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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

YouTubin' the Locals

Today I see that Gaper's Block is looking at local Chicago videos on YouTube especially as they relate to the municipal elections to be held next month. There are some good ones and this post from Gaper's Block gives us the best and the worst that they have found around the bloggosphere. Most of these candidates or citizens who are not associated with any particular aldermanic campaign that you see at the Block do good work.

I want to show you this video of a nice drive around the 3rd Ward of Chicago. This video looks at the ward of Alderman Dorothy Tillman and it's pretty good. The main thing is, it tells a story, and that it does. Take a look...

I do hope what we are seeing is a general trend. You can get out a message using the internet. You might need to still get out there and knock on doors, but as long as people are computer saavy out there and internet surfers are actually searching for you, this is the kind of stuff worth doing. And the way I can look at it, it shouldn't cost a lot of change. Though I hope if any of you ever post a video for an election campaign I hope you make it as professional as possible.

I had a couple of articles I wanted to post but I won't. Everytime I wanted to get started I just wasn't getting it right. Perhaps you'll see these posts tomorrow. Haven't decided, but you can check out my links in del.icio.us. You might see a couple of them in there although you will have to guess at them.

And for this story a hat-tip to What the Helen. Good day!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Troutman: Substance was fiber, not drugs

I found this in the Sun-Times this morning. I remember they talked about finding some drug paraphernalia in Ald. Troutman's home, a holiday card with a $100 in there, and a gun (let me note that Aldermen are considered peace officers and may carry a weapon). The focus are now on the powder (drug paraphernalia) that was found in her home. She claims...


Ald. Arenda Troutman (20th) said today she doesn’t use drugs and is “betting my life” that the white powdery substance found in her home was not narcotics, but a dietary fiber she uses to cleanse her colon.

Troutman charged that federal agents who found the powdery substance during a raid on her South Side home and ward office already know the results were negative and that they’re keeping the information quiet to continue to smear her.

“I can’t understand that you don’t know by now if that was a drug or not,” she said after chairing a City Council Committee hearing. “That’s been over three weeks ago and you mean to tell me with all the technology we have today that they have not let the press know? They’ve let you guys know everything [else] to this point.”

Asked whether she believes the feds are deliberately keeping the information quiet as part of a “character assassination” of her, she said, “That’s what it seems like to me. What does it seem like to you? . . . It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that these people on the spot can tell you if it’s a drug substance.”
I'm with her on the toxicology reports. It would be good for the FBI and the prosecution to just nip this oversight in the bud. This would weaken them to contend that this power is anything but dietary fiber. Or at least continue to dance around without confirming what this substance is.

Still let's get back to Troutman. The statement regarding her gun was assinine...

Troutman confirmed today that the .357-caliber Colt Python revolver seized from her home was given to her by a longtime friend, cable TV host W. L. Lillard.

Lillard had examined Troutman’s South Side home after Chicago Police stopped watching it after a series of break-ins there, she said.

“I’m a single woman. I have three small children. And I was pretty much wanting some measure of safety and security. Once the police left, W. L. Lillard being the security person he is and a friend of mine -- he came and looked through my house [and] he said, ‘You need a gun. This house is too large.’ He left a gun,” Troutman said.

The alderman was asked why she didn’t register the gun, as required by the city’s 1982 handgun freeze.

“I would have registered had he given me the gun. He did not give me the gun. He loaned me the gun. The gun was not mine. The gun was just a token of him saying, ‘I think you need something more than just a dog,’” as security, she said.
I'm not a lawyer and it's obvious that neither is she (well she only has a degree in political science from SIU) but that seems a little weak. "He loaned me the gun?"

Hmmm, is there a lawyer in the house who can clarify this. Is there a distinction between giving someone a gun and loaning someone a gun? And does this distinction prevent you from registering a weapon? I think she can do a little better than that.

Super Bowl Shuffle on YouTube???

Every time I look up for some reason the Super Bowl Shuffle video featuring the 1985 Chicago Bears, the Super Bowl champions is taken down. Last night there was this message...

This video has been removed at the request of copyright owner Julia Meyer because its content was used without permission
How incredibly anal!!! Is this individual making Bears fans pay for the privilege of watching this video especially now that the Bears are actually in the Super Bowl again after just over two decades. I would really like it if this individual start a YouTube account and post this video herself. Especially if this isn't about the money.

C'mon I'm sure she can make Chicago Bears fans very happy. I mean there are at least three links to the actual Super Bowl Shuffle and each of them has this message. What is wrong?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Black pols see Obama as threat to their clout

I mentioned last week a video from Channel 2 about this quote from Chicago based historian Timuel Black...
Saying he's not black enough, is an attempt to discredit him among blacks because that may be the base that they want.
Now there is this morning's column by Laura Washington which would fit in almost exactly with Black's quote. There are some interesting excerpts to be taken up here. It just about illustrates my point...

In politics, crossover is the key to success. Until now, African-American leaders have tended to their own gardens. They cultivate black voters exclusively and make little serious effort to extend their attention beyond the base. This is one big reason why black politicians usually crash and burn when they seek office in districts where blacks are in the minority.

In the 2006 elections, Harold Ford is an exception to the rule. The congressman from Tennessee came as close as anyone in memory to snaring a U.S. Senate seat in the South. If he had run as an unabashedly black candidate, he could not have even made it out of the Tennessee Senate primary. He knew to get that office he had to run as a moderate and appeal outside his base. You haven't heard the last from him.

Enter Obama. He brings a black constituency to a larger progressive coalition and energizes younger voters who see him as a "new voice." It's a potent concoction -- and one that no black politician has seen the likes of before.

He won't have to fuss with the black vote. He knows race appeals turn off voters who have wearied of the "race men." Obama will be playing pragmatic politics -- the only kind that will put a black man in the White House.

That means, of course, that the black political establishment will see Obama as one thing only -- a threat. A threat that undermines and erodes their political clout.
Oh, BTW, Harold Ford is in today's The Fix, just a brief note since Washington mentions him in her column. He used to be a congressman in the 9th district of Tennessee. Anyway back to good ole Barack Obama.

And I really like his fundraising list too...

Unlike previous black presidential contenders, Obama won't have to run on a shoestring. His fund-raising machine is impressive and well-oiled.

He's got the bucks of the black bourgeoisie. Donors like investment managers John Rogers and Jim Reynolds, and publishing magnate Linda Johnson Rice. Funders like that didn't exist in the eras of Jesse Jackson and Shirley Chisholm. Funders like that looked askance at Sharpton's rough edges.

His ties to white liberal wealth stretch from Hollywood to Chicago's North Shore to the Empire State: Mega-director Steven Spielberg; Playboy Enterprises CEO Christie Hefner and her husband, real estate developer and restaurateur Bill Marovitz; movie mogul Harold Ramis; real estate big shot Neil Bluhm, and philanthropist George Soros. That kind of moolah will make Hillary shake and Biden bake.

No bake sales or lemonade stands, natch, for the Obamarama. The entire political establishment will be stupefied at his next fund-raising report, due in March. It's much more than the money that appeals. Obama is not from the South, or the ghetto. He's not a preacher and he didn't march. He went to Hah-vaad, my dear.
Well I posted about the blacks running for statewide offices around the country in the midterm elections last year. That ivy-league education is paying off wonders for Barack Obama right now. The question is though can he overcome the ice from the "black leadership"?

I was watching the Jack Johnson documentary last night

Well as much as I could before I turned the TV off. It was real good and I don't know if it was made by Ken Burns who was responsible for such documentaries about Baseball and The Civil War. I had no idea this guy was so colorful.

He was the first black heavyweight champion in boxing and he loved white women. His first wife killed herself because of the pressure of being a black man's wife, though perhaps more importantly she was the wife of a black man who wasn't very popular. The fact that he liked white woman was controversial in his era the early 20th century. According to this documentary whites really didn't like him but neither did blacks because of that fact.

He eventually went to jail. He was charged with transporting women across state lines for "immoral purposes". The law he was prosecuted on was called the Mann Act and this prosecution was generally considered a intentional misuse of the Act. The main idea of the Act was to stop prostitution.

An interesting piece of trivia as Black History Month is coming up. I would like to write more but I think I'd like to see more of this documentary. All I got to go on was Wikipedia. I had to do this from memory.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

How the Super Bowl was created...

Again I want to call attention to BearsPOD.com and for you to offer feedback on a Super Bowl podcast by football fans for football fans. Please let them know!!! Now back to my regularly scheduled post.

Just a random post. This has become a random blog, but sometime I like looking at sports history. I've been doing some sports here for a while. Whether it's Baseball or Australian Rules Football.

This blog post is about football's biggest game, The Super Bowl. The Sunday this game (this year it's February 4th) is to be played has become a de-facto holiday in America. Guys and their women entertain on this day and consume foods and snacks. They yell at the TVs or if you are unfortunate enough to work that day, you may have to listen on the radio or bring your own TV. Or if you have a computer you can still follow the game. Listen to a streamed broadcast of it.

Either way this great event in sports history only began in 1967. When the NFL champion Green Bay Packers faced the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs. Now this was when there were actually two football leagues and in an agreement in 1966 the NFL & AFL agree to merge to become the new National Football League. This is why there is a NFC (National Football Conference) and an AFC (American blah-blah-blah).

It's unforunate that the very first super bowl (originally called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game) cannot be found in it's entirety on tape. People didn't see the preservation of this game as important, nor did the economics of the time permit because video tapes was expensive. Either way we don't have much footage of the first two super bowls. And the NFL has put a $1 Million reward for this footage in hopes that someone out there might have the first two superbowls in their video library.

The name Super Bowl didn't stick until the third super bowl in January 1969. The name even had a story. Notice that in College Football near the end of the season they play all these bowl games for bragging rights. Championships of the various College Football conferences as well as for the national championship (which was upon a time was only determined by the winner of the Rose Bowl, yeah thanks to this new concept called the Bowl Championship System).

Well the men behind the world championship game NFL commissioner Pete Rozell and AFL founder Lamar Hunt (who also owned the Kansas City Chiefs) were trying to come up with a good name for the championship between the AFL-NFL. Well Rozelle was thinking about calling this game "The Big One". While watching his daughter playing with this toy called the super ball Hunt joking referred to this championship game as the Super Bowl. This particular toy, thanks to its role in football history, is enshrined at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. It was intended to be a stop gap until a better name could be created. There wasn't and that's history.

Oh yeah I should mention this trophy. The picture in the upper left hand corner is the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Named for the late great Green Bay Packers coach this is awarded to every winner of the Super Bowl. Just think the NHL has the Stanley Cup, Olympic champions have the gold medal, and the NFL has this great piece of art. Professionally made by the famous jewellers Tiffany & Company.

Damn I didn't know they expanded into that. I didn't know they made the Baseball world series trophy awarded to the winner of the world series and the NBA's Larry O'Brien Trophy awarded to the winner of the NBA world championship finals. Just think all those guys who've spent money for those expensive diamond rings for their wives (at least those with some money) would actually be helping to support the making of these trophies. Very cool.

I hope you enjoyed this brief lesson. I may not always be in the present day when it comes to sport, but I really love sports history. And who knows in a few years all the moments from today that I've missed, are something that I can look at in the future.

Thank you ESPN Classic!!!

It's My Mind is now on the new Blogger...

I will retain the template that I have adopted since the fall. I don't plan on using the drop and drag editing format. I really like the idea of playing around with the HTML/CSS using my somewhat limited knowledge. Who knows though if I can find a nice template beyond what Blogger provides then I might change in the future.

What this means is that It's My Mind in Beta (the beta part harkens back to when the new Blogger was called Blogger Beta) will be retired and eventually deleted. Also you will see a new feature beginning with this post, labels. Unfortunately I prefer to called them tags or even categories but I have no way of changing the wording unless I go to drop and drag format. I don't think I'll do that just yet.

Either way old Blogger had its strong points and new Blogger has its strong points. And then there are the weak points. Old Blogger didn't mind taking a crap at the wrong moments with errors and waiting to publish then seeing nothing but a blank screen where your blog should be. At least in the new Blogger publishing should be just about instaneous. Also there are some things I will miss about old Blogger mainly you didn't have to type in day and time when you had to edit and bump up a post. I'd rather new Blogger maintained the dropdown menu for that.

Still this should heighten the experience here at It's My Mind especially if you want to find other posts on a particular subject. I'll have to figure out how to post links in the sidebar for the labels. Other than that I can always use feedback.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Not Every New Yorker Hates Wal-Mart

I was looking at Brain-Terminal this morning and a post provided a link to a video where "The View" meets "The Daily Show" and takes a right turn. Republican Girls Gone Wild. Interesting huh what you'll here in this video is not exactly what I'd agree with, however, most of what is said makes perfect sense. You'll even hear them discuss that NYC's minority communities had the same discussion that we had in Chicago last year as per the big-box ordinance. Take a look...



Chicago Bears championship history

I still plan to post the history of the Super Bowl soon. Also on the Bears beat I would like for you to visit BearsPOD.com and look for this post asking about doing a Super Bowl podcast and let them know you want to hear one. I'm not a regular reader there but I'm intrigued by a possible Super Bowl podcast by some football fans for football fans. Anyway enjoy this post. Sports history is my niche!

How appropriate since the Bears are going to the Super Bowl again. Why not rehash the championship history since the beginning of the NFL. And plus I like history it doesn't matter if it's black history, American history, world history, or sports history.

So where do I begin the Bears were founded in 1919 as the Decatur Staleys. Eventually they moved to Chicago in 1921 and became the Chicago Bears in 1922. The team was founded by the A.E. Staley Company and George Halas and Edward "Dutch" Sternahan were hired to run the team in 1920, but by 1921 they had gained full control of the team.

The Bears were a charter member of the National Football League (the league was known as the American Professional Football American association until 1922 when it adopted NFL as its name). They almost won their first football championship against a team called the Akron Pros but the Bears lost. But in 1921 the Staley were champions. Oh yeah did I forget to mention that in the early days of the NFL, a championship was determined by a teams won-loss percentage.

In 1932 the Bears won a playoff game against the Portsmouth Spartans when they were tied for first in the standings. The Bears won 9-0.

In 1933 they played in the NFL Championship game against the New York Giants and they won this game 23-21. This game is historic in that this was the first ever championship game scheduled in the NFL since it was founded in 1920. The Bears would capture the NFL championship in 1940, 1941, 1943, 1946 and 1963.

Then of course there is the 1985 Super Bowl (Super Bowl XX or 20 if you prefer) where there Bears played the New England Patriots and beat them 46-10. We still talk about that Bears team and that game was played 20 years ago. Of course the Bears haven't been near the Super Bowl in years. The last NFC Championship the Bears played in was in 1988. Of course there were 3 playoff appearances in the last decade.

Now the Bears are going to the Super Bowl in 2007!!!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

YoChicago!!!

I think I've ran into them on Flickr where they have some photos posted. In any event I ran into one of their videos on YouTube interviewing a representative of the 87th Street Stony Island Chamber of Commerce talking about the general area. The video is embedded below...


But there is more about other Chicago neighborhoods as well and when I decided to post this I was taking a look at their write-ups of Bronzeville. This is one of my neighborhoods of interest. Of course they look at other neighborhoods like for instance the Calumet Heights/Pill Hill neighborhood. And let me just mention they are always looking for writers. If you know anything about your particular neighborhood you should send them an email and write for them.

Anyway enjoy.

Pajamas Media has a straw poll

For the Presidential candidates in either party. Who might your choice be as a Republican or a Democrat? I'm not going to indicate my choice on either side but thankfully even if I had made my choices it wouldn't matter anyway. Straw poll whether an electronic poll or the straw polls you'll see on C-Span doesn't hold a lot of weight anyway.

Any vote early and often and let's see who's getting most of the votes on the Straw Poll.

The Fix

One of my favorite political blogs since the mid-term elections is Chris Cilliza's The Fix. This blog is courtesy of the Washington Post. And let me just say it is a delight to read and I was looking at his list of possible Presidential contenders announced or unannounced.

Let me just say that to start, there isn't many people who can excite me in the Republican field. There are, however, a lot of excitement over in the Democratic field. All I can make up my mind on for the Republicans is that I hope Jeb Bush doesn't run. And I like one candidate for the Republicans former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. Everyone else isn't doing it for me especially Sen. John McCain of Arizona, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusettes, though I must say I am a fan of former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani. Kansas Senator Sam Brownback is someone I know next to nothing about. Who knows he might come out of nowhere.

The Democrats of course boasts of Senators Clinton and Obama. With Sen. Clinton solidly in the lead and then there are the other choices of Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico and former Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa. Higher on the list than Richardson was for Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina (he was Sen. John Kerry's running mate in 2004) but he doesn't excite me as much, but he must be doing something right.

Anyway read The Fix.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Will African-Americans vote for Sen. Obama for President

Check out this video from CBS2Chicago about how Sen. Obama isn't polling well among blacks against his fellow Senator & Presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton is leading him as you can see in these two graphics that are derived from the video.

I attempted to address this issue of how Sen. Obama is seen in the black community. I wonder why blacks aren't flocking to him in the polls. Then there's this quote by historian Timuel Black in this piece and it does make sense...
Saying he's not black enough, is an attempt to discredit him among blacks because that may be the base that they want.
Well this is another issue and it does happen and it's unfortunate that it does. As you will see in this video, however, Emil Jones (President of the Illinois Senate) attempted to explain why blacks aren't connecting with Sen. Obama and attempted to play up that Obama's candidacy will do "more for our children and grand-children than those other individuals combined."

Well I don't know about all that. But I do agree with what Sen. Emil Jones also stated in this piece, that it doesn't mean you should be on welfare to represent the black community. So I think I'll just leave it at that.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Sen. John Kerry isn't running for President next year...

I should just say facetiously that perhaps this is a good thing. Perhaps that wasn't a good idea.

Anyway, FOX News reports that the 2004 Democratic nominee for President of the United States is reportedly not going to run for President in 2008. It seemed like he was going to try it again too. According to this report from FOXNews.com...

The Massachusetts senator will make his announcement on the Senate floor Wednesday and is taping a video message to e-mail supporters to thank them for their support.

Kerry decided "he could accomplish more for the country in the Senate than as a presidential candidate," the source said. The four-term senator is up for re-election in 2008 and will run for office again, according to a Democratic official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The source close to Kerry said the senator chose not to enter the crowded presidential field so that he can re-dedicate himself to getting the United States out of Iraq.

I was looking at the Chicago Reader politics blog...

Called Clout City, and they had a post about Sen. Barack Obama endorsing Mayor Richard M. Daley in his re-election bid. It wasn't a very positive post. This post ended on this note...
Actually, I don't know why Obama even bothered. Sure, there's a quid pro quo, but it's not as if Daley has a choice: how would it look for the state's top Democrat to back someone other than the state's favorite son? And if Daley didn't support Obama, so what? The mayor has no strings when it comes to national elections. He supported Al Gore in 2000 and did next to nothing for John Kerry in 2004; Gore and Kerry still did about the same in Chicago.

Now that I think about it, endorsing Daley was a boneheaded move. He gave it all away and got next to nothing in return.
But this comment bothers me and it was posted by a man who calls himself "Roland Burris" and while I'm sure some black person out there is questionning Sen. Obama's "blackness", I feel it was irresponsible for the real Roland Burris (a former state Attorney General) to actually say this out loud. If this was him it surely was a sign of how long he's been out of public life (he ran against Blagojevich in the Democratic primary for governor in 2002)...
Roland Burris
January 23rd - 9:42 p.m.
Ben,
Obama did sell himself cheap, but then again, who is he ? At least I was elected State wide, before the Daley people bought me out. He is just a pachaged white guy in a black uniform, the daley people will use him like a $20.00 whore, then he will become a token candidate for future elections.Guys like him, Jackson Jr., and State Senator Meeks sold out there Race, pay back will be a Bitch!
Yeah I hope you can see some red flags in this statement. I hardly think any former politician would come out and say someone bought them out. But hey, someone must be honest about that out there and will say it aloud.

This morning I was looking at the Capitol Fax Blog

Well Capitol Fax has been using YouTube since last year as they chronicled the 2006 midterms. Thanks to Capitol Fax and YouTube we met up with JakeCP and Neuikirk for Governor. We saw ads from both Gov. Blagojevich and his GOP opponent then Judy Baar Topinka. And how about a press conference that could have easily been used against Blagojevich.

Well see I've been tracking video blogging for the better part of my two years here. Call this an extension of new media. We can create our own spin or our own stories. We no longer have to wait for the mainstream media (MSM must be out of style already).

Even better no longer must you have some money to buy TV time. It's not that you don't need it, but I imagine as more people get more computer and internet saavy, an individual running for a political office (and I won't push it for anything important such as governor, big city mayor, or even runing for a seat in the US House and Senate for instance) could just spend money on a good camcorder or indeed a videographer, edit that bad boy and post it somewhere on the internet. You can essentially post your own advertisements on YouTube for instance.

So this morning I see ad on YouTube for an aldermanic candidate Brendan Reilly who's running against incumbent Ald. Burton Natauru in the downtown lakefront 42nd ward (check out the local elections open thread on Capitol Fax and you'll see Reilly's ad. Sometime last month another video hosting site, Blip.tv, showed Presidential contender Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa talking about using internet video in his campaign. In the next presidential campaign they say that videoblogging is going to play a role, just like blogging had its role in the last presidential campaign.

Oh yeah as for YouTube, they didn't even come onto the screen until fairly recently. Yeah they were just bought by Google for I don't even remember how much but I'm sure the former owners are dancing the dough now. You know the only sites that I knew of that hosted video was archive.org and Blip.tv. Archive.org, well I'll have to explain how that's possible but I can say I don't like that as much as Blip.tv and that's certainly because at least with Blip the video can be embedded into a blog post just like with YouTube. Interesting huh?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A representative of an Aldermanic candidate dropped by here...

Mary, Volunteer Campaign Head Field Organizer for Denise Dixon who is running for the open seat in the 15th ward dropped by to leave me this email...

Here is so more facts about Denise. Denise Dixon was also a prominet leader in the win and expanded coverage of the Living- Wage Ordinance in the City of Chicago. She has organized and fought along side of Chicago Transit Authority workers for a new contract and back pay, she also served as a Transition team member on consumer issues and minimum wage for Governor Rob Blagojevich. The list of accomplishments goes on and on. Denise has worked along side of many Locals on many issues and she will continue to do so because she believes in the Working Families. Please note that Denise Dixon has a website at www.denisedixon15thward.com

Denise Dixon is far more the best candidate for the job. The community will have the last say in this race. Remember its Definitely Denise Dixon "A Voice for her Community"

She reminds me or I should say in this instance us to vote on February 27th.

Hmm, it's interesting how people find me. Oh yeah I figured out that people have been doing searches on 6th Ward Candidate Eugene Davis and this blog came up. If any of you are actually from the campaign I don't mind if you leave me a note. Especially in the post dedicated to your campaign.

Or anyone else I don't mind if you leave a comment or leave an e-mail at itsmymind (at) gmail (dot) com.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Mel Martinez elected RNC chairman...

While the Cook County Democrats seem to have trouble deciding who should be their chairman the Cook County GOP reports that the Republican National Committee has elected Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida GOP chairman. Now this piece of news is actually on their homepage but I think I'm going to post a link to a news source such as the Washington Post.

Oh yeah I posted about the Cook County Democrats Chairman situation a while back...
Cook County Dems could pick first Hispanic party chief

Two black coaches in the Super Bowl...

A big deal was made of this especially when I saw the conclusion of the AFC championship game last night. I just must say that was a game that was worth watching unlike many of the Super Bowls I have watched over time. And I have no doubt that Dungy deserves to be in this year's Super Bowl.

And Lovie Smith. When the Bears fired Dick Jauron I just assumed that they can get a proven winner then they settled on Smith. I imagine he was the Bears' first black coach, but it doesn't matter much to me. It matters more that he was a good coach.

Hasn't it been a long time since the Bears managed to get two consecutive playoff appearances. I can count that many before the 2005 season. One in the Dave Wanstaedt era and the other during the Jauron era (and many called that season a fluke, the season they played in Champaign-Urbana because of the work at Soldier Field). Looking at Lovie Smith's record he has certainly made it to the top this time.

And Tom Dungy. Well the Colts wasn't his first head coaching assignment. It was actually the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was fired from them in 2001 because the Bucs' management had determined that in conservative offense was to inconsisten against NFL teams. But as coach of the Bucs' they made more playoff appearances and even made it to the NFC championship game in 1999.

So I just want to say one thing. Two black coaches in the Super Bowl to me are minor accomplishments. I'm not going to look at Smith and Dungy as black coaches but as coaches who led their teams to the Super Bowl. Of course only one will be carry home the Vince Lombardi Trophy. And I can always look at it this way, black coaches have come a long way since being led the way by Art Shell of the Oakland (Los Angeles) Raiders.

Right now it matters less to me that both coaches are black. It matters that one of these teams are going to win and that I sincerely hope that this will be a great contest along the lines of, for instance, Colts & Patriots. I wish Dungy and Smith will and I hope Chicago goes all the way.

BTW, I was going to do a post about the Bears championship history and eventually I intend to post a history of the Super Bowl. I'm still working on the Bears championship history but the Super Bowl post is for the most part ready to go, but I'm going to wait a little while. It could be close to Super Bowl weekend or maybe tomorrow or perhaps a week before the Super Bowl. Either way it will be posted.

And check out my Bears post over at My Mind's Eye. Enjoy the Bears fight song, the lyrics, audio, and the Super Bowl Shuffle.

AFC Championship Game
NFC Championship Game

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Oh yeah...

The Bears are in the Super Bowl. For the second time in what over 20 years. The last time they were in it they won. This is something I was looking forward to for a while but I was cautious. When it comes to Chicago sports teams you ought to be.

Anyway this is great news. I'm less amazed though than when the White Sox made it into the World Series. Still the Bears are going into the Super Bowl and I'm going to eagerly anticipate watching the Super Bowl in a few weeks.

Super Bowl bound from Chicago Tribune

UPDATE: The Bears will take on the Colts. I saw a very good game tonight between the Colts and the Patriots on CBS in Nap-Town (Indianapolis). Final score 38-34, Colts.

I should note the final score from the earlier Bears game against the Saints in Chicago. 39-14, Bears.

Hillary's team has questions about Obama's Muslim background

Back to the religion question courtesy from a link that I got from Brain-Terminal.com. Sen. Hillary Clinton's team is already on the attack with regards to Sen. Obama's background. Well if Sen. Clinton is in it to win it this nastiness shouldn't have come as a surprise...

Are the American people ready for an elected president who was educated in a Madrassa as a young boy and has not been forthcoming about his Muslim heritage?

This is the question Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s camp is asking about Sen. Barack Obama.

An investigation of Mr. Obama by political opponents within the Democratic Party has discovered that Mr. Obama was raised as a Muslim by his stepfather in Indonesia. Sources close to the background check, which has not yet been released, said Mr. Obama, 45, spent at least four years in a so-called Madrassa, or Muslim seminary, in Indonesia.

"He was a Muslim, but he concealed it," the source said. "His opponents within the Democrats hope this will become a major issue in the campaign."

Barack Obama & Trinity United Church of Christ

I've only been to one service there and I must say that at that point in point in time I'd have been oblivious to whom attends this church. I had no idea that Cheryl Burton and Oprah went to church there. Of course since Sen. Barack Obama has become something of a hot shot he is bringing some more attention to this church.

I subscribed to the feed from ArchPundit which linked me to this post at Illinois Review. Fran Eaton talks about Barack's pastor one Jeremiah Wright. And one thing Eaton has a problem with is a percieved preaching of black supremacy. On this subject with regard to Rev. Wright she wrote two columns for The Star newspapers. One from December 31, 2006 and the other from January 14, 2007.

Since Obama hasn't been making waves in his very brief time in Washington and his time in Springfield people have been trying to look at him in many different ways. There is more to the man than his votes, but what makes him special? Indeed, what makes him Presidential material?

There have been many angles. Today there's an article about his wife Michelle in the Sun-Times and of course there have been many. A few months ago he got knocks about his middle name being similiar to that of a recently executed dictator. This leads me to a new angle, religion.

Because of Sen. Obama's FULL name it could be assumed that he is a Muslim. He did spend part of his life in Indonesia, but also people will assume he's with the terrorist. Well we do live in those type of days. When some hear Muslim or Islam they automatically panic and think terrorists. It's unfortunate actually.

The fact is that he goes to Trinity United Church of Christ on 95 Street on the far south side of town. If he was ever a Muslim whether because of his father or because of his stay in Indonesia well he isn't now. He goes to church like other blacks in this country.

The two columns I linked to (I think I'll but those in del.icio.us as well) talked about Eaton's visit to Trinity on a Sunday. Her writing suggests a certain amout of culture shock. One thing she notes is exactly in the about us section of Trinity's website,

We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian...
Sounds good huh? And me say that while Fran Eaton could refer to Rev. Wright's preaching as black supremacy I would rather think that Wright is actually preaching black nationalism. And I consider there to be a difference. First and foremost black supremacy isn't a very positive term. It suggest blacks can look down on people when they shouldn't but black nationalism suggests pride but it doesn't have to involve looking down on people.

There is probably a perfect explanation for both. I would think it's because black over time has gotten a bum rap from "the other society" (look at my post about Freddrenna Lyle from earlier this week) and some respects from ourselves (I would like to mention that about Michelle Obama but later). To me those terms whether positive or negative suggests that this helps to instill pride in black heritage. Indeed I really believe blacks have contributed so much to America and I could dare say the world with many cultural contributions and such. I think I'm getting off track here.

Ms. Eaton mentions the festive atmosphere of Trinity which is somewhat true at most black churches. You know I think I'll let her set up the scenery. I won't try it, I've not been to a service in years...
There we found Trinity United Church of Christ’s auditorium almost filled for its 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning service. Female worship leaders invited the congregants of all ages to "enter in." Children dressed in African-heritage clothing entered from the rear of the auditorium and filed into the choir loft. Boisterous, hand-clapping worship songs softened to heart-pondering quiet hymns as the morning’s teaching commenced.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., Trinity’s senior pastor, reported via audio from his ongoing South American trip. Then associate pastor Otis Potts III encouraged his parishioners to seek the service-oriented spirit of Joseph and be willing to "raise another’s man child." He advocated the orthodox teachings of the deity of Christ, His virgin birth and ultimate return.

An altar call was answered by men who publicly committed to serving their families and the community with their time, talents and money.

Altogether, it was a rather pleasant church service reflecting the spirit of Christmas and Christendom.

Apparently Eaton did her homework on Sen. Obama's church and his minister, but I think I'll save that for later too. Knowing more about the man this is an angle is worth looking at for sure.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

No surprise here is it?

New York Senator and former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton is now in the race to seek the Democratic nomination for President. At this moment I really hope Sen. Obama can get into the fray. The race will be even more interesting.

I will stop short of saying Sen. Clinton is unpopular but she is a known quantity so she may get votes for that, but that is also a problem. In contrast Sen. Obama is much more likeable, positive, and charismatic but will that be enough for him. We'll have to see.

I learned this through a FOX News Alert. Here's an article from FOX News.

UPDATE: From a breaking news e-mail from ABCNews.com...
HILLARY CLINTON LEADS BARACK OBAMA 41-17 PERCENT IN INITIAL SUPPORT AMONG DEMOCRATIC-LEANING VOTERS, ABC NEWS/WASHINGTON POST POLL FINDS

http://abcnews.go.com?CMP=EMC-1396

Friday, January 19, 2007

I must say this has to be a good start...

The new state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulis was dogged for most his campaign by the claim that he helped organize crime secure million dollar loans and then his failure to answer the questions with regards to that. Then for a strange sense of curiosity I have a look at the State Treasurer's website and looking at his bio I see this...
As his first official act as Treasurer, Alexi signed an executive order prohibiting his campaign fund from accepting contributions from banks, Treasurer’s Office employees and contractors who do business with the office.

“For too long, the perception in Illinois is that campaign contributions buy political influence,” Alexi said in announcing his six-point plan. “Trading political money for political favors is a way of doing business that seems ingrained into our system of government. It’s poisoned the political climate and resulted in the public’s distrust of our elected officials. That’s wrong.”
You know at the state inaugural last week Giannoulis and other state constitution officers with the except of Gov. Blagojevich mentioned corruption and ethics. I suppose some even outlined plans. Perhaps despite his business at his family's bank I could be wrong about old Giannoulis and perhaps Sen. Obama knew what he was doing when he endorsed him.

Dave Chappelle - Black Howard Dean


Since we're going into another Presidential election we can take a look back at the 2004 candidacy of now DNC chair Howard Dean who ran for the Presidency back then. Thanks to the very talented Dave Chappelle, Dean's infamous moment gets parodied.

Melissa Bean: 100 Hours Later

The Cook County Republican Party has just circulated an email (again not posted on the main website) talking about Rep. Melissa Bean. She hasn't been discussed much on this blog but she is the incumbent from the 8th district of Illinois. In I believe 2004 she defeated incumbent representative Phil Crane analysis from that period of time suggest that he was out of touch with his constituents.

Any way the email starts off with this...

WASHINGTON - Congresswoman Melissa Bean (D-IL), despite promising to put her district's interests first in Washington, cast the following votes in the first 100 hours of Democrat control of Congress, siding exclusively with her party's leadership, rather than the voters of the 8th District of Illinois:

"Unfortunately, Congresswoman Bean has already been strong-armed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and the Democrats' liberal leadership," said Jessica Boulanger, NRCC Communications Director. "Melissa Bean's constituents should insist that she represent their values, not engage in bitter partisanship at the expense of doing what's right for them."
Under this was listed some bullet points of measures that she voted on. These are the ones that caught my eye...

- Voted to make it easier to impose massive tax hikes on the American people (House Roll Call 4)
I'm not a fan of taxes. I really am not a fan of tax increases.

- Voted against providing affordable health care to uninsured working families (House Roll Call 10)
Interesting, I have to figure out what this means. Health care is the Democrat's pet issue more than it seems to be with Republicans why would they be against providing affordable healthcare to uninsured working families.
- Voted against the interests of America's small businesses and their ability to create jobs and provide affordable health care to their workers (House Roll Call 17)
Hmm a long way from supporting the mom and pops and entrepreneurship. I have to look into this some more.

- Voted to restrict seniors' access to life-saving drugs as well as access to their neighborhood community pharmacist (House Roll Call 22)
This again would be under health care. What is the logic of this?

- Voted to allow convicted felons to receive student loan benefits (House Roll Call 29)
Just to let to ex-cons know. Take advantage. And BTW, this is not necessarily something I'm against provided that ex-cons want to better themselves.

- Voted against increasing college access and affordability for middle- to low-income students, against providing greater resources for Pell Grants, and against deficit reduction on behalf of taxpayers (House Roll Call 31)
Now this is something I and many other students can use. Access to Pell Grants and less loans. What is the logic of voting against this?

- Voted for $6.5 billion in new taxes on American energy producers, for higher energy prices for American consumers, voted to stifle domestic energy production, and increase America's dependence on foreign sources of energy (House Roll Call 40)
You know, I really think we need to get away from consuming foreign oil. Particularly from the middle East which is the source of some of America's troubles. Unfortunately if American companies attempt to drill in places like Alaska, someone will cry, "We're destroying the environment!"

You know I need to do more research on some of these measures. BTW I'll add one more and this doesn't interest me as much but I'm sure it's of interest to many people right now...
- Voted to turn over United States homeland security protections to the United Nations (House Roll Call 14)
This one was really between the affordable health care and interests of small businesses.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Two year anniversary post...

So this blog has made it to the 2nd-year mark. A wonderful occasion, yes. I couldn't tell you this blog would make it to January 2007. It did and it's been great.

BTW, this blog blew up last year. Statewide exposure thanks in part to Rich Miller and my postings over at Illinoize. And while I have no way of knowing if Rich Miller has been reading my blog all along. I'll give special credit to Bill Baar for I suppose being the first to link to my blog on Illinoize.

BTW, some famous people in the bloggosphere dropped by and left a comment in the last year. People like Steve Garfield, MC Hammer, and even the Broken Heart of Roger's Park (well Mr. Craig Gernhardt's blog is well read albeit in Chicago or in Roger's Park but he still counts). I should even note that the former Libertarian candidate for Governor Cal Skinner, who also was a former Republican state legislator dropped by (and he even dropped by a leave a comment over at My Mind's Eye). I'll also add that Terry Martin of the Illinois Channel also stopped by last year.

You know I should consider doing a compendium of sometype. At least some of my favorite posts. I thought about doing links or perhaps a self published booklet. Who knows maybe I'll do it. All the same heres to another year.

And take a look at the very first post.

Aldermanic Elections: Coming In To Focus

Richard Carnahan looks at the aldermanic elections around the city over at Gaper's Block. He already sectioned off races as either tier-one or tier-two. Well I want to look at some of the black wards that have made it into the column.

In this column it starts with the Chicago Federation of Labor failing to endorse anyone as mayor and and they are attempting to mettle in the election of alderman. They figure in a lot of the races around the city where they are endorsing candidates. With their help many could pull off upsets. Still...

If the CFL had had a viable alternative to Daley, they could have crafted at ticket that would likely have driven more voters — their voters — to the polls and thereby built a more effective city-wide GOTV operation. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s decision not to head up such a ticket will have serious implications for many of labor's candidates and will give a very false impression of weakness if they are unable to win the seats they've targeted.
Anyway here are Carnahan's looks at the black wards. Mind you he doesn't just do black wards, but he does wards around the city. I'll leave it up to you to look at the others. And if I mention them it's only because they are hot races...

2nd Ward (South Loop, North Bronzeville): Jesse Jackson Jr. has endorsed a former aid of his, Kenny Johnson, but Alderman Haithcock's biggest change will probably come from the well-financed Bob Fioretti. The CFL did not endorse anybody in this race, which leaves it even more wide open. This will go to a run-off.

3rd Ward (Bronzeville, South Side): Dorothy Tillman, what to say about you? I'll leave the tired jokes about your hats for the hacks, and just bring up the fact that you spent 20 percent of your ward's infrastructure funds on statues. CFL has endorsed Pat Dowell, who will force a run-off and win.

7th Ward (Chatham): Mmmm, Jackson family (Sandi Jackson) v. Beavers and friends (Darcel Beavers). The CFL has tapped Sandi Jackson, who is the Congressman's wife, but the Beavers family has an ace in the hole — well, not an "ace in the hole" so much as two entire suits up their sleeves, the Diamonds and Hearts of Chicago politics, the Strogers and Daleys. Anybody who gives you a hard-and-fast prediction of what's going to happen here is crazy. Just pop some popcorn, get off the Dan Ryan at 87th where the casino shuttles pick up, head east and enjoy the show.
...
15th Ward (Englewood): The CFL has endorsed Toni Foulkes, who is a member of the United Food and Commercial Workers and was among the leadership of the Big Box Living Wage Ordinance fight. Her highest-profile competitor and the leader of the pack is Denise Dixon, a former field director for Rainbow-PUSH and president of the local ACORN chapter. Foulkes' endorsement by the CFL will provide the cover for several very large labor locals — including SEIU Locals 1 and 880 — to support Foulkes over the Rainbow-PUSH candidate if they choose to do so (SEIU has not made official endorsements yet).

18th Ward (Auburn-Gresham, Scottsdale): If Bob Fioretti can overtake Madeline Haithcock in the 2nd Ward, this race will lose some significance as the racial balance of the Council will likely stay the same. White Alderman Tom Murphy moved on to a judgeship, and the CFL has endorsed Paul Stewart, who is African-American. Stewart is also probably the most well-qualified, and if the CFL comes through with money and some troops, that just might be the edge Stewart needs in a wide-open race. The appointed incumbent, Lola Lane, still has to be considered something of a favorite.
...
20th Ward (Washington Park, Grand Crossing): Chicago's name will be Mudd when indicted Alderman Arenda Troutman is re-elected. Even if she's later found guilty of no wrongdoing. By the way, Alderman Troutman, your lawyer rules.

21st Ward (Brainerd, Roseland): Ald. Howard Brookins, Jr. learned a valuable lesson in Council politics when a deal was brokered to sink his Wal-Mart project and keep Ald. Emma Mitts' afloat. The lesson: Come to us with your head bowed, not your hand out. He will hold on to this seat against a bevy of candidates, and has received Congressman Jackson's endorsement although the CFL has obviously chosen to endorse former Rainbow-PUSH activist Leroy Jones, Jr.
...
37th Ward (Austin, Humboldt): The CFL has endorsed nobody in the 37th Ward, the center of the Wal-Mart fight, and an economically depressed area with a high density of low-wage union workers. Ouch.
Oh yeah let me take that back, there are interesting races to be waged in the 49th ward (that's Ald. Joe Moore's ward and man does he get busted upon by The Broken Heart), 50th Ward (Bernard Stone who is facing three challengers), the 43rd (I blogged about one of the challengers Peter Zelchenko), and the 42nd ward (with Nataurus facing two opponents and who knows he might lose this one, but we'll have to see).

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Whitening of Chicago

Russ Stewart's January 10th column.

Stewart takes a look at the upcoming municipal elections taking a look at the changing demographics of some black wards...

Chicago is certainly not Bosnia or Cambodia, but in the city's black community, there's a definite perception that "ethnic cleansing" is afoot and that Mayor Rich Daley is the cleanser.

As development explodes in the areas south and west of the Loop, as upscale whites replace poor blacks, the "whitening of Chicago" continues on a steady pace. The 2nd, 3rd, 24th and 27th wards, now represented by black aldermen, have large and growing white populations.

Also, as the city's Hispanic population grows, blacks are being pushed out of areas on the West and Southwest Sides. The 9th, 15th and 37th wards, now represented by black aldermen, have large and growing Hispanic populations.

At present, there are 22 white aldermen and 19 white-majority wards, eight Hispanic aldermen and 11 Hispanic-majority wards, and 20 black aldermen and 20 black-majority wards.

At least 16 black incumbents face a serious challenge on Feb. 27. There are a number of issues riling the black community. First, there is the belief that development means that blacks get pushed out and whites move in. Condominiums in the South Loop 2nd Ward are selling for $400,000 and up, and whites are buying them. Daley talks about broadening the property tax base, but blacks dissent: They view him as wanting to broaden the white voter base, and they're angry at black aldermen who support development.

Second, there's chronic unemployment, high crime and gang problems in black wards. They see Daley doling out city jobs to the Hispanic Democratic Organization in the Hired Truck Program and wonder why blacks don't get their share.

Third, the issue of police abuse resonates. Former police commander Jon Burge, according to a special prosecutors' report, allegedly oversaw the torture of at least 75 black arrestees from 1970 to 1993. He can't be prosecuted, as the statute of limitation has expired. "It's police abuse as usual," said Frank Avila, the attorney for one of the victims, who is suing the city.

And fourth, there's disappointment over U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr., who toyed for 2 years with challenging Daley and then wimped out.
Things change in Chicago but the 3rd Ward turning white would disappoint me. The 3rd ward is basically the Bronzeville neighborhood (the black metropolis if you will) it's almost like the gentrification of Harlem in NYC. It wouldn't be cool, but what can you do if most of the original residents of the neighborhood are poor.

Anyway he analyzes the aldermanic races. He goes from the 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 8th, 16th, 18th, and 37th wards. And predicts that incumbent Alderman Madeline Haithcock of the 2nd ward, Dorothy Tillman of the 3rd ward, and Shirley Coleman of the 16th ward will face runoffs and lose. I really want to quote what he says about the 7th ward. One race that I really have an eye on with Beaver's budding machine and Rep. Jesse Jackson's wife...

7th Ward (South Side: South Hyde Park): Longtime (1983 to 2006) alderman Bill Beavers, a solid Daley backer, was elected a county commissioner in 2006. The ward is more than 90 percent black. Daley appointed Beavers' daughter and top aide, Darcel Beavers, to the seat. Sandi Jackson, the wife of the congressman, filed, as did Ron David, Jesse Harley, Curtis Hinton, Eric Brown and Tennesha Frierson.

As an ally of John Stroger, Bill Beavers, who is the Democratic committeeman, packed his ward with county patronage jobs. He is a key supporter of new Cook County Board President Todd Stroger, and he has plenty of precinct workers.

However, Jackson leads a "movement," not a "machine," and by declining to run for mayor, his movement has deflated. He has harshly criticized Daley, but rather than take a chance on running and losing in 2007, he has astutely concluded that he should wait until 2011 -- when 4 more years of investigations will, at best, cause Daley's indictment or, at worst, force him to retire amid a cloud of corruption.

My prediction: Running his wife was a dumb idea. The mayor, and everybody who wants to show Jackson's political feebleness, will pour workers into the ward for Beavers, who will win on Feb. 27.
OK, but what he says about the 9th and 16th wards are also interesting...

9th Ward (far South Side): Incumbent Alderman Anthony Beale has estranged himself from Jackson and state Senator James Meeks, the pastor of the Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Roseland, which draws 20,000 worshippers every Sunday. Beale, first elected in 1999, won with 66 percent of the vote in 2003. He faces five foes, the most prominent being Harold "Noonie" Ward, a former "governor" in the Gangster Disciples street gang.

My prediction: Churches and gangs are an enduring presence in the black community. Beale must heal his rift with Meeks to win re-election. He will win narrowly.
I wonder how Stewart comes across his information and I wonder what happened with the Jackson and Rev. Meeks. How has Beale estranged himself from his allies?

16th Ward (South Side: Englewood): Shirley Coleman, first elected in 1991, is the target of a federal investigation into her ties with a real estate consultant who reportedly paid $50,000 to Coleman's church and $20,000 to Coleman's interior decorator. In exchange, Coleman sent a letter to a home investment company vouching for the consultant. The investors then advanced $515,000, which has vanished. A federal racketeering lawsuit seeks $6 million from Coleman and others.

My prediction: Coleman won with 53 percent of the vote in 2003. She faces 10 opponents, including Hal Baskin, who lost to her in 2003 (with 21 percent of the vote) and 1999 (with 26 percent), and Darryl Smith, who barely lost a primary for state representative in 2006. Expect a Coleman-Smith runoff and a Smith win.
OK, Ald. Coleman hasn't been busy around here but she does have issues I just recently linked to an article about her in my Del.icio.us account. She has been ducking a man attempting to serve her some court papers. And also I did blog about the story about her relationship with an interior decorator. It looks like a mess right now.

2007 will prove itself to be very interesting as far as the elections for Chicago city council goes.

I finally had a chance to see the Troutman press conference

From last Thursday.

It really was as raucus as has been reported. Everything from all the boos and heckles to the cheers for Troutman to the appearance of a challenger, David Neely, who was at this press conference he lets himself be heard. Troutman made a statement about her record as Alderman then left before she could take any questions.

Could Chicago's 20th Ward be truly a piece of work. I can say one thing these people have passion. The Troutman opponent and her supporters. I wonder if this was by design.

BTW, Neely has the right idea by mentioning term limits.

Two items on Wednesday morning...

Blacks should 'get over' slavery: lawmaker

From today's Sun-Times, A Virgnia Delegate Frank D. Hargrove, 79 gave an interview and was quoted for saying a couple of things...

In an interview published Tuesday in the Daily Progress of Charlottesville,
Hargrove said slavery ended nearly 140 years ago with the Civil War and added that ''our black citizens should get over it.''

The newspaper also quoted him as saying, ''are we going to force the Jews to apologize for killing Christ?''

Black lawmakers swiftly denounced Hargrove's comments.

''When somebody tells me I should just get over slavery, I can only express my emotion by projecting that I am appalled, absolutely appalled,'' said Delegate Dwight C. Jones, head of the Legislative Black Caucus.
Hmmm, here's more and his comments didn't just upset Virginia's legislative black caucus but other colleagues as well...

Delegate David L. Englin also criticized Hargrove's remarks, recalling that his grandparents were driven from their homes in Poland ''by people who believed that as Jews, we killed Christ.''

When Hargrove rose to speak, he told Englin he didn't care about Englin's religion.

''I think your skin was a little too thin,'' Hargrove said
as lawmakers gasped and groaned.

Fired Sox ball girl claims discrimination

This is an interesting story and unfortunately I don't see a case here. I thinks it's stupid to assume that only because girls are on the field that people will still run onto the field. They'd do it whether there were some young boys on the field or not. Some fans wouldn't care if they ran onto the field with armed guards or not. But let me just could some things from the article in today's Sun-Times...

For seven years, Amy Wilkes says she served as a loyal White Sox ball girl.
But in 2003, she and the team's other ball girls were all fired because the White Sox thought that rowdy fans were more likely to charge onto the field when girls were present, according to a lawsuit filed this week.

Wilkes claims in the suit, filed against the White Sox in federal court, that it was pure discrimination.
...
Wilkes said she was fired on April 15, 2003 -- the same day spectator Eric Dybas stormed onto the field during a game between the White Sox and the Kansas City Royals.

Wilkes says Sox General Manager Ken Williams told her that "recent well-publicized incidents involving unruly fans entering the field was the reason for the termination."
But Wilkes argues in the lawsuit that being a ball girl has nothing to do with security or stopping fans from running onto the field.

In an April 27, 2003, story, a Major League Baseball official told the Sun-Times that the ball girls were replaced with security personnel in the interest of maximizing protection for the players and the umpires.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Daley to chair Pilgrim Baptist Church fundraising effort

Good news on the rebuilding of a historic black church on the south side. I was covering this news back when it happened in January 2006. Very sad story but it looks like the church is coming back. And Mayor Daley is going to be apart of these efforts. The quotes are from ABC7Chicago.com...

The old walls of Pilgrim Baptist, 33rd and South Indiana Avenue, are all that's left standing. They are buttressed with steel to keep them from falling. But, across the street, Mayor Daley lent his support to church leaders determined to bring Pilgrim Baptist back, saying he will help them raise private money.

"Most importantly, in rebuilding a church, they're really rebuilding the souls of another generation -- and, of course, never forgetting the past," the mayor said.
...
"The history of Pilgrim Baptist Church is so rich. It's rich because so many lives have been changed, transformed, because of where God has placed us to be," said Rev. Keith Gordon, Pilgrim Baptist Church pastor.
...
Mayor Daley says he will chair the fundraising effort. The Pritzker Family Foundation is offering half-a-million dollars in matching funds.
What about the original building though and the future plans for what's left...

It was January 6, 2006 that the historic church was destroyed by fire, a fire started by workers on the roof. As it burned, we learned of Pilgrim's history: Thomas Dorsey's famous gospel choir sang here, the building was designed by Chicago architects Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, and it was originally built as a synagogue in the late 1800s.
...
The design of the new church has not yet been decided, but it will retain what's left of Sullivan and Adler's original.

"We know we're going to keep the walls of the building, but what we do inside the building and outside is going to be based on the input that we get from the church and also based on the type of fundraising that will be done," said Frank Christopher Lee, architect.

The total amount of money needed is vague, because the church needs to decide what to put inside, but it will be in the millions.
LINKS
Fire rages at Pilgrim Baptist Church...
Blaze destroys historic church
Pilgrim Baptist Church to get a grant...

Obama taking first step in presidential run

Sen. Barack Obama has announced his exploratory committee for President today. There are a lot of items to point as opposed to just simply quoting an article here or there. But I must say Sen. Obama isn't making a bad move here. Let's see where this goes.

Obama taking first step in presidential run
Obamarama - Obama announces exploratory committee *** Updated x13 ***

On MLK Day...

I took a picture of the campaign headquarters of Eugene Davis who is running against Ald. Fredrenna Lyle and three other opponents for Alderman of the 6th ward. This is not his first race as he ran I believe in 1999 and he ran against Lyle in 2003. Oh yeah Ald. Lyle faced a run-off in 2003 against a former Olympian Willye White and is predicted to face another run-off this time around.

Anyway I went to the 4100 block of Cottage Grove to take a picture of his campaign headquarters. I drove by one night and decided I'm going to take a snapshot of that place. This day was as good a day as any and it was on the way to my next stop.

As you'll see some people exited the headquarters and while I would have liked to have taken more than one snapshot I took my one shot and walked back to the car. Thankfully the headline for this post didn't become either "Amateur photographer assualted by thugs from an aldermanic candidate" or "Amateur photographer verbally abused by supporters of an aldermanic candidate". They looked at me with curiosity and as I drove away something told me to wave and they waved back smiling.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The 6th ward Alderman on TV Sunday morning...

I was sluggish about posting this yesterday so I post this today on MLK Day. This would be a good time to do a tribute but I'll save that for later. It's a story that needs to be told about MLK Jr's Chicago connection. Some will call his time in Chicago his defeat. Anyway back to 6th ward Ald. Lyle.

Ald. Fredrenna Lyle was on the live call in show politics on CAN Channel 19 this morning. She took questions from callers and mentioned a lot of things going on in the ward. Even one that could be seen out of left field but that's not to say this isn't important to address.

First off I never realized after many years of watching programs on CAN-19 that the lives of ex-cons is such a big issues expecially in the black community. In the last mayoral campaign 2003 a challenger named Paul McCaffey (he's running for Alderman in the 8th Ward this year) wanted to open an office in city hall to help ex-cons get back to work. Based on this she took a call and took a quesiton on this issue.

The caller called in talking about how many young people are trying to do something with their lives but are looked at as thugs. That's probably not what he said exactly but then Ald. Lyle talks about how she seeks to encourage young entrepreneurs in her ward. Also she mentions that the other society (i.e. white people) when their young people get into trouble with the law these troubled individuals have small jobs (ma & pop establishments) to go to work for while blacks generally don't. In encouraging entrepreneurs at least these families won't just give their young people a job but pass on their business.

She touches on development in the 6th ward. There isn't much land in the 6th ward. Most of the land are in the Englewood portion and she claims that she doesn't allow outsides to develop in the ward. She wants to encourage young developers or entrepreneurs. Let me just state that development is one issue that got Ald. Arenda Troutman in trouble.

Also she talks about crime. The city rate isn't that important to her she says as the rate in her ward. There's more activity because the 6th ward is increasingly seeing more younger people move into the ward. She saw her ward change from a quiet senior ward.

Education. She wants to see the state pick up its share of education funding. She discusses a city income tax (this is something I wish wasn't considered. I'm not a fan of taxes) to help fund education in the city. She mentioned that the only reason schools like New Trier are better funded is because of property values. This is one reason for differences in funding between school districts.

She closes her appearance on this show that she is accountable. She also mentions that she will have an oratorical contest at Kennedy-King College. I should also mention that she does have townhall meetings as well.

Visit her website when you have a chance. Her ward encompassed the south side neighborhoods of Englewood, Park Manor, Chatham, Chesterfield and Roseland Heights.

Obama's charm lost on America's black activists

Bill Baar wrote about this article among others (not exactly relating to Sen. Obama) on Illinoize I figure this is a good follow up to my post about Laura Washington's New Year's Eve column about what blacks think of Sen. Obama.

So apparently people like Rev. Jesse Jackson or Rev. Al Sharpton doesn't really care much for Sen. Obama. What is up?
HE is a media darling, a paparazzi target and a source of inspiration for millions of Democrats who dream of retaking the White House in 2008. But Senator Barack Obama, the charismatic African-American who is shaking up the presidential primary race, has not impressed some of America’s most powerful black activists.
Civil rights leaders who have dominated black politics for much of the past two decades have pointedly failed to embrace the 45-year-old Illinois senator who is considering a bid to become America’s first black president.

At a meeting of activists in New York last week, the Rev Jesse Jackson, the first black candidate to run for president, declined to endorse Obama. “Our focus right now is not on who’s running, because there are a number of allies running,” Jackson said.

The Rev Al Sharpton, the fiery New York preacher who joined the Democratic primary race in 2004, said he was considering another presidential run of his own. And Harry Belafonte, the calypso singer who became an influential civil rights activist, said America needed to be “careful” about Obama: “We don’t know what he’s truly about.”

The unexpected coolness between the old civil rights guard and the new Democratic hopeful has added an intriguing twist to the budding rivalry between Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton, who hopes to emulate her husband, former president Bill Clinton, in attracting support from black voters.
Uh oh!!! Well Hillary already figures especially since she is always in the rumor mill for being an eventual presidential candidate. If this boiled down to Hillary vs. Barack this should be interesting. They are not equals she isn't as eloquent as Obama and Obama may not be as shrewd as Hillary. The quesiton is who will win out between the two the young upstart from Illinois or the much more known quantity?

Still why are old Civil Right guard not embracing Obama?

The importance of the black vote — and the still-potent influence of community leaders such as Jackson and Sharpton — was underlined last week when both Clinton and Obama appeared at different times in New York at a black business conference organised by Jackson’s Rainbow/Push Coalition.

Clinton was applauded at a breakfast meeting for her attacks on President George W Bush’s economic policies of “tax breaks for the rich”. She added: “It is not rich Americans who have made this country great. It is hard-working Americans who have worked hard to lift themselves and their children up.”

Delayed by bad weather, Obama turned up in the evening to pay respectful homage to Jackson’s presidential bids in the 1980s. “I owe him a great debt,” Obama said. “I would not be here had it not been for 1984 . . . for 1988. If I’m on the cover of Ebony (an African-American magazine), it’s not because of me. It’s because a whole bunch of folks did the work to put me there.”

Yet Obama’s charm and eloquence have not wooed the old guard.

“They are basically jealous,” said a Democratic strategist who has not yet decided which candidate he intends to support. “They’ve been toiling in the trenches for decades, and along comes this son of a Kenyan farmer and suddenly he’s measuring the drapes in the Oval Office.”
Makes sense? Well it makes sense to me. Whatever Obama has that makes him popular right now they didn't have. I would like to figure out what that is. Perhaps there will never be an exact answer. And I wish there was.

Here's more...

Sharpton, 52, is widely considered to have no better chance of winning the Democratic nomination than in 2004, when he never amassed more than a few percentage points in the polls but still made a national impact with his barnstorming performances in the televised primary debates.

When asked about Obama’s likely candidacy, the preacher, renowned for outrageous self-publicising antics, shrugged: “Right now we’re hearing a lot of media razzle-dazzle. I’m not hearing a lot of meat, or a lot of content. I think when the meat hits the fire, we’ll find out if it’s just fat, or if there’s some real meat there.”
...
Others suggested that Sharpton would help Clinton by dividing black primary voters. In one interview last week, Sharpton warned that Obama could not take the black vote for granted. A strategist pointed out, however, that Obama could emerge as a “model of reason, compared to that blowhard Al (Sharpton)”.
I have to disagree that Sharpton could divide the black vote. I don't know why people take him seriously. I don't think he could possibly take too much away from Sen. Obama.

You wanna know who Sharpton's nemesis was in 2004? Our former Senator Carol Moseley Braun. The woman who's seat that Sen. Obama currently occupies and she probably gained a little ground on Sharpton than she ever did during her brief presidential run. Who knows she couldn't have split it enough.

However I must say that perhaps this is indicative of a generational divide. Perhaps Obama represents a younger generation. A generation that grew up after all the Civil Rights marches. The only way he knows about them is through the history books or perhaps their forbears told them. And Barack definitely didn't wait his turn when he ran for the Senate and won.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sen. Barack Obama

On New Year's Day Laura Washington wrote a column titled, "Whites may embrace Obama, but do 'regular black folks'?" And that's a question that has been on my mind since he ran for the US Senate in 2004.

I remember when he ran against Rep. Bobby Rush back in 2000 to take his congressional seat. He also was running against State Sen. Donne Trotter (who I voted for only because he was out campaining and we shook hands). Needless to say Obama didn't win that contest perhaps the one election in his life he has lost so far.

Oh yeah Washington has an analysis for that...

Black voters, especially older ones, are very conservative. They believe our elected officials need seasoning. Once we get our people into office, we want them to marinate, keep the seat and bring home the bacon. Obama learned that lesson in 2000 when he challenged longtime incumbent U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush and got a good whipping. The message from black voters: Wait your turn, young man.
Well in those days I couldn't say that I knew exactly who he was. Then what a difference four years made. He ran in the Democratic primary for US Senate and his opponents included a rich self funded campaign by Blair Hull (who was endorsed by Bobby Rush who must have egg on his face right now), Joyce Washington (a black woman whose campaign was based on the single issue of health care), and Dan Hynes (Illinois state comptroller who's father Thomas Hynes was a Democratic committeeman in the 19th ward until last year and was a Democratic national committeeman). Out of this field he won and he was set to take on Jack Ryan.

Then things get funny quickly. There was some interest in Ryan's divorce records. Something was found and the Republicans wanted him to withdraw from the race, which is what he ultimately did. In his place was the very loud and outspoken Alan Keyes and while the start seemed promising until Alan Keyes made statements (he discussed giving blacks taxbreaks and said something about Vice President Cheney's lesbian daughter) and he quickly proved that why he twice failed to get the Republican Presidential nomination and why he lost his race for the US Senate in Maryland. Needless to say that he got hammered by then state Sen. Obama.

Now if I were to say this wasn't a real race could I have been correct especially if Obama has been facing Jack Ryan who certainly was Obama's equal in that election. It wasn't a real race with Alan Keyes even though as Keyes would claim the IL GOP took race out of the equation when they nominated him to run in Ryan's place. Well we don't know now unfortunately.

After that election how can the nation even consider Obama a good candidate for president. What is it exactly? Is it his attractiveness? Or his oratorical ability? I wonder. But looking at Washington's columns I wonder what most blacks think of Obama. There are some answers...

Around the Christmas dinner table, the family was amazingly blase. My uncle Leland "Sugar" Cain is famous in this space for saying, during the 2003 U.S. Senate race that Obama, a biracial graduate of Harvard Law School, was an overeducated "elitist" who wouldn't play well in the 'hood.

Now he is a fan. In between the greens and gravy, he offered some food for thought. He opined on Obama's chances, saying that his fellow South Sider was a ''good man'' who will make a great president -- someday.


''He can do better than Bush. He can probably do better than Clinton. It's not like he can't carry his own weight,'' said Sugar Cain, a retired railroad worker. Yet, he was adamant that Obama can't win the presidency in 2008. For one thing, Obama needs "more experience."

White voters aren't ready to elect the nation's first black president, he added. "It's easy for him to appeal to them now, but when it's time to go into the voting booth, they're not going to pull that lever."

My uncle follows political news 24/7. He reminded the gathering of Harold Ford's failed bid to become the first black U.S. senator from Tennessee since Reconstruction. ''Look who should have won in Tennessee,'' he expounded, his finger flailing in the air. ''Until they put that woman on TV on the telephone.'' He was recalling the controversial campaign ad that featured a sultry blond who reminded Ford that they met at a ''Playboy party'' and invited him to ''Call me.''

The rest of the family -- cousins, in-laws and play-aunts, all -- gave an "Amen!" and proceeded to dig in to my mother's legendary mac-and-cheese.

My random queries to other African Americans elicited similar sentiments. "He's a great guy, but I don't know much about him," says my brother Andrew, an Army sergeant in Fort Carson, Colo. From Randy, who works the door in my building: ''I don't know about him, but what I know, I like.''

I checked in with Michael Meyers, executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition, who specializes in keeping tabs on African-American leadership.

''I don't hear anything from regular black folks about Obama. . . . He's not a star in their orbit. They think he's young, attractive, well-spoken. But I don't know anybody who takes him seriously.'' Obama's not ready, he said.
My two cents in that Sen. Obama doesn't have much to his record. He wasn't making waves in Sprinfield and he definitely isn't in Washington so far. The question that should be asked is, what would make him a good candidate for President?

Unfortunately so far I haven't figured that out.

Check out this other article that blogged about late last year too.

In the same vein as the Broken Heart of Roger's Park...

Visit What the Helen. A blog from the 46th Ward of Chicago. The ward of Ald. Helen Shiller, and they may have to change the name if she loses her bid for re-election next month. Either way it's a great blog. The subject matter is similar to another blog The Broken Heart of Roger's Park (BTW, I wrote about that blog here in August 2005.

The Broken Heart doesn't care much for Ald. Joe Moore (who's been responsible for the Big Box Ordinance and the Ban on Foie Gras) and What the Helen doesn't care much for Helen Shiller. It's great to see these blogs talk about the issues affect their communities and even highlight the short comings of their leaders. Alas it could be funny that once they get what they want (mainly the defeats of their loathsome incumbents) who knows what they'll be able to write about.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Trek Invades US Politics

From The Trek Movie Report Blog. Two items actually. One involved a congressman who is a big Star Trek fan and a Blogger who is in conflict with another radio station.

First up Rep. David Wu (D-Oregon)...
Whether or not you agree with his politics, you got to admit he knows his Trek. The Oregonian has more on the controversey and suggests Wu may have a second career speaking at Trek conventions.
There is a video with this too...


The second item is...
Also making news is a Star Trek fan and blogger who goes under the name ‘Spocko’ who runs a site called ‘Spocko’s Brain‘ (referencing TOS episodes "A Piece Of The Action" and "Spock’s Brain"). Spocko is a San Francisco resident named P. McNash (see blogger profile here) who blogged about Star Trek, sci-fi and politics. What got him notice was his bloggings on conservative radio station KSFO which is owned by Disney/ABC. From a report at MediaPost
Spocko’s Brain had posted dozens of examples of KSFO right-wing talkshow hosts spewing vitriol at a variety of politicians, journalists, minorities, and Muslims. At one point, the hosts enact a mock electrocution of New York Times editor Bill Keller in a faulty electric chair, the victim shrieking extensively. Several times they call for the execution of journalists.They demand callers mock Islam. They call themselves "pro torture."

For advertisers, the context can prove jarring. In a surreal moment, the hosts immediately switch from talking about "crushing" an adversarial e-mailer’s "cajones" to promoting Brite Smile toothpaste.
Spocko’s crusade got the notice of ABC/Disney who promptly got his site shut down, turning him into a bit of a martyr. Many of the big left wing blogs came to his defense including the biggest blog on the net DailyKos. His site was up again earlier this week, but is now down again (could be due to traffic). Of course what could be most egregious is that KSFO hosts have now started to attack and mock Star Trek fans. Where are some Klingons when you need them.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Stroger's wise move

As much as I can't stand how he got onto the ballot in the first place and the fact that he won, this may be the best idea to come out of his young administration. Could it be that we might find that he is truly competent? Who knows? But after the problems with staffing and other issues involved with the Cook County Juvenile facilities in the past perhaps something should be done, yes?
The new Cook County Board president, Todd Stroger, has managed to surprise with his demands that the bloated county bureaucracy drastically reduce its spending. This week, he surprised again by agreeing to give up control of the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and turn it over to the chief judge of the Circuit Court.

Shifting oversight of Cook County's troubled juvenile detention facility, as recommended Thursday by the Chicago Bar Association, is a good idea. Here's why: Board presidents get elected by grateful patronage armies to whom the president has given jobs. Chief judges are elected by Circuit Court judges. No judge needs a bloated, unqualified patronage army for job security.

Thus, the chances the juvenile detention center will continue to be staffed and run by unqualified political loyalists (i.e. campaign workers) will drop significantly.

There's a fighting chance that the place will be run by qualified folks who are committed to transforming the lives of kids in crisis.

Stroger made a campaign promise to replace juvenile center Supt. J.W. Fairman. Stroger officials say they plan to initiate a national search for Fairman's replacement, but they will leave it to Chief Judge Timothy Evans to make a final pick. Timeline: at least six months.
So how is it going to happen and will it happen?
The measure has to be passed by the state legislature. On Wednesday, House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) filed legislation to make it happen. He filed it initially in October 2005, with no response.

Now, after the umpteenth report detailing horrid conditions and treatment at the juvenile center, and thanks to Stroger's blessing, expect a stampede of legislators of all political stripes eager for sponsorship. State Rep. David Miller (D-Calumet City) and state Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) already have signed on as co-sponsors. The House and Senate leadership needs to get behind this.

Changing control at the juvenile center will be a start. But the facility has seen a lot of false starts in the last 18 months, since the Tribune editorial board detailed filthy conditions, abuse of kids, staff members with criminal records and incompetent leadership at the center.
This is from an editorial in today's Tribune.