Monday, February 28, 2011

SouthernAvenger: David Letterman's Willful Ignorance

[VIDEO] It seems watching Rand Paul, the junior US Senator (R-Kentucky) on Late Show with David Letterman was quite an ordeal. Letterman was portrayed as rejecting anything that Sen. Paul was presenting as far as taxing the rich is concerned. Did anyone see this segment of Letterman?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Baseball season is almost upon us...

Both the Cubs and White Sox are in their respective locales for Spring Training, but this is hardly a way to celebrate the return of spring and America's past time...
Best buds Ben Affleck and Matt Damon might be used to having every door opened for them in Hollywood.

But even their star power still can't get them behind the scenes of one of the most intriguing stories in baseball history.

According to the New York Post, Affleck is running into trouble when it comes to "The Trade," a movie he's writing with his brother, Casey. The film centers on the memorable "life swap" scandal that New York Yankees pitchers Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson staged in 1973. The teammates made controversial headlines everywhere by deciding to trade everything — wives, children, even their dogs.

Though it hasn't been confirmed, Affleck and Damon would presumably play the roles of the pitchers. It's also rumored that Damon could direct the movie. But it might not even get that far, as Kekich has reportedly rebuffed Affleck's attempts to mine him for more material. 
If you will continue reading there is a need by all the parties involved in this scandal to keep the past in the past. Although I agree, but this article has only made me wonder about this. All the same if Damon and Affleck wants to make this film I'm sure there's a way to do it even without the cooperation of all parties involved.

Just look at the example provided in this article, The Social Network.

iPad 2 coming March 2

I got my eye on one of these. Hopefully the first generation of iPad will come down in price as there will be a second generation:

The company sent out a media invite for an event March 2 in San Francisco. If you have been keeping up with all things Apple lately, you know this is 99.9 percent likely the unveiling of iPad 2 which is rumored to be thinner and feature dual cameras for videochatting. And by now you've figured out the double meaning behind the No. 2 in the invite.

Depending on who you believe, this iPad could also have double the resolution, a high speed connection to another device or make pancakes. And while an announcement is all but a lock, we don't know when the actual iPad will ship.

As someone who has been blogging about Apple for several years, I can tell you that while you should be excited, the pancakes are definitely out. Definitely expect a thinner device - all of Apple's offerings pretty much shrink in size between iterations - and the cameras are a lock. You are going to see Aunt Penelope's goiter in so much detail.

Of course, there's at least a strong likelihood that the new iPad is just one announcement. New laptops are expected, along with a new technology to rival USB 3.0. Should be an interesting day.
I can also look at those iPad alternatives that are out there as well. Hopefully cheaper if I buy them brand new.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Capitol Fax: The old guard has got to go...

Touched upon this yesterday and Rich Miller decided to write a Sun-Times column about it:
Carol Moseley Braun’s loss on Tuesday was “the embarrassment of a lifetime for black people,” said Rickey Hendon moments after he resigned from the Illinois Senate on Thursday.

Hendon was just being Hendon. Rhetorical flourishes are his specialty.

The fault lies not with “black people,” but with folks who worked to make Braun the “consensus” candidate. They figured that a woman in an all-male field would be a tremendous advantage. Add that to her proven vote-getting history in the black community and she was a mighty contender on paper.

But anybody who knew anything about her U.S. Senate career understood that Braun would be a disaster. She’s simply unmanageable. Her supporters were left disappointed and dejected within months of her departure for Washington, D.C. And in the end, her election proved to be a fluke that she could not repeat.

The worst mistake by the consensus crew, however, was looking backward for a standard bearer instead of promoting someone with fresh, new ideas. That’s probably because most of the people doing the choosing cut their political teeth decades ago and have been in power so long that they’ve lost touch with today.
You should go read the whole thing. The discussion in that post is pretty good as well.

In that other post from yesterday, Miller mentioned Rush and Davis. Namely they used to serve as ward committeemen. Both no longer hold those posts one retired and the other was defeated in his re-election bid. They both cut their teeth in city politics years ago hence I may refer to one of them as a dinosaur when he attempted to mount a mayoral campaign this time around although he had dropped out of the race.

Miller mentioned two people who ran for statewide office in 2010. He said one of them failed to really mount much of a campaign. Since I'm unsure of what it takes to mount a campaign for a statewide office I can only guess at what that means.

All the same in all of this dust in the many races run for significant races in both Illinois & Chicago, there are lessons to be learned. Hopefully we will have a black Lt. Governor, or state Treasurer or Comptroller (well assuming those offices aren't merged at some point in the future). Perhaps again a black will be able to succeed a race for US Senate as one had failed to secure a nomination for that seat last year.

You know in the comments someone compared CMB to Roland Burris. I sincerely hope in the future that it won't be Bobby Rush who will cry about the lack of Blacks in the US Senate and support the appointment of a flawed candidate into the US Senate. Especially one that won't be able to retain the seat. Hopefully a candidate for US Senate will prove to be viable enough to support and they just so happened to be Black.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Just got to put this out there...

This story from ABC7 discusses whether or not Chicago is in the post racial era. Of course we should note the words of Alderman-elect Will Burns (well he's already an alderman :P):
"I think it is really hard to generalize about black politics in one election cycle," Alderman-elect Will Burns, 4th Ward, said.
That is true, but I could buy into the fact that many don't care about what color someone is in order to run for office. As you'll see later in this post, Blacks don't just want to see one of their own in office but they want someone viable and qualified. The above video may also discuss the generational divide although this story may not be directed at one racial or ethnic group particularly.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Declining Payoff From Black Colleges

So outlived their original usefulness or must start to determine their value in the 21st century? Also I wonder if they measure all HBCUs as many are considered prestigious and then there are a few who well aren't as prestigious. From NY Times:

I mentioned in a recent post that students who choose to attend a historically black college instead of a more selective college may be hurting their future earnings prospects. There’s more evidence for this finding than I knew. A 2007 study, by Roland Fryer and Michael Greenstone, came to a similar conclusion.

The study found that historically black colleges and universities — often known as H.B.C.U.’s — lifted the pay of their graduates in the 1970s relative to their attending other colleges, all else equal, but that these colleges now bring a hefty wage penalty, on average, for their graduates. One possible reason is that traditionally white institutions began doing a better job of educating their black students in recent years, according to the paper.

“On the positive side,” Mr. Fryer and Mr. Greenstone wrote, “H.B.C.U. attendees became relatively more likely to be engaged in social, political, and philanthropic activities.”
So there is a silver lining? Still college is more about the academic than the social, political or philanthropic activities. What does an HBCU bring to the education landscape today?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Polls are closed here in Chicago

Will my city be run by the former White House Chief of Staff? It won't be soon enough before we know. He is at 54% currently as far as the count goes. It's still early however.

For those of you who are following the Chicago race, I put up a live feed over at The Sixth Ward for coverage at WGN-TV. This is assuming of course that there is no election coverage on the WGN feed that runs nationwide on most cable/satellite systems.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Retailers tap into iPad, hoping device will help you buy

Click for iPad website
Talk about the future being now. It used to be old style tubes for TVs on storefront displays now it's an iPad being considered for use in storefronts:
Since Apple Inc. unveiled the iPad in April, a spate of retailers including Burberry, Puma, Things Remembered, Converse and Nordstrom, to name just a few, have rolled out tests of tablet computers at select stores around the country. The move is all part of retailers' response to how consumers are shopping everywhere — online, on their smart phones and in the stores.

Retailers are using iPads as mobile catalogs so sales clerks and shoppers can browse inventory not available on store shelves. They are fastening the tablets to counters so shoppers can design their own products. They are arming sales associates with the electronic clipboards to gathering customer data. And they are testing the device's potential as a portable cash register.

"It is taking retail outside the four walls to where the customers are," said Sandeep Bhanote, CEO of Global Bay Mobile Technologies, a South Plainfield, N.J.-based mobile retail software firm. "You're talking about changing the way you do business. That's what this is all about."

Make Up For Ever, a unit of French luxury conglomerate LVMH, was among the first retailers to give the technology a try. The cosmetic company set up iPad stations in October at its boutiques inside Sephora stores in New York's Soho neighborhood, Costa Mesa, Calif., and Las Vegas.

The iPad is fixed to a gondola and allows shoppers to update their Facebook pages, tweet about their shopping experience and access face charts for browsing makeup combinations. Eventually customers will be able to upload a digital photo of their own faces for a virtual makeover.
Now if Border's had begun using the iPad or at the very least had an online presence to really utilize the iPad or similar tablet devices. Who knows they may be in better shape instead of having to close 30% their stores amidst bankruptcy.

All the same this underscored the conclusion I have about the iPad. It's a luxury item and is being treated as such. A cool device at home that could also have commercial or academic uses in the real world. It's very cool that one could fork up a lot of cash to be able to use such a device at home.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

For Candidates, the 15th Ward’s Ills Are Daunting

15th Ward
You know there are some wards where it's difficult to get anything done. Chicago's 15th Ward is one of them as well they've suffered through not only lackluster Aldermen, but terrible voter turnout according to this Chicago News Coop article.

The incumbent Ald. Toni Foulkes but a challenger, attorney Felicia H. Simmons-Stovall, has received notice from the Tribune and the Chicago Crusader. If you give weight to endorsements the subscription website Early & Often has Foulkes running away with endorsements

One candidate that probably should get more notice is Syron Smith. He was able to beat in his race for Alderman challenges to his petitions unlike his race for State Representative. I know of him by his YouTube videos and has made several about this race. He likes to talk about his block-by-black activism. We'll know on Tuesday whether or not that strategy will result in a Smith victory.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Detroit to cops: Buy a house for $1,000 down

Found this article through the YoChicago real estate news website. Today we're going to take another trip to that struggling all-American city of Detroit, Michigan.

In our Mayoral campaign one of the candidates proposed ending the city residency requirement of city workers such as firemen, police officers, or perhaps even streets and sanitation workers. The idea behind enforcing such an ordinance is hopes to keep middle class Chicagoans from leaving the city for the suburbs. That's the main thing other than being concerned that city workers won't be able to return to the city in a quick fashion if they were needed at all.

In any event Detroit wants to encourage their police officers to buy abandoned homes and giving them incentives to consider staying in the city where they work:
Bringing a blighted, crime-ridden neighborhood back to life is never easy. This challenge has been tackled in Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia and elsewhere, and now Detroit is in the spotlight for its dramatic urban-resurrection efforts.

Detroit Mayor David Bing this month unveiled a program aimed at enticing police officers to relocate from the suburbs to the city they serve. Dubbed Project 14, the program allows officers to buy vacant houses -- many of which were abandoned after foreclosures -- with down payments of only $1,000.

The historic homes being made available in Detroit’s Boston-Edison and East English Village neighborhoods are appraised at $40,000 to $80,000. Monthly mortgage payments, including principal, interest, taxes and insurance, are expected to fall in the $500 to $1,000 range.

A major benefit of the program, beyond the low payments, is that officers could be eligible for up to $150,000 in federal grant money to renovate the homes. Officials hope Project 14 will provide a double-whammy of recovery by fixing up houses that sorely need help and reducing crime because more police will be present within city limits.
Detroit is a place to keep an eye on. A city that has gone down so far in the past, there is no where else but up. Let's hope that there isn't much difficulty in going up as I really hope Detroit can go back up.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

VIDEO: "Battle of Maxia" - Picard Manoeuvre

This CGI animation is of the unseen Battle of Maxia and it's aftermath. This was an engagement of Capt. Jean Luc Picard's previous assignment, USS Stargazer against an unknown adversary. In the Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) epsiode "The Battle" we found out that Capt. Picard - who later became Captain of the USS Enterprise - had actually fought a Ferengi vessel. As it turns out this Ferengi commander who's son had actually commanded that destroyed ship Picard had fought has designs of revenge and years late gave Picard a gift...the Stargazer.

Why am I typing this out? Because The "Battle" was an awesome episode!

Would've liked to have seen this episode of Jeopardy!

Yeah a computer was a contestant on an episode of the long running game show Jeopardy! story from AP:
The computer brained its human competition in Game 1 of the Man vs. Machine competition on "Jeopardy!" but bombed on the final answer where the correct question was: What is Chicago?

That Final Jeopardy answer: "Its largest airport is named for a World War II hero; its second largest, for a World War II battle."

Both champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter knew the right response was Chicago.

Watson, their IBM supercomputer nemesis, guessed doubtfully, "What is Toronto?????" It didn't matter. He had shrewdly wagered only $947.

On the 30-question game board, Jennings and Rutter managed only five correct responses between them during the Double Jeopardy round that aired Tuesday. They ended the first game of the two-game face-off with paltry earnings of $4,800 and $10,400 respectively.
Yeah why didn't I see that show whenever it aired?

Blacks leaving Chicago...

So yesterday it started and now I'm sure we'll hear more stories about Blacks moving out of my city. It started with Greg Hinz at Crain's Chicago Business then the Chicago News Coop discusses this more.
The decline among blacks may be explained in part by migration to the suburbs, the demolition of thousands of high-rise public housing units and a broader population shift to the South.

“Chicago was probably among the pre-eminent destinations of the Great Migration, and this marks the end of an era in some ways,” said William H. Frey, a demographer and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

According to Mr. Frey’s analysis of the new census data, blacks still make up roughly a third of Chicago’s population (with whites representing around another third, and fast-growing segments of Hispanics and Asians a little more than a third), but that is smaller than in the past.
Then another article from the Sun-Times about a couple who actually moved from the city to the south burbs:
Diane Gonnigan loves her University Park home. 

She and hubby Keith moved there from Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood in January 2007 to be closer to family. Her brother already lived in Olympia Fields, she said.
Gonnigan, whose mother lived with her at the time, said the choice allowed her family to build a house with a main level that was entirely wheelchair assessable, a large kitchen, a laundry room and a garage.

“There’s a lot more land,” she said. “In Chicago, it was just too inconvenient to expand.” 
A contract writer at an insurance company, Gonnigan said she likes that the community is quieter than the one she left.

“It’s peaceful; less violent,” she said.
Blacks in Chicago aren't just moving to the south burbs either:
The Southern U.S. region — primarily metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Miami and Charlotte, N.C. — accounted for roughly 75 percent of the population gains among blacks since 2000, up from 65 percent in the 1990s, according to the latest census estimates. The gains came primarily at the expense of Northern metro areas such as New York and Chicago. 

In all, about 57 percent of U.S. blacks live in the South, a jump from the 53 percent share in the 1970s, according to an analysis of census data by William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. 

“African Americans are acting as other Americans would — searching for better economic opportunity in the Sun Belt,” said Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns, a detailed history of the Great Migration. “But there is also a special connection.”
My brother lives in the Dallas area and I've been to school in Atlanta. Knowing that Atlanta is such a destination for people looking for new places to live keeps me away from Atlanta at least to live. I don't want to be a lemming move where everyone else seems to want to move. I also know that my brother can have Texas. :P

All the same these articles answered a few questions. Where are Blacks going and why are they leaving Chicago? Relatively easy Chicago tore down housing projects and now the project crowd has to stay somewhere. Some stay in the city and others move to the burbs.

The couple mentions above wanted more property and a big house. Just like most Americans, I'm certain Black want the best education for their children so they vote with their feet on that issue. Especially if they want to be certain their young people will go to a good school. Also the couple above mentioned the issue of crime.

Well how can we stave off this trend? If there is any way?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Been a while since I've heard from Jesse Lee Peterson...

BOND Action
He took aim at Oprah Winfrey according to this posting at Booker Rising. He let's Oprah know that:
"Rev. Peterson said, 'Barack Obama was elected president, not appointed king! Obama chose to run, and unfortunately for us, he was elected to be the leader of the free world. I don't recall Oprah calling on people to respect former President George W. Bush when he was viciously attacked and compared to Hitler for eight years. If Obama can't take the heat, he needs to get out of the White House!'"
He's responding to comments Oprah made on an appearance on MSNBC when she said that the President's opposition to give the man some respect.

The link under Rev. Peterson's portrait is a website for his organization BOND action.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Carol Moseley Braun violates Godwin's law

When I saw this post over at the CapFax I didn't see Godwin's Law in the title believe it or not. Main item of note is that she make a botched joke about Rahm Emanuel.

She said Emanuel’s “so kind, so nice’’ image in his campaign commercials belied his record as a congressman of voting against 128 bills sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus and reminded her of the character in “The Producers,” who was “still in love with the Furher, which was Adolf Hitler,’’ she said.

She paused, waiting for the laughter.

It did not come.

“You don’t get the joke,’’ she said. “OK. We get the kind man, the gentle man on television and not the person who voted against $5 million for food aid to Africa.’’
She should leave the jokes to the comedians. Another item to note is that she didn't want to pay for a table at an event for Equality Illinois, an organization dedicated for gay rights. She seeking all the votes she can as a mayoral challenger doesn't believe she should have to pay money for access to voters.

Did you know Marathon Pundit has called her Carol Mostly Clown?

Another Roseland neighborhood picture

On Sunday, Unknown Chicago over at ChicagoNOW offered another street quiz and I instantly recognized this picture. The give away was the marquee for the long demolished State Theater you see in the background. This picture is looking north along South Michigan Avenue in 1934.

The land where the State stood is now a parking lot for a nearby post office most of the buildings in this pic are long demolished replaced by a Walgreen's on the west side of the street and a currency exchange on the west side of the street. Of course street car service had been eliminated by the CTA in the late 1950s.

I also had to look up the Parkway Theater which you see in the foreground on the east side of the street. If Englewood was noted for the many theaters that were operating near 63rd & Halsted, the Roseland neighborhood had their own treasures of which only one, the Roseland Theater, still stands today.

In any event in the post where I would've had to identify the various scenes; there were two that were identifiable without a doubt. The first two pictures in the gallery especially the pic above. The post that offered the answers gave me an education as to where those other scenes were located.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Young politicians take on Chicago

Posted this Chicago Tribune video of three young Aldermanic contenders on Thursday over at Mechanics. I'm locking comments here and hopefully you'll go there and make a comment. Although in the write-up there, I had neglected to mention ages. One was 22, while the other two was 19 and 18. Two were in college, and one remained in high school.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Anonymous Political Scientist: Less Marxism is More...

Dr. Drew Offers Tips For a Better State of the Union Address

Well this didn't offer much except a swipe at Obama's past. This was written late last month and at least three days before the President's State of the Union address.
I think I know why Obama never released copies of his undergraduate transcripts from either Occidental College or Columbia University. His poor marks would be consistent with the utter failure of the stimulus package to live up to all the Democrat party hype.

My recommendation as a political scientist who has read a lot of history and taught courses on the office? Lay-off the vodka martinis, the cigarettes and the nicotine gum. Bring in new people who understand that the Midwest Academy, Bill Ayers, Alice Palmer and Rev. Wright all have the wrong recipe for turning around the U.S. economy.
I would like more thoughts on this. Of course I can agree that it's entirely possible that Obama wasn't ready or prepared for this new position. Well indeed can anyone really be prepared to take on leading a nation. Fact is that in 2008, I wasn't certain if Obama had a skill set that could predict success as President. Of course it may not be very easy to predict anyway.

Also while I understand the swipes at some of his associates, the academic record matters very little to me. That's primarily because in voting for Obama, his past academic record wouldn't even be a consideration. No more than a tax return for either Governor or Mayor as it has been recently. Let's not forget that even if Obama had poor marks as an undergrad he still went to Harvard Law School as well.

If it's true that Obama was overwhelmed by the Presidency then more needs to come out about that. In fact it has as I had blogged earlier about an interview with an Obama insider. I hope it's less about his collegiate marks and more about his current performance as President.

Also read this link (via Instapundit) about Bill Maher believe Obama is less a Christian more a "secular humanist". Hey you thought I was going to say a Muslim didn't you?

Chapter 11 for Borders, New Chapter for Books

Click image for company website
I used to hang out at Borders a lot especially at their now shuttered North Michigan Avenue location. That store was so large and vast and then suddenly there were having a liquidation sale. All items must go because the store is closing. Now all I have is the smaller State Street location across from old Marshall Field's (err Macy's).

From WSJ via Instapundit:

The troubled Ann Arbor, Mich., bookseller could file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy-protection as soon as Monday or Tuesday, paving the way for hundreds of store closings and thousands of job losses, said people familiar with the matter.

Borders has abandoned efforts to refinance its debts, and is preparing bankruptcy papers and seeking financing agreements that would keep it operating during the Chapter 11 restructuring process, the people said. Its shares tumbled 33% to 25 cents apiece in 4 p.m. New York Stock Exchange trading after The Wall Street Journal reported its plans.

"Borders is not prepared at this time to report on the course of action it will pursue," Borders said in a statement.

Borders's finances crumbled amid declining interest in bricks-and-mortar booksellers, a broad cultural trend for which it offered no answers. The bookseller suffered a series of management gaffes, piled up unsustainable debts and failed to cultivate a meaningful presence on the Internet or in increasingly popular digital e-readers.

Its online struggles proved critical as consumers became accustomed to getting books mailed to their doorsteps or downloaded to handheld electronic devices. Among Borders's biggest missteps were decisions to transfer its Internet operations to Inc. about a decade ago, and a stock-buyback program coupled with overseas expansion that swelled the company's debt.

Now, Borders is preparing for a costly and time-consuming trip through bankruptcy court, where it will seek to close about a third of its 674 Borders and Waldenbooks stores, the people familiar with the matter said. Borders also would cut swathes of its 19,500 staff as it attempts to reinvent itself to compete with Amazon and its hot-selling Kindle reader, and Barnes & Noble Inc., the nation's largest bookstore chain and maker of the Nook e-reader.

Whether it can restructure and emerge as a stand-alone company is unclear. Many Wall Street bankers and lawyers who have studied the chain believe it may not be able to avoid liquidation. It is expected to report more than $1 billion in liabilities in its bankruptcy petition, said a person familiar with the matter.
Drove by the Hyde Park Borders store within the last two weeks and found that store is going to close and they're holding a big sale. So there are some issues there, and I can only hope that another bookstore would replace that one. But note that Hyde Park is also known for used bookstores as well.

Friday, February 11, 2011

How high should IL's minimum wage be???

The question asked by the website, IL Review, based upon a story while they use one link I'm opting to use another from Chicago Sun-Times:
Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) introduced legislation that would raise Illinois’ $8.25-an-hour minimum wage by 50 cents plus the rate of inflation annually until it reaches its “historic level.”

The legislation defines that “level” as the equivalent in today’s dollars of what $1.60-an-hour was in 1968 when the inflation-adjusted buying power of the minimum wage peaked. Today, that rate would equal $10.03 per hour.

If the proposal gains traction in the Legislature this spring, it would help offset the impact on low wage earners of the 67-percent increase in the individual income-tax rate that took effect in January.

“There has rightfully been a lot of discussion lately about how to improve the state’s business climate. But as we go forward, I want to make sure that minimum wage workers aren’t ignored and forgotten,” Lightford said in a prepared statement.

But her plan would shift additional costs onto Illinois businesses that just absorbed a 46 percent hike in corporate income taxes and give job-poaching GOP governors from outside Illinois another argument to convince businesses to relocate to their states.
Raising the minimum wage willy-nilly and for what? It's great to look at the plight of the workers who only are paid minimum wage. IL Review wants to look at the plight of the small business owner, but also what about those who are out of work. We should be concerned that they may have a tougher time to find a job if government wants to continue raising the price floor for entry-level labor.

Heh, I think college level economics is clicking right now. :P

Black consensus candidate briefs...

We start with an article from Northwestern University's Medill News Service. The Black community hasn't warmed up to Carol Moseley Braun, the "consensus" Black mayoral candidate:
Back in December two experienced black politicians dropped out of the mayoral race to avoid splitting the black vote. But black voters apparently aren’t going to deliver as a voting block for Carol Mosley Braun.

Recent polls show black voters are split among all the candidates. This week Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and N’Digo publisher Hermene Hartman endorsed Rahm Emanuel, further undermining efforts to have blacks vote for a consensus candidate.

According to a recent ABC7 poll of 600 voters, 53 percent of black voters favored Emanuel.
Encouraging blacks to think along the same lines can be a challenging task for black leaders, said Audra Wilson, director of diversity and education outreach for Northwestern University Law School. Wilson said although blacks share a common history, they have a diversty of economic backgrounds and political views.

“It’s kind of two sides to the same coin,” Wilson said. “[African-Americans] don’t want to be taken for granted, but on the other hand we want people to recognize that we do diverge and we may see things differently, but there are issues that do affect our community much harder. We want to have an elected official who recognizes that and addresses those issues and talk to us about them.”

In past elections African-Americans support of black candidates has varied. In 1983, more than 90 percent of blacks voted for Harold Washington to make him the city’s first black mayor. In more recent mayoral elections, African-Americans have overwhelmingly supported Mayor Richard M. Daley, despite several black challengers.

Mubarak Steps Down, Ceding Power to Military

Looks like the people of Egypt or if you prefer the Muslim Brotherhood has finally accomplished the unthinkable, the overthrow of an autocratic regime. President Hosni Mubarak has ceded power to the military and has decided to step down. I though there would be more of a prolonged fight before he got the hint.
President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt resigned his post and turned over all power to the military, ending his 30 years of autocratic rule and bowing to a historic popular uprising that has transformed politics in Egypt and around the Arab world.

The streets of Cairo exploded in shouts of “God is Great” moments after Mr. Mubarak’s vice president and longtime intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, announced during evening prayers that Mr. Mubarak has passed all authority to a council of military leaders.

"Taking into consideration the difficult circumstances the country is going through, President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave the post of president of the republic and has tasked the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to manage the state’s affairs," Mr. Suleiman, grave and ashen, said in a brief televised statement.

Even before he had finished speaking, protesters began hugging and cheering, shouting “Egypt is free!” and “You’re an Egyptian, lift your head”
He had declared that he wouldn't stand for re-election later this year. He also attempted to restructure his government to stave this off. All for naught and he's forced to give it up sooner than he would like. I even posted an AP video that showed his time in power as Egyptian president.

Also, I watched live coverage on YouTube courtesy of Aljazeera [WATCH]. Saw part of his speech yesterday and it definitely seemed like he wasn't ready to go. So the people would have to wait. Indeed it was said that he was going to announce his resignation and the protesters were intently listening. Alas as they continued to listen and saw that he wasn't going to leave, they started hissing. It was something else.

I wish the major networks here in this country offered live feeds on YouTube. If not merely the news networks at that very least the local news station affiliates. Of course that's not to say they have to have some programming to fill up the programming day.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Interesting to see a Rahm ad at

Like I may have noted before the 2010 midterm with Bill Brady having ads on Instapundit, which certainly was geared towards a target audience, that I have little idea how the who internet ad thing operates. At that same time was a very unusual place for the Rahm for Mayor campaign to place an ad. Never thought that Reason was the target audience Rahm wanted to pursue.

Richard Riordan on Unions and Dysfunctional LA

[VIDEO] This extended interview by the former LA mayor who served between 1993-2001 from
They put incompetent adults ahead of children," Richard Riordan says of teachers unions who stand in the way of school reform.

The former mayor of Los Angeles took office shortly after the 1992 riots and shortly before the massive 1994 Northridge earthquake. Today, notes Riordan, the City of Angels faces a slate of different crises, from failing public schools to a fiscal calamity that has put the city on the brink of bankruptcy.

In this wide-ranging extended version of an interview that aired in January (and was shot in December), Riordan sits down with's Tim Cavanaugh to discuss public-sector unions, privatization, LA's dysfunctional government, why businesses are leaving the city, and why Arnold Schwarzenegger won't golf with him.

Approximately 40 minutes.

Shot by Zach Weissmueller, Paul Detrick, and Alex Manning. Edited by Detrick.

First black to graduate medical school did so in Chicago in 1847

First black to graduate medical school did so in Chicago in 1847 - Chicago Sun-Times

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of Black History Month highlights of prominent African Americans and important events.

In 1847, abolitionist Dr. David Jones Peck became the first African American to receive a degree from a U.S. medical school — earning it here at Rush Medical College.

Peck was born a free man in Pittsburgh around 1826, the son of abolitionist minister John Peck. 

When he was about 20, Peck was taught medicine by Dr. Joseph P. Gazzam, a white physician.

In 1846, he enrolled in what is now Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and graduated with a medical degree a year later. After graduating, Peck traveled to Ohio with such prominent abolitionists as William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass in support of the anti-slavery movement.

At the urging of friend and African-American physician Dr. Martin R. Delany, who promoted the idea of free blacks settling in Central America, Peck traveled to Nicaragua. He remained there until 1855, but accounts of his life after that date conflict. How and when Peck died is unknown. 

In 1984, Rush created a memorial in honor of his achievements.

Mariann Devlin

Sources: Metro Chicago Almanac, University of Pittsburgh
A curious story. What happened to Dr. Peck, I wonder?

Monday, February 07, 2011

Robert Abbott founded Chicago Defender in 1905 - Chicago Sun-Times

Robert Abbott founded Chicago Defender in 1905 - Chicago Sun-Times

This individual founded a Black newspaper, The Chicago Defender:
Despite receiving a law degree from the Kent College of Law in 1898, Robert S. Abbott (1870-1940) could not practice his profession because of racial barriers, but he could still defend people. The son of former slaves founded the Chicago Defender newspaper in 1905. His paper famously waged war against racial prejudice and injustice. Listing jobs and even train schedules, the Defender became a primary figure in the Great Migration of blacks to the northern states. With an initial investment of 25 cents, Abbott became one of the first African-American self-made millionaires.

The Defender was carried by Pullman porters throughout the South. Its paid circulation reached 130,000 by 1919.

Abbott co-founded the Bud Billiken Club with Defender managing editor Lucius Harper. He also launched and led the annual parade. On Feb. 29, 1940, Abbott died as a result of Bright’s disease.

Matt Wilhalme

Sources: Chicago Sun-Times, Metro Chicago Almanac, the Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago, and

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Washington Journal on Reagan's birthday centennial

I caught some of this segment tonight so it's worth sharing this 1 hour segment here. May have to watch it with you.
Richard Norton Smith talked about the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth and the former president’s legacy as well as what it means for the future of the Republican Party. He also responded to telephone calls and electronic communications.

Who knew Hyde Park had a Reagan connection?

832 E. 57th St.
ALSO note that this home was the subject of a post over at Unknown Chicago, a ChicagoNow blog.

So Hyde Park can now claim two Presidents although one of them spent only a brief time in this area of my city. Brought to the fore thanks to this Sun-Times article:
Locked up, abandoned and forgotten, the vacant six-flat standing at the northeast corner of 57th and Maryland has no plaques or statues and few clues to its history.

Now, the little-known childhood home of Ronald Reagan in Hyde Park could soon be torn down by the University of Chicago, which has quietly plotted its demolition, the Sun-Times has learned.

The plan has made unlikely allies of conservatives who consider Reagan an icon and liberal Hyde Parkers who say the university’s secrecy is typical of how it has treated its neighbors for decades.

It puts the school that provided the intellectual force behind “Reaganomics” in the awkward spot of attempting to destroy what was until the election of Barack Obama the only home in Chicago where a president has lived.
This is what the need for preservation is about:
Hyde Park Historical Society board member Jack Spicer, also the president of all-volunteer Preservation Chicago, said the Reagan six-flat — just a mile south of President Obama’s Kenwood home — is the finest remaining example of what was once a solid working and middle-class black neighborhood. Destroying it would create “a medical canyon” that separates the hospital from the city and risks deepening long-standing wounds in university-resident relations, he said.

“Whatever you think of Reagan — once the building’s gone, it’s gone forever,” he added.

Landmarks Illinois president Jim Peters also said that he would like to see the block preserved. Reagan’s home is protected by a zoning giving critics 90 days to object if and when the university announces a plan to destroy it, he said.

Further headaches could come from conservatives keen to name everything from aircraft carriers to schools in Reagan’s honor.
How did they find this place?
Park Ridge resident Tom Roeser, 82, discovered the link in the early 1980s when he pressed Reagan for details of the home during a visit to the White House. Reagan couldn’t remember the address, but passed on a message: “My father was picked up often as a common drunk — the police records should have that fact.”

Records confirmed that John R. Reagan was arrested by Chicago Police for drunkenness in 1915, giving the 57th Street address, said Roeser, a former op-ed columnist for the Sun-Times and a former Quaker Oats vice president.
You never know what place or places have an historical connection.

Ronald Reagan would've been 100 years old

I wrote about him in year one. Back then it was only less than a year after  his state funeral that I'm sure was watched by many of his admirers. I don't consider myself a fan but I watched as much of the festivities as I could during that period of time.

It was probably the first state funeral for a former President I had ever seen. It could've been Nixon, but thanks to how he left the White House a state funeral for him may well have been inappropriate.

All the same, Reagan was liked by a great many people. The left may not like him, but certainly his influence is unquestioned on the right. Reagan brought an optimism to the White House that wasn't seen during the preceding four years under his predecessor Jimmy Carter.

I barely remember the 1980s which was the decade of his Presidency, but when the decade was over I regretted that I hadn't experienced enough of it.

This year is his centennial birthday and people are celebrating it like they are another Illinois President, Abraham Lincoln, in 2009. Lincoln would've been over 200 years old if he were still with us today. It seemed like a year or two before his birthday there were festivities planned until his actual 200th birthday. There aren't any long celebrations for Reagan, but apparently his Presidency is of note and worthy of a centennial birthday note.

BTW, I will have a post of interest up later today. I had no idea that Reagan briefly lived in the Hyde Park neighborhood. So he was a Chicagoan briefly, however, it didn't work out for his family as they moved once again. In any case stay tuned for that.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Oscar DePriest became Chicago’s first black alderman in 1915

Oscar DePriest became Chicago’s first black alderman in 1915 - Chicago Sun-Times

Another little tidbit worth noting from the Sun-Times:
Oscar DePriest (1871-1951) arrived in Chicago in 1889, a son of former slaves. He was a painter and decorator. He would become the first black alderman in Chicago.

After beginning a career in real estate and holding several other public offices, DePriest was elected alderman for the Second Ward in 1915, 26 years after his arrival.

Breaking the color barrier in the Chicago City Council wasn’t his only achievement. In 1928, running as a Republican, he also became the first African American elected from a Northern state to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

As a congressman, DePriest championed anti-discrimination bills, many of which failed to pass, but he was successful in getting a measure passed that banned discrimination in the Civil Conservation Corps in 1933. DePriest was succeed in Congress by another African American in 1934, Democrat William L. Dawson (1886-1970).

DePriest died in Chicago on May 12, 1951.

Sources: Chicago Sun-Times Metro Chicago Almanac, The Electronic
Here's another page of interest from the US House of Representatives, Office of the Clerk of Congressman DePriest.

Egypt Officials Seek to Nudge Mubarak Out

President Hosni Mubarak
It seems that saying he will not run for another term as Egyptian President isn't enough for those protesters there. He's still not going anywhere unfortunately and that also means there are some who wants to nudge the longtime incumbent out of the way. NY Times:
President Hosni Mubarak appeared increasingly isolated on Friday, as hundreds of thousands of protesters returned to Tahrir Square and the Obama administration and some members of the Egyptian military and civilian elite pursued plans to nudge him from power.

The country’s newly named vice president, Omar Suleiman, and other top military leaders were discussing steps to limit Mr. Mubarak’s decision-making authority and possibly remove him from the presidential palace in Cairo — though not to strip him of his presidency immediately, Egyptian and American officials said. A transitional government headed by Mr. Suleiman would then negotiate with opposition figures to amend Egypt’s Constitution and begin a process of democratic changes.

Administration officials said that among the ideas that had been discussed were suggesting to Mr. Mubarak that he move to his home at Sharm el Sheik, the seaside resort, or that he embark on one of his annual medical leaves to Germany for an extended checkup. Such steps would provide him with a graceful exit and effectively remove him as the central political player, going partway toward addressing a central demand of protesters on the streets of Cairo.

Meanwhile, Mr. Suleiman and top military officers are being encouraged to have detailed discussions with opposition groups, conversations that would ultimately include how to open up the political system, establish term limits for the president and enshrine some key democratic principles ahead of elections scheduled for September.
This article is worth reading. A very good briefing on the political situation in this Middle Eastern state.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Who is the 'Father of Black History'?

 Who is the 'Father of Black History'? - Chicago Sun-Times

In all this stuff about snow I wanted to note that it's Black history month already. So the only thing going on isn't merely the city elections here in Chicago:
Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) is known as the “Father of Black History.” The native of Virginia struggled for an education, but became a high school teacher and later a professor at Howard University. He earned a degree from the University of Chicago in 1907 and a doctorate from Harvard in 1912.

In 1915, he convened a conference in Chicago that led to the creation of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.

He founded the Journal of Negro History. In 1926, he worked to establish a Negro History in February, to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

Sources: Metro Chicago Almanac and Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum
Since I have allowed myself to get fixated on this article and the snow, think it's time to find what else the Sun-Times have to offer on this subject.

Speaker Boehner response to C-SPAN request for House TV access

Speaker Boehner of the US House of Represenatives denied the request of C-Span to add their own camers to the chamber of the House. This letter was read on Washington Journal this morning.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Video: Koch protests include calls to lynch Clarence Thomas

This video is from Hot Air. There is literally something wrong with this picture:
Granted, the cameraman is trying to get the people to say something outrageous, but he also doesn’t have to try very hard. He asks people at the rally what “we” should do after impeaching Clarence Thomas to get justice for Anita Hill, and he gets some mighty interesting answers:  Send him “back to the fields.” “String him up.” “Hang him.” “Torture.” One older woman wants his wife Ginny Thomas strung up as well. A younger and more creative woman wants Justice Thomas’ toes chopped off and forced-fed to him. Thomas isn’t the only one to get the necktie treatment; one protester wants Fox News executive Roger Ailes to get hung as well.
And coming from the Left this will be largely left unchallenged. I'll bet money a lot of them have little concept of what they're talking about and what it means.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

SUN-TIMES: Blizzard is third-largest storm in Chicago’s history

Well I've never seen a snowstorm do what I have seen today. It shut down my neighborhood you can't even get around on the side streets. I never thought I would see that. Sun-Times:
In the end, the great Blizzard of 2011 didn’t set a record — but still dumped 20.2 inches on the city, shut down schools, closed businesses and even major shopping malls, knocked out power to hundreds of thousands and left hundreds stranded on Lake Shore Drive.

The total snowfall made it the third worst snowstorm on record, behind only blizzards in 1967 — when 23 inches blanketed the city — and 1999 — when 21.6 inches fell. 

“We are experiencing a storm of historic proportions . . . the likes of which we really haven’t seen in 20 or 30 years,” said Ray Orozco, Mayor Daley’s chief of staff.
Hey the blizzard of 1979 isn't even in the top three? What gives?

Snowpocalypse Sparks Chico-Emanuel Shoveling Match

Seeing as the weather has turned and the snow has stopped with the skies clear and some sunshine out it's time to look at our political situation during the recent blizzard.

I've noted on this blog once that the 1979 blizzard cost a past mayor and election thanks to his activity during that blizzard. Chicago didn't work that year during the blizzard and Mayor Bilandic gave way to Mayor Jane Byrne.

What's different in 2011 is that now Chicago's Mayoralty is an open seat now. We may well want a mayor who will be able to respond decisively when the weather turned the way that it had over the last 24+ hours. Well here's an answer via NBC Chicago's Ward Room:
Gery Chico and Rahm Emanuel competed in a snow clearing competition of sorts.

Chico has been out on the streets of Chicago clearing snow drifts and helping folks in need by pushing stalled cars and offering warmth.

Chico released of video of himself helping push a car out a snowbank, and will be leading a team of shovelers at 2201 N. Maplewood in Logan Square, starting at noon.

Not to be outdone, Rahm Emanuel hit the streets of Logan Square to clear snow as well.

Every Northern mayor wants to emulate the heroics of Newark’s Cory Booker, who was out until 3 a.m. clearing snow after a December blizzard.

Chico criticized the city’s handling of the crisis on Lake Shore Drive, which was shut down at 8 p.m. Tuesday night, after commuters endured hours-long trips, and even abandoned their cars.

“You can’t predict everything, you can only plan for things that are forseeable,” Chico said, according the Tribune. “The question is, what plan was in place and should we have closed (LSD) earlier? I don't think the response plan was good.”
Emanuel sent out an e-mail to supporters advising them to call 311 if they became trapped indoors, not to shovel snow onto fire hydrants, and to “wear several layers of warm, dry clothing. Keep your extremities covered. Wear hats, gloves, winter boots, and warm socks.”

Before the storm hit, on Tuesday, del Valle toured A Safe Haven, a West Side social service agency, to raise awareness of homeless caught in the blizzard.

“On this cold, harsh day in the city of Chicago, we must think of the thousands of individuals that are out there--some numbers indicate that there are as many as 89,000 or 90,000 individuals are homeless in the City of Chicago,” del Valle said.

Del Valle tweeted this morning that his phone bankers are calling “thousands of Chicagoans” -- and probably finding most at home.
I posted a link so this would be my fourth video of the day so here's former CPS Chairman and I believe he's the Chairman of Chicago's City Colleges, Gery Chico running for Mayor of Chicago helping a motorist
I think I will hand it more to Chico and Emanuel to get dirty with the people as they dig out of the snow today. Del Valle has the right idea as well to consider the homeless and where are they going to be when it snows like this. They have to have somewhere to go and it can't be staying outdoors. Maybe we'll see who will win this race amongst this group. Besides where was Carol Moseley Braun, Patricia Van-Pelt Watkins or even Bill "Dock" Walls? :P They should've been out here helping too and we shouldn't have to rely on the major news channels to tell us either.

VIDEO: Chicago Blizzard 1967 in Historic Pullman

This video takes you closer to my part of town. The Pullman neighborhood famous for originally being a planned community before it became just another Chicago neighborhood. Here's a description:
On January 27, 1967, a massive blizzard hit Chicago. In Historic Pullman, Al & Marilyn Quiroz picked up their shovels and cameras to capture the event.
Found via Lee Bey, where he has a couple of other videos from both 1967 and 1979.

VIDEO: Chicago Blizzard 1979

Found this on the CapFax in their morning videos post with a wintery theme of course there are some summer scenes from the Illinois State Fair last year. Description from YouTube:
"Chairs" by Nick Despota, John Mabey, and Bob Snyder. During the 1979 Chicago Blizzard, people saved shoveled parking spaces with chairs.
If you want to know what I see this morning in my neighborhood two cars on the street have been PWNED and so has thegarage looking from the backyard. :(

OH YEAH, as an added bonus check out this spoof of a 1979 mayoral campaign ad. In 1979, Jane Byrne became the first female Mayor of Chicago defeating incumbent Michael Bilandic. I've got to check out this website MediaBurn.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Egypt's President near end of his rule

This AP video gives a rundown of the career of the President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak. The video especially notes that Mubarak never had the charisma of not only his immediate successor Anwar Sadat, but also the first Eqyptian President Abdel Nassar. Recently Egypt has been rocked by protests that have caused Mubarak to shake-up his government, however, it has been of no use. Today, Mubarak announced that he will not run again for President.

Chicago Argus: Somebody didn’t learn from own history

This post written by Gregory Tejada at Chicago Argus was written exactly one day before our former US Senator, Carol Moseley Braun, had went off on Patricia Van-Pelt Watkins. Watkins herself is a challenger for Mayor in this open race, although it's expected that she won't be a huge factor in this race. I'll talk more about that event later.

Now you'll just read about what Tejada has to say about our former Senator:
For there were three major candidates wishing to run for U.S. Senate from Illinois as a Democrat. Besides Dixon and Moseley-Braun, there was also Al Hofeld, an attorney of some personal financial means who had never held elective office.

I still remember the debates that resulted between the three. Hofeld had run a negative campaign, trying to make Dixon appear to be someone old and out-of-touch. Dixon tried responding by making the political neophyte appear to be politically clueless.

Dixon and Hofeld beat up on each other. They largely ignored Moseley-Braun, who when she did speak came across as the one concerned about issues. In fact, she came across as the only logical person among the three candidates.

This time, Moseley-Braun went on the attack to the point where she appeared to be the one who was clueless. She managed to make Rahm Emanuel, the Mighty Rahm-bo with the foul mouth and crass temperament, appear to be the calm, collected, intelligent candidate.
Sign of a mediocre candidate looking for traction unlike what happened when she first ran for US Senator. It was noted at The Argus that she doesn't have much support either financially or pollwise. Her base might well be those who want to support a Black candidate for Mayor but not much more than that. It seems like a very hard fall for a woman who won election to the US Senate and couldn't hold her seat six years after that.