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The [Tuesday] Papers

Ten for Tuesday.

1. AP: Illinois National Guard Soldiers Head To Afghanistan.

"The Illinois National Guard says about 20 soldiers from a specialized unit are getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan, where they'll work alongside members of the Polish military."

2. Businessweek: Black Homeowners Disappearing Where Obama Got His Start.

"For most Americans, the real estate crash is finally behind them and personal wealth is back where it was in the boom. For blacks in the U.S., 18 years of economic progress has vanished, with a rebound in housing slipping further out of reach and the unemployment rate almost twice that of whites. The homeownership rate for blacks fell from 50 percent during the housing bubble to 43 percent in the second quarter, the lowest since 1995. The rate for whites stopped falling two years ago, settling at about 73 percent, only 3 percentage points below the 2004 peak, according to the Census Bureau."

3. PR Newswire: Culligan Named Official Bottled Water Provider for the United Center, Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks.

"'Hey Culligan Man!' may be the new cheer at the United Center this fall as Culligan has been named the Official Bottled Water Provider for the United Center, the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Blackhawks."

4. Fast Company: Haunting Instagram Portraits Of All The Public Schools That Chicago Shut Down.

"This year, nearly 50 public schools - more than 10% of public elementary schools in Chicago - were shut down by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a divisive budget-tightening push.

"Reporters followed exiled students as they crossed unfamiliar streets and gang boundaries under the watchful eye of the city's new 'Safe Passage' program.

"But Chicago Tribune photographer Brian Cassella was covering a different side of the story that day as he drove madly around the city, Instagramming the buildings they left behind."

Fast Company has Cassella working at the Sun-Times, but we all know they don't have photographers anymore, so I made the correction myself. I also added the link to his bio.

5. Chicago Pride: Minneapolis Mayor To Invite Same-Sex Chicago Couples To Marry In Minneapolis.

"The Mayor of Minneapolis, R.T. Rybak, will unveil a new print and digital ad campaign that will run in Chicago-area publications that invites same-sex couples from Chicago to travel to Minneapolis to get legally married.

"Mayor Rybak's same-sex marriage ad campaign will be launched at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5th at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St."

6. The Guardian: I Teach High School On Chicago's South Side. What Would You Like To Know?

"For the last seven years, Dave Stieber has taught history and social studies at public schools in Chicago's south side. He currently teaches at TEAM in Englewood. Dave will be online today from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. ET | 5:30 to 6:30 BST to answer your questions."

7. Firedoglake: Kerry Labels Assad 'Hitler' Despite Dining With Him, British Sold Syria Chemical Weapons For Civil War.

"Dinner with Hitler? Did Kerry get an autograph? But don't worry it seems the British have the Obama Administration beat on hypocrisy as the UK's Daily Record revealed that Britain sold nerve gas chemicals to Syria 10 months after civil war began."


It's not that Assad isn't a bad guy, it's that the U.S. tends to use those terms interchangeably depending on political interests wholly divorced from the interests of the civilians who live under tyrannical rule. In other words, we support tyrants who are our friends even as they massacre their own people, and then turn on them when we decide it is no longer publicly tenable. Then we gin up atrocities and stoke outrage of one regime while continuing to prop up others.

But if you want to have moral authority, you have to be moral. Otherwise you just fuel justified hate and anger - and if you keep switching sides, everyone will eventually hate you.

Sometimes that means not choosing sides in conflicts in which neither side is choosable. This is what happened in Egypt and Libya as well - there's always a lot of debate about the exact nature of the rebels, for example, because they may not be any better than the administration in power. In that case, why throw in your lot with one set of butchers over another?

Of course, there are plenty of cynical reasons to do so, and that's what forms the basis of U.S. foreign policy. But a third way - built on hope and change (and human rights) - would be to work with international agencies to protect civilians, and to try to broker peace. In many cases, of course, this will be impossible. But the alternative to brokering peace should not be escalating war.

And as far as geopolitical concerns, well, it's hard to argue that realpolitik has been a success rather than consistently making things worse.






Starr, of course, is a notorious tool.


Frantz once worked for the Tribune.




McClatchy: To Some, U.S. Case For Syrian Gas Attack, Strike Has Too Many Holes.

"The Obama administration's public case for attacking Syria is riddled with inconsistencies and hinges mainly on circumstantial evidence, undermining U.S. efforts this week to build support at home and abroad for a punitive strike against Bashar Assad's regime."



8. New York Times: Drug Agents Use Vast Phone Trove, Eclipsing N.S.A.'s.

"For at least six years, law enforcement officials working on a counternarcotics program have had routine access, using subpoenas, to an enormous AT&T database that contains the records of decades of Americans' phone calls - parallel to but covering a far longer time than the National Security Agency's hotly disputed collection of phone call logs."

The program started in 2007, so it squarely originated under Barack Obama.

9. Committee To Protect Journalists: CPJ Troubled By Reports NSA Spied On Al-Jazeera.

"'If the NSA accessed Al-Jazeera's internal communications, this would mark an alarming development in the U.S. approach to media,' said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon."

They did.



Beachwood Labor Day Postings.

* The Weekend In Chicago Rock.

Including highlights from the North Coast Music Festival and local appearances by ZZ Top and Cheap Trick, which played Live at Budokan and Sgt. Pepper's in their entirety with an orchestra at Ravinia, because that's what Cheap Trick does these days.

* The White Sox Report: Labor Day Blues.

"Despite Cleveland's purportedly magnanimous legislation, he nevertheless wound up being a one-term president. However, his namesake right-hander Grover Cleveland Alexander, who was born during the Cleveland Administration, went on to win 373 games during a 20-year career in the National League.

"Few remember much about the president, but the pitcher is a member of the Hall of Fame."


The Beachwood Tip Line: Purportedly.


Posted on September 3, 2013

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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