Saturday, August 31, 2013

I haven't done much posting this summer...

Yeah sometimes I have to get motivated to post as much as a brief post about any item of interest. There certainly was a lot to write about but it's just a matter of either time or interest into putting it out.

I could talk about what's going on in Illinois as far as the Governor's race. Pat Quinn is running for re-election and while many are writing his political obituary they did that in 2010 and he still won narrowly. I just saw the electoral map again of this state in his narrow victory Quinn only won 4 of 102 counties while his GOP opponent Bill Brady won the remainder. WOW!

Let me remind you it was a narrow victory and Quinn had to have outworked Brady in those 4 counties Quinn won. Would Illinois have benefitted from Georgia's ancient county unit system?

Anyway Brady is running again with three other challengers in the GOP primary. He's running against another former challenger from 2010 Kirk Dillard. Then there are two others who are in Bruce Rauner a venture capitalist who has ties to Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago and state treasurer Dan Rutherford.

Quinn on the other had faces former Commerce Secretary & White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley. In fact Daley shares a lineage as his brother & father had both been Mayor of Chicago. This likely won't help Daley however bear in mind that the incumbent's approval ratings are very low at the current moment. Can't really count anyone out.

Also we have reached the 50th anniversary on the March on Washington. I saw some TV coverage of that this morning on C-Span. It was definitely a landmark moment and while many will not find much agreement with the current Civil Rights establishment today it changed America for the better. Although I will accept that this nation still has a long way to go as far as race relations.

The issues of today as far as race is much different than it was 50 years ago. The nature of segregation and discrimation may be different from what it was then. Also the issues facing Blacks is as much internal as external and we've yet to really hash those out. I'm sure in the various analysis of this recent anniversary and depending on who's talking they might talk about the decline of the Black family in recent years.

There have been some good movies I've seen lately including Jobs, Elysium, and Paranoia. Everyone of them could be picked a part in different ways. One is about a man who people look as an icon, the other is an allegory to our current condition, and the last brings to light corrupt business practices. I could take more real world lessons from Jobs than I could from the other movies but certainly on a philosophical level Elysium could bring some ideas home as well!

Anyone September needs to be a big month as far as blogging. Don't think I'm neglecting this place I have it on my mind even if I don't post. When you think about it, not a big thing to be able to post as a leisurely pace. Perhaps it's best to post only when there something worth saying!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

50 year since the "I have a dream" speech

SO it's about to be 50 years since the March on Washington. Although I paid very little attention to them, there were observances of this epic event on TV and some here in Chicago. My mother was watching one such observance on C-Span.

Today I saw that NBC News has pulled out of the vault a rare interview with Dr. King recorded in 1967. He stated that his dream has turned into a nightmare.

His vision of civil rights for all Americans was probably still strong but he found other issues of great concern. poverty and Vietnam War were those issues. Just before his assassination he was definitely setting his sights on poverty or otherwise issues of economic justice.

Also noted his position as a Civil Rights leader was no longer unchallenged. Non-violence was not the preferred method of many young Civil Rights leaders who were emerging. Increasingly "Black Power" became the slogan of choice.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

AP: 2014 candidates for gov. to choose running mates

Not long after the 2010 elections the rules were changed with regards to the top gubernatorial ticket in Illinois. It helped that back then, an unknown man was the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor and then it came out that he had beat his girlfriend up years before that election. He later resigned however he decided to mount an unsuccessful independent campaign for Governor.

Anyway what about next year:
For the first time, candidates for governor - who until now have run separately from candidates for lieutenant governor - must select running mates and be on a ticket with them. Several campaigns say they'll announce their 2014 picks on or around Sept. 3, the date when candidates may begin circulating petitions to get on the March primary ballot. Others plan to wait until later in the fall.

Just as in a presidential election, the choice will have the potential to help or hurt a campaign, so candidates say they're considering their options carefully. They also say running as a ticket will help them better define their priorities for voters and cover more ground as election season gets underway.

"Two voices are stronger than one," said state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington, one of four Republicans seeking the GOP nomination.
The new way of doing things gives candidates a chance to round out their ticket by choosing someone who could appeal to a certain demographic or who brings a particular expertise they may be lacking. That could mean several of the all-male field of candidates will choose women as running mates, or that downstate candidates could look for someone from Chicago's suburbs, and vice versa.

But the candidates or their spokespeople all insisted that those kinds of political calculations weren't driving their decision-making. They said they're looking for balance and someone who can help run the state and step in and replace him if needed.
Well back in 2010 Gubernatorial and Lt. Gov. candidates ran separately in the primary and then run as a ticket in the general. When the Lt. Gov Dem nominee removed himself from the ballot Gov. Quinn had to choose a new nominee however she's elected not to run again with the Governor and is running for another office. I'd be very curious to find out who the Democrats and Republicans in the Governor's race would choose as their running mates for next year.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Curbed Chicago: How and Why Chicagoans Decided Our Flag Kicks Ass

Via Annalee flickr

The municipal flag of Chicago is an enduring symbol. The Mayor wears a lapel pin version of it and in addition many local websites and local t-shirt makers uses elements of this flag in their designs. For example consider the header for my other blog, The Sixth Ward. I would dare say no other US city comes close to Chicago although some have even more simpler design elements. Recently Curbed Chicago addresses why Chicago's flag is so popular.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

American Spectator: Don’t Save Detroit — Sell It

When speaking about the news of Detroit's bankruptcy, one thing that was said to be under consideration is selling of that city's assets. I've heard about the art museum but in this article we hear about selling off parks, tunnels, in addition to cultural pieces. As has been stated this is one step and Detroit has a long way back ahead of itself.

Via Newsalert!

A catchy political slogan???

What you see @
If I recall correctly when I was in elementary school me and a group of friends at the time started a clique that was named for the Nickelodeon Network. And our "leader" was also named Mike, but somehow we created a slogan for him "I like Mike". Not sure who created it, but it was catchy.

Not sure how it came about, but it almost certainly matches another famous slogan - "I like Ike!" - created in time for a past US Presidential campaign. It's possible that this was an inspiration for that back then or even now.

Truth be told, I wonder if the Mike of "I like Mike" - in this case Michael Scott Carter - is the same as the one that I knew. Haven't seen or spoken to him in years, but it would be cool to know that I once went to school with someone who is making moves on the state level here in Illinois.

Alas, Mike got my attention today finding a statement of his on the Capitol Fax this morning. An e-mail he sent to supporters noted that Illinois has 110 counties as opposed to the 102 it actually does have. Rich Miller quipped.
I wasn’t aware that Illinois had annexed southern Wisconsin. The “Illinois Dells” somehow just doesn’t have the same resonance, but I suppose I could get used to it.
Heh, and the comments weren't very kind to Mr. Carter either. They roasted him for that gaffe in his e-mail and then noted that they don't trust a man with three first names.

Well I'm trying not to go full on negative here. He would definitely be a different face to the 2014 race as it's noted that he's reportedy a Black Conservative Republican running for state treasurer. Also he's said to have worked with the Chicago Urban League. He's ready for the attack of the "liberal attack machine" in this race.

As for the screenshot up top, it would be great if it went viral and it just had to be preserved for posterity. Who knows how far this gent will go in politics?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Reason: Sean Malone's "No Vans Land": How a Small Businessman Beat NYC's Public Transit Union

[VIDEO] Often on this blog, I have shared stories from Reason which is a libertarian magazine that often does stories such as this. The interview with Sean Malone is mostly talking about a project he's doing about an NYC entrepreneur who is taking on the NYC transit authority as his business of moving people with vans have run afoul of NYC transit unions and NY City Council. The entrepreneur himself is Hector Ricketts who is a Jamaican immigrant and ultimately saw a need caused by insufficient transit services to healthcare worked by the NYC transit.

Later in this story it was noted that removal of some regulations when it comes to cosmetology in Mississippi - that is you're testing on cosmetology however you're not tested on hair braiding - caused an increase of jobs as shops opened specifically for hair braiding. The lesson, regulations may be OK in some instances however more regulations may not be very good for business.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

VIDEO: Watch This Dilapidated House Transform Into a Theater

[VIDEO] Found this via the Curbed National website. This is very cool, perhaps this could be used on various blighted and foreclosed properties in any city that likely would be torn down anyway. Hopefully such a structure could be moved anywhere for exactly the purpose of an open air theater.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Stop & frisk unconstitutional

Capitol Fax has a round-up of stories that chronicles a federal decision recently to declare stop & frisk unconstitutional. Bascially you could be walking down the street in New York City and the cops could stop and search you with no probable cause.

While I wish many of our urban areas were rid of any and all crime, innocent people shouldn't be harassed by police for safety's sake. If this does happen and you're certain the police had little reason to stop you then hopefully you will challenge it. Just don't do it with the police in the field!

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Capitol Fax: The Chicago way

Well in this case the Chicago way involved enriching yourself and your campaign contributors by blocking a plan for business expansion for the sole purpose of benefiting yourself and your campaign contributors. And of course as an example of how this doesn't just happen in my fair "Windy City" it also happens in Illinois' state capital of Springfield. Although in Springfield it doesn't appear as naked it still involves a politician attempting to block a business from opening for one purpose or another!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Forbes: America's Top Colleges 2013

I got wind of this because on another site it was noted that 16 HBCUs were part of this year's list. Some familiar colleges were on this list especially Morehouse, Spelman, and Clark-Atlanta. Other HBCUs I expected to be on this list weren't, but hey surely these lists don't make or break a school. Some of the other big names schools were omitted because they decided to falsify data such universities such as Emory University (also in Atlanta) and Bucknell University.

Morehouse was noted in the article: "The biggest mover-shaker was Morehouse College, the only all-male historically black college in the U.S., who jumped 235 spots to No. 285."

Friday, August 02, 2013

#facepalm part 3

[VIDEO] Our esteemed State Rep. Monique Davis was on The O'Reilly Factor on Thursday to talk about her comments made on a Detroit radio station regarding cops shooting young people. She never walked back her comments and still maintains that she was only repeating what her constituents were saying to her. Bill O'Reilly was right to say that with her credibility as an elected official it was irresponsible to repeat such a statement unless there was evidence of such activity.

With that in mind, just because one is an elected official doesn't make them credible. For airing out such a statement is Davis more credible now than she was after making those statements, I would say unlikely. She does appear to be quite a spitfire over the years especially being named the worst person in the world after essentially attacking an atheist at a state legislative hearing years ago.

We have a member of the Illinois House or Representatives - who just so happens to be Davis' colleague whether I'm sure she likes it or not - who has been indicted for soliciting a bribe. Not only was he indicted but last year he was booted from the state House. However, he was re-elected last year to his old house seat because he refused to quit the race even after he had been removed from the house. Does anyone view him as credible now?

In any case another part of the discussion was the most important issue facing Black-Americans. O'Reilly wants to argue that it's the family, but Davis didn't really talk about that and stated that it was the lack of services, jobs, and education. It's hard to disagree with that to be sure, but Davis never talked about the family lives of many of these young people.

Speaking only for me, I never consider the family. I recognize that the family life of a lot of our young people are very imperfect. Would a father make more of a difference in the home? Haven't the slightest clue to be honest.

Personally I do believe before having children one should get married first. It doesn't always happen that way and there's nothing but evidence of that. However, I think anyone who has children should strive to create a nuclear family that includes a father at least.

Of course we could talk about the disintegration of the black family, but let's also recognize that having mother and father as head of a household could be a good thing. It's certainly excellent if mother and father were on the same page as far as what's in the best interest of the children. And hopefully that means at the very least the children go on and do something productive with their adult lives and stay out of trouble with the law.

Hat-tip The Blaze

Video of Fight for 15 rally downtown

[VIDEO] I witnessed this at various points in time in downtown Chicago Thursday. At one point in the Loop at State/Lake and then another point up north at Water Tower Place. The Sun-Times was one of many media outlets who covered this rally.
About 400 area retail and fast-food workers, like some colleagues nationally, participated in a strike Thursday to demand raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

“If not $15, then something. I mean give us something. I work 36 hours a week and barely make enough to pay my rent, gas bill, light bill. It gets to the point where I barely have enough for lunch sometimes,” said Angel Richardson, 21, who works at McDonald’s. “I’m five months pregnant, what am I gonna do in four months? I hope something changes.”

The minimum wage is $7.25 nationally and $8.25 in Illinois. Working 40 hours a week, a minimum wage earner in this state would make $17,160 per year.

Workers in other cities, such as New York, Milwaukee, St. Louis and Detroit, also held one day strikes throughout the week. It is unclear how many workers participated in other strikes.

This was the second day of one-day strikes in Chicago. On Wednesday, a group of different workers demonstrated outside of the Whole Foods in Lakeview and McDonald’s locations in Albany Park and Brighton Park.
I became aware of the such activism out of the New York on Tuesday's edition of Fox News' The Five. I generally agree that many workers should be able to make more money and I expect many are consistently asking their bosses for raises still very iffy about raising the minimum wage to $15/hour.

It sounds good when you think about it, but this is really a tough time to even consider raising the price floor for labor especially for 1st-time teenaged workers. And also I have always wondered if those who are advocating for a living-wage are thinking that working in retail and fast-food will be as good as it gets for many of these workers. It's me that's thinking that it isn't especially if they all have aspirations.

Many of the protesters were carrying signs Fight for 15 signifying how many money they hope to make an hour. There is an aptly named organization out of Chicago who are advocating for that and you can visit their website for more information. Or even to join their e-mail list.