The [Monday] Papers
The continuing delight that is the story of the UFO spotted hovering above Gate C-17 at O'Hare airport has captured the wonder and imagination of Earthlings far and wide, with one notable exception: Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg.
UFOs, Steinberg writes (second item), frighten him, because they show just how far we haven't come from primitive beliefs.
I suppose you could work up an argument like that, but I think just the opposite is true. While I don't believe the vast majority - if any - of the people spotting UFOs are actually seeing alien spaceships, it's folly to believe that in an apparently infinite universe there is no other form of life, nor a form of life that one day might actually pay us a visit.
To believe that our pathetic lives are all that is out there - that in the incomprehensible vastness of endless space only one civilization has come to be, and it spends most of its waking hours watching American Idol and Dancing With The Stars - is actually a belief I find far more primitive than believing other beings could have invented space travel that likely doesn't involve taking one's shoes off before boarding. In fact, it is the possibility of alien life forms that shakes our most primitive belief systems - religions - to their roots.
So I'm leaning toward the explanation that space people could have indeed visited O'Hare, only to be frightened and confused by the Burrito Beach in Terminal 3. Until proven otherwise.
I guess he's right, that's where news of wars and actual events in the real world belong, because we certainly can't get that from the Sun-Times, much less its front page.
A) Welcome, Spacemen! What you need to know about our wacky city.
What It Really Was
John Kass would have you believe otherwise. Kass can't seem to bring himself to admit that his guy, George W. Bush, made one of the all-time blunders, so thoroughly reported by now as a tangle of deception, ignorance, and incompetence that anyone who believes otherwise isn't trying.
To Kass, though, the problem with the war was that "Coupled with bad planning and expert surgery by Democratic opponents, Bush's political legs were cut out from under him."
Yes, the Democrats were so expert in their "opposition" to the Iraq invasion that they threw Howard Dean under the bus and failed to elect a genuine war hero, John Kerry, in 2004.
Kass goes on the say that what "galls" a soldier who is the focus of his column is "the politicians and spinners. They've got their facts and everything. But have they actually stepped foot on the ground, besides the Green Zone?"
And part of the blame for that surely rests with the failure of the media to do its job in the first place. Compounding those errors doesn't do anything but threaten more lives.
I'll tell you why: Mayor Richard M. Daley. It's his commission. He appoints its members. (Current members include chairman David Mosena, who has held a variety of positions for the mayor, including president of the CTA, and current planning department commissioner Lori Healey.)
Daley's name is nowhere to be found in the Sun-Times editorial, though. Because it's been such a smooth 17 years, why start holding the mayor accountable now?
As far as I can tell, the Sun-Times news pages abstained.
So I find it slightly amusing to hear national Democrats including our very own Rahm Emanuel and Dick Durbin promising to return congressional oversight to the administration while we continue to go without it here at home.
Turner gives the CHA's grand plan a "D." In October, the Sun-Times' Kate Grossman awarded the CHA a B-minus. I guess Turner gives harder tests.
Now it's Steinberg picking up the script: "The idea of electing Hillary as president would be tough to swallow in some quarters if she were married to Fred Rogers, and the fact that her husband is Bill Clinton magnifies the matter."
Civics "R" Us
As opposed to the hyper-focused youths of yesteryear.
Do you ever get the feeling Steinberg was never a kid - and yet, never grew up?
"The need to listen to authority - even a ham-handed principal - dwarfs that of the need for teenagers to express themselves freely in school corridors."
Or, say, in their school newspapers. The last thing we would want to do is teach students to challenge authority. Steinberg is right about that; you'll never land a job at the Sun-Times that way.
"This was because - and it's a sin of omission that no one pointed this out, from Madden to the so-called experts at the dailies - the Bears were clearly playing possum, hiding their best offensives and defensive schemes from their potential playoff opponents."
The Beachwood Tip Line: Milky Way-wide.
Posted on January 8, 2007
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