Friday, November 30, 2007

NBC's Black Women series: Heart disease

YouTube user Prometheus6, who hosts this YouTube vid, gives his thoughts on this segment...
This was an important segment. But I have to note how "institutional racism, baked into the system" is blamed while it is individual humans making every bad assumption. Overall though, the correct conclusions (they gotta change but you can't wait for them to do it) was drawn.

Ald. Brookins Sued Over Law Office Rent

Hmm, I wonder if this revelation could hurt his chances at being the Democratic nominee for Cook County State's Attorney. We'll have to see, I saw this story earlier and let's be honest here it's not good if he isn't very attention to his business. From CBS2...
Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) faces eviction from his law office and campaign headquarters because he's failed to pay the rent for six months.

That's according to a lawsuit filed this week against Brookins -- a candidate for Cook County state's attorney -- and his former law partner, Judge Thaddeus Wilson.

Brookins, a Democrat, learned of the lawsuit from the Chicago Sun-Times, but said he and his landlords at 100 N. La Salle had been "going back and forth" about the rent owed and he was surprised it had advanced to legal action.

"I need to go talk to them and figure this out," Brookins said. "I'd been working with those guys and I was not aware of this."

Last week, Brookins' 17th-floor Loop office was served with an eviction notice, along with paperwork saying there was $41,819.18 in unpaid rent. That gave Brookins five days to pay up or make plans to get out.

On Wednesday, the landlord -- 100 N. La Salle St. LLC -- filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court, asking a judge to boot Brookins and force him to pay the back rent.

Attorneys for the landlord did not return calls.

Budget Blow-Up May Be Coming At County Board

Apparently the county board is going to meet to once again discuss the Cook County Budget so let CBS2 give you an update here...
A budget blow-up may occur on Friday when the Cook County Board reconvenes for budget talks.
Board President Todd Stroger wants his $3 billion budget passed on Friday. But there is still a $239 million shortfall, and the board has not agreed on Stroger's proposed tax hikes to plug what remains of that shortfall. About $1 million was cut at a nine-hour meeting Tuesday.
Now let's get to the point where Beavers cried racism at what exactly the Cook County Board cut on Wednesday...
Beavers accused the wider board of racism, too, saying they cut the budgets of two black county officials – Court Clerk Dorothy Brown and Recorder Eugene Moore – while leaving white office-holders untouched.

"If you're going to cut, cut across the board," Beavers said.

When commissioners voted to make cuts to county Moore's office, cuts Moore said he supports, Beavers implied Moore wasn't smart enough to understand the cuts and Republican commissioners must have used racial intimidation to get him to agree.

Peraica says he offered an amendment to do just that, cut the budget by 2 percent across the board; it did not pass.

Now here's Stroger's proposed budget that for some reason he can't get approved by the larger board:

In his budget proposal, Stroger asked the board to pass a sales tax hike, which would raise the sales tax in the county to 11 percent – the highest of all major U.S. cities.

The plan also calls for doubling the county gasoline tax from 6 to 12 cents a gallon, and doubling the county parking tax. A monthly parker paying $30 in taxes would pay $60.

Stroger's proposed tax hikes would actually bring in more revenue than is needed to balance the budget. The sales tax increase, if enacted, would bring in $142.2 million during 2008, and $460 million a year after that.

As proposed, the budget would not increase the county's share of property taxes.

The budget eliminates 735 jobs, reduces overtime and streamlines hospital administrative services. But it also provides for more than 1,100 new positions. Stroger said the majority, 690, are in health services, and were staffing changes recommended by consultants.
It's a mess isn't it? One man clamining racism when the man who he represents on the County Board has proven himself not very able in the political realm. And certain members of the county board are at each other's throats. Yeah I'm looking at you Liz Gorman and Tony Peraica. You two seem almost as bad as Blagojevich and Madigan except at least that they keep their unbridled animosity behind closed doors, save for a sound bite or press release at times. Something's wrong!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

NBC Nightly News series on black women

I read some blogs that expressed a certain amount of bellyaching over this story. I offer some videos to let you be the judge. Perhaps this could be a case of overgeneralization but I have to see this series in order to be sure. In addition to some of the videos I will link to those blogs that have expressed an opinion on these stories.


Breast Cancer


BTW, this is a week long series so I suggest that you should try to watch the next couple of installments. When you do, tell me what you think about them.

Related Links

What About Our Daughters
NBC NEWS, African American Women: Where They Stand Night 3- Rehema Ellis Redeems Herself - It Wasn't Bad
NBC :Black Women Where They Stand ( Night 2)- Breast Cancer- Black Folks Giving NBC HELL!
NBC's African American Women: Where They Stand Night #1 - Did you see it. ( VIDEO INCLUDED)
NBC to do Week-long Series on Black Women - Let the Gnashing of the Teeth Begin!

Electronic Village
Education & the Black Woman
African American Women: Where They Stand

NBC News To Black Women: "You'll Die A Lonely, Childless, Cat Lady."
NBC News To Black Women: "It Sucks To Be You."

Prometheus 6
NBC News tricked you
Enough is Enough/Stop Hate Crimes and Police Violence Rally in Washington DC - Nov. 17, 2007: Opinon and Pictures

NPR News and Views
NBC Addresses Concerns Over Black Women Series

Gaper's Block has produced a podcast

Chicago's online magazine or at least that was how it's been described has inaugurated their very first podcast. They want a much catchier name for their podcast. A suggestion for this podcast, "GB Dial" or "The Dial", was already suggested in their comments section. Give them your thoughts on their podcast and give them a name. Of course you may want to listen first.

Bill Beavers uses the race card

As the Cook County Board debates whether or not to prove President Todd Stroger's budget Commissioner Bill Beavers says that this budget would pass if Stroger had been white. From the Sun-Times...

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger can't get his budget passed "because he's black," his floor leader angrily charged Tuesday.

Commissioner William Beavers said "if Todd was a white man, he wouldn't have half these problems," further alleging "this is a remake of the Harold Washington days" at City Hall, where racially fueled votes often ended in 29-21 decisions.

"Who's gonna control the county -- white or black -- that's all this is," he said.

Beavers railed on that one of Stroger's top critics, Commissioner Tony Peraica, "hates everybody who's black ... all black elected officials," going on to say Peraica used to beat up black people growing up in the Bridgeport neighborhood.

Peraica and others say the comments are not only untrue, they're born of a desperate frustration that Stroger can't pass a 2 percentage-point sales tax hike or other increases.

"Todd Stroger's credibility -- which has nothing to do with race -- is at a low ebb," Peraica said. "He needs to build up that credibility."

Even Commissioner John Daley, a Stroger ally, was surprised by Beavers' words, defending Peraica. "It's wrong for anyone to play the race card," he added.
Let's talk about race. Unfortunately in Chicago politics race has always been an issue. It was an issue many years ago when Harold Washington ran for mayor. In this case though the race card came up conviently in the comments of Bill Beavers. In other words sometimes it's about not getting your way and it can almost be childish although at times it's effective.

Todd Stroger may not getting his budget passed not because he's black, but because he's not proven himself politically able. I could even aruge as I would have with the governor that Stroger is probably used to being a legislator. Stroger served in the Illinois House of Representatives before he returned to Chicago for his appointment as an Alderman on the Chicago City Council. I would even dare say that Stroger is a backbencher, I could say that about the governor too.

As for Beavers well everyone should know by now that he has a big mouth. Apparently it's going to hurt him and I asked why Russ Stewart said he'd lose his commissioner's seat back in May. He already has lost his aldermanic seat that he got his daughter, Darcel, appointed to and we'll just have to see about whether he'll remain the elected head of the Democratic party in the 7th ward. He's facing a challenge from freshman Ald. Sandi Jackson, the same one who vanquished Darcel Beavers back in February.

Hey I've got one more thing to share with you on this issue. The Sun-Times had an editorial and I saw this nice little line from it...

Anyone advocating new taxes in this economic downturn is going to be met with strong resistance, no matter what color his or her skin is. Notice that no presidential candidate is running on a ticket of raising income taxes. There's a reason.

Stroger needs to stop letting Beavers be his mouthpiece. He needs to denounce racial rhetoric and be the political tactician the public needs. Stroger must stand up for all taxpayers -- black, white, and brown. He's got to be his own man and defend his own plan. Daley did it: He didn't get a rubber stamp on his tax plan. More than 21 aldermen voted against his property tax. Some of the dissenters were black, white and Hispanic. Neither tax plan is about race.

Stroger should listen to what Daley said. "A leader can lead -- and a leader can also hear."
Hah, pretty good and a lesson that good ole Todd has yet to take heed. It's good advice too and I generally wonder if he's willing to do the right thing and cut Beavers loose. If nothing else cut Beavers loose and find another floor leader.

Here are some other blog posts of interest
Beavers leaves it to the race card as America's worst governmental body gets worse from Marahton Pundit
Denial from the Capitol Fax blog
Because He's Black?!? from Illinoize
Commissioners Gone Wild from Chicagoist
County Board Follies from Second City Cop

The Governor not governing

That was the episode that I hyped here a little yesterday. This report by CBS2's political reporter Mike Flannery aired on the 10 o'clock news last night discussed Blagojevich's work habits. The reports says specifially that...
Critics say his inaccessibility, his poor skills at building relationships and his lack of interest in details have made him an ineffective leader.
Now the governor is obviously not a very low key guy. If you read any political news stories he can fire up his charm for the cameras. He loves to campaign, it does seem however that he doesn't really like to govern. Odd isn't it governing comes with the territory does it now. Besides I should point on the governor was a legislator serving in the Illinois House where he worked with Michael J. Madigan the long time speaker of the Illinois House and he was a US Congressman immediately before he became governor. Could he still be acting like a legislator?

Well no one in the press is talking about that. Who knows if that's exactly what it is? But know this.

It's a wonder now that his health care proposal from earlier this year where he sought a GRT, the largest tax increase in state history, to pay for a universal health care program failed miserably. For this program he was forced to use his delegated power of the line item veto and then circumvent the legislative process to put money into his health care program. That GRT proposal fell so flat (107-0 ladies and gentleman) that it's almost a hardened pancake.

While the House was in session last night to consider his Chicago area transit bailout, the governor took a state plane from Springfield back to Chicago to watch a Blackhawks game (From the Sun-Times). That bill went down in flames in the house and I'm sure most of us wonders why. The next CTA doomsday is January 20th which give Illinois pols a little time, although, I wonder if the governor figures there's more money somewhere to buy some time. That can't be sustained for too long can it.

Anyway from this report last night I can't believe this...
Despite his problems with the legislature and his current low approval ratings in public opinion surveys, sources say he wants to run again in 2010. They say he could win a third term by raising even more than the $27 million he spent last time, and by campaigning on his taxpayer-subsidized health care. He's sidestepping the general assembly to expand the program on his own to 147,000 more people, and will worry about how to pay for it later.

"I'm gonna continue to do what I think is right, that's one of the good things about being governor," Blagojevich said.
I can't believe that the people of this state can be that gullible as they had been last year. Some people will say time will heal wounds but in this case time can't heal this one. Perhaps if the governor can quite possible switch gears on what he's been doing, that is govern and work with the legislature so that you know they can pass his proposals instead of voting them down, he probably won't need to say he's the guardian of health care and raise more money for his third term bid. Right now I'm not seeing it and I hope that in three years (a long time isn't it?) the voters will see thru his act.

Oh to be fair Rich Miller's Capitol Fax blog had a post about this report last night. In that post was a link to the live feed of last night's 10 O'Clock news and if you look at the comments the reaction was mixed. There were a few who liked it of course there were quite a few who called it lame. One could argue the govern's supporters (and I imagine there aren't many right now) could have written such comments. Still I guess one could say there wasn't much meat in it, but I suppose it depends on how you might view the governor. Do you view him as a person doing the people's work or is he just plain lazy?

Here are some related blog posts about this story this morning...
The gift that keeps on giving from The Capitol Fax Blog
Illinois' "governor who cannot govern" doesn't seem to even work from Marathon Pundit
EXPOSING BLAGOJEVICH: Is his approach an obstacle for Facebook popularity? from Illinoize
Gridlock Continues in Springfield from Second City Cop

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

ILGOP is even watching the Channel 2 story on the Governor

Heh, I got an email from them and a link to their blog about the CBS2 story about the governor that is to air tonight. I first heard about the CBS 2 feature story last night on the Capitol Fax blog. Blogmaster Rich Miller is talking about a live feed so that those of you who aren't able to watch this story will be able to do so.

Teen charged in graduate student's slaying

Within the past week a PhD student at the University of Chicago was murdered in a robbery today we find out who committed the dirty deed...
A 16-year-old boy was charged with murder early today in the shooting death of a University of Chicago graduate student during an attempted robbery last week. Meanwhile, charges were pending against at least three other suspects alleged to have been involved in the incident, Chicago police said.

The boy, whose name was not immediately released, was charged as an adult with first-degree murder in the slaying of Amadou Cisse outside the victim's apartment at 61st Street and Ellis Avenue, Officer Amina Greer said.

He was also charged with attempted armed robbery, armed robbery, and aggravated discharge of a firearm in connection with two other incidents that occurred on or near the university campus moments before Cisse was killed, police said.

Sources said the boy was suspected of driving the vehicle used in all three incidents, but his name was being withheld while authorities finish preparing charges against the three other suspects.

Cisse, 29, a Senegalese doctoral candidate, was walking home to his off-campus apartment when he was shot in the chest and killed in the early morning hours of Nov. 19.

Minutes before the slaying, two women were robbed at gunpoint near the campus and a university staff member was chased and shot at in what police believe was another attempted robbery. Police have said they were looking for a group of males who allegedly attacked the victims and then fled in a light-colored four-door car.

The 16-year-old was arrested after detectives linked him to the car, which had distinctive red doors and was found days after Cisse's murder outside a South Side garage. He provided detectives with the names of his alleged accomplices, police said.

The suspects are all juveniles but will be charged as adults, the source said. They told police they needed money and were out looking for people to rob, the source added.
The area at 61st and Ellis is a changing area. New homes are being built and University of Chicago students are moving beyond this place called the Midway Plaisance. In fact a friend of mine who was at Chicago for his Master's degree lived on 61st Street. It was almost a couple of blocks from some low-income housing on Cottage Grove.

I could have speculated that this was about getting squeezed out of a neighborhood. Who knows the fact is a robbery occured and it resulted in the death of a doctoral student.

Roland Burris looks back on Harold Washington's election

This was a pretty good column by former state Comptroller and Attorney General Roland Burris from the Chicago Defender. BTW in 1995 Burris, himself ran against Daley for Mayor as a third party candidate. Needless to say of course that Daley would win that contest.

Anyway that column proved to be a good chronology and analysis of the events that let to the election of Chicago's first black mayor. It's certainly worth a read if you want to read an account from someone who was there to recount these moments firsthand.

ADDITION: Here's another column about Harold Washington this time from US Congressman Danny Davis from the Defender.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Items about banning things

This time in Gonzales, Louisiana from

The Gonzales City Council will hold a vote on a proposed "saggy pants" ordinance prohibiting people from showing their underwear in public, after the city attorney reworks the language in the proposal to make it more clear.

The council will vote on the proposal Dec. 10.

Gonzales Mayor Johnnie Berthelot said that he had asked city attorney Ryland Percy to review the proposed ordinance, written by Police Chief Bill Landry.

The American Civil Liberties Union, in a Nov. 14 letter to Gonzales city officials, asking them not to pass the proposal as originally written because it was unconstitutional and "vague and overbroad."
Related posts
Another town bans sagging pants.
MyUrbanReport talks about an ATL ordinance banning sagging pants...
Low hanging pants

Also, it appears that Massachusettes wants to keep parents from offering their children a spanking. From the Boston Globe...
Parents who spank their kids - even in their own homes - would be slapped by the long arm of the law under an Arlington nurse’s proposal to make Massachusetts the first state in the nation to outlaw corporal punishment.

Kathleen Wolf’s proposed legislation will be debated at a State House hearing tomorrow morning.

If signed into law, parents would be prohibited from forcefully laying a hand on any child under age 18 unless it was to wrest them from danger, lest they be charged with abuse or neglect.

Rep. Jay Kaufman, a Lexington Democrat, submitted the 61-year-old Wolf’s petition at her request, but is not taking a position for or against corporal punishment.

“He does recognize and understand the concern many would have on legislating parental rights,” said Sean Fitzgerald, Kaufman’s chief of staff, “but the problem is the boundary is often overstepped. The right to hit should never be the right to hurt.”

Management at Cook County Hospital...

Within the last years or so we have seen a lot of articles about the management of Cook County hospitals. We've heard how at some hospitals that they're cutting the number of beds, laying off personnel (doctors or nurses), some might even complain about the efficiency of the pharmacy. I want to talk about another city that has a problem with their public hospital. Here in Atlanta, there's Grady Hospital which is run for the most part by the Fulton and DeKalb County Hospital Authority.

While in Chicago, there is a proposal to place Cook County Public Health system under a board independent of the Cook County government. It seems that Grady Hospital is moving forward to put that hospital under a non-profit board. Read more at PeachPundit.

Redskins' Taylor Dies Day After Shooting

From the Tribune...
Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor died early Tuesday, a day after the Pro Bowl player was shot at home by what police say was an intruder. He was 24. Family friend Richard Sharpstein said Taylor's father told him the news around 5:30 a.m.

"His father called and said he was with Christ and he cried and thanked me," said Sharpstein, Taylor's former lawyer. "It's a tremendously sad and unnecessary event. He was a wonderful, humble, talented young man, and had a huge life in front of him. Obviously God had other plans."

Taylor died at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he had been airlifted after the shooting early Monday, Sharpstein said.
Doctors had been encouraged late Monday when Taylor squeezed a nurse's hand, according to Vinny Cerrato, the Redskins' vice president of football operations. But Sharpstein said he was told Taylor never regained consciousness after being transported to the hospital and that he wasn't sure how he had squeezed the nurse's hand.

"Maybe he was trying to say goodbye or something," Sharpstein said.

Taylor, the fifth overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft following an All-American season at the University of Miami, was shot early Monday in the upper leg, damaging the key femoral artery and causing significant blood loss.

"According to a preliminary investigation, it appears that the victim was shot inside the home by an intruder," Miami-Dade County police said in a statement. "We do not have a subject description at this time."

But police were still investigating the attack, which came just eight days after an intruder was reported at Taylor's home. Officers were sent to the home about 1:45 a.m. Monday after Taylor's girlfriend called 911.

Sharpstein said Taylor's girlfriend told him the couple was awakened by loud noises, and Taylor grabbed a machete he keeps in the bedroom for protection. Someone then broke through the bedroom door and fired two shots, one missing and one hitting Taylor, Sharpstein said. Taylor's 1-year-old daughter, Jackie, was also in the house, but neither she nor Taylor's girlfriend were injured.

Police found signs of forced entry, but have not determined if they were caused Monday, or the previous burglary.

Check this out!!!

A series of commercials from that historic Mayoral election in Chicago back in 1983. It was produced by current Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet. We see commericials from the combatants in that campaign: Jayne Byrne (incumbent mayor in 1983), Richard M. Daley (who was then Cook County State's Attorney and is the current mayor of Chicago), Harold Washington (at that point in time he represented Chicago in the 1st Congressional District), and the Republican opposition Bernard Epton. I didn't see the whole vid but the commercials were amazing not much different than what you'd see today, but some seem quite cheezy today.

This apparently aired on this WTTW program Image Union and this documentary was brought to us by Kevin Robinson from Chicagoist. After this vid was taken down from Vimeo he found alternate hosting. If that goes down then I'll have to find a way to host it myself.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Courtesy Home Center (Commercial, 1984)


Before such stores as Home Depot, Lowe's, and Menard's came to the scene here in the Chicago area there was Courtesy Home Center. I'm sure there were stores around the Chicago area but right now I mostly have memories of stores such as one that formerly stood on 95th and Stony Island (replaced by a shopping center than includes a Jewel grocery store) and there is another one on Pulaski near Archer Avenue just south of the Midway Orange Line.

I wonder why that store closed down. Perhaps I can find the full story eventually.

San Francisco Approves Genderless ID Cards

I hate to seem not very PC (if there's any such thing) however this struck me as very odd and pointless. I found out about this watching FNC's Red Eye. This article is from CBS News however...
Whose business is it anyway what you've got under that skirt? Not the city of San Francisco's, municipal leaders agreed this week.

USA Today reports that the city's Board of Supervisors agreed yesterday to issue municipal ID cards next year showing name, birth date and photo - but not gender.

San Francisco took up the matter just as many cities around the nation are considering issuing ID cards without regard to legal status, as part of the debate about illegal immigration. Then the city's transgender advocates added gender to a discussion.

They argued that legally changing a name and gender designation can be time-consuming and expensive, and that IDs that don't match appearance could out people and make them vulnerable to discrimination or abuse.

"The card really makes gender a non-issue," says Kristina Wertz, legal director of the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the measure into law in the next 10 days, his spokesman said.
I think I can agree that it's no one's business what's up your pants for some reason though this just struck me as another way San Francisco can be ahead of the curve on another meaningless issue. Apparently this law was about immigation until some activists got involved to impart their will on this legislation. The genderless provision makes this law nothing more than a distraction.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mayor Harold Washington: A City In Mourning

CBS2Chicago has a story about that fateful day on which Mayor Washington died after suffering a heart attack. Watch the series of video reports from that era surrounding this story. What a throwback watching former CBS2 anchors Walter Jacobson and Bill Curtis.

Another NPR program about Harold Washington

IrishPirate from Uptown Avenger gives us a link to another program about Harold Washington. The topics of discussion of interest are Mayor Washington's relationship with the media, the role of race in Chicago politics and changing times and attitudes in Chicago. There are other segments worth watching such as discussion of the late Mayor's gravesite, but other than that worth a listen. You can listen online of course.

We are approaching the 20th anniversary of the death of Harold Washington.

Related post
This American Life: Remembering Harold Washington

Friday, November 23, 2007

I just found something out!!!

I see this information that the Community Bank of Lawndale (CBL) was bought in Crain's but unfortunately I don't own a subscription to that paper so I had to miss out. Then I found out thru the grapevine that this bank was purchased by Covenant Bancshares in August. I found out thru Crains ironically although it wasn't thru an article but looking at a list of 3rd quarter merger and acquisitions.

Let me give you a brief history lesson.

The CBL is located on the west side in an area that according to its website is underbanked or underserved by financial institutions. Think about it why should a bank serve an area that's poor. Not only that, the people in an area either won't put money in the bank or will not be able to pay back loans.

Anyway the bank was first organized in 1977. In 2003 the bank was bought by an Asian-owned bank called the International Bank of Chicago (IBC). I believe the story was that the CBL had a loan with this bank that they were unable to pay back. That means the bank became an asset and IBC bought them out to be sure to get some of their money back. According to the IBC website the acquistion was completed in December 2003.

Up until that time CBL was a black-owned bank since its inception but was previously under a holding company known as Sable Bancshares that owned the bank since 1996. Now that it's being bought out by Covenant Bancshares, the driving force is Bill Winston who is the pastor at the Living Word Christian Center in Forest Park, Illinois. The Covenant Bancshares was formed to either start a bank or to buy an existing one.

So now where there were once three black-owned banks there are now four. Before December 2003 there were four black-owned banks. These banks being Seaway National Bank, Highland Community Bank, and Illinois Service Federal.

44 Years After JFK's Death

Apparently weeks before President John F. Kennedy went to Dallas there apparently was another plot on his life in Chicago. It was foiled ultimately it was explained then that there was an illness in reality there was a threat on his life and the President didn't make it. But here's a more interesting aspect of this story. The man who saw the Dallas assassination happen...
Right-wing radical and Kennedy denouncer Thomas Vallee had arranged to be off work for JFK's visit; Vallee, an expert marksman, was arrested with an M1 rifle, a handgun and 3,000 rounds of ammo. But then there was the phone call to federal agents from a motel manager concerning what she'd seen in a room rented by two Cuban nationals.

"Had seen lying on the bed several automatic rifles with telescopic sights, with an outline of the route that President Kennedy was supposed to take in Chicago that would bring him past that building," said former Secret Service agent Abraham Bolden.

Bolden, 72, of Chicago, was a young agent in 1963. After a few years as an Illinois state trooper, Bolden joined he Secret Service and was invited by Kennedy onto the prestigious White House detail. He was the first black agent assigned to protect a president.

Bolden recalled how agents bungled surveillance of those two suspected Cuban hit men. They disappeared and were never identified.

"No one was sent to the room to fingerprint it or get an ID. The case was lost and that was the end of it," Bolden said.

On Nov. 2, the president was about to leave the White House for Chicago and Bolden says a Cuban murder squad here was unaccounted for.
Now here's the critical part that Bolden said about his fellow agents...
Information about Vallee, his similarity in appearance and background to Oswald and details of the Cuban hit squad in Chicago were never given to federal agents in Dallas.

Bolden said the information was not known to have been passed on to Dallas.

In a book that Bolden wrote with his wife, due out in the spring, he will cite another contributing factor in the JFK murder: on-duty drunkenness by Secret Service agents.

"I told the chief of the Secret Service this, that if anything happens, an emergency situation develops with President Kennedy, that their reflexes are going to be in a condition that they won't be in a condition to respond, and Dallas, Texas, proved I was right," he said. "The president's life was in grave danger because of the inefficiency of security around him, too many weaknesses."

"When that bullet struck the head of the president, it struck me too because I saw it coming," Bolden said.
And for the odd part. The part where it seems that no one wanted him to talk. I would like to know the whole story...
When the Warren Commission began investigating JFK's assassination, Bolden says, he attempted to inform members about the Chicago plot and misconduct by his fellow agents.

During that time Bolden was arrested and prosecuted for soliciting a bribe from a counterfeiter and served a six-year sentence. He says it was a setup to silence him. The main witness has since recanted, and Bolden hopes now to clear his name.

A spokesman for the Secret Service in Washington said that officials "would not have any comment whatsoever about Mr. Bolden's statements."

Congressman accusses police of racial profiling...

I found this thru and don't forget that just over two years ago another Illinois politician accused police of the same thing.

Illinois Congressman Danny Davis is accusing two Chicago police officers of racial profiling after they pulled him over and gave him a traffic ticket earlier this week.

The Chicago Democrat, who is black, said he was pulled over early Monday by two white officers who claimed he had driven over the center line. Davis insists he did nothing to deserve the ticket.

Police spokeswoman Monique Bond says Davis was stopped and ticketed for driving left of the center line. His license was later returned, but Davis was still issued the $75 ticket.

Davis says when he was stopped, he asked one of the officers why . The officer accused him of swerving, which Davis says he denied.
To be honest I would take these charges with a grain of salt. It's pretty easy to claim racial profiling, although don't put me in the camp that denies it. We don't know what happened on whatever road or street Rep. Davis was on. All we know is that the police stopped him because they claimed he was swerving.

I hope the police knows that if they decided to engage in this behavior of racial profiling and they do this to the wrong person (that person being a politician) then they ought to know they're taking a chance. This politician can raise a funk that might cost the police officers in question their jobs. In which case it's perhaps best not to engage in racial profiling.

BTW, the Congressman says in the article that he will contest the ticket.

Oh and here's another story from CBS2News with video as well. They mentions this piece of statistics...
A recent survey suggests that 59 percent of African-Americans believe they've been racially profiled in traffic stops by police. The congressman said police need to put an end to it.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

What Holiday Are You?

You Are Thanksgiving

You are a bit of a homebody who enjoys being in the company of people you love.
It doesn't take a lot to make you happy. You're enjoying life as it is.
You have many blessings in your life, and you are grateful for each one.
You believe that life is about what you *do* have. You feel like you have enough of the good stuff.

What makes you celebrate: Family, friends, and the changing of the seasons.

At holiday get togethers, you do best as: The host of the party

On a holiday, you're the one most likely to: Spend so much energy preparing that it's a full time job

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Enjoy your holiday today. I know most of us will eat very good today. I'm sure there are those of us who have to work today. I hope you have a good day at work and hopefully you'll be home soon enough to enjoy this holiday today.

I have nothing special going on so, I think I'll provide links to other Thanksgiving posts around the bloggosphere, OK. Enjoy and have a great day today.

Happy Thanksgiving
from Crazy Politico's Rantings
Happy Thanksgiving (600th Post as well)! from Blogging Mayor of Round Lake!
I'm a sucker, part 3 of a million from Chicago Teacher Man
Open Thread (Thanksgiving 2007) from
I leave you on Thanksgiving with two editorials from Uptown Avenger
Giving Thanks through Video... from
Happy Thanksgiving from Second City Cop
Happy Thanksgiving! from 13th Floor
ENJOY YOUR TURKEY! from The Field Negro
Happy Thanksgiving Everybody from Rep. John Fritchey's Open House
Thanksgiving Funnies from The Political Realm

I'm going to stop with the links here, I got one more post for this holiday and then I'm going to enjoy the rest of mine. Have a great one!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How does this guy still have a job?

The nephew of a late former Congressman under fire for some rather serious un-PC behavior. It was recommended that he be fired, however, he was allowed to keep his job at the city of Chicago. From the Sun-Times...
Joseph Annunzio used the n-word and other racist and sexist slurs, but won't lose his supervisor's job with the city Department of Transportation, a review panel decided.

Annunzio, 42, nephew of the late Rep. Frank Annunzio (D-Ill.), can return to his $77,000-a-year job, the Human Resources Board decided last week, overruling the city inspector general and a hearing officer who called for his firing. The board upheld his unpaid suspension since May.

The board did find Annunzio made "racist, derogatory and disparaging remarks," but didn't fire him because the most "egregious" allegations weren't backed up by testimony from the target of the barbs.

The co-worker didn't testify about Annunzio allegedly calling him a "Mambo Gorilla" or about Annunzio allegedly putting a tablecloth on his head and acting like a Klansman in the co-worker's office.

Still, 11 co-workers testified Annunzio used profanity and racist slurs.

Two of those said they saw the tablecloth incident.

But none of those who testified said racist slurs were directed at them.

Three other co-workers testified they never heard such slurs.

His boss said he was a hard worker but "lacked people skills."

City Inspector General David Hoffman said the board's decision signals the city can't fire someone for racist and sexist remarks and conduct, even when multiple witnesses confirm them under oath.
Hat-tip goes to Mr. Bill Barr. Happy thanksgiving!

Out of nowhere!!!

I look at my RSS reader and I see that What The Helen is back. The blog from Uptown neighborhood, ranting and raving about their alderman, Helen Shiller. They last published on June 14th, 2007, only to come back today!

Thanksgiving eve local politics items

While I was on the road getting back home, there were a lot of things going on. I didn't know that Pace bus drivers were having a nice little strike. They have however returned to work. Courtesy of the Tribune...
The strike was announced by Teamsters Local 731, which represents about 175 drivers and 50 mechanics operating 22 Pace routes in the north and northwest suburbs, Pace spokesman Patrick Wilmot said. Picket lines are being set up outside the garage in Des Plaines.

Wilmot said the union rejected the suburban bus agency's contract offer earlier this month, effectively authorizing a strike. But the union had indicated it was willing to participate in further bargaining sessions before walking off the job, he said.

"In our eyes this is an illegal strike," Wilmot said. "Our belief was that the union was going to come to the table and negotiate."

Teamsters Local President Terrence Hancock, who was overseeing about three dozen picketers at the Pace northwest division office in Des Plaines, said union members were prepared to stay out indefinitely.

Union members were dissatisfied with the progress on contract negotiations, which have been going on for a year, he said. The two sides were close to an agreement, with only two issues separating them, but he declined to say what those were.

The strike was not expected to spread to other Pace routes. Other unions represent workers at the other Pace garages.
The strike is the latest problem for the bus agency fraught with budget woes and disputes with its parent agency, the Region Transportation Authority.

Last week, faced with a $50 million deficit for 2008, Pace's board of directors approved a new budget calling for "devastating" service cuts -- including evening service on all routes -- and fare increases in January unless long-stalled mass transit funding legislation is approved.

Fares on all Pace routes will increase to $2, and all paratransit, dial-a-ride, taxi-access program and vanpool rides also will cost more. Pace will no longer accept CTA passes except for the CTA/Pace 30-day pass.

In addition to eliminating all service after 7 p.m., Pace will cut 24 weekday routes, weekend service on 78 routes, and 65 Metra feeder and shuttle routes. Pace will also eliminate 230 jobs.
Courtesy of Crain's Cook County sues itself in budget war...
In a bizarre twist to Cook County’s budget woes, the county’s public defender on Tuesday announced that he is suing County Board President Todd Stroger in a bid to get needed funding for the office.

A suit filed by Public Defender Edwin Burnette contends that the office is unable to fulfill its constitutional task to represent the indigent because of layoffs, hiring freezes and other steps ordered by Mr. Stroger and the board. It asks a third unit of county government — a circuit court — to order the reinstatement and reimbursement of all office personnel, and to mandate other actions to ensure “the independence and autonomy of the office.”

An attorney for Mr. Stroger and the co-defendants in the case, presidential chief of staff Lance Tyson and comptroller Joseph Fratto, termed the lawsuit "ridiculous."

Burt Odelson said if the public defender doesn't like his budget, "he should have come to the board like the state's attorney did and lobby" for more money.

"You don't file lawsuits to ask for more appropriations," Mr. Odelson said. "That's not the way our democracy is based."
Another story from Crain's about the Mayor hiring a new compliance officer...
Mayor Richard Daley has named a compliance expert to head the Chicago's new $2.5 million-a-year department in charge of policing the hiring of city employees.

Anthony Boswell, 43, was named executive director for Office of Compliance and will be in charge of overseeing all federal, state and local laws and regulations. Mr. Boswell, formerly a principal of Denver-based Institute for Corporate Ethics and Governance, will also be responsible for implementing any court-ordered compliance decrees.

His first priority will be creating a Code of Conduct for city employees.

At a Tuesday news conference announcing the appointment, Mayor Daley said he was confident that the city was taking “another big step forward in managing government efficiently in a way that protects taxpayers.”

The compliance office was created in September in an effort to consolidate the jobs of the city’s chief compliance officer, internal auditor and the compliance unit of Chicago’s department of human resources.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

High Court to Hear D.C. Gun Ban Case

A lot of pro-second amendment people are going to be watching this case. Let's see what kind of precedent the Supreme Court might create out of this. From the Washington Post...

The Supreme Court announced today that it will decide whether the District of Columbia's ban on handguns violates the Constitution, a choice that will put the justices at the center of the controversy over the meaning of the Second Amendment for the first time in nearly 70 years.

The court's decision could have broad implications for gun-control measures locally and across the country and will raise a hotly contested political issue just in time for the 2008 elections.

The court will likely hear the case in March, with a decision coming before justices adjourn at the end of June.

For years, legal scholars, historians and grammarians have debated the meaning of the amendment because of its enigmatic wording and odd punctuation:

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Gun rights proponents say the words guarantee the right of an individual to possess firearms. Gun-control supporters say it conveys only a civic or "collective" right to own guns as part of service in an organized military organization.

"For the first time in nearly 70 years, the Supreme Court has agreed to examine the meaning of the Second Amendment," said Robert A. Levy, the Cato Institute scholar who funded the lawsuit on behalf of a group of District resident.

"That's good news for all Americans who would like to be able to defend themselves where they live and sleep. And it's especially good news for residents of Washington, D.C., which has been the murder capital of the nation despite an outright ban on all functional firearms since 1976."

Deanna Glass, 14, missing!!!

Chicagoist gets a hat-tip for providing a link to this story. I did a Google search to find more stories about her and I found a link to this blog, Bonnie's Blog of Crime, that links to other stories involving this girl's case. I would suggest you go there for a compilation of stories.

BTW, her disapperance occurred apparently in the same neighborhood that the police found two burned bodies in trashcans last week. I really hope that they find this girl!!!

City mail delivery improves, study finds

This was a story that most Chicagoans had seen from earlier this year. The mail doesn't get to where it needs to go in a timely fashion in the Chicago area. This morning Chicagoans should see that mail delivery should have improved from the Chicago Tribune.

Oh, BTW when I first wrote about this mail delivery problem, I had wrote about a story that IBC 34 did about their neighborhood post office. The problem wasn't so much mail delivery as it was bad customer service. It's worth a read if you're so inclined.

I also just now discovered another story IBC 34 did about mail service from Roseland. Also worth a read if you're so inclined.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Somethings I have seen online

I just saw a YoChicago video about the tour of a west side neighborhood called The Island. A neighborhood that is somewhat of a rarity on the west side of Chicago. Well I hate to say that but the west side of town is considered a very rough area. I'm sure there are pockets of stability on the west side but areas like The Island will get swamped by the rough areas.

Anyway after checking out that video I decided to check out something. I recall that several months ago YoChicago had posted our friend artistmac's video about his day trip to the Austin neighborhood to shop at their Wal-Mart. In doing a search for that post another post came up.

Artistmac had posted this video in response to the last part of an interview with an architect involved with the Chicago Housing Authority. Basically it was a video about the destruction of the last of the Robert Taylor Homes housing projects. To be fair artistmac stretched this out for months you can see a more complete video about this here.

This is what I really wanted to talk about. The comments to the YoChicago vid. Artistmac and the good people at YoChicago had a nice discussion about public housing. I suppose one could say that some of my biases came out in these comments.

A story about a woman not knowing how to care for carpet attempts to mop carpet. YoChicago talks about an Appalachian man who's toilet filled up because he didn't realize that toilets flush (that may not be a public housing resident to be fair). Then here's the main thing I want to discuss.

Another comment mentioned the idea of a neighborhood of middle income residents and welfare recipients living side-by-side. Artistmac declared that it won't work. To clarify a lot of these new CHA developments being built in those areas around the city where CHA high rises are being torn down are referred to as mixed-income developments.

A term came up in talking about mixed-income developments, properly managed. That's obviously something artistmac disagreed with in comments. Pointed to an example of a development (The Rosenwald) in his ward that was mismanaged by the CHA (you will see it in an artistmac video that I posted on this blog in January). Still the question could be begged as to what this means, properly managed? What does that entail?

Anyway something to consider as changes are abound around the city of Chicago. If we have to move the lower income people out of public housing where are they going to go and might they be coming back when the transformation is complete. Indeed the next question is what will they do when they don't get housing at a CHA development. Though I must say i'm happy that these high rises are no more, they've served their purpose no matter how dubious.

I don't know whether this is good or bad

My blog's reading level. I could say it's good that high school students can read it. I just hope it's not dumbed down for those readers who go to college or in graduate school. Of course in college and grad school, big words are to be expected I imagine.

From the Capitol Fax blog morning shorts and you can check your blog's reading level here.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another YouTube debate

From their blog today. They want you to fire up your camcorders so that you can ask the Republican candidates for President your question. The deadline is November 25th and the actual debate is on November 28th. Have fun!

Commercial for WVON-AM from 1980 provides an old commerical for WVON-AM when there were on a different frequencey with a different format in 1980. Not only can WVON now be found at 1690 AM with a talk radio format, but they can also be found at their new digs at 1000 E. 87th Street. Back in 1980, though there was a mostly music format and you're not likely to find that on AM stations anymore. Also before they moved to 87th Street in the Chatham neighborhood within the past year they could be found on the southwest side on Kedzie.

You can visit WVON on the internet here.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

This American Life: Remembering Harold Washington

The 13th Floor Blog at discusses a program that aired November 9th of last week on NPR . It was called This American Life and this episode was about the first black Mayor of Chicago, the late Harold Washington. This program actually aired back on November 21, 1997.

Wow, it'll be a decade next Wednesday that this program aired. Also it'll be 20 years since his death on November 25, 1987. Mayor Washington was re-elected earlier that year and was only 7 months into his second term as mayor. He had been Mayor of Chicago since 1983 and that election will be covered in this program.

I heard this program a while back and I'm so glad that I can hear this once again. And an addition that they talk about the presidential candidacy of US Senator Barack Obama. A famous black lawyer and judge, Eugene Pincham, mentioned that Dr. Martin Luther King was not a well liked man when he was alive but when he was murdered and couldn't lead anyone anymore, he got a holiday. Then Pincham says that Mayor Washington on the other hand is not going to get those same accolades because Washington is likely to inspire people from beyond the grave.

Roughly 25 years have passed since Harold Washington was elected Mayor of Chicago and the question could be begged that this program seemed to address in 1997 & 2007. Would a black candidate have a fair chance to be elected Mayor today? Would that candidate have suffered the same resistance that Harold Washington had in 1983?

The pic at the top left is of a Harold Washington memorial courtesy of YoChicago's Chatham neighborhood Flickr set. This memorial sitting on South Vernon Avenue was sponsored by the people of Vernon Avenue, from 83rd to 87th Streets. To YoChicago, it was more memorable of a tribute to Mayor Washington than the library named for him in downtown Chicago.

Also I still plan on digitizing the coverage I have of his funeral. I haven't figured out the logistics or the technology yet. I don't intend to wait too long on it either.

With some edits this post was cross-posted at Illinoize!!!

This is how the blog used to look

Before I first changed the template for the first time here. It was sometime during the summer of 2006, but this snapshot into the past was back in May 2006. This is courtesy of's WayBack Machine. You should use it to check out how your websites used to look once upon a time.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Why Black Women Aren’t Getting Married

This was another story covered from The State of... and they don't seem to like to post links. I really like their take on the issues. Heh I had to Google to find the article they talk about but it turns out they do post links to these articles. I have to click on the post titles.

Anyway here's some comments they made about certain paragraps in this article. The first quote was in response to the idea of an "independent woman". I should warn you that the language here is vulgar...
Big J: Neither men nor women are "independent." We are mutually dependent on each other. The notion that a woman should be "independent" is feminist bullshit.
This next quote was in response to a woman who's 40 never married and admits that women do some wrong. In fact she broke up with a plumber she dated and he just so happen to run a plumbing business that became very successful after they broke up. She missed the ball there. Of course her point was that she wanted to be with someone who had a better status than she did...
Big J: Women naturally want a man of a "higher status" so that he can be a "provider" for his family, but in today's economy, only 4% of American families with at least two children are headed by a working man and non-working woman. (Source: The Decline of Males). Now, there are 2 million more women in college than men, so it's going to get much worse.
Final quote is responding to a female college student who isn't worried about getting married right now. Her strategy is to get herself straight although I won't say that's a bad strategy, the author here thinks this isn't the best strategy...
Big J: This sista is making a BIG mistake. College is the best place to find a husband. It's better to build together than apart. Coming into a marriage with too many assets can often build suspicion and distrust. And most often it's long-term, monogomous relationships that help us grow into who we are.
The article itself seems to give reasons as to why black women don't marry...
“I am an equal opportunity employer,” says Alicia Bradshaw, 38 a single professional black women in New York.

Bradshaw’s ideas of marriage and commitment have also changed as she’s grown older and experienced more. “I think marriage is a wonderful notion and a sacred institution and have always thought so; however, when I was 20 years old the opportunity did not appear as elusive. In my opinion, one reason [that black women are single] could be that lack of traditional marital role models for black people historically.”

Yvonne Hill, 36 a graphic designer in Miami agrees with Bradshaw, but also thinks the media has a lot to do with the low rate of marriages. “I feel society and media are partially to blame for the way black-on-black Love is viewed, all too often black women are portrayed as controlling, overbearing or simply hoe’s.”

Hill also thinks there is a drastic difference of how women of other races are portrayed. “It has been my experience that there is a lot of competition for black men, so there is no need for them to choose one woman, because they are able to get what they want from several. I think 42.4% of black women will never be married because they will never be asked.”

But Nyako still thinks women’s internal issues, and not external factors, contribute to their single status, “I put men on a high pedestal. He could not be just a regular man. He had to be the best at everything and I was wrong. [I learned] a person or a man's character is just as important as his status, professional standing or potential. In short you can’t judge a book by its cover.”

Despite all the numbers, perceptions and theories, black men still claim to love a woman in a suit. It’s just the extra baggage that they bring in the briefcase.

Thompson still believes there’s hope, but women need to change their mental barriers. “I think a successful woman doing her own thing is a catch. But I [also] think everybody has to be realistic. If you’re looking for a doctor or a lawyer, the pool is going to be small. Women need to open themselves up to other kinds of men. You catch the kind of fish, where you go fishing."
Oh yeah the article starts off discussing a film about this phenomena...
The independent film Traci Townsend explores this complex phenomenon. Written around a single columnist who’s lucked out on love, more than her fair-share of times, the main character "Traci Townsend", goes on a cathartic journey to find out why she’s never been proposed to. Townsend played by familiar faced actress Jazsmin Lewis and her co-worker/best friend Sylvia (Mari Morrow) use a documentary as the premise behind exploring her past and determining her future.

“I wanted to write something different. Women tend to think it’s usually a man’s fault, but it sometimes is a women’s fault. [The character] can’t look into the mirror and see that she had some issues. That’s what raw about the movie, when she asked her exes for the truth, they told her,” says Bobby Thompson the writer of Traci Townsend.
Now I want to see if I'll ever view this film, that or get my hands on it somehow.

Another town bans sagging pants.

Courtesy of, a story with video about a town outside of St. Louis, Missouri called Pine Lawn. Pine Lawn was the first municipality in Missouri to ban sagging pants...

According to the ordinance, pants are illegally sagging if they show underwear or skin below the waist. This law applies to males and females.

Those who violate the law face a $100 fine and the parents of violating minors can be charged $500 or sentenced to 90 days in jail.

Mayor Sylvester Caldwell says he received complaints about the fashion from elderly members of the community. Also, he thinks the law will make Pine Lawn more appealing to developers, although no developers specifically said they had a problem with excessively loose pants.

The law has come under fire as a way for police to target young people. Pine Lawn Police Chief Rickey Collins says this is not the case. He points to specific language in the ordinance that says sagging pants are not grounds for search and arrest, and he said he will only issue fines to people who repeatedly sag their pants in public.
There were a couple of stories that I have done here about this subject and attempts to make a law to ban it. I have to say though I understand what public officials are doing to make laws against this, but I would consider it an unnecessary intrusion. Should the government tell people how to wear their pants or even what to wear.

Posts of interest
MyUrbanReport talks about an ATL ordinance banning sagging pants...
Low hanging pants

1st murder victim identified

I wanted to post about this earlier this week when it his the news. Earlier this week a burning body was found on the near south side burning in a trash can. That was on midnight Tuesday and then on Wednesday another burning body was found in a trash can near a south side elementary school. Authorities have identified the first charred body and are working on finding the identity of the other body. From the Tribune...
It was clear from the detectives' faces that they had come to Theresa Bunn's home with bad news.

Bunn, 21, had been missing since Monday evening, and the pregnant woman's family had hoped hers was not the body found strangled and set ablaze in a garbage bin Monday night, the first of two women found murdered in similarly grisly fashion this week.

But moments after detectives went inside the family's home Thursday, Bunn's family erupted in grief, their wails disrupting their quiet Englewood Street.

"She's dead. She's dead. My sister's dead!" Bunn's sister cried outside the family's home as neighbors on nearby porches shook their heads in disbelief. Sobbing family members ushered the woman's sister back inside.

Authorities identified Bunn's charred body through dental records three days after it was found in a garbage bin in the 6100 block of South Prairie Avenue, two blocks southwest of Washington Park. She was eight months pregnant.
Chicago police said detectives had no suspects in Bunn's murder but were talking to people who had "personal relationships" with Bunn.

Police are investigating whether Bunn's murder could be tied to the killing of a second woman, found strangled and set on fire in another dumpster a little more than 24 hours later, 2 miles away, in the 800 block of East 50th Street. That woman, described by sources as black, has not been identified, although police say they have received a number of tips about her possible identity.

Earlier on Thursday, police officers and cadets lined up for outdoor roll calls at both crime scenes and later handed out fliers. Deputy Chief of Detectives Michael Shields had said he hoped their presence would calm fears in the community and garner clues about the women's identities.

Police said the unidentified woman was wearing a blue shirt with a safety pin under a multi-colored shirt, a Martha Stewart blue or green fleece sweat shirt and blue jeans. Detectives from the Wentworth and Calumet areas are investigating the cases.

Shields said there was evidence found at the crime scenes that has been sent to the Illinois State Police crime lab for testing, but he would not go into detail. Police said they hope the lab will help identify what they suspect was an accelerant used on Bunn's body. Apparently, no accelerant was found on the second body.

Bunn was last seen Monday night, when she told family members she was going to a mall either in Chicago or Evergreen Park; she never came home. Her mother worried that a mental condition she had might have left her confused.
Bunn had at least one stormy relationship in her past. She was the target of an order of protection filed in August by a man who accused her of making threatening phone calls to him and his family, saying he was the father of her unborn child and threatening to have him beaten, according to court documents. The man wrote that they had been involved, but that they had not had sexual intercourse. On Sept. 12, Bunn was arrested on charges that she violated the order by allegedly going to the man's home.

Twelve days later, Bunn responded to the man's complaint with a letter, saying the man and his mother were "stalking and harassing" her because she was pregnant with his child.

"I want them to leave me along (sic) they are stressing me out," she wrote. "They are trying to make me lose this baby."

Reached at home, the man's mother declined to comment.
I'm going to let the police do their jobs and see if these two murders were connected. Something tells me that they are, but I'm not a detective. All I have is a hunch but not the training of a detective.

Pop Culture Gives Weak Dollar a Bad Rap

It's too bad that I don't really follow the currency market aside from talking to friends who make the weakening dollar their concern. The US dollar isn't doing very well if even rap-moguls avoid it to spend on bling-bling. Here's more from Yahoo! Finance...

As the greenback recently hit historic lows against other major currencies, rap mogul Jay-Z released a new video in which he flashes euros, not dollars. It was also widely reported last week that one of the world's richest supermodels, Gisele Bundchen, opted to be paid in euros because of the dollar's weak outlook. Her spokeswoman has denied that the model was spurning the dollar, saying Bundchen is paid in the currency of a job's location.

Nevertheless, the euro bought an all-time record $1.4752 on Friday and the British pound has also been trading at its highest levels against the dollar since the early 1980s. The Canadian dollar, often called the "Loonie," reached parity with the dollar in September for the first time since 1976, and has climbed steadily since.

While investors, multinational businesses and travelers have been witnessing the dollar's slide for years, pop culture is new territory.

Jay-Z's "Blue Magic" video seems to have been an attempt to acknowledge the dollar's decline in an ironic way and to paint the artist as an international superstar who is smarter than those accepting greenbacks.

"It is probably a particularly good strategy as the 'image of the dollar' loses its 'currency' as an emblem of extravagance and success," Steven Tepper, associate director of Vanderbilt University's Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy, said in an e-mail. "So, you have the combination of a weakening visual icon -- the dollar -- and a growing international audience that will understand and connect to the image of the euro."
You may want to know what does a weakend dollar mean?

The dollar's decline represents expectations the U.S. economy will slow relative to other economies. Recent cuts to the Federal Reserve's key interest rate have also weakened the dollar, as investors transferred funds to countries where they can earn higher returns.

A weaker dollar also makes U.S. goods cheaper and more competitive in foreign markets, tightening the trade deficit. It helps some U.S. companies with operations abroad whose profit is greater when converted into dollars. But at the same time, a cheaper dollar makes foreign goods and travel more expensive.

Although pop culture preferences are not the most important factors in the equation, some say they can have enough of an impact to support the dollar's decline.

"Obviously a supermodel changing preferences is not going to rock the markets overnight," said Axel Merk, manager of the Merk Hard Currency Fund. "This is just a symptom. But sure, yes, it does have an impact and that's going to happen more and more."
This reminds me I heard that Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul was in favor of abolishing the Federal Reserve, but I found this Wikipedia article about his political positions. I know, I know it's not the most reliable source but surely it gives a guide as to what his vision is as far as the dollar. Still let's take a look at his Debt and Taxes platform as it pertains to the dollar...

In addition, the Federal Reserve, our central bank, fosters runaway debt by increasing the money supply — making each dollar in your pocket worth less. The Fed is a private bank run by unelected officials who are not required to be open or accountable to “we the people.”

Worse, our economy and our very independence as a nation is increasingly in the hands of foreign governments such as China and Saudi Arabia, because their central banks also finance our runaway spending.

We cannot continue to allow private banks, wasteful agencies, lobbyists, corporations on welfare, and governments collecting foreign aid to dictate the size of our ballooning budget. We need a new method to prioritize our spending. It’s called the Constitution of the United States.
I'm disappointed. He could have had some more meat in the platform but I could understand if the platform had to be written to stir up the base without making it too hard to understand. The main thing that should be noted is that the dollar is fiat, it's not backed by a commodity which is usually a metal such as gold or silver. The only value it has it what the government determines it to be. If that value was attached to gold or silver that same currency would be worth something whether or not the government determined its value or not. Or at least that's the idea as I understand it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Grab your video camera and help us cover Black Friday

That's right the Springfield, Illinois newspaper State-Journal Register is offering you the opportunity to document what you do the day after Thanksgiving, also called Black Friday. This is the first major shopping day before Christmas. I almost wish I had a camcorder to record my activities on that day, but it's more likely I'll be at home chilling while everyone else acts crazy looking for bargains or that perfect gift.

We're looking for a few shopaholics who own a digital video camera and are interested shooting a brief video diary showing our viewers how you survived Black Friday.

We'll feature the videos on our home page as part of our news coverage of the most hectic shopping day of the year.

If you'd like to participate, shoot us an e-mail to With your message include your name, hometown, the type of video camera you have and your general plans for Black Friday (what time you plan on getting started, where you're going, etc.)
I see this as a videoblogging opportunity too. I mean this was made for that. It's your Momentshowing of sorts. I want to see what moments people might have for the State-Journal Register.

BTW, from my more reliable videoblog sources I'm enjoying this month since it's been declared NaVloPoMo, or National Video Blog Posting Month People with videoblogs and that kind of dedication to them are making a video-a-day, everyday for November. This is the 15th so we're at about the halfway point.

BTW, I supposed this started off with NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. Among some of the videoblogs out there this is something I have seen more times than not. If NaVloPoMo was a new concept as of this year there's NaBloPoMo. That stands for National Blog Posting Month and it looks like I'm well on my way to doing that this month posting a blog or several blogs this month. Even if I'm not an official participant or I didn't set out to do this everyday in November.

When I first started this blog, there seemed to be a flurry of activity amongst that community, but things seemed to have slowed a little bit. I can understand if people move on to other projects, I really enjoy the ones who keep going. BTW, I still am impressed with those who treat their blogs as vehicles for their own homegrown TV programs.

Don't forget to check my vlogroll!

The State of...: Talks about the divide amongst blacks

They bounce off of a piece by journalist Juan Williams and from the information I saw from The State of... blog, the divide seems like more of an income, economic, and values divide than it could be a racial divide. The piece itself indicates that of those blacks polled, it is those who are undereducated or poorer who don't see blacks as the same race.

Let me quantify undereducated. The quote that I saw of Juan William's report mentions specifically referred to blacks who only got their high school diploma as opposed to those blacks who went to college and got their degrees. Of coure to quantify income it wasn't specified what was meant by low income but those surveys who see blacks as having common values make more the $100,000/yr.

The State of... never linked to it but here's the article I assume they blogged about. Have a read courtesy of the Washington Post.

When PC goes wrong

You're going to have to read this to believe it. I got a link to a story thru Brain-Terminal...
THERE'LL be no ho, ho, ho this Christmas. Aspiring Santas have been told not to use the term "ho" because it could be seen as derogatory to women.

Thirty trainees at a Santa course in Adelaide last month, held by recruitment company Westaff, were urged to replace the traditional festive greeting with "ha, ha, ha".

A Santa veteran of 11 years who attended the course told the Sunday Mail the trainer was very clear in spelling out no to "ho".

Two Santa hopefuls reportedly left the course after the trainer's edict.

The term "ho" is also American slang for a prostitute. "We were told it (ho) was a derogatory term for females and can upset people," said the Santa, who did not want to be identified publicly.

"As far as I'm concerned, a hoe is something you dig the ground with.

"I don't think you'll hear too many Santas saying `ha, ha, ha'."
I can assure you that saying "ho, ho, ho" in a Santa Claus suit is not going to conjure up any images of prostitutes or loose women. I'd like to know who comes up with this crap. Do people literally sit on their hands to come up with junk like this? I'd really like to know!

Co-defendant outs alleged Troutman target

We now know who Troutman was attempting to get a kickback from as she continues to battle corruption charges in federal court. In February she was turned out of office in favor of Willie Cochran for her 20th Ward Aldermanic seat. From the Sun-Times...
A prominent Chicago developer was one of former Ald. Arenda Troutman's alleged extortion targets, one of her co-defendants says in a new court filing.

Troutman is accused in a federal indictment of pressuring an unnamed developer to hire Vincent Gilbert as a consultant on a proposed project in the 20th Ward. In court papers, Gilbert now identifies the development company as ANSCO.

The company, whose president is Andres Schcolnik, has developed several landmark properties on the South Side -- including the Grand Ballroom, in the 6300 block of South Cottage Grove. Schcolnik declined to comment.

Gilbert -- facing prosecution with Troutman -- insists in his court filing that he was qualified for the $5,000 contract he signed with ANSCO in 2005 to do public relations and other work on the project. The indictment accused Troutman of forcing the developer to hire Gilbert even though he had "little, if any, real estate experience."

Later, Troutman allegedly tried to get the developer to make her brother a partner in the unidentified project, telling him: "And then, I'm paid through him, see?"

But the developer was cooperating with prosecutors.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A story about Kanye's mother's plastic surgeon

It's been in the news that Ms. Donde West before she died had a cosmetic procedure done and it ultimately led to her death. This FOXnews article confirms that apparently Dr. Jan Adams has been the target of malpractice suits in the past. This almost reminds me of an episode of Nip/Tuck.

It's also been in the news that Ms. West was going around looking for a doctor to perform a cosmetic procedure on her but most refused telling her that she should get medical clearance before the operate on her. Well I'm sure that if you're determined to get a procedure done on you or at least get a diagnosis you're looking for then you'll keep looking for someone who would right?

Anyway let's get back to FOXNews here. Let's see about Dr. Adams...

The plastic surgeon who reportedly operated on Kanye West's mother before she died had two malpractice suits filed against him that ended in payouts and was arrested twice for driving under the influence, according to medical board records.

The Medical Board of California is investigating whether the license of Dr. Jan Adams should be revoked or suspended after he was arrested twice in the past four years for the alcohol-related offenses, the records say.

Adams told celebrity Web site TMZ that he performed a tummy tuck and breast reduction on Donda West before she died Saturday night at age 58. Adams said she might have died from a heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or massive vomiting.

Preliminary information suggested West died from complications of surgery, said county coroner spokesman Lt. Fred Corral. An autopsy was expected to be conducted by Wednesday.

In a 2006 case, Adams was found guilty of driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or greater, and he pleaded no contest in 2003 to driving under the influence, according to the medical records.

Champaign Co. Clerk on new state election bill

This article was in today's Capitol Fax Morning Shorts from the blog of the Champaign County Clerk about an election bill that was signed into law by the Governor on Friday. He calls this a good bill but what I want to highlight is an unfortunate provision...
The unfortunate provision in this legislation takes effect for the 2010 election. That requires our voting equipment to be set to detect undervotes on ballots for Constitutional Offices and to initially reject such ballots. Under this provision, if you go in and vote for Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Treasurer but leave blank the office of Comptroller, the voting equipment will beep, inform you that you've undervoted and give you a chance to recast your ballot. This provision will cause a number of people to have the privacy of their ballot compromised, especially those who are blind or visually impaired and use the Automark Voter Assistance Terminal.
I can see how this can be problematic, especially if for those offices mentioned above you won't have any privacy if you have undervoted. Of course the last election I was actually able to personally cast a ballot the rules where that you punch your ballot as usual and of course if you've undervoted or overvoted the ballot machine rejects your ballot and you're given an opportunity to re-cast your ballot. If you choose not to then the election judges will go on ahead and accept your ballot.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Presidential library seeking loan of race riot material

I saw this article via The Eleventh Hour blog that is based in Springfield, Illinois the state capitol.

What was offered in this post was more of a critique I thought. It only served to bring attention these riots back in 1908 but the criticism was that this is being conducted by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and that this is too narrow a purpose for them. I suppose it could be argued that this event is more inline with the history of Springfield than it is for the 16th President of the United States.

In some respects I would agree. Though I could say it's great that the presidential library would spearhead this, but this event in and of itself has nothing to do with Abe Lincoln. The only way it could be is because Springfield is the hometown of the "Great Emancipator".

My other posts
Springfield to comemmorate the 1908 race riots
Students to Install Exhibit on 1908 Springfield Race Riots on Friday, August 3
Springfield Race Riot of 1908 from the Illinois Channel

Started a new blog

The Sixth Ward

A new project about the Sixth Ward of Chicago. It includes the neighborhoods of Chatham, Park Manor, West Chesterfield, and Englewood. It is somewhat inspired by the more ward/neighborhood-centric blogs that have been created over the years in such city neighborhoods as Roger's Park & Uptown.

I don't intend for it to become overtly political. If nothing else it will be just informative. And a way to share pics from around the ward. Politics may be apart of the offering but I don't want it to be a typical topic of discussion.

Right now I'm going to take it one post at a time and see where this develops. I hope you enjoy.

Two stories this morning

Both are from the Chicago Tribune.

The first story is about a missing girl...

Sarah Montgomery, 11, was last seen on Sunday by her father in the 6400 block of South Langley Avenue, according to police.

At the time, she was wearing a dark waist-length jacket with a fur-lined hood, navy blue pants with gold stripes and navy blue gym shoes.

Police described Montgomery as an African-American of medium complexion, 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 90 pounds. They added that she may appear older than she actually is.

Those with information on Montgomery's whereabouts are asked to contact the Police Department's Calumet Area special-victims unit at 312-747-8274.
OK this second story let's go back to Kanye's mother for a second. Remember that last night I noticed that the Sun-Times in the email edition had a headline that suggested that Kanye's mother died during cosmetic surgery. Well the Tribune hints at it today...
The Los Angeles County coroner's office was scheduled to conduct an autopsy Wednesday on Donda West, mother and manager of hip-hop star Kanye West, amid reports that she died of complications from cosmetic surgery.

A statement issued by the family late Monday offered no details about how West died, but the coroner's office cited a recent surgical procedure as a possible cause. A California surgeon said through a spokeswoman that he had declined to perform cosmetic surgery on West months ago because she had a pre-existing condition.

West, 58, who stopped breathing at her home in Los Angeles on Saturday, was brought to the Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center in Marina del Rey by paramedics, hospital spokeswoman Cyndee Woelfle told the Tribune. Woelfle said it was her understanding that West had had some cosmetic surgery, and that her "problems were a result of the surgery but it was not done at this hospital."

On Monday, Patricia Green, a publicist for Donda West, told news media she understood West had undergone cosmetic surgery; later, Green backed away from that statement.

A spokeswoman for Dr. Andre Aboolian, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, told The Associated Press that Donda West had approached him months ago about having plastic surgery but he declined to perform it because of a pre-existing condition. He said he never heard back from her. Aboolian told West that she needed to get a medical clearance before he would agree to do the surgery, said his publicist, Jo-Ann Geffen.

Aboolian was concerned about a condition West had that could have caused a heart attack during surgery, Geffen said.
Very unfortunate!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Back to the Kanye's mother story

Yeah earlier today I posted that she had passed away but then I just now checked the Sun-Times email newsletter that I subscribed to and I see this. Just so that you won't think I was making up stuff, this was what I saw.

Kanye West's mom dies after cosmetic surgery was the title of the story about Kanye's mother and the story that it links to doesn't even mention that. I'm sure that mistake are made at times with headlines, but comeone. Don't just give a headline then link to story that says nothing about it.

Kanye's mother dies!!!

I heard it from A Million Monkeys first. Here's an article from the Tribune...
Two years ago when multiplatinum producer and rapper Kanye West was making the rounds to promote his much-anticipated sophomore album, "Late Registration," he talked to critics about what went into creating the album, which took on everything from conflict diamonds in Sierra Leone to disgruntled, gold-digging women.

Then there was the song "Hey Mama," a tribute to his mother, Donda, a former Chicago State University English professor who'd often told her son he needed a college education in order to be successful.

"Hey," West said at the time, "we need something to perform at the Grammys."

But it was more than just a song that could be embraced by a mainstream audience. It was a salute to a mother who, despite her scholastic achievements, stood by her son when he decided to drop out of college and pursue a childhood fantasy of becoming a hip-hop star.

In the tune, he raps, "Forrest Gump mama said 'life is like a box of chocolates'/My mama told me go to school, get your doctorate/Something to fall back on, you could profit with/But still supported me when I did the opposite."

Ms. West, 58, a longtime Chicago resident, died late Saturday or early Sunday in Los Angeles of undisclosed causes.

Other than confirming the death, a spokesman for Kanye West offered only a statement saying that "the family respectfully asks for privacy during this time of grief." The loss of his mother comes as a blow in an otherwise high time in West's life. The Grammy Award winner is celebrating what likely will be one of the best-selling albums of the year with his recent release "Graduation," which in its first week sold about 957,000 copies. Kanye West, who was in Chicago last week as a surprise guest for Jay-Z's "American Gangster" concert at the House of Blues, was overseas in London at the time of his mother's death. Friends close to him say that he is devastated.

The two shared an undeniable bond, as evidenced in the music West made and the public affinity they had for one another. This fall Ms. West released the book "Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Star," a memoir she'd penned with author Karen Hunter about bringing up her famous son.

In August, she told the Tribune: "He told me, 'There's no real acrimony between us -- there's no controversy.' [So] he didn't think people would buy [the book]. But I felt there are a lot of things about Kanye and I that might be beneficial to other mothers and their children."
Not really a fan of Kayne or honestly I've never really listened to his work, but may his mother rest in peace.