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Friday, October 30, 2009

New Cubs owner Ricketts aims for Wrigley redo, Series win

The Cubs finally have a new owner. This historical National League team is no longer a Tribune Company outfit. It's now the property of The Ricketts family. Crain's lets us know some of their plans:
Making the rounds with Chicago media for the first time since his family’s $845-million acquisition of the storied franchise and ballpark, the new Cubs chairman made clear that the Ricketts era will be a departure from Tribune Co.’s 28-year run as owner. He plans to plow profits back into the organization, from paying top players to fixing the 95-year-old ballpark’s cramped concessions, clubhouses and commodes.

“There are a couple differences between the Tribune owning the team and the family owning the team,” Mr. Ricketts said in an interview Thursday. “We’re committed to reinvesting the profits into preserving and improving the stadium. We’re going to be delivering on that over the next few years.”

The family’s goal is to win the Cubs’ first World Series championship in 101 years. “When that happens, it’s going to be special,” he said. “That’s the goal. Undoubtedly it will happen on our watch.”

But fans shouldn’t expect Mr. Ricketts to throw money around like the New York Yankees’ George Steinbrenner, whose payroll tops $200 million. Mr. Ricketts said there would likely be a “slight increase” of the Cubs’ $140-million payroll next season, but noted that it’s already the third-highest in baseball.

He’ll cede all personnel decisions to his general manager — for now, Jim Hendry, whom he said has done “a great job.”

Fans can expect “slight increases” in ticket prices for next season, and “inflation-like” increases thereafter. That would be far less aggressive than the price hikes Tribune has pushed through in recent years, some of which exceeded 30%.

It's gotta be a baseball fans dream to own the team you're already a die-hard fan.

That reminds me, how long was Reinsdorf the owner of the White Sox and was finally able to bring home a World Series in 2005? Probably close to 25 or so years before he made that happen. Let's hope Ricketts and the Cubs will not take nearly as long.

Crain's also have a video on this so check it out!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

VIDEO: Make Mine Freedom



This cartoon was made in 1948. Perhaps a bit ahead of its time especially with the mention of racial division. The nation was segregated back then, but the point stands even today as racial division is an issue.

Of course that's not the only issue involved therein however the messages contained here is as important today as it was then. Especially since America was about to enter a cold war with the Communist block.

Via The Bench!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Garrard McClendon interviews Tavis Smiley



From what I can tell this is the earliest video of Garrard McClendon. Video was posted onto YouTube in 2006. I'm not totally sure when he started his TV career I just know that his CLTV talk show has been on since summer 2008. Here's his YouTube account.

Well I didn't post this as a history lesson. I posted because of the news that his parents were found murdered in a forest preserve near Calumet City, Illinois. His parents stolen car found on the Dan Ryan Expressway. I can only imagine that this is very devastating to him.

I would like for anyone who supports his program to keep him in YOUR thoughts. Hopefully he'll return to his program as soon as possible, but hopefully he'll take all the time he needs.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Porch monkeys"


Zonation takes on the epithet offered by Warren Ballentine to Juan Williams on FNC's O'Reilly Factor Thursday night. I heard Ballentine's comment telling Williams to "get back on the porch". I knew it had some context but unsure as to what that context was. Either way Williams guest hosted Bill O'Reilly's show on Friday night and O'Reilly was back tonight to discuss with Williams and Mary Katherine Ham.

The more it is over analyzed the more it's apparent that this really was an offensive thing to say. Zo in this video says that Ballentine was effectively calling Williams a "porch monkey". It was his way of saying that he didn't like the fact that Williams wasn't agreeing with him.

Also lost in that debate on Thursday night was Ballentine's reference to "real black people". Another way of saying that Ballentine believes that most blacks will be likely to agree with him and dismiss those who don't.

As far as political differences in the black community it's unfortunate that there are those who choose to go this route. We could agree to disagree but why take the whole if you disagree with the "prevailing opinion" of black folks then something is wrong with you. So in my learning experience this is another instance of nastiness when two blacks may not agree with each other.

BTW, Juan is in no way a conservative but he was on the wrong side of this debate. These terms could be just as easily used against black conservatives or anyone who may not adhere to the generally progressive, liberal, or Democratic establishment amongst blacks. Also this segment was basically over the news regarding Rush Limbaugh and his attempt to own an interesting in the St. Louis Rams.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Morehouse College makes Instapundit

Glenn Reynolds relays:
THOSE “CHRISTIANISTS” ARE EVERYWHERE: Morehouse College Bans Cross-Dressing.
Not entirely sure what that means. Perhaps expressing that there are those who might see this as a way Christians are asserting themselves against an oppressed minority. Especially since Morehouse has a dress that also bans men who cross dress!

If you don't know about Glenn Reynolds' Instapundit, it's one of the most popular blogs in the blogosphere. The posts are dominated by the issues of politics, war, even technology. All the other posts involves basically the news of the day. Such as this item about Morehouse.

Of course you don't have to click that last link in the blockquotes. It's a CNN article but you can always check Saturday's post which contains a CNN video.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

CNN on the new student dress code at Morehouse


I've seen this policy. One dubious point on this policy is regarding the wearing of women's clothing on campus. I've seen that on campus before I left and well it bothered a lot of young men down there.

I know there are many who see this policy as singling out gay males. Not all gay males wear women's clothing. Those who don't will not be affected by this policy. Many of them know how to dress in male clothing.

Of course we can always go back to the common refrain regarding how urban young males dress. They wear oversized clothing jackets, shirts and pants that sag where you can see their undergarments. Of course this has likely been a complained ever since this became the trend and it didn't start yesterday. It started around the time I became a freshman in high school in the 1990s. I'm sure there were many who saw this trend and thought it would be over in years, but now we see that it continues.

Anyway I don't have a big problem with the dress code. I would've adhered to it on even my worst days. But does anyone reading this blog believe this policy to be discriminatory to anyone? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

VIDEO: Pepsi and the Rise and Fall of ObamaMarketing



From Evan Coyne Maloney @ brain-terminal.com. He starts at Obama's inauguration in January to capture all the anticipation and hope for the starts of his administration. Then captures the disappointment of vendors in Manhattan a while after the inauguration. Entrepreneurs are selling more anti-Obama merchandise and they find that people will buy them. The anticipation hope and change becomes fatigue only a short-time into the administration. One vendor said it best himself Obama can't live up to the hype.

Anyway watch the video and you can read Mr. Maloney's write-up at brain-terminal.com. BTW, be sure to send him an e-mail and let him know what you think of this video.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

John Mackey's Conscious Capitalism



More of the Whole Food's CEO on health care, veganism, and free markets courtesy of Reason.

PHOTOS: Dealy Plaza in Dallas, TX

Originally posted at The Eye on January 5, 2007. Somewhat appropriate since late August the last surviving brother of President John F. Kennedy, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusettes), passed away at age 77. Also on Sunday The History Channel aired a program that aired TV footage and radio broadcasts of everything that was covered not only on the fateful day of the Kennedy Assassination in Dallas, TV but also the ensuing two days involving Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby and the activities in Washington during the days between Nov. 22 thru Nov. 25, 1963. Very, very intense and I could only imagine that I was actually there living the history although I wasn't there.


The day we left we took a drive around downtown Dallas. We went to the site of the Kennedy assassination which was on Elm Street. Thus I took pictures of the Texas Schoolbook Depository and the Grassy Noll. Great to be at the site of an historic event although for some this only recalls the sorrow of 1963. People still remember where they were when President Kennedy was shot.




This is the window on the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository. This is the window where Oswald was to taken his shots at President Kennedy.

See that X. It marks the spot where Kennedy was hit by an assassin's bullet. The closeup is in the next photograph.

Check out the 6th Floor Museum located at the Texas Schoolbook Depository. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

35,000 line up for housing help in Detroit



In going back to Detroit we take a look at an AP report about chaos at the Cobo Center. Located in downtown Detroit adjacent to the famed Joe Louis Arena home to the Detroit Red Wings. You can read more here!

I found this via Megan Cottrell's One Story Up over at ChicagoNow. The discussion there starts off about talking about poverty in America's major cities. That discussion being whether or not Democratic control of our cities is the reason why there is poverty in urban areas. It might be worth a read for you as well.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

SNL Obama wins the lottery


We saw what happens when the President wins a Nobel Prize but what if he just so happens to win the lottery? Well thank goodness for SNL.

The original Sears Tower


A treasure on Chicago's west side is highlight in this piece from last month from Chicago Tonight. Originally built in 1906, this was the original home of Sears when they were known as an important mail order business. Just like people are crazy about Wal-Mart today, people were crazy about Sears enough to come down to the original corporate headquarters and visit the original tower.

Unfortunately the neighborhood around Sears gradually declined and in the riots of 1968 after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Sears left the neighborhood. They still used their original headquarters moving to the more familiar Sears Tower (now called Willis Tower) located downtown. Eventually the Sears complex would be gradually demolished leaving the original tower and other buildings of this complex.

As it may have been in the heyday of this site, it may once again become a self-contained community. There are homes being build and the saved buildings from this complex are expected to become condos and retail space. In this video you saw the original power plant, that is now a school. In addition mixed-income housing has been built on this site.

I hope that eventually the original Sears tower which was saved as a beacon of hope to the surround North Lawndale community where it resides may eventually become a tourist destination once again. While it may be home to retail and condos, I hope that there will be an observatory where there once was in it's heyday!

BTW, this video was presented by the late John Calloway originally in 2006!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wrestling nostalgia

I've been wanting write this post for a long while now.

Last week was the 10th Anniversary of WWF Smackdown. The show premeired on the old UPN network in 1999, it was a special at first then a regular series later that year. The show as a takeoff of one of The Rock's signature catchphrases, "The Rock is going to lay the SMACKDOWN!"

As a matter of fact The Rock appeared on that show last week. Often Rocky (well Dwayne Johnson who has long retired from wrestling and has eked out a career in motion pictures) would refer to Smackdown as "The Rock's show" because of it's title. There wouldn't be an anniversary show without him.

To be sure however to see him on there gives me a certain nostalgia for how good wresting was 10 years ago. There were plenty of compelling characters that I just couldn't spend a week without. That's what I remember and I miss watching Rock in the ring or even wowing the fans. Surely wrestling fans of the time wished they had the attributes of Dwayne Johnson in those days, if not the athletic talent perhaps his ability to capture the attention of the crowd.

I barely remember the rise of Johnson. At first he was wrestling as a superface Rocky Maivia. But he was caught up in the era of Austin 3:16 (Stone Cold Steve Austin) and eventually the fans were tired of the superface gimmick as Stone Cold was more of an anti-hero character and that really took off with the fans. After being off TV for a good period Rocky Maivia came back to join the Nation of Domination (they were a group of black wrestlers who sported sort of a Black nationalist gimmick). At that time he became The Rock and was thoroughly booed until not only he took over The Nation himself (Ron Simmons aka Farooq was the leader) but the remaining members eventually turned on him. For that he was briefly a face.

Then by early 1999 he became a heel when he joined Vince McMahon as part of the corporation. Oh yeah that was Vince's gimmick, he was the megalomaniac owner of the WWF and the fans hated him. McMahon was in a serious feud with Stone Cold (just so that you know this was all TV not real would you believe anyone could get away with being insubordinate without some repercussions).

Well the Rock joined Vince and his crew but the fans were starting to like The Rock. At one point Rock would sound off his favorite catch phrases and the fans would start repeating him. The Rock would keep stopping telling him that this is not sing-a-long with The Rock, but the fans kept at it and he just kept on moving. Not too long he would become the fan favorite and to many he still was even during his heel turn after he started his film career.

But his appearance on Smackdown reminded me of when wrestling was good. It didn't matter if I was watching the old WCW or ECW there were performers who were worth watching and storylines worth following. Today whether I was in school or even at home during the summers or holidays or even my extended stay at home when I graduated that I could care less about what's going on in professional wrestling. Perhaps one day it will be good once again!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Rush Limbaugh: Obama Prize Says No Afghan Surge



If you haven't heard already the President has won the Nobel peace prize, but I haven't figured out how he earned the honor. Surely there are people out there who has accomplished more than our President who still has plenty of issues to fight on his plate. He has to fight the war in Afghanistan then he has to continue to engage with Iran so that they may forgo their nuclear weapons program and at that prevent a possible pre-emptive attack by Israel. Without a doubt those aren't the only issues of peace that President Obama has to face!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

School is for fools


Steven Crowder talks about the President and his position on school voucher. I apologize in advance for seeming anti-education.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Monday, October 05, 2009

On the L

On Friday, there was this man who got on with two see-thru plastic bags that contained blankets. They were protected by cardboard boxes that had the Arizona Tea logo. And this guy seemed restless.

For instance he decided to move up to some empty seats so he went back and got those blankets and took up those empty seats with those blankets, however he took an empty seat sitting with a guy who was in and out of sleep. So let me see he put it upon himself to take up three seats with himself and those blankets. Wow, he ought to be glad we weren't talking about rush hour!

All the sudden he decided to take an empty seat next to me and a couple of seats opened up, but he didn't budge until the train got to 79th Street. This guy was clearly irritating me on this trip! If I was more of an alpha male I'd have told him off!

Today, I was on my way to Hyde Park for a dental appointment. If it wasn't enough that we had to switch trains because we were on the train for a good period of time until we heard an announcment that the train we were on was out of service.

Anyway there was this dude who was doing nothing more than talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. He was on another part of the car and was talking and loud. At first before our train pulled off from 95th Street, he was a little upset that no one was willing to pull the red ball to open the doors. All he had to do was wait because the doors would be opened, especially if the train was about to pull right off.

I heard his conversation with another young lady on the train where he talked about his big ears saying that he had big ears but they're not elephant ears. Suddenly he moved up the car and sat closer to me and started talking to this lady who was with a child (prolly grandchild or nephew although she looked old enough to be his mother). This guy started talking about adult topics like marijuana, drugs, blunts (cigarettes), and was cussing a storm in front of the child. Although hey I'm not so sure the child was paying much attention so there may not have been much harm, but the fact that he kept doing it raised my eyebrows.

Besides he said he'll quit cussing and would go back to cursing. He would say he'll shut up talking to this woman and then turn around and quit talking. All this after saying to this lady you have a nice day and he kept up a conversation. He was almost flirting with the lady at one point and I was so hoping she said "HELL NO!"

Well at this point I was tired of him and got up to wait for the next stop at Garfield. I couldn't hear what she had to say anymore. She was prolly too nice to tell him to SHUT UP!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Olympics loss forces Chicago to rethink city plans

I know the national news seems to this was a slap in the face to President Obama. They use the 1st round defeat of Chicago to host the 2016 Olympics to show that Obama over reached and that he isn't able to even talk to these people at the IOC to let Chicago host the games. The IOC used that moment to tell Obama that the charm offensive didn't work. Even worse one IOC member complained that it took 45 minutes to see Michelle Obama and that might have hurt the Chicago 2016 bid. Unfair, well I think so but meh.

The slap in the face however really goes to Mayor Daley. That's what this AP article discusses. I saw at least one article that showed that even Mayor Daley, many may consider the benevolent dictator of Chicago, can be told no. Telling Daley NO is certainly a difficult task for the city of Chicago on many issues including taxpayer money for the Olympics. That's perhaps one reason any city opposition to the games really heated up.
Chicago's dream of an Olympics-sized stimulus was dashed when the 2016 Summer Games were awarded to Rio de Janeiro, and the loss amounts to more than a bruised ego for the nation's third-largest city.

Officials can no longer trumpet the $13.7 billion citywide economic impact local Olympics organizers estimated would come of games-related jobs, construction, tourism and transportation. They'll also have no excuse for distraction in a city grappling with a mounting deficit and violence that has led to dozens of deaths of city teens each year.

The loss marked a stunning defeat for Mayor Richard M. Daley, who spent three years working to sell Chicago residents on the games, often highlighting job creation and a financial influx that would help the city emerge from a recessional slump.

"I just know so many construction workers who thought their next seven years were going to be full of work," said Jane Zefran, 63, a semi-retired Chicago resident. "Now, heavens only knows what will happen. It's such a shame."

People around town seem doubtful the loss will scar Daley as he mulls whether to seek a seventh term in 2011—at which point he will have 22 years in office and become Chicago's longest-serving mayor.

"I don't think he will be looked at like a loser," said Angela Byrd, 40, a teacher's assistant from Chicago.

Still, a recent Chicago Tribune/WGN poll showed Daley's approval rating had sunk to 35 percent in part because of skepticism over the Olympics and an unpopular deal to lease city parking meters to a private contractor. And the mayor was in Copenhagen as an unwelcome spotlight again shone on his city after a 16-year-old honors student was beaten to death while walking to a bus stop after school.
Well look, I don't consider this a big loss. Daley expounded more effort onto this instead of tackling the many issues currently affecting Chicago. I'm not disappointed that we won't get the games this year, however, I hope that Chicago could work towards the games in the future. Chicago should once again have an Olympic dream, but not at the behest of City Hall.

Now that this monkey is off the back City Hall can look at the issue of crime, focus on upgrading the transit system, and then make smarter deals for the benefit of the city!

SNL goes after Barack Obama!


A sign of trouble? I wish I can answer that, but this sketch only shows that people recognize that Obama isn't able to accomplish anything unfortunately. Via Huffington Post!

BTW, watch this episode of How the World Works. It breaks down the various issues that may hurt the President sans one story about a person stealing their date's car.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Problems await Obama after Chicago loss

People are making this Olympic loss all about Obama. Not sure if that's what this is or not, but if the President was to sell the Olympics to keep Chicago in the running...it did not work:
He came, he pitched and he flew back empty-handed.

Even before Chicago was eliminated, critics had lampooned Barack Obama’s trip to Copenhagen as a misplaced exercise in “verbal gymnastics”. But Friday’s embarrassing first-round elimination is likely to cause Mr Obama more problems back home.

“I don’t view this as a repudiation of the president or the first lady,” said David Axelrod, Mr Obama’s senior advisor and a fellow Chicagoan. “It didn’t work out but it was worth the effort.”

On Friday Mr Obama’s critics on the right were joined by many in the media, which had already raised questions about his priorities.

More immediately, the rejection is likely to intensify questions about Mr Obama’s allegedly vaunting self-belief. Although Mr Obama spent only a few hours in the Danish capital, and although other leaders were there to bat on behalf of their cities, Barack and Michelle Obama couched their pitches in biographical terms. By personalising Chicago’s appeal, Mr Obama put his own reputation on the line.

“Nearly one year ago, on a clear November night, people from every corner of the world gathered in the city of Chicago . . . to watch the results of the US presidential election,” Mr Obama told the Olympic committee. “Their interest wasn’t about me as an individual . . . Rather, it was rooted in the belief that America’s experiment in democracy still speaks to a set of universal aspirations and ideals . . . And so I urge you to choose Chicago!”

The fallout from Mr Obama’s quixotic trip will overshadow more important White House initiatives, including his attempts to push through universal healthcare, his review of America’s role in Afghanistan, and attempts to revive the US economy. It did not help that Friday’s rejection coincided with the announcement of a 263,000 increase in US joblessness.
Could his brief trip to Copenhagen hurt the Obama administration? What do you think?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Chicago Football Classic history through past game programs

I've got several programs from past games. The first past game I found dates back to September 11, 1993. It's amazing that I really don't remember going to this game or what exactly happened but I have the program from it. What I choose to focus on is the politicians who extend either greetings or proclamations.

For instance then Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar (Republican) paid repsects to HBCUs Jackson State University & Tennessee State University.


In 2000, a Governor was missing. That's right George Ryan (Republican) never did a greeting or a proclamation in honor of the Chicago Football Classic. Who knows, in spite of placing a moratorium on the death penalty during his tenure or even commuting all death row sentences, it probably could have helped him way back when. Republican or Democrat this is certainly a way to reach out to an important voting block.

As always however Mayor Daley has offered his words in 1993, 2000, and especially 2009.

1993

2000



2009

Not only has he extended greetings to the participating schools in the Chicago Football Classic but he's been named honorary chairman of this event and documented also in the programs from the game in 2000 & 2009.

This first scan lists the organizers of the 2000 Chicago Football Classic. This list includes prominent black businesspeople, media, financial supporters, event coordination and special thanks to the Chicago Public Schools. And look at the end of the list with a mention of Sen. Emil Jones Jr. and John Stroger.


This is merely a letter from 2009 and it specifically names Daley and honorary chair of the 2009 Chicago Football Classic.

Now going back to an Illinois Governor offering his words regarding the Chicago Football Classic Pat Quinn (Democrat) offers his words. Knowing that this event goes back beyond twelve years I thought Pat Quinn got this one wrong although the current incarnation was probably around that long.

Finally let's check out father and son who also have served at Cook County Board President and their comments on this game from 2000 & 2009 respectively.



To note both John and Todd have actually attended HBCUs, in fact they're graduates of Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

To note well you might have seen this in the various greetings/proclamations but this game is used to promote HBCUs and generally is a way to expose them to inner city public school students. Some adults may have attended HBCUs and perhaps this may be their way of supporting them.

Either way last Saturday's game between Mississippi Valley State and Alabama State Universities was won my Mississippi Valley 10 to 3. Watching the bands play at the end was nice as well.

EDIT: I forgot to note Rod Blagojevich. I went to a game in 2005, but I never got a program and that was after maybe a four or so year break due to the reconstruction of Soldier Field. Either way I have no way of knowing of Ousted governor had at all ever wrote a proclamation/greeting in honor of this event.

Smiyesing


This made me laugh but the editing of this one and Tyra's makeup and eye color makes this a bit spooky.