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The [Friday] Papers

1. It's true that the minimum wage provisions of San Francisco and Santa Fe differ in a signficant way than Chicago's big-box ordinance - in those other cities, the measure is for all businesses, not just businesses of a particular size and nature. But when Mayor Richard M. Daley's reaction to their testimony at a City Council hearing is that "We've got more work going [on] downtown in one block than . . . those cities combined," and "They should get back and help their own cities" and "I will compare my record to Santa Fe anytime, and San Francisco," it just makes me wonder: Is Daley a child?

2. "Meanwhile, another alderman who voted in favor of the big-box measure said Thursday that he could change his mind if Daley exercises his veto power.

"'I am going to study it more,' said Ald. Ray Suarez (31st). 'I just don't want to see us get hurt. I don't want to see people lose their jobs. I don't want to see companies move out of the city.'"

Apparently Suarez prefers to study the issues after he votes.

3. If the City Council backs down on the big-box ordinance, will they also rescind the pay raises they voted for themselves at the same time in a political maneuver designed to hide their greed? Or was this the plan all along?

4. A reader responding to the 'N' word commentary yesterday (last item) from Hermene Hartman's N'Digo column that approvingly mentioned Richard Pryor's use of the word points out this factoid from Pryor's Wikipedia entry

"Comfortably successful and into the zenith of his career, Pryor visited Africa in 1979. Upon returning to the United States, Pryor swore he would never use the 'N' word in his stand-up comedy routine again. (His favorite epithet, 'motherfucker,' remains a term of endearment on his official website to this day.)"

5.Open beer bottles with your hat.

6. "Smart is the one thing that the Western world really has got over fundamentalist cultures," Neil Steinberg proclaims today.

Because the Western world doesn't have fundamentalist cultures of its own, and the Eastern world is just plain stupid.

7. "Instead of 836-7000, which was correctly listed on the old [CTA] system maps, the number on the new maps flips two digits. Callers to the wrong number in the 847 area code are connected to a young man's voice mail," the Tribune reports.

"'Hey, this is Nick's cell phone. Call me back again some other time because I never I never listen to my messages. Maybe I'll talk to you later."

"In the 312 area code, callers are greeted by a corporation's voice-mail access line.

"'Meridian Mail mailbox,' says the automated voice, which prompts callers to 'Please enter your mailbox number followed by the number sign.'

"Two of the CTA rail system maps are posted in each car. The closer you look, the more errors you will find."

8. Spot the mistakes.

9. Bon Jovi says Al Gore is the smartest person he's ever met.

Do you think Al Gore says Bon Jovi is the rockingest person he's ever met? Because he's met Dee Snider, but I hear it didn't go well.

- Tim Willette

10. Jonah Goldberg of The National Review writes a commentary on the Trib Op-ed page headlined "Face It: Profiling Makes Sense." It's always an easy position to take for those who won't be profiled.

11. "Sometimes when you watch the evening news, it's all gloom and doom - and some of it has to be, because the world is a complicated and pretty scary place right now," says Katie Couric.

A reader asks: Why does it sound to me like she's talking to a room full of first-graders?

12. Our reader adds: I look at Katie Couric and think, There but for the grace of God goes Debra Pickett.

13."If the [FCC] changes are approved, one corporation could own the major daily newspaper, eight radio stations and three television stations in the same town. Once the digital television transition is completed in 2009 - allowing stations to broadcast multiple signals - one company could control 12 or even 18 television channels in a single city," Norman Lear and Robert McChesney write.

"If [FCC Chairman Kevin] Martin gets his way, the last vestiges of local media competition would be swept away, smoothing the way for 'media company towns' in which News Corp. or, yes, the Tribune Co. could dominate public discourse.

"Would it really be good for Los Angeles if the Chicago Tribune's parent company owned the [Los Angeles] Times, KCAL-TV, KCBS-TV, KTLA-TV and radio stations KABC, KFI, KFWB, KLAC, KLSX, KNX, KRLA and KSPN?"

Of course not. But the Tribune Company isn't interested in what's good for Los Angeles, only what's good for itself. Good citizenship is for others, such as targets of the paper's editorial pages.

14. The Tribune Company is tearing the Baltimore Sun apart. The local Abell Foundation there would like to buy the paper, because it cares about Baltimore. The Tribune Company doesn't give a flying fuck about Baltimore, it just wants to suck revenues out of the city. Now imagine if the reverse was true - a Baltimore media company owned the Chicago Tribune and eviscerated it. Er, wait, the Tribune Company is doing that to itself well enough. But you get the point.

15. Illinois' pork list.

16. "America's big cigarette makers must stop describing their products as 'low tar,' 'light,' 'ultra light' or 'mild,' according to the decision of a long-running legal battle with the US Government - but they will not have to pay billions of dollars on campaigns to stop people smoking."

Turns out "low tar" and "ultra light" cigarettes are as unhealthy as the regular kid. Marlboro has already rebranded Marlboro Lights as Marlboro Gold.

17. "In a major legal rebuke to the Bush administration's assertive and often secretive handling of the war on terror, a federal judge in Michigan ordered the administration to immediately cease operation of its warrantless domestic surveillance program."

The Bush Administration has already rebranded Constitution Light as Ned Lamont Is A Traitor.

18. "The federal deficit will total $1.76 trillion over the next decade, and could be double that estimate if President Bush's tax cuts are made permanent, the Congressional Budget Office said yesterday."

19. So much for the two-stadium solution.

"Soldier Field [is] unsuitable even as a single-ceremonial venue - with track and some soccer matches in the temporary Olympic stadium - because its seating capacity and field size are insufficient and would need costly renovation."

My prediction: The USOC won't put in a bid for 2016.

20. "In fact, the government does not even acknowledge the existence of the base known as Area 51. Such denials, according to UFO followers, support their belief in a conspiracy to hide the truth about aliens in Area 51, including the belief that everything has been moved to Area 52."

- The Skeptic's Dictionary

The Beachwood Tip Line: Still suspcious about Block 37.


Posted on August 18, 2006

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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