffington Post.
David Protess is to journalist academician, as G. Flint Taylor is to altruist attorney, in my simple helot's opinion.
For almost thirty years, Protess and the Torture industry's ambulance chasers( Loevy & Loevy/ Locke Bowman/ G. Flint Taylor et al) have done to the American justice system, what Jeffery Anderson attempted to do to the Roman Catholic Church complete;y undermine faith and confidence in its institutions. Their labors could never have been accomplished without active complicity of the media - newspapers and television. Knowing that a few bad apples can spoil the whole barrel, these radical capitalists scattered fruit and burned the lathe and cooper's rings.
Chicago's epidemic homicide rate is given the same level of concern as the weather, "Outlook Bloody for next few days with a storm murder expected over the weekend." Everyone complains about the murderers, but no one seems willing to do anything about the tweedy creeps who spring them and make them Lawsuit Lotto winners.
Accepting Burge as the next best thing to Heinrich Himmler is as common as acknowledging Jane Addams as the Father of Labor. I belong to nether camp. I am older than Burge Mytholgy acolytes and I personally know the family of the Wilson Brothers who seemed to have not only tortured and murdered Officers O'Brien and Fahey, but created, though uncredited of course, the Torture Industry and burnished the reputations of the Innocence Project dilettantes.
About two years ago, I received an e-mail from Pulitzer Prize winning Chicago Tribune reporter Bill Crawford (ret.), which praised my amateurish efforts to at least have some reporter, any media person, to question the narrative of 'the systemic racist police brutality culture and the electric testicle zapper.' Bernardine Dohrn was the first person who opined that Commander Burge, a decorated Vietnam baby-killing military policeman, might . . .might mind you, have learned torture techniques including the hand cranked nut zapper, when she took her post at Northwestern. Dorhn's compelling hypothetical was repeated, reprinted and reified in Sasha Abramsky's Mother Jones article, as well as every syllble written by John Conroy and gradually artificially reconstructed and admitted in court.
Here's Bill Crawford:
(compiled by Martin Preib
HT-Second City Cop
This week, The Chicago Reader, which had an active hand in crafting not only the Burge mythology, but also the media apotheosis of Prof. Dave Protess, offered the first genuine scrutiny of Protess and his works.
Call me crazy, but the reactions of readers of Michael Miner's column seems to signal shifting of templates beneath the Florsheims of Protess and also the Torture Industry.
We can handle the truth. It would be nice to read some in the near future.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
People can be fooled. Hell, I wasted time, treasure and my very modest talents on John McCain's 2008 Campaign for President in the notion that a war hero who faced torture in the Hanoi Hilton had the stomach for the fiscal collapse of American banking due to the mortgage Ponzi scam of Dodd Franks. John McCain sleep walked to defeat and allowed his campaign managers to heap scorn on the woman he begged to be his running mate. One born every minute.
I was not that far gone in political mythology to believe that first term US Senator with a history of being a governmental purse puppy . . .nice, amiable, read a good speech, top-drawer clothes wrangler . . . with a career and biography crafted by bullet-proof clouted Leftists. Nope, I like Barack Obama in the Illinois Senate just fine. Nice guy; keeps a neat wallet.
Four the past five years, President Obama has lived up to my expectations. Only recently, it has become only too obvious that Obama is not any where near as great as canned beer. Oprah deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom? Gloria Steinem? Herb Alpert . . .the Lonely Bull? President Obama is A Million Little Pieces.
Why? Too many of us join book clubs. We do not seem to want to trust our ourselves with thoughts that must at some time be made public. We don't want to be wrong. We don't want to be embarrassed. We became Oprah's Book Club. We allowed monstrously verbally challenged Mayor Richie Daley dictate Chicago Reads. We formed our own little circles of readers who made agreement the touchstone for discourse. 'Yes, yes! Atticus Finch is the American Patriarch. The Color Purple is a Rainbow. The Third World is wonderful and makes us ashamed to be Americans. Greed is our only virtue. Bill Ayers is an educator!'
I have relatives who worship at the altar of the American Isis - Oprah. Me? I understood Oprah when her foundation watchdog ( Rufus Williams) tried to bully me into not sending any more funding requests to Harpo, or Ms. Winfrey. Rufus was rewarded aplenty! Oprah was not at all interested in helping an inner-city Catholic high school for boys that remains unapologetically nonsense free even though more than 90 % of the school demographic was and remains African American. Oprah's Angels fear to tread where special interest and corporate dollars pave the walkway.
It's America and it's her money. Personally, I am glad Oprah never made a drop.
Oprah maintains her ability convince millions of people to swallow exactly what she gulps down. The pinnacle of her arresting charms is President Obama. Last week President, after a year of concern in the public forums that perhaps Oprah had gone sour on the young fellow whose autobiographies ( ghosted or not) made a compelling narrative for the transformation of American Life.
Oprah swallowed Dreams from My Father and Audacity of Hope, not in a millions little pieces, but whole. Oprah was hood-winked by James Frey and Margaret B. Jones, two writers of autobiographies that stretched the truth like Turkish taffy fresh from the oven. Had the public not awakened to these literary frauds and people continued to believe the self-mortifying yarns of two phonies, the world would not have changed too much. People believe another person's fabrications because they are good-hearted and want to accept the word of fellow sinner and feel good about their own struggles in this vale of tears.
Oprah continues to promote the emptiness that is President Obama and wears the highest civilian decoration our country can bestow on a citizen.