Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Politico: Black pols stymied in Obama era

A much more cynical older friend who I have talked to over the years, has a much more negative answer to this question. The question being will there be another Black President of the United States, his answer is no. Let's hope  that's not the case, but at least for the foreseeable future there aren't many who are able to make that leap. Another thing to possible consider, does anyone think the President has done enough to help other Blacks get to about the same position he's in? You should read this article from the Politico and tell me what you think.

Friday, April 26, 2013

What's going on in DuPage County?

DuPage County is directly to the west of Cook County (and yes this is being written for those who may not be from the area who aren't familiar with Chicago area geography). If you take I-290 - a highway I also know only as the Eisenhower Expressway - this road will take you into DuPage which turns into I-88 that will take you towards Aurora, Illinois.

It was noted by Rich Miller in his Sun-Times column for today that in both elections for President Obama he carried DuPage. Why is this significant? Well it's significant because DuPage has historically been a reliable Republican county and Miller notes that things are changing there and it's not as solidly Republican as it used to be. He checks out a poll that shows where DuPage residents are on the burning issue of gay marriage:
The We Ask America poll I wanted to talk to [former IL state Senate President James "Pate" Phillip] about found that a plurality of DuPage County’s likely voters support gay marriage.

According to the poll, 49 percent of DuPagers say lawmakers should pass legislation to allow gay marriage while 45 percent oppose it. The poll of 1,052 likely voters taken April 22nd had a margin of error of plus/minus 3 percent.

The poll found that 62 percent of people aged 18-24 support gay marriage. In fact, every age group backed gay marriage except for senior citizens, who opposed it 55-40.

If you had told me a year ago that a poll could turn up these sorts of results in DuPage, I would’ve thought you were dipping into your medical marijuana stash.
The comments at the link are interesting. Makes the case of ceasing the need for determing a "true" Republican vs. "RINOs". At least as far as this state's concerned as the state GOP is struggling at the moment.

Here's some history Republicans took control of the state legislature in the election of 1994 - the same election that saw Republicans take control of both houses of the US Congress. Republicans already had control of the state Senate and for two years following the 94 elections Republicans snatched control of the state House of Representatives from the "dreaded" Michael J. Madigan. After the 96 elections the IL General Assembly was a divided legislature where Democrat Michael Madigan regained control of the House and until 2003 the Senate was still held by Republicans.

Everything changed in 2003 when the Republicans lost the state Senate, it's 25 year dominance of the Governor's mansion to none other than Rod Blagojevich. Also until the 2006 elections there was only one Republican who held statewide office. Well you could say two as Peter Fitzgerald was a Republican member of the US Senate although he eventual didn't seek re-election in 2004 and was replaced by none other than our current President.

All the same, Republicans in this state has been struggling ever since 2003. There were two good state elections in 2006 and 2010, but neither Republican nominee was able to edge the incumbent Governors (Blagojevich & Pat Quinn). The question we have to ask is will 2014 - that's next year - be any different?

Took a stroll through Hyde Park earlier this week...

Wednesday I paid a visit to the President's Chicago neighborhood Hyde Park and snapped a shot of this restaurant Park 52. I was here last fall for a political fundraiser hosted by "SWIPO". SWIPO stands for the Seventh Ward Independent Political Organization and it was headed by 7th ward alderman Sandi Jackson who is also the 7th ward Democratic committeeman.

Little did I know attending this fundraiser that Ald Jackson was about to wind down her career as a Chicago Alderman. When I attended this fundraiser she was being interviewed by Chicago news anchor Cheryl Burton. After arriving we saw various local news vans staking this place out possibly looking for  her husband then Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. to surface after having been absentee since it was revealed that he was under medical leave from the House of Representatives.

Congressman Jackson had resigned his congressional seat not long after winning another term to the "People's House". Since he had been on medical leave since last June he didn't even campaign. Ald. Jackson also resigned her Chicago City Council Seat almost two months after her husband resigned from Congress. They both have since pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds in Jesse Jr's case and in Sandi's case tax evasion. It appears we'll hear more about this case on Friday as their lawyers are due in federal court.

Until doing a Google search I just found out that Park 52 was closed permanently. The signs were still up when I took my stroll through Hyde Park, however I wasn't certain that this was remodeling or what. Having done the Google search and finding this article via Crain's there's certainty that this restaurant isn't coming back at all!

Park 52 itself was located at 52nd & Harper.

Also I have to figure out how to edit some of the video I shot along Lake Park Avenue in Hyde Park

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Reason: How Medicaid & Obamacare Hurt the Poor - and How to Fix Them

[VIDEO] Reason argues why Medicaid & "Obamacare" in fact hurts the poor. Here's a brief description:
"Most physicians can't afford to accept Medicaid" patients, says Dr. Alieta Eck, a primary-care physician based in Piscataway, New Jersey. "If you're getting paid about $17 per visit, it won't be long before you can't pay your staff or pay your rent."

Medicaid is the nation's health care system for the poor. It's funded jointly by the federal government and the states. Medicaid is either the first- or second-largest budget item in all 50 states and the program is slated for a massive expansion under President Obama's health-care reform law. Despite the program's huge and growing overall cost, reimbursements to medical providers are so low that many practices refuse to accept Medicaid patients, causing long waiting periods for treatment.
Is it better to come up with something that's expected to keep health care affordable than to just work on why health care costs are high? Or should we ask why Medicaid reimbursements are so low for doctors who serve low income patients?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Update on conceal carry in Illinois

From yesterday's syndicated column from the CapFax's Rich Miller. Talks about the conceal carry debate that's raging in Springfield:
During the Illinois House’s floor debate last week over the concealed-carry bill backed by the National Rifle Association, I was told by an intimate of House Speaker Michael Madigan that Madigan wanted to make sure the bill received no more than 64 votes.

Because the bill pre-empts local government home-rule powers, the bill required a three-fifths majority of 71 votes to pass.

The anti-gun forces were demoralized the day before when their highly restrictive concealed-carry proposal got just 31 votes, so Madigan (D-Chicago) wanted to do the same to the NRA’s version, I was told.

The idea, the source said, was to show both sides that they couldn’t pass their bills on their own and needed to get themselves to the bargaining table and work something out.
Right now the discussion is over a bill blogged about earlier here about having Cook County become a may issue county while the rest of the state is shall issue. It's possible this bill won't be successful either as indicated this morning at CapFax:
And [Steve Brown, IL House Speaker Michael Madigan’s spokesman] comments about not finding consensus on concealed carry may be telling. Could they be waiting until after the June 9th federal court deadline to act?
As stated earlier any restrictions on carrying in this state will be null & void after this date as per a federal court ruling last year. Illinois is currently the only state that doesn't allow for conceal carry permits. A bill to consider such a practice had been vetoed by Governor Pat Quinn long before that ruling!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Illinois Senate OKs bill to regulate use of drones

I can see all the conspiracy theories coming about on this. Although hey direct it at alleged criminal activities it sounds reasonable. You must have a warrant and therefore probable cause.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Biss, would require authorities to obtain a search warrant before using a drone to collect information. Lawmakers voted 52-1 to send the measure to the House. Biss, an Evanston Democrat, said his proposal will help maintain people’s reasonable expectation of privacy.

The legislative measure also prohibits law enforcement agencies from using armed drones.

The Champaign County sheriff has already experimented with using a drone, and the Cook County sheriff has expressed enthusiasm about the technology. But civil rights groups and lawmakers worry that the technology could be used to subject people to unwarranted intrusion.

“It’s all about this new technology, that if it’s not restricted in some way, enables government and law enforcement to have a completely unprecedented level of knowledge of what people do, where they go, and frankly therefore, what they think,” Biss said following the debate.

Drones are already flying in America’s skies. But more widespread use is expected to begin in 2015 because of federal regulations.
It's best to start asking questions about this now than to just go forward and realize that we may be overstepping some legal boundaries here. I wonder how effective such drones would be in urban areas anyway. I can see such tools being used in rural areas. All the same time will tell how useful they could be or even how useless.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Marvin Gaye - What's Going On + What's Happening Brother

[VIDEO] The late great Marvin Gaye performed this song live and was part of this 1973 film Save the Children. More recently it was part of a DVD that contain some of Gaye's performances from Real Thing: In Performance 1964-1981.

I'm posting this now because I saw this video on on CAN-TV show and it contained scenes of Chicago from the past. Some of what's seen isn't much different than what many of us would see today in many of our violent neighborhoods. Because of the issues of the 21st century, some may say this song is still relevant today!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Second City Cop: Screw Chicago

Well the rest of the state is going to have "shall issue" conceal carry permits. Cook County/Chicago on the other hand has the ability to deny conceal carry permits. Needless to say 2nd City Cop isn't happy and throws their ire at a state Senate Republican who helped write this bill with a state Senate Democrat. In fact that Democrat, succeeded President Obama to his old state Senate seat.

All the same, there was a bill in the state House that would have made the whole state "shall-issue" but it failed there. It was because of the compromise bill that was revealed during the course of the house vote that caused that bill to fail.

June 9th is an important date as far as conceal carry goes. The rush is thanks to an earlier federal ruling that deemed unconstitutional the state's ban on conceal carry. The ruling that came down in February gives state lawmakers 180 days to craft a constitutional law permitting conceal-carry with some restrictions.

This AP article aptly puts the issue in perspective in this state:
Gun laws have long divided Illinois along geographical lines, not necessarily political ones. Democrats in Chicago worry about street violence, while Democrats and Republicans in other parts of the state stand by the 2nd Amendment.

And of course, there are the avid hunters and sports shooters.
And another perspective from the Capitol Fax:
Nowhere has it been shown that violent crime increases after concealed carry laws are passed. I wish opponents would start arguing facts instead of emotion here. The liberals are guilty of doing precisely what they constantly accuse conservatives of doing on things like climate change. 
You know what's also correct, both sides are able to block the efforts of the other side. This is where this state is at as far as conceal carry:
That’s pretty much where the gun votes are right now. Both sides have enough votes to block what the other side wants. So, either we’ll get a negotiated solution, or it’ll stalemate. It’s likely that the Democratic leaders will try to ram something through that neither side will love. We’ll see. 
Well, making Cook County a "may-issue" county and allowing the rest of the state to be "shall-issue" may be something that no one is happy about. It may make some of the legislators from Cook County/Chicago very happy however!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Update on the Boston Marathon bombings

Looks like we now know who did the Boston Marathon bombings from earlier this week. One of those suspects are dead, but a press conference was recently held where another suspect has been apprehended. The suspects were from Russia and apparently Chechen refugees. Chechen as in Chechnya which has been mired in warfare against Russia for many years. Now the next question is why did they target the Boston Marathon, I had to think that they wanted to take the issues of Chechnya and take them out on a nation that has little to do with the warfare there.

Also friend of this blog Gerard at American Rattlesnake has been following the story himself. Surely there's an immigration component to this!

Texas is coming for Illinois...

Recently followers of Illinois' political scene discovered that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is attempting to poach businesses from this state. He even has an ad for his efforts. This poaching as other Republican governors from mainly Wisconsin and New Jersey have also came knocking on the door of this state seeking to bring businesses from this state to their state.

You know sometimes I like to point out that in the case of Wisconsin a small bank from Milwaukee was essentially taken over by another small bank from this state. Granted these are black-owned banks we're talking about that devoured each other that is one bank failed and the other bank purchased most of that bank's assets still score one for Illinois!

In any event, it's great to see some of the state's leaders speaking against Gov. Perry. Most of us aren't likely impressed with our Governor's response to this. However, the best response to Perry comes from our embattled state GOP Chairman:
llinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady said he’d welcome Perry if he wanted to offer support to Republican gubernatorial candidates. But a recruiting trip, he can do without.

“I like Gov. Perry, he’s been a good leader for Texas, but I don’t think it’s productive for him to come in here and do this so publicly,” Brady said. “Stealing jobs from Illinois is not going to help.”

If Perry’s strategy is in part political, Brady said, it’s not a good one.

“I don’t think it’s a great way to impress Republican donors,” Brady said, adding that even a harsh critic of Illinois’ current leadership like himself wants the state to succeed. “We live, work and pay taxes here.”
BTW, I say embattled because Brady successfully beat back a challenge to his leadership of the state GOP. However that doesn't mean that at some point Brady won't be forced to step down in the near future.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Weather video shot by me in Chicago

[VIDEO] I don't think I've ever seen the Chicago River this high! And another fun fact, the Chicago River normally flows to the Mississippi River. It has been this way since the turn of the 20th century when engineers changed the flow of the river away from Lake Michigan. Today because of the recent rains and flooding around the area the flow of water has been reversed back to the lake as the storm drains (or a deep tunnel that holds up to 2.3 billion gallons of water) are at capacity. Over the past day 5 inches of rain has fallen and according to WGN's meteorologist Tom Skilling that amounts to 80 billion gallons of water. WOW!

The video you see here I shot on the LaSalle Street bridge today looking west. The flow of the river is heading east towards the lake. As states earlier the river was a bit higher than usual.

A history lesson: The Night Richard J. Daley Bought NBC for JFK

Finding this would've been perfect last year as it was a presidential election year. A little over 52 years ago on November 4, 1960, the Chicago Democratic machine. Oh I'm sorry the Cook County Democratic Party under Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley was able to buy half an hour of air time on NBC to showcase a rally for the Democratic nominee for President, US Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass). I haven't watching the video yet and certainly it would've been nice to see this on YouTube.

This is almost akin to an "informercial" from 2008 shortly before the election where the Obama campaign bought some airtime to get out its message. It definitely was a far cry from what the "last of the big city bosses" did holding a rally at a major venue and broadcasting this on network TV.

It had to have taken lots of money even then. Granted perhaps there weren't a whole lot of costs in doing things like this back them. I would imagine it would be prohibitively expensive today!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Why aren't there more live feeds on YouTube?

[VIDEO] Ever since the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday I saw that WGN-TV had a live feed on YouTube which was specifically for that unfortunate incident in Boston. When I do think to activate the live I either see footage of traffic in Boston or footage of the US Capitol in Washington. If you watched the live feed this morning we would see a logo CLTV's Politics Tonight on freeze and we assume it's coming right back.

I had this thought, since the Arab Spring that resulted in Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepping down. Most of the action I saw on YouTube  with English language live feed for the Arab network Al Jazeera. My thought is why don't other American news outlets do any type of live feeds on YouTube as Al Jazeera does.

Surely many American outlets have thought about this question although at least in Chicago I can watch live video as well. Chicagoans can watch the live feed for at least CBS 2 Chicago, NBC 5 Chicago, ABC 7 Chicago, WGN-TV, and FOX 32 Chicago. And while they're not on YouTube in some instances they're embeddable.

In fact once upon a time during the run-off elections of 2011 in Chicago, I was able to embed live video of election coverage from WGN-TV onto my other blog The Sixth Ward. Also when there is breaking news coverage my other favorite blog, Capitol Fax, also is known to post live feeds from local TV stations and was known to do so during the course of Rod Blagojevich's governorship.

All the same, why aren't more American local or national outlets doing live feeds on youtube or other video sharing sites? Perhaps I should ask my local stations directly.

Monday, April 15, 2013

NYTimes: Boston Marathon Blasts Kill 3

I was hearing bits and pieces of what happened in Boston, Massachusetts earlier today. Basically there was a marathon and some people were killed and injured thanks to a bomb near the finish line:
Two powerful bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon, killing at least three people, including a child, and injuring at least 100 as one of this city’s most cherished rites of spring was transformed from a scene of cheers and sweaty triumph to one of screams, bloody carnage and death.

About three-quarters of the 23,000 runners who participated in the race had already crossed the finish line when a bomb that had apparently been placed in a garbage can exploded in a haze of smoke amid a crowd of spectators on Boylston Street, just off Copley Square in the heart of the city. It was around 2:50 p.m., more than four hours after the race had started, officials said. Within seconds, another bomb exploded several hundred feet away.

Pandemonium erupted as panicked runners and spectators scattered, and rescue workers rushed in to care for the injured, some of whom had lost their legs in the blast, witnesses said. The reverberations were felt far outside the city, with officials in Washington heightening security on public transit and shutting down streets near the White House. Pennsylvania Avenue was cordoned off by the Secret Service in what one official described as “an abundance of caution.”

In New York, the Police Department said it was stepping up security at hotels and other prominent locations in the city until more is learned about the explosion.
Here's more, this is what else I've seen out there about who possibly did this deed:
In the chaotic hours after the explosions, according to a person briefed on preliminary developments in the investigation late Monday afternoon, there were reports of three unexploded devices. Police officials said at least one was detonated in a controlled explosion.

At their final briefing Monday night, officials said that the F.B.I. had taken over the investigation. Richard DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the Boston office, called it “a criminal investigation that is a potential terrorist investigation.” But they offered no information on what they had found or what they were investigating except to say that they were bringing “very substantial federal resources” to bear.

It was unclear Monday evening who might be responsible for the blast. Although investigators confirmed that they were speaking to a Saudi citizen, several law enforcement officials took pains to note that no one was being held in custody.

While the authorities have not arrested the Saudi man, he has remained at a hospital under close supervision by law enforcement authorities, according to a senior law enforcement official.

By nightfall, the authorities were acting on the belief that there had only been two explosive devices. As a precaution, the authorities had blown up several bags — which they believed were likely left by marathon runners — that were on the streets near the attacks.
Treated like a potential terrorist act! Well hopefully more facts come out as to who perpetrated this and why.

Progressive Racism

This article from the National Review seeks to connect the current generation of progressives with those of one full century earlier. Specifically they point out the racial policies of President Woodrow Wilson who during his term of office from 1913 to 1921 had set out to racially re-segregate the federal bureaucracy. Found this article interesting perhaps there is someone out there who disagrees!

Hat-tip Newsalert!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

More about "Dallas"

My mother was a fan of Dallas. I knew it was on but when that show was at it's height of popularity it was way too adult for me. Probably couldn't understand half of what they were doing.

It wasn't until I graduated from high school (GO FALCONS) and started attending a community college in downtown Chicago that I really began watching the series. At the time the show aired on this network known as TNN (The Nashville Network) which is the network that eventually become Spike and Dallas certainly fit the whole country music motif.

Once I made the comment that Dallas was a good way to learn business although yeah we're talking about a drama series here. Real life is a long way from what we find in that series although hey sometimes we can be surprised!

BTW, years ago visiting my brother who currently lives in Texas we dropped by Southfork. Somewhere in my archives I have a picture. Back then when I think of that proud US state I think of Walker, Texas Ranger. Now my expectation will be on finding the Ewings.

It's going to go from, I'm expecting fireworks to where's JR & Bobby Ewing. Probably wouldn't run into them at Southfork! lol

BTW, looking forward to the last two episodes of the current season of the new series. What will be the conclusion to JR's "masterpiece".

I've been getting into the "Dallas" reboot...

You know the series as it concludes it's second season on TNT is just getting better. During the course of the current season the iconic character JR Ewing was put to rest having been murdered. Before his untimely demise he puts together his "masterpiece" that now his family has to piece together to defeat their enemies. JR's demise was precipitated by actor Larry Hagman's death from cancer late last year.

Anyway I'm disappointed that I couldn't find an extended version of the scene above to embed so I'll post a link in the brackets [VIDEO]. This scene is from the original series and shows Jock Ewing, Bobby's father having to teach his youngest son a lesson about life & business. Bobby was upset some funds were taken from Ewing Oil without his knowlege and Jock has to tell him! Tell him that although Jock gave Bobby the power to run the family-owned oil business, however, power isn't given to you. Power is something you TAKE!

If that's not a life lesson, I have little idea what else is. On this blog I seek to write a lot about politics and you know this is a political lesson as much as it is a business lesson. Being a political science major in college and having dabbled in political theory there is certainly a work out there that describes this lesson.

You know perhaps Machiavelli is the political theorist who could describe this dynamic more than anyone else I have read. In fact the episode of the new Dallas series where they read JR's will & testament one of the things he gave to his family mainly his nephew Christopher Ewing was some of Machiavelli's works. My first thought was his book The Prince which I have read, however, Machiavelli has written more books that I have yet to run into so far.

So if you believe that this scene may echo Machiavelli, it's very interesting to see it play out in a TV drama! Also looking forward to the last two episodes of the current season.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

This song makes me miss the 1980s

[VIDEO] I'm old enough to barely remember the 1980s. So young by the time I became aware of the decade that was, it became the 1990s just like that.

80s culture is different by culture I'm referring to music, TV or even movies for example. There were other aspects than that I'm sure, but those are the easiest ones to point out.

While the music scene of the 21st Century doesn't stand out to me as much as it did the last century, wouldn't anyone get a kick out of a music video inspired by the one above. Talking Heads song "Road to Nowhere" and watching the video version I pay attention to the running man in the lower right hand corner.

Consider this your Saturday entertainment on this blog!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Reason: Reactions to Sen. Rand Paul's Speech at Howard University

[VIDEO] Reason Magazine was at Howard University to interview spectators who attended a program for US Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). The answers provided by those who attended shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. One man says whether or not he votes for the Republican depends upon who the Democrat is. Another lady near the end stated that Sen. Paul would never get her vote. All the same still interesting that Sen. Paul came to speak to students hopefully more Republicans can take his lead.

PREVIOUSLY: Paul gets cool reception at Howard

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Paul gets cool reception at Howard

I think it's a great thing for Kentucky US Senator Rand Paul to visit Howard University - an HBCU. It's truly good to know an American university is truly seeking to provide students with opposite viewpoints from their own. Still why were the Bisons cool to Sen. Paul:
"I don't think he changed any minds," one student said, noting that Howard has a tradition of allowing controversial figures speak at their university in order to get a broad range of viewpoints.

"I came here because I'm a very open-minded person," Jazmine, a junior, stated. "And I'm excited about the way I hope the GOP will do its thing in the future because I think that they're on the right track," she added. However, she said she did not think that Paul was the right person to spread the GOP's message of tolerance given his questionable position on the Civil Rights Act. (An issue he tried to resolve Monday, claiming that he has "never waivered" in support of the legislation.)

Jazmine and several other students said they also took offense at the Senator's attempts to educate them on the GOP's role in the advancement of African-Americans and pander to them by quoting Toni Morrison and notable Howard alums - all of whom were black. At one point in the speech Paul asked the students if they knew that Republicans founded the NAACP. The audience was visibly taken aback and audibly expressed shock that Paul would have the audacity to ask the predominately black audience a question about black history.

"This is Howard University. We know the history of the Republican Party. We have to take political science. I should have brought my book. That's in the first chapter," Jazmine said.

The outspoken college student admitted that there was nothing Paul could have said or done to change her mind about him or the Republican Party and was unable to give an example of someone within the party she'd be more likely to listen to.

"I feel like no one has really taken a step in that direction" her friend, Evelyn, chimed in, saying she would be more likely to take into consideration a speech by someone "genuine," unlike Paul, who she said should have owned up to his previous statements about the Civil Rights Act.
Perhaps the GOP can reach out to other HBCUs around the nation as well. I'm sure many of them have their own College Republican organizations. If I may add a former RNC chairman Lee Atwater had been a member of the Howard University Board of Trustees although it was for a brief period and he resigned his position.

Via Instapundit who offers Sen. Paul points for actually showing up!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mary Mitchell: Black clergy hypocritical on same-sex marriage issue

Remember what was posted her last Friday about whether or not Black ministers are chasing the wrong issue with their opposition to gay marriage. Well Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell has her own take on this issue.
So I’m not impressed that a group calling itself the African American Clergy Coalition has geared up to battle a bill that would legalize gay marriage in Illinois.

The coalition is attempting to persuade 20 Black Caucus members, who may be the key to passage of the legislation, to vote against the measure.

The coalition, led by the Rev. James Meeks, has partnered with Cardinal Francis George to conduct an “aggressive street campaign” that includes robocalls to African-American households.

“It’s time for the church to wake up,” said Meeks, who also was a vocal opponent of same-sex marriages when he was a state senator.

But it seems hypocritical for black clergy to put this kind of energy into blocking people who want to get hitched legally while doing so little about the absence marriage in the communities where most of their congregants live.

To his credit, in 2010, Meeks challenged 25 unmarried couples in his church to take the plunge at his expense.

Unfortunately, marriage rates in the black community have been in decline for decades. In 2011, there was a lot of moaning and groaning when the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies found that only 52 percent of black women will marry by age 30. That means 48 percent of black women will sit out their prime childbearing years, or give birth without the support of a committed spouse. Today, 70 percent of black children are born outside of marriage.

Researchers blame a host of factors for black people not getting married, including high unemployment and their failure to inherit or accumulate wealth. Instead of marriage, a lot of people have serial relationships that may or may not involve cohabitation. The problems associated with these kinds of arrangements are well-documented. Children of unstable families are more likely to do poorly in school and end up in the criminal justice system.
Here's a real ball of fire thrown here!
Additionally, black clergy need to be careful about where they throw stones.

Despite the hostile attitudes they may encounter, there are gays and lesbians in the black church, and some of these young people are being victimized.

For instance, the black church was recently rocked when the pastor of one of the country’s largest megachurches was caught up in a gay sex scandal.

In 2010, five young men accused Bishop Eddie Long, of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, of lavishing them with gifts and coercing them into sex acts. Long admitted giving the gifts but denied engaging in sex with the men. The pastor settled the cases out of court.

Despite the settlement, one of the accusers, who said he was gay, released a tell-all book in February alleging that he and Long were in an abusive gay relationship.
 OK, so the Black church should tackle the issues of out of wedlock births and the lack of commitment between men & women in Black communities instead of chasing down the issue of gay marriage. In addition, Mitchell is right, there are gays & lesbians who attend church on Sundays as well. Even worse we see an example of a sex scandal when it comes to a Black minister.

I generally don't support gay marriage although I do accept civil unions. At the same time gay marriage should be the least of our concerns. Besides if this is an issue that socially conservative people want to address then perhaps instead of focusing on gay marriage perhaps they should focus on the issue of why people are choosing not to get married.

A message about voting...

Yesterday, was the moment of truth. Mainly in the former Congressional district of Jesse Jackson Jr as his former constituents chose Robin Kelly as their new federal representative instead of her Republican opponent. Also many municipalities around the state also had their moment of truth and chose their mayors and other municipal officials.

Chicago Argus has a message for those of you who chose not to vote in these elections. It's often stated you can't complain if you refuse to cast a vote. Also, another wrinkle is that you can only show the powers that be that you can be walked over.

At least for the contest in the 2nd Congressional District turnout wasn't expected to be very high.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Children as part of a collective

[VIDEO] I'm a believer in this idea that parents are in control of their children. If a parent decides one way unless this may endager the child then others must back off! Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry on the other hand doesn't believe in that.

Let me say this. I've seen variations of this video where she is actually made an ad for her current employer MSNBC. There have been various takes on what she has said.

I've seen this from Alex Jones and others and they basically attack Dr. Harris-Perry for her comments. They don't believe children shouldn't be part of the collective and that they may generally support the parent's right to determine what's best for their children.

On the other hand the Duke University PhD says if we take our children as a collective investments then we may make better investments that would benefit them. This become for many people at some point the children are "owned" by the state. Sometimes I think people can read too much into this statement and then we see this from Dr. Harris-Perry's Wiki profile:
“We have to break through our private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families,” says the professor of political science at Tulane University, where she is founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. Kids belong to whole communities, she insists, and once we realize this we’ll make “better investments” in public education.

She urges us to “break through” the “private idea” that individuals own themselves. Like Marx, she believes the individual is a “communal being” and all human worth is intractably linked to the community, the collective, and the state is the ultimate manifestation of the collective will.
Alas I can't find that actual MSNBC statement, but this doesn't seem more straightforward. It only solidifies MSNBC as a  left-leaning network as much as FOX News could be seen as a right-leaning network.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Found this interesting out of the Golden State...

This article talked about an attempt at a start-up newspaper that didn't appear to take off and then we see some interesting background in this story:
Term limits backed by pre-Mayor Riordan meant that post-Mayor Riordan wasn't mayor anymore—the odious James Hahn had won the run-off election—but Dick Riordan maintained his mayoral title amongst his friends and underlings. And in his new boredom, the very wealthy investment lawyer and politician was thinking about publishing a newspaper. Parties unknown had suggested he get in touch with the people behind the L.A. Examiner. When Welch and I were first summoned to Riordan's low-slung California rambler in Brentwood a few weeks later, we met a garrulous and somewhat disheveled old Irishman full of zeal and filthy jokes. He was always a kind host and gave his scruffy low-income visitors his full attention—during one session in his Mexican-tiled living room, the unseen presence of his personal secretary had to repeatedly remind him by intercom that his friend Bill Clinton was waiting on the line. As in New York City, Riordan's birthplace, a moderate Republican in coastal California is a moderate Democrat anywhere else in the country. I liked him right away.

California's angry Republican base did not care for Riordan at all, and it was this reality that kept him out of the governor's mansion. Riordan had the lead over Gov. Gray Davis, the unloved Democrat, but he couldn't win the GOP primary. On March 5 of 2002, the alleged RINO Riordan lost badly to Bill Simon, who talked tough and had once worked for September 11 hero Rudy Giuliani, who at that point had still somehow saved America from terrorism by being the mayor of New York on 9/11.
Hmmm, the Mayor of LA Richard Riordan a Republican. At that a moderate Republican who anywhere else is a Democrat or if he stayed Republican a "RINO". And in California, the GOP isn't exactly a powerful and vibrant breed and yet primary GOP voters couldn't get with a so-called "RINO".

I could see a parallel between California vs. Illinois, there. I'm not certain about California politics except to say that Democrats have solid majorities there. While seasoned Gov. Jerry Brown seems to have made some good moves this could beg the question anywhere. Could any state be well served by having only one party in power at all levels of Government?

Friday, April 05, 2013

Are Black ministers chasing after the wrong issue?

This is something I intend to post over at my other blog The Sixth Ward although at the suggestion of the other bloggers it was pushed back to much later.

As of late gay marriage is the debate of the moment. It has heated up even though we already have in this state civil unions for everybody. Still right now in spite of the many issues that are truly affecting this state such as its finances, crime, economy, etc. gay marriage seems to have the attention of our state's leadership.

I found this comment interesting this morning from a Tribune article found via Capitol Fax last Thursday. The underlying issue is gay marriage, however, there is a wrinkle in this as many of this state's Black legislators aren't yet on board:
"To be honest with you, it's a little disheartening," said Democratic Rep. Will Davis of Homewood, a black caucus member who has not made up his mind as he works out whether gay marriage is a moral or public policy issue.

"There are so many large-scale issues important to the black community, but you've never heard from them," Davis said of the churches opposed to gay marriage. "This doesn't create jobs. It doesn't create opportunities and, for the most part, they are silent on helping African-Americans getting job opportunities in this state. They are silent on the increasing prison population."
The second paragraph is worth some discussion. It could beg the question if you believe that Black churches should be taking a bigger role in helping Blacks get job opportunities or having a role with regards to the prison population such as keeping people out of jail.

On the other hand I'm sure many of you might disagree with Rep. Davis' statement above. Hopefully someone has something to say.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Well actually you don't need a college degree for a cashier's job at McDonald's

An update to an earlier post also found on Instapundit. It turns out that job listing for Micky Ds was erroneous.
Good news for teenage job seekers: You don’t really need a college degree to work at a Massachusetts McDonald’s.

A report buzzing around the Internet Thursday claimed the McDonald’s restaurant in Winchendon had posted an opening for a cashier position that said applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and two years experience.

No, they do not.

“We do not require a bachelor’s degree for employment,” said Joe Ruscito, owner of the Winchendon fast-food outlet, in a statement. “My organization is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse work force.”

The bogus posting for the McDonald’s position was listed by an independent job search site called www.jobdiagnosis.com. A spokesman for the site’s owner, VHMnetwork LLC, confirmed the posting contained inaccurate information.
Well young people, continue searching and PLEASE stay in school.

Washington Examiner: McDonald's want ad demands bachelor's degree, two years experience for cashier

Wow, this is unbelievable. A bachelor's degree to even operate a cash register and sell hamburgers. This is a classic McJob and to start probably won't make enough money to pay off student loans. There had better be opportunities for growth here! Why take it if you won't go anywhere in the business?

Via Instapundit!

Capitol Fax: Behind Kirk’s move

The analysis over my junior US Senator Mark Kirk's support for gay marriage. Could his support provide cover for other Republicans who may want to offer their support? That or at least allow Republicans a way to take this off the table so that they can move on to issues that's more important than this such as the economy or state finances. Of course many hope the Supreme Court of the United States can take this issue off the table politically as well.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Chicago politics 21st century style...

It seems while NYC is starting off their election season for Mayor as Michael Bloomberg departs after three terms, we see things heat up here in Chicago for the mayoral race in 2013. Mayor Rahm Emanuel left (or was forced out of) his gig as White House chief of staff to President Obama to run in 2011. He won overwhelmingly and has made some tough decisions since succeeding Richard M. Daley.

His base for his victory two years ago were mostly Blacks but recently they have started to waiver in their support thanks to issues of crime and the recent school closings. While the Mayor is only now beginning some damage control there is already speculation as to whom might run against him two years from now.

So far a name floating around is former Alderman and current Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. An interesting possibility but who knows if she's right for the job. The thing is if people aren't happy with Rahm that's fine, but who's going to run against him that these unhappy voters will consider electing as their Mayor.

Recently I saw this post by another Mayoral challenger Jay Stone. He's an interesting case if you look at his political timeline, but what you may not see on his campaign website is that he is the son of a former Chicago Alderman. Stone's father Bernie was the oldest sitting Alderman on the Chicago City Council until he was defeated in the same election that elected Emanuel as Mayor. Stone himself attempted to run for Alderman years ago and his Aldermanic father refused to endorse him!

All the same we see possibly two people who may run against Emanuel, however, one would possibly have a better chance than the other. The other being Stone who's already asking for help to circulate petitions although I'm sure that won't start in earnest until closer to 2015.

BTW, I recommend you give a read to Stone's "Civil Rights and Election Reforms: The Right to Vote is Meaningless Without Political Competition" written on his campaign website. He attempts to illustrate why the Democratic machine has the hold on Chicago as it does. He may talk about the old time honored tradition of patronage and then brings it to today where old fashioned patronage is really illegal however from the time of the last of the big city bosses Richard J. to his son Richard M. they still know how to get the votes.

The new Star Trek is coming soon...

[VIDEO] Another preview for the coming Star Trek into Darkness coming to theaters May 17th, 2013. It seems very action packed and I'm really curious about the plot points!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Ward Room: Illinois Ranked Last In Personal Freedoms

Well how's that?
Even though Illinois has done more for freedom than any state -- one of our presidents freed the slaves, and one of our generals made that stick -- we’re ranked #45 overall for freedom, and dead last for personal freedoms. We’ve been at the bottom of that list since 2007. The reasons? It’s hard to get high and/or carry a gun around here. Illinois also has harsh asset forfeiture laws, which put the burden of proof on property owners and grant 90 percent of proceeds from seized property to law enforcement.
From the study:
In the personal freedom dimension, Illinois has the sixth harshest gun control laws in the country, though these were improved by the McDonald v. Chicago decision striking down local gun bans. The state’s victimless crimes arrest rates are very high. In 2010, arrests for victimless crimes (excluding minors) made up over 1.5 percent of the state’s population; the vast majority of these were for drugs.
However, that figure is actually an improvement on 2008. Illinois’s marijuana laws are more restrictive than Georgia’s, which is surprising for a left-leaning state. Its asset forfeiture laws are also among the worst in the nation. On the plus side, Illinois’s home school regulations were effectively as minimal as Idaho’s—a case of benign neglect, it seems. The state’s marriage freedom score will improve in the next version of the index since civil unions were legalized in 2011.
You can read the report on Illinois here. Also here's more from Reason although they don't really talk about Illinois:
Rule-bound Massachusetts inspired the line, "everything's illegal in Massachusetts" in the Mel Gibson flick, Edge of Darkness. And, if that line isn't technically true, as a former resident of the Bay State I can testify that it's close enough to capture the feel of a place so ensnared in laws and taxes that you can safely assume that whatever the hell you're doing can get you in hot water if the wrong person takes notice. So it's no surpise that the state ranks poorly in the Mercatus Center's new report, Freedom in the 50 States, published today. If anything, Massachusetts's ranking of 30 seems generous, but the place has a lot of competition in the race to the bottom. And, the Bay State offsets hideous gun laws and land-use restrictions by recognizing same-sex marriage, and keeping arrests for victimless crimes, including marijuana use, rather restrained. The state also has a modestly sized government workforce and average tax rates, which let it shine relative to states like last-place New York.

But Massachusetts, like many less-free states, is losing population to states that rank more strongly overall in their respect for freedom. Not incidentally, freer states also tend to have higher growth in personal income than less-free states. And, there's a direct link between that prosperity and certain types of freedom. Specifically, note authors William P. Ruger and Jason Sorens, "[o]ur study has found that a positive relationship exists between a state's fiscal freedom and its net migration rate and income growth."

But the top-ranked states are red states, with the exception of New Hampshire, and the usual assumption is that red states favor economic liberty and blue states favor social freedom. Does that mean that Americans looking for economic opportunity have to trade off some leeway in their personal lives? Surprisingly, not really — or maybe a little, but in return for leeway in other areas.
I just looked over at the CapFax again and I see that there may be legislation although very strict could allow for medicinal marihuana. As far as personal freedom goes in Chicago at least police are authorized to issue tickets instead of making arrests at least when it comes to possession of marihuana.

My position is that personal liberty is very important, but it must go hand in hand with economic liberty. Bad news is too many people think they know best. When it comes to economic freedom we have had many debates on that issue and look no further than Wal-Mart where opposition was mostly over how much they pay their employees.

What would it take to make the 10 least free states in our union more free?

Capitol Fax: Sen. Kirk announces support for gay marriage

It caught my eye this morning that the junior US Senator from Illinois - Republican Mark Kirk - has come out in favor of gay marriage. Rich Miller of the Capitol Fax gave a brief blurb and one of the links he offered was from Sen. Kirk's blog:

When I climbed the Capitol steps in January, I promised myself that I would return to the Senate with an open mind and greater respect for others.

Same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage. Our time on this Earth is limited, I know that better than most. Life comes down to who you love and who loves you back-- government has no place in the middle.
Why I'm advertising the Capitol Fax is the always very active and opinionated comments section. While a majority of the comments are generally supportive of the Senator's stance on gay marriage, the debate seems to find it's way back towards where many think the GOP should be going.

One comment caught my eye: "Ronny, I’d say he’s acting more like an old-school Illinois Republican. You know, the ones who were relevant and won elections and such."

If you want to know about an old school Illinois Republican check this post about former Governor Jim Thompson.

Here's another interesting comment: "Well done, United States Senator Mark Kirk. Help our Party, sir, understand the Reagan Rule of 80% is far more important than the 'Purity' those 'Non-RINOs' crave."

It went from the continuing debate over the whether or not gays should be allowed civil marriage (other than the civil unions already offered in IL starting in 2011) to the direction of the Republican Party of Illinois if not nationwide. I

I didn't want to engage in this debate this time around. If you read my blog long enough you know my position and while it has changed slightly overtime it really hasn't changed much. What has my focus is on the debate over the Republican direction.

Frankly this state has suffered through becoming primarily a Democratic majority state. I don't entirely understand why any significant population will go with one side and totally shun the other side. There shouldn't be a problem with any Republican taking a stand on the controversial issue of gay marriage. And who knows in Illinois this might change the tide where Republicans can finally make in roads.

Another thing that has been said here about RINOs is that I generally don't believe in that. What makes a Republican pure and in this state with its history of corruption in both parties, RINOs don't make that much difference. Indeed in the past decade Republicans haven't been able to get anywhere near power. Therefore shunning so-called RINOs isn't helping at this moment.

Other than that would Sen. Kirk or any other Republican's stance on gay marriage affect your support or non-support for this issue? Would it affect your support for either party?

Monday, April 01, 2013

Ward Room: Illinois's Most Racist Senate Campaign

This sets up a fascinating historical posting by Edward McClelland over at the Ward Room. I recognize that the politics of the 19th Century is vastly different than those of the 21st. Hard to find such a campaign today.
The 1858 election, which was the most famous Senate race in American history and propelled Abraham Lincoln to the presidency, featured both candidates competing over who would do the best job of keeping blacks out of Illinois, and preventing intermarriage between the races.

The incumbent, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas of Chicago, was in a bind over the issue of slavery. Douglas was running for re-election in a free state, but he also was seeking the goodwill of Southern Democrats who could deliver him the party’s presidential nomination in 1860. He had authored the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed residents of a territory to vote on whether to allow slavery, insisting the issue should be determined by popular sovereignty.

The challenger, Republican Abraham Lincoln of Springfield, believed that the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision, which prohibited territories from banning slavery, would inevitably allow slave owners to bring their property into free states, including Illinois. He had sewn up the votes of abolitionists in northern Illinois. Douglas had the votes of slavery proponents in southern Illinois. The election would be decided by moderate ex-Whigs in the middle of the state. They hated slavery, but they hated blacks, too, and for the same reason: because both plantation owners and free blacks would undercut the prices for white labor. Just five years before, Illinois had passed a set of Black Laws forbidding African-Americans from settling in the state.

So Douglas ran an all-out racist campaign. He accused Lincoln of plotting to free slaves all over the United States, and allowing them to settle in Illinois.
I suggest you read the whole thing. It seems history is a lot more complicated than the legend. Lincoln may have arrived at the beliefs of freeing the slaves later than he did in 1858. That is assuming you believe that and still he was part of a racially charged campaign.

He said a lot of things wanting votes. Also let's not forget up until at least 1912 US Senators were still elected by state legislatures. Lincoln and Douglas may have held debates for the citizens of Illinois, but they needed the legislatures to appoint them to the US Senate.

College Grads May Be Stuck in Low-Skill Jobs

As a college graduate who isn't exactly in a high-skill job this article is depressing. This is a week economy and if college grads are in the running for these low-skill jobs then there's another side effect.
The recession left millions of college-educated Americans working in coffee shops and retail stores. Now, new research suggests their job prospects may not improve much when the economy rebounds.

Underemployment—skilled workers doing jobs that don't require their level of education—has been one of the hallmarks of the slow recovery. By some measures, nearly half of employed college graduates are in jobs that don't traditionally require a college degree.

Economists have generally assumed the problem was temporary: As the economy improved, companies would need more highly educated employees. But in a paper released Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a team of Canadian economists argues that the U.S. faces a longer-term problem.

They found that unlike the 1990s, when companies needed hundreds of thousands of skilled workers to develop, build and install high-tech systems—everything from corporate intranets to manufacturing robots—demand for such skills has fallen in recent years, even as young people continued to flock to programs that taught them.

"Once the robots are in place you still need some people, but you need a lot less than when you were putting in the robots," said Paul Beaudry, an economist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and the paper's lead author. New technologies may eventually revive demand for advanced skills, he added, but an economic recovery alone won't be sufficient.

David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has studied issues of skills and education, called Mr. Beaudry's thesis "provocative" but also "speculative." There is no question, Mr. Autor said, that the wage premium enjoyed by college graduates hasn't grown as quickly during the 2000s as in earlier decades. But whether that is the result of a glut of degree holders or some other explanation isn't yet clear.
And now the side effect:
Better-educated workers still face far better job prospects than their less-educated counterparts. The unemployment rate for Americans with at least a bachelor's degree was 3.8% in February, compared with 7.9% for those with just a high school diploma. College-educated employees also tend to earn more and advance more quickly even when they are in fields that don't require a degree.

But as college-educated workers have been forced to take lower-level jobs, they have displaced less-skilled workers, leaving those without degrees with few job options. "You eventually push the lowest skilled out of the market," Mr. Beaudry said.
WOW! Here's hoping you're not in this boat.

Via Instapundit!