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The [Monday] Papers

"As the U.S. warned allies around the world that Chinese tech giant Huawei was a security threat, the FBI was making the same point quietly to a Midwestern university," AP reports.

"In an e-mail to the associate vice chancellor for research at the University of Illinois, an agent wanted to know if administrators believed Huawei had stolen any intellectual property from the school."

The FBI asked that in an e-mail?

That seems . . . unserious and lazy.

"Told no, the agent responded: 'I assumed those would be your answers, but I had to ask.'"

That seems . . . unserious and lazy.

*

"The FBI has been reaching out to colleges and universities across the country as it tries to stem what American authorities portray as the wholesale theft of technology and trade secrets by researchers tapped by China.

"The breadth and intensity of the campaign emerges in e-mails The Associated Press obtained through records requests to public universities in 50 states.

"The e-mails underscore the extent of U.S. concerns that universities, as recruiters of foreign talent and incubators of cutting-edge research, are particularly vulnerable targets."

Querying universities via single e-mails to single bureaucrats underscores something quite different to me: The FBI half-assed it.

*

"Agents have lectured at seminars, briefed administrators in campus meetings and distributed pamphlets with cautionary tales of trade secret theft. In the past two years, they've requested the e-mails of two University of Washington researchers, asked Oklahoma State University if it has scientists in specific areas and sought updates about 'possible misuse' of research funds by a University of Colorado Boulder professor, the messages show."

And they've come up . . . blank? Which explains the lead anecdote being one of an e-mail query that came up empty?

*

"In the past two months alone, a University of Kansas researcher was charged with collecting federal grant money while working full time for a Chinese university; a Chinese government employee was arrested in a visa fraud scheme that the Justice Department says was aimed at recruiting U.S. research talent; and a university professor in Texas was accused in a trade secret case involving circuit board technology.

"The most consequential case this year centered not on a university but on Huawei, charged in January with stealing corporate trade secrets and evading sanctions. The company denies wrongdoing. Several universities including the University of Illinois, which received the FBI e-mail last February, have since begun severing ties with Huawei."

So that lead should read, "Eight months ago . . . "

*

"[T]he Justice Department's track record hasn't been perfect, leading to pushback from some that the concerns are overstated.

Federal prosecutors in 2015 dropped charges against a Temple University professor who'd been accused of sharing designs for a pocket heater with China. The professor, Xiaoxing Xi, is suing the FBI. "It was totally wrong," he said, "so I can only speak from my experience that whatever they put out there is not necessarily true."

Richard Wood, the then-interim provost at the University of New Mexico, conveyed ambivalence in an email to colleagues last year. He wrote that he took seriously the national security concerns the FBI identified in briefings, but also remained "deeply committed to traditional academic norms regarding the free exchange of scientific knowledge wherever appropriate - a tradition that has been the basis of international scientific progress for several centuries.

"There are real tensions between these two realities, and no simple solutions," he wrote. "I do not think we would be wise to create new 'policy' on terrain this complex and fraught with internal trade-offs between legitimate concerns and values without some real dialogue on the matter."

A University of Colorado associate vice chancellor equivocated in January on how to handle an agent's request for a meeting, e-mailing colleagues that the request to discuss university research felt "probing" and like "more of a fishing expedition" than past occasions.

Bingo. There's your story. Change the frame, dude.

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Decondoization
"Residents of Lake Point Tower are fighting back against the deconversion trend in Chicago, enacting new condominium association rules designed to thwart any effort to turn the 70-story skyscraper near Navy Pier into apartments," the Tribune reports.

"Condo owners in the city's lone high-rise east of Lake Shore Drive recently approved two amendments to their bylaws designed to fend off purchases by investors. The vote means the tower at 505 N. Lake Shore Drive will stay a condo building indefinitely, Lake Point Tower's condo association said.

"At other Chicago properties, purchases by investors who aren't residents have led to eventual building deconversions - in which all the condos are bought in bulk and then redeveloped into rental apartments."

Isn't it a bad sign for the local economy when condos are converted to apartments? Like, there aren't enough potential homeowners around so units have to be rented instead?

*

"Lake Point Tower opened as apartments in 1968, and construction of the entire structure was completed the following year."

I did not know that.

"It was converted to 875 condo units in 1988, according to the condo association. Some units have been combined, and the curvy tower is now home to 758 homes."

*

"Lake Point Tower is known not only as the only high-rise east of Lake Shore Drive, but also for its dark and curvy design and its panoramic views of Lake Michigan. The three-winged structure was designed by architects George Schipporeit and John Heinrich, who studied under Ludwig Mies van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology."

It's one of my favorite buildings in Chicago.

*

Via WTTW:

"According to the book The Politics of Place, a city ordinance permitted construction of harbor and terminal buildings near the mouth of the Chicago River. The developers of Lake Point Tower used this loophole to get permission for their building which opened in 1968."

*

Back to the Trib:

"Residents of Lake Point Tower have included baseball players Ryne Sandberg and Sammy Sosa and political analyst David Axelrod."

How the fuck does David Axelrod make the list? My god, you could have included Alice Cooper instead!

This town's love for Axelrod is demented. He's a propaganda master and king of astroturf. His job is to "shape" media messages to the benefit of his high-paying clients. That's the opposite of a journalist's job, which is to expose the likes of him. I'll never understand it.

*

Late add from Curbed:

"Last year Marina City's 449 condos were converted into rentals in a $90 million deal."

-

Mall Rats
"The man who drove his SUV through the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg last month had been released from a mental health facility the previous day, still suffering from hallucinations, hearing voices and having suicidal thoughts, relatives say," the Sun-Times reports.

Not so funny now.

*

"Javier Garcia, 22, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder three years ago and has been in and out of mental health facilities since then, his sister Noemi Garcia told the Sun-Times.

"Just in the last two months my brother has been to three different inpatient centers," she said.

"After a week they would release him, with Javier still coming home to us telling us that he didn't feel safe, that he still kept hearing voices, that he still had suicidal thoughts and it's just like an every day battle," she said.

"He says he feels he's not ready and he doesn't feel safe but he's still being released anyway," she said. "He has a hard time telling what's real and what's not real."

Asked if the voices ever directed Garcia to harm others, she said: "He's never mentioned anything like that, it's always been towards him."

Interruptions to Medicaid coverage also were a hurdle to getting help, she said.

And there it is.

-

New on the Beachwood today . . .

Jerry Reinsdorf Isn't In It For The Money (LOL)
In public, he says it's about bringing joy to the city. In private, he says second-place is the best place because it keeps fans hungry and hopeful.

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The Illinois Uihleins: Hypocrisy First
"As two of the most prolific political donors in the Donald Trump era, billionaires Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein have supported the president's 'America First' agenda.

"Elizabeth, the president of their shipping supplies company, recently wrote to customers: 'Personally, I am an American first. I care about American jobs.'

"But when it comes to business, their company has sought special visas for foreign workers - going so far as to sue the government to secure one at the same time federal officials implemented the president's more stringent immigration policies."

*

25 Years Of Defiant Chicago Roots
Too late to pray for a life of sin.

*

SportsMonday: Club Dumb
Despite Sunday's disaster, we'll always have Jon Gruden to kick around.

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ChicagoReddit

Handing out shots for the marathon - bad idea? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

"So Chicago" / Budda P

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BeachBook

Tribal Citizen & St. Louis Cardinal Pitcher Calls Tomahawk Chop "Disappointing, Disrespectful."

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TweetWood
A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.

From the foreign affairs desk:

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And in domestic affairs, WAKE UP, AMERICA:

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And from the Bears desk:

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The Beachwood Tip Line: This ain't no disco.



Permalink

Posted on October 7, 2019


MUSIC - Bill Withers In The Beachwood.
TV - Trump's Favorite Network Isn't Fox.
POLITICS - Government Secrecy Growing During Pandemic.
SPORTS - The Truth About Ed Farmer.

BOOKS - Saul Tillock's Chicago Blues.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - NASA At Home.


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