The [Wednesday] Papers
I'm way behind this week so be patient. I'll eventually get to all the nonsense our public officials continue to perpetrate on the (enabling) populace. For now, it's whatever I can muster.
This took a long time, but it's really good. And not just for my smart-ass comments, but as an abridged transcript that delivers only the parts you need and dispenses with the rest.
2. "Political groups owe the state of Illinois hundreds of thousands of dollars in overdue fines," WBEZ reports. "All campaign committees must make public who gave them money, and how they spent it. That's the law. And if they file these reports late, they can be fined. But a lot of times those fines just sit there unpaid."
3. At this juncture, Chicago teachers must feel about Rahm the way Chicago police officers felt about Daley.
4. The world is mostly populated by selfish, immature two-faced phonies whose only satisfaction in life comes from their petty dramas which disregard facts in favor of gossip and speculation, revealing more about themselves than anyone around them.
Oh, and most people don't know what they're talking about and facts won't persuade them otherwise. Facts are not respected in our culture; image, narrative, spin, interpretation and thought-shaping are. And it's shocking how few people can really tell the difference between facts and opinion. Also, charlatans and their snow jobs rule. No one learns lessons. Rewards go to the devious. Character never counts. Ethics are a novelty. Creativity and innovation are dissed at the exact rate they are hailed by organizations and individuals.
How is your week going?!
5. In an excellent response to my column on Monday, Larry Kart writes re: 'That Matt Forte TD Screen Pass':
"Both accounts are true. Sean Weatherspoon's 'tackle' attempt was pathetic (though not untypical in today's NFL), but a bit further downfield on that play Tyler Clutts did block at least two (maybe three) Falcons, some of whom would have had a good shot at stopping Forte before he scored.
"Football, as you know, is a very synergistic game, and I would say (based on more years of often painful experience than I want to think about) that maybe two-thirds or more of the Falcons' ineptitude on Sunday was the result of the Bears' superiority on that day in preparation, skills, and match-ups (in particular, the Bears D-line versus the Falcons' O-line). If the Bears' defense can get enough pressure from the front four, the cover-two scheme is very tough to beat, as former NFL safety and commentator Matt Bowen and many others have pointed out. But we shall see."
Thanks, Larry. Write to us anytime.
6. In response to this, I wrote the following comments on Facebook yesterday:
"Memo to Libertarians: We don't live in tribes anymore. The world is a complicated place; the country is 300 million strong; the economy is more sophisticated than individuals can manage alone. We organize ourselves voluntarily to create government entities to help us all. It's not a competition to show who can survive best with the most 'liberty.'
"We're never 'free' from our obligations to others. We are all responsible because all of our actions impact everyone else on the planet. It's an unfortunate fact of the physical world.
"We also cannot spend all our time researching which unregulated products are safe; which uninspected meat won't kill us; which drugs work; which air traffic controllers are qualified. We subcontract that work to others; it's called division of labor and representative democracy."
Thanks to everyone for their thoughtful replies.
7. Massive CIA Cover-Up: 'U.S. Hushes Blatant Human Rights Violations'
8. "When President Obama shelved stricter environmental regulations for ground-level ozone until at least 2013, the administration said that delay was meant to alleviate regulatory pressures on a recovering economy," the National Journal reports. "But former Vice President Al Gore accused Obama of 'embracing' a scientifically outdated Bush-era environmental standard, and other critics said that the administration is caving to big polluters.
"Many National Journal Energy and Environment Insiders say that President Obama's retreat on environmental issues isn't over yet."
Not by a longshot. And not just on the environment. This campaign is going to be a real test of just how much so-called liberals can stomach.
"But then in a second term he can do what he really wants!"
Even if that was true, there is nothing in the record of Obama's entire political career to indicate that he really wants anything much different than what he's done so far.
But Beachwood readers know that already.
And then there will be the 2014 midterms and then the 2016 presidential race. Just hold your tongue until . . . when?
A Facebook friend writes:
"I know, I know . . . but c'mon . . . Obama vs Perry?"
"Agreed. But maybe an independent; and why not a primary challenge? And why not a third party or a left version of the Tea Party, though that is a more eclectic group than given credit for. I'm just saying the two-party straitjacket serves certain interests that are not your interests, and at some point folks have to break away."
And to expand:
Not every election is the end-all, be-all. For example, would it be better to have Barack Obama as president for one-term and then eight years of Rick Perry (or Mitt Romney) or to have suffered through one term of John McCain and eight years of a Democrat?
Also, you never know how things are going to work out. Republicans were actually quite pleased with most of Bill Clinton's presidency, even as some of them were trying to impeach him.
And the White House is not the only position of power. At the moment, for example, it seems a certain caucus within the U.S. House of Representatives is the place to be.
Sometimes it's better to fight for your values and principles regardless of who is in power - and sometimes knowing clearly and exactly who the political villains are is preferable to not.
"A number of speakers Wednesday expressed thanks to the city of Chicago for the $9.5 million it is putting into the Gary airport's expansion. But the key question of Chicago's continued support for the Gary airport was left unanswered at Wednesday's event.
"New Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wrote to Clay, expressing regrets he could not attend. He sent Chicago Department of Aviation CFO Michael Zonsius in his place.
"The Gary airport currently receives a $3.1 million slice of annual passenger fees collected at O'Hare and Midway airports under a compact agreement signed between the cities of Chicago and Gary in 1995. There has been concern about what may happen to that support as Emanuel struggles to close the city's budget deficit."
Pull the plug, Rahm. It was just political fun and games to Daley anyway.
10. "A senior appeals court judge said Tuesday that if Illinois' eavesdropping law were expanded, gang bangers and 'snooping' reporters would run rampant, secretly recording conversations unchecked," the Sun-Times reports.
"'If you permit the audio recordings, they'll be a lot more eavesdropping . . . There's going to be a lot of this snooping around by reporters and bloggers,' U.S. 7th Circuit Judge Richard Posner said. 'Yes, it's a bad thing. There is such a thing as privacy.'"
Not for police officers on official business.
11. "Week 1 of the NFL season has a way of making you want to throw away your whole fantasy football game plan. Nothing ever goes quite as anyone expected. Guys that are supposed to be great end up falling on their faces, while players who didn't make your preseason draft list end up at the top of the week's fantasy stat board," writes our very own Dan O'Shea in this week's Fantasy Fix.
"It's the sort of thing that makes you want to hate the so-called fantasy experts. I forcefully hesitate to call myself an expert, and think of my role as much more of an assistant, helping you find your way to information that may prove useful. But I wouldn't blame you if you hate me for not suggesting to you last week that Carolina QB Cam Newton would throw for 400-plus yards; that Green Bay WR Randall Cobb would score two TDs; or that troubled Cincinnati RB Cedric Benson would run for 121 yards. I'm kind of mad at myself, too.
"The big question to ask though - while we're filling the world with more hate - is how many of these Week 1 performances are indicative of future returns?"
You'll have to click through to see what Dan thinks.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Where hope goes to die.
Posted on September 14, 2011
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