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The [Wednesday] Papers

So here's a piece I wrote for The Grade, a site about education journalism run by former Chicagoan Alexander Russo, about media coverage of the CTU strike. Those who have been reading my CTU Strike Notebooks might recognize some of the themes, only - like the piece longtime Chicago education journalist Maureen Kelleher pulled together from my work here for Chicago Unheard - in more succinct form.

It's been terribly frustrating trying to discuss these things with CTU members and their advocates. I understand everyone is really ginned up and emotions are running high, but I wish we could all agree to recognize facts as facts and lies as lies regardless of whether doing so "hurts" the cause. On either and all sides. CTU - just like CPS - does itself no favors, at least with journalists, by continuing to propagate myths like the notion that $1.3 billion is not only sitting in Lincoln Yards' TIF account but can be transferred to CPS and solve all its problems. There actually isn't even a single penny in the Lincoln Yards TIF account, unless they had to deposit a penny with the bank to create it. That's just not how it works.

You're not supposed to teach lies.

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You're not supposed to tell lies, either. Yet CTU president Jesse Sharkey, who absolutely knows better, keeps propagandizing his members:

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I find it hard to respect, much less engage in conversation with, union members and their advocates who repeat talking points like these (another one is that the mayor has had 10 months to get this deal done, despite the obvious fact she's only been in office for five months and her school board for four) and then deny the facts when shown by rationalizing the lie ("He's telling a bigger truth") or skipping to other accusations ("Well, Lori is a cop").

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And where to you go with something like this?

All in the next few days? That would be one crack legislative feat and tax collection unit.

And to those who may think this is just some crank and I'm being unfair by pulling him out of the stack, well, go look at my Twitter feed.

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One final note, for now: The CTU rightly, in my view, criticizes the city's TIF regime. I agree! But there's an even more heinous - and racist - tax scheme that CTU never mentions. That would be this one:

"An unprecedented analysis reveals that Cook County's unique property tax system created an unequal burden on residents, handing huge financial breaks to more affluent homeowners while punishing those who have the least, particularly people living in minority communities."

Perhaps that's because the perpetrator of that scheme was one Joe Berrios, who was defended to the end by his personal friend, Toni Preckwinkle, whom the union endorsed and vigorously supported in the last mayoral campaign.

I'm not sure the pernicious consequences of what Berrios did is fully appreciated for what it is: one of the most insidious practices of institutional racism this city has ever seen. Just remember that when Sharkey weeps for the black and brown kids being left behind.

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New on the Beachwood today:

Incomplete History Of Hip-Hop
A film series at Columbia College that offers "a window into the youth of one of the most important art forms in history, along with conversations with special guests who help us put the future of Hip-Hop in perspective."

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Knowledge Held Hostage
Scholarly publishing is broken.

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Industrial Lubricant Markets Booming
"The major driving factors of the industrial lubricants market are massive industrialization, the increasing disposable income, and rapid urbanization in emerging countries."

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Breaking: NCAA Does Something Right!
Perhaps with a push by Pritzker.

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Court TV Comes To Chicago
Preparing for Weinstein.

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CTU Strike Notebook 4
In production.

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Mayor's Budget Stuff
Still in production.

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ChicagoReddit

Time for our emergency plan in case of a prolonged strike! from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Alex Moffat Was On An Acrobatic Dunk Team For The Chicago Bulls.

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BeachBook

There's A New Version Of The 'Alphabet Song' And People Absolutely Hate It.

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Miracle On Ice Forward Found Unfit To Stand Trial; Family Suspects CTE.

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

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The Beachwood Strike Line: Don't at me.



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Posted on October 30, 2019


MUSIC - The Last 10 Songs I Shazamed.
TV - 24 Hours With Bloomberg TV.
POLITICS - The Bagel's Socialist Roots.
SPORTS - The Ex-Cub Factor.

BOOKS - It's Happening Here.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Myths Of The Mob.


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