Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Santa is a Soulman - Who Comes to the Back Door.

Do you think this little blue-eyed son of a Norwegian Swede cares if Santa is 'one of boys from Home' as Big Crosby claimed, or as Black as a Polk Brothers Santa, or a Turk from 4th Century Myra (which he most certainly was), or the cousin who has developed Dunlaps Disease* thanks to frequent flier miles on the barstool at Keegan's Pub on Western Ave. and snugs into the three score and three Santa Suit Uncle Jack bought when he and Hots Michaels had the nightclub?


I'm a south sider born, bred and bonded-out.  No one ever good newses anyone by ringing the front doorbell, or knocking on the swell Claddagh Ring knocker.  Friends have and should come to back door - closest to the kitchen where the stove and icebox sit.  I don not care if Santa is Meth'd up Hillbilly from Black Oak Indiana, a Muslim rug-peddler doing seasonal work, a jolly rotund Teutonic Falstaff, or Louis Farrakhan's cousin Joe.

Santa is all about the kids. He's a good guy.  Santa comes to the backdoor**. By my template, Santa is a Soul Man who comes to and through the backdoor. Now, with apologies to the legendary Clarence Carter, enjoy BB King's cover of a true Christmas Classic.

* Dunlaps Disease - When Your Belly Dun Laps Over Your Belt

** Back Door Santa:
They call me Back Door Santa
I make my runs about the break of day
They call me Back Door Santa
I make my runs about the break of day
I make all the little girls happy
While the boys are out to play

I ain't like the old Saint Nick
He don't come but once a year
I ain't like the old Saint Nick
He don't come but once a year
I come runnin' with my presents
Every time you call me dear

I keep some change in my pocket, in case the children are home
I give 'em a few pennies so that we can be alone
I leave the back door open so if anybody smells a mouse
And wouldn't old Santa be in trouble if there ain't no chimney in the house

They call me Back Door Santa
I make my runs about the break of day
I make all the little girls happy
While the boys are out to play

That's what they call me, Back Door Santa
That's what they call me
They call me Back Door Santa
That's what all the girls call me

I give 'em all little presents
That's what they call me
They call me Back Door Santa
And I like for them to call me that
They call me Back Door Santa
And I like it and I like it and I like it


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Margaret Sanger Would Hate This Video. I Love It!

I stand on these principles.

Everything else is just gravy.

H/T - Irish Independent

List-erine - America Needs Generous Mouthfuls to Fight Brain Decay

Two neat guys who had a way with polling and were tops with chicks.

I wrote about Lists and the American writer who tried his level best to debunk them.  To Jean Shepherd, the makers of lists were over-deadlined, untalented and nepostisticly employed  newspaper workers.  They were the , "Freddy, so long as your Dad owns this paper, you have a job.  Here it is; make lists lotsa lists" guys.

Lists parallelled polls. Polling is the adjunct faux science of the social sciences, spawned by John Dewey and the pipe-smokers at the University of Chicago. Polling is conducted with great . . .self-importance . . . and like weather forecasts, gets it wrong, late, or whatever. Dopes love polls and attach great importance to their weight and then attach them to their articles. or blogs.

Illinois was told that Same Sex marriage was a civil right via a poll conducted by Carbondale's Paul Simon Institute.  Named for Garrison Keiller of American political life in the late 20th Century ( Senator Paul Simon a Party hack who had the good sense to be a Lutheran and wear bow-ties) Paul Simon Institute is the incubator of Illinois Policy.  It (PSI) ain't no gall darn 'think tank,' why it's a sho' 'nuff DO TANK!
The Institute's Purpose
Founded in 1997 by Paul Simon (right), a former two-term U.S. Senator from Illinois and one-time candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States, the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute differentiates itself from similar organizations by working directly with elected officials and others to fashion and implement change in public policy. Mike Lawrence (left), was the institute's second director.
Many of these organizations are considered "think tanks," which is not a title that aptly describes the Simon Institute. Paul Simon spoke of his institute as a "do tank" because it seeks--and achieves--positive results and concrete actions based on its work.
Paul Simon established the nonpartisan institute to maintain this fundamental difference from virtually all other organizations of its kind. It does so by asking two important questions:
Can anything be accomplished by our taking on this project? . . .YES!!!!!
• Is our involvement differentiated from other organizations' work on this subject?  Who Cares, Voters are Stupid Cattle!!!!!
By asking these questions, the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute determines its potential to make a real difference in society before taking on the responsibility to address any given issue.( Emphases and intrusions my own)
Got that?  It's a done deal before it gets polled! Potential, no apologies necessary  to Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas,  determines its own bad self!

That's Polling.  Hard to take it seriously.

Lists are like crossword puzzles and people who live by lists are like doers of cross-word  puzzles - pains in the ass who can not wait to tell you how quickly and deftly they take down the New York Times Crossword Puzzle; thus eliminating cancer, childhood disease, brain tumors and Oscar nominations.

  • Ten Disney Characters Who Are not Gay Sub-Texts
  • Five Little Explained Notions About Lady Gaga
  • Six Reasons Not to Ask Winnie Mandela on a Date . . .besides the necklace and the machete
  • Ten Famous People Who Constantly Say "Yoots" from Cousin Vinny
  • One Movie Wortha  $12 Entry in the Last Twenty Years

Lists help people without the gumption. Those who refuse to put on their reading big boy pants and tackle Hesiod, Balzac, Thackeray, MacCauley, Tennyson, Arnold, Clausewitz, Lao Tze, or Robert W. Service; go out and talk to people outside of their comfort zones, eat a perforated coal shovel placed over a roaring campfire full of roasted pink Kankakee River craw fish pealed and dipped  a coffee can of melted Land O' Lakes butter, or catch, gut batter and fry a net full of Lake Michigan smelt in late March at Jackson Park Boathouse -them's List Aficionados.

Every time I open a paper, a magazine, or a website, I am confronted with lists.  It little concerns me who is the sexiest man alive. . . you're reading him!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Lists and Polls are for Donkeys -Jean Shepherd Pray for Us!

"I was new to New York, and I suddenly became aware that New York is almost entirely a city that really does run on lists.  . . . has it occurred to you that these lists are compiled by mortals and that they are human just like you are and, in fact, they have many more axes to grind than you?" Jean Shepherd Not on the Top Ten Famous Guys List

If it is not on the list it does not exist?  I once asked a used book store clerk on Milwaukee Ave.  in the Wicker neighborhood for a copy of J.P. Donleavy's brilliant The Compleat Unexpurgated Code. The tatooed twenty something with multiple piercings sneered,  "Ginger Man?  You mean Ginger Man?" I assured the fiery hipstress," No, this is a work of non-fiction Humor. " She checked the publication directory and the screen of computer and assured me " Jay Pee Donnelly wrote fiction. He ain't on the list."

He is.  J. P. Donleavy wrote fiction and non-fiction. In the ironic patois of the trendy and Kathleen Sebelius, "Whatever."

Consult -

The New York Times Book of Lists
Forbes List of Richest People ( World, Nation & etc.)
10 Best Mexican Recipes
!0  Best Mexican Restaurants
10 Best Mexican Bandits
10 Best Muslim Comics
10 Best Forrest Claypool Salaries

Yep, Lists - Capitalists, Communists, Journalists, Franz Liszt and Socialists -all kinds O lists. From Noah to the Southern Poverty Law Center, list makers jot down names and doom others. Lists; they are not on the lists!!!!!  Power mad creeps tend to love mking lists and cehcking them twice -Marc Antony, Santa, the IHSA, Stalin, Mao, Al Hitler, Organizing for America and Nielsons.

Who cares?  Rather, let's make this a declarative sentence;  its seems to me- Who cares most about lists would be people who do not get out much, don't read much, don't know much, and rarely contribute much.
I can name twenty great eating stops within a mile of Leo High School that would never be listed by professional Wicker Park liberals on the staffs of Chicago, or Chicagoist. . . , but Im not gonna.

I have yet to eat at a restaurant gushed over by Chicago Magazine, placed on a list in Chicagoist, or hit upon by dint of a second hand reader of lists. Seek and you shall find. Like Cliffs Notes, so-called educated and cultivated folks do not bother to read the urban, suburban, or rural landscapes in full and opt to be spoon-fed verities concerning where eat, what to think, what to read, what to believe, and whom to love.

Wanda Hickey
One the most literate and under-read writers, was the disc-jockey Jean Shepherd. Shepherd is now only recognized as the author of Christmas Story.  I read my first Jean Shepherd tome, while a freshman at Loyola.  I read Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories, the Hammond genius's collection of eight great short stories that introduced me to Scut Farkas, the Old Man, Schwartz and Flick long before my bride and I caught the Holiday movie as it played in Kankakee, IL at the Meadowview Theatre.  The creator of those wonderful people from Hohman ( Hammond) Indiana living in the actual Hessville neighborhood along Kennedy Avenue had been a disc jockey in New York City which is the national shrine of all lists.  Mr. Shepherd, like your humble correspondent, had a cordial hatred of lists. In fact he concocted a hoax born of this passion.  Jean Shepherd created a besst-seller, without writing a jot - I Libertine!

People listened to his radio show and began to talk about the book that never was.  It became a best-seller, because people who made lists said so.  People who live by lists believe anything e.g. Toni Preckwinkle, Sheila Simon, Mike Quigley, Forrest Claypool, Pat Quinn, Bruce Rauner, Marque Kirque, Judy Baar Topinka were all given birth by procreative act of making lists.  People accept comedy from Tyler Perry.  Religion from Jim Wall, Thought from Bill Moyer, and Happiness from Dan Savage.  No legislation comes to Gov. Pat Quinns desk without having passed the smell test of Paul Simon Institute polling.

A poll does exactly the same thing as a pole, though they differ.

O, List to the lay of this bold Irish Harper . . .

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Chicago's Progressive War on Labor - Watch CTA Assault on ATU Local 308

<p>Michael Russell, 38, stands with Mayor Rahm Emanuel (left), CTA President Forrest Claypool (second from right) and clergy as he talks about his experience as a rail apprentice.</p>

Forrest Claypool and Rahm Emanuel have a real problem with people who actually know how to fix a rail that has come loose due to miscalculated gauges and neglected grading, folks who meet a shift in any kind of weather and start up a bus that has not been overhauled due to cut-backs and pick up angry, cold, wet impatient commuters who can not use cash anymore, nor the efficient and easy to use pass cards, or start up a rail car and maintain a safe level speed, in a sober and serious state of mind and body, while moving thousands of souls to and from stations, and  members of the Chicago community from all neighborhoods who maintain a careful watch over routes with aid of complicated technical gadgets, monitors and headsets.    They have a real problem with these people because they, like many Chicagoans, belong to a union of skilled trades persons with an elected leadership comprised of skilled trades persons.

CTA President Forrest Claypool has not held any tax-funded public job longer than five years by my simple empirical estimation and has managed to have his patrician shanks appointed to comfy chairs by Progressives, or dinosaur Democrats foolish enough to trust Forrest Claypool with or about anything.

If a CTA electrician's tool bag were dumped out on Forrest Claypool's desk, I would Ventra to say that this CTA President would be hard pressed to identify any of the items. "Well," one might say, " Forrest Claypool is far too important a media created Reform Minded Champion of the Working Poor to bother with such minutia. He is a macro-manager of all things micro."

True.  However, one might just suggest that such a puffed-up pinch of an oligarch might fain respect for the people who can and do know the nomeclatures and applications of such items.  He most certainly does not.

Forrest Claypool, appointed to the plum political posting of CTA President by Rahm Emanuel,  has displayed nothing but very public contempt for all CTA workers and the trade union local, Amalgamated Transit Union # 308 and its President, Robert Kelly, from the moment Claypool began collecting huge public pay checks and Robert Kelly has always proven to be the class  cat of the many exchanges - only concerned for the rights and safety of his fellow union members.

Forrest Claypool is a creature of the media and the Illinois Progressive oligarchy that controls city, county and State of Illinois government.  Bob Kelly is a working stiff elected by the rank and file membership to lead Local 308 - most members are proud African American heads of households.  I know the CTA workers who come in to pay tuition wearing their CTA uniforms, whose sons at Leo High School might follow them into the trade of their mothers and fathers.  They are Local 308.

This week, after months of having his head handed to him by the forthright Mr. Kelly, Claypool enlisted Chicago's Progressive pan policy preacher and public person assassin Michael Pfleger to cast a union man in the role of racist power broker.  Mr. Kelly, as I recall, from the March 2013 declaration of released convict employment with CTA, had no part in the initiative for which he is portrayed as some union Simon Legree, nor a place at the public podium with Pfleger, Clapool and Emanuel.  Claypool promised ex-cons jobs with his CTA. The jobs require membership in Local 308.  Did anyone mention this to Local 308 ?  ? ?

Well, Preacher Pfleger does what he wants, where he wants, and to whom he wants.  The facts matter not.  This is an orchestrated campaign of character assassination ( the two Chicago paper editorial boards, Planned Parenthood, the Chicago Urban League, Midnight Basketball, The GDs/Vice Lords/ Four Corner Hustlers and UICC will all have something to say), because Pfleger, unlike Claypool, never draws an uncalculated breath.

Did anyone speak with President Kelly?


Skilled trades set the standards for membership and not merely the payment of dues  Can the applicant pass a test?  Can the applicant provide a valid drivers license with and accurate address, can the applicant pass a drug test?  Has the applicant ever been convicted of a felony?  Progressives hate skilled trades unions and want all labor to come under the aegis of the State government.  Skilled trades unions do not have massive memberships, because membership requires skills and accountability.  Blind kids do make great high beam walkers with the Iron Workers.  A guy who can ot tell 1/8" from 1/32 should not cut anything.    Now, given the litany of crimes perpetrated aboard CTA vehicles by non-members of Local 308 as passengers, does it make any sense to have criminals emeriti add to the mix?

Progressives believe so and demand that everyone of the unevolved people* who work for a living also believe so.

Pfleger, Claypool, Rahm Emanuel and their media creatures will heap scorn and lies about Bob Kelly for a while.  How that will end?  I do not know. . .I can guess.

Know this - this is about a public character assasination of working man, because Forrest Claypool is a trainwreck for CTA, but the Progressive coalitions have too much invested in Forrest Claypool to admit that.  No Republican has ever threatened organized labor as much as the Progressive.

More importantly, this is opening act for a tragedy.  Once again, Progressive Grifters will seek to destroy Labor autonomy and stewardship of apprentice programs in Illinois. If the skilled trades unions of Chicago do not support Local 308 and Bob Kelly in this battle, you can expect Illinois labor to lose the war.

* But the Progressive coalition eventually became a victim of its own success. The economic difficulties of the Depression and the costs of World War Two were followed by the relative comfort and security of the late forties and the 1950s. Political pressures began to shift, and the Progressive concern moved away from wealth and toward other indicia of hardship, such as race, extreme political, social or religious views, indigent criminal defendants, alienage, and eventually gender, affectional preference and disabilities. Although Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights movement were essential steps to fairness, they came at a very high price: the new Progressive concerns tended to divide rather than unite the coalition. Since the 1960s welfare liberals have increasingly played the game of recognizing new groups as disadvantaged, while risking the allegiance of others. At its best, the Democratic coalition has been barely held together by its fear of the political alternative. At its worse, it has been a set of bickering groups struggling for recognition as disadvantaged so that its members can also become the beneficiaries of government largesse. Meanwhile, government entitlement programs such as social security and Medicare began to move up the social scale until their principal beneficiaries became, not the poor and unemployed, but the employed and relatively affluent middle class.
The kind of "boutique" liberalism that has characterized the 1970s and particularly the 1980s has found political unity almost impossible to maintain. Each new group brought into the coalition is marginally less attractive to those already in than the previous group had been. For example, bringing in abortion rights and gays came at a heavy price in terms of loss of support from the Catholic and evangelical working classes - indeed, the political losses were almost certainly greater than the gains.
The result has been disjointed, fragmented governmental policy that has had an extraordinarily difficult time presenting a coherent ideology. Against this background, the classical vision of the market looks pretty good, particularly to those who see themselves as the financial contributors rather than the beneficiaries of this unfocused Progressive largesse.
Today, the legacy of Progressive legal thought is important but no less controversial than it was a half century ago. For more than thirty years Progressivism's critics have railed on its distrust of markets and the naivete of its faith in government. Ronald R. Coase's famous article on "The Problem of Social Cost," published in 1960, was thought to describe a common law system that inevitably produced efficient results. But the last ten years has seen substantial scholarship challenging the robustness of the Coase Theorem and limiting its domain. As a result, our once-firm belief in "deregulation" is gradually giving way to a belief that faith in unregulated markets can be carried too far, and that there are numerous areas where carefully designed government intervention can make things better. The concern for equal treatment to people of every race has perhaps suffered from a period of neglect, but concerns for equal treatment for others continues to carry political momentum. Legal Progressivism continues to produce its greatest successes, when it focuses on bread and butter issues related to wages, employment and economic equality and security. In the final analysis, it seems, escaping the legacy of Progressive legal thought is much more easily said than done.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

ATU Local 308 Accused of Discrimination? No, ATU Local 308 Keeping Grifters Hands Off the Controls

What came first?  The activist Reverend, or the political grifter?

Neither.  What came first was a historical drama that began in the 19th Century over the power and the integrity of organized labor between working tradesmen and progressive radical dilettantes.  One historical fact that has been buried by the academic allies of the progressive radical dilettantes is the betrayal of the 1904 Strikers by Jane Addams and her cadre of women activists.  The strike was deadly and created the the endless animus between African Americans and ethnic white workers and the perpetual mythology of systemic racism.  Racism has always been a one way street - beginning and always ending in affluent homes, parlors and communities of thought.

For years the Reds ( let's just say, for the sake of argument, Progressives are trained, funded and pushed into the streets or the polling place by followers of Karl Marx and not Jesus of Nazareth) have wanted to control American labor.  They are getting there.  Big Labor always means SEIU and other monster political PACS like the teachers unions and any and all manifestations of the public service unions.  The skilled and industrial trades played ball with massive memberships SEIU managed to organize into slave labor unskilled, low-skilled, or temporary necessity skilled workers into life membership.  Government is required to set standards for membership and placement.

This is all about the conflict between Authority ( a person or person skilled with some competency) and Power ( We Can and We Will).

Here in Illinois Emil Jones made failed attempts to wrest control of union apprenticeship programs away from the trades and palm that power in the mitts of government grifters.  The State would control requirements and standards.  No drug testing, no residency requirement, no back ground check, no examination of skills and aptitude, because those are said to be the tools of systemic racism.   Rather, jobs and income will be equally distributed among the political class - the Party who controls government.  Pat Quinn learned these ideals at the knees of Dr. Quentin Young, MD, so you can expect his looming support for this power grab.   When that happens, what is left of the middle class in Illinois will wander the roads like Tom Joad.

Today, both of Chicago's limping newspapers reveal the spark set to burn down Labors house - an Op Ed Piece in Chicago Tribune  by Michael L. Pfleger (citizen)

The Chicago Transit Authority's Rail Car Servicer Apprentice Program — a vital and unique initiative that helps nonviolent ex-offenders, people who've overcome drug addiction, victims of domestic violence and other hard-to-place individuals re-enter the workforce — is unfortunately set to be killed off by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308 President Robert Kelly.
It is particularly disturbing that this incredible resource faces its demise on Dec. 31 after having provided job opportunities for more than 800 people — most of them African-American — since its creation in November 2007.
From their first day as CTA employees, these apprentices have completed job readiness training provided by referring social service agencies. As apprentices, their jobs are to help clean CTA rail cars. They are ATU Local 308 dues-paying members. For that reason, the program cannot exist unless Mr. Kelly agrees.
For reasons he refuses to explain to CTA officials, the media or the public, Mr. Kelly has decided to push 65 apprentices back into unemployment. In short, Mr. Kelly is discriminating against his own members, insisting that they be laid off, treating them as second-class citizens in his own union. He takes their dues money, but he won't represent them.  Michael L. Pfleger
More social engineering ( placing criminals in jobs that might just benefit families who work without robbing or peddling flesh and dope) in the name of Social Justice, which translates to Render Unto Rahm/Quinn/Burke/Clyapool/Preckwinkle et al 24/7, because God's doing just fine,

 Then we have  a Sneedling Gusher Dontachknow in the always daffy Sun Times.
A choo choo boo boo at Christmastime?

◆ Translation: Sneed hears activist Catholic priest Michael Pfleger wants to clean up a CTA janitorial mess impacting ex-offenders trained to clean trains.
◆ Explanation: Pfleger is said to be infuriated with the unwillingness of union chief Bob Kelly to extend a second chance initiative; a CTA apprenticeship with pay program ending Dec. 31 that also trains recovering drug addicts and spousal abuse victims.
◆ Buckshot: Watch for Pfleger to lead a protest outside Kelly’s office at noon Thursday.
◆ Backshot: “[Pfleger] has had multiple conversations with Kelly, who represents CTA train employees as head of the Amalgamated Transit Union’s Local 308, about what he considers a wildly successful apprenticeship program in developing job skills,” said a source.
◆ Upshot: “Kelly’s approval could save 65 positions, but Kelly has rebuffed the CTA’s requests to extend it past Dec. 31,” the source added.

This bespeaks an orchestrated campaign that was begun weeks ago.

Now, let's consider that the CTA is run by Rahm Emanuel and Forrest Claypool, born of the same DNA as Rev. Citizen Pfleger and the Coalitions That Have Begat the Cook County Democratic Party ( formerly known as 'The Machine."

Rahm and Forrest have the run the CTA like Valeria Jarret has run the White House - the wheels don't fit the tracks, the workers want a pee-break and the Ventras don't roll out.  The CTA should be run by 'someone' who has worked on a railroad car, driven a bus, routed passengers, avoided collisions and the like, but is not Progressive.

Robert Kelly is President of Amalgamated Transit Workers Local 308 and within its charter are tthe people who clean up stations - janitors.  These janitors are not under the control of SEIU Reds in Purple.  President Kelly has magnificently represented his sisiters and brothers much to the chagrin of Claypool and Emanuel.

Rev. Citizen Pfleger's press gambit and noon demonstration is not only political payback for Kelly's Stewardship of ATW 308, but also a signal for the media and the clowns in government to go after all the trades unions, not run by Reds in Purple.

Bob Kelly and ATW Local 308 will be given the gun-shop treatment for the next few months. Other Union Leaders can expect the same very soon after.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Harvey Weinstein, Planned Parenthood and Progressive Fatwa on a Defender of Catholics

I heard the NPR interview with creator and co-Star of Philomena.  It was the typical low decibel stuff shirt chit-chat frosted with piously Progressive calls for civility, forgiveness, understanding and total hostility toward Roman Catholics.

NPR is a platform for the abortion industry, the redefinition of marriage voices and those who think completely without consideration of other people who just might not see things their way.

Hollywood is no longer the home of the stars,  but a computer of faux animations wrapped around very bad writing.

Harvey Weinstein is Hollywood. Harvey was hurt because the movie Philomena tagged for what it is -

 “Philomena” is about Lee’s quest, in the company of a former BBC journalist played by Coogan, to learn what happened to her son after she gave him up for adoption at a convent in 1952 Ireland. The movie makes this particular Irish Catholic institution look about as pleasant as Abu Ghraib.I found the film lazy, contrived, with a dull odd-couple road-trip structure dabbed with insipid humor (Coogan, in a discussion of busty 1950s pinups Jayne Mansfield and Jane Russell: “They were very big. They were huge! Their careers”) and smack-you-in-the-nose dialogue like “What they did to you was evil” and Coogan’s crowd-pleasing, film-defining cry, “F – - – ing Catholics!”). I could see no reason for the movie’s existence other than to soar overhead in the guise of the sweet bird of comedy, then drop a surprise load of guano on Catholic institutions (and, in the second half, the US Republican Party). Kyle Smith New York Post
A Fatwa on the critic who dared to object to yet another shower of power poop from the Hollywood Monkey House on Catholics.

All of the films attesting to the Hollywood doctrine on the Roman Catholic Church of the last twenty years have helped keep Kermit Gosnells in greenbacks and redefined marriage in the sixteen States with the demographics who will swallow anything.

To those deaf ears, Kyle Smith answers - 
Film critics tend to give a free pass to obvious, trite, heavy-handed movies that light up the correct political-pleasure circuits in their brains. I’m used to disagreeing with them. That is because I am, as far as I know, the only conservative film critic in the entire United States who writes regularly for a general-interest newspaper or magazine. I see things all the others miss.

Mr. Smith should go to Washington.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Monday, December 09, 2013

Sharing Rides With Clyde , Leo High School Freshman

Varsity XC team tied for 2nd at the 5th Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Meet
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 Chicago's Rosscoe'sfor 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 Ventra Town Hall - The Mighty Wind A Blowing for Forrest Claypool!

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!


Ventra Special

On a special edition of Chicago Tonight, we take a close look at the CTA’s problem-plagued rollout of its newVentra payment system. Eddie Arruza will look back at some of the issues and commuter complaints that have occurred over the last two months. Then, CTA President Forrest Claypool, along with his Chief Internal Auditor Andrell Holloway, give the first extensive media explanation of what went wrong and how the myriad of glitches are being addressed. We also hear from a live studio audience of CTA riders about their experiences with Ventra.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

The Nine Lost Meditations of Marcus Aurelius

" 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;

( Translations)

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 poikilĂȘ) 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

The Medill Onions Get Dave Protess Peeled - It's A Start

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

You Can Continue to Fool Millions of the People All of the Time. . . If Oprah Matters to Them

Some people bought peach orchards years ago.  They were told that the peach stones had magical powers to cure cancer.  More recently, otherwise intelligent people dumped cash into carbon credits, or Green Energy scams, including the Obama White House.  Obama wasted tax dollars - our money - on Solyndra, algae farms and other ventures.

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.  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.