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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chicago's friendly wager with Vancouver


You know this was fun many years ago, now I'm in the I don't care about this mode. Daley has been doing this from day one. I could have sworn he gave away some treats when the Cubs made the playoffs in 1989.

Heh well I'm sure that those businesses that make these food products will get some publicity in the long run for these "wagers". Whether they're all in the Chicago area or perhaps from Vancouver.

I wonder who exactly benefits from these wagers? Sure they may be between two cities, however, who gets to partake in these treats?

You can also watch the video here. Duration 13 minutes as an unedited press conference courtesy of CLTV.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Is it 100 days already?

So Obama's first 100 days as President is up already. How well do you think he did? I should find stories that are both critical and complimentary of his job so far.

How about Daniel Gross from Slate?
The first 100 days of the Obama administration, tumultuous and full of drama, have been dominated by economic issues. In its first few months, the Obama team has attempted to tackle the massive macroeconomic problems we face (with a huge stimulus package and the broad outlines of a budget) and the many microeconomic issues clogging the world's economic engine (salvaging the car industry and the financial services industry).

Amid the storm, Obama has functioned as a sort of human Valium, a calming influence. Here's a chart of the VIX index, a measure of how much traders are freaking out. It peaked at 56.65 on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day. While the VIX is still elevated, the trend line shows it has slowly calmed down. The broader stock market, too, has stabilized and stands about where it was when Obama came into office. (I guess the "Obama bear market" that was getting so much play on the Wall Street Journal op-ed page and CNBC is over.) There's been a sharp turnaround in the "right direction" numbers: According to the Associated Press, 48 percent of Americans now think the country is headed in the right direction, compared with a pathetic 17 percent last October. Consumer confidence, as measured by the Conference Board, seems to have bottomed and is rebounding.

Of course, the positive data points are mostly mood indicators. And government money—cheap credit, Federal guarantees, and stimulus—is functioning as a mood elevator. But what about the underlying situation in the private sector, where a turnaround is so vitally needed? So far, the data don't seem to support the improvement in confidence. In the first quarter of 2009, we learned today, the economy shrank at a 6.1 percent annual rate, nearly as bad as the economy's fourth-quarter performance. The nation is still hemorrhaging jobs at an alarming rate. Other metrics, from the volume of global trade to interest-rate spreads (the way the market prices risk) in auto sales to housing prices, are still not providing evidence of green shoots in the shrinking portion of the economy not dependent on the government. And those companies that are reporting rising earnings are doing so largely because they've been successful at cutting costs rather than boosting revenues.
And now Gerald Seib at the Wall Street Journal:
Just as the times of Barack Obama defy the easy descriptions and old labels, so too does the man himself.

Indeed, if the first 100 days of President Obama's term have proved anything, it is that he is a hard man to classify. He has confounded, at one time or another, people at just about every spot across the political spectrum. He likes big and activist government, but he isn't a classic liberal. He is more of a social engineer than a guardian of the old welfare state.

He's phenomenally popular among Democrats, but has found the most support for some of his foreign-policy moves among Republicans. He's pulling combat troops out of Iraq, but more slowly than he once promised -- and at the same time has laid plans to add more troops in Afghanistan than the Bush administration envisioned.

Asked whether there is yet a discernible Obama doctrine in foreign affairs, a longtime national security operative pauses and responds: "If there is a doctrine, it would have to be engagement." Which is more a tactic than a doctrine.

He sometimes sounds like a protectionist, but so far has acted mostly like a free-trader. He talks a lot about fiscal discipline, yet is overseeing the nation's first trillion-dollar deficits. He's made history as America's first African-American president, yet probably talks less about race than did the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton.

Moreover, one gets the feeling that if President Obama does defy easy definition, that's just fine with him. Ronald Reagan truly wanted to be known as a genuine conservative, and Mr. Clinton as a "new Democrat," and George W. Bush as a "compassionate conservative." There is no such label for Mr. Obama, at least not yet, and neither he nor his administration seem eager to create one.
I thought this was negative it wasn't. I got to find a negative one, but this second article I found was perfect. I'm not on board with what he's been doing, but it's really hard to classify him. He may be liberal, but he may not be playing with an old playbook. He might be creating a brand new one!

I'll keep looking for articles opposed to Obama!

Via RealClearPolitics!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blackhawks win their first playoff series since 1996

Heh, I had no idea about that until now. I do remember their last playoff series in 2002 with Tony Amonte and Brian Sutter as the coach. Unfortunately it wasn't too long after the end of this season that Amonte would be traded away and Sutter (who I never thought of as a bad coach) would be off the bench when the Hawks returned after the season long NHL lockout.

Anyway here's more about last night's victory from the Tribune:
The Blackhawks captured their first postseason series victory since 1996 with a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames in Game 6 of the Western Conference quarterfinals Monday night. The Hawks took the best-of-seven series four games to two and finished off the Flames at the Pengrowth Saddledome for the first win by a road team in the series.

Dustin Byfuglien had a goal and two assists, Patrick Kane had a goal and assist and Adam Burish and Brian Campbell also scored to propel the Hawks and goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin to the victory. It was the fourth consecutive season the Flames have been eliminated in the first round.

The Hawks will next face the Vancouver Canucks in the conference semifinals.
I'm sure that there are some Hawks fans who would paint that as "Dollar Bill" Wirtz' fault. He was very willing to let go of good talent and let novices coach the team.

Now under new management since his untimely demise in 2007 we see where the Hawks are going. I'm not sure they're going to win the Stanley Cup this year, but excited that the team is doing great in the playoffs. I look forward to the next round.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pontiac may go bye-bye?

The Pontiac brand is to go the way of Oldsmobile earlier in this decade. I would be hurt somewhat:
General Motors will announce a restructuring plan at 9 a.m. EDT today. The storied Pontiac brand is dead and more car factories and jobs are about to disappear — the latest casualties of a plan that GM is counting on to help it stave off bankruptcy protection. The plan is being announced as GM makes an offer to its bondholders to swap debt for company stock. GM owes $28 billion to large and small bondholders, and under Securities and Exchange Commission rules, it must disclose its operational plans when it makes an exchange offer.

Two people briefed on GM's plan confirmed that it includes the demise of Trans Am sports car brand Pontiac, 83 years after the first Pontiac car was introduced. Within three years, half a million Pontiacs were sold, and the brand quickly grew in popularity, from early models like the Chief and the Master Six Coupe, to the Bonneville convertible, to the GTO — one of America's first muscle cars and so popular it inspired Ronny and the Daytonas to immortalize it in song.

But efforts in the last few years to market Pontiac as performance-oriented brand failed. The company had said it wanted to keep Pontiac as a niche brand with one or two models, but is buckling under tremendous government pressure to consolidate its eight brands, several of which lose money.

The company also has decided to close more factories than the five it announced in February, the two people said, asking not to be identified because the plan has not yet been made public. But the locations of the doomed factories will not be identified Monday.
The last car my dad ever had before he passed away was a two-door Grand Prix and if I was going to buy me a car today and I could afford to, it would have been a GTO. It would have been a GTO since Pontiac no longer makes the two-door Grand Prix.

GM is no stranger unfortunately to ending the run of a car brand many years ago they stopped production of any new Oldsmobiles. That was much early in the decade and it can only be speculated that my dad would have been hurt by this because that was his car. RL Dukes would've been hurt by that himself since he sold them although I'm sure he could have found another brand to have sold.

You know something, this is just the sign of the times. GM is struggling with sagging revenues, increasing debt, and perhaps even from recovering from incompetent management. It's unfortunate that government is essentially attempting to influence a private business as to what it should do in times like these.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bea Arthur passed away yesterday

Washington Post:
Bea Arthur, 86, the actress whose well-timed put-downs, delivered with deep-voiced sarcasm, helped make her a comedy star and social spokeswoman in two major television sitcoms, "Maude" and "The Golden Girls," died April 25 at her home in Los Angeles.

A family spokesman attributed her death to cancer.

Once a wisecracking teenager growing up on Maryland's Eastern Shore, Ms. Arthur went on to an acting career that brought her two of television's Emmy Awards.
I tweeted this yesterday. I mentioned that The Golden Girls was one of my mother's favorite programs. I was often in front of the TV set with her at least before I was able to take command of the remote control and probably before cable.

I know less about Maude other than what I've read at Wikipedia. It almost reminds me of a time that you can catch programming on TV on any given time other than a talk show or a court show like you see on TV these days. Maude may never have been appropriate afternoon fare on TV, but one could catch it on TV in the evening after prime-time.

You know the only example of Maude that I can point out is the visit of the Bunker clan to Maude's home. This was when Maude's daughter was about to get married to a Jewish man, but by the end of the episode they chose to call off the marriage. The thing about this is that it wasn't exactly an episode of Maude, but in fact a crossover with All in the Family. In fact Maude and All in the Family was both created by Norman Lear.

Well I can say The Golden Girls was a great show very popular and I'm sure a lot of people are sad about the passing of Ms. Arthur. May she rest in peace.

PS: She was in an episode of Malcolm in the Middle. I haven't seen that show in a while, but for a good time it was close to becoming one of my favorite all-time TV series. :)

Shooting at Hampton University

Three people at Hampton University were hospitalized after a shooting in a dorm, a spokeswoman for the school said Sunday.
I hope the AP doesn't mind me posting their video even if I do attribute this report to them.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Arc of an Illinois governor

This has got to be an ouch! From a Tribune timeline:
Feb. 2: Gets offer from second-rate wrestling promotion to lead a faction of bad guys
TNA a second rate promotion. OUCH!

I would think going on a reality show is a DOUBLE OUCH!

Only on this blog may you see an intersection between Illinois politics and professional wrestling.

BT Harvey Stadium

The Morehouse football season doesn't start until next fall but that doesn't mean there isn't any activity at the stadium. At this time there was a track meet held there.

Originally posted at "The Eye" on April 11, 2007

Friday, April 24, 2009

Federal troops to quell urban violence?

I can't believe I missed this column. I normally like Mary Mitchell, but I don't always think to check out her columns anymore. Not sure why, but this column from last month was pretty good.

BTW, I'm not sure if I'm reading this correctly, but I see on her blog that she's suffering from cancer and was successfully treated for that. That's great news and I expect nothing less than to be able to read her columns for the foreseeable future.

Anyway back to her column:
Obviously, President Obama can't read the tons of mail he receives. But there's one letter floating around the White House that I hope he reads.

That letter is from Edward G. Gardner, a prominent Chicago businessman and the founder of Black on Black Love, the city's pioneering anti-violence campaign.

Gardner is asking Obama to send federal troops to urban areas that are now under siege by domestic terrorists fighting gang wars.

Our children are dying in the streets.

Yet so far more attention has been paid to the violence in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Not sure how I feel about that. It almost sounds like an unfortunate form of giving up. Perhaps one should find themselves in the mind of someone who wants this. Who would want their streets militarized only for the purposes of safety.

Now it's not that I don't understand what Mr. Gardner, a prominent businessman who in the past owned Soft Sheen and House of Kicks, is trying to do. We have to do something about the violence in our streets. How do we keep our young men safe and out of trouble? Indeed how do we keep them from killing each other?

At The Sixth Ward, a comment was posted there last month about placing 79th Street under martial law. I wasn't sure that was actually possible and would be bothered if it was done. I want safe streets, but I'm not sure bringing in some military is the answer.

Let's see some of Ed Gardner's letter:
"We realize that you are a strong proponent of 'bottom up' solutions that start within the community. Yet, the community-based approaches will only work when it is made evident that the lives of our youth are a national priority. That understanding will only come about with the presence of federal troops, stationed on the streets of America for the purpose of keeping our young people safe.

"Over the past couple of decades, Black on Black Love has held an event called 'No Crime Day.' Its purpose was to show that if we could have a day without crime, we could have a week without crime, and eventually crime and violence within our cities would permanently cease. Our hope is that this message will continue to live and inspire our communities. But we can't do this alone. Without your support this becomes one more futile effort, another ant-sized solution in the face of an elephant called 'gun violence.' In this war zone in which we live, where children are afraid to walk across the street, our efforts will only have meaning if they are supported by the federal government, and that support can most effectively be demonstrated through the deployment of federal troops to the streets of America."
...
"We have committed troops to Iraq and Afghanistan to protect their children. So it only makes sense that since ten times as many minorities are being killed in the streets of America, America needs to commit troops to protect the children who are being killed right here."
I think that comparing the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan is like comparing apples & oranges. Although it may be true that our forces may well be fighting against people who are as young as those who are dying in the streets of Chicago.

Well something has to be done for sure. Last summer I believe our then governor who was recently ousted floated a plan to bring in the state police to supplement the city police. Instead of federal troops or even the national guard I would rather that. For now, however, the only reason our neighborhoods should ever recieve federal troops is for there to be a disturbance, disaster, or a direct attack on the nation.

I heard about this speech from the Morehouse president

My professor talked about this speech from President Franklin. He begged people who can't help but fight or cross-dress to leave and seek a more suitable environment for them. A step in the right direction although to see it implemented, well I won't be here for that, but excited for those who will to see "The Renaissance".

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Blagojevich: Judge saved me from eating bugs

Huh?
Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who went on a whirlwind national media tour before his impeachment, just can't let it go.

This morning he appeared on NBC's "Today" show. It was his first interview since he was attacked by a media horde after a federal judge denied him permission to travel to the jungles of Costa Rica to participate in the reality show "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here."
At that Tuesday hearing, U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel expressed some concern that Blagojevich might not come back for his political corruption trial and suggested he could make best use of his time by going through the evidence against him so he might see just how much trouble he is in.

But this morning, Blagojevich said he didn't think the judge had said he was a flight risk. But he conceded: "The judge did save me from eating bugs."

He added he still had not given up hope of playing some sort of role on the TV show, even though NBC has said it wouldn't move production of the show to the U.S. to accommodate Blagojevich. He said he was flying to Los Angeles this morning for discussions.

Asked by host Meredith Viera if he wasn't damaging his credibility and perhaps "making a fool of himself" by pursuing ventures such as the reality show, Blagojevich pretty much ducked the question.

But he explained his situation in part by saying, "I have two little girls and a mortgage to pay. Obviously, I'm looking for a new line of work."
We should be proud of ourselves. He is no longer running our state and that also means he no longer represents Illinois as he had when he got arrested and the ensuing firestorm that came after it.

I heard that when the Cubs were in the playoffs last year he was booed at Wrigley, but he seemed oblivious. I saw this on a blog that suggested that he's enjoying the notoriety. He probably is or he probably thinks they're booing someone else because he fights for good and right, no one can possibly boo him!

Anyway we can infer one thing from how he understands his indictment and his coming court trial. He just plain doesn't understand. Who knows why?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Shocked???

Donna Dunnings, the former Cook County CEO, is shocked that her cuz Todd Stroger fired her:
Donna Dunnings said she was “shocked” when her cousin, Cook County President Todd Stroger, fired her at 10 p.m. last Thursday over the potential political fallout concerning her dealings with her former secretary, Tony Cole.

In an exclusive interview with the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday, Dunnings said she never had a physical relationship with Cole — a busboy with a criminal past whom Stroger hired in October to a county patronage job, promoted to a $61,000-a-year human resources post and fired earlier this month for lying about his criminal past on a job application. Cole also told the Sun-Times after he was fired that he was not involved with Dunnings.

Stroger “felt with all the allegations and things surrounding the whole situation that it would be better for me to step down,” Dunnings said. “I was shocked, but that happens in life. I trusted his judgment and his leadership. I know he would not do anything that was not in my best interest.”

Dunnings said she “loves” Stroger and doesn’t harbor any ill will against him. But he left her in a terrible spot.

Dunnings suffers from multiple sclerosis and is a single mother of two girls — one who has a traumatic brain injury. At the end of the month, Dunnings will be without county health insurance and forced to come up with $1,517-a-month for COBRA coverage without a steady paycheck.

“Am I worried about having health insurance for my kids? There are some concerns there, but no fear,” Dunnings said. “God is going to take care of me.”
Even Stroger explained it as trying to help a young black man. Like I said it's very easy to peg this situation as a "patronage" hire that went wrong. Perhaps the willingness to help this flawed young man was very genuine, but Stroger would just say that it didn't work out.

Of course, the question could be begged. Was this all about the hiring of someone who was flawed? Also where did the sexual relationship angle come from if both Dunnings and Cole denies such a relationship?

I saw an interview Todd Stroger did with Carol Marin on Chicago Tonight earlier this week. Stroger seems incredibly defensive and was very ready to either move on to other subjects or cut the interview off entirely. Even took a shot at the "fair and balanced" reporting of WTTW. He was stung because they questioned him so hard and seemingly Stroger didn't handle it too well.

BTW, remember this from over two years ago?
How about a blog about Todd Stroger (Hat-tip to Bill Baar's West Side)? Or is it Todd Stroger's Blog. I think it might be serious, but then again it can be very convincing satire. One thing that might be official about it is the official links to all the branches and operations of Cook County government from mugshots of Sex Offenders, to the Court System. There is even a site that makes "Todd Stroger (?)" laugh. There are only two posts there this month or in fact for the whole existence of the blog since it started this month.
I forgot to link to his blog at the time although I probably linked to it a couple of more times. I thought it was a joke, but watching that interview has convinced me after all this time that it really was him. It talks in his voice and it's really not the type that can either be memorable or keep your attention.

That blog is embarrassing and perhaps even a testament to the idea that he really wasn't ready for his position as the head of one of America's most populous counties. I showed an out of state friend about it and he said for a guy who is president of a county this really looks like something that was thrown together.

It was often said that John Stroger groomed Todd for eventually taking his place. I wonder what daddy Stroger thinks now.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Blagojevich can't go to Costa Rica for TV show

HA! This man can't even become more of a celebrity by doing a lousy reality show now!
A federal judge today denied permission to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich to travel to Costa Rica to participate in a reality TV show.

U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel called modifying the terms of Blagojevich's bail on political corruption charges "a bad idea."

Prosecutors voiced fears that the indicted ex-governor might flee if allowed to go to Costa Rica, noting that he faces 25 to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Blagojevich attorney Sheldon Sorosky said television show producer NBC was willing to pay for two security guards to watch Blagjojevich around the clock. But Zagel noted that such personal monitors would have no authority to arrest him. He also said Blagojevich needs to stick around to read the government's evidence, because only then will he be able to understand the jeopardy he is in.

Zagel added that he was sympathetic to Blagojevich's financial condition, but said there were others ways for him to earn money.
Well it's often been said that he has no clue about what's going on. Perhaps in coping with the possibility of going to jail, going on trail, or even his impeachment he convinces himself instead that he's innocent and there is a conspiracy against him to raise taxes on the people. Then again that delusion is what's wrong with him, he's good and everyone who opposes him are bad.

This is layman's psychology I know, but a lot of people are seriously wonder if something's the matter with this guy. Is there?

Oh no!

I voted in the SGA elections yesterday and saw that Morehouse uses Diebold machines for the voting. Then I remember that I heard some stories about how these machines can be manipulated. I also wondered why we're using such machines for an SGA election.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Burris and his advisor

I was on the CapFax blog this morning and I was the second to comment on the round-up about Roland Burris' fundraiser that was held over the weekend.

See my question revolved around the comments made by Ms. Delmarie Cobb, Burris' media advisor, around the time of this fundraiser that was held at N'Digo Communications on the near west side. You might get the idea that she doesn't care for Obama. That was my question this morning. What is her point and what is the beef?

Well I'm not sure if this was an answer or not but it was immediately behind my comment although I posted at about 7:10 this morning and this response was timed at 7:22 AM. A simple one word answer:
Rush
As in US Rep. Bobby Rush the man who clamored using some racial language suggesting any attempt by the US Senate to refuse to seat Burris is either a lynching or an attempt to keep the Senate segregated or at least a good ole boys club. Perhaps Rush stood up for Burris at that press conference just two days before the New Year because Burris was a part of his generation and someone had to speak up for him. Or perhaps Rush was truly blinded by the fact that there needed to be a black in the US Senate.

Well let's get back to the present day.

Burris is embattled, but he shows no sign of wanting to give up his Senate seat. This is probably the highest position he's going to have before he finally calls it a career although unfortunately he did it in such a flawed way (regardless of the fact that it was legal) that this may tarnish his political reputation. What I mean by flawed was him taking an appointment from a man who was arrested for putting such an appointment up for sale tarnishing the integrity of an esteemed body as the US Senate.

You know if he's seeking to retain that seat and he often notes that he's trying to get know his job as a US Senator even if he's not exactly wanted for obvious reasons. He's stretching out his decision as to whether or not he'll ever run again. Although if he was willing to take this seat despite the political problems it will pose he'd try to keep the seat in an election even if it's more than certain that he'll not only lose but hurt the person he'd lost a primary against.

Let me ask you this. If you held a fundraiser and in addition to poll numbers being low would only 50 people showing up be a bad sign if you were a prospective US Senate candidate? Of course let's note this fundraiser was about his legal fees as he fights investigations against him for his contradictory statements in front of a state impeachment panel as it was a campaign fundraiser.

Let's get back to Ms. Cobb.

If this is about Bobby Rush, what is her connection with him and why is she in the Burris fight? Also is she upset that Obama back when he was really a young buck, dared to run against Rush in 2000? Obama was one of those people who didn't wait his turn. You can point to Jesse Jackson Jr. as another one of those types. Still is this what it's aboput a continuation of some past fight that she and perhaps Rush has never gotten over?

Well during the campaign there was an article that I blogged about regarding how Chicago shaped Obama. It seemed that our President wasn't getting much in the form of acceptance from Chicago's black political establishment. Perhaps it was that no one knew who he was or that he had this funny foreign name that no one understood. Perhaps he was very educated and some pols didn't know how to deal with it. Just as likely as him being an outsider, that he may not have wanted to play the game they did. Perhaps the game you saw on display as Rush stood up for Burris at that press conference two days before New Years.

Who knows, but the main question I have is that if Cobb has a beef with Obama where does it come from? If Rush is the reason then how does Rush figure into this?

Well as we figure this out we still have to figure out whether or not Burris will run again? If not Burris then who might be the ideal candidate for US Senate? How might the race shake out whether Burris is in it or not?

Fact is 2010 is only around the corner, who knows what'll happen!

See also!
The Burris situation
The Roland Burris front

Sunday, April 19, 2009

U.S. can avoid bank nationalizations: White House

From Reuters. I most certainly hope the will avoid nationalizing banks:
"I think we will be able to avoid that," White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." He added that bank nationalization was "not the goal" of the administration.

Emanuel, however, cautioned he had not seen the results of "stress tests" on 19 lenders whose balance sheets are being scrutinized by regulators. They include Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co.and Bank of America.

The findings will be used to determine who may need more government capital.
These are some tough economic times right now. A lot of businesses are struggling, but I certainly hate for America's important industries being taken over by the government. I'm not sure if that's good for the long term.

One could even argue this is already happened with the auto industry with GM having their CEO "fired" by the government after recieving bailout dollars. I already said I didn't sympathize, but things are tough right now. Government does have a role, but then what role should that be?

On the campus of Morehouse College

A better shot of Graves Hall.

Originally posted at "The Eye" on March 13, 2007.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

All Together: Join the Navy

Lou Rawls narrated this Navy recruiting video with a duration of 21 minutes aimed at blacks. What do you think? Is this exploitative?

FTR, I would rather a young black who were unsure of their place in the world finds their way into the military, willingly, than sitting around doing nothing instead.

You can also watch the vid here.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Stroger fires cousin ahead of “media circus”

I don't write enough about Stroger around these parts. Anything related to the county you can see over at The Sixth Ward.

I see this post at the Capitol Fax this morning about Cook County board Pres. Todd Stroger firing his cousin Donna Dunnigs as the chief finance officer. He essentially said that he forced her out or convinced her to resign because of allegations made by an former county employee who just so happened to have a felony on his record. You know I'm so tempted to call this person, who was a college basketball player, a patronage employee.

This is basically what the Stroger regime is somewhat known for, the friends and family plan. When I say the Stroger regimel, I'm talking about both the late county board Pres. John Stroger and his son who effectively replaced John after a stroke that left him incapacitated during an election campaign. By this logic I could even conclude that Todd was on the plan since he eventually was elected to his dad's old slot. Did daddy Stroger want his son to eventually succeed him?

Anyway Todd is there now, even if there are those who aren't happy about it at all, especially how he found himself in this position. Hell, even I wasn't too thrilled with it. It is what it is now.

Recently Todd Stroger had discussed rolling back the sales tax a small percent. If one was to be cynical then one could conclude that this was all about re-election next year. While this may be great news could it be too little too late given how Stroger started his term and the attention we've seen at the county during his term? There is special attention given to the Stroger friends and family plan, especially since Ms. Dunnings found herself as CFO at Cook County and it must be coincidental that she's related to the "main" man himself.

One could look at this cynically as well. It should be apparent if you read thru that CapFax post where he'll takes snippets from different links and build up a story. Perhaps he had her leave her post because this could affect his chances at re-election. Yeah I can definitely point to that his excuse that she may not continue to be effective as CFO may point to politics more than anything.

Whether it will help him next year is another question. Opponents are lining up now starting with Toni Preckwinkle and another Democrat, state Sen. Rickey Hendon, opined on Public Affairs that Stroger is finished as county board president. We'll see because 2010 is only around the corner!

PS: I posted this at Illinoize not too long ago. Stroger was on Good Day Chicago to discuss county secession of some townships and his future plans especially for re-election. The anchors were taken aback when he said that he didn't know how much money he had raised.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's back!

Unconventional Wisdom but at a different address.

Feeds will be back up and running soon.

If you want my advice on WordPress (WP), the programs that UW utilizes, I would recommend it. Blogger is a great service, but it's more of a beginner's service. You have to be very tech saavy to want to use WP. If you upload this program onto a server you're essentially on your own to solve most of your problems, although there is certainly a community of users out there who will help you with your problems if you need them.

It's very customizable with plugins catering to your varying needs. These are plug-ins we're talking about and they can be used to. I think as far as upgrading a blog, Blogger is easier. Especially if you had to figure out codes, something that i don't have extensive experience. WP has ease in other areas.

To me Moveable Type (MT), what's used at Gaper's Block is much more difficult than WP. Although indeed I've never had to install MT. I've only had the pleasure of using WP and that can be hard work.

With this site I look forward to doing some of things that I can do if I ever use WP for one of the other blogs I could port onto a domain name one day. Today after reinstalling a newer version of WP I uploaded some programs that I hope to use in the future. Especially vPiP that I can use on WP and Blogger to share videos that I don't host on YouTube.

As a matter of fact I tweaked a Blogger Blog that I have with vPiP just to see if it was useable and thankfully that experiment was a success. So hopefully I can do that over at UW as well.

I hope you enjoy the experiment.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What would Rod and Rob Blagojevich's parents say?

Believe it or not when he was going thru his arrest and impeachment I wondered the same thing. Would they be even more embarrassed at his activities that lead up to his arrest and removal from office? In addition to him possibly appearing on a reality TV series...
Rob and Rod. They're men now, but they were boys once, growing up together. They were their parents' only children, the objects of their parents' dreams, the reason for their parents' sacrifices.

What would their mother and father have thought if they'd been on the 25th floor of the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse on a dreary April morning to watch their sons arraigned as criminals?

Sitting in the packed, windowless courtroom, I had to wonder, and to wonder how often it crossed the brothers' minds.
...
Rod Blagojevich's childhood has always played a big part in the story he tells about himself. His father, Radisav, was a steelworker from Serbia. His mother, Mila, collected fares for the CTA. Through his rise and on through his fall from power, he has often invoked the struggles they invested in their sons' futures, the faith they carried.
...
For her new book, "Pay to Play: How Rod Blagojevich Turned Political Corruption into a National Sideshow," Elizabeth Brackett, a correspondent for WTTW-Channel 11, talked to Rob Blagojevich.

She describes him as an "extraordinarily hard worker" who was never accused of impropriety until he was ensnared recently in his brother's ambitions. She talked to him about why he came to Chicago from Nashville, where he lives and has worked as a real estate investor, to help Rod raise campaign money.

"He's my brother," Rob answered. "My brother needed help."

Their parents, Rob went on to say, told them that when they, the parents, were gone, the boys would have only one another.
Yeah, what would they think? Would they, like most parents, have seen their children as innocent? Would they have been even more disappointed that their two sons have reached the heights of their lives only to go down in flames due to a federal indictment?

I wonder

Since maybe the weekend my followers has gone from only four to 11. There's one minor problem, most of them don't seem legit. They seem like spam blogs or spam accounts and I'm tempted to just block them and I would only hope that results in the number of followers I have.

If you're legit you're more than welcome to follow me. If you seem like a spamming bot then expect to be blocked. This is especially addressed to people who are human who are spamming.

Just a fair warning.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Clark-Atlanta University procession

There was some kind of convocation/naming ceremony over at Clark today. There was a drumline and students, faculty and staff were marching towards who knows where.

Originally posted at "The Beta" on September 23, 2008.

Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show

I like YouTube, I can see videos for the sake of nostalgia. Usually the nostalgia is of things that I missed out on. I'm like what was I doing that I never saw this or that or appreciated this or that.

It's somewhat how I am about the Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show. I was always a WB cartoon fan especially Looney Tunes, but this show I never really watched. I remember the overture, but I didn't get beyond the show. Indeed I had other opportunities to watch Bugs Bunny and crew or at least so I thought.

Once upon a time old cartoons could be found on TV during the afternoons. Now everything is current it could be on the broadcast stations or on cable. Getting older I find that most of the cartoons that air today doesn't interest me.

Oh what I'd give for some Animaniacs, Tiny Toons, Looney Tunes, Woody Woodpecker, Popeye, or even Tom & Jerry today. They're luxuries now and todays children have other programs to watch and those who are my age well we wonder what kids are watching these days and consider them crap compared to what we watched.

Anyway who knows why I never watched this show back in the day. I may never have interested me or it was too early in the morning or I was watching something else. At least I can always see a YouTube version of this TV program's opening.

BTW, I understand that beyond shelling out some cash to see these old cartoons of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies you're hardpressed to see those cartoons anymore. When I saw that info, I thought that was a mistake although I somewhat understand it. Perhaps these days the old WB cartoons have truly fallen out of style although one day people will really want to see them again. For right now, however there's always Cartoon Network. The only place for not to watch some of these classic cartoons.

Monday, April 13, 2009

WTF is wrong with people?

So the police found a dead goat hanging on the statue of legendary baseball play-by-play man Harry Caray. No doubt this person is attempting to evoke the curse of the goat with this stunt:

A dead goat was found hanging on a statute of Harry Caray outside Wrigley Field early Monday on the North Side. A similar incident occurred in 2007, police said.

About 2:40 a.m., police responded to a 911 call indicating a dead goat was hanging from a rope on the statue of Harry Caray outside Wrigley Field at the intersection of Clark and Addison streets, according to Town Hall District police.

The goat was hanging on one of Caray’s outstretched arms, according to police, who took the goat down and disposed of the remains. It was not known how the goat died and nothing was damaged, according to police.

There is not a "no trespassing" sign and a surveillance camera located nearby is not set on the statue, according to police, who said a similar incident also occurred in 2007, when a butchered goat was found hanging from the statue. No one was arrested in Monday's incident.
I just hope that these individuals didn't harm the goat before they decided to make their statement, whatever this statement was. I hope the Cubs don't fall to a new "curse of a goat".

Sunday, April 12, 2009

2nd City Cop's conclusion on the count of dead CPS students

In this post where they excerpt from a report regarding the shooting death of a 17 year old in Milwaukee:
The CPS counts have included all sorts of drop outs and people who haven't been to a CPS school in years and even people who should have graduated years before their demises. Why not include foreign casualties?
Check out the comments. Very sarcastic, but if this is true why not include only those students who are currently attending schools. It's probably different if one barely attended school, but why include those who have dropped out in the first place?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Teen shot en route to crap shoot

WTF is this?

You know at his age I knew young men who were gambling. Some shot craps and some played for quarters during their lunch period at school or even during class with a substitute teacher. Even I won one of those games although ultimately I gave back the quarter I won. Didn't really want to gamble in the first place.

I drove by Bennett Elementary School one day a year or two ago. I wanted to take a pic of that school, but I didn't even stop because I saw some people shooting craps right on the steps of that school.

To me it was disrespect, because that place is hollowed ground to me, I used to go there. Almost like the pic I took of an alcohol bottle on the grounds of it's branch school Shedd Elementary. However left it there disrespect the school and who went there and who knows that person may very well have went there themselves, but doesn't share the same ideas that I do on it.

Well a 15 year old was shot on his way to a dice game and this is why I started this blog in this fashion:
Tenth-grader Marquell Blake was headed for a dice game Wednesday when an man shot the teenager in the chest, killing him on the street just a few blocks from his family home, relatives said.

Blake, 15, was on spring break when he was shot about 12:30 p.m. in the 7700 block of South Carpenter Street, police said. He was the 32nd Chicago Public Schools student slain this school year.

Family members said Blake had agreed to shoot dice before a man shot him in a robbery attempt. He was carrying a large amount of cash, and his attacker knew it, a source said.
I've probably said it here already, but it's a shame that CPS is keeping stats on things like this.

And Mr. Blake is too young to be taken for a wad of cash. I would also say he's too young to be taking part in a game of dice. Unfortunately the age of getting involved in risky behavior or activities well a lot will do that when they're younger.

What's worse is this young man didn't have his first brush with violence on this occasion the Tribune article said that he was stabbed six months ago. What are we going to do about this?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Health Care in the Offing

Real Clear Politics:
Of all President Barack Obama's transformative domestic policy proposals, none is more far-reaching and less transparent than health care. What most Washington policy people mean when they talk about his health care proposal was described in the first two paragraphs of Robert Pear's meticulous article in The New York Times on April 1:

"Efforts to overhaul the health care system have moved ahead rapidly, with the insurance industry making several major concessions and the chairmen of five Congressional committees reaching a consensus on the main ingredients of legislation. The chairmen, all Democrats, agree that everyone must carry insurance and that employers should be required to help pay for it. They also agree that the government should offer a public health insurance plan as an alternative to private insurance."

Also, President Obama wants to digitalize and collect all patient health care data initially because such data could assist in assessing best practices.

This is, for certain, a controversial and vastly expensive universal coverage proposal; it would cost between about $1.5 trillion and $2 trillion over 10 years. But the full scope of the president's health care policy ambitions cannot be understood without accounting for his claim that he needs to do health care this year as part of his long-term plans to reduce the deficit.

While some emergency-room and related cost savings would be realized if everyone had health insurance, no one seriously suggests that such savings would even put a dent in the $1.5-2 trillion that this proposal would cost in tax increases and debt issuance in the first 10 years.
Here's another excerpt worth noting:
This year, the Democrats hope to pass the above described universal coverage law, which would include creating a public insurance option, that is, the federal government would offer health insurance plans to compete with the private-sector health insurance that most of us purchase through our employers. In the face of government's undercutting the cost of private-sector health insurance, more and more Americans would choose to come under the federal health system.

At some point, the age eligibility for Medicare may be lowered (perhaps to 50 or 55), and the income ceiling for Medicaid may be raised, thus further increasing the percentage of the public covered by government rather than by private-sector health insurance.
The only thing I can say about this is there are a whole lot or rhetoric abound in this whole debate. People believe there is a crisis or indeed I believe there is a problem. The problem or crisis is containing the costs of treating people.

Unfortunately, there are those who hype up this crisis to forward their agenda. It seems the only ones doing the talking are the ones who support a single-payer universal health care system. The type that you may see in Canada or England and other places around the world. In Canada, I've shown a few horror stories here on this blog.

The problem is costs. The solution should be to find ways to contain the costs while being sure that people are being treated in the best ways possible. Is there anyone out there who can provide for that?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

More Men Should Go To College




These two videos are old but somewhat underscores what I said today about our black men going to college and then being sure they suceed while they're in college. This video features a professor, Gimbu Kali and access TV program host Marc Sims.

As a bonus here's another vid of Kali that I posted on Mechanics and Illinoize over the weekend.

Back to the real talk issue

Well I want to use that as a starting point to go back to a subject that I really didn't touch upon much. Recruitment.

Morehouse fills a valuable niche in the higher education market. A lot of guys may complain about it, but Morehouse is the only school in the world whose clientele consist of mostly black male students. The only university-level school dedicated to teaching black male students.

Since I attend this school my top interest is to get other black males to consider college. I started with some of my male cousins although the ones I've been closest too I haven't had much success. Their heads were probably on other things, when I wanted to get them to consider Morehouse one outright said that he didn't want to be around "all those men". Then I told him that there are women across the street, but the bottom line was that he wasn't even thinking about college.

Well I may advertise that I went to Morehouse, but I want to encourage young men to consider college. Not to be intimidated by it, but at least realize that the option is there for them to take advantage. They shouldn't let themselves be cancelled out because they may feel inadequate for whatever reason.

If I was in a position to do it, I would like to recognize those who are doing something positive with their lives. I won't stop with college, but certainly those who are about to join the service should be recognized because I think it's very positive to want to serve the nation in the military.

The point is that there are other people who are about to make the journey into the real world. I especially want to note those who just so happen to be male who are doing something positive, because now more than ever that needs to be seen at least for black males. Especially there aren't many in their lives who aren't exhibiting positive behavior or accomplishments at least beyond the academic setting.

BTW, I found an article online the other day. If young black boys are struggling before they leave K-12 education, especially in the public schools. They're unfortunately having trouble at the historically black college:
An Associated Press analysis of government data on the 83 federally designated four-year HBCUs shows just 37 percent of their Black students finish a degree within six years. That’s 4 percentage points lower than the national college graduation rate for Black students.

One major reason: the struggles of Black men. Just 29 percent of HBCU males complete a bachelor’s degree within six years, the AP found.

A few HBCUs, like Howard University and all-female Spelman College, have much higher graduation rates, exceeding the national averages for both Black and White students. But others are clustered among the worst-performing colleges in the country. At 38 HBCUs, fewer than one in four men who started in 2001 had completed a bachelor’s degree by 2007, the data show. At Texas Southern University, Voorhees College, Edward Waters College and Miles College, the figure was under 10 percent.
...
Still, HBCUs’ low completion rates, especially for men, have broad consequences, on and off campus. Women account for more than 61 percent of HBCU students, The AP found. They have unprecedented leadership opportunities, but also pay a price — in everything from one-sided classroom discussions to competition for dates
Read the whole article it's a good read. But we should ask ourselves what's the problem here? Why are black men struggling in college?

That question should be as easily asked as why black males not going to college. It should be just as easily that a lot of them are intimidated by college. Then it's also a matter of being intimidated by those women who are more driven to succeed, but why aren't the men driven in the same way. Who's behind them enough to encourage them to move forward in their lives and careers?

I don't have an answer to that question an HBCU setting is probably going to be different than a bit more mainstream diverse classroom on college campuses around the nation. Like that article started off with they're no longer the only options anymore, but even at these HBCUs black males are struggling.

Like I said my proposal is to say that young black males who are either leaving 8th grade or their senior year of high school should be encouraged. We should recognize what they're going to do in their lives whether they're going to college or joining the military. I would expect that we should hope that they may want to do something exceptional in their lives.

We don't have to have to hold their hands necessarily, but the one thing we can do to help them succeed is if they knew that there are people who are behind them.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Blagojevich Name Still Towers Over Far South Side

CPR:
It's been more than two months since Rod Blagojevich was ousted from the governor's office. But his name remains in a prominent spot along a busy Illinois highway.

The grain elevators for the Illinois International Port District are visible from the Bishop Ford Freeway on Chicago's far South Side. Painted right up there along with Mayor Richard Daley's name is former Governor Rod Blagojevich's.

IANELLO: The largest cost, obviously, is scaffolding up to the roof line. To get to the sign, it's about $3,800. That's the price tag for a Blagojevich-free grain elevator, according to Tony Ianello, the port's director.

IANELLO: In [these] economic times, expenditures are expenditures. And at this juncture, we've got a program for next year, not this year.
And guess what? Over two years ago I got a mobile phone pic of these elevators. This wasn't too long after his re-election and inauguration and two years before his eventual removal.

Wild isn't it?

Real talk

Within the last week my religion class talked about homosexuality at Morehouse. I mention this knowing that for a lot of people this is a very touchy subject and I will always strive to be honest, but respectful to those who may hold views that are supportive of homosexuals or not supportive of homosexuals.

Let me just say for the most part I'm a live and let live person. A man being gay has no bearing on me what so ever and it's not my business who such an individual may choose to have a relationship with. I aim not to get into his business and I would hope that he may respect my POV on homosexuality which is along the lines of it's unnatural.

That being said let me start with this. My religion professor referred to this event that occurred at Morehouse many years ago. A former student was sent to prison when he assaulted another Morehouse student who accidentally ripped open his shower curtain looking for his roommate. The assault was with an aluminum baseball bat and seeming payback because this other student was pulled out of the shower himself.

Basically our professor wanted to dialogue with us just to ascertain the feelings of the student body on the topic of homosexuality and in the classroom setting many were very respectful on the issue. A few didn't announce any "homophobia", but they did try to preferace what they didn't like about gays on campus.

Most announced their dislike of those gentlemen who walk around on campus as if they're women. I don't necessarily mean that these young men were walking around effeminetly (I mean that is a general stereotype), but some of these young men essential dress and make themselves up as if they are women. One guy mentioned that one dude showed up in Crown Forum with his nails colorfully polished.

I could have noted what I saw in the cafeteria a few weeks ago. A couple of young men sitting with what I will assume are gay men, well one was made up as if he was a woman with a doo-rag on his head and wearing eyelashes. Another who got up to leave was sporting a "Pink" branded pair of sweatpants and a pair of women's boots with those strips danging from them.

One guy did try to make a distinction. To him being gay is a man who likes a man, but a man trying to be a woman and they like men is on another level. A lot of guys called this confusion. I would agree with that there is some confusion about not sexual orientation but sexual identity. That's not necessarily what I want to focus on here.

A lot of the guys in class would talk about the issue in the vein of the "Morehouse Mystique". Honestly I've never gotten a handle on this, but an example might be a Morehouse man is well dressed, well traveled, and well read. A Morehouse man (or man of Morehouse) is expected to dress professionally (i.e. with a suit and tie). The concern about some of these young men who may choose to dress as if they're women are the issue of the school's reputation.

Morehouse College has at times already got a bad rap. It might have been from that baseball incident. A few months ago a man was in the computer lab. Well he had a BIG mouth he called me out thinking that I worked there and then said that I looked old enough to work here. Then noticed that I had Morehouse paraphernalia on, and then announced that Morehouse is known for men on the "downlow". He saw that this didn't sit well with me but covered himself by saying that he's afraid of no one but Jesus. Even announced that he'd be very upset if a man on the downlow had sex with his daughters and gave her HIV.

Well to be honest I would too, but what purpose does it serve to call out an entire school on it?

For whatever reason that perception exists. Today one dude said that when he got accepted the people he knew were congratulating, however, they made sure to mention that Morehouse has a lot of gay students. That almost seemed like an underhanded swipe!

Morehouse is often advertised as a brotherhood. And the professor would like to get back to the main things that school was known for intellectualism, intelligence, and scholarship. Morehouse shouldn't discriminate against a student because they may be gay or confused about their sexual identity. The main thing about Morehouse or any school is that you're there to learn and if you're only there because these many students are either gay or straight then there's a good chance you won't be at school for long! Any school should accept anyone who is capable of doing college level work. Of course that can be determined in a variety of ways although capability of college level work is only one criteria among many.

In any case most of the young men in my class have a problem with the "flamboyant" behavior of many of the gay students. One would go so far as to say that they put their homosexuality in their faces almost as if YOU must KNOW what THEY are. The professor would answer that by saying that this is the behavior of an oppressed group. Perhaps no much different than blacks once upon a time who didn't mind walking around wearing big afros.

Basically the issue of homosexuality at Morehouse is a concern of the new college President Michael Franklin. The issue here is recruitment and perhaps how parents will feel about their son going to school here. Morehouse shouldn't be known for the ones who choose to dress as if they're women or the ones who choose to dress as if they can't let go of their thuggish past. Morehouse should be known for their academics and the quality of the school.

BTW, I'm sure there are those who are gay or black and gay who may be reading this blog. I don't mind if you chimed in and let me know where I'm wrong. I like good comments that may inform on something of which I may be ignorant. Like I said this may be a touchy subject for many so I would expect nothing less than for respect to be the order of the day!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

We still don't know who murdered 9 yr old Mya Lyons

Syron Smith has just posted this video on his YouTube channel. The vid doesn't indicate exactly where this march was held, but it almost appears to be Bronzeville although I can't rule out that it might not have been too far away from the murder scene on the 8400 block of South Gilbert Court. I'm not particularly familiar with that area anyway.

Anyway Mr. Smith would like to put some pressure on police authorities to step up their investigation of Mya's murder last year and he's point his finger at someone in the home for her murder. He especially calls out the new Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.

If you're unfamiliar with this case you can check out this post I wrote last year, Girl (Mya Lyons) Found Stabbed To Death. If you want more on Syron Smith you can check out this post, National Block Club University over at The Sixth Ward.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

This Sporting Life

I saw this 1960s British film on TCM last night starring Richard Harris who most of us have seen in either the Harry Potter films or Unforgiven (with Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, and Gene Hackman).

Basically This Sporting Life is the story of a working-class man in Yorkshire, England. He eventually becomes a professional rugby football player and at the beginning of this film we see the football action that was cut very nicely and was made to feel very fast paced. Then Harris' character, Frank, gets essentially clotheslined by an opposing player. Then couple that with a trip to the dentist afterward to pull the damaged teeth.

He may do well as a very good athlete, his love life is in shambles. He lives with a widowed mother of two children (Margaret) and while they do have sex during this movie she doesn't seem very interested in him. Wikipedia says that she's more into her grief than into loving the man whom she has sex with. Even if he was making money as a rugby player. Also the wife of the owner of the rugby club makes a pass at him, but her and the owner treats him coldly at a party later.

Near the end of the film he pushes Margaret too hard. Whenever he gets coldly rebuffed by her, his response is often violent. Not that he hits her or anything, but he definitely throws objects around. Let me take that back he may have hit her at least a couple of times in the film.

You know in the film that aired before this one, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, it featured a scene where the husband slapped his wife. While I don't advocate for one minute that any man slap his wife or girlfriend, be advised that this woman was cheating with a much younger man. This younger man leaves her at a carnival because he's caught by two soldiers, one of whom is related to the husband of this woman, this young man was severely beaten by the soldiers.

The point I'm making about the scenes where the men slap their women is that I wonder how common it was if this was done back in the 1960s. You'll see scenes like this in James Bond films from the 60s. Today one couldn't even imagine that, indeed we would imagine that the women who feel like they've been hit would be very likely to fight back themselves!

Anyway Margaret was pushed too hard by Frank's eagerness to have a loving relationship with her and in the end she dies of a hemorrhage. He loses that one thing in his life he thought he had. He coldly walks by her two children even though while their mother was still alive he played with them. He drove one of the children around in his expensive automobile.

I'll have to say that I can relate to Frank's attempt at a relationship with Margaret. How many of us have had feelings for someone who just wouldn't reciprocate? I would actually talk to the film and I would say I feel sorry for you Frank you should really just leave her alone. Perhaps he really thought he could turn her around only to realize that it isn't going to work. Although to be sure what kept them apart was her grief, she wasn't able to let that go and Frank would have been better served by either letting Margaret alone or just letting her get out of her grief.

Well I'm only speculating, but I want to see this film again. It has less to do with an exotic sport such as rugby football but the personal life of a man who's played the sport. I should add that the first Doctor Who, William Hartnell was also in this film as well.

Enjoy!

Second comment on the Karl Marx post

I wrote this post over a year ago in within a very short period of time has only recently garnered two comments. I already wrote about the first here's the second comment:
If you actually believe a dictatorship is what makes a communism and therefore the proletariat you have problems that cant possibly be fixed and you are doomed to frolic for the rest of your life in the idiocy of American society. Nowhere does Marx say that a communism will be run without a government ideally. Whoever your teacher is he's an idiot. So i think you should read the communist manifesto as you like the rest of America seem to have been taught the wrong thing and end up thinking they know what they're talking about. Your next step would be reading other manuscripts by Marx, Engels, and Lenin.
First of all my political theory professor was a she so that's what you get for making assumptions. Second it's not very nice to call an idiot someone you really don't know. More importantly you don't know what was taught in that class. You may even have any clue that perhaps she may harbor some sympathies to Communism even if she may have been able to pick off some of the holes in Marx's arguments.

That being said I'm taking a political theory course right now where we will exaclty be talking about Marx' Communist Manifesto. So I will definitely hear the argument for a Communist society from the horse's mouth himself. And I thank you for your reading suggestions for that I definitely want to take you up on them.

Let me attack your idea that I said that dictatorship was what makes Communism or the Proletariat. I never said that although I don't support Communism. Would you understand that the "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" is to be a step towards true Communism? I probably didn't indicate that in my original thread but that was the point.

Although my assertion was that the nations that are classified as Communist dictatorships may not be considered true Communism. As I stated they were stuck in a phase of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Now you may be right if I use that term incorrectly and it doesn't necessarily mean a concentrated leadership under only one person or group of persons. Unfortunately that's what a lot of these nations became.

Also I understand that in order to form a Communist state, especially starting with the old Soviet Union under Vladimir Lenin they chose to skip a step in the evolution to a communist system. That is at some point they go directly into the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, however, there's probably a stage before that which was skipped. I would assume that stage involved the bourgeoisie.

Anyway I have to do more research on this to understand the steps to a Communist system. I think your premise about what I wrote was wrong, but I would like to invite you to come back and offer a bit more about your knowledge of Communism.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Ousted governor is indicted!

This indictment was certainly a long time coming since his Dec. 9th arrest.

Rod Blagojevich, who I often refer to often as either the corrupt ex-governor or ousted governor instead of just saying his name on this blog since his removal is facing just over two three centuries in prison according to Rich Miller of the Capitol Fax. Although he linked to a summary of the charges against him and his co-conspirators who have either served in his administration or his electoral campaigns, I don't understand the sentencing structures and the counts. Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

In any event when the news went down yesterday afternoon Blagojevich and his family was in Florida at Disneyland. And offered a statement thru his PR firm continuing to insist that he is innocent. Of course, I'm sure that infuriated a lot people to no end. Especially since he's been caught doing wrong!

Finally he can get his day in court and let's not forget, innocent until proven guilty. We have to admit, however, he probably wasn't playing up that angle very well after he was arrested and during his impeachment trial. If he is innocent, he may as well have just made himself guilty. Certainly it's one thing for it to be alleged, but to have authorities act on it and eventually indict you is another issue.

We learned from the indictment yesterday they the feds have been looking at him since he became Governor! Unbelieveable! Since 2003 the feds have alleged that he has run a criminal enterprise using the office of governor. How did we let this guy into office anyway?

It wasn't enough that he was lousy for the most part. Especially since the legislature run by his fellow Democrats (especially the state House of Representatives) didn't get along with him. That is his word wasn't his bond but to be broken on a whim. He was apparently engaging in corrupt conduct as well!

You know this isn't a good record two governors back to back running a foul of the law. One, George Ryan, is already in jail and the other is likely on his way. All we can say for Ryan is that while he may not have been a bad governor if he hadn't taken a very hard line in getting to the bottom of the allegations contained within his former position of Secretary of State, who knows where he'd be today instead of serving a seven year sentence. BTW, Ryan was Blago's immediate predecessor having served one term before Blago.

You know who else has gotten caught up in his schemes his wife, who may find herself under indictment for her real estate dealings and his brother who is in the ousted governor's indictment. It probably wouldn't be so bad if it was only him and since he seems to be more willing to fight than just plea bargain his way out of this mess if for nothing else to help his family then they may go down with him. He definitely was more willing to fight the charges of impeachment until he decided not to fight where it would have counted in the state Senate.

Still amongst the other issues going on in the world we'll have to admit that this is all a big mess going on in the late Blagojevich administration. Stay tuned!

BTW, would reforms have stopped him? Since Blago was ousted the current mantra from his successor, Pat Quinn has been reforming a system that allows for pay to play. Could reforming this system stop a future Blagojevich or could this just be a one-in-a-million shot?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Obama gets hazy on reefer economics

Well a surprising column by the Tribune's Clarence Page:
For all of the keen intellect that President Barack Obama showed in his online town hall meeting, he didn't seem to know much about reefer economics.

When asked whether legalizing marijuana might be a stimulus for the economy and job creation, he played the question for laughs.

"I don't know what this says about the online audience . . .," he quipped as his studio audience chuckled and groaned. "But . . . this was a fairly popular question. We want to make sure that it was answered," he said.

Sure. So you could knock it, I thought.

Obama's response: "The answer is, no, I don't think that is a good strategy to grow our economy."

No stimulus? Hey, more than a few blinged-out, Escalade-driving pot dealers would dispute that notion. You want a "green" industry? Free the weed, dude.
I wouldn't mind a support on this issue of decriminalizing marihuana, but basically I'm not coming out of the gate in support of it. If nothing else we should stop trying to determine which drugs should or shouldn't be allowed. Is weed as big of a killer as either alcohol or crack?

Well weak question. You'll hear those who think it should be decriminalized says that one could die from alcohol, however, one can't die from marihuana. Perhaps marihuana isn't much different from alcohol in that it can cause bad judgement in people. Of course that's not really a reason to ban it, a good reason is for the public health aspects of the use of substances.

This was discussed a little in my class today. My professor said that we shouldn't decriminalize marihuana because when it becomes legal them there will be an increase in use and we'll have more accidents or more DUIs. Hmm, with alcohol there are DUIs, but we keep that legal. I suppose that standpoint is right if we have to consider decriminalization.

What do you think about this issue?