Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vintage YouTube

[VIDEO] As if YouTube had been 100 years old instead of 6 years old. Whoever made these videos, well this was uploaded to a profile for YouTube, they did use vintage material. Most of the other video well it was made to look vintage. I like the results of this endeavor. Below is the vintage YouTube 1911 logo.

UPDATE 11:31 PM So there is a post about this over at YouTube's official blog.

Black And Blue 2: Blacks Flee Blue States in Droves

I saw this over at Newsalert and then this very link was sent to be fairly recently:
Two milestones in the long, painful decline of the blue social model were reached this week and reported, of all places, in the pages of the very éminence grise of the monde bleu: the New York Times.

The first was a piece of national and historical news: The Census reported that waves of blue state blacks fled the stagnant job opportunities, high taxes and rotten social conditions of the mostly blue northern states to seek better lives for themselves in the south. The second milestone was local and literary: Bob Herbert, for many years the only regular Black columnist on the New York Times‘ op-ed page, has written his last column before stepping down.

The Census story is a shocker. First, according to the Times, the Blacks leaving tend to be the “younger and better educated”. Second, the three states Blacks left in largest numbers don’t just include snake-bit Michigan; the other two are Illinois and New York. Within those states, Chicago and the city of the New York (widely considered among the most successful cities in the country) are the places Blacks are deserting. 17 percent of the Black flight from Big Blue is from the Empire State; after almost a century of trailblazing social policy, New York State has succeeded in creating the most hostile environment for Blacks in the country.

It gets worse. One would think that the Blacks who choose to stay in the cold, unwelcoming North would cluster in the cities where more liberal and humane governance models mandate such generous policies as “living wage” laws and where all the beautiful features of the blue social model can be experienced at full strength.

But one would be wrong. Blacks across the North are fleeing the urban paradises of liberal legislation and high public union membership for the benighted suburbs. The Times interviewed a professor to get the straight scoop:

“The notion of the North and its cities as the promised land has been a powerful part of African-American life, culture and history, and now it all seems to be passing by,” said Clement Price, a professor of history at Rutgers-Newark. “The black urban experience has essentially lost its appeal with blacks in America.” [bold italics added]
There is a reason blacks are either moving from the city and to the burbs or are moving back to the Southern states altogether.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Field Negro: Some parents should be left behind.

From his blog. A parent takes responsibility for her child's action, but "field negro" takes umbrage at what this mother admits. She has anger issues that she admits reflects onto her children. All five of them are angry. "field negro" says:
Tabitha Allen doesn't need a kick in the butt because she was born into unfortunate circumstances. She needs a kick in the butt for bringing five children into her world. A world where hope is hard to come by.
Now she has to manage 5 children harshly as a good parent should, but it's an even tougher task only because there are 5 to deal with. Not just the 10 year-old who punched his teacher so hard that it not only knocked her glasses off, but gave her a black eye. MAN!

Milwaukee, WI is Most Segregated U.S. City,

Click image for larger resolution
The Blaze shares details from the 2010 census about Milwaukee. Check out the graphic above three other counties surrounding Milwaukee County. Chicago is number 3 on the list at The Blaze, Milwaukee for however that list is justified is listed as Number 1. Number 2 is New York City.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Oh yes, this must go viral!!!!

[VIDEO] Ald. Toni Foulkes of the 15th Ward is speaking in this video that is posted over at the website aptly named The 15th Ward. It chronicles the campaign as there is a run off to take place next month. When you watch tell me that you got almost nothing out of what she said. I know that she was talking, talking, talking, and basically said nothing.

BTW, she wouldn't appear on TV with her opponent in this race. I wonder if this video shows why she won't be seen on TV anytime soon.

Check out my post over at Mechanics about this website.

One reason President Obama became a US Senator....

Courtesy of NBC Chicago's Ward Room:
Obama [in 2002] sat down with a Democratic Party staffer in a room at Springfield’s Stratton Office Building known as the “inner sanctum,” with a very specific idea of what he wanted his new district to look like: a narrow band, following the Lake Michigan shoreline from 95th Street to downtown. Obama got rid of low-income Englewood and added the Gold Coast. He would no longer be a South Side Senator. He’d be a Lakefront Senator, representing most of Chicago’s monuments – Soldier Field, the Adler Planetarium, Grant Park – as well as the Magnificent Mile and its multi-million dollar high-rise condos. Mayor Daley would be a constituent. So would Oprah Winfrey. Obama wanted to run for U.S. Senate, and the new district was an ideal platform. Losing to Bobby Rush had taught him that his natural constituency wasn’t inner-city blacks, but well-educated eggheads of all races. Also, he’d be representing some of the most generous Democratic donors in the state. They’d see his name on a ballot, and his face on the “Legislative Update” every senator sends home.
Well he learned how to play the political game very well. In starting his political career even after being largely rejected by Chicago's Black establishment, he was smart enough to engage in the tried and true tactic of objecting to candidate petitions.

What was this article about? Well the Republicans want to reform the redistricting process. And they're calling for more transparency in the process.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Black Middle Class Exodus from Detroit - By Henry Payne - The Corner - National Review Online

The Black Middle Class Exodus from Detroit - By Henry Payne - The Corner - National Review Online

I do like to blog about Detroit. Anyway, I'm sure many of you would reject this piece from the National Review. It is decidely conservative in many respect. And they do harp on the issues of fatherless children. Not that I disagree with mentioning that, however, I do wonder if for many people that issues just goes through one ear and out of the other.

What is certainly something that should catch people's ear is the fact that for whatever reason the Black middle-class is leaving the city of the Detroit for more suburban or Southeastern locales.
“This is the Motor City and this is what we do,” announced Eminem in this year’s iconic Super Bowl ad boasting that Detroit was back. That boast rings hollow this week after 2010 census figures revealed Detroit’s population is now just 713,000 — a breathtaking 25 percent decline from a decade ago.

This is the Motor City and this is what Democratic urban policy does.

Press reports lazily wrote the figure off to the “crumbling industrial base of the Midwest” (New York Times) and a victim of “the auto industry’s slump” (Associated Press). Sure Michigan as a whole was the only state to lose population due to car trouble and a hostile, anti-business union culture. But if Detroit is a victim of the Not-as-Big Three, how come the census found that all three counties bordering Detroit — all hammered by auto job layoffs — have increased in population?

What is driving down Detroit’s numbers is a black middle class in full retreat to the suburbs — fleeing the high-crime, high-illiteracy dysfunction that two generations of fatherless inner-city homes have bred. Detroit is America’s poster child for disastrous federal welfare policies that have gutted the black family and made inner cities everywhere unlivable.

Tuesday’s timely A1 USA Today story, “Black populations fall in major cities,” tells the tale. “The black population is declining in a growing number of major cities, fueled by distinct trends,” reports the paper. “Blacks — many in the middle or upper-middle class — (are) leaving cities for the suburbs.”

Had no idea former VP nominee Geraldine Ferraro passed away


[VIDEO] Apparently it went down yesterday. She had been battling blood cancer for years and succumbed to it. Ferraro was a former US Representative from New York and in 1984 was the Democratic nominee for Vice President with former Vice President Walter Mondale who was the Democratic nominee for President. In a way she paved the way for Sarah Palin who was the Republican nominee for Vice President in 2008. :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

First Lady to give commencement address at Spelman College

Here's an official statement from that illustrious institution on this subject:
A dedicated proponent of service and working with young people, first lady Michelle Obama is an example of how one woman can positively influence the world. On Sunday, May 15, at 3 p.m., at the Georgia International Convention Center, Mrs. Obama will inspire more than 500 graduates to also leave their mark on the world when she delivers the commencement address to the Spelman College class of 2011. Mrs. Obama will also receive an honorary degree.

Honorary degrees will also be bestowed upon director, actress and choreographer Debbie Allen, and her sister, actress and director Phylicia Rashad. Wendy Kopp, CEO and founder of Teach For America will receive the National Community Service Award.

"Having Mrs. Obama as our 2011 Commencement speaker is a true honor because she embodies the Spelman College mission which is to prepare women to change the world in a meaningful way," said Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., president, Spelman College. "I know our students will be inspired by her powerful presence." 
Did I mention that in time for my commencement, Morehouse attempted to have President Obama give the commencement address? It didn't happen and that OK, I hear there was a lot of logistical things to work out. I mean Obama is the leader of the Free World and there are security measures that need to be in place for him.

If you want to know how excited Spelman is about Michele Obama coming to speak to their graduates look no further than this screenshot! A likeness of our first lady is in the masthead of the Spelman College homepage.

Unknown Chicago: The Magic Motor Bus (3-25-1917)


On this day back in 1917, Chicago got it's first taste of bus service. Eventually buses would rule the city streets, since streetcar service has been eliminated by 1957. This is how that day went according to John Schmidt.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chicago isn't the only city losing their black population...

What about our nation's capitol Washington, District of Columbia? I've heard about gentrification going on there for years. From Washington Post:
The number of African Americans residing in the District plummeted by more than 11 percent during the past decade, with blacks on the verge of losing their majority status in the city for the first time in half a century.

According to census statistics released Thursday, barely 50 percent of the District’s population was African American in 2010 — a remarkable shift in a place once nicknamed “Chocolate City.”

The black population dropped by more than 39,000 over the decade, down to 301,000 of the city’s 601,700 residents. At the same time, the non-Hispanic white population skyrocketed by more than 50,000 to 209,000 residents, almost a third higher than a decade earlier.

The census statistics showed a steeper change for both blacks and whites than had been estimated. With the city ‘s black population dropping by about 1 percent a year, African Americans might already be below the 50 percent mark in the city.

In a city that prides itself on being a hub of black culture and politics, a majority of residents have been black since whites began moving to the suburbs en masse at the end of World War II. By 1970, seven out of 10 Washingtonians were black.

The loss of blacks comes at a time when the city is experiencing a rebound, reversing a 60-year-long slide in population and adding almost 20,000 new residents between 2000 and 2010.
So, I'm sure this is a recurring theme:
Maurice Jackson, a professor of African American history at Georgetown University, said the black middle class has followed the white middle class before them, heading to the suburbs in search of more affordable housing and good schools.
BTW, former Mayor and Washington, DC city councilman Marion Barry was quoted. Not so sure he can provide an answer to this issue. Although he does talk about something Chicago that was an issue in the recently concluded mayoral campaign. Whether or not city workers MUST live in the city:
Barry, the four-term mayor who emerged from the civil rights movement, also faulted Congress for overturning a residency requirement for local government workers in 1988. That, he said, helped build up what he called “Ward 9,” referring to Prince George’s County.

“We can’t keep people from moving, but if we had a residency requirement, we could keep government workers from moving,” Barry said.
Black leadership in Chicago are grappling with the fact that Blacks are leaving the city. Probably not much different there than here. Surely DC had public housing projects which they recently demolished or turned them into co-ops where tenants must pay rent. If DC is very difficult to survive without a college degree then hey where else can low income people go but out of the inner city.

What I also accept as mention by another former DC Mayor Anthony Williams, that you want new businesses and resident to help generate revenue. Especially if that revenue may help low income people.

I don't know how DC is doing fiscally, but I would support -  paramount to worrying about Blacks leaving a city where for years they have dominated politically and culturally - finding a way to make a particular city viable.

Kaskaskia: First Capital of Illinois


[VIDEO] Earlier this month the Tribune took a trip to the town of Kaskaskia, IL

As noted the town of Kaskaskia was the first state capital of Illinois located along the southwestern border of Illinois which is essentially the Mississippi River. According to the Wiki article about the town the population is only 14 as of 2010. It is the least populated area of this state.

Kaskaskia was the state capital until 1819. Illinois became a state in 1818 so it was only a year where state government was located. After 1819 thru 1839 our state capital was located in Vandalia, Illinois. As a matter of fact a State House was built in hopes that state government would remain in Vandalia.

Unfortunately for Vandalia, state government would move again to Springfield, Illinois where it has been since 1839. Also note that a future President of the United States, one Abraham Lincoln, was instrumental in moving the state capitol from Vandalia to Springfield.

More history of Illinois' state capitols can be found here. That page is part of a website @ http://www.ilstatehouse.com/ which is dedicated to promote the current state capitol building in Springfield.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Out of Chicago's 20th Ward...

Four years earlier the incumbent, Ald. Willie Cochran, had defeated the incumbent Aldermen there. You might know her she was the person who referred to either her fellow Aldermen or her fellow politicians as hoes.

Well that former Alderman was Arenda Troutman and she had been arrested for bribery not long before the municipal elections in 2007. Needless to say she took her chances and ran for re-election and was angry that she lost her seat to Ald. Cochran [VIDEO]. She later plead guilty and was sentenced to four years in federal prison.

On Monday Ald. Cochran debated his opponent in the April 5th run-off election - a rapper Che "Rhymefest" Smith - on Chicago Tonight on Monday as they vie for the 20th Ward Aldermanic seat. The 20th is located on the South Side and encompasses the neighborhoods of Washington Park, Englewood, Back of the Yards, and Woodlawn. Basically this ward is close to President Obama's neighborhood of Hyde Park.

The video embedded below are in two parts. Part 1 is what you should've seen on TV that evening. Part 2 is the extended conversation that can only be viewed online. If the embeds don't work links are provided below as well in brackets.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Russ Stewart on the Mayor-elect's gameplan

There has been speculation on this not long after Emanuel had been elected Mayor last month. Not just from any cable news source but amongst local media and political pundits as well. North side political columnist Russ Stewart tells us what he thinks.
Until Mayor Rich Daley's unanticipated retirement, Emanuel's game plan was to return to Congress in 2012 or 2014, pushing out successor Mike Quigley, get back into the Democratic leadership, and become speaker of the house by the end of the decade. The Republicans' House takeover in 2010 and likely dominance in upcoming elections, and former speaker Nancy Pelosi's refusal to relinquish control of the Democratic minority, make that option not feasible. The speakership is now foreclosed. But, as Chicago's mayor, the presidency is not -- although he needs to win another job, Illinois' governorship, to get there.

As mayor, Emanuel need not curry favor with special interests, such as the public sector unions, because he has no intention to run for reelection in 2015. His goal is to be a competent, innovative, decisive, reformist, cost-cutting and tax-cutting mayor.

Having absorbed the intricacies of "triangulation," or co-opting the middle ground, from Clinton, Emanuel will position himself on every issue so as to maximize his publicity, enhance his reputation and demonize his enemies. He will be neither liberal nor conservative, but rather patently opportunistic. He will obsess on two major issues: fighting crime and upgrading educational performance. Having been elected without the backing of the police and teachers' unions, Emanuel owes them no debt. He can be creative, redeploying officers where needed, demanding teacher accountability, and embracing charter schools to inspire educational choice and invoke competition. If he performs deftly, he will be monumentally popular among both black and white voters in the short term. His goal: To produce tangible results within 2 years and then in 2014 venture into the fiscal and political wasteland of state politics, posturing as the "savior" who can rescue Illinois from the stupidities and vacillations of Governor Pat Quinn's 6-year "Reign of Error." By 2014 "Governor Jello" will be about as popular as a blemish at a beauty pageant. Quinn is a lame duck; he barely won in 2010, and he will not be electable in 2014.
...
By capturing City Hall, Emanuel has become a major player on the national stage. A presidential nomination in 2016 or 2020 is within his grasp, but only if he performs spectacularly as mayor and becomes Illinois' governor.
From the 5th Floor at City Hall, to the Governor's Mansion in Springfield, to finally 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. In Chicago's history at least one Mayor went on to become Governor of Illinois but that happened over a century ago. Others just became judges.

Well not sure what to think at this juncture. I'm just getting prepared for a future Rahm Emanuel administration at City Hall.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Archaeologists uncover more bodies at Burr Oak

Archaeologists uncover more bodies at Burr Oak

This was the big controversy within the past two or so years. When this became news as a result of a scheme to dig up graves and then resell the plots that the bereaved families had purchased. It's real sick and even worse this is the place where lynching victim Emmitt Till had been buried.

According to this story from Chicago Public Radio, they're still finding bones at this cemetery. Only that this time, they're finding them in empty and thought to be unused plots. SICK!

Burr Oak Cemetery Wiki

Yesterday was the anniversary of the Republican Party

Thanks to Marathon Pundit for observing this event
On this day in 1854, a group of former Whigs met in a Ripon, Wisconsin church to found Republican Party. Illinois Democratic Senator Stephen Douglas' Kansas-Nebraska bill, which would open up western territories to slavery, inspired the Wisconsinites to act.
The party we know as the Democratic party starting during the Presidency of Andrew Jackson who served between 1829-1837.

The two major parties wikis

Sunday, March 20, 2011

AT&T to buy T-Mobile USA

Is it possible that we may return to the days when AT&T owned all the phone service in the country? No land line or cellular network will be safe. Tribune:
AT&T Inc plans to pay $39 billion for Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile USA to create a new U.S. mobile market leader, but the pricey purchase is likely to attract intense antitrust scrutiny over potentially higher customer bills.

The deal gives AT&T, the No. 2 US mobile service often criticized for its poor network performance, additional capacity to expand and meet ever increasing demands for videos and data from devices such as Apple Inc's iPhone.

For Deutsche Telekom, the deal offloads an asset that was declining in profitability and provides it with funds to pay down debt and buy back shares. The German telecom operator also gets an 8 percent stake in AT&T as part of the deal, becoming its largest shareholder and retaining some exposure to the U.S. market.

The deal leaves smaller rivals like Sprint Nextel scrambling to figure out their next step. Sprint also held talks to merge with T-Mobile, the No. 4 U.S. mobile service.
...
But the world's largest M&A deal so far this year could run into trouble with U.S. antitrust officials who fear that fewer wireless players could drive up prices for consumers. T-Mobile USA now offers some of the lowest wireless services rates.

The deal will add 34 million customers to AT&T's current 96 million, giving it a combined market share of an estimated 43 percent from 32 percent, putting it well ahead of Verizon Wireless' 34.5 percent share.

"It's just nuts," said David Balto, an antitrust attorney and a former policy director at the Federal Trade Commission. "When you look at healthy and unhealthy markets, this is at the top of the list of unhealthy markets."

One analyst pointed out that the two top U.S. operators -- a larger AT&T and Verizon Wireless -- will account for nearly three out of four mobile subscribers after this deal, which could lead to higher bills.
...
AT&T, however, is betting big that the deal will be approved. It has agreed to pay an unusually high breakup fee of $3 billion and to give T-Mobile USA wireless airwaves if regulators reject it.

AT&T said it expected regulators to require it to sell some assets as a condition of approving the deal, which it hopes to complete in 12 months.

AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson told reporters on a conference call on Sunday that AT&T had done its "homework" on the regulatory front and boasted that the deal could generate savings of more than $40 billion.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Anti-teacher climate humbles the conservative husband of a Cleveland educator

From Connie Shultz at Cleveland.com. The excerpt below closes the column, but before that is the actually letter the husband writes to his wife.

In this husband's apology, we learn a lot about the remarkable teacher who is his wife. Her students sure are lucky. Every day that she shows up with such optimism is another day her students get a chance to believe in a better version of themselves.

Thankfully, this teacher is not an anomaly. Despite recent attacks on their pay, motives and even their supposed lifestyle, the majority of public school teachers across the country continue to bring their talent and high ideals to some of our most troubled districts.

Consider the take-home message for America's schoolchildren:

Conservative politicians emboldened by brand-new legislative majorities insist that children are our most precious resource, but then pass bills guaranteed to undermine the teachers entrusted with our children's future.

Nevertheless, those same public school teachers under attack continue to report for duty every day.

We know that children watch, and learn. And what they are sure to understand is that, unlike those politicians, their teachers refuse to give up on them.

Talk about a lesson in character.
OK, well that was a sweet letter. I hope the husband recognizes that his wife does everything she can for her students. I hope he can separate the hardworking teacher from those who are not so hardworking.

Via Human Dog.

Devices for public speaking


[VIDEO] Who knew you can use a phone or tablet device as a remote for PowerPoint presentations or as a teleprompter if you were expected to give a speech?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Judge blocks contentious Wisconsin union law - Chicago Breaking News

Judge blocks contentious Wisconsin union law - Chicago Breaking News
A Wisconsin judge has blocked the state's new and contentious collective bargaining law from taking effect, raising the possibility that the Legislature may have to vote again to pass the bill.

Lawmakers had passed Gov. Scott Walker's measure last week, breaking a three-week stalemate caused by 14 Senate Democrats fleeing to Illinois. Demonstrations against the measure, which would strip most public workers of nearly all their collective bargaining rights, grew as large as 85,000 people.

Dane County District Judge Maryann Sumi granted the temporary restraining order today in response to a lawsuit filed by the local Democratic district attorney alleging that Republican lawmakers violated the state's open meetings law by hastily convening a special committee before the Senate passed the bill.

Sumi said her ruling would not prevent the Legislature from reconvening the committee with proper notice and passing the bill again.
I suppose Wisconsin will be in for more drama, though perhaps not as much as had existed last month.

Check out the poetry of Ann Althouse!

Making a record of traversing the Chicago L

There's a Briton in town seeking to stop at all of the CTA's 144 "L" stops according the CTA Tattler blog. Then I was alerted to an FB group for those who had actually traversed the L system in the shortest amount of time. And according to that page it was roughly three hours.

As of January of this year, I have traversed all of the CTA rail lines. Athough I didn't do it in three hours. I have only done it within the last 12 years.

In 1998 I took the Blue Line all the way to O'Hare. In 1999, I not only took the Red Line from 95th all the way to Howard, but also took the Purple Line to Linden. Also I took the Blue Line to both 54th/Cermak & Forest Park. Also in 1999 I departed from both 63rd/Ashland and 63rd/Cottage Grove on the Green Line to travel downtown.

In 2001, I took the Orange Line all the way to Midway and back to the loop. In 2006 I took the Brown Line all the way to Kimball and also the Green Line to Harlem/Lake. I took the Purple Line express on the way to a temp job in Evanston in early 2008. Also in 2009, I took a ride on the Pink Line to 54/Cermak. Finally in 2011 I took the Yellow Line to Skokie.

If I was to do all that again it wouldn't take me roughly 12 years, but I'm not going to make a world-record time about it either. :P

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rev. Jesse Jackson on the "Confederate Agenda"

[VIDEO] Been wanting to post this over the weekend with a hat-tip to Newsalert! Obviously Rev. Jackson has an issue with right to work laws and with Wisconsin seeking to diminish collective bargaining rights. On the radio with Tom Joyner as you will see later in this vid he connects this with the fact that the Black middle-class is Government driven. Firefighters, cops, or teachers who are Black would be considered middle-class. Well there is some truth in that, however, it almost seems like a narrow focus.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Althouse: "Now, Walker, Scott, and Kasich are doing exactly what they should do, and exactly what Barack Obama did in 2009."

You know I never thought about it this way.
"They won power; they're using the power to push through structural political and economic changes that will be hard to reverse. They're making the same bet Obama did — if they do this, the economy will rebound, and their political opponents will have been weakened in a way they may never recover from."
Taking on the unions and successfully challenging their collective bargaining rights. Yeah that may be hard to reverse, but I'm sure that it'll be tried. Of course it was noted that while this may be good news in the long term for Ohio & Wisconsin this could spell trouble for Republican Presidential hopefuls.

If Chicago had a tsunami...

Via Kelly T:
Here is a diagram to put the Japan Tsunami in perspective. If Chicago had a Tsunami that reached 6mi inland, the red area would be destroyed. The Blue area is the footprint of the Great Chicago Fire.
Well Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel at least could organize an evacuation further inland if there was sufficient warning, yes?

Hat-tip Curbed Chicago!

On the train yesterday...


Pulled into 95th which was the only time I felt comfortable enough to take a picture on board the train. Before the train pulled into the station there were people who sat right at this position from when I got on the train downtown all the way to the final stop. Been wanting to ride on this train for a while.

These cars are to be the new trains the Chicago Transit Authority plans to order and offer more high tech amenities such as digital signage and displays, lighted maps, even sounds that alert you to closing train doors. In addition the seating arrangement will be similar to what you'll find in either New York or Boston. My last ride aboard these cars was heading to the north side on the Brown Line late last year. Before that several trips on board these cars as they started their testing on the Red Line.

Thing about the testing as it is now, there is no set schedule where I could know when these trains begin their runs. This trip and the trip on the Brown Line was totally by chance. Look forward to the day we will see these cars in service throughout the system.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ask Dr. Helen: Has the Rise of Women Turned Men Into Boys or Boys into Men?

[VIDEO] Dr. Helen, wife of Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds, interviews author Kay Hymowitz as they discuss the issue of "manchilds". That is the men who are more into pranking than being the kind of men women say they want. Also they talk about women outnumbering men on college campuses, why men don't get married as often these days, or why college men don't try on dates any longer. The duration is 23 minutes.

Another issue that does resonate with me is the diminished role of fathers. It's been said that in the Black community the fathers are absent.  I do think boys and young men need their fathers or at least a positive male role model. I can agree there is an identity crisis of sorts amongst young men. It could be between the extremes from the macho "hyper-masculine" male or perhaps the ones who assume a more feminine identity. I see those as the two extremes.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ward Room: When Illinois Was The Center of It All

The three decades that Illinois had at least 27 US House seats and Chicago was truly the second city of America. Ward Room notes that Adlai Steven ran for President of the United States twice when Illinois was the true center of the nation, but after that we have Barack Obama and he won even if Illinois isn't the center of the county and yet...
That’s because Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel are the centers of the universe, no matter what the Census Bureau says. 
WTF???

Mayor-elect Emanuel transition

Click pic for Chicago2011.org
Almost reminds me of President Obama's transition website. The one that he had in his then capacity as President-elect. It still exists at Change.gov as a matter of fact.

Another feature of Emanuel's transition website is that it allows you to send him your resume if you want to join his administration. Although I have no problem with this just wonder if one should already have a job in mind if they feel so bold enough to send their resume in?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ward Room - Culture Wars: Wisconsin vs. Illinois

Ward Room - a blog run by Chicago's NBC affiliate - takes a look at the difference between the political cultures of Wisconsin & Illinois:

So how can two neighboring states have such wildly different political cultures? It’s simple. Wisconsin was settled by revolutionaries. Illinois was settled by people trying to make a buck.

Wisconsin is renowned for its German culture, but it’s important to understand the type of Germans that settled there. The first German settlers were fleeing from the Revolution of 1848, which attempted to establish a republic with free speech, trial by jury and freedom of the press. After it failed, the rebels needed a place to hide. They chose Wisconsin. As a result, Wisconsin became an innovator in progressive reforms: the “Wisconsin Idea” championed public education and workers’ compensation. Wisconsin was the first state with a public radio station, the first state with a presidential primary, and it abolished the death penalty in 1853.

Chicago, on the other hand, was settled by people looking to make a killing in the fur trade, or in real estate. Our very first mayor, William Ogden, arrived here from New York to sell some land that belonged to his brother-in-law. From then, Chicago attracted men who were trying to Make It Big, from Cyrus McCormick to Al Capone. With all that money flowing, the politicians had their hands out, too. “Good government,” a cherished tradition in Wisconsin, was a dirty term in Illinois, because it interrupted the orderly flow of cash between business and politics. Illinois politics was never about advancing ideals. It was about getting jobs and contracts for your friends, family members and campaign contributors.

While Wisconsin’s revolutionary instincts have usually been directed toward progressive reforms, they’ve also advanced conservative causes, if the political winds are blowing in that direction. We saw that with Sen. Joe McCarthy. We’re seeing it again with Gov. Scott Walker. That’s why Madison is in chaos, and Springfield is still a place where the House Speaker’s son-in-law gets a six-figure job as a lobbyist for a state agency.
OK there ya have it Illinois is about the almight dollar. Well if that makes sense, alas, many Illinois politicians haven't exactly shown that money doesn't matter to them. :(

Death penalty abolition

Yesterday Gov. Quinn signed the abolition of the death penalty into law. He had mulled this legislation for quite a while until he was finally ready to enact it yesterday.

The Capitol Fax had a round-up of opinion on the abolition. A little history on how the discussion over the death penalty started. A Republican Governor - George Ryan - decided to look into the issue especially after a man named Anthony Porter narrowly avoided being put to death over a decade ago.

It was also noted that the death penalty was abolished in the 1970s per a US Supreme Court ruling only to be ressurected in 1977 by another Republican Governor - James Thompson. Even then Rich Miller noted that Gov. Thompson only had one death penalty case to deal with.

One conclusion drawn from this is that while I'm sure there were no easy solutions to sending the wrong people to death row in Illinois, the ones who could've provided solutions simply dragged their feet. They either didn't want to be seen as "soft on crime" by taking on this issue or the prosecutors or police were more interested in "turf protection and denial" to really address this issue.

I may generally support the death penalty, however, what happened here is that the proponents of abolishing the death penalty had won this battle. The ones who weren't willing to address the issues of innocent people going to death row were left in the cold.

RELATED

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

It appears Ousted governor is ready to serve his time...

Learned this morning that former IL Governor Rod Blagojevich wants to forgo his retrial next month. He was convicted on only one count of perjury to FBI agents last year and drew a hung jury on other counts. Those counts are related to the events that led to his arrest by the FBI, his impeachment and removal from the office of Governor over two years ago.

You can read a round-up over at the Capitol Fax. Blago according to some experts may not succeed in this motion. Other experts agree that this isn't another attempt at grandstanding by Blago, that is mostly what he's known for anyway. It may also be about money as the former Governor who once was known for his fundraising prowess had largely dried up his funds.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

VIDEO: Robert Bobb of the Detroit Public Schools

[VIDEO] Bobb is the Emergency Financial Manager for Detroit Public Schools. His comments in this clip is from a documentary Kids Aren't Cars regarding a walk-out by the teacher's union. Instead of walking out on their students he says the teachers should walk-in and teacher the kids and at the end of the day tutor them.

I guess this is another documentary about the education system in the country. I've seen Waiting for Superman, but I've yet to see another documentary about the education system called The Cartel. I wonder about the approch of this Kids Aren't Cars film.

Via Big Government!

Monday, March 07, 2011

VIDEO - Detroit: City on the Move (1965)

[VIDEO] Today we're going to take another trip to Detroit, Michigan. Just that well we're going backwards in time to 1965 when the Mayor was Jerome Cavanaugh who you see in the first few minutes of this video. It makes you wonder what happened between the 1960s to today where Detroit is seen as a declining city. Look no further than that link provided earlier to Mayor Cavanaugh's wiki profile. Duration is over 18 minutes.

Via Electronic Village!

An elected official filing for unemployment

In 2006, Todd Stroger won his father's old job as County Board President. His father had a debilitating stroke one week before the primary election that year and vacated his primary nomination and his job that summer. Yeah even with a debilitating stroke John Stroger won the primary election.

I'm going to avoid calling Todd a disaster in office. He has his supporters who will say the Cook County Budget wasn't in as bad a shape as even the City of Chicago, Illinois and the federal budgets are currently. Still even coming from a political family, I'm not certain that Stroger had the political skill to make it at such a high level as leading a county.

Here's the story from the Sun-Times:
Like thousands of Illinoisans who have lost their jobs, former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has applied for unemployment benefits.

But newly minted Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s administration officially “protested” the claim with the state’s unemployment agency.

“. . . Former Board President Todd Stroger did submit an application for unemployment,” said a source in the Preckwinkle administration who is familiar with the application. “That application was protested because, as a former elected official, he is ineligible.”
...
Those benefits are tied to wages earned in the year leading up to the job loss. But state law doesn’t recognize the wages an elected leader earns in office when it comes to unemployment benefits.

“When someone applies, their weekly check is based on how much money they’ve earned,” [Greg Rivara, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Employment Security] said. “Could be from one source, could be from multiple sources, but wages earned from doing the job [someone was] elected to don’t figure in.”

In other words, it’s as if they didn’t work — or earn a dime.

That could effectively disqualify Stroger from collecting unemployment benefits — at least benefits resulting from his elected position.

It would be different if he were a regular county employee or worked in the private sector. If he could prove his case — that, say, the voters didn’t fire him for cause but that he lost his job through no fault of his own — he might qualify for unemployment, according to state law.
Not sure what to say about this. This revelation may be one reason why he's no longer County Board President. In fact this revelation may also show a lack of political skill. Indeed if he was interested in the insurance business as indicated in the article, I'm starting to wonder if he had actually started looking since before he lost his primary election.

All the same this is a bad idea, especially when plenty are looking for work today who were never elected officials. It may well be safe to say Stroger was one casualty of the election where incumbents weren't safe at all.

Furthermore, he can't rule out a return to politics. At the same time he's young enough where he could make a comeback in the future. Let's hope that he hones his skills and/or stay in a position that doesn't give him as much exposure as being at the County Board has.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

VIDEO: Speak with conviction

Video I just found today. It closes with it's not enough to challenge authority, but you have to speak with it too. [VIDEO]

Among Blacks, Mayoral Election Forces a Push for New Ideas and Leaders

The overanalysis of Carol Moseley Braun's overwhelming but not unexpected defeat continues. By proxy that also means another view of the old guard of Black Chicago politics and whether it's time for them to step aside for a younger generation to take the stage. Of course that doesn't necessarily the old guard has to retire and let the younger generation take it, but the younger generation may have to be prepared to make their mark and soon.
Nostalgia does not bother Maze Jackson. Like most people he knows, he cherishes the memory of Mayor Harold Washington.

But what does upset the 40-year-old political consultant and makes him fear for the future of black politics in Chicago is what he witnessed during the mayoral campaign: black leaders “stuck in the past.”

“I call them the ‘remember-when crew.’ ” Mr. Jackson said. “Remember when Harold said this? Remember when Harold did that? We need to honor and respect the accomplishments of our elders. But it’s time for them to step back and allow us to serve.”

Mr. Jackson, and his group, the Next Generation Leadership Council, are among many in the black community who are seeking new ways to find and train the political candidates, pollsters and campaign mangers of tomorrow.

The search for new blood and fresh ideas only became more intense after a contentious coalition of black elected officials, business leaders and ministers repeatedly evoked Mr. Washington’s name as they struggled to find a consensus black candidate for the Feb. 22 mayoral election. And the stark disappointment of Carol Moseley Braun, who failed to win more than 9 percent of the citywide vote, accentuated the need for new thinking.

“There’s been a lot of soul-searching going on since the election,” said Cathy Cohen, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago.

The search for new talent is not confined to blacks. Miguel del Valle, the city clerk, who came in third in the mayoral election, is also trying to recruit and train the next generation of political leaders. He hopes to create a citywide, multiracial coalition to improve life in the neighborhoods beyond the gentrified areas of downtown and the North Side.

“Everybody is talking about this,” Mr. del Valle said. “But if we don’t do it right, we’ll end up with more of the same. It really has to be done at a community level. It’s not retired politicians who are going to make this happen.”
I was at Morehouse when on the first of two occasions I attended events attended by one Kasim Reed who is now Mayor of Atlanta. His advice to aspiring young politicians is to "start running now". Lay the groundwork for a political career now, especially if it means you may have to work with members of the old guard today.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Jesse White: Martin Luther King, Jr. statue vandalism 'reprehensible'

Article from stltoday.com:
Vandals fired yellow paint-balls at a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. located near the Illinois statehouse, Secretary of State Jesse White's office announced Friday.

The Illinois Secretary of State Police is investigating the vandalism, which was reported around 7 a.m.

According to a statement from White's office, no other statue or structure in the capitol complex was damaged. The statue has been cleaned and no permanent damage was sustained.

"I find it reprehensible that anyone would seek to denigrate the legacy of Dr. King in any way," White said in a statement. White was personally associated with King, when he attended Alabama State College, where King was his minister.

"Our state and our country owe him a debt of gratitude," White said. "and his memory should always be cherished and celebrated."
Probably some young men engaging in some pranking with little idea as to who's statue that they hit. Although yeah it's possible that there is someone out there who really wanted to make a statement by assaulting Dr. King's statue.

Friday, March 04, 2011

No need to pile on however...

In the wake of the last election there were a lot of articles & columns that overanalyzed what happened with the Black "consensus" candidate. The Washington Post even published an article about racial politics here in Chicago and whether or not it had changed in the wake of this election.

This article from the Chicago News Coop talks about factors that led to her loss last week. A humiliating loss with only 9% of the vote and won only one precinct out of thousands around the city. The Black vote turned out for Rahm Emanuel who used to be Obama's chief of staff. Braun campaign aide Renee Ferguson was correct in saying that they were "up against a huge buzz saw from Day 1".

It seems the campaign wasn't merely overly optimistic even a few days away from the election. The article also shows what happens when you clash with a campaign manager:
In October, shortly after Mayor Richard M. Daley said he would not seek re-election, Ms. Braun hired Mr. Noonan, a former top operative for Michael Madigan, the speaker of the Illinois House. Mr. Noonan led the effort to circulate nominating petitions to place Ms. Braun on the ballot, gathering more signatures than any other candidate.

Soon after that success, Mr. Noonan said, he clashed with her. “We had fundamentally different views of how campaigns should be run,” he said, adding that Ms. Braun had made it impossible for him to schedule even the most basic campaign activities.

One e-mail shows that Ms. Braun canceled a meeting with an alderman on the eve of the event in December. “Nobody asked me about meeting with” the alderman, Ms. Braun wrote. “It can be rescheduled for another time that we clear.”

On Jan. 5, Ms. Braun sent an e-mail to aides to complain about an interview with a newspaper reporter, a commitment that she said she did not know had been put on her schedule.

“Would it kill you to call, text or send an e-mail to ASK me if I will sit down with a reporter for an interview?” Ms. Braun wrote. “Are you too busy to remember the Golden Rule? How would you feel if I just sent dictates to you with no conversation or notice? Being a candidate does not make me less than a human being.”

Gradually, Mr. Noonan’s involvement faded, although both he and Ms. Braun publicly denied a rift. Other supporters like Mr. Schaffer, a lawyer, grew in influence during the final two months of the campaign.

Could it be rust on Braun's part as she had been out of politic since an ill-fated bid for the Presidency? Could it be that well the former Senator could just be difficult to work with? It was said already that she was unmanageable.

Rich Miller considered Noonan's comments to the Chicago News Coop gauche. It may well be, however, it's time to move on either way. Let's hope that whatever Mayor-elect Emanuel decides to do in four years that the Black community can do better than what it put forward this year.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

When a fifth-grader goes to jail

So yeah what is the justification for sending a youngster to detention?
Terry Moore, assistant director of Sangamon County Court Services, has followed the bill. He says there are already measures in place to screen youth before they are placed in detention centers.

While an argument for the bill says children as young as 10 should not be exposed to detention centers, Moore says the other side is that most children that young are not admitted to detention  centers, except for severe offenses.

Over the past five years, only 4 to 7 percent of children admitted to detention centers have been under the age of 13.

“It’s a very small number of youth relative to the total admitted,” Moore says.

Detention gives juvenile court the opportunity to look at the situation of each child and determine their best interest, he says, which sometimes may be short-term placement in a detention center.
It's kind of sad that this is up for debate. I'm very curious about what constitutes a severe offense. Would the child have had to commit a violent felony?

In any event there is a push as indicated by this article to reform juvenile detention. If we can do what we can to insure that no child is unnecessarily placed into juvenile detention then hopefully this will not cause any permanent harm to any child.

Steve Jobs emerges from medical leave to unveil iPad 2

 
[VIDEO] This was the story of the day yesterday. The day was coming and it came yesterday the unveiling of the iPad 2 with the ailing Steve Jobs (CEO of Apple) coming out to help unveil it:

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs is on medical leave, but that didn't stop him from making a surprise public appearance to unveil the iPad 2, an upgraded tablet computer that could help the company fend off a slew of rivals in the burgeoning market.

"We've been working on this product for a while and I just didn't want to miss the day," Jobs said shortly after receiving a standing ovation Wednesday. Jobs, who took the highly publicized leave in mid-January, has battled pancreatic cancer. He received a liver transplant in 2009.
...
The iPad 2 will go on sale March 11 at the same prices as its predecessor, starting at $499 for the entry-level device with Wi-Fi only and going up to $829 for the version with a 3G cellular connection. Consumers can get the cellular iPad 2 from both AT&T and Verizon without signing a long-term contract, though the monthly data fee can be $35 or more.

Apple highlighted the new iPad's lighter weight — 1.3 pounds compared with the 1.5-pound original — as well as the addition of front- and back-facing video cameras that allow users to conduct video chats. The device has a newer computer processor that will make it run faster and allow for smoother performance of video-intensive applications like games and movies, Apple said.

Jobs spent considerable time showing off a new case for the iPad. Apple said the case for the original device was too bulky and interfered with its performance. The newer case, which Apple calls a "smart cover," magnetically attaches to the front of the iPad to create a kind of screen protector and automatically puts the machine into sleep mode when it is attached.

Though none of the new features were particularly surprising, analysts believed the incremental enhancements would allow Apple to keep its place at the top of the tablet market.
Alas this device is still a bit out of my reach :(

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Pensions & collective bargaining...

Concerns over pensions was one reason why Illinois voted down the Constitutional Convention in 2008 (which was the same year Obama has been elected President).

At the State House recently, the Capitol Fax reported the back and forth over pensions. There has been some back and forth over pension. Such as their underfunded or they're costly or indeed you have public workers or politicians gaming the system to up their pensions.

In this case however the issue is whether or not the Illinois General Assembly can even unilaterally touch state public pensions. The answer from one side appears to be now as there is a pensions clause in Illinois' state constitution (Article 13, Section 5).

The key apparently is collective bargaining at Rich Miller quotes an abstract provided by Illinois' Senate Democrats who have posted dissenting and supporting opinions on their caucus website:
Finally, while the Clause bars the General Assembly from adversely changing the benefit rights of current employees via unilateral action, these rights are “contractual” in nature and may be modified through contractual principles. In sum, while welching on public pension promises is not an option for Illinois as some legal and civic commentators have suggested, legitimate contract principles provide a solution to mitigate this crisis.
Speaking of collective bargaining - a buzzword in the political situation in Wisconsin with regards to both their new Republican Governor and public employee unions - an article from Heritage (via Instapundit) regarding that term:
There is a big difference between rights and privileges. Americans have the right to vote. The state, barring a felony conviction, cannot take that right away. Driving, on the hand, is privilege. The state can refuse you the privilege of driving for a myriad of reasons including failure to pass a test showing you know the rules of the road or failing to purchase auto insurance.

Similarly the freedom of association is a right shared by all Americans and protected by the First Amendment. In contrast, collective bargaining is a special power occasionally granted to some unions. In upholding North Carolina’s ban on government union collective bargaining, a federal court wrote in Atkins vs. City of Charlotte: “All citizens have the right to associate in groups to advocate their special interests to the government. It is something entirely different to grant any one interest group special status and access to the decision making process.”

Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) budget bill in Wisconsin in no way infringes on any Americans’ right to associate and lobby government. What it does do is allow Wisconsin employees to choose not to join a union and keep their job at the same time. It also forces the government unions in Wisconsin to collect their own union dues instead of using the power of the state to withhold them directly from employee paychecks.
Two unrelated issues I know well indirectly in any event. Collective bargaining to work on Illinois' underfunded pensions. Then to Wisconsin to address their issues of collective bargaining with their public employee unions.

Perhaps a benefit to solving the issues in Illinois, but a battle for our fellow Midwesterners up there in Dairyland.

CBC Accuses GOP Of Pitting Blacks Against Immigrants At Hearing

Well I'm sure a certain reader would be very interested in this angle to the issues of illegal immigration:
Black lawmakers accused Republicans on Tuesday of trying to “manufacture tension” between African-Americans and immigrants as GOP House members argued in a hearing that more minorities would be working were it not for illegal immigration.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, D-Mo., chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, criticized the hearing’s premise in a statement. Several other Democratic lawmakers echoed that argument, saying Republicans were ignoring their lack of support for job training, affirmative action, college financial aid and other programs more critical to employment of minorities.

“I am concerned by the majority’s attempt to manufacture tension between African-Americans and immigrant communities. It seems as though they would like for our communities to think about immigration in terms of ‘us versus them,’ and I reject that notion,” Cleaver said in his statement.

Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, issued a warning at the start of the hearing against any attempts to pit blacks against Latino immigrants, a notion that he said he found “so abhorrent and repulsive.”
...
Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, pointed out that after Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided Georgia Crider Inc., which had 600 jobs filled by people not working in the country legally, the company raised wages $1 an hour and attracted legal workers, primarily black Americans.

“With unemployment at over 9 percent for 21 months, jobs are scarce. And that is especially true in minority communities across the U.S.,” Smith said.

The three witnesses supporting the Republican view at the hearing were Hispanic and black. Lawmakers and witnesses presented their own studies and statistics supporting their positions.
Just wondering if there are any Black politicians anywhere who is looking into the potential issue of Black unemployment or any correlation with that in terms of illegal immigration. Sadly I haven't heard much about it and it's doubtful that the CBC has any stomach for that.

It seems the debate over illegal immigration is really about immigration. Yeah America was built by immigrants, but hardly by those who didn't legally came to this nation surely. But again this isn't entirely my issue as opposed to the others raised such as job training or education.

Even then the issue of illegal immigration may come into play in at least education. Especially if we allow illegals to enjoy the many amenities of American life such as public education, but without officially being citizens.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Why Saudi Arabia is ripe for revolution.

Could the turmoil of Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt & Libya spread to the Kindgom of Saudi Arabia? What does this article from Foreign Policy say?
In the age of Arab revolutions, will Saudis dare to honor Facebook calls for anti-government demonstrations on March 11? Will they protest at one of Jeddah's main roundabouts? Or will they start in Qatif, the eastern region where a substantial Shiite majority has had more experience in real protest? Will Riyadh remain cocooned in its cloak of pomp and power, hidden from public gaze in its mighty sand castles?
Saudi Arabia is ripe for change. Despite its image as a fabulously wealthy realm with a quiescent, apolitical population, it has similar economic, demographic, social, and political conditions as those prevailing in its neighboring Arab countries. There is no reason to believe Saudis are immune to the protest fever sweeping the region.

Saudi Arabia is indeed wealthy, but most of its young population cannot find jobs in either the public or private sector. The expansion of its $430 billion economy has benefited a substantial section of the entrepreneurial elite -- particularly those well connected with the ruling family -- but has failed to produce jobs for thousands of college graduates every year. This same elite has resisted employing expensive Saudis and contributed to the rise in local unemployment by hiring foreign labor. Rising oil prices since 2003 and the expansion of state investment in education, infrastructure, and welfare, meanwhile, have produced an explosive economy of desires.

Like their neighbors, Saudis want jobs, houses, and education, but they also desire something else. Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq in 2003, they have expressed their political demands in their own way, through petitions that circulated and were signed by hundreds of activists and professionals, men and women, Sunnis, Shiites, and Ismailis. Reformers petitioned King Abdullah to establish an elected consultative assembly to replace the 120-member appointed Consultative Council Saudis inherited from King Fahd. Political organizers were jailed and some banned from travel to this day. The "Riyadh spring" that many reformers anticipated upon King Abdullah's accession in 2005 was put on hold while torrential rain swept away decaying infrastructure and people in major cities. Rising unemployment pushed the youth toward antisocial behavior, marriages collapsed, the number of bachelors soared, and the number of people under the poverty line increased in one of the wealthiest states of the Arab world. Today, nearly 40 percent of Saudis ages 20 to 24 are unemployed.

Meanwhile, scandal after scandal exposed the level of corruption and nepotism in state institutions. Princes promised to establish investigative committees, yet culprits were left unpunished. Criticism of the king and top ruling princes remained taboo, and few crossed the red line surrounding the substantial sacrosanct clique that monopolizes government posts from defense to sports. The number of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience swelled Saudi prisons. Under the pretext of the war on terror, the Saudi regime enjoyed a free hand. The interior minister, Prince Nayef, and his son and deputy, Prince Mohammed, rounded up peaceful activists, bloggers, lawyers, and academics and jailed them for extended periods. Saudis watched in silence while the outside world either remained oblivious to abuses of human rights or turned a blind eye in the interests of oil, arms, and investment.
As you read the rest of this article, what do you think will go on in that nation?