Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You can follow this blog on Twitter now

Last night was when my first tweet from this blog using Twitterfeed was posted. In fact I even got a response to that initial tweet from here:
F quinn, F stroger. proft is awesome though.

Anyway I used Twitterfeed for The Sixth Ward initially since I have a second account for that blog. I post there more as of late than I do here although I hope that what I write here will get some readers from Twitter. I also hope it may save me the trouble of posting links during a given day and I can post some of those links here instead. Although as of late I haven't been posting too many links on Twitter.

Anyway a new feature for this old blog of mine!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Governor's race in Illinois

The race for Cook County President looks interesting as the field on the Democratic side looks wide open. There's an incumbent, however, he (Todd Stroger) is very weak and unpopular at this moment and he has nothing but people lining up against him. This year we may actually take our pick as far as who should be the county board president.

Another race I'm looking forward to is Governor. In light of impeachment of Ousted governor and the crimes that put him out and for what he's currently indicted for in addition to the current situation the state is in as far as finances and taxation this is the opportunity to put our state in a different direction. It is really be needed right now!

Today I saw Bob Schillerstrom announced his run for our state's top job live on the internet. It was a rousing speech where he hopes to bring the success he brought as the County Chairman of DuPage County to the rest of our state. He's a relative unknown so I would be interested to see how far he may go.

Slightly more known is Dan Proft who made his intentions clear earlier this week. Well if you follow the media, especially hear his commentaries on WLS-AM or know that he was the spokesman for the city of Cicero, IL or perhaps you know him as the publisher of the defunct online news site, Illinois Leader.

As to whether or not he should be Governor is another thing.

His general plank seems to be more confrontational. His motto is to say that Illinois is not merely broken, but it's fixed. His job is to unfix Illinois and he already has a target and it certainly resonates with me, Chicago's public schools. He also points to the state's toll roads, but I rarely ever have to use them.

When he thinks Illinois is fixed he says that it only works to the benefit of not its citizens, but to the powers that be. The public schools, health care, and tollways only operate to the benefit of public sector unions from whom the so-called "Chicago Nine" derive their power.

In talking about the issues facing Illinois he points his finger at not just the prevailing Democratic party in Illinois, but also the Republicans of this state. Proft is certainly part of the wing that seems to demand some type of purity and those who may not fit his definition of a "true Republican" well ought to be nudged out of the way. That may well be may be coming from in his general point of view politically and personally I'd be concerned especially if he has a genuine concern about the education, health care, and tollway systems.

So he'll be going after the prevailing Democrats and the RINOs in Illinois. Too bad that politics is more about addition than it is subtraction. He can get some Democrats onto his side and perhaps these so-called RINOs, since this is politics it can surely be dome and Proft had been in the game long enough to know that. Of course if they resist his programs then perhaps they are as fair game as anyone.

At the same time am I sure he's the one to lead Illinois? Well all I can say is that I'd like to feel out who may want to become the next IL Governor. The field isn't through forming yet, and I'm very sure that we'll know before February 2010 who wants to be part of this new wide open sweepstakes. Most importantly who may have the vision to "un-fix" Illinois?

Can't wait!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Getting away from Michael Jackson for a minute with apologies to the late John Callaway

This week we lost three prominent entertainers and probably lost in that shuffle was more of a local legend, John Callaway. He was a journalist who worked mostly at Channel 11, but he was around either at WBBM 780 or for a brief time WBBM-TV when Carol Marin was an anchor there. I watched retrospectives both last night and on the day (or perhaps the day after) he had passed away from a heart attack.

Personally, I noted from him his ability to tell stories. In fact one recent segment on Chicago Tonight, a Chicago Stories segment that was about the attempted murder of a former Cubs player Ed Waitkus by an obsessed 19 year old girl who was a fan, had me spooked. Of course I won't attribute that to Callaway's story telling, but to the re-enactments where if we saw anything of the principled we saw nothing by their hands, legs, arms, and feet. The only head I recall seeing was hers but we never saw her face which was shielded by her long hair worn as the women of the period would have worn their hair. It almost reminded me of this episode of Hollywood Mysteries and Scandal, except perhaps the re-enactments were probably more dramatic!

Anyway the journalists who was on the retrospectives of Callaway's career always lauded his interviewing abilities. If I got anything from them he wasn't intellectually lazy, he tried to get as many details as possible during his preparation. Many of them considered him tough and at times he got an emotional response from his subjects. He apparently had this ability to really get his guests to open up.

I forgot to mention that he was an inaugural host for Chicago Tonight ending his role back in 1999. I was too young to pay attention to those early programs and even when I got interesting in politics my focus was on watching either C-Span or any national news programming. It was only recently when I took an interest in state/local politics.

When Rich Miller posted onto his blog that Callaway had passed away I commented that I really admired his ability to tell stories. I couldn't comment on his interviewing, but I did say while someone can take up his mantle, he may never be replaced.

I want to show you two vids, the first was about the election of the first female mayor of Chicago, Jane Byrne. Race played a role in that election as the black community wasn't served very well by then incumbent Michael Bilandic. It's an interesting story worth watching and I was surprised to see that Mayor Byrne sat for an interview back in 2004! Duration is about 11 minutes.
The next vid features the first black mayor of Chicago, Harold Washington. Essentially the first female mayor would be succeeded by the first black mayor. The year before this interview took place (April 24, 1984) Washington had defeated in the Democratic primary in 1983, then incumbent Mayor Byrne and current Mayor Richard M. Daley and had clear runnings to become Mayor of Chicago. This interview on the inaugural edition of Chicago Tonight with John Callaway showed Mayor Washington discussing the new concept of Tax Increment Financing. Duration is about 29 minutes!
May he rest in peace!

You can also watch some of his work here as well!

AP Source: Jackson suffered a heart attack

I just heard about this just now, perhaps some medication may have helped to hasten Michael Jackson's death.
The person, who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity, said Jackson suffered a heart attack, which is a blocking of the arteries that deprives the heart of adequate blood. That can lead to cardiac arrest, an interruption of the normal heartbeat.

Jackson's brother Jermaine said Thursday that it was believed the pop singer went into cardiac arrest. The Los Angeles County coroner's office, which completed its autopsy Friday, said determining the cause of death will require further tests that will take six to eight weeks.

The possibility of a heart attack could be a key clue as to why Jackson had a cardiologist at his home while he went through vigorous training for an upcoming series of concerts in London: Heart attacks can indicate a long-term problem, such as heart disease. It would not necessarily rule out another factor, such as drug use, however.

Coroner's spokesman Craig Harvey said Jackson was taking some prescription medications, but did not specify what they were.

Police earlier today seized the car of Dr. Conrad Murray, a cardiologist who practices in California, Nevada and Texas, who was with Jackson at the time of his death. Police said they believed the car may contain drugs or other evidence.
Yet another controversy arises even in the wake of his untimely death!

You know when I heard that authorities were looking at his doctor, I almost thought about the Doctor who was treating the mother of Kanye West. She also had a heart attack, may have had a condition and reports were that she was undergoing cosmetic surgery when she suffered her heart attack. One could go racial on this and say black Hollywood doctors are starting to get a bum rap. Let's hope not, however.

Via Newsalert!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Gary's mayor has big hopes for Michael Jackson boyhood home

Jackson's modest home to become like "Graceland":
The mayor is calling Jackson's modest boyhood home the new Graceland, and others hope to use Jackson's name to raise funds for a museum.
But Jackson and his family, like so many others, left the northwest Indiana city behind a long time ago.
But Clay shook his head when asked if Neverland might be a better location for die hard fans to connect to the singer's legacy.
"No. No. No," Clay said. "If you're going to build a museum to Michael Jackson you should build it where the true love for him is."
The Jacksons moved from Gary after the Jackson 5 recorded their first album in 1969.
By that time, the steel industry, in which Jackson's father had worked, had started to decline. Over the following decades, the city's unemployment and poverty soared, crime increased and the population dwindled.
Nearly 200,000 people lived in Gary in the 1960s. By 2007, that dropped to 96,000 and one-third of residents lived below the poverty line, according to recent U.S. Census data.
Clay said he hopes Jackson's death will help energize officials to push for building a memorial, which could include arts center and museum, to the singer in his childhood hometown. Proposals also include moving the Jackson home near an interstate that serves as a main route for commuters heading to and from Chicago, Clay said.
I compiled some video links from my local CBS affiliate over at my other blog, The Sixth Ward. As for Gary, trying to get tourists to come is a great idea, but I think Gary needs more than strong love for a favorite son!

Pic of the Jackson family home is from Flickr!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson reported dead

According to the LA Times, but for now settle for this post at Chicago Breaking News (Tribune). If this is indeed confirmed we have lost a talent although I hated how he spent his last few years. The charges of child molestation and his generally percieved weirdness. My respects to a guy who's talent forced him to grow up way too soon!

UPDATE 10:25 PM Reason Hit & Run: Michael Jackson RIP "On the day of his death, I'll ignore the weirdness and enjoy the music." I heard that!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

OK, this bothers me

I'm prolife and this is one of those positions I would consider somewhat frivolous although I know the time Nixon came from, but in my opinion this position is bad:
On Jan. 23, 1973, when the Supreme Court struck down laws criminalizing abortion in Roe v. Wade, President Richard M. Nixon made no public statement. But privately, newly released tapes reveal, he expressed ambivalence.

Nixon worried that greater access to abortions would foster “permissiveness,” and said that “it breaks the family.” But he also saw a need for abortion in some cases — like interracial pregnancies, he said.

“There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,” he told an aide, before adding, “Or a rape.”
So a black and a white having a child is on par with a rape? Hmmm, is it possible that the 37th President of the United States was a racist?

Via Reason!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Obnoxious talking people on the train!

I can't stand it when people are loud and on their phone. What makes it worse is that they're loud with their profane language. No one wants to hear their drama on the L!

Most of this woman's drama was about some dude and she claims he ain't nothing and will tell him so to his face. The way she was talking and the language she uses she may be oblivious to the fact that perhaps her own behavior is what drives people away. Especially the men who may not be the dead beat that she's really talking down on the phone.

A couple of people got as far away from her as possible as she was really loud on the phone. You know if someone dared to say something to her she'd have a fit, like who are you. But she's the one being inconsiderate of her surroundings!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Unconventional Wisdom is back!

You know I now will have three blogs that I regularly post to. Each of them will have their own specific subjects or topics to discusss.

This blog that I have been posting to since January 2005 may well need a new focus. It was my blog to discuss current events and politics in addition to my own personal background. If you couldn't tell by my tell you probably would think it was little more than a personal website that talked about nothing more than myself than anything else going on in the world.

These days I have other avenues and they have gained more recognition of late than this blog. Especially posting at either Illinoize and now Gaper's Block. Also I have The Sixth Ward that I started in November 2007.

Well I explained the purpose of starting this blog over four years ago. The Sixth Ward was started to look at issues not only at a neighborhood level, but also to follow state & local politics. That was the specific purpose of starting the blog and am thankful for the help of one JP Paulus who was a frequent commenter here during 2007.

Unconventional Wisdom is basically going to be a blog that will look at issues at the national or world level. Another purpose is to experiment with the Wordpress platform. Maybe one day this blog and The Sixth Ward may one day be ported onto Wordpress. Blogger is a great beginning program, however, at some point depending on what else is in store there may be a need to switch platforms and really learn essentially how to be a webmaster and be responsible for the webspace on which the blog resides.

This blog well I always wanted it to return to its starting roots. I may still discuss a variety of events, however, I want to use this blog to force myself to write essentially columns or essays. I may not do that everyday and perhaps every once in a while I may just post a short blurb of something I thought interesting, since I do spend a lot of time on the PC. Perhaps I could use this blog to post original photographs and videos. Well I have been a fan of videoblogging, but never found the time of the patience. I do want to start even if most of what I may tape isn't groundbreaking.

Anyway just some ideas for the future and more places where you can see my future works!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Cautionary Father's Day Tale

Artistmac plays his dad in this one! Words of wisdom:
So, fathers, celebrate your children. Don't force your dreams on them. Celebrate their strengths, their talents, their needs and desires, and especially, their eccentricities. History is not made by the well-behaved.

Happy Father's Day

I tweeted this last night and I also said that I no longer have mine, but I hope you spend today with your's!

Also I would like to share this post from Pat Hickey about Father's Day, so enjoy!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Shah's son sees echoes of 1979 in Iran

I found this link because I was just curious about what the son of the deposed Shah of Iran thought about what's going on in his country with all the protests after a recent election in the Islamic Republic of Iran:
The son of Iran's late shah said Monday he saw echoes of the 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew his father as massive crowds took to the streets against the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"I think the climate that we see in Iran today is not dissimilar to a few months of the regime back then," former crown prince Reza Cyrus Pahlavi, who lives in exile in suburban Washington, told CNN.

Pahlavi appealed to Western leaders, particularly President Barack Obama, to "show solidarity" with Iranians, likening their plight to that of Eastern Europeans during the Soviet era.

"I think any other signal other than this will be a slap in the face of the nation," Pahlavi said.
You know I just have to say, in 1979 they overthrew one oppressive regime for another. Now they protest against the current regime just as I imagine they did over 20 years ago. Perhaps whoever may win out after the protests have died down may allow the Iranian people more freedom than they've ever had.

At the same time I wonder if the Shah's son could just waltz into Iran and offer the freedom they've craved, although who's to say the opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi would offer that freedom.

You know one angle is concern about the stability of this nuclear state. At this time I'm not even sure what to say about it. Would this arsenal be safe in the hands of the current regime or are there more radical forces out there who we should be concerned about it.

BTW, over at Instapundit you can see the President's response to this crisis that he released today and other responses to it!

I only post about this because I'm watching the coverage of it on FOX News.

Went to the bookstore today

Actually in Hyde Park where I made a stop in Treasure Island and saw a uniformed police officer with a card that indicated that he was on the "presidential detail".

Anyway I dropped by Border's and since I've been out of school for perhaps the past month, being a graduate and all, I've got to figure out what's next. My plans have been to return to school although I will admit my road to Morehouse was bumpy but my road out of Morehouse was bumpier still. I need to polish myself a little bit before I can even think I would be good enough to be accepted into a graduate or professional school.

I spent most of my time at Border's looking at prep books. For the GRE or the LSAT and I look forward to finding more information on those two tests. I hear that the GRE is said to be easier than the LSAT perhaps because the LSAT is designed to test your reasoning and reading comprehension.

Anyway I decided perhaps I may need a book on getting into either a graduate program or a law school. There's more literature on getting into law school than on getting into graduate school. Although while both are difficult to enter into graduate school competition just has to be rough because there are less programs than one might find in undergrad.

Since I was in the section I checked out the other offerings. Let's be honest here, I never thought you would need a prep book for the ISAT. The ISAT is a test taken by 3-8 students in Illinois testing in such subjects or skills as math, writing, social studies, reading comprehension, or science. It's roughly the same test I would have taken during my years in school, but it would have been called the IGAP (Illinois Goals Assessment Program). This book I saw was for those who were in 8th Grade. Well this lets me know that these standardized tests that are supposed to measure what these students have learned in school is a big deal enough to warrant having prep books. In my day, the teachers (well my 8th Grade teacher especially) would teach us for the tests whether for the Iowa test or the IGAP. Today you don't need classroom prep, but certainly there is a book to buy now!

BTW, of course there were books on prep for the ACT or SAT. I don't have to take those although when I took the ACT many years ago I probably could have used some prep for that. More than was offered during my junior year in high school. Fact was back then I simply didn't appreciate the meaning and the purpose of these tests enough to really want to do well on them.

My focus was on these books about getting into college. If I had seen these books when I was in my senior year of high school, I would hope that I wouldn't be as intimidated as I was back then. I would have been worth a few dollars if it meant whether or not I could see the course forward as I feel I wasn't at the time.

One book talked about working on an application. One discussed writing an essay for your application, however one piece of advice was while you should be true to yourself. Don't be down on yourself either. Be honest, but be sure to give admissions officers confidence that you will do just fine in their college. The example I remember showed an athlete getting a promise letter for an ivy league school, but it was no good after they saw her essay and that essay proved she wasn't a good fit for them.

I had to look at the books that discussed the various colleges out there. Morehouse in one book was still a school where the best and brightest could go. I was flattered being a Morehouse alumnus myself. Although depending on who you talk to there may be problems in attracting the best and the brightest, especially if going to school in ATL might cost close to $30K a year. That's a lot of grants, loans, and cash with nothing to spare. Probably something to work on if you want to get the best and brightest students and be able to compete with other top schools who can deliver scholarships or what not without forcing students to resort to student loan debt.

Other books listed as top school such HBCU's as Fisk, Howard, or even Spelman. Although in that book that listed Morehouse it failed to list Spelman College and many consider that school to be especially elite.

I had books back then to show me the schools I could go, however, in those days I lacked the follow through. It was difficult to move on the great unknown, although now it's much easier because I did it more times than one. So I expect that moving up in the education world, while not a cinch, is a little easier to do as long as I'm able to investigate what it takes to get to where I need to go.

Anyway let's open this post up a little. I may be asking for a lot so here goes.
  • Any recommendations for books on prep tests for the LSAT and the GRE?
  • Any recommendations out there for books on prep for the ACT and SAT, for those who are looking to go to college?
  • Any recommendations on books regarding college? Especially as far as admissions or going to college?
I know I'm asking a lot, but let's just try to cover some bases here. You might be helping me out as far as LSAT or GRE prep, but I do hope we can help out anyone else who might need a hand into high education as well.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Teen admits to slaying on CTA bus

Well two years later a very sad chapter is near its close. While Blair Holt's parent may well continue their campaign to end urban violence, finally the two who were accused of being involved in Holt's murder finally stand trial:
A 17-year-old boy scheduled to stand trial today in the fatal shooting of Julian High School student Blair Holt on a CTA bus in May 2007 pleaded guilty today to two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated battery.

Michael Pace, who was accused of pulling the trigger on the 16-year-old Holt, faces 45 years to life in prison for the murder charges and an additional 6 to 30 years for the aggravated battery charges, prosecutors said today. 

On Monday, Holt's co-defendant, 17-year-old Kevin Jones, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was originally charged with first-degree murder and other charges. He was accused of a giving a .40-caliber handgun used in the slaying to Pace.

Holt was riding on a CTA bus near 103rd Street and Lowe Avenue when Pace, a reputed gang member, opened fire on a gang member with whom he had long feuded. Holt was killed as he used his body to shield a friend, authorities said. Four others were injured.
Now, my sincere hope is to be sure that not another young life is cut down senselessly in an act of violence.

NASA's mission to bomb the Moon

Scientific American:
NASA will tomorrow launch a spectacular mission to bomb the Moon. Their LCROSS mission will blast off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying a missile that will blast a hole in the lunar surface at twice the speed of a bullet. The missile, a Centaur rocket, will be steered by a shepherding spacecraft that will guide it towards its target - a crater close to the Moon's south pole. Scientists expect the blast to be so powerful that a huge plume of debris will be ejected.
Heh, worst case scenario, NASA has discovered "red matter" that moon would destroy itself. Oh and "red matter" would be a reference to the new Star Trek movie!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

PHOTOS: Iran's Disputed Election

Take a look at these dramatic pics from Iran. When I saw this I thought about how many blacks were ready to get out there and hit the streets if Obama didn't when the election. Thankfully that never happened, but obviously people can get very passionate when it gets to politics. I almost wonder if this could become the Iranian Revolution 2.0.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

1968 Chicago riot cops to hold reunion

Hmmm we seem to be going back to the late 60s lately first the death of Ed Hanrahan the former Cook County State's Attorney and now a riot police reunion. Interesting!!!
The violent clashes between police and protesters during the 1968 Democratic National Convention aren't typically considered proud moments in Chicago history.

But some members of the Fraternal Order of Police want to change that. On June 26, the Chicago police union will hold a "Chicago Riot Cops Reunion" at its hall to set straight "what really happened," according to the reunion's Web site.

"The only thing that stood between Marxist street thugs and public order was a thin blue line of dedicated, tough Chicago police officers," the Web site says. "Chicago police officers who participated in the riots continue to endure unending criticism -- all of which is unwarranted, inaccurate and wrong."

Former Police Supt. Philip Cline is scheduled to be a keynote speaker.

Proceeds from the reunion will go to the Chicago Police Memorial Fund, which provides assistance to the families of officers killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty.

Predictably, a protest to counter the event is being planned. Chicago Copwatch, a watchdog group, is organizing a march to the FOP hall the same night after a rally at Union Park at Ashland Avenue and Lake Street.
If people remember the riots of 1968 then I'm sure there is bound to be a protest. At least by those who were amongst those who were confronted by the police during that fateful Democratic convention that year.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Blago drops in on 2nd City spoof, gets in his own shots

Some journalists may have it right about our Ousted governor, he can't let go. Whatever publicity he can get his hands on he will go for it. He may be as tone deaf as a private citizen as he was as a sitting Governor. Perhaps the only reason people want to see him is because they want to see him make a fool of himself!

Often the butt of jokes these days, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich got to crack a few Saturday night when he made a guest appearance in the Second City's "Rod Blagojevich Superstar" at Navy Pier.

It was the first time Blagojevich had seen the hit musical, which gleefully skewers him as a hair-obsessed, power-hungry narcissist.

Rod Blagojevich takes in "Rob Blagojevich Superstar"

His take on the show?

"I thought it was all bull----," Blagojevich laughingly told the sold-out crowd after the performance at Navy Pier's Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

In particular, Blagojevich said his impersonator, Joey Bland, got one important detail wrong.

"That [hair]brush he had, it's too small," Blagojevich cracked.

And as for the potty-mouthed portrayal of his wife, Patti, "she talks nothing like that," Blagojevich said.

"Patti and I, we live a simple life, contrary to the way you portrayed us," he told Bland on stage.

Blagojevich sat through the show and smiled at times, while showing little reaction at other points.
Here's a video courtesy of WGN!

You know I shouldn't criticize him too much. People are saying that he's either nuts or just doesn't have a clue the scorn against him. Of course there's no need for scorn, he's no longer the Governor of Illinois.

We can say he's a good sport, however, it's unfortunate that people are making fun of him for his alleged misdeeds as far as the criminal case against him or his general record as Governor. And it doesn't even matter how him or his wife attempts to spin it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Star Trek Left the '60s Behind, but NASA's Still Trapped in the '70s

Read this article. NASA trapped in the 70s, lost it's bold vision that sent men to land on the moon! Today's bold vision might include a return to the moon or a trip to Mars. Hopefully do it cheaply and innovatively. Even better driven not by taxpayer dollars, but by private money willing to invest in exploratory ventures.

It would be so cool if I had the money, but yet I can build my own spaceship. Perhaps I'll even be Captain of that ship, be my own version of Capt. Kirk. Of course we won't have too many places to go since, well we haven't figured out how to go beyond the speed of light with "warp drive". It would still be sooo cool!

BTW, since I saw Star Trek the weekend it was released I never looked at Star Trek the same. This is what new thinking and plenty of money can do with a franchise that could very well use an update. Even production values that could match the rebooted Battlestar Galactica.

Via TrekMovie!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Former prosecutor Edward V. Hanrahan dies

This story is significant for one main reason, his role in the shooting deaths (or murder) of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark. They were leaders in the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party. They were killed in a raid on Dec. 3, 1969 (almost 40 years ago).

Hanrahan was then Cook County State's Attorney and had already amassed a reputation for being tough on crime. He used to be in the same position Patrick Fitzgerald is now as US Attorney, immediately before becoming State's Attorney. It seemed he was on the rise politically.

Then the raid! I'm sure there have been many accounts of this raid. Of course in this article it was mentioned that whatever accounting of this raid of Hampton and Clark on Chicago's West Side back in 1969 it didn't add up. If you read Dempsey Travis' Autobiography of Black Politics that account of the raid makes it seem as if the raiding police was a bit out of control itself.

Well needless to say after that raid, Hanrahan who could have either been Mayor of Chicago or even Governor lost the State's Attorney post and was never elected to office again. Although he has made several attempts since his electoral loss in 1972.

I wonder what kind of feelings about him may come up now that we know that's he's passed away. How many people still remember that raid? Also, how many people might still either be upset at or supportive of Hanrahan?

Burris simply destroying his political career

You know this column from Rockford-Register Star is something that I have had in mind for a while since the big news broke about Sen. Burris and the phone tap with him an Robert Blagojevich (he's the brother of Ousted governor). This is something I haven't yet seen in my regular sources. In fact people are still calling for Burris to resign his seat although he has no desire to do that. Why should he? He was willing to take an appointment from such an untrustworthy and dishonest then Governor.
I’m tired, dog-tired. I took care of six dogs in one house for six days. I’m all hounded out. It’s somewhat like how I feel about our junior senator, Roland Burris. I’m dog-tired of hearing from him. It’s not just the taped conversation where Burris is offering a fundraiser for now disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

It’s how Burris conducted himself that makes me sad and tired. Roland Burris is his own worst enemy. He, by himself, is slowly destroying an admirable political career. I’m reminded of a doddering old man scratching and clawing his way back to political relevancy. Burris wanted the U.S. Senate seat too much.

It seems, at least in the court of public opinion, the people of Illinois no longer have the same favorable view of Burris that they once had. For Burris to risk his legacy for a Senate seat showed a lack of character. Do I want Burris to resign? Not really, he has less than a third of his Senate term before Illinois decides on a new senator or, of course, possibly keeps the current one. Burris will do an adequate job in the Senate, nothing special. He will follow the Democratic leadership.

I can understand Burris not heeding calls to resign. It seems the Senate chase was all about him, not the state of Illinois. But what about us; what about the people of Illinois? Don’t we deserve better? Why do we continue to put too many flawed individuals in positions of authority over us? Why do we keep playing the sucker in a state peppered with political corruption and incompetence? Why don’t we demand better? Better ideas, better attitudes and better people are needed in our state government right now.
An admirable political career? Hmmm he was the first black elected to statewide office in the late 1970s. He also have had unsuccessful runs for either the US Senate, IL Governor, and Mayor of Chicago. Since he took this appointment from Ousted governor well things aren't looking so bright. If he was ever considered honest, that's been disproven, especially going by his actions. Especially going by a recorded conversation by wiretap.

Burris will probably still have his supporters. I suppose that's good, but unfortunately for Burris in his one last chance for glory, he may well have hurt himself. Chances are if he ran again, he may lose worse than he did in his last attempt for IL's governorship. In that last contest he faced off against then Congressman Ousted governor.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Shooting outside DuSable High School

I rag on the public schools at times here. Most of it might be because of my experience when I was there. Thankfully no one got shot during my time, but I often see it as dreadful.

You know there was a shooting at a high school, DuSable High, which has a very long history. It's the school of many well-known black Chicagoans, especially Mayor Harold Washington. Of course since it's part of the school system and it's had its problems over the years (it especially doesn't help that there were some CHA high rises nearby, now torn down).

You can read this story in the Trib:
After dropping a student off at the DuSable Leadership Academy High School campus Friday afternoon, one 19-year old was fatally shot and another was wounded outside the South Side campus when a gunman opened fire on their vehicle.

Neither victim was a student at the campus, 4934 S. Wabash Ave., and the female student they gave a ride to was not hurt.

The passenger was killed when the blue Dodge Caravan in which he was riding was fired upon, police said. The driver of the van fled, but was shot on the left side by the gunman who ran after him. The driver sought refuge in a school building, police said, and was later taken to Stroger Hospital in fair condition. Neither of the men had been identified as of late Friday.

The gunman fled in a four-door silver vehicle with a sunroof, police said. The shooting was believed to be gang-related, police said, without elaborating.
Well this could put a dampener on any graduation as one was about to take place at the school for an elementary school and whatever graduation that was to take place that little incident didn't stop it. Watch this vid from CBS 2!


Saturday, June 06, 2009

90-year-old Ill. woman gets high school diploma

Eleanor Benz left Chicago Public Schools' Lake View High in 1936 during her senior year to take a job. Over the following decades she moved to Gurnee and had 15 children, 54 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren.

Benz attended night school for typing and bookkeeping, but she recently told one of her daughters that never completing high school was one of her greatest disappointments. Her children contacted Lake View, and the school approved Benz' diploma.

This week, at her 90th birthday party, Benz's family presented her with the diploma and a 2009 gown and cap with a 1936 tassel.
Well, she has my respect. Job well done. I hope many can take her lead young and old!

Southern Avenger: The Wrath of North Korea?

This has been news for maybe the past couple of weeks or so. A bit disconcerting to know that a very closed nation, a nation said in this video to not have the ability to feed its own people, has tested a nuclear weapon. The question to be asked is what does this mean for North Korea?

Is it bragging rights to say that a small nation like NK can produce a nuclear weapon? Is it that NK is merely saber rattling?

I would ask if NK is merely a threat, but I don't think there's any question about that. The North Koreans are a thread either they use the bomb to prove something or they can give it to someone who will use it. I just hope that we can do what we can to keep them from doing anything crazy.

Is engagement with NK the key to this new crisis?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Gallup: GOP Largely Composed of White Conservatives

Video here!

I was going to say, "And this is a surprise?" Even that was acknowledged by the Gallup Editor in this video

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Had to talk about this statistic

Well I'm sure Dan Proft got this from either the newspapers or the schools themselves, but this has got to be an unfortunate statstic. Six out of  every 100 high school freshmen in the Chicago Public Schools, in a system that educates 400,000 students, will earn a bachelor's degree by the time they're 25. 60% of high school freshman or perhaps of high school students in CPS in general.

I know statistics can be played with and I'm sure these stats may not account for why it may take former CPS students some time before they graduate. I would say that some may go to school part-time and go to work. Some had to take some time off because college costs money. Then the basic assumption is that none of them are ready for college in the first place or they just don't take it very seriously and that's probably because (as I feel it was in my case) the schools may not have done an adequate job of preparing students for college.

Proft's point was to take a dig at Democratic leadership in Illinois. In his mind if achieving a baccalaureate degree is key to achieving some form of independence, especially from the Government, then this is probably not was the Democratic leadership in Illinois wants. They want to stay in power and that means gotta keep as many people ignorant and as dependent upon them as possible. Perhaps raising the bar in education really isn't in their best interests!

Well, I'll just say that I can tell you what's in anyone's hearts. All I can go by are people's statements. The commentary by Dan Proft is a conservative commentary that knocks the people who are already in power, especially if they themselves are of another political persausion. Who knows what he would say if they were all Republican but with the same results.

I hope that this stastic bothers you, it bothers me a lot! It's probably for a lot of reasons. It might be because I would like to know what they're measuring and why they're measuring it. The other reason could be that I'm concerned about what is being taught in our schools and how is it being taught. Are these kids getting it easy in high school that wouldn't be so easy when they hit college?

I want to hit on this point finally. I've seen a tendency to speak about public schools as if it's some kind of right that people have. I don't believe public education is a right, exactly. People who believe it is are missing out on an important point.

It's not that our children have a right to public education, but our children have the right to attain the best education possible. Who says that our children must go to public schools? Who says that public schools are the only ones to provide that ideal education?

The argument can certainly be understood if this was about say providing an education for those poor children whose families can't afford to send them to a private school. I would say though that while I'm sure there are those who want to dismantle the system, there are also those like myself who wouldn't be so quick to do that.

At the same time I want to ask the question. What can we do to really be sure that when we unleash our young people into the world that we will be certain that they will be ready?

Monday, June 01, 2009

I just saw The Wrestler last night

This movie may have done more to turn me away from the wrestling business than the bad storylines seen in WWF today. I consider myself more of a casual fan now than the fanatic I once was many years ago. It's kinda been bled out of me since the WWF has gone downhill as far as quality the last few years.

This film showed the less glamorous aspects of professional wrestling. Especially the drugs that wrestlers use and the treatment they get at the end of a match. It's a tough life if you have the stamina for that activity.

Most important Randy (our protagonist) is more of an independent wrestler. He never seemed to have made it to the big time which I would consider WWF or WCW or even ECW (although that was more independent than big time despite it's nationwide cult following). Instead he seems to bounce from indy promotion to indy promotion and he essentially has his own following amongst the local circuit. Although that may pale in comparison to the following wrestlers may have if they've wrestlers for WWF or WCW.

His life takes a turn when his health forces him to retire. He attempts to rekindle his relationship with his estranged daughter and he also was able to win the affections of a stripper who quit her job and pleads with him not to do this match at the end of the movie for the sake of his health.

How did he decide to do this last match. Well he said it before he went out for this last match. He said that in the real world he gets hurt. In the world of professional wrestling he is the most happiest and it was worth risking his health for the adulation he has recieved as a wrestler.

For the most part, I really believed Mickey Rourke was a professional wrestler. And I could believe that the meat of this movie was about the personal life of a professional wrestler. Especially the fact that he took a part-time job at a grocery store, but eventually becomes dissatifies with it because it wasn't his calling.

You know as a fan I wanted to be involved in that business and it's very much a tough way up. If I couldn't be a wrestler I could always be a promoter. But this movie turned me off of that. How can I hire anyone to want to do this for a living? I'd rather be a spectator and be done with it or be turned off completely.

I would recommend that you watch this movie!