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Sunday, July 28, 2013

McArdle: Why Your Little Alma Mater May Go Extinct

If you read Instapundit you see a lot of posts about the "higher education bubble". In one recent post he found another example which explains that admissions as some schools are more selective and college enrollment has decline thanks to the job market & cost of tuition. He goes on to explain an unfortunate side effect to the changing higher education environment:
Many of the hard-hit schools seem to be historically black colleges. Here in Washington, for instance, Howard University is in the middle of a bruising board fight, thanks in part to falling enrollments. Renee Higginbotham-Brooks, vice chairwoman of the board of trustees, prophesied that "Howard will not be here in three years if we don't make some crucial decisions now." This strikes me as unlikely -- Howard was founded by a congressional grant after the Civil War, and I doubt that Congress will let it go under. But the threat is undoubtedly real for other historically black schools.

The concentration of enrollment declines among the schools that serve poor and minority communities raises some uncomfortable questions. On a positive note, this may mean that kids have access to a better class of school. On the other hand, it may mean that the schools best equipped to serve those kids fold, leaving nothing in their place. While I'm on the record as saying that we should probably send fewer kids to college, this isn't the way that I wanted to accomplish that. Rather, I wanted us to stop relying on rank credentialism, and to think harder about viable alternatives for kids who may not be academically inclined.
So to illustrate what's happening to the not so big name schools of academia the author points out an historically Black college such as Howard U.

I'm a long way from evaluating how Universities are doing, but I can only talk about myself. I don't regret getting a degree what I do regret is not being more academically inclined not just when I got to school but before I graduated from high school. My background was a long way from being a serious student.

So anyway there are a number of things to consider. What kind of students do universities want? What alternatives are available for high school seniors who don't seem inclined to go to college? What should we expect from a university other than allowing access to a university education and/or a degree?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sun-Times: Cook County sheriff’s team taking guns if FOID card is revoked

I'm no lawyer, but this strikes me as unconstitutional. As in unlawful search and seizure, surely there is someone out there who may set the record straight on this.
A new Cook County Sheriff’s team is crisscrossing the suburbs to seize guns from thousands of people whose Firearm Owner’s Identification Cards have been revoked.

More than 3,000 people in Cook County have failed to surrender their revoked FOID cards to the state. Sheriff Tom Dart said he thinks many of them continue to possess firearms.

The Chicago Police Department conducts regular missions to recover revoked FOID cards and seize guns from the holders, but there wasn’t a concerted effort to do that in Cook County’s suburbs, Dart said.

“The system is broken,” the sheriff said. “The system revokes cards, but the guns are of no consequence. . . . Our strong hope is that we will eliminate tragedies.”

FOID cards are supposed to protect the public from dangerous people. Mental illness, felonies and protection orders are grounds for the state to revoke the cards from their holders. It’s illegal to buy guns or ammunition without one.

In February, Dart assigned a sergeant and four investigators to a gun team that has recovered about 160 FOID cards and taken more than 160 guns from the cardholders.

In one case, the team recovered more than 35 firearms, including four AR-15 assault rifles, from a suicidal man whose card was revoked.
Eliminate tragedies, sounds like good propaganda for gun grabbers. Although let me take a breath, of course the last thing we would want is someone who is mentally ill have posses a gun and potentially use it. Here's another breath:
People with revoked FOID cards can’t buy guns from federally licensed firearms dealers. For any gun sale, a store must conduct a background check that will uncover a FOID revocation.

But background checks aren’t required for ammunition. Someone buying bullets must simply show a FOID card. A person with a revoked card probably would still be able to buy bullets because the salesperson wouldn’t know it was revoked, Dart said.

The sheriff said the bigger problem is that most revoked FOID card holders continue to possess guns. Dart said he persuaded the General Assembly to include new language in the FOID law that would allow sheriffs and municipal police to obtain search warrants to look for guns in the homes of people with revoked FOID cards. Dart called the provision a “hammer” for police to wield when investigators suspect people with revoked cards have guns — but the people insist they don’t.
OK, they do have a warrant to conduct a search for a weapon, but shouldn't there be a probable cause for any violent episode. I'm sure in some way doing so is justifiable.

Friday, July 26, 2013

McArdle: How Detroit Drowned in a Sea of Troubles

Bloomberg's Megan McArdle talks about Detroit. This was an unbelieable idea to present towards Detroit's decline:
Why did crime rise so much during that era? I think Kevin Drum has made a very convincing case that the answer is leaded gasoline. Lead exposure, particularly in early childhood, stunts the parts of the brain that are responsible for impulse control. And criminals, by and large, have very poor impulse control.

So it’s probably not a surprise that Detroit was particularly hard-hit by the crime waves of the 1960s through 1980s; Motown was a city created by and for the automobile. Generations of kids were growing up inhaling tiny particles of lead, making them less employable and more prone to crime and violence.
WOW! Does anyone agree with this? Not sure I could, but lest anyone over reacts to this it just underscores how very important it is to ensure clean air quality. A major city should not be built upon automobiles.

In any event, in spite of this the other arguments here as far as economics, bad government, or crime makes sense. Well the crime thing in spite of the statement you see above makes sense. It's safe to say Detroit will be saddled with this as they've filed for bankruptcy:
Jonathan Chait describes the toxic politics that Detroit’s poisonous racial history left behind:

“White and black politics were locked into mutually reinforcing pathologies. Whites fled the city, blamed blacks for its destruction and, in many cases, gloated in its failures. Hostility toward the white suburbs shaped Detroit’s politics, which frequently amounted to race-to-the-bottom demagogic contests to label the opposing candidate a secret tool of white interests, with the predictable result on the quality of government. The worse Detroit got, the more whites hated and feared, fueling black racial paranoia, which made the city worse still. (Some national commentators recently suggested that Mitt Romney be brought in to turn around the city, which is a bit like suggesting that Benjamin Netanyahu would make a great Prime Minister for the Palestinians -- hey, he’s from around there!)”
I need to see what Detroiters are really saying about this? The only picture I get is from national sources, but I could get a clearer picture from local sources that I need to find and pronto!

Hat-tip Instapundit!

The comparison between Chicago & Detroit

This time the conservative blog Illinois Review makes the comparison between Detroit and Chicago. Let's start with one example of how Detroit went into bankruptcy:
But in the fall of 1978, the city of Detroit showed signs of recovery. Crime rates were dropping – by 19 percent in 1977 alone – and as the Detroit News observed, "People are beginning to return to the downtown … beginning to lose their wariness about venturing into the city."

Detroit’s health was still precarious though. The city's budget was tight, and Mayor Coleman Young needed a lean contract with the police and firefighter unions to make it work.

Young had a background in radical politics through the United Auto Workers union and in the civil rights movement, and he had been sharply critical of police tactics, so his relationship with the police union was already poor. Then the police union insisted on a cost-of-living adjustment that was especially costly in that era of high inflation. Young argued, correctly, that the city could not afford the raises. An arbitrator was appointed to settle the issue, and he sided with the police.

The ruling did serious damage to Detroit’s budget. Young eventually resorted to large-scale layoffs of police officers. Over the next two years the Detroit police force was cut by more than 25 percent. Crime rates jumped 15 percent in 1980. In 1981, the union agreed to a three-year wage freeze, but by then Detroit’s decline had taken on a momentum of its own.

It would be unfair to put all the blame on the police and fire unions. Racial discord, setbacks in the automobile industry, and the controversial policies of Mayor Coleman Young all played their part.

But it is very possible that if the union had lost its arbitration hearing in 1978, the city as a whole would be in far better shape today – and so would thousands of city workers.
So in the 1970s Detroit lost 300K people and chicago in the 2000s lost 200K people. There's 100K between both cities in different time periods. Chicago did indeed have a teacher's strike last year and if the teachers gained anything after the strike, they now have to grapple with layoffs at the Chicago Public School in addition to closure of at least 50 schools.

The author Paul Kersey - Director of Labor Policy at the Illinois Policy Institute - at least was correct to say this:
Has Chicago reached its tipping point? It is too early to say, but one thing is certain: Chicago must be allowed to live within its means, and that in turn means that it must be able to hold the line on employee costs while providing basic services such as quality education and public safety. The alternative is not some sort of workers’ paradise, but a ruined city where all – public workers included – are worse off.
As a Chicago resident it bothers me that people are ready to write off Chicago. Still will our leaders realize what needs to be done to keep Chicago from going the same route as Detroit has currently?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Witness to lynching of Emmett Till has passed away

I just learned about another chapter in the sad case of Emmett Till. Until today I had little idea that there has been a witness to what happened to this teenaged boy in Money, Mississippi:

A key witness to the 1955 deadly beating of a black teen in Mississippi, a case that opened nation's eyes to the discrimination African Americans faced in the 50's, has died of intestinal bleeding, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Willie Louis, a Chicago resident, was 76 when he passed away from intestinal bleeding on July 18th, the newspaper reports.

After the trial in the murder of Emmett Till, Louis fled to Chicago in fear for his life, changed his name and slipped out of the public for nearly 50 years, according to the paper.

Louis was born in Greenwood, Miss., his wife, Juliet Luois, reportedly said he lived with his grandparents who worked as sharecroppers.

Mike Smalls, a teacher who has studied the landmark case, has told the Chicago Sun-Times that Louis was "one of the unsung civil rights heroes."
What happened to the young Mr. Till has still got to be the saddest case ever considered and unfortunately he wasn't going to get justice in 1950s Mississippi. And it took Mr. Lewis time to finally come out and tell his story as a witness to this unbelievable crime.

I would've like to see his interview on 60 Minutes!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sun-Times analysis: Why we’re not the next Detroit

It has been said out there although admittedly it's by people who like to criticize cities such as Chicago because of it's decades long Democratic Party dominance of city government. Chicago has many issues without a doubt, however, will Chicago be the next Detroit?

This Sun-Times analysis says no. Time can only tell, but without having to read it I can only agree that Chicago may well be a long way from Detroit. Let's hope that the people who are leading the city will do what it takes to not allow Chicago to fall the way Detroit has.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

"In Living Color": Keep your butt in school



[VIDEO] About five years ago, I found a YouTube clip featuring Damon Wayons in character as Oswald Bates on the late great FOX sketch comedy series In Living Color and posted it to the late My Mind's Eye. There was an underlying message to this clip as it seems Bates while behind bars using big words and terms out of context. This was basically a faux commercial for the United Negro Scholarhsip Fund (yes there is in fact a United Negro College Fund) with the message "Keep your butt in school". Hilarious but not a bad message at all and surely there are plenty of young men just like Bates even if they don't express themselves the way he does.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Detroit has filed for bankruptcy Part 2



[VIDEO] Reason talks about Detroit in this recent video. Of course Reason is a libertarian magazine that often attacks anything resembling the big government model. Detroit is often the posterchild for that model and it's often noted that Motor City has been controlled by Democrats for many years. With that in mind Reason noted:
In fat times and lean, the city’s pols and power-brokers chose to focus their energy, and the residents’ tax dollars on gigantic, big-ticket development scams while ignoring the basics that let cities thrive – or at least survive.
On the other hand there's Megan McCardle at Bloombery who also discusses Detroit's current predicament it noted that the recent bankruptcy filing has come under judicial scrutiny. It was ruled by a Michigan court that the filing must be withdrawn until the court is able to rule on a bid by bondholders and pension funds. She further noted:
But notwithstanding the judicial ruling and attempted procedural trickery, Detroit faces an ugly and unyielding truth: It can’t pay its debts and obligations. The city’s financial condition has been weak for decades, and over the last 15 years, it has collapsed. Since peaking in 1950, the population of the city has fallen by more than half; what’s left is poor, with a median household income of only $27,862. Unfortunately, Detroit still has the size and government benefits structure of a much larger, more prosperous city. Something has to shrink.
So Detroit once had over 1 million people over 60 years ago and now is reduced to at least 700k people. Can you afford to maintain a city that has a population that has been drastically reduced. I've seen photos of the city that is largely vacant as many homes have been either torn down and therefore neighborhoods have as McCardle has put it, "Large swaths of the city are slowly reverting to the farmland they were built on".

Here's hoping Detroit can get back to better fiscal health. Let's hope that in 2013 the people who are running in their municipal election have their eye on getting Detroit back on its feet. Let's also hope they avoid nonsense like this:
All along, the state’s involvement — including Mr. Snyder’s decision to send in an emergency manager — has carried racial implications, setting off a wave of concerns for some in Detroit that the mostly-white, Republican-led state government was trying to seize control of Detroit, a Democratic-held city where more than 80 percent of residents are black.  
Yeah throwing the race and political card won't help Detroit out. It's likely make things worse!

#facepalm part 2


View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.


Well in response to the controversy that state Rep. Monique Davis stirred when she offered an unsubstantiated rumor that the police was behind some murders in her community. She discusses those comments made on a Detroit radio station in a press conference on Friday. Our local NBC affiliate has the video you see above. I'm sure there are still some who really see this as a farce.

An ya know other than the comments over at the CapFax, I should've known 2nd City Cop would have something to say as well.

Friday, July 19, 2013

#facepalm

Remember a few years ago that Keith Olberman listed a Chicago Democratic state Representative Monique Davis as the worst person in the world because she lit right into an atheist at a hearing. If only Olberman still had a TV program, if he heard about this story would she still be the worst person in the world?
“I’m going to tell you what some suspicions have been, and people have whispered to me: they’re not sure that black people are shooting all of these children,” Davis said.

“There’s some suspicion – and I don’t want to spread this, but I’m just going to tell you what I’ve been hearing – they suspect maybe the police are killing some of these kids.”

When WBBM asked Davis if she thinks it’s possible that police are killing children, she said, “I don’t know. I don’t know that they are, and I don’t know that they aren’t, since no one’s been arrested. We don’t know who’s doing it.”
Unbelievable! The police's response:
Chicago Police Department spokesman Adam Collins responded to Representative Davis’ comments:

“The men and women of Chicago Police Department work tirelessly every day to keep our city safe.

“These comments are so outrageous and baseless, that they do not merit any comment.”
I found this article via CapFax. The comments seems to be universal against Rep. Davis. They wonder why no one has either challenged her or defeated her. She's got a hold on her district in some way. Rich Miller himself noted that the powerful 19th Ward has attempted to move her but has had little success.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Detroit has filed for bankruptcy

Today, the great American city of Detroit is the largest city in US History to file municipal bankruptcy:
Detroit, the cradle of America’s automobile industry and once the nation’s fourth-most-populous city, has filed for bankruptcy, an official said Thursday afternoon, the largest American city ever to take such a course.

The decision to turn to the federal courts, which required approval from both the emergency manager assigned to oversee the troubled city and from Gov. Rick Snyder, is also the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in American history in terms of debt.

Not everyone agrees how much Detroit owes, but Kevyn D. Orr, the emergency manager who was appointed by Mr. Snyder to resolve the city’s financial problems, has said the debt is likely to be $18 billion and perhaps as much as $20 billion.

For Detroit, the filing comes as a painful reminder of a city’s rise and fall.

Founded more than 300 years ago, the city expanded at a stunning rate in the first half of the 20th century with the arrival of the automobile industry, and then shrank away in recent decades at a similarly remarkable pace. A city of 1.8 million in 1950, it is now home to 700,000 people, as well as to tens of thousands of abandoned buildings, vacant lots and unlit streets.

From here, there is no road map for Detroit’s recovery, not least of all because municipal bankruptcies are rare. Some bankruptcy experts and city leaders bemoaned the likely fallout from the filing, including the stigma it would carry. They anticipate further benefit cuts for city workers and retirees, more reductions in services for residents, and a detrimental effect on future borrowing.

But others, including some Detroit business leaders who have seen a rise in private investment downtown despite the city’s larger struggles, said bankruptcy seemed the only choice left — and one that might finally lead to a desperately needed overhaul of city services and a plan to pay off some reduced version of the overwhelming debts. In short, a new start.
I think that this article is well worth your time if you want to read. Detroit as we all know has long been a struggling metropolis and sadly we see some evidence as to how many in Detroit may view the state-appointed emergency financial manager:
All along, the state’s involvement — including Mr. Snyder’s decision to send in an emergency manager — has carried racial implications, setting off a wave of concerns for some in Detroit that the mostly-white, Republican-led state government was trying to seize control of Detroit, a Democratic-held city where more than 80 percent of residents are black. 
No offense, but with these issues Detroit face:
Instead, numerous factors over many years have brought Detroit to this point, including a shrunken tax base but still a huge, 139-square-mile city to maintain; overwhelming health care and pension costs; repeated efforts to manage mounting debts with still more borrowing; annual deficits in the city’s operating budget since 2008; and city services crippled by aged computer systems, poor record-keeping and widespread dysfunction.

All of that makes bankruptcy — a process that could take months, if not years, and is itself expected to be costly — particularly complex.
So yeah, trying to throw a race card in the face of the issues you see in the quote above sure seems small minded. It doesn't seem as if Detroit was going to get itself out of its hole!

Keep in mind this year is an election year in Detroit and Mayor Dave Bing who continues to manage Detroit's affairs along with the Detroit city council, however, the Emergency Manager could revoke their authority at any time. Bing himself is not running for re-election as Mayor and I certainly wonder how this could play out in the municipal campaign there.

And lest the Chicago isn't Detroit folks start to talk, today the Windy City's bond rating has been lowered not one level nor two, but three levels! Ouch!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Popular Mechanics: How the Pentagon Could Destroy All Monsters

In the latest Hollywood release Pacific Rim, robots piloted by humans take on gigantic outer space monsters who are able to attack the Earth through some type of cosmic portal located in the oceans. This article from Popular Mechanics examines how our military could infact fight these monsters without utilizing gigantic robots. I share with you because at least in this case it keeps it as close to earth as possible although granted giant monsters invading Earth is well as far outer space as one could get!

Via Instapundit!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Reason.tv: The Glorious Rebirth of Bus Travel & Why the Gov't May Ruin it Again


[VIDEO] Reason takes a look at the bus industry and how government interference helped hasten its decline after the 2nd World War. Today the industry is making a comeback as it appears curbside bus service - especially for intercity travel - is allowing more people to take the bus.

When I attended school in Atlanta, my mode of transit was mainly Greyhound. I can see how curbside service could be attractive as it costs money to maintain stations and terminals. In the meanwhile with such services such as Megabus all you need is a bus, possibly a garage, and then a place for the bus to pick-up or drop-off passengers. Also I forgot about labor, the buses can't drive themselves.

Another thing reason correctly notes, in the years I've taken the bus even before the Morehouse College years Greyhound has changed. They repainted their buses, made changes to their terminals, they've even added amenities to their buses with places to charge mobile devices and free wi-fi. Also it helps that you don't have to go to the terminal to pick up a ticket you can even print it off at home. For the context of this video, Greyhound owns some of the bus services popular in NYC's Chinatown.

I have to think, this video portrays starting a bus transit service as being particularly easy back in the past. Just buy a vehicle and start picking up people and yes I realize it's not entirely that simple as well you have to let people know you're in business to start. All the same this could go for a number of industries.

How did it happen that government comes in and sets all these rules for what they expect businesses to do? How is it for anyone who wants to operate intercity bus services that companies must have a permit? Even then how is it government decides that cracks in the frame of a bus is a huge issue while an organization represented bus companies have acknowledged that these cracks aren't a serious safety issue?

There are a lot of questions to be asked for sure. It makes me want to support the strictest definition of laissez-faire.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Capitol Fax: This just in… Lisa Madigan announces reelection bid

When I saw this logging on my iPhone to check out the Capitol Fax it sort of surprised me. It shouldn't have though since Lisa Madigan the Attorney General of Illinois has done this before. People expected her to either run for Governor or US Senate only to see her stay where she is. Of course doing so will put a wrench in the plans of many who hope to move into this office.

Madigan is the daughter of the powerful Michael Madigan who is the Speaker of the state House of Representative. That relationship has proven to be an issue as many seems to not like the idea of a Governor and a player in the state legislatures being from the same family.

You may have read my thoughts on Madigan here from time to time. When Rod Blagojevich was Governor it was safe to say Michael Madigan appeared often to be the only adult in the room. Although while Madigan is known for his political acumen he hasn't been without his own controvery.

A story broke last week that involved a worker at a local transit agency and Madigan using his pull to get that worker a raise. Apparently this spat may have resulted in the ouster of the head of this agency.

Depending on who you read this may not prove to be a big story, but it seems when it comes to Lisa Madigan moving up in Illinois politics there are some machinations in this. It has always been a concerned that Speaker Madigan's dealings may adversely affected the political future of his daughter.

Time will tell if Madigan's decision to stay put as Attorney General will prove to be a good one.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

George Zimmerman's brother calls out Chicago in an interview...


[VIDEO] I've been wanting to connect the Trayvon Martin case to the violence that takes place in Chicago and well whenever I start writing it never comes out the way I want it. It appears that at the 9:25 mark in the video above Robert Zimmerman - George's brother - speaking with CNN host Piers Morgan makes note of these incidents and Chicago's inability to prosecute to make his point.

Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder for Martin's death that took place February 2012 in Sanford, Florida. It appears to have been a case that has divided this nation once again based on race.

As I write this there are protests going on around the country in fact I'm watching FOX News as I began writing this post and became aware that Time Square in NYC is the cite of a demonstration by people who doesn't like the conclusion of Zimmerman's trial.

I wonder if 2nd City Cop knows about Robert's comments. They did have a post up about the Zimmerman trial verdict that was reached Saturday night.

Via Newsalert!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

How does the economy work now?

There are two items from The 312 blog posting courtesy of Chicago Mag. The one that caught my attention the most was how temporary workers were being screwed by the system. The linking article noted how temp workers can find themselves being paid below the minimum wage in Illinois. One way that happens, when you finally connect with a gig, you will somehow still get charged for transportation fees.

Alas in America it's reported that a temp agency is the second largest employer in America. Walmart is still no. 1 although the also use temp workers.

Of course it's that just under another brief write-up on how Doctors determine how to charge for their various services.

Those two combined is how the economy works right now!

Just learned of a shooting involving a Morehouse College student

As much as people are worked up about what happened with Trayvon Martin last year, sometimes I wish that people could get worked up for incidents such as this. This time it involves a Man of Morehouse and this article from the AJC notes that this was the third arrest in the murder:
A third person has been arrested in the shooting death of a Morehouse College student, the U.S. Marshals Service said Friday afternoon.

Anthony Finley, 23, was arrested Friday morning in Shiloh, about 75 miles southwest of Atlanta in Harris County, according to Supervisory Inspector Gavin Duffy with the Marshals.

Finley is third suspect in the June 13 shooting death of Joseph Gibbs. Gibbs, 23, died in his driver’s seat after being shot inside his car near the intersection of Parsons and Webster streets. He died near the campus of Morehouse College, where he was a few credit hours short of his diploma.

Atlanta police previously said the shooting appeared to be the result of a drug deal, though investigators have not released information about what led to the shooting.

Investigators believe after the first two arrests, Finley left the Atlanta area to stay with family member and elude capture. The case remains under investigation.
It's very disappointing that it was also reported that this crime was as a result of a drug deal. It's sad that a young man was cut down early once again, however, please remember that it's risky to be involved with drugs at all.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Ouch!!!

Well before I tell a long story let me set this post up. A long time Alderman - Richard Mell - will be retiring from his seat on the Chicago City Council. He was not only an Alderman but a ward boss as he was a Democratic Committeeman for his 33rd Ward. In that capacity he helped his son-in-law one Rod Blagojevich move up in the world of Chicago politics.

For his part Mell regrets that noting:
With the benefit of hindsight, "I think that he would have probably stayed a state representative," Mell said of his son-in-law.
Rich Miller went further, as a state political blogger he's had many dealings with the Blagojevich administration. It's obvious although he's free to correct me that he doesn't care for Blago at all:
Why even go that far? In hindsight, he should’ve been kept out of politics altogether.
Ouch indeed!

Needless to say I'm sure the history justifies that assessment. From Illinois House of Representatives to the US Congress to Illinois' Governor's mansion and now in federal prison for corruption. Could anyone have seen that coming?

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Obamacare provision delayed...

There's a lot to that has been written about a recent announcement that a provision of the Obamacare law passed in 2010 will be delayed one more year from January 2014 to January 2015. Basically what's being pushed back is the provision where employers who have at least 50+ employees who work over 30+ hours per week would be forced to provide health insurance.

Having to quickly scan any articles about this shows that many of the talking heads out there are looking at this with political eyes. Think about it next year is not only state elections but congressional elections. Not that I've been paying attention to any forecast on how either of our major parties look in both houses of Congress.

Think about this however. When Obamacare was passed in 2010 who could've anticipated the trouncing the President's party would take at least in the Congressional elections with the Democrats losing control of the US House of Representatives. Would maintaining this provision prove precarious for Congressional Democrats heading into 2014?

Also another aspect which interests me is the lens through businesses will look at this announcement. Without a doubt this legislation is well meaning intended to help many Americans gain access to health care that was beyond their reach. It's already expensive to go see a doctor or to get care for any ailment and of course many employers aren't exactly able - if not willing - to provide any sort of health care coverage for their employees.

As a matter of fact an article that I have read on this subject suggest that this delay will prove beneficial to those who would in the food service, retail, and hotel industries. Hopefully responsible employers who value their employees will be able to do what they can to provide health insurance for their workers. Because of this law and its well meaning implications we may have heard where some employers were already talking about cutting worker's hours in advance.

Also I associate this with the minimum wage workers. I believe in the idea of moving up in the work world getting promoted or gaining skills to be able to get better jobs in the labor market. Alas a well meaning health care mandate and a potential rise in the minimum wage seems like a good idea. Unfortunately it seems that this may have adverse effects on the workers in the short term at least as business seek a way to cope.

In any event it would be interesting to continue to read all analysis of the decision of Obama's administration to delay implementation of their landmark achievement so far. What would be the implications for those affected businesses and would this help the political prospects for either party?

Friday, July 05, 2013

State Journal-Register: Visit impresses British relative of Lincoln

Springfield, Illinois is the state capital and unfortunately it takes a back seat to it's much larger sister city of Chicago. As far as state government goes all the action is in Springfield especially during a session of the Illinois General Assembly. This is true in spite of the fact that most of this state's constitutional officers well all but one of six in fact resides in the Chicago area.

Springfield is known for it's association with America's 16th President who just so happens to be Abraham Lincoln who is known for leading this nation through a Civil War and during the course of that war freed the slaves. It's interesting that in this article we see that genealogists found President Lincoln's closest living British relative and they brought him to his cousin's adopted hometown.

It was such an enjoyable visit for him that he wants to tell others to visit Springfield. It just let's everyone know that Lincoln buffs are everywhere and they're willing to visit the sites where Lincoln lived or worked. And at that the sites such as Lincoln's Presidential Library that shows his place in history.

Welcome to Illinois Mr. & Mrs. Gilchrist hopefully the people you meet wherever you go in this state will show you nothing but great hospitality. And as a person who is an Illinoisian, Springfield is probably the one place that I need to visit in the future. All I've done in the past is pass through and that needs to change!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Lee Bey: Moo & Oink's leftovers revealed in an uncovered ghost sign


I'm sure paying a visit to a neighborhood Moo & Oink store was something of a tradition on holidays such as 4th of July. The stores that had existed for that chain has been closed since 2011 and the brand lives on in various grocery stores in the area. Therefore you can still by bbq meat items that are Moo & Oink branded.

Lee Bey an architecture blogger writes about the ancient signage at a shuttered Moo & Oink store near 71st & Stony Island. That is what you see pictured above. There are plans for this property and hence the work that's being done here and exposes the ancient artwork.

Another thing is that it's a bit of a holiday tradition from my family to purchase chitterlings from Moo & Oink from around the Christmas holidays. The stores are closed now but that doesn't mean that we can't at least go to Pete's Produce for example to buy them. However it appears that this item is out of season currently!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Ward Room: Pride Parade a Who's Who in Illinois Politics

While I didn't actually go to this event on Chicago's North Side there were many who were on their way to these festivities Sunday morning on the CTA. I'm starting to view this as just another party, however, it appears to be a very crucial party. Ward Room noted the many politicians who were present for this.

One of those politicians were actually a Republican, that person being current State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka. She was listed as a "gay icon" for some reason but she was the only Republican spotted at the parade. It's possible any other Republicans there weren't recognized well enough for it to matter. Come to think of it, when it comes to gay marriage in Illinois there were some Republican supporters it's a bit surprising that some of them didn't attend this parade or at least weren't spotted there.

Also let's not forget that there's an election coming up in 2014. So the Pride Parade was one event where an aspiring politician might want to get their name out there and hopefully gain some voters. Some of the other politicans on the list would certainly explain that such as Gov. Pat Quinn who may well go down for the count next year as his record as Governor still leaves a lot to be desired. Also a downstate politician State Sen. Mike Freirichs also attended away from his hometown of Champaign, IL who wants to run for State Treasurer.

You know I think I should keep an eye for such a post when it's time for the Bud Billiken Parade. Who might come out for a back-to-school parade that is also another party for the Black Community. Will Judy Baar Topinka bring any other Republicans with here to the Billiken in August?