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The [Tuesday] Papers

1. "The discovery that a bizarre particle travels between the real world of matter and the spooky realm of antimatter 3 trillion times a second may open the door to a new era of physics," the Tribune reports.

Further, Fermilab researchers making the discovery found that the particle zooming in and out of the real world is lodged in President's Bush's brain.

2. I wonder what poor (and gutless) reporter was forced into writing up the Sun-Times page 5 news story titled "7 Reasons To Try" (Reason No. 2: There's a search function!)

3. There were no opposing voices in that story, by the way.

4. Todd Stroger says that county government employees who "skate by and cheat taxpayers" should "quit now, because when I get there you will be terminated." But if they're gonna be fired, shouldn't they steal all they can in the interim?

5. "But after the debate, Stroger refused to say whether he would fire Gerald Nichols, patronage chief to his father, ex-Board President John Stroger," the Sun-Times's Steve Patterson notes. "Nichols is suspended from his county job amid a federal corruption investigation into job rigging."

6. Secretary of State Jesse White sees nothing wrong with promoting his daughter to a $112,000-a-year job. After all, he conducted her review personally and found her charming.

7. Three state jobs ago White's daughter was making $39,000.

8. Perhaps one of the candidates for governor should propose a nepotism policy prohibiting relatives of elected officeholders and other high-ranking officials from positions in state government. It could also be billed as a jobs program given how many openings would be created.

9. Fran Spielman's story in the Sun-Times about the latest firefighter exam is framed around the cliched false choice of high standards vs. diversity. Gary Washburn's story in the Tribune is framed around the difficulties in diversifying the pool of applicants. Compare and contrast.

10. Maybe Spielman and her editors ought to pick one story a day for her to actually spend some time reporting rather than having her write up three crappy ones like they make reporters do at the Smallville Sentinel. Also, if they have one of those educational programs, they could pay for her to go back to school. Just a thought.

11. "In response to a question from the audience, Stroger denied that his aldermanic office used public funds to conduct political work." All evidence to the contrary.

12. "[Daley] has also denied that there was wholesale rigging of hiring and promotions under his watch, telling reporters, 'There were some mistakes. But, it wasn't all a sham.'" All evidence to the contrary.

13. How about three-strikes-and-you're-out ethics legislation: Tell three lies and you get knocked off the ballot.

14. The Sun-Times, The Official Paper of The Mayor's Olympic Dream, actually contains critical thinking of the mayor's Washington Park proposal- from reader Charles G. Staples of Hyde Park. So the gag order inside the newsroom remains in place.

15. As long as you're on the letters page, the next one comes from Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and much like Tony Peraica and his suporters, it sounds like Rehab's had enough.

"Finally, I ask the Sun-Times to do something about its pitiful track record where, invariably, its editorial treatment of Islam-related topics is marred by a tendency toward reductionism, generalization or oversimplificiation," Rehab writes.

Other topics too.

16. As long as you're on the letters page, James P. Crawley of West Town has an idea: "If any other Chicago employee made a reckless blunder that cost the taxpayers $1 million, they would surely be fired. The mayor should use his own campaign funds - and not our tax dollars - to pay this fine."

And then he should be fired.

17. "Stroger, an alderman and former state legislator, said Peraica has built no bridges with other politicians or even fellow Republicans to be a successful board president."

Forrest Claypool was not available for comment.

18. "CTA Kicks Off 'Circle Line' Hearings, Defends Raises."

Raises to managers are the union's fault. "You can't give 90 percent of your employees a raise and ignore the other 10 percent," CTA spokeswoman Noelle Gaffney says.

Gaffney is right. Usually the top 10 percent get the raises and the other 90 percent get offered severance packages.

19. A CTA primer.

20. "The hotel bathtub is going down the drain," the Tribune reports. "In today's hurried society, baths are becoming a rare occurrence, some hoteliers say, so tubs are being replaced with larger shower-only stalls."

I did not know that.

21. "Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat."
- New York Times lead story on its front page on Sunday

"White House Says War Not To Blame For Terror Rise."
- Tribune, page 19 on Monday

"Democrats Batter GOP With Report."
- Sun-Times, page 38 on Monday

So the consensus of the American intelligence community is that the Iraq war has created and motivated more terrorists who didn't exist before a war whose rationale has fizzled into the wind, thereby increasing the threats to our security for no defensible reason. By the time that news reaches the Tribune, the news is the White House's defense, and by the time it reaches the Sun-Times, it's just a partisan battle. Nothing to see here.

22. Desmond Clark mini-footballs were the big front page story that day for the Sun-Times. Remember after 9/11 when we were going to be serious again?

23. Maybe the sacrifice editorialists keep wanting the president to ask us to make so the war for the fate of civilization feels more real to us should be the media repressing its worst instincts.

Or newspaper companies sacrificing obscene profits for merely ostentatious money-making.

24. Had enough?

25. Sorry the column is a little late this morning, navigating the Sun-Times's brilliant new website slowed me down. Maybe I need to read those seven reasons again. (They couldn't come up with 10?)

The Beachwood Tip Line: Automatic gratuity for large parties.


Posted on September 26, 2006

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - Bank Profits Soaring.
SPORTS - Chicago vs. Michigan, 1903.

BOOKS - Dia De Los Muertos Stories.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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