Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Debating the value of a college education


[VIDEO] This was aired on CBS' Early Show this morning. One of the guests Sam Taratino who started Grooveshark and on-demand music discovery service had himself dropped out of college and take the entrepreneurial route. Not sure if this debate answered any questions.

College is different things to different people. I have a college degree, but while I made some good friends during my time in college it's safe to say that I didn't make the most of it. Meaning that I could've networked better.

At the same time we should recognize that it isn't for everybody. Everyone expects different things from this experience. For the most part, it's expected that a person would major in something that would translate into a job. But college is about education not career training right?

I can go to my old high school (GO FALCONS) and see the emphasis on sending their students to college. I hope they make sure that these young people ask themselves what they expect to get out of college. That's a very important question itself!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The public's business is the public's business...

Lisa Madigan, Illinois' Attorney General, issued an opinion on whether or not information from a private cell phone or PC should be disclosed as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request:
An opinion issued by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office on Nov. 15 changes that. The opinion stemmed from the city of Champaign’s denial of a reporter’s request for documents pertaining to public business, even if those documents were in private cell phone, Twitter or email accounts.

The city partially denied the request by saying the documents were not in its possession.
That explanation violated the intent of the Freedom of Information Act, the attorney general’s office said.

“Whether information is a ‘public record’ is not determined by where, how, or on what device that record was created; rather, the question is whether that record was prepared by or used by one or more members of a public body in conducting the affairs of government,” wrote Michael Luke, counsel to Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

In other words, the public’s business is the public’s business, no matter which phone, computer or other communication device is used to conduct it.
If you ask me, this sounds like trouble. It reeks of over reach because where does privacy end. Perhaps this needs to force public officials to keep official business on official channels and keep private business off of official channels.

What do you think of this development? They were already talking about this over at the Capitol Fax where I got wind of this!

Infidelity?

I haven't followed very closely the sexual harassment allegations against GOP Presidential Candidate Herman Cain. I barely paid attention to the time his wife was interviewed by Greta Van Susterin on FOX News to talk about these allegations against her husband. In fact there was about to be a post about the response of certain people on Twitter who had attended school in the AUC who certainly had something to say about Mrs. Cain and her alma mater!

In any case, while the allegations keep coming and apparently has gone so far as not only sexual harassment but of an affair. That news just came out Monday and it seems Cain might have expected it enough to say so in an interview on CNN that same day.

To be sure, while Herman Cain also attended Morehouse it's not a reason for me to vote for him. He is obviously very well spoken and very successful in his lifetime. In fact he spoke to the Men of Morehouse at a Crown Forum, the year he ran for a US Senate seat in his home state of Georgia, he spoke a lot about his success. Perhaps he will consider doing so again and talk to Morehouse Republicans.

At the same time whether or not these allegations of sexual harassment or of an affair wouldn't dissuade me from voting for him either. That only means that I was never leaning towards him as a potential President of the United States and it's mainly because he hasn't had a very successful political career so far. As stated earlier he ran for US Senate from Georgia and lost in the Republican primary to current US Senator Johnny Isakson.

In my case, Cain was never going to be my man. While this latest allegation is certainly very damning it appears to be a "hatchet" job. I'm not so sure Cain is headed to the presidency, but someone is putting this information out there for a reason!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Electronic Village: What Has Barack Obama Done for Black Folks?

There is a list of accomplishments provided here of President Obama. What's more important is the symbolism of the Presidents ascension as a man of color at least to a lot of people who aren't of the predominant group of people in this nation.

I'm sure many who read this blog would challenge this list of accomplishments Obama has during his tenure in office. I'm sure many would take aim as the "Affordable Care Act" being one of those things that many who oppose Obama would point a finger at easily. Still the conclusion:
The challenges faced by President Obama have been unique and powerful -- two traditional wars, war on terrorism, BP oil spill, natural disasters, near-depression level economic, high unemployment and a do-nothing Congress. Yet, he continues to fight for us. At the end of the day I suspect that the Black community is going to realize that Barack Obama is a better choice for a second term as our president than any of the folks currently running for the GOP nomination.
I would hit Obama on his handling of the economy. I don't agree with any bailouts and the stimulus program doesn't appear to have produced any desired results as stimulating the economy and providing jobs. That's the main thing with me jobs. We have a long way to go in undoing the damage of the financial crisis that brought Obama into the White House in 2009.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Want a challenge? Run for GOP ward boss

I found this posting from Crain's Greg Hinz via Newsalert last night. Then I made sure I wrote a post about this at my neighborhood blog, The Sixth Ward. Every ward in Chicago during a presidential primary elects a party committeeman to represent Democrats, Republicans and even the Green Party since in Illinois they're considered a major party though not as major as the Ds & Rs. All the same Hinz makes a plea for Republicans to run for these positions.

BTW, a committeeman here can be referred to as a "ward boss" regardless of your party:
Doug Ibendahl, a former attorney for the state GOP, has been waging a bit of a one-man campaign to drum up interest in the job of Republican ward committeeman as part of an effort to spark some grassroots activity. The local party chiefs will be elected in the March primary, and snagging a spot is surprisingly easy.

Mr. Ibendahl notes that getting on the ballot requires the signatures of no more than 30 registered voters in most city wards. And actually getting elected can take almost as few.

In 2008, for instance, 3rd Ward GOP committeeman winner Bobbie Johnson had just 65 votes to his opponent's 57. Linda Rockett won 40-26 in the 9th Ward and Margaree Jackson just 47 in the 28th Ward.

Now, all of those admittedly are predominantly African-American wards, in which Republicans are as scarce as elephants. But hey, fame costs. So move, already.

Besides, it really doesn't take a ton of votes to win almost anywhere. Up on the lakefront 49th Ward, for instance, winner Robert Shearer garnered just 274 votes.

Then there was the wild 25th Ward contest, pitting Dennis DuBois against Hector Escarzaga Jr. and Billy Ying Fook Moy. Who says there's no diversity in the Republican Party. (Mr. DuBois won, with 162.)

So here's your chance, folks, to be a big shot, have your own personal soap box and get on Sarah Palin's Christmas card list. You might even help rebuild a second party in distinctly one-party Chicago.
Then over at The Sixth Ward I threw this point out there:
Though I would expect that well no one should aspire to be on Mrs. Palin's Christmas card list. Now if she were to pay a visit to Chatham for example or even Englewood now hopefully that should give any aspiring Republican activist some pull! Either way you still have time to circulate petitions just pay a visit to the Chicago Board of Elections for more information!
It's OK to get the attention of prominent Republicans or Democrats but from either side Black neighborhoods should get attention. Not saying either should provide a one-size-fits-all solution to all problems because there's no such thing, however, Democrats seem to be the only one doing the talking on depressed urban areas. So yeah if you're running for ward committeeman in our city I hope that you can bring in some pull and not just be seen just to be seen.

BTW, since Republicans are very much minorities in Chicago it doesn't take too many petition signatures to run for this volunteer position. Sometimes even less votes, especially if you're unopposed!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Teen charged in video recorded attack at downtown 'L' station


[VIDEO] This morning I had tweeted this particular story from the Tribune. The good thing is that the young man turned himself in. It appears that they still haven't found the victim who is believed to be homeless because just yesterday an alert was issued to all city police districts in the search for the victim.
Chicago police said that Scotty Strahan, 18, was the person who punched an unidentified man at the Chicago Avenue Red Line stop in April as his friends watched and laughed. Police said he turned himself in.

Police suspected that the victim, a slow-moving older-looking man with salt-and-pepper hair, may have been homeless. The video showed an assailant tapping the victim on the shoulder from behind and punching him in the face after he turned.

The video, apparently taken by one of the assailant's friends, was recently posted on worldstarhiphop.com, prompting the search for the attacker.

Strahan turned himself in to police at Belmont Area headquarters and was charged with two counts of aggravated battery, police said this morning.

Strahan, of the 8600 block of South Normal Avenue, was sentenced to probation earlier this year after he was cited for causing a traffic hazard, according to court records.
I should note that FOX Chicago had found him anyway. It may have been the first time Chicago news viewers were apprised of the "point em out, knock em out" game. Unbelievable, it's not fun and games anymore now is it?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Science and Tech Education for Students of Color




[VIDEO] via Electronic Village. I can relate by the time I took a computer class in high school (Go FALCONS!) in the late 90s the computers and programs we used were behind the times. In fact at home I used a PC that had Windows 95, the PCs in high school were still using like Windows 3.0 and a dot-matrix printer. Here is a quote from Electronic Village:
The point was made that there are very few African Americans being funded for technology start-ups in Silicon Valley. It is obvious that creating a vanguard of technology CEOs begins with the education that we give to our young people.
The emphasis is made by the author at Electronic Village. ;)

In any event, I joined an entrepreneurship club back in my junior year of high school. The expectation was members come up with a business plan and it was something that I never did, however, one idea was to utilize a computer. Perhaps use a computer for the purposes of publishing. Of course during most of that period there wasn't an up to date PC at home. If I had such a business plan that utilized a PC where could it have gone today!

Can a young black person (or other "minority") out of high school or even college come up with a technology idea that will change the world?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

3 Reasons We Shouldn't Bail Out Student Loan Borrowers


[VIDEO] Well this video should dash my hopes of forgive student loan debt. Don't want student loan debt better plan how you'll finance your education. Also choose an inexpensive school in addition to choosing a major that will insure you will find a job in that field which will have significant pay.

Via Newsalert!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Downtown Workers in NYC Take on 'Occupy' Protesters

[VIDEO] I saw this on Neil Cavuto's show this afternoon. The protesters who are protesting the Occupy Wall Street protests are business owners. They consider themselves part of the taxpaying 53%.

I wonder if they've ever heard of the group who are "liberating Wall Street"?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Capitol Fax: No, we’re not the worst


Ever since my state passed the tax hike on individual and corporate incomes Rich Miller had published several posts that attempts to keep the income tax hike in perspective.
Look, 21st overall ain’t great, but it gives the lie to the “We’re all gonna die!” rhetoric from those who claim Illinois is the worst state ever. And 2nd in new plant openings is a plus, even though our high population means our per million rate is also around the middle of the pack. Tax competitiveness is still not horrible, even after the January tax hike.
Then responds to a list of items that could make Illinois a better state to do business:
We can make it much eaiser to do business here, no question. But busting unions, killing off the income tax and fighting OSHA and EPA ain’t gonna happen. If that’s the climate you really want, then China or Mexico would probably be your best bets anyway.
The chart above is from siteselection.com

Also some of the items mentioned in Miller's post, well none of it is too unreasonable. He's right it's not likely to happen here. It could be attributed to a lack of appetite to tackle those issues especially politically. Weirder things have happened but that much major changes will take some time!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Curbed Chicago: New-Look Funeral Homes Keep Death at Arm's Length

This funeral home in Skokie operated by Chicago Jewish Funerals is said to be attempting to break the mold of funeral homes that usually seem to resemble mausoleums, however, there are more windows and with brighter colors here. At Curbed Chicago it was suggested that this place could be used as a place for celebrations but I doubt that'll happen.

Since this place is a mortuary and a place to remember the dead it wouldn't be a place to celebrate say a birthday party. Death will always be a very depressing thing and celebrations shouldn't take place at a funeral home no matter how not depressing it looks!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Where some can only see a desert...


[VIDEO] ...others can actually see an oasis. Bill Whittle is back to talk about the success of Western Civilization. Whittle starts with comparing the Israelis with their Arab neighbors. The Israelis have largely developed their nation while according to Whittle most of the surrounding Arab nations are still mostly desert.

It brings to mind this documentary produced by Protest Warrior. The clip I'm linking is from a much larger documentary entitled - Entering Zion. It underscores the point of how the Israeli nation was developed although they also explore life in various settlements in occupied Arab lands outside of Israel's borders.

Want to learn more about them read their Manifesto and here's a great quote:
The Muslim world could decide tomorrow to stop the war against the West. The Arabs have six million square miles of land with an ocean of oil beneath it. They have their two holiest cities, Mecca and Medina. They could give their Palestinian brothers a state tomorrow (in addition to Jordan, which is 70% Palestinian), give every one of them a bar of gold and beach front property in the Sinai, or vast tracts of land in the Fertile Crescent that would dwarf the West Bank and Gaza. Between the Arabs' oil wealth and Israel's scientific skill, the entire Middle East could be a thriving hub of culture, commerce, and life, not death. My God, how the desert would bloom.
The Israelis see an oasis, but the Arabs see a desert. One day the Israelis and Arabs will see a desert.

Of course in light of what Whittle discusses in the video above this could apply in any situation. My interest currently is blogging about the neighborhood where I live. Where many can only see ghetto, I can very much forsee a vibrant, thriving, and safe neighborhood. This could describe many in not only Chicago, but around the nation.

All it takes are the five qualities noted by Whittle: imagination, ambition, skill, work ethic, and perseverance. To persevere is a very important quality especially if you face very discouraging odds!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

J. Edgar Hoover: A law unto himself


[VIDEO] This week a biopic about this historic figure was released in theaters. J. Edgar starts Leonardo DiCaprio (yeah the guy from Titanic & Inception) plays J. Edgar Hoover as a young man all the way to his old age. The film even touched upon the rumors of Hoover's homosexuality although in reality those rumors have been disputed.

On today's edition of CBS Sunday Morning they do a portrait of the long time director of the FBI. Even touches upon the speculation of his own personal life. As I've stated it has been disputed but we see one authored interviewed who believes that Hoover may have been homosexual.

All the same people still wonder about him. The secrets he kept and the secrets he used. There is a reason that the term FBI files are in the culture today!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Capitol Fax: Amy Jacobson’s changing story


Rich Miller takes a break from our state's veto session to look at the Republican Presidential race. Amy Jacobson was reported by several sources that she's stated different facts about an encounter between Herman Cain and his accuser Sharon Bialek. I can believe it was a confrontation of sorts, but Miller recalls that she lost her job at a local station because she paid a visit to Craig Stebic who was a person of interest in a missing persons case involving his wife!

Today is 11/11/11

Or Veteran's Day which is November 11, 2011. The last binary date for the rest of this century! And it was preceded by 11/10/11 or November 10, 2011.

BTW, many thanks to our nation's veterans! There sacrifices will be forever appreciated. May you inspire many others to either do what you have done in serving our nation, but also inspire many others to know how blessed they are to live here. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Thinking about an iPod...

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

While I decide as to purchase a new cell phone, I'm taking a look at iPods. The current series of iPods have different uses. One can be used for music, another can be used as a watch, and yet another can be used like the iPad's little cousin. The question is which one to get since I can't have them all.

I'm not at all interested in the shuffle model but the nano, classic and touch are the ones that would be useful to me.

The nano could be used as a watch in addition to using it to listen to music on the go. It seems very practical to use if your out and about jogging and you need some music. But most of them can be used for the purposes of fitness with the right apps.

The classic would be perfect for the DJ. It's made for playing music and music only although it can be used to watch videos as well. But for my purposes it will be a device only to listen to music and nothing else.

The touch is the most versatile. If I even get an iPhone it would be used for much of the same purpose I could use the touch. To watch movies on the go in addition to listening to music and of course to surf the web. I could also take photos with it and videos and then have a ready-made device to display videos and photos. And at that I find a case where whatever is displayed on the iPhone and touch can be viewed in a stand that resembles a classic TV set.

Either way the Christmas season is upon us and I'm looking for a good deal on any of these iPod models!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Benicio Del Toro in the next Star Trek flick...

I haven't been following the developments of the next film other than knowing that they're behind schedule in filming the movie. Benicio is to play a villain but as of yet even he doesn't know who the villain is. We'll see eventually, but for right now here's the news about his possible casting from TrekMovie.com

Thursday, November 03, 2011

On state defense forces...

This page that I found over at Instapundit shows that the states still have essentially their own militias that can't be mobilized federally like the National Guards usually are. They mentioned those states that have their own militias, and even noted one that only exists on paper.

Illinois even has one that only exists on paper apparently. It was reauthorized by our Ousted governor Rod Blagojevich believe it or not. The Illinois Naval Militia existed starting from 1893 and then disbanded by 1988, however, reauthorized by then gov. Blagojevich in 2006 by executive order.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A case of doing way too much...

The Chicago City Council had their meeting today was too sleepy to even watch online although I did hear it cut out prematurely at one point. Suppose I've have to catch them next time as they still have to debate remapping the City Council Wards. Something I'm following intently over at The Sixth Ward.

Here a Tribune article about the attempt to ban plastic bags!
Large stores in Chicago would be banned from putting shoppers' products in plastic bags under a proposal introduced today.

Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno, 1st, said the plastic bag ban would put Chicago near the forefront of American cities in what he characterized as a progressive move to improve the environment.

"Every day, our streets, our sidewalks, our parks are filled every day with these bags," Moreno said, holding up a plastic shopping bag at a City Hall press conference. "They are horrible for our environment."Similar prohibitions on plastic bags have been discussed in the City Council in the past. In 2008, aldermen initially proposed outlawing them, before dropping that idea in the face of opposition from Mayor Richard Daley. Instead, the council passed an ordinance requiring large chain stores to provide recycling for plastic bags, but Moreno said that hasn't worked because the bags are difficult to recycle. 
I think there are much bigger priorities in our fair city. Getting the schools in good shape, bringing jobs back into the city, and finally getting that city budget in good shape as was one purpose for today's city council meeting.

Looks like Magic Johnson is finally coming to Chicago...

Well a bit of an exaggeration since he does already have some interests in this city, but he will have a foothold in Hyde Park if this plan comes to fruition:

An investment fund led by former NBA star Earvin “Magic” Johnson has agreed to invest in Harper Court, a $100-million real estate development in Hyde Park anchored by a Hyatt Place hotel.

Loa Angeles-based Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds has made an equity investment in the project's initial phase, while New York-based Citibank has provided a $65-million construction loan, says David Cocagne, president and CEO of Vermilion Development, the project's developer.

Site preparation is under way, and Vermilion plans an official groundbreaking in November, he says. Mr. Cocagne expects to complete the first phase of the development at Lake Park Avenue and 53rd Street in spring 2013.

The University of Chicago has agreed to lease all of Harper Court's office space, about 150,000 square feet, while health club LA Fitness has leased 31,000 square feet of the project's 75,000 square feet of retail space, Mr. Cocagne says. A joint venture including Beachwood, Ohio-based Smart Hotels LLC has bought the rights to build the 130-room hotel.

Obtaining a construction loan remains a challenge in the current market, where risk-averse lenders remain wary of big, complicated mixed-use developments like Harper Court.

“It's a difficult environment,” Mr. Cocagne says. “What was key to our success was having the level of leasing in place and also the quality of the tenants.”