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The [Friday] Papers

1. "Astronomers have discovered that a giant star that has been studied for centuries is streaking across the sky trailing an enormous, cometlike tail," the New York Times reported this week.

"Scientists said Wednesday that they were stunned to learn that the giant red star, Mira, zipping through the Milky Way galaxy 300 times faster than a speeding bullet, has a turbulent tail stretching trillions of miles across space."

Just to keep things in perspective.

2. "Max Roach, a founder of modern jazz who rewrote the rules of drumming in the 1940s and spent the rest of his career breaking musical barriers and defying listeners' expectations, died early yesterday in Manhattan. He was 83," the New York Times reports.

3."In 1952, Roach co-founded Debut Records with bassist Charles Mingus. This label released a record of a concert, billed and widely considered as 'the greatest concert ever,' called Jazz at Massey Hall, featuring Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Mingus and Roach. Also released on this label was the groundbreaking bass-and-drum free improvisation," Wikipedia says.

"In 1960 he composed the We Insist! - Freedom Now suite with lyrics by Oscar Brown Jr., after being invited to contribute to commemorations of the hundredth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Using his musical abilities to comment on the African-American experience would be a significant part of his career. Unfortunately, Roach suffered from being blacklisted by the American recording industry for a period in the 1960s."


"Roach surprised his fans by performing in a hip hop concert, featuring the artist-rapper Fab Five Freddy and the New York Break Dancers. He expressed the insight that there was a strong kinship between the outpouring of expression of these young black artists and the art he had pursued all his life."


"Roach also appeared on Rush drummer Neil Peart's Burning For Buddy performing 'The Drum Also Waltzes,' Part 1 and 2 on Volume 1 of the 2 Volume series during the 1994 All-Star recording sessions."

4. A selected discography.

5. Why doesn't someone say something like this to the mayor? And I don't mean about the shirt.

6. Product Placements of the Week.

7. "I know this dates me a lot, but there really shouldn't be any tollways anymore. When the tollways were first installed, it was with the understanding that they would eventually become freeways. Giving up money, of course, is not the Illinois way, so we have permanent tollways now. I ride them as little as possible in a silent protest for another broken promise to the people of Illinois."
- Marilyn Ferdinand

8. Missy and Sissy are back. Kill me now.

You be the judge of who turns out more dog poop: The Schmichs/Steinbergs/Roepers/Sneeds/Trices of the world or any random blog by any random blogger.

9. "Just months after agreeing to settle a long-running court battle over politics in city hiring, Mayor Richard Daley's administration submitted a plan Thursday that critics say violates the agreement and would limit the role of the city's inspector general in policing hiring," the Tribune reports.

Gee, what took them so long?

10. The Tribune's love letter to the retiring Dennis Hastert makes sure to mention the former Speaker of the U.S. House's days coaching wrestling at Yorkville High School 27 years ago - apparently reporters are mandated to do so in every story about Hastert under penalty of a choke-hold - but fails to mention the Hastert Highway which will no doubt help fund his golden years.

11. A graphic depiction.

12. "The American people would like to see a war of three months and drop a bomb from 40,000 feet and say,'We've done the job,' Hastert said. "But to really make changes in government in a place like Iraq or Afghanistan is a long, hard, dirty process."

The American people, who are paying for this war with their lives and treasure, weren't sold on a long, hard, dirty process, Coach.

13. The Trib article not only allows Hastert to make that remark unchallenged but leaves out his stated opinion in 2004 that al-Qaeda wanted John Kerry to win.

14. "Hastert led the opposition in the Bill Clinton years to the then-first lady's national health care plan and contended that she holds a "wrong philosophy" that "government is there to take care of people and the bigger the government is, the better people are taken care of, and that government can make better decisions for people and government can spend their money better."

So . . . Hastert believes that America can't run a health care plan but can turn Iraq into a democracy?

15. Former Chicago gangbanger Jose Padilla convicted of being a mope.

"In the end, it was a case that bore little resemblance to the Justice Department's original accusation that Padilla was a locked-and-loaded al-Qaeda agent ready to rain destruction upon an American city," the Tribune reports.

"The attorney general at the time, John Ashcroft, publicly labeled Padilla a 'known terrorist' who had trained with al-Qaeda. 'We have disrupted an unfolding terrorist plot to attack the United States by exploding a radioactive dirty bomb,' Ashcroft announced.

"Padilla [an American citizen] since has claimed that while in military custody he was abused and interrogated unlawfully. His lawyers argued the resulting mental damage made him unfit to stand trial. And at one point during his military detention, the Justice Department admitted that the information obtained from Padilla could not be used in court to prosecute him."

16. "The dirty bomb accusations were not mentioned during Mr. Padilla's three-month trial here, nor was his military confinement," the New York Times reports.

17. "It is that [Justice Department] approach, according to critics such as [constitutional scholar Jonathan] Turley, that led the government to spend five years and untold dollars shifting Padilla around, only to convict him of something 'they could have charged him with a week after his arrest,'" the Trib account says.

18. "It is hard to disagree with the jury's guilty verdict against Jose Padilla, the accused, but never formally charged, dirty bomber. But it would be a mistake to see it as a vindication for the Bush administration's serial abuse of the American legal system in the name of fighting terrorism," the New York Times editorial page says.

"On the way to this verdict, the government repeatedly trampled on the Constitution, and its prosecution of Mr. Padilla was so cynical and inept that the crime he was convicted of - conspiracy to commit terrorism overseas - bears no relation to the ambitious plot to wreak mass destruction inside the United States, which the Justice Department first loudly proclaimed. Even with the guilty verdict, this conviction remains a shining example of how not to prosecute terrorism cases.

19. Cardinals-Cubs.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Even things up.


Posted on August 17, 2007

MUSIC - Who's Next In Chicago Rap.
TV - Tribune-Nexstar Deal Is Bad News.
POLITICS - Big Soda Hates You.
SPORTS - Harold vs. the Haters.

BOOKS - Wright Brothers, Wrong Story!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Go Ahead, Eat Raw Cookie Dough!

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