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« June 2017 | Main | August 2017 »

July 31, 2017

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Guided By Voices at Wicker Park Fest on Saturday night.

Setlist.

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2. Kendrick Lamar at the West Side arena on Thursday night.

Kot: Kendrick Lamar Alone With His 'Secret Society' At United Center.

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3. Autumn Kid at the Burlington on Thursday night.

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4. The Magpie Salute at the Metro on Saturday night.

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5. Roger Waters at the West Side arena on Friday night.

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6. Young Rochelles at Quenchers on Sunday night.

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7. The Ridgelands at Kelly's in Blue Island on Saturday night.

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8. The Studs at Kelly's in Blue Island on Saturday night.

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9. Vicious Dreams at Kelly's in Blue Island on Saturday night.

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10. Rahsaan Patterson at City Winery on Sunday night.

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11. Converge at Thalia Hall on Friday night.

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Catching up with . . .

Ultimate Painting at the Empty Bottle on July 25.

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Bear Claw at Bottom Lounge on July 22.

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Goddamn Gallows at Reggie's on July 22.

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American Speedway at Reggie's on July 22.

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Andy Ortmann at the Empty Bottle on July 23

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Anthony Janas at the Empty Bottle on July 23

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Jason Soliday at the Empty Bottle on July 23.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:56 PM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Cubs Fortify

As well as the Cubs have played the last two-and-a-half weeks - and they played particularly pleasing baseball on Sunday to take the rubber game of the series in Milwaukee 4-2 to up their division lead to 2 1/2 games - goings on in the eastern and western regions of the National League have to still be giving them pause.

And so they did something about it late Sunday night.

The acquisition of the Tigers' Alex Avila to back-up catch and lefty Justin Wilson to help in the pen for a low, low price of prospects not expected to ever impact the Cubs' big league roster is primarily a statement that the Cubs know they need to do everything humanly possible to pile up big-league talent now, not prospects. That is, if they want to truly compete with the Nationals out east and the Dodgers back the other way.

Everyone knows anything can happen in the tiny sample size that is a baseball playoff series but the Nationals have been so good this year, and the Dodgers have been so much better.

The Nationals' best four hitters - Daniel Murphy (96 games), Bryce Harper (95), Ryan Zimmerman (93) and Anthony Rendon (96) - go into today's action with OPS's of .955, 1.058, .959 and 1.003. In case anyone isn't entirely familiar with the On-Base-Plus-Slugging stat, suffice it to say those numbers are ridiculously good.

Kris Bryant's OPS, even after a great weekend in Milwaukee, is .920, and Anthony Rizzo's is .896. In other words, the Nationals, who lead the National League East by 13 games, have four hitters who are having significantly better seasons than the Cubs' best hitter (Bryant).

And the Dodgers, well, their outrageously good pitching staff has been hitting on all cylinders all season long thanks to the leadership of modern pitching maestro (aka manager) Dave Roberts. The team from Los Angeles goes into today with a 74-31 record. That is 11 games better than - wait for it - the Nationals!

First and foremost of course, the Cubs have needed to take care of the business in front of them since the All-Star break. And they have done that with 13 wins in their last 16 games.

The best part of the last 48 hours, in addition to the Cubs doing some serious damage to the Brewers' collective competitive psyche, was the fact that the team survived a terrible day hitting to pull out a 2-1 win on Saturday. Then on Sunday they started doing something about their struggles to have quality at-bats.

Quite simply, the Cubs had a whole bunch of strong trips to the plate on Sunday after striking out a ridiculous 17 times the night before. Initially Addison Russell led the charge, although he wasn't rewarded until his second strong AB. After he was robbed of a hit with a shoestring catch in center, his next at-bat resulted in the RBI single that doubled the Cubs' first lead.

It was Victor Caratini who had perhaps the best at-bat of the day and certainly the most timely. After the Brewers rallied to tie it at 2, the backup catcher who it turns out can also handle backing up first (Rizzo sat out with some back soreness) fouled off several two-strike pitches before finding a fastball he could handle and launching it well over the fence in straightaway centerfield in the seventh inning.

It was his first major league home run and it gave the Cubs a lead they would not relinquish.

The next inning, Bryant had his second straight great AB (his first resulted in a double) on his way to his 20th homer of the season and an insurance run.

The big key again for the Cubs was pitching, in particular the starting variety and the relief supplied by guys who have not been Maddon's first (Carl Edwards), second (Pedro Strop) or third (Koji Uehara) choices for pitching clutch seventh and eight innings.

John Lackey was tough again over six two-run innings and survived shaky defense and one of those marathon replay reviews that drive fans bonkers. The review happened in the sixth and it was just the sort of thing that could have been a major distraction, except Lackey got the third out on a ground ball on the next pitch.

Justin Grimm looked great on the mound in the seventh and Hector Rondon was even better in the eighth. Given how good the pen has been, I'm not sure how much work there will be for Wilson. And given how much Willson Contreras wants to play every day, the same for Avila.

But of course something always comes up (injuries, slumps, etc.) in baseball and Maddon always finds ways to squeeze in playing time for quality players.
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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:01 AM | Permalink

Keeping Moncada Company

It's been 11 games now, and the kid has just four hits. He's hitting .111. Of 36 official at-bats, he's trudged back to the dugout 15 times having struck out.

Nevertheless there have been highlights, such as a line drive home run to centerfield off Jake Arrieta last Wednesday. And the two sensational plays on consecutive batters and pitches in Saturday's 5-4 loss to Cleveland were the finest plays by a Sox second baseman since the famous Tadahito Iguchi gem back in April of 2006. In fact, he's handled all 49 chances in the field without a flaw.

But Yoan Moncada was brought here to hit, and so far that hasn't happened. However, history, along with his immense talent, dictates that it's just a matter of time.

Moncada's minor league performance in the Red Sox and White Sox organizations covered 267 games - a decent-sized sample - in which he slashed .285/.390/.859.

Comparisons have been made between Moncada and Seattle's Robinson Cano, an eight-time All-Star with a .305 career average and a surefire future Hall of Famer. Cano's minor league slash line over six seasons was .278/.331/.756.

Boston's Dustin Pedroia, whose presence at second base made Moncada expendable in the Chris Sale deal, registered .307/.367/.810 in four seasons in the minors before establishing himself at Fenway Park at age 23. Moncada won't be 23 until next May. So he's in good company as far as his stats in the minors are concerned.

We also should note that Cano began his big league career with the Yankees in 2005 with just two hits in his first 23 at-bats. He wound up hitting .297 that season.

There have been many other future stars who emerged from the minor leagues and stumbled out of the gate once they reached the big time. The most famous probably was Willie Mays, who began his career by going 1-for-26 with the Giants in 1951.

Moving closer to home and jumping ahead about 50 years, Paul Konerko had a .214 average after parts of two seasons with the Dodgers and Reds before coming to the White Sox in 1999 when he was 23. Playing a full season, Paulie hit .294 with 24 homers and 81 RBI.

A September call-up in 1989, Robin Ventura hit .178 in 16 games, and the following season he had that epic 0-for-39 streak in the spring when his batting average plummeted to .117. But, like Moncada, everyone recognized the talent, and the Sox patience obviously paid off.

We'll return in a bit to Moncada and his Sox mates, but it's entertaining to look at some ballplayers who were minor league monsters but only marginal major leaguers if, in fact, they ever reached the big leagues at all.

I have a vivid memory of an overfed first baseman named Steve Bilko, who played 10 seasons in the big leagues with six different clubs. After stints with the Cardinals and Cubs, Bilko played three seasons (1955-57) in the Pacific Coast League, which had a reputation as a hitters' paradise. One reason was the dimensions of some of the ballparks such as Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, where it was 340 down the lines but just 345 in the alleys.

This was home for the roly-poly Bilko (he was listed at 230 pounds, but the PR guys were being kind) who slammed 148 homers and hit a robust .330 in those three seasons.
Later Bilko caught on with the expansion Los Angeles Angels in 1961, and he hit .279 with 20 home runs. However, the next season was his last.

Before Barry Bonds hit his 73 home runs in 2001, the organized baseball record belonged to Joe Bauman, an obscure but intriguing individual. Joe belted 72 dingers in 1954 playing for the Roswell (NM) Rockets of the Class-C Longhorn League. In those days many small towns like Roswell (population about 50,000 today) had professional teams from Class-D up to Triple-A. Roswell, in southeastern New Mexico about equidistant between Albuquerque and El Paso, had been famous for a supposedly UFO landing in 1947. That is, until Bauman set the home run record. He also hit .400 that year and drove in an astounding 224 runs.

Between 1941 and 1956 Bauman played nine seasons of minor league baseball, served four years in the Navy, and operated a gas station on the old Route 66. He most assuredly made more money from the government and pumping gas than he ever made playing ball. Bauman appeared in one game at Triple-A Milwaukee in 1948, but that's as far as he went in the game. Yet his name lives on in Roswell where the Roswell Isotopes of the independent Pecos League call Joe Bauman Field home.

And now Yoan Moncada's baseball home is on the South Side of Chicago. He got a standing ovation when he first strode to the plate a couple of weeks ago. When he drew a walk in that first at-bat, Sox faithful went slightly nuts. That's how dismal things have become.

Moncada appears perfectly calm and focused, but I wonder how all this attention has affected him. Representing the anticipation of a perennially contending team, it would be nice if Moncada had some company to share the spotlight. Now that Rick Hahn has cleared the decks of almost all of his marketable charges - with two months to go on his contract, we bade adieu to Melky Cabrera on Saturday - Hahn might opt to promote a prospect or two to join Moncada.

The most obvious would be right-handed pitcher Reynaldo Lopez, one of the treasure trove brought over from Washington in exchange for Adam Eaton. Lopez already has major league experience, going 5-3 last season with the Nationals in 11 appearances (six starts).

In 111 innings this year at Charlotte, Lopez is 6-5 with a 3.65 ERA while averaging about a strikeout an inning. The kid is 22 and healthy. The Sox play Toronto tonight with James Shields on the mound. Need I say more?

As far as position players are concerned, none appear ready to debut at the major league level. The only possibility could be Opening Day centerfielder Jacob May, who was demoted on May 1 to Charlotte after going 2-for-36 in 15 games. With current centerfielder Adam Engel, a fine defender, slumping (six for his last 42) and May having a decent season at Charlotte despite a .251 average, he might be a logical choice to get a second shot with the Sox.

Tonight's game marks the end of July, a month that's seen the Sox lose 18 of 23 games. Matt Davidson's walkoff two-run homer on Sunday, giving our fellows a 3-1 victory, broke a string of 14 losses in 15 games. The joy and sense of relief were palpable as this ragtag bunch celebrated with a joyous Gatorade-spilling, shirt-pulling, raucous scene. Don't be surprised if the center of such a celebration is Yoan Moncada in the very near future.

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Former Bill Veeck bar buddy Roger Wallenstein is our White Sox correspondent. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:00 AM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

"Trump has many strengths," John Kass writes for the Tribune, "but without discipline, he will begin to lose support of the people who count:

"Those millions of Americans, many of them of the forgotten working class, who fled the Democratic Party and voted for his Republican candidacy after Hillary Clinton ridiculed them as 'deplorables.'"

This is just plain wrong on several levels - the most important of which comes last.

1. Trump has many strengths.

The man did win the presidency. But I wonder what Kass thinks Trump's strengths are - besides using vulgarity, hate, appeals to violence and all other manner of demagoguery to harness the misplaced anger, frustration, greed and prejudice of simmering and stoked by a parallel media universe where a child sex ring is run out of a Washington, D.C., pizza parlor.

Ooh, I've got one: inheriting enough money to manage several bankruptcies by being too indebted to fail.

2. " . . . without discipline, he will begin to lose support of the people who count . . . "

Trump won the presidency without possessing an ounce of discipline, so I'm not sure I buy this, though Kass acknowledges that it's Trump himself who needs discipline. But the administration is "undisciplined" partly by design as the likes of Steve Bannon seek to destroy the federal government from within. Anyway, a disciplined Trump is about as likely to happen as Trump actually reading a briefing book.

3. " . . . Those millions of Americans, many of them of the forgotten working class, who fled the Democratic Party and voted for his Republican candidacy . . . "

Almost three million more Americans (2.86 million) voted for Hillary Clinton, so let's not pretend Trump was America's choice.

Also, Trump's support did not come largely from the forgotten working class. That's a myth that's been debunked.

There also was not a huge defection of Democratic voters who pulled the lever for Trump. According to exit polls, 7% of those who identified themselves as Republicans voted for Clinton, while 9% of those who identified themselves as Democrats voted for Trump.

4. " . . . after Hillary Clinton ridiculed them as 'deplorables.'"

The data is clear: The Comey letter altered the course of a campaign that Clinton was winning. As Nate Silver reports, it's not the only reason Clinton lost, but it was the biggest factor.

And then, did millions of working-class voters abandon Clinton after she called them deplorables? Most assuredly not.

Here's what Clinton said:

"You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?" Clinton said. "The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic - you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up."

She said the other half of Trump's supporters "feel that the government has let them down" and are "desperate for change."

"Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well," she said.

Is she wrong? No. I don't know if "half" of Trump's voters are racist, sexist, homophobic xenophobic, and Islamaphobic, but I know that all of Trump's voters accepted and abetted his racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamaphobic campaign - a campaign enthusiastically supported by the neo-Nazi "alt-right."

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More:

"They stunned the Washington elites and the media in November by helping Trump win 30 states."

This is Kass's way of getting around the fact that Trump lost the popular vote. Trump won Wyoming, congatulations!

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"They don't wring their hands when Trump hurts someone's feelings."

You mean the feelings of people being separated by their families or berated for their sexual preference or threatened with violence? No, they don't wring their hands. Correct.

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"They know politics is nasty, often profane and vulgar."

This is Kass's way of normalizing the boundary-busting campaign (and governance) of Trump.

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"And what's happened to them over the years has been profane and vulgar, too, from the loss of their jobs to the loss of their communities and way of life."

The higher one's income, the more likely one is to have voted for Trump. That's just a fact.

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"They've been kicked to the margins and written off as deplorable for not liking what happened to them, and for opposing unfettered and illegal immigration."

If you read Clinton's remarks, that's not why she described some Trump voters as deplorable. That's also a fact.

She said the other half of Trump's supporters "feel that the government has let them down" and are "desperate for change . . . Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.

Also, immigration is hardly "unfettered." Those who come to this country legally have to wait through a process which includes caps on how many are allowed in. Those who come to this country illegally risk death trying to do so.

Besides that, every serious, rigorous and honest study shows that immigration greatly helps the economy - and is not responsible for job loss (but, in fact, job creation).

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"I don't think they mind angry talk and a boss who yells. They understand bosses who yell."

Again, this is Kass trying to normalize Trump's behavior. Most bosses are awful, because most bosses are human, but I doubt most bosses yell. And I doubt even more that the blue-collar workers Kass so venerates don't mind bosses who yell. Now we're caricaturing the (white) working class, too.

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"But they also know that when they've got a job to do, they do it. They don't talk or tweet, or blame this guy or that guy. They get the job done."

Trump voters don't blame this guy or that guy?! Are you kidding me? Trump's whole campaign was about blame.

And again, the veneration of the (white) working class who, again, weren't Trump's primary supporters, as virtuous souls who "get the job done." Unlike Clinton's coalition of shirkers. (And unlike Kass, they don't tweet!)

Enough with the dog whistles.

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Keeping Moncada Company
In The White Sox Report.

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The Problem With Apu
I've already written the first comment.

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BeachBook

Female Journalists Still Not Paid As Much As Their Male Colleagues.

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Tenants Under Siege.

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Debunking Vegan Propaganda.

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Trying To Create Affordable Housing Because "The Market" Sucks.

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The Trump White House's War Within.

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Bernie Lincicome Turns In The Best - And Only Truthful - Bears Preview Amidst Chicago's Fanboy Sports Media.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Trace.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:28 AM | Permalink

The Problem With Apu

"Comedian Hari Kondabolu is tired of staying quiet about his dislike for Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the Hank Azaria-voiced Indian shop owner on The Simpsons. So he's gone and made a whole feature-length documentary exploring The Problem With Apu," Vulture reports.

"The trailer was unveiled [last Thursday] at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, with its airdate still TBD on truTV."

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Steve Rhodes:

I've never been able to figure out if the stereotyping on The Simpsons and Family Guy is ironic or playing with the stereotypes or just racist and yet somehow acceptable to fans - including me - because . . . I don't know why. It's funny in a smarter way than dumb ol' redneck racism?

For example, I'm hugely offended by the Max Weinstein character on Family Guy, which touches all the buttons of anti-Semitism.

And I have thought about Apu.

Maybe it's because the characters are lovable in some way? Apu certainly is. And yet . . . ultimately offensive.

Maybe because the audiences for these shows are presumably smart, urbane and relatively progressive, there is no one to call out these stereotypes - those who typically do are fans!

I can only say I've wavered between being offended and thinking these shows were playing with the stereotypes - there does seem to be something different about how the characters are handled, but maybe that just makes an underlying prejudice more insidious.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:02 AM | Permalink

July 28, 2017

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #163: EmBearAssing

The media even more so than the team. Plus: Football Scrambles Brains; Crosstown Cubs; and Schweinsteiger!


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SHOW NOTES

* 163.

:53: Bears Media Sinks As Low As Team.

* "Kap."

* Danny Trevathan Says He Sucked So Bad In 2016 Because He Partied Too Much In The Offseason, Reporters Sympathize.

* Zach Zaidman: "I don't have a problem with it."

* Brian Hanley: "It's nice to see a player being so introspective."

* Jordan Howard Says "I Should Have Been In Better Shape."

* David Haugh: "I was really impressed with [Mark Sanchez's] performance in front of the microphone."

* Zach Zaidman: "Mark Sanchez is a reassuring presence who won't embarrass you on the field if you have to put him in."

* Dan Bernstein plays kissy-face with Ryan Pace.

* Jason Goff drops ball on Colin Kaepernick, let's Pace off the hook.

* Goff: "What don't you like about Ryan Pace? The cupboard was bare when Pace got here. He deserves more than the three years that Phil Emery got. He gets to hire his own head coach."

* Lincicome: In Predicting Bears Season, Little Knowledge Goes A Long Way.

* A new sympathy for poor John Fox.

This is the guy who has lied like a motherfucker to reporters since day one.

Also:

* Zach Zaidman: "These are guys with chips on their shoulder."

* Emma: There's Optimism For Deeper, Better Bears.

* Reality check: Bears Rank 30th In NFL Preseason Power Ranking.

45:02: Football Scrambles Brains.

50:38: Crosstown Cubs.

* Sullivan: Cubs Win First City Series Since 2013, But Crosstown Cup Merely An Afterthought.

* Tim Anderson, Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr., Javy Baez.

* Nationals, Dodgers, Brewers.

* Web Extra!: Did not enjoy Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel regaling the audience with tales of youthful douchebaggery at the Cubby Bear. "Dbag moments," Spiegel christened them. Christ.

* Web Extra!: Also did not enjoy Adam Hoge's continued love of Hawk Harrelson, who accused John Lackey of hitting White Sox batters on purpose, which makes no sense given the game situations. Then again, Hoge thought Hawk leaving the booth to attend to a barely bruised Todd Frazier was "good work."

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1:03:11: Schweinsteiger!

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STOPPAGE: 5:02

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Still a fan.

CoffmanBears.jpg

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For archives and other shows, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:19 PM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

"More than 100 Chicago Park District drinking fountains have been running nonstop for months - their on and off buttons intentionally disabled by the district," Monica Eng reports for WBEZ.

"This week, park officials revealed why. They made the move, they said, because tests showed these fountains deliver dangerously high lead-levels when they are returned to manual push-button operation. A continuous flow of water, however, reduces the lead levels substantially, officials said."

Somehow not reassuring!

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Assignment Desk: Ask Rahm Emanuel to drink from the most lead-filled fountain in the story.

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Ed Burke, Everybody
Makes joke about South Side schools attended by black kids, then pretends he didn't.

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Beachwood Photo Booth: Supply Line
Truck and tree.

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: The Gizmos, Paul McCartney, and Tar.

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The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour
Is in production.

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BeachBook

Maxine Waters Brings Photo Of Trump Mocking Disabled Reporter To House Floor.

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Watchdog's Commitment To Transparency Doesn't Extend To His Own Bio.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Weak.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:20 AM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. The Gizmos outside East Room on Sunday.


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2. Paul McCartney in Tinley Park on Wednesday night.

Kot: Paul McCartney Delivers Beatles Lesson In Tinley Park.

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Catching up with . . .

Tar at Bottom Lounge on July 22.

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See also:



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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:57 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Supply Line

Truck and tree.

20161223_135238_resized.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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Listen to Helene talk about Photo Booth; starts at 57:54.

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Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fantasy Hair Design.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Garage.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Clark Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pole Position.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Geometry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Found Love.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fill In The Blank.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vacuums Of The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dumpster Still Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wagon Master.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Intersecting West Rogers Park.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Antiques.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cow Patrol.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Backstage Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skully Bungalow.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Francisco Frankenstein.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Long Cool Heat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Smokers' Mast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Big Fat Phone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Happy Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alley Men.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Show!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You've Got Mailbox.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Broken Window Theory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dali Logan.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Svengoolie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Horner Park Hot Dogs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cubs Rehab.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 20th Century Schizoid Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Men On Vans.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Is Done.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snowy Lincoln.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Waiting Room.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Avondale Chicken.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Winter's End.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Friendly Skies.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boyhood Buzzer Beater.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: J Date.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: International Window Lady.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Shanghai Inn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Open For Business.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Andersonville Unplugged.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 3-Flat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Turkey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicagolandia.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Eat At Odge's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deitch Pharmacy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sud-Z Bubble.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bands Wanted!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Belmont Tavern.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Superheroic San Luis Freeze.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Oasis.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lyndale Food & Jewelry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Book Window.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alco Dude.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ballin Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Don't Worry, Be Cookie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Four Trey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Office.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America From Inside The Golden Nugget In Ravenswood.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cellphone Repair.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boots 'N' Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunrise Strip.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: At The Corner Of Glad And Happy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Uptown Autumn Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mid-Century Modern Halloween.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Autumn Station Wagon.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Betty's & Nick's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ohio House Impact.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: End School Zone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Portage Park Peek-A-Boo.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: South Side Sundown.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Susie's Drive-Thru.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Ham.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Food & Liquor, Milhouse.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Hare Blue Line Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Schwing!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ad Deluxe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jesus At The Drive-In.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Tanks Of Avondale.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Conveyance Belt.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Esquire In The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nick's Meat Market.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Keep Havin A Good Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Knock Knock.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Man At Marie's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonneville.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Logan Bags.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Stairwell.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Velvet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Court Is In Session.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: DLER ALKY.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Railyards Rush Hour.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop Killing People.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 1.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Greystone Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You Are Beautiful.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Auto Part Overlords.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bearground.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 2.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skyway Sculpture.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Dome Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hello, St. Joe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Revolution Books.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Driveway.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Proceed To Checkout.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Summer Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Daily Double.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Are Moving.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 3.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunny Day Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ashland & Pawn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Party Store.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Donuts.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: AAA Sales.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Rule.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Butcher Boy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Endorsement.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: I Voted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pink(ish) Cadillac.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stuffed With Sadness.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Air.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Economy Heating.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Season's Greetings.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Housemates.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Have Fresh Goat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartcam.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gaslight.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Urban Wheat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Embassy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln's Cozy Corner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Glory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bowling Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Red Lion, Red Hots.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Sitting.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Jukebox Is Not A Democracy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Descending Darkly.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Handicapped Milk Jug Zone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gumball Express.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicken Run.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wyoming, Michigan.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bus Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Manzana.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Don't Look Back.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mail Call.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gas Pump No. 8.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Photo Shoot.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flotos' Gifts.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Shelf Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: S&M Carpets.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Elvis At The Golden Nugget.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wunder's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Daisies.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:23 AM | Permalink

July 27, 2017

The [Thursday] Papers

Early warning.

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3 Logan Hardware Grab Bags
Three times the suspense!

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Study: CTE Affects Football Players At All Levels
"There's no more debate about whether this is a problem in football."

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Black Stories Matter
The unbearable whiteness of children's books.

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Blueberry Maggot Fly In Wisconsin
"This infestation can go unnoticed until after harvest, when maggots crawl out of the fruit and their presence becomes obvious during processing or when it's sold fresh."

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BeachBook

Starbucks Shutters Teavana Chain As Tea Business Tanks.

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Emmett Till Painting Faces Protests.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Your song.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:23 PM | Permalink

Study: CTE Affects Football Players At All Levels

"Research on the brains of 202 former football players has confirmed what many feared in life - evidence of the devastating disease CTE in nearly all the samples, from athletes in the NFL, college and even high school."


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Previously in concussions:
* Bob Probert's Broken Brain.

* NFL Players Killing Themselves Because They Miss Football So Much.

* The College Football Report: Dementia Pugilistica.

* Blackhawks Playing Head Games.

* Jay Cutler Should Consider Retiring.

* Dislike: Friday Night Tykes.

* Hurt And Be Hurt: The Lessons Of Youth Sports.

* Chicago Soccer Player Patrick Grange Had CTE.

* Sony Softened Concussion To Placate NFL.

* Ultra-Realistic Madden To Simulate Game's Debilitating Concussions.

* Dear Football: I'm Breaking Up With You.

* Dead College Football Player's Brain Leaves Clues Of Concussions' Toll On Brain.

* More Bad Concussion News For Young Football Players.

* NFL Tried To Fix Concussion Study.

* The Week In Concussions: Another Enforcer Down.

* Teen Concussion Rate Rising Significantly.

* Conflict Of Interest For NFL Doctors To Report To Teams: Harvard Study.

* U.S. Supreme Court Ends Fight Over $1 Billion NFL Concussion Deal.

* U.S. High School Soccer Concussions On The Rise.

* Youth Football Finally Listening To Coach Coffman.

* Many Kids Still Don't Report Concussion Symptoms. How Can We Change That?

* Brain Damage In Former Players Fuels Soccer 'Heading' Fears.

* Canadian Youth Hockey Injuries Cut In Half After National Policy Change.

* More Teen Knowledge About Concussion May Not Increase Reporting.

* High School Boys Fear Looking 'Weak' If They Report Concussions.

* Pro Flag Football Is Now A Thing - Starring Former NFL Players!

* Nearly All Donated NFL Brains Found To Have CTE.

* Female Athletes Are Closing The Gender Gap When It Comes To Concussions.

* Whoa. Perhaps The Smartest Player In NFL History - He's In Math PhD Program At MIT - Assesses Situation And Decides To Save His Brain.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:42 AM | Permalink

Black Stories Matter: On The Whiteness Of Children's Books

In September 1965, an article titled "The All-White World of Children's Books" appeared in the influential American magazine The Saturday Review of Literature.

Its author, the editor and educator Nancy Larrick, noted that African-American children were learning about the world "in books which either omit them entirely or scarcely mention them."

In one award-winning volume from 1945, black children were portrayed with bunion-covered feet and popping eyes, living in dilapidated shacks with gun-wielding adults.

Meanwhile, white children were "nothing less than cherubic, with dainty little bare feet or well-made shoes," Larrick wrote.

After years of complaints, she said, the publisher finally solved the problem by simply removing all black faces from the book.

More than 50 years later, the problem persists. Imaginary black children remain almost as marginalized as real ones, at least in mainstream publishing.

In literature, as in life, the belief that children are valuable, vulnerable and in need of protection has mostly been denied to black children in the United States.

Black children learn fast that their childhoods have very strict boundaries, in which any small slip or mistake can put their lives in danger, often from police or other agents of the state.

In this context, what children read is more than just frivolous entertainment. It's an imaginative, safe space in which they can experiment with different modes of selfhood and citizenship.

So what does the history of the representations of black children in the U.S. reveal about the cultural tools they've been handed, and with which they'll need to fashion their own lives and futures?

Depictions of black characters in the late 19th and early 20th century tended to promote negative stereotypes.

Childhood favorites such as The Story of Little Black Sambo (1899), Tarzan (1912), and The Story of Babar: The Little Elephant (1931) are transparently propagandistic portrayals of Western and white superiority over Africa.

In Tarzan of the Apes, Tarzan writes in a note that Jane reads: "This is the house of Tarzan, the killer of beasts and many black men."

For the black child who seeks to identify with the hero but is categorized as the villain, these depictions produce a mental and conscious disconnect.

It wasn't until the early 20th century that a more positive strand of black children's literature developed.

In 1920, the African-American scholar and activist W. E. B. Du Bois created The Brownies' Book - the first black children's magazine, he said, that would help "black children to recognize themselves as normal, to learn about black history, and to recognize their own potential."

The Brownies' Book was one of the first attempts to normalize and dignify black childhood.

In the 1960s, children's books became a powerful ideological tool during times of protest and civil unrest.

In The Wretched of the Earth (1961), the French-Algerian writer Frantz Fanon talked about the importance of literary representation as a site of political influence.

Fanon believed that black children learned self-hatred and alienation through early contact with the white world, partly because of the storybooks, comics and cartoon images to which they had access. Finding alternative representations was therefore an urgent necessity.

In the civil rights era in the U.S., black children and teenagers played a crucial role, both symbolically and on the ground.

They were participants in marches and meetings, and often subject to violence and imprisonment.

But black children's lives also became politicized in other ways, as activists used literature and culture to galvanize the youth and foster a sense of purpose and pride in their identity.

Factions such as the Black Arts Movement tried to create counter-narratives that pushed back against the brutality that white children's literature inflicted on young black psyches.

For example, Virginia Hamilton's young adult novel Zeely (1967) centers on the realistic, everyday aspects of black childhood.

Its 11-year-old black protagonist, Elizabeth, is a smart and strong-willed girl, who becomes intrigued by a tall black woman who lives on a nearby farm.

Books such as Zeely represented a watershed moment in culture. They served to counteract previous distortions of black youth, allowing children to develop a sense of imaginative possibility about their own lives, and empowering them as agents of social change.

In the 21st century, black authors have continued the tradition of using literature to rally young people. Often, writers depict black children who are active participants in the struggle for liberation.

One example is the picture book Daddy, There's a Noise Outside (2015), by the community activist Kenneth Braswell.

Inspired by the death of Freddie Gray when he was under arrest in Baltimore, Braswell uses children's literature to discuss protest in black communities.

The story begins as a brother and sister wake up in the middle of the night after hearing chanting outside their window, and their parents try to explain the nature and value of protest for black communities.

The young characters in the story are learning about the many forms of activism that are accessible to children, which include creating signs, writing letters, participating in protests and organizing.

These narratives pay homage to earlier black liberation efforts and give children the tools necessary to understand themselves as actors in the political process.

Children's literature becomes a means of education, offering a safe space for experimentation and a supplement to the organization of formal movements.

In an opinion piece for The Guardian in 2015, the American young-adult author Daniel José Older wrote:

"Literature's job is not to protect young people from the ugly world; it is to arm them with a language to describe difficult truths they already know."

He added that it's vital for literature's creators and publishers not to sit on the sidelines of movements such as Black Lives Matter, where most of the actors are young people.

Children are not just the passive recipients of what they read. They should be seen as active subjects, creating and recreating themselves in relation to the representations that surround them.

In this way, literature is an arena in which children can safely play with and develop an understanding of the state, and their role and relationship to it.

Children's literature not only shows how important children have been to black social movements. It also highlights the power of books to rescue childhood from a culture that has dehumanized black children, and denied them healthy and expansive models for growing up.

Andrea Adomako is a PhD student at Northwestern University. This article was originally published at Aeon and has been republished under Creative Commons.

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Comments welcome.

Aeon counter - do not remove

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:50 AM | Permalink

Blueberry Maggot Fly Poised To Expand In Wisconsin

The blueberry maggot fly (Rhagoletis mendax Curran) was first detected in Wisconsin during the summer of 2016, and the species is now considered established in the state.

This agricultural pest, which is closely related to the well-known apple maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella), regularly damages commercial blueberry production in the eastern and southern United States and eastern Canada during the growing season. It is expected to have a significant effect on the blueberry industry in Wisconsin.

agriculture-fruit-insects-invasive-blueberrymaggotfly-larvae.jpgJerry A. Payne/USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org (CC BY 3.0 US)

Life Cycle And Appearance

The adult blueberry maggot fly looks somewhat like a small housefly with dark bands on its wings, and is very similar in appearance to the closely related apple maggot. Despite their virtually identical wing pattern and appearance, apple maggots do not use blueberries as a host. Therefore, flies trapped in blueberries are most likely to be the blueberry maggot fly. While the blueberry is the only commercial crop affected by this species, wild berries used by the maggots include lingonberries, dangleberries, deerberries, huckleberries and wild blueberries.

Adult blueberry maggot flies begin to fly in June or July, and remain active through August. They mate and move into blueberry fields after feeding for at least a week. A mated female will lay a single egg under the skin of each of up to 100 nearly ripe blueberries during her approximately month-long life span.

agriculture-fruit-insects-invasive-blueberrymaggotfly-adult.jpgJerry A. Payne/USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org (CC BY 3.0 US)

The blueberry maggot fly egg hatches within a week. The larva, or maggot, is legless and has a single hook-like tooth for a mouth. A single larva feeds entirely within a single blueberry during its two to three week development, causing the host berry to become soft and watery.

Damage generally first appears in mid-July, and continues until blueberries have been harvested. Unfortunately, this infestation can go unnoticed until after harvest, when maggots crawl out of the fruit and their presence becomes obvious during processing or when it's sold fresh.

After completing development, the larva drops to the ground and overwinters as a pupa in the upper few inches of soil. One distinctive characteristic of the blueberry maggot fly is that, although most pupae emerge the following spring, some will remain underground for two or three years. For this reason, spraying to control blueberry maggot flies one summer will not necessarily eliminate a given population, as there will often still be some pupae in the soil to emerge in following summers.

Control Options

Some cultural control methods can help prevent blueberry maggot fly infestations. These include:

  • Removing weeds in a blueberry patch, as these can provide a habitat for maggots.
  • Removing wild blueberry and huckleberry bushes near plantings.
  • Harvesting thoroughly, and solarizing or freezing any damaged or unsalable fruit. Crop waste should never be composted without first solarizing it, as blueberry maggot pupae can survive in the compost and infest crops in future years.
  • Being careful to clean soil away from any equipment or honeybee hives that are moved between blueberry farms, so as not to introduce blueberry maggot pupae in the soil.

Chemical control is recommended when blueberry maggot fly traps yield an average of more than one adult per trap for multiple days in a row. In general, spraying should be conducted roughly one week after the first blueberry maggot flies appear in traps, and continue every seven to 10 days through harvest. Multiple insecticides are registered for use in blueberries in Wisconsin - their label directions should always be followed to conform with the most up-to-date legal requirements and recommendations.

In Wisconsin, the blueberry maggot fly has only been confirmed in Adams and Sauk counties so far. However, its range is expected to expand in coming years. If blueberry maggots or signs of infestation are found, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab should be notified.

Janet van Zoeren works as a fruit crops associate with the University of Wisconsin-Extension. Christelle Guédot is the fruit crop entomology specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension and UW Fruit Program, and an assistant professor in the UW-Madison Department of Entomology.

This article is adapted from an item originally published in Wisconsin Fruit News, Volume 2, Issue 1, a publication of the Fruit Crops Team.

WisContext is a partnership between Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and Cooperative Extension.

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Previously in Wisconsin:

* Wisconsin Cheese Production Continues To Grow.

* Wisconsin's Specialty Cheesemakers May Be Better Off Than Other States.

* Tips For Growing Blueberries In Wisconsin.

* Amid A Boom, Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Look To Future Markets.

* The Top 10 Wisconsin Insect Trends Of 2016.

* Wisconsin's Penokees Are A Geologic Gem.

* Wisconsin Researchers Aim To Make Cows Happier.

* Wisconsin And The Extinction Of The Passenger Pigeon.

* The Life Of Land After Frac Sand.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:19 AM | Permalink

3 Logan Hardware Grab Bags

Three times the suspense.


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See also: TAP Records.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:43 AM | Permalink

July 26, 2017

Roger Waters In Chicago

Roger Waters, one of the most brilliant artists of our lifetime, just performed three shows in Chicago on his "Us + Them" tour to much acclaim. Here is a partial re-creation using this setlist as a guide, drawn from the video available on YouTube from those shows.

Breathe.


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Time.

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The Great Gig in the Sky.

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Welcome to the Machine.

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Deja Vu.

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Wish You Were Here.

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Another Brick in the Wall, Parts 2 and 3.

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Dogs.

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Pigs (Three Different Ones).

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Money, Us and Them.

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Brain Damage, Eclipse.

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Vera.

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Comfortably Numb.

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Plus:

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Steve Rhodes:

Mainstream media still writing concert reviews without embedding videos from said concerts. Why? The sage writing advice of "show, don't tell" should now be "show, and then tell," meaning you can now go further than trying to "dance about architecture" and actually help describe and inform what we're actually seeing for ourselves.

Ditto for record reviews - embed the audio! And for sports stories - show us the highlights!

As for politics, well, the Daily Show showed us all how powerful it can be to simply put politicians' own words side-by-side . . . this is the true pivot-to-video!

2. From Jim Kopeny, Chicagoist Senior Editor, Arts & Entertainment:

We reviewed the show too . . . and we do include embeds of media when appropriate. ๐Ÿ˜

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:13 AM | Permalink

City Of Chicago Still Obeys Immigration Detainers Even as Courts Around the Country Find Them Unconstitutional

Under Chicago's Welcoming City Ordinance, Chicago police officers can hold certain immigrants past their release date in response to detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Chicago maintains this practice of jailing immigrants beyond the time when they would ordinarily be released even though courts around the country have ruled such holds unconstitutional. Most recently, on Monday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that local law enforcement officials, such as police officers, do not have the authority to hold individuals based on immigration detainer requests.

"The City of Chicago has a responsibility to ensure that immigrant residents in Chicago are afforded the same rights guaranteed to all people," says Van Huynh, a representative of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago in the Chicago Immigration Working Group. "There is no such thing as exempting people's constitutional rights. By leaving out a large group of the immigrant community who are most vulnerable to deportation, the City of Chicago is failing as a sanctuary for Chicago's immigrants at a moment when we most need it."

Over the last two years, a coalition of more than 50 organizations has advocated for the city to remove the carve-outs in the Welcoming City Ordinance, which allow the city to honor immigration detainers for certain individuals. The exceptions written into the ordinance permit CPD to answer to immigration requests if an individual: (1) has a pending felony charge, (2) has been convicted of a felony at any time in their life, (3) shows up in the gang database, or (4) has an open criminal warrant.

Support for an ordinance without carve-outs continues to grow. Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois issued a letter to the mayor and city council urging them to remove the carve-outs from the ordinance. Several aldermen have stated their support for the version of the ordinance without carve-outs, including Ald. James Cappleman (46th Ward), who sent a message to ward constituents expressing support.

A proposal to amend the Welcoming City Ordinance to remove the carve-outs has remained pending in the Human Relations Committee since February 2017. This proposal has 28 co-sponsors.

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The members of the Chicago Immigration Working Group and the Campaign to Expand Sanctuary, include: Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, Arab American Action Network, Black Youth Project 100, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos - Immigrant Worker Project, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Community Activism Law Alliance, Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America, Enlace Chicago, Hana Center, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Jobs with Justice - Chicago, Latino Policy Forum, Latino Union of Chicago, Mujeres Latinas en Acciรณn, Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center, Mijente, Organized Communities Against Deportations, PASO- West Suburban Action Project, Polish American Association of Chicago, SEIU-Healthcare, and the Southwest Organizing Project.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:04 AM | Permalink

The [Wednesday] Papers

"Touching on an issue often raised by police when discussing Chicago's ongoing problem with gun violence, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said Tuesday that she was 'stunned' to learn how few gun cases that go to trial result in convictions," the Tribune reports.

"Foxx, in an interview with the Tribune's editorial board eight months into her job, said her office is working with law enforcement officials to collect better intelligence and build stronger cases against gun offenders.

"Foxx also pledged to be more transparent than her predecessors in leveraging community involvement and data-driven approaches to help reduce crime. She said officials from her office will meet with Chicago police on a monthly basis to share the data on cases and strategize how to build stronger cases."

So, I think I'm supposed to be angry that there aren't enough convictions in gun cases?

"According to Foxx, about 80 percent of those charged with gun crimes in 2016 pleaded guilty, with the remainder of the cases going to trial."

So actually, more than 80 percent of gun cases result in convictions - those who plead out, the 30 percent of the remainder who are found guilty by judges and the 42 percent of the remainder who are found guilty by juries. That sounds like a lot! Is there really a problem? Surely not everyone charged is guilty.

Yet Foxx says, "It's an embarrassing number."

Well, what should the number be? What is the number in other jurisdictions? Surely we shouldn't expect a 100 percent guilty rate, should we? Some folks are maybe innocent? (To me, the fact that 80 percent of cases are pled out is worrisome. Let's face it, not all of those folks are guilty, right? Assignment Desk, activate!)

The point of what Foxx was saying really didn't become clear to me until the final two paragraphs:

Eric Sussman, the first assistant state's attorney, said officials are working to establish "prosecution guidelines" to help educate law enforcement officers on the information and evidence needed to successfully prosecute gun cases.

"We're trying to weed it out with the understanding that for every one of those bad cases that we wind up going to trial on, we have limited resources so that is one fewer investigation or good case that we can be spending our time on," he said.

So the real problem is that the cops are bringing too many bad cases. I mean, in re-reading the story it becomes more clear that this concern is strewn throughout the piece, but perhaps not with great clarity, especially given a headline intended to induce outrage: "Top Prosecutor 'Stunned' At How Few Gun Cases Brought To Trial Yield Convictions."

In the current environment, that doesn't seem to properly place the blame with the police - we're automatically conditioned to think that's about judges, or weak laws.

A clearer way to write the story would have been to do it this way:

"The county's top prosecutor wants Chicago police to stop wasting its time and money by bringing them so many badly charged gun cases."

See the difference?

Or:

"The county's top prosecutor said Tuesday she was 'stunned' at how many bad gun cases Chicago police are charging, resulting in a poor rate of conviction at trial."

Perhaps adding: "Even still, more than 80 percent of defendants charged with gun crimes in Cook County are found guilty."

Right?

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Rauner's Desk
"An Illinois business group fears that recent staffing shifts in Gov. Bruce Rauner's office may imperil a pro-immigrant bill that's been sitting on the governor's desk for nearly a month," Natasha Korecki reports for Politico Illinois Playbook.

"The legislation, called the Illinois Trust Act - SB31 - limits local authorities' reach on investigating immigration status when no serious or violent crime has been committed. It prohibits authorities from holding an individual solely on the basis of immigration status. The aim is to allay rampant fear of deportation in the immigrant community, which business owners say is harming constituencies from a moral standpoint. And from a business standpoint, it's harming their workforce. See bill language here.

The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, a chief supporter of the bill, says it believed the governor supported the measure and that SB31 was on a path to become law. Now they say Rauner is "dragging his feet'"on the issue. One major supporter of the law, Crate & Barrel co-founder Carole Browe Segal, who also co-chairs an Illinois business group, said she's disappointed Rauner hasn't already signed it. "This is a really important bill that we need to stand up for as good citizens. This bill protects the undocumented that have done no wrongdoing," Segal told POLITICO. "We have to realize the fear and the stress and the PTSD that we are causing the 12 million undocumented workers."

Maybe Rauner is just using the bill to hold something hostage, as is his wont.

*

"Asked where the governor stands on the bill, if his position recently changed and whether he will sign it, Rauner's office offered little guidance. 'The Senate has sent SB31 to the Governor's desk. It is currently being reviewed,' said governor spokeswoman Laurel Patrick. 'I will keep you posted on any updates or additional details.'"

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Also from Korecki:

"We have a boycott from two House Democrats who both say their time is better spent attending local school council meetings and taking part in classroom projects than it is in Springfield right now. Chicago Democrats Ann Williams and Kelly Cassidy plan to take part in projects to assess and aid the start of school. Williams said with no bill in the House and Rauner's comments that he doesn't want to talk to leaders until the bill is on his desk, she sees little reason for the session except to score political points . . .

"Response from Rauner spokeswoman Laurel Patrick: 'So let me get this straight: The Senate hasn't sent the education funding bill to the governor's desk, even though the bill was passed in May. And now these two legislators aren't going to Springfield for the legislative session aimed at resolving this? Wow.'"

Well, the immigrant bill was passed nearly a month ago and has been sitting on the governor's desk gathering dust, Laurel, what's up with that?

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Seemingly related: City Of Chicago Still Obeys Immigration Detainers Even as Courts Around the Country Find Them Unconstitutional.

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Korecki also notes this Tribune editorial:

"When lawmakers return to Springfield on Wednesday - we're counting on a quorum - they ought to keep one thing in mind: schoolkids. Without action on education funding during the four days of special session Gov. Bruce Rauner announced Monday, the opening of schools across the state could be in jeopardy. No agreement on legislation would mean chaos for Illinois families who've had 'back to school' dates etched onto their calendars for months. This is no time for political games."

But the General Assembly has already agreed on an education funding bill. It's the governor who refuses to negotiate.

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If there's still any doubt about where Diana Rauner stands:

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Rich Miller's response at Capitol Fax:

"Notice she's careful to say education funding, not education spending. The state still owes K-12 a huge pile of money that it couldn't pay out because of the impasse. At last check, it was about a billion dollars."

Read the comments at Miller's post for more perspective on the disingenuousness of Diana Rauner.

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"Mrs. Rauner wants to protect her husband's reputation - and her own," Mark Brown writes for the Sun-Times. "But there are other voices to consider."

For example, the voices of the downstate superintendents Brown spoke to.

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When Brown writes, "I previously told you about Rolf Sivertsen, the school superintendent in Canton," there is no link to that previous column. Here it is.

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CEO Salaries Still Out Of Control
"In the early 1990s, CEO pay started climbing; CEOs began making hundreds of times what the average American worker made, and continue to do so today."

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I feel like this actually starting happening in the '80s, when Reaganism set a new credo of gleeful greed upon the land, but I suppose there was an even larger explosion in the tech-fueled '90s?

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BeachBook

How Developers Turned Graffiti Into A Trojan Horse For Gentrification.

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Nearly All Donated NFL Brains Found To Have CTE.

Seemingly related:

Female Athletes Are Closing The Gender Gap When It Comes To Concussions.

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Wisconsin Company To Implant Microchips In Employees.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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John McCain is a war hero of epic proportions, but he has not exactly covered himself in glory during his political career, despite what the fawning media would like you to believe.

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Bimbo: Mexican for Hostess.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Ding dong ditch.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:03 AM | Permalink

July 25, 2017

Top CEOs Make 271 Times More Than The Average American

In 2016, CEOs at America's largest firms made, on average, 271 times more than the average US worker. Fifty years ago, that ratio was 20-to-1.

The CEO-to-worker pay ratio, calculated annually by the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank, has narrowed slightly in recent years; in 2014, it was 299-to-1. But it has grown by an order of magnitude since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started keeping data in the 1960s, and has even doubled many times over since the late 1980s, when it was 59-to-1.

In the early 1990s, CEO pay started climbing; CEOs began making hundreds of times what the average American worker made, and continue to do so today.

Part of this had to do with the increasing popularity of performance pay. The Clinton administration put in place a rule that barred corporations from deducting more than a million dollars of CEO compensation from their taxes, but that rule excluded performance pay and stock options. Corporate boards of directors took notice.

Reagan-era tax cuts for the rich also encouraged CEO pay to balloon throughout the '90s, as did a growing stock market.

None of these factors had the same impact on workers' wages, and while CEO pay skyrocketed, the earnings of the average American inched only slightly upward.

"What we really have is a big increase in income going to a certain occupation, but it's not met by a corresponding growth in output for the nation and for the firms," said Lawrence Mishel, the president of the Economic Policy Institute and one of the authors of the report. "These folks are getting income that otherwise would go to other people, the rest of the workforce . . . What it really means is that if you cut CEO pay there would be no reason to expect that the economy would be one iota smaller."

In their calculation, Mishel and co-author Jessica Schieder compared CEO compensation to that of the average American. But the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act, passed to rein in Wall Street following the 2008 financial crisis, would require companies to disclose a number that would be particularly useful to shareholders at these large corporations: the ratio between their CEO's compensation and the median compensation for the workers that that CEO employs. Making this data public would also allow anyone with a calculator to easily pinpoint the worst offenders - the CEOs collecting the highest wages at the lowest-paying corporations.

Unsurprisingly, some corporations aren't pleased about this component of Dodd-Frank. The rule hasn't yet gone into effect, and lobbyists have been working hard to make sure it never does

Last winter, Michael Piwowar, a longtime opponent of the rule, took the helm of the Securities and Exchange Commission, serving as acting chair while Congress considered Trump's nominee, Jay Clayton. He quickly delayed the rule and encouraged corporations to tell him about any "unexpected challenges" they encountered in complying with it.

Piwowar's decision prompted an angry letter from Senate Democrats including Dick Durbin, Al Franken, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who pointed out that Piwowar had only asked for input from the corporations themselves, but not the corporation's investors.

"Pay ratio disclosure helps investors evaluate the relative value a CEO creates, which facilitates better checks and balances against insiders paying themselves runaway compensation," the senators wrote. "Similarly, when a CEO asks for a raise while giving other employees a pay cut, investors should have this information."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:40 PM | Permalink

On The Origins Of Environmental Bullshit

This article is part of an ongoing series from the Post-Truth Initiative, a Strategic Research Excellence Initiative at the University of Sydney. The series examines today's post-truth problem in public discourse: the thriving economy of lies, bullshit and propaganda that threatens rational discourse and policy.

The project brings together scholars of media and communications, government and international relations, physics, philosophy, linguistics, and medicine, and is affiliated with the Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre, the Sydney Environment Institute and the Sydney Democracy Network.

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I grew up in the Long Island suburbs of New York and have vivid memories of running behind the "fog trucks." These trucks went through the neighborhoods spraying DDT for mosquito control until it was banned in 1972.

I didn't know it until much later, but that experience, and exposure, was extended due to the pesticide industry's lies and tactics - what is now labelled "post-truth."

fog.jpgChildren play in the DDT fog left by the 'fog truck' in a New Jersey neighborhood/George Silk, LIFE 1948

Rachel Carson published Silent Spring in 1962. It was a beautifully written, if distressing, bit of what we today call "research translation." The "silent spring" was the impact of DDT as songbird species were killed off.

Carson tried to expose the chemical industry's disinformation. For doing so, she was roundly and untruthfully attacked as a communist and an opponent of progress. Silent Spring was one of the most popular and vetted overviews of environmental science of all time. Yet lies and bullshit prevented a decent policy response for a decade.

And the lies won't go away. In 2007, one of the think tanks responsible for climate science misinformation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, began reiterating one of the main refuted claims about Carson. She was said to be responsible for millions of deaths due to the ban on DDT to control mosquitoes that spread malaria.

The reality is that while DDT was banned for agriculture in the U.S. - and spraying on kids in suburban neighborhoods - it was never banned for anti-malarial use. Even now. But the political right and the dirtiest chemical industry players in all of industrial capitalism have long painted environmentalists as killers - of people, progress and jobs.

It's a carefully manufactured campaign of lies and disinformation. As a result, many people believe Carson is a flat-out mass murderer - not a hero who beautifully blended care for human health and nonhuman nature in one of the most important and challenging books of the 20th century.

Lies And Smears Have A Long History

This anti-environmentalist tactic of countering critiques of industrial impacts on the planet with lies, obfuscation and defamation has a long history. It goes back at least to establishment attacks on the U.S. municipal housekeeping movement in the progressive era of the late 19th and early 20th century.

The urban environmental movement probably began in the 1880s with the Ladies Health Protective Association in New York, the City Beautiful movement, Waring's White Wings city cleaners, and more.

housekeeping.jpgThis 1913 municipal housekeeping poster shows many home duties related to government, but the movement's members were smeared as unworthy women/Internet Archive Book Images, flickr

Municipal housekeeping in particular was primarily a women's movement to clean up cities. This eventually led to the development of formal offices of public health and public planning in local governments.

The opposition - from meatpackers to fertilizer-makers to the waste industry - labeled these women bad housekeepers. They argued that the only reason women wanted to "mother" and keep house in the community was because they were so bad at such things at home - that municipal housekeeping was only a movement against domestic housekeeping.

In other words, they were not real women and were unconcerned with anyone but themselves.

Not surprisingly, the polluting industries were at the heart of such bullshit attacks. And in both this example from the early 20th century and the Carson example from the 1960s, industry used a very gendered attack as part of the post-truth campaign.

The theme of industrial lies covering environmental damage continued in the 1980s in the Pacific Northwest timber wars. Once again, environmentalists were scapegoated for the loss of timber jobs.

owl.jpgEfforts to protect the spotted owl were blamed for the loss of jobs due to timber industry automation/USFS, flickr

These job losses were primarily due to automation. But the controversy over the endangered spotted owl allowed the timber industry to create another narrative - that environmentalists cared about birds more than jobs, that they wouldn't be happy until the economy was devastated, and that all of the changes that harmed timber workers were due to environmental regulation - not the industry itself.

The attack on science ramped up then as well. When scientists declared that each pair of owls needed a certain exclusive range, and so protecting them from extinction would entail preserving whole forests, the industry-captured Forest Service simply shrank the recommendation.

The very real environmental science was dismissed. Subsequent policy was based in fantasy, wishful thinking and the lies of the industry. The timber wars were another example of science on the one hand and industry lies - supported by government - on the other.

The history of climate change denialism since the 1980s has really been the culmination of the attack on environmental science.

It has been based on the production of lies developed by the fossil fuel industry through industry-funded conservative think-tanks, laundered through conservative foundations, spun and repeated by right-wing media outlets, and adopted as ideology by the Republican Party. Its representatives are supported by even more industry and conservative funding of elections, or face opposition from others if they don't comply.

This is, as Riley Dunlap and Aaron McCright have written, a well-funded, highly complex and relatively coordinated denial machine. It includes "contrarian scientists, fossil fuel corporations, conservative think tanks, and various front groups", along with "amateur climate bloggers . . . public relations firms, astroturf groups, conservative media and pundits, and conservative politicians."

The goal is simple and clear: no regulation on industry, and what environmental sociologist Robert Brulle calls the "institutionalization of delay" on climate policy. The tools are simple as well: lies, obfuscation, defamation and the creation of an image of scientific uncertainty.

What is the current state of affairs after 30 years of this climate denial machine?

In the U.S., at least 180 congressional members and senators are declared climate deniers. They've received more than $82 million in campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry and its partners.

This is a long, complicated and well-trod story told, among others, by Naomi Oreskes in Merchants of Doubt, and by Michael Mann in The Madhouse Effect. It has been going on a long time.

The history is important, as a problematic front page story in The New York Times, How GOP Leaders Came To View Climate Change As Fake Science, illustrates. The report includes an explanatory sentence that is jaw-dropping for its misunderstanding and reshaping of the issue:

The Republican Party's fast journey from debating how to combat human-caused climate change to arguing that it does not exist is a story of big political money, Democratic hubris in the Obama years and a partisan chasm that grew over nine years like a crack in the Antarctic shelf, favoring extreme positions and uncompromising rhetoric over cooperation and conciliation.

So it was "big political money" - not the industry, not the Koch brothers' campaign, not an all-out effort to shift public opinion, just "political money." Democratic hubris becomes a central reason for Republicans believing in fake science. The argument is that this was a reaction to President Barack Obama's regulatory approach in his second term, as if denialism didn't exist before 2012.

And then there's the idea that this is a bipartisan problem - of extreme positions and uncompromising rhetoric - rather than one the anti-environmental right created.

Brulle took to Twitter to criticize the story - primarily the short time frame. Clearly, climate obfuscation doesn't start in 2008, when The New York Times story starts. The climate change denial machine has been up and running since at least 1988, 20 years longer than the story suggests.

Brulle was also livid that a story on the social aspects of climate discourse did not cite a single expert. This was despite there being hundreds of peer-reviewed articles and books on the denial machine.

So even the major media refuse to clearly expose the undermining of real environmental science, and the creation of lies and bribes to distort public policymaking. But this work is out there. It's really the thorough work done on the climate denial machine that lays out the methodology of the development of environmental distortions, lies and post-truth discourse.

And, again, this is the core example of the evolution of environmental bullshit: a long history of industry creation of lies; conservative funding of think-tanks, front groups and the echo chamber; the development of an ideological imperative of denialism; and then the necessity of completely groundless bullshit to shore up the lies. It's all there.

This methodology has clearly been used here in Australia. Graham Redfearn, writing for the desmog blog and the Guardian, has done amazing and thorough work on the denial machines in the U.S. and Australia - and their links. In Australia, a clear link exists between climate denialism and the coal industry.

Many on the right, including the current and past prime ministers, parrot the lies and PR language of the industry - energy poverty, coal is cheap, clean coal is possible, 10,000 jobs, etc. It's a tale as old as tobacco, lead, timber wars and DDT. It's as old as industries that know their products do public harm, but lie to keep them in use.

The point here is simply to acknowledge what many have argued about the whole idea of "post-truth" - it's not anything new, but just more of the same.

Environmentalists have long seen the propagation of lies, piles of bullshit, the dismissal of science, and the creation of mythologies as a consistent core of corporate misbehavior - and, unfortunately, conservative ideology.

You can read other pieces in the post-truth series here.

The Democracy Futures series is a joint global initiative between The Conversation and the Sydney Democracy Network. The project aims to stimulate fresh thinking about the many challenges facing democracies in the 21st century.

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David Schlosberg is a professor of environmental politics and the co-director of the Sydney Environment Institute at the University of Sydney. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:09 AM | Permalink

'Obscene': 70 Top Healthcare CEOs Raked in $9.8 Billion Since 2010

While the Senate GOP's plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act has been denounced as potentially devastating to the poor, the sick, women, people of color, children and those with pre-existing conditions, a new analysis published Monday finds that no matter what happens, the CEOs of large healthcare companies are likely to continue living lavishly.

Since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, the "CEOs of 70 of the largest U.S. healthcare companies cumulatively have earned $9.8 billion," according to Axios's Bob Herman.

Herman goes on to add that the CEOs' earnings "far outstrip[ped] the wage growth of nearly all Americans."

"The richest year [for healthcare CEOs] was 2015, when 70 healthcare CEOs collectively made $2 billion," Herman notes. "That was an average of about $28.5 million per CEO and a median of about $17.3 million per CEO. The median household income in 2015 was $56,515, which the average healthcare CEO made in less than a day."

John Martin, former CEO of the pharma giant Gilead Sciences, topped Axios's list: he pulled in $863 million in the "ACA era."

Despite President Donald Trump's repeated insistence that Obamacare has been a "nightmare" and that the entire system is collapsing, Herman observes, "The ACA has not hurt the healthcare industry. Stock prices have boomed, and CEOs took home nearly 11 percent more money on average every year since 2010."

And the Senate GOP's alternative, which Trump has enthusiastically endorsed, would likely be a further boon to industry executives, who would stand to benefit from the bill's massive tax cuts for the wealthy.

Axios's analysis focused on 70 of the largest publicly traded healthcare companies - including some of the largest insurance and pharmaceutical companies - in the United States.

Perhaps the most consequential component of healthcare CEO pay, Herman observes, is the fact that "a gigantic portion of what CEOs make comes in the form of vested stock, and those incentives drive their decision-making."

This means that CEOs are incentivized not to take actions that would benefit the healthcare system overall, but rather to "inflate stock prices" using methods "such as repurchasing shares or issuing dividends to shareholders."

Such moves lead to higher salaries for CEOs, but not to widely shared benefits.

"Stock-heavy pay," Herman concludes, "drives CEOs to do the exact opposite of their buzzword-laden goals of creating a 'patient-centered' health system that focuses on 'value.'"

Some commentators portrayed the analysis as both indicative of the fundamental injustice at the heart of the for-profit insurance model and proof of the need for Medicare for All.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:51 AM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

"Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney on Monday urged Mayor Rahm Emanuel to lift the cap on night games at Wrigley Field to allow the league average of 54 games under the lights," the Sun-Times reports.

"It should be lifted . . . We're one of the few teams that not only has to beat everyone in our division, we also have to beat the city that we play in to try and win games," Kenney said during a live interview on WSCR-AM (670).

"Four times a year I go to the owners' meetings, and the other team presidents and owners watch what's happening in Chicago, and they can't understand it. In those cities, they're getting new ballparks built for them, and they're getting street closures and . . .there's no night game limitations. They look at Chicago and say they just can't understand it . . . At some point we'd love to not be handicapped, as no other team in baseball is by the number of night games you play."

Team presidents and owners in other cities just can't understand it. Why is the city putting so many limits on the Cubs? They can barely compete!

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To be clear, this is the model that Crane Kenney, who lives in Winnetka, and his bosses, the 66th richest family in America, want to follow.

Will someone please relieve them of the neighborhood's oppressive regulatory burdens?!

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This just in:

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"On Monday, Kennedy acknowledged that the Cubs could have held more night games at Wrigley this season if they hadn't chosen to host nine concerts."

Oh.

"I got myself into trouble more than 10 years ago when I said that Elton John was going to help us win baseball games," Kenney said.

"But the truth is, all these revenues go back to the baseball operation. These are really important dollars to us because we don't share them with the league."

So the problem is what, now? Really, I forgot. What's the issue again?

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P.S.: They're even selling the ivy.

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Skip Mariotti
"As the Chicago media corps surrounded the city's most exciting player this month before Monday's Cubs-White Sox game at Wrigley Field, Willson Contreras widened his bleary eyes to adjust to the bright lights of the cameras," David Haugh writes for the Tribune.

"The Cubs catcher better get used to the glare. It only will intensify if Contreras keeps playing like the most valuable member of a team that finally looks familiar. The Cubs' post-All-Star-break surge has been fueled by Will power."

This just in:

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TrackNotes: Lazy Hazy Crazy Dog Days
Four big things just happened on four different ovals. Two of them should have and two of them shouldn't have.

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Healthcare CEOs Raking It In
'Since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, the CEOs of 70 of the largest U.S. healthcare companies cumulatively have earned $9.8 billion.'

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On The Origins Of Environmental Bullshit
'The anti-environmentalist tactic of countering critiques of industrial impacts on the planet with lies, obfuscation and defamation has a long history.'

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Dianogah, Poster Children, Camp Cope, M.O.T.O., Tutu & the Pirates, Roger Waters, Andrew Bird, Acres to Miles, Drive-By Truckers, The Wrecks, Waterparks, All Time Low, The Violin Femmes, Dee Snider, and Big Thief.

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BeachBook

A Timeline Of The Chicago Flying Humanoid Sightings So Far.

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The Media Manipulators Who Poisoned Coverage Of The Dakota Access Pipeline Also Sold Us The Iraq War.

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Mark Clements. See also: Inmates Scream For Help Amid Heat Wave.

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One Of Chicago's Great Record Stores Is Changing.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: See something, say something.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:43 AM | Permalink

July 24, 2017

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Dianogah at Bottom Lounge on Friday night.


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2. Poster Children at Bottom Lounge on Friday night.

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3. Camp Cope at Cobra Lounge on Saturday night.

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4. M.O.T.O. outside the East Room on Sunday.

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5. Tutu & The Pirates outside the East Room on Sunday.

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6. Roger Waters at the West Side arena on Sunday night.

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7. Andrew Bird at Ravinia on Sunday night.

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8. Acres to Miles at the Elbo Room on Thursday night.

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9. Drive-By Truckers at Millennium Park on Thursday night.

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10. The Wrecks at the Aragon on Friday night.

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11. Waterparks at the Aragon on Friday night.

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12. All Time Low at the Aragon on Friday night.

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13. The Violin Femmes at the Arcada in St. Charles on Friday night.

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14. Dee Snider at the Arcada in St. Charles on Saturday night.

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Catching up with . . .

Big Thief at Millennium Park on July 17.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:53 PM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

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About That NYT Trump Interview
"So, yes, the interview made news because the president is nuts, but anyone could put a microphone in front of this guy and get a 'scoop.' We demand, rightly so, more and better from the New York Times."

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The White Sox Report
You say goodbye, you say hello.

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BeachBook

Free Wi-Fi Users Get Pranked.

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Illinois' Nuclear Waste Conundrum.

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Hard Questions For The Company At The Center Of The Opioid Crisis.

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There's Nothing Okay About Kevin Drum's "Disgust" For The Homeless.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Manage your waste.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:22 AM | Permalink

TrackNotes: Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Dog Days

Yes, racing fans, it's that time of year.

The lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are here, with Del Mar, site of this year's Breeders' Cup, opening Wednesday and Saratoga ringing the bell Friday.

Shipwrecked nines across America will be treading water for more than 90 days, waiting for a rescue boat, the S.S. Rebuilding Plan, that will never come. The Cubs still seem to be searching for identity, but therapy takes time. Can the White Sox get caffeinated with some wins over Crane Kenney's North Side Gang? The Bears will soon straddle the bow, bleating for relevance, while we look over their shoulders and watch the iceberg closing in on them. Dog Days, indeed.

In this last number of weeks, four big things happened on four different ovals. Two of them should have and two of them shouldn't have.

Our darling Songbird segued the entire game out of a Triple Crown season to forget and into the boutique meets with wins in the Ogden Phipps on the Belmont Stakes undercard and in the Delaware Handicap on July 15. Both are Grade Is. Those are the two outcomes we expected.

In Saturday's Diana (Grade I, $500,000, fillies and mares three and up, nine furlongs turf) Lady Eli overcame adversity yet again to score the victory by a head.

I thought Irad Ortiz Jr. and Lady Eli should have been disqualified. But as with The Jordan Rules, DQs in races like this, with this horse, just about never happen.

'Eli, spooked by her stablemate Antonoe breaking through the front of the gate, opened her own doors but was restrained by the gate attendant. Antonoe made like the race had started but stopped after 40 yards.

Battling with Quidura in the final eighth, Ortiz and Lady Eli noticeably drifted left to the inside. Ortiz even stuck out his left elbow. Quidura drifted with her, half a length in front of Antonoe, who was trying to shoot through on the rail. Javier Castellano had to pull up Antonoe to avoid disaster and lost all hope of winning, although I don't think he ever would have won. He had the rail but wasn't quick enough to squeeze through. Dems da breaks.

My first thought was DQ. New York Racing Association talking heads, trainer Tom Amoss and former big leaguer Paul Lo Duca immediately cried out "they won't be taking her down in this one!" As if there was no way she deserved it.

Well, that's right. Race stewards are extremely loathe to disqualify horses these days, especially one as prominent as Lady Eli. I get the melodrama. After the 2015 Belmont Oaks, she stepped on a nail walking back to the barn and developed laminitis, an extremely serious and life-threatening hoof condition. Secretariat died from it. Secretariat was also DQ'd at Saratoga when he was two. 'Eli later developed a tendon problem and had to recover from that. The sob sisters love her story.

But Ortiz and the horse drifted left in an extremely subtle manner and although there was little if any untoward contact, Quidura's path was certainly compromised. Lady Eli should have been placed third. Although I can see an argument for second.

We'll have questions and more questions medical and otherwise in the coming days, but the acknowledged greatest horse in the world got beat, badly, Saturday in the San Diego Handicap (Grade II, three-year-olds and up, 1-1/16 mile, $300,000) at Del Mar.

We don't know why, but we do know Arrogate failed to fire, big time, as Accelerate, the son of Lookin At Lucky, appeared to be going forward in his nearly nine-length victory while Arrogate looked like he was going backward.

It seems almost true. After keeping Arrogate in the clear, and last, on the backstretch, Jockey Mike Smith said he had to crack open his grab bag of tricks.

"So I dropped him inside again and cut the corner, then wheeled him outside once more, and tried to get something from him. But he was just flat. He wasn't trying. So I just wrapped up on him and got him home safe. We've got to go back and start over again. Get it back right."

Arrogate hung in there on the backstretch, apparently biding his time. We saw what looked like a big powerful move, but he was really just passing an inferior horse. It looked ripe for the taking, but Arrogate just flattened out badly in the stretch, Smith geared him down and his day was over.

Trainer Bob Baffert was even questioning his own training job. "I think he was just flat," the Hall of Fame trainer said. "I knew coming down here can be tough. Maybe I should have (worked) him (down here). Mike said he was just flat and never in the race did he feel he had any horse . . . I think he just laid an egg."

Was it Arrogate's jet-setting lifestyle? After shattering all the Travers Stakes records last summer, the son of Unbridled's Song gutted out a tough win over California Chrome in the Breeders' Cup Classic, romped in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, and prevailed handily in the Dubai World Cup. It wouldn't be the first time a horse made the trip to Meydan and returned without his edge.

With a combination of shock, disappointment and humility, Baffert was nearly at a loss for words in the post-race TV interview. "I don't know if it was Dubai, he was training well. Same thing happened with Silver Charm (who lost the Stephen Foster and San Diego Handicap after his Dubai win). We run the races. How do you think I got all these white hairs?"

The bridge jumpers were out in full force, loading up the Place and Show pools in anticipation of just this outcome.

Accelerate paid $17.60, $32.60 and $22; Donworth a Del Mar record $119.80 for Place and $67.40 for Show; and Cat Burglar $38.20 for Show.

Baffert said he'll have Arrogate ready for the big Pacific Classic August 19.

"We'll just go on with him. As long as he's working well and nothing comes up, we're going in the Pacific Classic (G1). I wanted to give him a race here, thinking it would be a great workout for him, but the Pacific Classic is the main goal."

Let's hope he's not hurt.

The luxury liners steam on next week with Travers prep day at Saratoga, featuring the Jim Dandy, and the Grade I Bing Crosby out west where the surf meets the turf. On Sunday, it's Haskell Invitational Day at the jewel of the Jersey Coast, Monmouth Park.

I'd advise Chris Christie to stay away, lest he be confused with a certain part of a horse's anatomy. I definitely see the resemblance.

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Tom Chambers is our railbird. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:18 AM | Permalink

Times Change

Goodbye, David Robertson. So long, Todd Frazier. See ya, Tommy Kahnle. (Was it Con-lee or Cain-lee; I was never quite certain.) We hardly knew ye.

Paul Konerko played 16 years for the White Sox. So did Frank Thomas. Mark Buehrle pitched on the South Side for 12 years. Now that Chris Sale (seven seasons) and Jose Quintana (5½) have departed, Avisail Garcia enjoys the greatest longevity as a member of the White Sox, having made his Sox debut on Aug. 9, 2013. Times change.

But this is not extraordinary. We change cellphones, hairstyles, diets, exercise routines, and lots more with great regularity. We change jobs about a dozen times in our working lives, and, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, about one in eight Americans changes residences in a given year. Pity the oblivious guy who doesn't change his clocks twice a year. He shows up either an hour early or late unless he switches time zones.

George Bernard Shaw once said, "Progress is impossible without change. And those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything."

So this revolving door of change with the Chicago American League ballclub is inevitable. This is what progress looks like.

Furthermore, the arrival last Wednesday of Yoan Moncada, an imposing, athletic presence, represents the franchise's future, which has nothing to do right now with wins and losses. Pay no attention to the nine-game losing streak, the 12 losses in the last 13 games, nor the 21 setbacks in the last 28 contests. Means nothing.

Of course, in the days before free agency prior to the players challenging the power of the owners, there was much less movement. The front office was the lone agent of change. Ted Williams played 19 seasons in Boston and appeared in just one World Series. Ernie Banks was with the Cubs a like number of seasons and never played in October. Had either been able to market himself via free agency, a contender would have been offering a lucrative contract - which the thrifty Wrigleys and Yawkeys most likely would not have matched - and an opportunity to play for a winner.

Conversely, from a fan's point of view, there a sense of security and comfort knowing that athletes such as Williams and Banks were fixtures on the Red Sox and Cubs year after year. Sox fans could depend on Fox and Aparicio turning double plays season after season.

Wouldn't the Cardinal tradition be just a bit different if Stan Musial had not spent 22 years in St. Louis? Think of the legacies and footprints that Brooks Robinson (23 years) and Cal Ripken (21) deposited in Baltimore, never having been traded or jumping teams.

Didn't these players' longevity add to the popularity and identity of a franchise while sparking loyalty to the hometown ballclub?

Today only three players, who have played their entire careers with one team, have spent as many as 14 seasons in one place. They are Yadier Molina with the Cardinals, the Mets' David Wright (who's been disabled all season), and Joe Mauer of the Twins. There are only 15 players in the major leagues today who have played 10 or more seasons with the same team for their entire careers.

As kids our favorite player was Minnie Minoso, an electrifying individual who not only had immense talent but played at full speed regardless of the score, inning or where the Sox were in the standings. When he was traded to Cleveland after the 1957 season, I felt as though a best friend had moved away, not an inconsequential emotion for a middle-schooler. I still liked the Sox, but not quite as much. I viewed them - and just maybe life - a tad differently. Sure, it was just baseball. But seeing Minnie in a Cleveland uniform was a sobering and deflating experience. The world was not always kind.

Three years later, even with the benefit of maturation, awareness and a pinch of cynicism, I still was thrilled when the Sox bartered Minoso back. It took him exactly one game - the 1960 Opener - for Minnie to remind us of what we'd been missing. He drove in six runs and hit a couple of homers, the latter a ninth-inning walkoff to sink Kansas City 10-9. Today his photo hangs in our kitchen, an icon from childhood.

In retrospect, this face-of-the-franchise business seemed much more prevalent back in the day because an athlete who occupies this position today could be gone tomorrow, either traded for rebuilding or for a wealthier contract elsewhere.

Don't misunderstand. I'm confident there are 11-year-olds on the North Side and in the suburbs who revere Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant as much as we adored Minoso, Fox, and Aparicio. Rizzo at 27 is the older of the Cub duo, who will host the Sox for two games at Wrigley beginning Monday afternoon before moving to 35th Street on Wednesday. Aside from being fine players, Theo Epstein surely realizes that they also represent the identity of the team. They reinforce the loyalty to Cubdom, as if the franchise needed any more. Chances are good that each will be in Chicago for years to come.

But, as mentioned, this is the aberration. Try identifying similar fixtures in places like San Diego, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Oakland, or, lest we be remiss, the South Side.

Furthermore, fans of all ages are more than willing to accept former villains who wind up on the home team as long as they help the local outfit win games. I was at Wrigley Field a few years ago sitting by the visitors' bullpen as Aroldis Chapman warmed up for the Reds. The abuse he took from a few fans was merciless, ugly and cruel. Those same idiots were cheering for him last postseason.

Bulls' fans considered Dennis Rodman the worst kind of scoundrel when he played for Detroit, but welcomed him with open arms when he was traded here. At least they could have waited 10 or 20 games before embracing him.

The dinosaurs among us know full well that the world is a different place than it was when the White Sox were perennial contenders. Better in some ways and more troubling and alarming in others. While transiency existed decades ago - the flight to the suburbs most prominent - the smaller aspects, like more gigs on our computers, another tattoo, neater apps for our phones, or cars that park themselves, promote change on a daily basis. Most of us, whether we're 15 or 75, can handle it because rapid and constant change is part of our lives.

So in the small sliver of our existence that resides at Sox Park, we'll cringe not at all if Melky Cabrera is dealt away in the next few days. We'll hardly notice if Anthony Swarzak or Dan Jennings can't be found in the bullpen. Say goodbye to James Shields? No problem because the seed has been planted that five to 10 years from now, Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, Michael Kopech and a couple of others will take their place year after year. Just like the old days.

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Former Bill Veeck bar buddy Roger Wallenstein is our White Sox correspondent. He welcomes your comments.

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1. From Patrick Cassidy:

I realize now why so many WSox fans are so bitter, despite having actually been to the Series before the 20th century ended. Although I would have thought it would have cleared up almost completely after 2005 and it for sure did not. It was Minnie being traded. I can understand because I missed him too.

And, though it was a lesser impact on me than Minnie's trade must have been to a Sox fan, I felt bad when Santo and Kessinger went to the Sox. Don't get me wrong, I was glad they stayed in town, but I wanted them to end as Cubs, likewise Billy Williams. By the time Holtzman and Jenkins were peddled, that team I loved was disintegrated anyway and Holtzman did get to a team that won the WS, so those did not bother me that much.

Playing the '59 Series without Minnie, as wonderful as Al Smith was (I did like him as a player), must have been at least a little bittersweet for you.

I hope Wright, Molina and Mauer will be able to end w/ their teams, especially Molina.

I suppose the phenomenon is a consequence of free agency both directly and also secondarily by the burgeoning of salaries since not many guys are willing to do the Dawson thing and sign for a lot less as aged veterans, though now I wonder if taking less money might have kept Buehrle and Zambrano in the game longer - I firmly believe both of them had innings left in them, say 3-5 seasons each by my reckoning.

I don't know what I would have done if Ernie had been traded. I do know that something went out of me when he retired, especially without ever having been to the WS. I have to confess, I have never felt the same about baseball since then. But actually I had already lost a little joy when he had to move to first. He was a decent 1B, but it was just not the same as seeing him glide around the left side, even though the finger-roll with the bat was the same.

I was glad when Minnie came back too. And if Abreu does not end here, I will be disappointed.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:46 AM | Permalink

NYT Trump Interview Makes Waves, But Did Reporters Go Too Easy?

Though an explosive interview with President Donald Trump conducted by the New York Times published Wednesday evening resulted in breaking news bulletins across the media and provided an inside look at Trump's state of mind regarding current events, including health care, some in the journalistic community are expressing disappointment at the lack of substantive questions asked of the president - adding to growing concern about how the press engages with the current White House.

Allowed to ramble on in vague terms about health care policies he appears to know little about, the three interviewers were faulted for not holding Trump to account regarding specific aspects of the various proposals or the ongoing failure of Republicans in the Senate.

The president spoke about his frustration by the recent media coverage of the recent health care legislation which failed after the Republican leadership was unable to secure enough votes from the party, comparing the attempt to pass Trumpcare in the first six months of his term to other attempts to pass health care reform.

He also acknowledged that taking away health insurance from Americans after the Affordable Care Act allowed 20 million more people to obtain coverage was a difficult task. But his explanation of the details of health care policy appeared garbled, and based on excerpts of the interview, the reporters did not ask for clarification.

TRUMP: So pre-existing conditions are a tough deal. Because you are basically saying from the moment the insurance, you're 21 years old, you start working and you're paying $12 a year for insurance, and by the time you're 70, you get a nice plan. Here's something where you walk up and say, "I want my insurance." It's a very tough deal, but it is something that we're doing a good job of.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, NYT: Am I wrong in thinking - I've talked to you a bunch of times about this over the last couple years, but you are generally of the view that people should have health care, right? I mean, I think that you come at it from the view of . . .

TRUMP: Yes, yes.

The published transcript of the interview shows no questions reflecting the disconnect between Trump's supposed view that Americans should have health care and his party's health care proposals, the latest of which would take away coverage from 32 million people over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Dan Froomkin of The Intercept expressed dismay at the lack of pointed questions in the transcript.

Comedian and New York Times columnist John Hodgman also offered a critique, noting that allowing the president to speak at length is not without value, but that Trump should also be forced to go on the record about policy specifics.

The Times interview followed weeks of reporting by media outlets about the Republican health care plan, during which Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway insisted on ABC's This Week that Medicaid cuts were not part of the legislation, and Vice President Mike Pence declared that the bill would "strengthen and secure" Medicaid. Those claims came despite the nonpartisan CBO's statement that the government would spend 772 billion fewer dollars on the program over the next decade under the law.

At Media Matters, Matt Gertz noted that the press may not be able to afford many more squandered chances to directly question the president on his plans for the country.

The failure of the Times to ask the president tough questions about his health care position is all the more important because there have been vanishingly few opportunities for reporters to do so. The president has largely retreated from press scrutiny in recent months. Trump has not held a full press conference since February; he broke with tradition and did not hold one following the G20 meeting earlier this month. His only on-camera interviews in the last two months have been with the pro-Trump propagandists at Fox and, most recently, with The 700 Club's Pat Robertson, who has said the president's critics serve Satan.

When mainstream journalists have had the opportunity to ask Trump to discuss the legislation, they've largely dropped the ball.

Meanwhile, at Wednesday's White House press briefing, independent journalist Ksenija Pavlovic of Pavlovic Today disobeyed the administration's recent regulations for the briefings. Press conferences have been held off-camera since June 29, and recordings of any kind have been prohibited. The White House press corps has generally observed the new rules, but Pavlovic surreptitiously recorded the audio of the briefing and posted it to her Twitter account.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Steve Rhodes:

First, having three reporters participate in an interview is a recipe for disaster. One is sufficient!

Second, reporters need a strategy going into an interview - particularly an interview with the president! Having a list of questions is not the same as a strategy, and there is no indication to me, given the transcript, that there was a strategy. For example, sometimes it's best to focus an interview on a single topic. In this case, it could have been health care! I know it's hard - you want to ask so much! - but it often serves readers/citizens best.

Third, FOLLOW-UP. One of the first things you are supposed to learn in Interviewing 101 is to eschew simply going down your list of questions - waiting for an answer simply so you can ask the next question - and instead, listen to the answer, and follow-up if it's insufficient or unclear. Nearly every Trump answer meets this criteria! Instead, we get a lot of obsequious segues and space-fillers.

For example, instead of "What do you mean that you buy health insurance for $12 when you're young?" we get "You are generally of the view that people should have health care, right?" There is so much wrong with that "question," including the fact that even those elected officials who want to take health care away from millions of people believe that people should have it - if they "work hard enough" to deserve it! It's a question that offers the subject an escape route instead of a question that presses the subject and tightens the focus in a way that doesn't allow a subject to get away with waving off questions with broad, nonsensical proclamations.

So, yes, the interview made news because the president is nuts, but anyone could put a microphone in front of this guy and get a "scoop." We demand, rightly so, more and better from the New York Times.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:20 AM | Permalink

July 23, 2017

The Weekend Desk Report

For completists, there was no column on Friday.

The Pokemon Go Fest In Chicago On Saturday Was A Disaster.

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Beachwood Photo Booth
Chicago Daisies.

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Beachwood Radio Sports Hour
The White Sox are not the Cubs. Unlike the North Siders, the South Siders haven't revamped their whole organization - and Kenny Williams still lurks. Plus: Are The Cubs Back?; Hahn's Stockpile; The Ignominous Return Of Jay Cutler; and Schweinsteiger!

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Last In Line, Lake Street Dive, Aaron & Andrew & Dan, and Billy Changer.

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Weekend BeachBook

How Hospitals Got Richer Off Obamacare.

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A Whistleblower Plays By The Rules At The CIA, And Finds "Nothing Gets Done."

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Study Finds Detroit's Foreclosure Crisis Fueled By Illegal Tax Assessments.

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Abuses Hide In The Silences Of Nondisparagement Agreements.

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Breaking The Back Of Hazelwood: A Press Lawyer's Decade-Long Campaign.

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How Fake Cops Got $1.2 Million In Real Weapons.

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8 Can't-Miss, Quirky Wisconsin Festivals.

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The Cubs' New Team Celebration Is Lame As Hell.

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Weekend TweetWood
A sampling.

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A huge, continuing problem for journalism.

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Maybe he called Arne Duncan and had him do the "interview."

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Keep on troncin'.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:46 AM | Permalink

July 22, 2017

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #162: The White Sox Are Not The Cubs

Unlike the North Siders, the South Siders haven't revamped their whole organization - and Kenny Williams still lurks. Plus: Are The Cubs Back?; Hahn's Stockpile; The Ignominous Return Of Jay Cutler; and Schweinsteiger!


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SHOW NOTES

* 162.

1:09: Hahn's Stockpile.

* What To Know About New White Sox Prospect Blake Rutherford.

* Tito Polo.

* Jose Abreu is 30.

* Wallenstein: Meet Your 2020 White Sox.

* Is It Time To Call Up Reynaldo Lopez?

* James Shields Is Awful.

* Fernando Tatis Jr.

* Yoan Moncada's First Hit With The White Sox: A Bases-Loaded Triple.

* Kopech Dominant In Career-High Eight Frames.

* Buddy Bell.

* Ricky Rentamanager.

* The Colorado Rockies And Coors Field: A Tale Of Struggles, Homers And Acceptance.

We might be talking about the same article! I'm guessing I saw it online and Jim saw it later in print, heh-heh.

Screen Shot 2017-07-22 at 2.56.27 PM.png

* The White Sox unleashed Rick Hahn, but the Cubs revamped from top to bottom.

* Morrissey: Rick Hahn Is Very, Very Busy Proving His Baseball Smarts.

* Hoge:

* And:

* The Houston Astros' general manager is Jeff Luhnow, who I was gonna say, but then I thought maybe he was one of the guys who got caught in that hacking scandal. He did come from the Cardinals.

33:12: Are The Cubs Back?

* Willson Contreras is:

* Cubs Interested In Avila and Lucroy.

* #IStandWithMiggy!

* Who does John Lackey think he is?

* Hector Rondon is Rondone.

* Justin Grimm is Grimmdone.

* Royals Demote Jorge Soler.

* Szczur Goes 4 For 5 And A HR Short Of Cycle To Lead Padres To Win.

* Szczur is only hitting .228 in 114 at-bats this year, but his OBP is .360.

* K'mon, Kris.

* And then they sent him back to Iowa.

* Cubs' schedule.

58:36: Jay Cutler To Suit Up For Bears' Season Opener - For Fox.

1:01:36: Schweinsteiger!

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End Note

shownote.jpg

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STOPPAGE: 5:18

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For archives and other Beachwood shows, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:30 PM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

Pitchfork hangover.

1. Last In Line at the Arcada in St. Charles on Wednesday night.


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2. Lake Street Dive at Thalia Hall on Thursday night.

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3. Aaron, Andrew and Dan at Myopic on Monday night.

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Catching up with . . .

Billy Changer at Subterranean on July 15.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:24 PM | Permalink

July 21, 2017

Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Daisies

daisyweedscurbbottlelogan.jpg (ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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Listen to Helene talk about Photo Booth; starts at 57:54.

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Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fantasy Hair Design.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Garage.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Clark Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pole Position.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Geometry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Found Love.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fill In The Blank.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vacuums Of The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dumpster Still Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wagon Master.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Intersecting West Rogers Park.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Antiques.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cow Patrol.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Backstage Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skully Bungalow.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Francisco Frankenstein.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Long Cool Heat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Smokers' Mast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Big Fat Phone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Happy Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alley Men.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Show!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You've Got Mailbox.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Broken Window Theory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dali Logan.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Svengoolie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Horner Park Hot Dogs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cubs Rehab.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 20th Century Schizoid Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Men On Vans.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Is Done.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snowy Lincoln.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Waiting Room.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Avondale Chicken.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Winter's End.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Friendly Skies.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boyhood Buzzer Beater.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: J Date.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: International Window Lady.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Shanghai Inn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Open For Business.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Andersonville Unplugged.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 3-Flat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Turkey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicagolandia.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Eat At Odge's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deitch Pharmacy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sud-Z Bubble.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bands Wanted!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Belmont Tavern.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Superheroic San Luis Freeze.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Oasis.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lyndale Food & Jewelry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Book Window.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alco Dude.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ballin Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Don't Worry, Be Cookie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Four Trey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Office.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America From Inside The Golden Nugget In Ravenswood.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cellphone Repair.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boots 'N' Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunrise Strip.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: At The Corner Of Glad And Happy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Uptown Autumn Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mid-Century Modern Halloween.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Autumn Station Wagon.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Betty's & Nick's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ohio House Impact.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: End School Zone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Portage Park Peek-A-Boo.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: South Side Sundown.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Susie's Drive-Thru.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Ham.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Food & Liquor, Milhouse.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Hare Blue Line Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Schwing!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ad Deluxe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jesus At The Drive-In.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Tanks Of Avondale.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Conveyance Belt.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Esquire In The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nick's Meat Market.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Keep Havin A Good Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Knock Knock.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Man At Marie's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonneville.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Logan Bags.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Stairwell.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Velvet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Court Is In Session.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: DLER ALKY.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Railyards Rush Hour.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop Killing People.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 1.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Greystone Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You Are Beautiful.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Auto Part Overlords.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bearground.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 2.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skyway Sculpture.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Dome Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hello, St. Joe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Revolution Books.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Driveway.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Proceed To Checkout.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Summer Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Daily Double.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Are Moving.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 3.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunny Day Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ashland & Pawn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Party Store.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Donuts.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: AAA Sales.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Rule.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Butcher Boy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Endorsement.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: I Voted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pink(ish) Cadillac.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stuffed With Sadness.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Air.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Economy Heating.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Season's Greetings.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Housemates.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Have Fresh Goat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartcam.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gaslight.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Urban Wheat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Embassy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln's Cozy Corner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Glory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bowling Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Red Lion, Red Hots.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Sitting.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Jukebox Is Not A Democracy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Descending Darkly.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Handicapped Milk Jug Zone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gumball Express.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicken Run.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wyoming, Michigan.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bus Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Manzana.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Don't Look Back.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mail Call.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gas Pump No. 8.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Photo Shoot.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flotos' Gifts.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Shelf Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: S&M Carpets.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Elvis At The Golden Nugget.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wunder's.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:10 AM | Permalink

July 20, 2017

Explaining The Rise In Hate Crimes Against Muslims In The U.S.

Hate crimes against Muslims have been on the rise. The murder of two samaritans for aiding two young women who were facing a barrage of anti-Muslim slurs on a Portland train is among the latest examples of brazen acts of anti-Islamic hatred.

Earlier in 2017, a mosque in Victoria, Texas was burned to the ground by an alleged anti-Muslim bigot.

And just last year, members of a small extremist group called "The Crusaders" plotted a bombing "bloodbath" at a residential housing complex for Somali-Muslim immigrants in Garden City, Kansas.

I have analyzed hate crime for two decades at California State University-San Bernardino's Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. And I have found that the rhetoric politicians use after terrorist attacks is correlated closely to sharp increases and decreases in hate crimes.

Hate Crimes Post-9/11

Since 1992 (following the promulgation of the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990), the FBI has annually tabulated hate crime data voluntarily submitted from state and territorial reporting agencies. A "hate crime" is defined as a criminal offense motivated by either race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.

According to the FBI's data, hate crimes against Muslims reported to police surged immediately following the terror attacks of 9/11. There were 481 crimes reported against Muslims in 2001, up from 28 the year before. However, from 2002 until 2014, the number of anti-Muslim crimes receded to a numerical range between 105 to 160 annually. This number was still several times higher than their pre-9/11 levels.

It should be noted that other government data, such as the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which relies on almost 200,000 residential crime surveys, as opposed to police reports, show severe official undercounting of hate crime. These studies, based on respondents' answers to researchers, indicate a far higher annual average of hate crime - 250,000 nationally - with over half stating that they never reported such offenses to police.

FBI data show that in 2015 there were 257 hate crimes against Muslims - the highest level since 2001 and a surge of 67 percent over the previous year.

As I noted in a prepared statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee in May 2017, this was the second-highest number of anti-Muslim hate crimes since FBI record-keeping began in 1992. Not only did anti-Muslim crime cases rise numerically in 2015, they also grew as a percentage of all hate crime. They now account for 4.4 percent of all reported hate crime even though Muslims are estimated to be only 1 percent of the population.

When Do The Spikes Happen?

At our center, we analyzed even more recent disturbing trends related to hate crimes. Based on the latest available police data for 2016 from 25 of the nation's largest cities and counties, we found a 6 percent increase in all hate crimes, with over half of the places at a multi-year high. In particular, hate crimes against Muslims had increased in six of the seven places that provided more detailed breakdowns.

We also observed a spike in such crime following certain events.

In 2015, for example, we found 45 incidents of anti-Muslim crime in the United States in the four weeks following the November 13 Paris terror attack.

Just under half of these occurred after December 2, when the San Bernardino terror attack took place. Of those, 15 took place in the five days following then-candidate Donald Trump's proposal of December 7, seeking to indefinitely ban all Muslims from entering the United States.

In contrast, as I observed in my prepared statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee, after an initial sharp spike following the 9/11 attacks, sociologist James Nolan and I found that there was a drop in hate crimes after President George W. Bush delivered a speech promoting tolerance on Sept. 17, 2001.

Other groups too, have found similar spikes in anti-Muslim hatred: The Southern Poverty Law Center, for example, noted that from the month of the presidential election, through Dec. 12, 2016, there was a spike in hate "incidents" against many minority groups. The SPLC found that the third most frequently targeted group after immigrants and African Americans were Muslims. And just this month the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group, reported 72 instances of "harassment" and 69 hate crimes that had occurred between April and June 2017.

Fear Of Muslims

Prejudicial stereotypes that broadly paint Muslims in a negative light are quite pervasive.

From 2002 to 2014, the number of respondents who stated that Islam was more likely to encourage violence doubled from 25 percent to 50 percent, according to Pew research. A June 2016 Reuters/Ipsos online poll found that 37 percent of Americans had a somewhat or very unfavorable view of Islam, topped only by antipathy for atheism at 38 percent.

The latest polls also show how Muslims are feared and distrusted as a group in America. While most Americans do not believe that Muslims living in the U.S. support extremism, these views vary widely by age, level of education and partisan affiliation: Almost half of those 65 and older believe that Muslims in America support extremism, whereas only few college-educated adults do so.

Interestingly, current polls also show that when people personally know someone who is a Muslim, the bias is much less. This confirms what psychology scholar Gordon Allport concludes in his seminal book, The Nature of Prejudice - that meaningful contact with those who are different is crucial for reducing hatred.

Indeed, before we can truly say "love thy neighbor(s)," we need to know and understand them.

Brian Levin is a criminal justice professor and director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University San Bernardino. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Previously:
* Why Are Hate Crime Statistics So Poorly Tracked?

* What The U.S. Can Learn About Hate Crimes From The UK.

* Report: U.S. Anti-Muslim Bias Incidents Increased In 2016.

* What We Know - And Don't Know - About Hate Crimes In America

-

Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:03 AM | Permalink

The [Thursday] Papers

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"Chicago" by Groove Armada.

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Frame of the new Andersonville water tower

A post shared by Robert Loerzel (@robertloerzel) on

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Explaining The Rise In Hate Crimes Against Muslims In The U.S.
Hint: It's you-know-who's fault.

-

BeachBook

It's Not The Avocado Toast: Federal Reserve Finds Student Debt Reducing Millennial Home Ownership.

*

My Jobs Was To Get People Drunk.

*

Promoting Property Tax Fantasies.

-

The Beachwood Tronc Line: Fantastical.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:30 AM | Permalink

July 19, 2017

The [Wednesday] Papers


Jimmy Karryt at the Homer Opera House #wrestling #drama #street #streetphotography

A post shared by @gboozell on


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Chicago in Harajuku.

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Illinois Man Teaches Dog To Whisper Bark.

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Goodnight Chicago.

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PJ Harvey Wins Pitchfork
The undisputed champ. Plus: A Tribe Called Quest, Solange, Derrick Carter, Cherry Glazerr, Priests, Mitski, Jeff Rosenstock, Ride, Colin Stetson, LCD Soundsystem, NE-HI, The Feelies, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Arab Strap, Dawn Richard, Frankie Cosmos, Angel Olsen, The Thurston Moore Band, Dirty Projectors, Madlib, Arca, Nicolas Jaar, and Kilo Kish.

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BeachBook

The Rideshare Lawyers.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Tronc o' line.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:03 AM | Permalink

Pitchfork 2017

Highlights.

1. PJ Harvey on Saturday night.

Nelson/Reader: PJ Harvey Played The Set Of A Lifetime.

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2. A Tribe Called Quest on Saturday night.

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3. Solange on Sunday night.

Breihan/Stereogum: Solange Closes Out Pitchfork Festival With A Dazzling, Moving Vision Of A Set.

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4. Derrick Carter on Sunday.

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5. Cherry Glazerr on Saturday.

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6. Priests on Friday.

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7. Mitski on Saturday.

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8. Jeff Rosenstock on Saturday.

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9. Ride on Sunday.

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10. Colin Stetson on Sunday.

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11. LCD Soundsystem on Friday night.



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12. NE-HI on Sunday.

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13. The Feelies on Saturday.

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14. George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic on Saturday night.

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15. Arab Strap on Saturday.

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16. Dawn Richard on Friday.

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17. Frankie Cosmos on Friday.

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18. Angel Olsen on Saturday night.

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19. The Thurston Moore Band on Friday.

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20. Dirty Projectors on Friday night.

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21. Madlib on Saturday.

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22. Arca on Friday.

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23. Nicolas Jaar on Sunday night.

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24. Kilo Kish on Sunday.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:54 AM | Permalink

July 18, 2017

The [Tuesday] Papers

"Kennedy raised just $700K in second quarter, spent almost all of it," Rich Miller notes at CapFax.

What caught my eye even more than that, though, was this - Bill Daley joining the campaign as finance chair.

Just the latest example of the dissonance of a campaign weirdly selling itself as anti-Machine and anti-money.

To which I echo this sentiment:

*

And repeat this observation:

*

Oh, in case you forgot: Bill Daley was Barack Obama's second chief of staff. His first was Rahm Emanuel.

*

Btw, don't sleep on Dan Biss.

*

Meanwhile, in Raunerville . . .

"Gov. Bruce Rauner's trusted policy chief kicked off another week of tumult in the administration on Monday, becoming the latest high-level staffer to leave the governor's staff under protest," the Sun-Times reports.

"And signaling that the turmoil is far from over, another five senior staff members quickly followed Mike Mahoney out the door before the day was over.

"A new hire - a hand-picked assistant whose first day on the job was Monday - was also fired based on homophobic and racially insensitive tweets.

"That brings the total administration exits since last week to at least 20."

Make no mistake, this is unprecedented. Rauner is blowing up his staff and taking a hard turn to the right.

"The resignations on the administration's policy, digital and communications team, were a way to protest the new ideology, sources said."

*

Here's what really caught my eye:

While many are still scratching their heads over the takeover, a source with close knowledge of the governor's administration said the uproar was sparked by the Rauners' "unhealthy obsession with media and messaging" and by discussions Rauner and his wife had at "North Shore cocktail parties."

An unhealthy obsession with media and messaging is very Blagojevich, except that Rauner is very, very good at it. Unfortunately, he hasn't learned that messaging doesn't translate into governing. In other words, Rauner has a terrific brand manager but a terrible CEO.

*

"And of the First Lady: 'I think her footprint on decision-making, on his decision-making, is larger than most believe,' the source said."

You mean she's not the Democratic moderating force we were (disingenuously) sold on?

*

"Asked about the shakeup on Friday, Rauner said it was 'baloney' to link the staff shakeup to the budget showdown.

"I don't know where all this baloney comes from," the governor said when a reporter raised the question. "We should focus on what's right for the people of Illinois. We are always trying to recruit and retain the best people in America to serve the people of Illinois. "That's all that matters."

He doesn't know where the baloney comes from. Which is baloney.

*

P.S.: Has Diana ever been asked about how their daughter got into Payton? She's fair game, you know.

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The (Non-Pitchfork) Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Deeper, Cherry Glazerr, Tenement, Primitive Teeth, Liquids, Your Pest Band, Princess Nokia, Palaye Royale, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie, Megadeth, Slayer, Circles Around the Sun, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Blair Crimmins and the Hookers, Meshuggah, Matthew Sweet, The Aquabats, Seether, Caravan Palace, KISS, Stone Sour, Korn, Phish, OneRepublic, Woods, Ethers, Dianetics, and Chicago.

Pitchfork coverage is in pre-production.

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Made In Chicago: Roller Derby Inspires World Celebration
Athletes from across the Midwest will launch World Roller Derby Week on August 13th on the 82nd anniversary of Chicagoan Leo Seltzer presenting his creation, Roller Derby, at the Chicago Coliseum in 1935.

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The Land After Frac Sand
In Wisconsin, reclaimed mine sites have become farmland, pasture or forested wildlife habitat.

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BeachBook

Buena Park To Haymarket Books: We Don't Want You Here.

*

Statue Of Liberty Made From Bombed Rubble Of Aleppo, By Syrian Artist Tammam Azzam.

*

Vegan Queen Karyn Calabrese Shutters Last Restaurant.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

*

And yet, her boss stands by her story. Assignment Desk, activate!

*

Who is the chump they targeted, I wonder . . .

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Shop 'til you drop.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:56 AM | Permalink

Made In Chicago: Roller Derby Inspires World Celebration

Athletes from across the Midwest will launch World Roller Derby Week on August 13th on the 82nd anniversary of Chicagoan Leo Seltzer presenting his creation, Roller Derby, at the Chicago Coliseum in 1935.

Roller Derby Chicago debut 1935 .jpg

The inaugural World Roller Derby Week will include a public birthday celebration, a retro roller derby game played with the rules and uniforms of the 1970s, and a donor pledge campaign for a national roller derby blood drive.

One of only three major sports invented in the United States, roller derby has inspired generations of athletes and fans. Currently, almost 2,000 women's, men's and junior leagues are skating, competing and giving back to their communities worldwide.

"We want to look back at our roots, pay respect to its founding members and to the city of Chicago, to celebrate our beginnings and progress, and give back to the community through service," said Cheryl Cryer, organizer of World Roller Derby Week. "The roller derby story should be shared broadly as we look to our future in our juniors, who will no doubt carry us further than we could ever imagine."

The kickoff event for World Roller Derby Week will be a public Roller Derby birthday event August 13 from 12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. at the place where the sport was invented, Coliseum Park, 1513 South Wabash.

Athletes from roller derby organizations across Chicagoland will be invited to skate in uniform, while junior skaters will serve birthday cake. Donor registrations for "First Blood," a roller derby themed blood drive will be part of the celebration.

A commemorative roller derby doubleheader game played under the 1970s rules and in the classic uniforms of the Midwest Pioneers and the Chicago Westerners, and a Junior Roller Derby game under the most modern rules will be the highlight of the August 13 celebration, from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. at Fleetwood Roller Rink, 7231 W Archer Ave, Summit, Illinois.

A limited number of tickets are available online.

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See also:

The Chicago Westerners vs. The Washington-Baltimore Pan Jets, 1951.

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Tribune: Roller Derby's Golden Years.

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More than 50,000 at Comiskey Park in 1972.

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Roller Derby's Golden Girl, Joan Weston.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:06 AM | Permalink

The Life Of Land After Frac Sand

Since the late 2000s, growth in hydraulic fracturing has created a new demand for sand deposits around western Wisconsin. Of highest value is hard, fine-grained sand perfect for cracking underground rock formations that hold oil and natural gas. But beyond the short-term economic ups and downs that come with any activity tied to the energy industry, what happens over the long run at the sites where frac sand is mined?

uplace-geology-fracsand-reclamation.jpgCarol Mitchell/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Barron County sits at the northern end of western Wisconsin's frac sand belt. The frac sand boom began to make its mark there between 2008 and 2010, before slowing down a bit in 2016. A variety of operations in the county mine for frac sand - a form of industrial sand called proppant in energy-industry parlance - or for sands and gravels used for other purposes, like road construction.

State, county and local governments that regulate frac sand and other operations categorize them as "non-metallic mining." Officials are not just concerned with what happens while a mine is actively extracting resources, but also with how operators recondition the land when things wind down. The process is called reclamation, and is intended to prepare the site of a non-metallic mine for whatever use may come next.

Bronson Thalacker is a technician and specialist with the Barron County Soil and Water Conservation Department. He monitors non-metallic mines to make sure their operators comply with the Barron County Non-Metallic Mining Ordinance and the rules in chapter 135 of regulations enforced by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Thalacker outlined the reclamation process for non-metallic mine sites in a July 31, 2015 presentation at the Barron Area Community Center in Barron. His talk was recorded for Wisconsin Public Television's University Place.

Thalacker detailed where reclamation fits into the overall process of permitting and regulating mines, what regulators look for in a successful reclamation project, and even some of the finer points of reshaping a well-used plot of land, like drainage and bringing in new soil. As detailed in a DNR map of industrial sand mines and processing plants, as of May 2016 only mining sites in the state had completed reclamation or were in the final stages of the process.

While reclamation is still a fairly new process, Thalacker did discuss how some former sand- and gravel-mining sites in Barron County were converted to other uses.

*

Key Facts

  • Non-metallic mining is defined as extracting stone, sand, rock or similar material from natural deposits, and has been conducted in Wisconsin for more than a century.
  • As of July 2015, Barron County had 67 sand-and-gravel mining operations, covering 1,993 permitted acres, 790 of which were being actively mined. It had fewer frac-sand operations - 17 - but those covered more land, with 4,648 permitted acres, of which 1,038 were being actively mined.
  • The DNR's current regulations covering sand mining were adopted in 2000, well before the ongoing frac-sand boom.
  • To secure state and county permission to operate a non-metallic mine, operators must have a reclamation permit. To get such a permit, they must have a reclamation plan. These plans tend to be extensive and have detailed information on the mining site and its geology, its historical background and existing structures, and endangered species living in the area. Reclamation plans must define goals in quantifiable terms, like plant density or diversity, or agricultural productivity.
  • The goal of reclamation is make the land usable again for some purpose. The process involves removing refuse, grading the site (that is, changing its topography with bulldozers and dirt trucked in from elsewhere), stabilizing soil conditions, reestablishing vegetative cover, controlling surface water and groundwater, preventing environmental damage and if practical, restoring plant, fish and wildlife habitat.
  • In Barron County, reclaimed mine sites have become farmland, pasture or forested wildlife habitat. So far, the area hasn't seen a lot of post-mining land use plans that involve golf courses or recreational lakes. One particular mining site in the county is to be converted to a dry northern forest with trees like jack pine and pin oak. Another sand-and-gravel site was converted into a mix of farmland for alfalfa and grassland wildlife habitat.
  • Barron County has some local authority over non-metallic mines - including the ability to shut them down or fine operators under certain circumstances - but the DNR's regulatory authority is still paramount, and the county submits an annual mining report to the agency.

Key Quotes

  • On the importance of getting reclamation right, for both mine operators and regulators: "Once you certify successful completion, you can't go back."
  • On the importance of vegetation to the reclamation process: "We really like to see things green up. Need to get those roots down into the soil and stabilize everything to prevent it from washing out."
  • On why county officials make mine operators submit "financial assurance" (essentially a deposit) to cover the cost of a reclamation project. "If the operator chose to walk away from the mine site, this is Barron County's security blanket."
  • If a mining site goes beyond its permitted borders: "In this situation, Barron County has the authority to shut the operation down and issue a citation."

This post was originally published on WisContext, which produced the article in a partnership between Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and Cooperative Extension.

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Previously in Wisconsin:

* Wisconsin Cheese Production Continues To Grow.

* Wisconsin's Specialty Cheesemakers May Be Better Off Than Other States.

* Tips For Growing Blueberries In Wisconsin.

* Amid A Boom, Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Look To Future Markets.

* The Top 10 Wisconsin Insect Trends Of 2016.

* Wisconsin's Penokees Are A Geologic Gem.

* Wisconsin Researchers Aim To Make Cows Happier.

* Wisconsin And The Extinction Of The Passenger Pigeon.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:17 AM | Permalink

July 17, 2017

The [Monday] Papers

The best laid plains of mice and men are about equal.

- old Minnesota Daily public service announcement

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White Sox 2020
Meet the future.

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The Crucial Role Of Medicaid
'Both the American Health Care Act and the Trump budget would be truly devastating.'

*

Lives are literally on the line, people. (As they have been during the Illinois budget impasse. Imagine that. People dying because of this.)

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Reminder: U.S. Health Care System Is Awful
"The report's conclusion echoes those of previous studies, which have indicated that despite spending far more on health care than other advanced nations, the U.S. continues to lag behind in a variety of measures, from infant mortality rate to overall life expectancy."

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Trump's True Believers
What Eric Hoffer knew 65 years ago.

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Wisconsin & The Passenger Pigeon
"An avian blizzard in central Wisconsin in 1871 made for a spectacle the likes of which would never be seen again . . . "

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24 Hours With Velocity
Graveyards, junkyards and dreamyards.

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Is in pre-production.

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BeachBook

The Passion Of Liu Xiaobo.

*

Kelan Philip Cochran, A Musician Who Invigorated Chicago With Education And Activism, Dies At 90.

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How This Reporter Dug Up The World Bank's Biggest Secret.

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Walgreens Pays Chicago Couple $75K For Losing Their Home Movies.

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Who We Are: Operation Wetback.

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The [Homeless] Problem Is You.

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The Toll Of Rape Choreography.

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State Of Last Resort: Thousands Come To Illinois For Abortions.

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Beachwood Pledge Drive

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Today In Conservative Media Where John Kass Takes His "News" From: Maybe Hillary Was Behind Donald Trump Jr.'s Russian Meeting!

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The Return Of Dr. Katz!

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Memo Shows What Major Donors Like Goldeman Sachs Want From The Democratic Party

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With A Single Warrant, The U.S. Listened In On 3.3 Million Phone Calls.

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The Cost Of Mosul.

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Warren Buffett's Son Trying To Save Decatur.

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Newly Released E-Mails Show Scope Of Racism, Sexism In Chicago Water Department.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

Former Chicagoan Ken Kurson.

*

*

Good job, everybody.

*

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: SuperFunk it.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:15 AM | Permalink

The (Non-Pitchfork) Weekend In Chicago Rock

Pitchfork coverage sold separately, though a couple aftershows at other venues are included here.

1. Deeper at Schubas on Saturday night.


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2. Cherry Glazerr at Schubas on Friday night.

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3. Primitive Teeth at Albion House on Saturday night.

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4. Tenement at Albion House on Saturday night.

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5. Liquids at Albion House on Saturday night.

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6. Your Pest Band at Albion House on Saturday night.

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7. Princess Nokia at Bottom Lounge on Friday night.

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8. Palaye Royale at Subterranean on Thursday night.

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9. Ozzy Osbourne at the Open Air festival in Bridgeview on Sunday night.

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10. Rob Zombie at Open Air on Friday night.

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11. Megadeth at Open Air on Friday night.

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12. Circles Around the Sun at the Concord on Sunday night.

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13. Karl Denson's Tiny Universe at the Concord on Friday night.

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14. Blair Crimmins and the Hookers at Beat Kitchen on Thursday night.

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15. Meshuggah at Open Air on Friday night.

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16. Matthew Sweet at City Winery on Friday night.

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17. The Aquabats at House of Blues on Friday night.

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18. Slayer at Open Air on Sunday night.

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19. Seether at Open Air on Saturday night.

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20. Caravan Place at House of Blues on Saturday night.

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21. KISS at Open Air on Friday night.

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22. Stone Sour at Open Air on Sunday night.

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23. Korn at Open Air on Saturday night.

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24. Phish on Northerly Island on Sunday night.

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25. OneRepublic at Ravinia on Thursday night.

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Catching up with . . .

Woods at the Empty Bottle on July 10.

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Ethers at the Empty Bottle on July 9.

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Dianetics at the Empty Bottle on July 9.

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Chicago on Northerly Island on July 12.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:49 AM | Permalink

Meet 2020

Your attention! Your attention, please. Have your pencils and scorecards ready for today's 2020 starting lineup. Let's glance into the future by looking at a hypothetical cast of White Sox and how they're performing today.

In center field, we have Luis Robert. Playing in the Dominican Summer League, the soon-to-be 20-year-old Cuban prospect, who signed in May with the Sox for an astounding $26 million, is slashing .255/.479/.872. He's hit one homer, but more importantly, the kid has walked 17 times while striking out just 14. MLB Pipeline says, "[Robert] pairs electrifying bat speed that should translate into considerable power with well above-average speed."

In left field is Eloy Jimenez, the newest member of the organization, being the centerpiece of the Jose Quintana trade. Jimenez, 20, switched clubhouses the other night from the Cubs' Myrtle Beach farm club to the Sox' Winston-Salem in the Carolina League. He wound up getting the game-deciding hit against his former mates. Last season in A-ball, Jimenez hit .329 with 14 homers and 81 RBI. He's hitting .271 this season with an OBP of .355. Says Fangraphs, " . . . he's going to have elite power in his mid-20s and there's solid feel for contact here, too."

Micker Adolfo in right field. The Dominican was signed by the Sox as a 16-year-old in 2013 and slowly has made his way to Kannapolis in the Single-A South Atlantic League where he's slashing .281/.342/.829 with 12 home runs and 51 RBI. MLB Pipeline says Adolfo has "as much raw power as any White Sox prospect," and "his arm strength is just as jaw-dropping as his power." Only problem is making contact. Adolfo has fanned 99 times this season in 306 at-bats.

Jose Abreu at first base will be 33 in 2020 and should be the elder statesman of the ballclub. A .298 lifetime hitter, Abreu is on his way to his fourth straight season with 100 RBI. He not only has earned the respect of the Latin players, but everyone in the clubhouse recognizes his work ethic and team-first character. He can't become a free agent until 2020. Barring injury - and Abreu has proven durability - the Sox should make every effort to re-sign him.

At second base, Yoan Moncada. This is our guy. Originally signed for $31.5 million by the Red Sox, the presence of Justin Pedroia made Moncada expendable in the Chris Sale deal. He's 22, 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, and "a switch-hitter with tremendous bat speed," according to MLB Pipeline. Moncada has clubbed 12 homers at Charlotte this season with 36 RBI. His slash is .287/.382/.838. He's improving defensively and, oh yes, he's stolen 17 bases. The Sox are being exceptionally patient with Moncada, but we might see him on the South Side come September.

At shortstop, we have Tim Anderson, or maybe Yolmer Sanchez, or even Tyler Saladino. Anderson signed a contract extension last March worth $25 million for someone with less than one year of big league experience, indicating that he will be the Sox shortstop of the future. However, Anderson has stumbled this season with an MLB-leading 21 errors. After hitting .283 a year ago, his average has dropped to .241 so far this season, and he rarely walks.

Meanwhile, Sanchez, who signed with the Sox in 2009 when he was 17, has played a decent amount of shortstop in the minor leagues and never made more than 13 errors in a season at any level. Playing mostly second base this year, Sanchez has been charged with just four miscues, and he's hitting .260 but a paltry .225 in June and July. Saladino primarily played shortstop in five minor league seasons.

This June's top Sox draft choice, 11th overall, third baseman Jake Burger, 21, has begun his career at Kannapolis, where he's 9-for-28 (.321) with a homer and a couple of doubles. A product of Missouri State, Burger signed for $3.7 million after hitting 22 homers and driving in 65 runs his junior year. "He has a great mix of power and discipline at the plate," gushed general manager Rick Hahn, introducing Burger when Jake signed on.

Behind the plate is Zach Collins, a product of the University of Miami (FL) and the Sox first-rounder in 2016. His .216 batting average this season at Winston-Salem is a bit misleading - his on-base percentage is .366, and he's slammed 12 home runs. The ninth-ranked prospect in the system, " . . . [is] extremely patient and isn't afraid to work deep counts while waiting for a pitch to drive, so he should produce solid batting averages and high on-base percentages to go with his pop," according to MLB Pipeline.

Championships are built on pitching, and the White Sox seem to have a stable of prospects from which to choose. Perhaps the most intriguing is Michael Kopech, 21, who was part of the Chris Sale deal with Boston. The kid is a fireballer whose fastball frequently has been clocked north of the century mark. At Double-A Birmingham this season, he's whiffed 106 batters in 84-plus innings while giving up just 60 hits. But he's also walked 55 hitters while trying to develop his off-speed stuff which actually is in the low 90s. All this for a starting pitcher! Stay tuned.

Lucas Giolito, who came over from the Nationals in the Adam Eaton swap, appeared in six big-league games last season without much success. Nevertheless, the 23-year-old's credentials are noteworthy - "When he's on, Giolito shows stuff that most pitchers can only dream of." (MLB Pipeline) - even though he's struggled a bit this season at Triple-A Charlotte, where he's 3-8 with a 5.00 ERA.

Charlotte's top pitcher is Reynaldo Lopez, who, like Giolito, had major league experience last season in Washington (5-3 record, 4.91 ERA in 44 innings). Spending the year so far at Triple-A, the 23-year-old Lopez is 6-5 with a 3.78 ERA. His WHIP is a creditable 1.27, and the Dominican product averages a strikeout per inning. Look for him to be a September call-up if not before.

Another pitcher plucked from the Nationals is righthander Dane Dunning, 22, who was drafted out of the University of Florida in the first round (29th overall) last year. After four games at Kannapolis where he had a WHIP of 0.58, Dunning was promoted to Winston-Salem, where he is 3-4 with an ERA of 3.03, 71 strikeouts and 25 walks in 62-plus innings. "He's got a lot of raw talent," said Kannapolis pitching coach Brian Drahman. "Pretty good slider and curveball and a good changeup. It's just a matter of getting experience behind that using his pitches. He knows he can, and he's putting it together."

The Sox top draft pick in 2015, Vanderbilt's Carson Fulmer, continues to work at Charlotte after making eight non-descript appearances on the South Side last July and August. His development has slowed this season, much like Giolito. Fulmer presently sports a 6-6 record with a 5.58 ERA. Forty-four walks in 88 innings haven't helped much.

As of last week via the trade with the Cubs, the Sox now have Dylan Cease, 21, formerly the Cubs' top pitching prospect. A strikeout artist, Cease has fanned 165 hitters in 120-plus minor league innings. But he also has walked 67. Cease has joined the Kannapolis ballclub, so he is far away from major league-ready. Cease already has had Tommy John surgery, which is this day and age is a selling point. MLB Pipeline says that when his curveball is working, it is a "true power hammer that has been compared to Dwight Gooden's." Yowser!

Alec Hansen is a 22-year-old former second-round (2016) draft choice of the Sox who is having a solid year at Kannapolis where he is 7-3 with a 2.48 ERA. His WHIP is a sparkling 1.10. He throws strikes.

And someday Zach Burdi, a relief pitcher who throws over 100, could be the Sox closer. Only problem is that the team announced last week that he'll need elbow surgery and won't be available until 2019.

And lest we not overlook Carlos Rodon, the team's top starting pitcher at the present time at age 24. In his third season with the Sox and coming off a spring injury, Rodon continues to develop but has shown flashes of brilliance while winning 19 games in his young career. If he stays healthy - which is problematic for any pitcher today - Rodon should be a fixture in the rotation when he is joined by some of the young players mentioned here.

* * * * *

Now back to reality. The 2017 White Sox were swept over the weekend by Seattle, an underachieving band of athletes who strolled into town four games below .500. The Mariners eked out three wins by a total of four runs. Let's hope the White Sox have long memories because two or three years from now, they'll seek revenge. Whether the Sox get it or not remains to be seen.

-

Former Bill Veeck bar buddy Roger Wallenstein is our White Sox correspondent. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:55 AM | Permalink

24 Hours With Velocity

Bitchin' rides and grandma.

8 a.m.: Graveyard Carz - Mark Unwrapped

9 a.m.: Wheeler Dealers - Lincoln Continental

10 a.m.: Graveyard Carz - 'Cuda 'Tat

11 a.m.: Junkyard Empire - Crushing Cars & Taking Names

Noon: Bitchin' Rides - Grandma's Ride Gets Revived

1 p.m.: Bitchin' Rides - The Phantom Fleetside

2 p.m.: Bitchin' Rides - Mile High Rod Run

3 p.m.: Junkyard Empire - Super Car Sell Off

4 p.m.: Bitchin' Rides - It's Like 1929 in Here

5 p.m.: Overhaulin' - Roger's '61 Impala Bubble Top

6 p.m.: ToyMakerz - Supercharged: The Camaro

7 p.m.: How It's Made: Dream Cars - Peugeot RCZ R

7:30 p.m.: How It's Made: Dream Cars - Rolls-Royce Phantom

8 p.m.: How It's Made: Dream Cars - Ferrari FF

8:30 p.m.: How It's Made: Dream Cars - Audi R8

9 p.m.: How It's Made: Dream Cars - Porsche 918 Spyder

9:30 p.m.: How It's Made: Dream Cars - McLaren 650S

10 p.m.: How It's Made: Dream Cars - Peugeot RCZ R

10:30 p.m.: How It's Made: Dream Cars - Rolls-Royce Phantom

11 p.m.: How It's Made: Dream Cars - Ferrari FF

11:30 p.m.: How It's Made: Dream Cars - Audi R8

Midnight: How It's Made: Dream Cars - Porsche 918 Spyder

12:30 a.m.: How It's Made: Dream Cars - McLaren 650S

1 a.m.: ToyMakerz - Supercharged: The Camaro

2 a.m.: How It's Made: Dream Cars - Peugeot RCZ R

2:30 a.m.: How It's Made: Dream Cars - Rolls-Royce Phantom

3 a.m.: How It's Made: Dream Cars - Ferrari FF

3:30 a.m.: How It's Made: Dream Cars - Audi R8

4 a.m.: What's My Car Worth? - 1991: Ferrari vs. Alfa Romeo

4:30 a.m.: What's My Car Worth? - The GNX, Buick's Last Muscle Car

5 a.m.: Garage Squad - Triumphant Return

5:30 a.m.: Chasing Classic Cars - Micro Cars

6 a.m.: Wheeler Dealers - Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce 2000, Part 1

6:30 a.m.: Wheeler Dealers - Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce 2000, Part 2

7 a.m.: What's My Car Worth? - Mopar Muscle

7:30 a.m.: Restoration Garage - Delahaye Fever

-

Previously:
* 24 Hours With QVC
* 24 Hours With Tru TV
* 24 Hours With Current TV
* 24 Hours With The Military Channel
* 24 Hours With The Hallmark Channel
* 24 Hours With TVGN
* 24 Hours With Retroplex
* 24 Hours With Penthouse TV
* 24 Hours With The DIY Network
* 24 Hours With BET
* 24 Hours With CNBC
* 24 Hours With WWMEB
* 24 Hours With PRISM TV
* 24 Hours With Al Jazeera America.
* 24 Hours With Fuse.
* 24 Hours With Pop TV.
* 24 Hours With BET Soul.
* 24 Hours With BabyTV.
* 24 Hours With Jewelry Television.
* 24 Hours With XFHS.
* 24 Hours With Freeform.
* 24 Hours With Baby1.
* 24 Hours With RUS-TV.
* 24 Hours With The Esquire Network.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:16 AM | Permalink

Reminder: Among Wealthiest Nations, U.S. Healthcare System Comes In Dead Last

No, in turns out, the United States does not have the "best healthcare system in the world."

In the midst of a deeply unpopular attempt by the Republican Party to pass legislation that could leave 22 million more Americans uninsured and as support for Medicare for All soars, a new analysis published on Friday by the Washington-based Commonwealth Fund finds that the U.S. healthcare system currently ranks last among 11 other advanced countries in healthcare outcomes, access, equity, and efficiency.

The U.S. "fell short" in almost every domain measured, the Commonwealth Fund's senior vice president for policy and research Eric Schneider, M.D., told the New Scientist.

globalstudy-healthcare_0.jpgJoe Brusky/Flickr, cc

The study examines the healthcare systems of the U.S., the U.K., France, Sweden and several other nations, utilizing surveys of physicians and patients as well as data accumulated by the World Health Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The report's conclusion echoes those of previous studies, which have indicated that despite spending far more on health care than other advanced nations, the U.S. continues to lag behind in a variety of measures, from infant mortality rate to overall life expectancy.

Schneider and his co-authors - Dana Sarnak, David Squires, Arnav Shah, and Michelle Doty - observed that "[t]he U.S. healthcare system is unique in several respects. Most striking: it is the only high-income country lacking universal health insurance coverage."

The researchers went on to summarize their findings:

The United States spends far more on healthcare than other high-income countries, with spending levels that rose continuously over the past three decades. Yet the U.S. population has poorer health than other countries. Life expectancy, after improving for several decades, worsened in recent years for some populations, aggravated by the opioid crisis. In addition, as the baby boom population ages, more people in the U.S. - and all over the world - are living with age-related disabilities and chronic disease, placing pressure on health care systems to respond.

Timely and accessible healthcare could mitigate many of these challenges, but the U.S. health care system falls short, failing to deliver indicated services reliably to all who could benefit.

As opposed to nations that guarantee healthcare to all, the authors concluded that Americans' ability to attain quality healthcare is almost entirely dependent on financial status.

"Your level of income defines the healthcare you receive far more in the United States than in other wealthy nations," the authors note.

While acknowledging that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) had much success in providing coverage to low-income Americans - particularly through the law's expansion of Medicaid - Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal, M.D., said the U.S. healthcare system is "still not working as well as it could for Americans, and it works especially poorly for those with middle or lower incomes."

Underscoring this point, the Commonwealth Fund's analysis noted that "in the U.S., 44 percent of lower income and 26 percent of higher income people reported financial barriers to care." In the U.K., these percentages are seven and four.

"A higher-earning person in the U.S. is more likely to meet cost barriers than a low-income person in the U.K.," Schneider observed.

screen_shot_2017-07-14_at_8.02.25_am.png

The survey comes as the Senate GOP is currently scrambling to convince enough Republicans to vote for a bill that, if enacted, would drastically cut Medicaid, defund Planned Parenthood, and potentially cause the deaths of thousands.

Blumenthal concludes that while there are substantial and urgent problems with the healthcare status quo, the Republicans' legislative efforts would "certainly exacerbate these challenges as millions would lose access to health insurance and affordable healthcare."

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:05 AM | Permalink

Not Just For The Poor: The Crucial Role Of Medicaid In America's Health Care System

Despite many assertions to the contrary, U.S. Senate leaders are now saying they want to vote on the replacement bill for Obamacare before the month is out.

Front and center is the planned transformation of America's Medicaid program, which covers 20 percent of Americans and provides the backbone of America's health care system.

As a professor of public policy, I have written extensively about the American health care system and the Affordable Care Act.

Living in West Virginia, perhaps the nation's poorest state, I have also seen the benefits of the ACA's Medicaid expansion since 2014.

To understand how the ACHA's proposed changes to Medicaid would affect people and our health care system, let's look more closely at the program.

medicaidconvo.jpgNurse Jane Kern administers medicine to patient Lexi Gerkin in Brentwood, New Hampshire. Lexi is one of thousands of severely disabled or ill children covered by Medicaid, regardless of family income/Charles Krupa, AP

What is Medicaid?

Created in 1965, Medicaid today provides health care services for 75 million Americans. It is jointly administered by the federal government and the states. The federal government pays at least 50 percent of the costs of the program. For particularly poor states, the federal government's contribution can exceed 75 percent.

Medicaid was initially envisioned to provide medical assistance only to individuals receiving cash welfare benefits. Over time, the program has been significantly expanded in terms of benefits and eligibility to make up for the growing shortcomings of private insurance markets, including rapidly growing premiums and increasing rates of uninsurance.

Like all health care programs, spending on Medicaid has increased dramatically since its inception in 1965. Today, we are spending about $550 billion annually. This compares to about $300 billion in 2007.

What Does Medicaid Do?

As Medicaid evolved, it has become more than just a program for America's poor. Indeed, it is the largest single payer in the American health care system, covering more than 20 percent of the population. This amounts to 75 million American children, pregnant women, parents, single adults, disabled people and seniors.

To put this in perspective, this is about the same number of individuals as the nation's two largest commercial insurers combined.

Roughly half of all enrollees are children.

Medicaid also pays for about 50 percent of births in the U.S. In some states such as New Mexico, Arkansas, Wisconsin and Oklahoma, close to two-thirds of births are paid for by Medicaid.

Medicaid helps many Americans who are generally not considered "needy." For example, the Katie Beckett program provides support to families with children with significant disabilities without regard to parental income.

Medicaid is also critical for elderly Americans. It is Medicaid - not the federally run insurance program for the elderly, Medicare - that is the largest payer for long-term care in the United States. These services include, for example, nursing facility care, adult daycare programs, home health aide services and personal care services. It pays for roughly 50 percent of all long-term care expenses and about two-thirds of nursing home residents. And it also provides help with Medicare premiums for about 20 percent of seniors.

Indeed, the vast majority of costs in the Medicaid program, about two-thirds, are incurred by elderly or disabled individuals who make up only a quarter of enrollment.

How Did Obamacare Change Medicaid?

One of main components of the Affordable Care Act was the expansion of Medicaid to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Line. For a family of four, this amounts to $2,800 per month.

However, the Supreme Court rejected the ACA's mandatory expansion of Medicaid and made it optional. To date, 31 states and Washington, D.C. have chosen to expand their Medicaid program. Not surprisingly, the uninsurance rate in those states has dropped significantly more than in states refusing to expand their Medicaid programs.

Nonetheless, Medicaid enrollment increased by about 30 percent since the inception of the ACA.

The expansion has also resulted in better access and better health for individuals.

It has also helped to fight the nation's opioid epidemic.

In states that did not expand Medicaid, hospital closures occurred disproportionately.

What Would The Republican Bill Do To Medicaid?

Overall, the American Health Care Act cuts more than $800 billion from Medicaid by 2026. The cuts focus on two major components.

First, the AHCA significantly reduces funding for the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. These changes reduce the federal government's contribution from 90 percent to an average of 57 percent. The large associated costs for states
would virtually eliminate the expansion in most if not all states.

However, the American Health Care Act goes further. Specifically, it alters the funding mechanism for the entire Medicaid program. Instead, it provides a set amount of funding per individual enrolled in Medicaid. In doing so, it ends the federal government's open-ended commitment to providing health care to America's neediest populations.

Over time, these per capita payment are adjusted based on the Medical Consumer Price Index. In states such as West Virginia, these increases will not keep pace with rising costs for the state's sick and disabled.

In addition to the more than $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid under the AHCA, the proposed budget by President Trump would further cut Medicaid by more than $600 billion over 10 years.

One major way to achieve this is to further reduce the growth rate of the per capita payments.

What Would Be The Effects Of Dismantling Medicaid?

Both the American Health Care Act and the Trump budget would be challenging for the program. In combination, I believe they would be truly devastating.

The cuts would force millions of Americans into uninsurance. Confronted with medical needs, these Americans will be forced to choose between food and shelter and medical treatment for themselves and their families. They would also force millions of Americans into medical bankruptcy, similar to the situation prior to the ACA.

The cuts would also affect the broader American health care system. They would create incredible burdens on American hospitals and other safety net providers. Many of them are already operating on very thin margins.

Medicaid is particularly important in keeping doors open at rural, inner-city and essential service hospitals.

The cuts would cause tremendous burdens for million of Americans with disabilities and their families.

They would shrink the program virtually in half over the next decade.

Unable to raise the necessary funds, states will be forced to cut either eligibility, benefits or both.

In my view, both the American Health Care Act and the proposed budget by the Trump administration will cause dramatic, avoidable harm to millions of our families, friends, neighbors and communities.

Simon Haeder is an assistant professor of political science at West Virginia University. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:54 AM | Permalink

Trump's True Believers

When Donald Trump gave the commencement address at Liberty University this spring, he told the graduates that "America has always been the land of dreams because America is a nation of true believers." Trump argued that, in America, "we don't worship government; we worship God."

I suspect the president was unaware that the term "true believer" was made famous more than 65 years ago in Eric Hoffer's 1951 book, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements.

Hoffer had no academic training, having worked mainly as a longshoreman. He wrote The True Believer in reaction to the rise of fascism, Nazism and communism. Against all odds, the book became a best-seller.

Hoffer shrewdly analyzed the forces that spark nationalist and totalitarian movements. The irony of Trump's "true believers" remark probably escaped both the president and his audience.

As a psychiatrist, I'm interested in how vulnerable groups can be manipulated by misleading rhetoric. I believe there are striking parallels between Trump's rhetoric and the factors Hoffer explored.

Targeting The True Believer

"For men to plunge headlong into an undertaking of vast change, they must be intensely discontented yet not destitute," Hoffer wrote.

They must also have "an extravagant conception of the prospects and potentialities of the future" and "be wholly ignorant of the difficulties involved in their vast undertaking. Experience is a handicap."

Much of Trump's campaign was based on promises of vast change, such as the immediate repeal of Obamacare. These promises never took into account the great difficulties of radical change. Indeed, in late February 2017, Trump acknowledged, "Nobody knew health care could be so complicated."

And, of course, Trump had no political or public sector experience to inform his most controversial decisions. Yet he masterfully parlayed this shortcoming into the virtue of being an "outsider" battling an entrenched Washington establishment.

Hoffer viewed "true believers" as craving "a new life - a rebirth - or, failing this, a chance to acquire new elements of pride, confidence, hope, a sense of purpose and worth by an identification with a holy cause."

Trump's repeated promise to "make America great again" spoke to such a longing among disaffected voters. This message was often fused with appeals to evangelical Christians.

Indeed, writing in the New Republic, Sarah Posner observed that "Trump effectively played to the religious right's own roots in white supremacy."

Hoffer understood that the true believer is rarely concerned with facts. He wrote, "It is futile to judge the viability of a new movement by the truth of its doctrine and the feasibility of its promises."

Trump's rhetoric was based on what senior adviser Kellyanne Conway famously called "alternative facts."

And Trump repeatedly made promises that most experts considered anything but feasible.

He proclaimed, for example, "I will build a great wall . . . on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."

Hoffer recognized that "Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil."

Furthermore, "the ideal devil is a foreigner . . . [and] a domestic enemy must be given a foreign ancestry."

True to form, Trump's campaign rhetoric repeatedly invoked anti-immigrant themes, often disparaging Muslims and Mexicans. Trump famously characterized Judge Gonzalo Curiel as a "hater" and a "Mexican" when Curiel was presiding over lawsuits against Trump University - despite the fact that Curiel was born in Indiana.

Finally, Hoffer described the "true believer" as someone willing to die for "the cause."

It's not clear how many of Trump's supporters would fit that description. But Trump himself may have characterized his most fervid followers when he said, "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters."

Eric Hoffer might well have called those voters Trump's "true believers."

Ronald W. Pies is a professor of psychiatry and lecturer on bioethic and humanities at SUNY Upstate Medical University, and clinical professor of psychiatry at the Tufts University School of Medicine. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:36 AM | Permalink

Wisconsin And The Extinction Of The Passenger Pigeon

An avian blizzard in central Wisconsin in 1871 made for a spectacle the likes of which would never be seen again.

Hundreds of millions or maybe even a billion passenger pigeons made their spring nesting grounds across a broad swath of the state, with observers reported the birds carpeting trees throughout. Indeed, it was the largest nesting of passenger pigeons ever recorded. It was also a bonanza of incredible proportions, with hunters shooting and selling tens maybe even hundreds of millions of the birds for the commercial game market. Less than three decades later, the passenger pigeon would no longer be found in the state, and the species would be extinct by 1914.

The disappearance of the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) may be the most infamous example of an extinction caused by the actions of humans. Its tale is illustrative of how people can simply eliminate a once common, even abundant creature through relentless killing.

uplace-animals-passengerpigeons-mershons-engraving-audubon.jpgA female (upper) and male (lower) passenger pigeon are depicted in a painting by John James Audubon/Wikimedia Commons

Stanley Temple, an emeritus professor in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, shared the story of the passenger pigeon in an Aug. 20, 2014 presentation given on the occasion of the centennial of the bird's extinction. Delivered as part of the Wednesday Nite @ the Lab lecture series on the UW-Madison campus, his talk was recorded for Wisconsin Public Television's University Place.

Over several decades following the Civil War, vast and continuous hunts of passenger pigeons for meat and live specimens drove the species to extinction.

"You really don't need to be a population biologist to figure out if you're killing these birds on an industrial scale and preventing them from reproducing, extinction becomes a mathematical certainty," said Temple.

uplace-animals-passengerpigeons-illustration-bennett.jpgAn 1875 illustration depicts hunters shooting at a passenger pigeon flock in northern Louisiana/Smith Bennet, The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News (via Wikimedia Commons)

Martha was the name of the endling passenger pigeon. She was on exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo for years before dying on Sept. 1, 1914. The bird's body was subsequently sent to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. for study and preservation. A taxidermy mounting of Martha has since been displayed at the National Museum of Natural History and other institutions.

In 1947, the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology placed a monument to the long-gone passenger pigeon at Wyalusing State Park, on a bluff overlooking the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers. It reads: "Dedicated to the last Wisconsin Passenger Pigeon shot at Babcock, Sept. 1899. This species became extinct through the avarice and the thoughtlessness of man." Its placement was dedicated by Aldo Leopold and memorialized in his essay "On a Monument to a Pigeon," which was included in A Sand County Almanac.

uplace-animals-passengerpigeons-wyalusing-monument.jpgA memorial to passenger pigeons and their extinction at Wyalusing State Park in Wisconsin was originally placed in 1947 and rededicated in 2014/benet2006, CC BY 2.0

"It was, indeed, a very remarkable event," said Temple. "It was the first time that any sort of public sort of grieving, mourning over the loss of a species that we had clearly caused to go extinct had ever taken place."

In 2014, Project Passenger Pigeon was launched to commemorate the centennial of Martha's death and the species' extinction, with Temple playing a leading role in Wisconsin and around the nation. This ongoing educational campaign highlights the bird's legacy and encourages sustainable practices to prevent the extinction of other species. Its work has included books, the documentary From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction, lectures, artistic projects, and in southern Wisconsin, a rededication of the Wyalusing monument and the limited release of Passenger Pigeon IPA by Capital Brewery.

Key Facts

  • At the beginning of the 19th century, biologists estimate that there were about 3 to 5 billion passenger pigeons living in their home range of deciduous forests around eastern North America, making it the most abundant bird on the continent, and perhaps in the world.
  • Flocks of passenger pigeons would travel continuously in search of mast (primarily acorns and beechnuts) and eat their fill before returning to wing, hence the name. They would briefly halt for about a month during nesting season in a range that included most of the lower Great Lakes region. Pigeon pairs would lay a single egg, and abandon their hatched squab about halfway through its development, while gorging all available food until compelled to move on in search of more.
  • Records gathered by 19th century naturalists provide the basis for most of the information known about the numbers, range and behavior of passenger pigeons. Alexander Wilson, an early Scottish-American ornithologist, documented the birds, as did John James Audubon, who remarked on their flocks darkening the skies for days. John Muir remarked on observing the birds' passage as a young man growing up near Portage.
  • Hundreds of places around the eastern half of the U.S. are named for passenger pigeons, often by settlers who were impressed by the passage of a colossal flock. In Wisconsin, there are well over a dozen places named for the birds. For example, the Waupaca County community of Clintonville was originally named Pigeon, and the river that flows through it still bears that name (as does a namesake brewery based upriver in Marion). Another Pigeon River rises in Manitowoc County and flows through Sheboygan County before emptying into Lake Michigan. There's also the village of Pigeon Falls and town of Pigeon, both in Trempealeau County.
  • Native Americans and settlers around eastern North America regularly hunted passenger pigeons, with the appearance of their flocks virtually guaranteeing a bounty of fresh meat for a brief period. But due to the birds' continuous traveling, this mode of hunting did not significantly reduce their numbers.
  • After the Civil War, a national market developed for passenger pigeon meat and live birds. Aided by rapidly growing networks of telegraphs and rail, commercial hunters would follow flocks and continuously harvest birds. The hunt was particularly intense during nesting season, when both adults and squabs would be killed in immense numbers. U.S. Census data from the late 19th century indicates that there were likely tens of thousands of people who listed "pigeoner" as their occupation.
  • The largest passenger pigeon nesting on record was in 1871 across an 850-square mile swath of central Wisconsin that stretched in a "V" shape from Black River Falls south to Wisconsin Dells and back north to Wisconsin Rapids. Hundreds of millions of pigeons, perhaps even as many as a billion, nested throughout the area. About 100,000 commercial and other hunters flocked to Wisconsin, killing many tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions of birds, shipped on ice in barrels that were loaded onto trains headed to market in cities. During the hunt, one gun dealer in Sparta sold 512,000 rounds of ammunition.
  • Along with killing meat, pigeoners would capture live birds to sell for the purpose of pigeon shoots. Thousands of pigeons would be released for recreational target practice. This pastime would later be adapted into the sport of clay pigeon shooting.
  • The last major passenger pigeon nesting was recorded in 1878, in Petoskey, Michigan. By 1900 there were no longer any large flocks, and the last wild pigeon was shot in 1902 in Indiana. Multiple organizations subsequently offered rewards for any evidence of a living, wild passenger pigeon, but none would be claimed.
  • The decline of the passenger pigeon was a catalyst for the passage of the Lacey Act of 1900, which provides for interstate regulations and prohibitions in commerce related to terrestrial fauna, fish and plants. It was the first federal law enacted to protect wildlife.

  • Arlie William Schorger was a chemist who retired early to begin a second career in ornithology in the mid 20th century. He would become an adjunct professor of wildlife management at UW-Madison and was a colleague of Aldo Leopold. Fascinated by passenger pigeons, Schorger would travel the nation collecting eyewitness accounts and other information about the birds. His 1955 book The Passenger Pigeon: Its Natural History and Extinction is considered the definitive study about the birds and their demise.
  • During the 19th and 20th centuries, humans caused the extinction of multiple bird species through overkill, including the great auk, Labrador duck, Carolina parakeet and quite possibly the Eskimo curlew, among others. Conservation measures motivated in part by the extinction of the passenger pigeon have helped revive the fortunes of various avian species in North America, including the trumpeter swan, wood duck, plume-bearing birds like the egret and sandhill crane, and the wild turkey.
  • Scientists have found that the Lyme disease epidemic in the eastern U.S. has roots in the extinction of the passenger pigeon. Once the bird was no longer eating mast from beech and oak trees, an increasing availability of their nuts supported a population explosion of small rodents, particularly mice, that are carriers of the Borrelia bacteria transmitted by deer ticks and cause the disease.

Key quotes

  • On the importance of the passenger pigeon's extinction: "[T]he passenger pigeon is sort of the ultimate cautionary tale about our relationship with wildlife. It is . . . something that we need to remember. Unfortunately, a hundred years after the fact, it is something that most people have forgotten. They don't know the story of the passenger pigeon, and they don't really understand, therefore, the significance of that tragic event for our ongoing relationship with the other creatures that share the planet with us."
  • On the sheer numbers of passenger pigeons: "It's really hard to get your head around what it was like in the eastern half of North America when these birds were around. The estimate was that at the start of the 19th century there were three to five billion passenger pigeons. I can say that, and three to five billion doesn't mean a lot unless you have some sort of frame of reference. It meant that at that time, one bird in every four in North America was a passenger pigeon. If you lined those pigeons up beak to tail and strung them out in a row, they would circle the earth at the equator 23 times. In other words, this was a super abundant bird."
  • On what renowned Wisconsin naturalists said of the species: "Aldo Leopold described the passage of these birds through the forest as a biological storm, that they essentially were such a huge force on the eastern deciduous forest. Our own John Muir, growing up near Portage, commented that it was a great memorable day. And indeed, that's a sentiment that was felt by many. It was certainly felt by Native Americans, and it was felt by many of the early settlers of the eastern U.S."
  • On the pigeons' nesting behavior: "[T]he only time they basically stayed still was during the nesting season. Just like everything else that they did, suddenly they would appear, they would decide that this was the spot, they would settle in very quickly, build a rather crude nest and lay their single egg. They got down to nesting very quickly. They nested like everything else they did, in almost unbelievable numbers. Part of the reason for this was that it was a defensive mechanism against predators. By being in a large flock, a large herd, a large school, you minimize your individual risk of being hit by a predator. So these enormous nesting colonies would form quickly, the birds would feed on the mast that had been produced the previous fall."
  • On the market hunting of passenger pigeons: "Suddenly they were up against a predator that was unlike any predator that they had ever had to contend with in the past. Of course, the predator was us. Basically, during this 50 year period after the Civil War, almost every nesting attempt was ruthlessly pillaged by commercial market hunters who killed the birds and sold them at market. Both the adults and the nestlings were killed. They caused sure a disturbance in the nesting colonies that very few young were raised. One of the parents would be killed by the hunters, or the disturbance was just too great and the parents would abandon and leave the colony. To make matters worse, the market hunters eventually were able to track the birds year-round and continued killing them 365 days a year."
  • On 19th-century attitudes towards passenger pigeons: "[D]uring the 19th century there were no conservation laws, there was nothing preventing people from killing wildlife at will. The national mindset was essentially, still, that that natural resources of the continent were inexhaustible, and especially something that was perceived to be as abundant as the passenger pigeon. No one could have imagined that in such a short period of time we could basically wipe them out."
  • On why people weren't initially concerned about passenger pigeon numbers: "Probably not only was there the attitude toward the natural resources of the country, but there was also the fact that people were quite accustomed to the idea that you didn't see passenger pigeons every year. The easy explanation when they didn't show up was that they're somewhere else. You read all kinds of accounts of people basically passing this off as, the pigeons are just somewhere else. And the somewhere else really became almost absurd."
  • On the impact of Martha's death and the extinction of passenger pigeons: "[T]he extinction of the passenger pigeon was undoubtedly the catalyst for the modern 20th century conservation movement. It inspired organizations to form, like [the] National Audubon Society. It inspired the first wave of wildlife protection laws in the country. It essentially woke the public up to this idea that the wildlife resources of the country were not inexhaustible."
  • On the continuing role of overkilling in extinction: "[A]lthough there are these amazing comeback stories and many others of species that benefited from the lesson of the passenger pigeon, unfortunately the statistics tell us that we're still in deep trouble, and we're getting deeper into trouble all the time. As endangered species lists continue to grow, it's somewhat tragic that in addition to things like habitat loss and ecosystem stresses like climate change and invasive species, that there are still substantial numbers of endangered species that are endangered because we're overkilling them, that we still haven't gotten over that most brutal form of causing a species to go extinct."

This post was originally published on WisContext which produced the article in a partnership between Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and Cooperative Extension.

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Previously in Wisconsin:

* Wisconsin Cheese Production Continues To Grow.

* Wisconsin's Specialty Cheesemakers May Be Better Off Than Other States.

* Tips For Growing Blueberries In Wisconsin.

* Amid A Boom, Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Look To Future Markets.

* The Top 10 Wisconsin Insect Trends Of 2016.

* Wisconsin's Penokees Are A Geologic Gem.

* Wisconsin Researchers Aim To Make Cows Happier.

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Michael Hamblett:

There is a 250-page book on passenger pigeons by English naturalist Mark Avery.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:27 AM | Permalink

July 14, 2017

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #161: Trade Wins

A rarity: Two Chicago front offices pull brilliant move - at the same time. Plus: Return To Bulls Mountain; Return To Blackhawks Mountain; Schweinsteiger!; and Bustville.


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SHOW NOTES

* 161.

* The perfect acquisition.

* Quintana is Lester. Look it up!

* Fangraphs: Cubs Accurately Rate Underrated Quintana.

* \Kin-TAH-nuh\ played in both the Mets and Yankees minor league systems.

* White Sox contracts!

* Baseball Prospectus Dynasty Prospect Rankings.

* Baseball Prospectus Transaction Analysis.

* Fangraphs: Projecting The Prospects In The Jose Quintana Trade.

27:00: Revisiting Montero.

* See the segment "Cubs Muzzle Miguel Montero's Magnificent Mouth."

33:56: Back To Q.

* MLBTradeRumors.com: Reactions To And Effects Of The Jose Quintana Trade.

* MLBTradeRumors.com: Cubs Remain Interested In Sonny Gray After Quintana Trade.

* Rick Morrissey Still Gets Paid To Write Dreck Like This.

* Lackey is on the (10-day) DL; Butler in the bullpen.

39:50: Return To Bulls Mountain.

* See the segment "Bulls To Bears: Hold My Beer."

48:40: Return To Blackhawks Mountain.

* See the segment "Blackhawks Hold Own Beer!"

54:00: Basement Bears.

* A new low bar.

56:27: Schweinsteiger!

* MLS All-Stars vs. Real Madrid at Soldier Field.

59:17: Bustville.

* Baseball Prospectus: Top 50 Busted Prospects.

* Cubs both missing and aplenty.

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STOPPAGE: 5:38

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For archives and more shows, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:14 PM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

Does anybody have any questions?

Wednesday at the Music Box.

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Lack Of Miller Lite Almost Kills Ricketts Bar Deal
Funny thing is, seems like it should have!

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Beachwood Photo Booth: Wunder's
Serving Chicago since 1859.

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Rainbow PUSH Sports Award Banquet
(It was last night.)

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Destroying Mosul To Save It
Possible U.S.-Backed War Crimes Exposed.

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Rainbow Saturdays To Impact
I have enjoyed periodically watching this on Saturday mornings. Check your local listings.

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What We Still Don't Know About Hate Crimes In America
A lot.

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Bur, Woods, Lizzo, Queen & Adam Lambert, Graham Parker, Slightly Stoopid, Carly Rae Jepsen, The Andrew Scott Young Ensemble, Fastness, Wasteland Jazz Unit, Developer, and Blue Steel.

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Beachwood Sports Radio: Trade Wins
A rarity: Two Chicago front offices pull brilliant move - at the same time. Plus: Return To Bulls Mountain; Return To Blackhawks Mountain; Schweinsteiger!; and Bustville.

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BeachBook

Again: Don't be like the Trumpkins. Value facts. Otherwise, it's madness all the way down.

*

Rauner & Co. back to leveraging real pain to real people to achieve radical political goals few want.

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Rauner MIA On Medicaid.

Staff changes expose for good Radical Rauner, who once used to pretend he was some sort of moderate with a Democratic wife who would help keep us safe.

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Peter Smith Committed Suicide.

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KatyPerrysBootyHole And Wetbutt23 Broke The Jose Quintana Trade.

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NFL Teams Split Record $7.8 Billion In 2016, Up 10%.

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Don't Blame Edwin.

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Support Your Local Beachwood!

It's pledge drive time.

*

Bruce Rauner Screws Cancer Patients, Doctors, Educators.

Because term limits, or something.

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Wisconsin Budget Takes Hit - Thanks To Illinois.

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Tronc To Close Baltimore's City Paper.

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The Unjust Coverage Of The Flint Water Crisis.

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Trucking Company Fires Worker Who Spoke To A Reporter About Working Conditions; Takes Truck And $60,000 From Him.

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Heavy Social Media Use Leads To A Wider Variety Of News Sources.

Duh. The bubble is analog.

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Conscious Consumerism Is A Lie.

It's also self-regarding, which isn't the point.

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KISS Restaurants To Open In Chicago I Can't Tell If The News Is Real Or Not Anymore.

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Real Study, Not A Joke: Female-Named Hurricanes Kill More Than Male-Named Hurricanes Because People Respect Them Less.

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Rahm's School Plan Makes The Onion.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Less than a dollar.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:54 AM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Bur at the Empty Bottle on Wednesday night.


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2. Woods at the Empty Bottle on Monday night.

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3. Lizzo at the Metro on Sunday night.

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4. Queen and Adam Lambert at the West Side arena on Thursday night.

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5. Graham Parker at City Winery on Wednesday night.

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6. Slightly Stoopid on Northerly Island on Sunday night.

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7. Carly Rae Jepsen at the Chop Shop on Tuesday night.

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8. The Andrew Scott Young Ensemble at the Hideout on Wednesday night.

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9. Fastness at Cafe Mustache on Monday night.

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10. Wasteland Jazz Unit at the Hideout on Wednesday night.

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11. Developer at the Hideout on Wednesday night.

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Catching up with . . .

Blue Steel at Subterranean last Saturday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:48 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Wunder's

Serving Chicago since 1859.

wunders.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

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This photo previously appeared in this space as "Clark Stop."

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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Listen to Helene talk about Photo Booth; starts at 57:54.

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Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fantasy Hair Design.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Garage.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Clark Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pole Position.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Geometry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Found Love.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fill In The Blank.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vacuums Of The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dumpster Still Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wagon Master.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Intersecting West Rogers Park.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Antiques.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cow Patrol.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Backstage Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skully Bungalow.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Francisco Frankenstein.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Long Cool Heat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Smokers' Mast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Big Fat Phone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Happy Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alley Men.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Show!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You've Got Mailbox.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Broken Window Theory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dali Logan.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Svengoolie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Horner Park Hot Dogs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cubs Rehab.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 20th Century Schizoid Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Men On Vans.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Is Done.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snowy Lincoln.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Waiting Room.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Avondale Chicken.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Winter's End.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Friendly Skies.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boyhood Buzzer Beater.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: J Date.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: International Window Lady.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Shanghai Inn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Open For Business.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Andersonville Unplugged.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 3-Flat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Turkey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicagolandia.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Eat At Odge's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deitch Pharmacy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sud-Z Bubble.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bands Wanted!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Belmont Tavern.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Superheroic San Luis Freeze.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Oasis.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lyndale Food & Jewelry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Book Window.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alco Dude.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ballin Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Don't Worry, Be Cookie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Four Trey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Office.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America From Inside The Golden Nugget In Ravenswood.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cellphone Repair.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boots 'N' Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunrise Strip.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: At The Corner Of Glad And Happy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Uptown Autumn Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mid-Century Modern Halloween.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Autumn Station Wagon.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Betty's & Nick's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ohio House Impact.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: End School Zone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Portage Park Peek-A-Boo.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: South Side Sundown.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Susie's Drive-Thru.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Ham.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Food & Liquor, Milhouse.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Hare Blue Line Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Schwing!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ad Deluxe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jesus At The Drive-In.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Tanks Of Avondale.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Conveyance Belt.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Esquire In The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nick's Meat Market.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Keep Havin A Good Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Knock Knock.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Man At Marie's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonneville.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Logan Bags.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Stairwell.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Velvet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Court Is In Session.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: DLER ALKY.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Railyards Rush Hour.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop Killing People.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 1.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Greystone Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You Are Beautiful.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Auto Part Overlords.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bearground.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 2.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skyway Sculpture.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Dome Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hello, St. Joe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Revolution Books.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Driveway.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Proceed To Checkout.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Summer Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Daily Double.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Are Moving.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 3.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunny Day Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ashland & Pawn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Party Store.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Donuts.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: AAA Sales.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Rule.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Butcher Boy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Endorsement.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: I Voted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pink(ish) Cadillac.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stuffed With Sadness.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Air.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Economy Heating.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Season's Greetings.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Housemates.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Have Fresh Goat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartcam.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gaslight.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Urban Wheat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Embassy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln's Cozy Corner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Glory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bowling Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Red Lion, Red Hots.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Sitting.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Jukebox Is Not A Democracy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Descending Darkly.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Handicapped Milk Jug Zone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gumball Express.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicken Run.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wyoming, Michigan.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bus Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Manzana.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Don't Look Back.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mail Call.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gas Pump No. 8.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Photo Shoot.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flotos' Gifts.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Shelf Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: S&M Carpets.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Elvis At The Golden Nugget.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:15 AM | Permalink

What We Know - And Don't Know - About Hate Crimes In America

"Go home. We need Americans here!" white supremacist Jeremy Joseph Christian yelled at two black women - one wearing a hijab - on a train in Portland, Oregon, in May. According to news reports, when several commuters tried to intervene, he went on a rampage, stabbing three people. Two of them died.

If the fatal stabbing was the worst racist attack in Portland this year, it was by no means the only one. In March, BuzzFeed reported on hate incidents in Oregon and the state's long history as a haven for white supremacists. Some of the incidents they found were gathered by Documenting Hate, a collaborative journalism project we launched earlier this year.

Documenting Hate is an attempt to overcome the inadequate data collection on hate crimes and bias incidents in America. We've been compiling incident reports from civil rights groups, as well as news reports, social media and law enforcement records. We've also asked people to tell us their personal stories of witnessing or being the victim of hate.

It's been about six months since the project launched. Since then, we've been joined by more than 100 newsrooms around the country. Together, we're verifying the incidents that have been reported to us - and telling people's stories.

We've received thousands of reports, with more coming every day. They come from cities big and small, and from states blue and red. People have reported hate incidents from every part of their communities: in schools, on the road, at private businesses, and in the workplace.

ProPublica and our partners have produced more than 50 stories using the tips from the database, from New York to Seattle, Minneapolis to Phoenix. Some examples:

* Univision, HuffPost, and The New York Times opinion section identified a common thread in the reports we've received in which people of color are harassed "Go back to your country." This type of harassment affects both immigrants and U.S. citizens alike, reporters found.

* Several stories published by our partners focused on racial harassment on public transportation, using tips to illustrate something officials were also seeing. The New York City Commission on Human Rights observed a 480 percent increase in claims of discriminatory harassment between 2015 and 2016, according to The New York Times Opinion section. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority recorded 24 cases of offensive graffiti through April, compared to 35 in all of last year, the Boston Globe found. Univision covered multiple incidents involving Latinos targeted in incidents on the New York City subway.

* Combing through our database, BuzzFeed discovered there were dozens of reported incidents in K-12 schools in which students cited President Donald Trump's name or slogans to harass minority classmates. This echoed a pattern Univision had reported on: In November, the Teaching Tolerance project at the Southern Poverty Law Center received more than 10,000 responses to an educator survey indicating an uptick in anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant activity in schools.

* Our local partners reported on how hate incidents affect communities across the country: anti-Semitic graffiti in Phoenix, Islamophobia in Minneapolis, racist vandalism and homophobic threats in Seattle, white supremacist activity at a California university, racist harassment and vandalism in Boston, racism in the workplace in New Orleans, and hate incidents throughout Florida.

There are a few questions for which answers continue to elude us: How many hate crimes happen each year, and why is the record keeping so inadequate?

The FBI, which is required to track hate crimes, counts between 5,000 and 6,000 of them annually. But the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates the total is closer to 250,000. One explanation for the gap is that many victims - more than half, according to a recent estimate - don't report what happened to them to police.

Even if they do, law enforcement agencies aren't all required to report to the FBI, meaning their reports might never make it into the national tally. The federal government is hardly a model of best practices; many federal agencies don't report their data, either - even though they're legally required to do so.

We'll spend the next six months continuing to tackle these questions and more. And we and our partners will keep working our way through the tips in our database, telling people's stories and doing our best to understand what's happening.

There are ways that you can help us move the project forward:

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ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.

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Comments welcome.


Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:09 AM | Permalink

July 13, 2017

Rainbow Saturday Morning Forum To Air On Impact

Impact Network founder and president Bishop Wayne T. Jackson is pleased to announce the addition of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Saturday Morning Forum with the Rev. Jesse Jackson to the diverse Impact Network programming lineup.

Impact Network viewers will be able to see the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Saturday Morning Forum with Rev. Jesse Jackson every Saturday live at 11:00 am. EDT.

"Rainbow PUSH is excited to be partnering with the Impact Network, the only African American-owned and operated Christian television network in the United States," said Jackson.

The Impact Network is already considered to be one of the main voices for the African-American Christian community. That voice has just got louder with the addition of one of our civil right icons, Rev. Jesse Jackson.

The Rainbow PUSH Saturday Morning Forum is a tradition in Chicago. This unique blend of socio-political dialog, entertainment, information-sharing, and church service began during Rev. Jackson's early days in the city and became a mandatory stop for clergy, celebrities, and political figures visiting Chicago.

The Impact Network's mission is to provide exceptional educational Christian-themed programming. The Network lineup includes television ministries by Impact Founder & CEO Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, Bishop TD Jakes, Dr. Creflo Dollar, Pastor Paula White, Pastor Rod Parsley, Bishop IV Hilliard, Bishop Charles Blake, Bishop Stanley Williams, Bishop Paul Morton, Bishop Joel Peebles, Juanita Bynum and more.

It also offers original programming like Dr. Beverly Y. Jackson's Living Free, The Jewel Tankard Show, legendary gospel icon Dr. Bobby Jones, Impact Better Health/Diet Free Life with Dr. Robert Ferguson, and much, much more.

About the Impact Network:

The Impact Network was founded in 2010 by Bishop Wayne T. Jackson and Dr. Beverly Y. Jackson in Detroit, and is the only African-American owned and operated Christian TV network in the United States with diverse family-oriented programming.

Available on Comcast Xfinity, DirecTV, The Dish Network, Spectrum Time Warner cable, Spectrum Bright House cable, and Spectrum Charter cable, the Impact Network reaches over 75 million cable and satellite households in the United States, with international distribution in Africa, and the Bahamas on Cable Bahamas.

About the Rainbow PUSH Coalition:

Rainbow PUSH Coalition was formed in December 1996 by Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. Through the merging of two organizations he founded earlier, People United to Serve Humanity (PUSH, 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, Rainbow PUSH works to make the American Dream a reality for all our citizens and advocate for peace and justice around the world.

We are dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Rainbow PUSH Coalition mission is to protect, defend, and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields, and to promote peace and justice around the world.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:34 PM | Permalink

Rainbow PUSH Coalition Sports Award Banquet

NBA Hall of Famers Bernard King and Isiah Thomas, along with legendary sports agent Leigh Steinberg, influential ESPN anchor/journalist Adrienne Lawrence, human rights activist and sports expert Richard Lapchick, and NBA Player's Association career counselor Lloyd Walton, will be honored Thursday at the RainbowPUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund's 46th Annual International Convention.

The Rainbow PUSH Sports Banquet, which begins at 6 p.m., will be held at the Hilton Chicago, 720 South Michigan Avenue.

A VIP reception and book signing, featuring celebrity athlete authors, will be held at 5 p.m.

During the banquet, Rainbow PUSH Sports, which is directed by Joseph Bryant Jr., will hold a special roundtable entitled "Sports, Society & Social Change: The Impact & Influence of Life Beyond the Playing Field."

Actress and New York Times Best-Selling author Victoria Rowell will serve as the celebrity host.

During the event, Rainbow PUSH will also hold a silent auction featuring autographed items from Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Walter Payton, the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, and much more.

A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to Life Beyond the Playing Field - a program that helps athletes integrate back into society after they've completed their playing careers.

Bryant said these discussions are valuable to many retired professional athletes, especially those who experience hard times after their celebrated playing days.

"Some of these players are not only broke in their pockets, but broke mentally," he said. "We're here to talk about these issues and the importance of financial literacy and establishing a plan of action through setting up foundations and other revenue streams for former athletes."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:44 AM | Permalink

The [Thursday] Papers

There was no Wednesday column and everything is up in the air today, sorry! Trying my best.

Stay tuned to this space!

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:33 AM | Permalink

July 12, 2017

Destroying Mosul To Save It: Possible U.S.-Backed War Crimes In Iraq Exposed

As Iraqi forces celebrate their victory over the Islamic State (ISIS) in Mosul, a damning new report by Amnesty International sheds light on the killing of Iraqi civilians at the hands of the U.S.-led coalition which "may constitute war crimes" - and demands that the coalition acknowledge the loss of civilian life and take steps to lessen non-military casualties.

Thousands of civilians have been killed in Mosul and millions have been displaced since ISIS took control of the city in June 2014. The crimes of the group have been well-documented by Amnesty International and other human rights groups. The report notes that ISIS deliberately put thousands of civilians in harm's way, using them as human shields in the city's conflict zones, and killing people who attempted to escape.

The report also focuses on the human cost of the U.S.-led coalition's actions in Mosul. Amnesty interviewed 150 witnesses, experts and analysts about dozens of attacks, and focused on a pattern of attacks that took place between January and July 2017.

mosul.jpgThousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed in recent months by imprecise bombings by the U.S.-led coalition in Mosul/arif_shamim/Flickr/cc)

"The horrors that the people of Mosul have witnessed and the disregard for human life by all parties to this conflict must not go unpunished," says Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty's director of research for the Middle East. "Entire families have been wiped out, many of whom are still buried under the rubble today. The people of Mosul deserve to know, from their government, that there will be justice and reparation so that the harrowing impact of this operation is duly addressed."

The coalition's attacks were largely carried out with Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions (IRAMs), explosives with unsophisticated targeting abilities, which "wreaked havoc in densely-populated west Mosul and took the lives of thousands of civilians," according to the report. Air strikes by U.S. planes were also frequent during this time period, and the report says the coalition did little to protect civilians from these attacks.

"They did air-drop leaflets into [ISIS]-controlled areas of the city, instructing civilians to stay away from [ISIS] or to hang children's clothes on the roof to mark civilian homes. These warnings, however, took little account of the realities of living under [ISIS]. Staying away from [ISIS] was impossible for West Mosul residents and fighters would execute anyone caught with a flyer in their hands. Houses with children's clothes on the roof were still hit by air strikes."

"ISIS's use of people as human shields does not lessen the legal obligation of pro-government forces to protect civilians," says Maalouf. "Military planners should have taken extra care in the manner in which they used their weapons to ensure that these attacks were not unlawful."

Amnesty is demanding that Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led coalition limit the use of IRAMs in the fight against ISIS; it says the weapons "should never be used in densely populated civilian areas." It also joins other human rights groups in calling for an urgent increase in funding for humanitarian assistance for those who have fled the fighting in Mosul.

The report also notes that the coalition must publicly acknowledge the human cost of the fighting in Mosul. In his official statement on the retaking of Mosul by the Iraqi forces, President Donald Trump made no mention of civilian deaths that resulted from coalition attacks, instead acknowledging only the Iraqis who have been killed and displaced by ISIS.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:53 AM | Permalink

July 11, 2017

What I Watched Last Night: Columbo, Sort Of

An e-mail exchange.

Tim: The MASH Marine colonel who blocked a soldier from being sent home early to say goodbye to his mother, facing deportation? Columbo suspect tonight.

Steve: OMG so great.

Tim: I'm about to check Twitter for the first time today. I'm guessing the NYT stories re Russia/Don Jr. are the hot topic?

Steve: Pretty much.

Tim: 20 tweets in - nothing about Columbo.

Steve: Results will vary.

Tim: "Oh, Mr. Trump, forgive me, but there is just one more thing . . . "

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Submissions to What I Watched Last Night - and comments - welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:13 AM | Permalink

The Warrior Games 2017

"The Department of Defense Warrior Games took place in Chicago from June 30 to July 8. This report looks at two athletes who persevered to compete at these games."


Videography by Sye Bennefield, Jaaziah Bethea and Tacuma Roeback. Produced and Edited by Tacuma Roeback.

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Team Army vs. Team Navy.

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The Comeback.

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The Journey.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:45 AM | Permalink

Wisconsin Researchers Aim To Make Cows Happier

"It's really important that we give them the spa treatment."


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Previously in Wisconsin:

* Wisconsin Cheese Production Continues To Grow.

* Wisconsin's Specialty Cheesemakers May Be Better Off Than Other States.

* Tips For Growing Blueberries In Wisconsin.

* Amid A Boom, Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Look To Future Markets.

* The Top 10 Wisconsin Insect Trends Of 2016.

* Wisconsin's Penokees Are A Geologic Gem.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:29 AM | Permalink

Who Has Your Back 2017

While many technology companies continue to step up their privacy game by adopting best practices to protect sensitive customer information when the government demands user data, telecommunications companies are failing to prioritize user privacy when the government comes knocking, an EFF annual survey shows. Even tech giants such as Apple, Facebook, and Google can do more to fully stand behind their users.

EFF's seventh annual "Who Has Your Back" report, released Monday, digs into the ways many technology companies are getting the message about user privacy in this era of unprecedented digital surveillance. The data stored on our mobile phones, laptops, and especially our online services can, when aggregated, paint a detailed picture of our lives - where we go, who we see, what we say, our political affiliations, our religion, and more.

"This information is a magnet for governments seeking to surveil citizens, journalists, and activists. When governments do so, they need to follow the law, and users are increasingly demanding that companies holding their data enact the toughest policies to protect customer information," said EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman.

EFF evaluated the public policies at 26 companies and awarded stars in five categories. This year EFF included two new categories: "promises not to sell out users," and "stands up to NSL gag orders." The first reflects our concern about the stated goal of several members of government to co-opt tech companies to track people by their immigration status or religion. We awarded stars to companies that prohibit developers and third parties from capturing user data to assist governments in conducting surveillance.

We also awarded stars to companies that exercise their right to make the government initiate judicial review of gag orders that prohibit them from publicly disclosing they have received a National Security Letter (NSL). NSLs - secret FBI demands for user information issued with no oversight from any court - permit the FBI to unilaterally gag recipients, a power EFF believes is unconstitutional. Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have failed to promise to step up and exercise the right to have the government put NSL gag orders before a court.

Nine companies earned stars in every category this year: Adobe, Credo, Dropbox, Lyft, Pinterest, Sonic, Uber, Wickr, and Wordpress. Each has a track record of defending user privacy against government overreach and improved on their practices to meet the more stringent standards in this year's "Who Has Your Back."

Two tech companies lagged behind in the industry: Amazon and WhatsApp, both of which earned just two stars. EFF's survey showed that while both companies have done significant work to defend user privacy - EFF especially lauds WhatsApp's move to adopt end-to-end encryption by default for its billion users around the world - their policies still lag behind. Online retail giant Amazon has been rated number one in customer service, yet it hasn't made the public commitments to stand behind its users' digital privacy that the rest of the industry has.

AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile, and Verizon scored the lowest, each earning just one star. While they have adopted a number of industry best practices, like publishing transparency reports and requiring a warrant for content, they still need to commit to informing users before disclosing their data to the government and creating a public policy of requesting judicial review of all NSLs.

"The tech industry as a whole has moved toward providing its users with more transparency, but telecommunications companies - which serve as the pipeline for communications and Internet service for millions of Americans - are failing to publicly push back against government overreach," said EFF senior staff attorney Nate Cardozo. "Both legacy telcos and the giants of Silicon Valley can and must do better. We expect companies to protect, not exploit, the data we have entrusted them with."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:22 AM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

In the end you negate everything that was good in the first place.


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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Clearance, Royal Headache, Femdot, FACS, ESG, Derrick Carter, Cymbals Eat Guitars, The Red Plastic Buddha, Electric Medicine, Friends of Dennis Wilson, Dennis DeYoung, Sun Stereo, Gorillaz, 311, Clique James, Maurice Jackson & the Independents, Meat Puppets, Michael DeMaio, Grun Wasser, Johan Moon, and Champagne Mirrors.

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What Tim Watched Last Night
Columbo. Sort of.

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Who Has Your Back Now
Not Amazon, for one.

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Warrior Games
The Comeback, The Journey and other highlights.

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Wisconsin's Happy Cows
"It's really important that we give them the spa treatment."

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Last Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Wolf Alice, Dej Monae, Advance Base, Bleach Party, A Giant Dog, The Safes, The Reverend Payton's Big Damn Band, The Commonheart, Jon Dee Graham, Eric Ambel & Sarah Borges, Buddy Guy, Booker T. Jones, Sawyer Fredericks, Quinn Sullivan, Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie, Forest Management, Sug, Marshall Crenshaw with Los Straitjackets, and Shinyribs.

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BeachBook

IF YOU WANT TO RESIST, YOU HAVE TO BE HONEST.

The way forward isn't partisanship but respect for real facts, which naturally diminishes partisanship and builds shared knowledge.

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Flacks For Autocrats: An American Growth Industry.

Flacks are the enemies of facts - here and abroad.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

Again:

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Oh yeah, Brian Williams is still employed by NBC. Because accountability is what we hold others to, not ourselves.

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Trib metro editor doesn't get why that's a problem.

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Assignment Desk, activate!

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See also: Tribune's Disastrous Sale To Sinclair.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Eisendraft.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:40 AM | Permalink

July 10, 2017

The [Monday] Papers

"Ambiguous state law means the ability of inmates to vote varies widely between jails, disproportionately affecting poor blacks and Latinos awaiting trial," according to the Chicago Reporter.

"In Illinois, inmates awaiting trial have the right to vote, but the state law is vague and the ability to vote may depend on having a supportive jail administrator and election authority official who allow voter education drives behind bars. There is no way to track whether eligible inmates are being denied access to the vote."

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Budget Must-Read

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This Is Your Brain On White Sox
"What's nice about this week is that the Sox don't play until Friday when the Mariners come to town for three games. We could use a break. Our overwrought anterior cingulate cortexes need a rest."

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This Is Your Brain On Cubs
"Surely it will be at least a little embarrassing for Theo if his team finishes behind the Cardinals."

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Chicagoetry: Blues For Allah
Lord of the Dead, Silence and Love.

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Swim Pretty
Aquatic Spectacles and the Performance of Race, Gender, and Nature.

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Is in pre-production, as is Last Week In Chicago Rock. Sorry!

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BeachBook
A sampling.

America's Chickenshit Club.

Related:

*

One of the better Chris Christie at the beach memes.

Someone put him on a stool at the Beachwood! Better yet, a whole Chicago series!

*

Amazon Still Promoting Phony Discounts.

Now with more Chicago!

*

LiLo vs. Blago.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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*

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Close and a cigar.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:57 PM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Cubs Embarrassing Again

Who knew David Ross's retirement would do so much damage? I mean, besides everyone else.

I sure didn't. I weighed in with the opinion that the biggest celebration of a back-up catcher in baseball history at the end of the regular season last year was a wee bit of overkill.

But all those fans who gave Grandpa Rossy three standing ovations during David Ross Night late last year obviously knew something I should have known. Apparently the Cubs juggernaut couldn't take the departure of the guy who played one out of every four or five games during the historic 2016 season. The team just wrapped up its by-far worst week of the season (and that is saying something) with an embarrassing 14-3 home loss to the Pirates. The Cubs enter the All-Star break at 43-45, five-and-a-half games behind the Brewers.

What's that you say? The departure of Dexter Fowler was much more important? Well ol' Dexter's numbers aren't very impressive for the Redbirds. His bank account is all good but his on-base is .336. Then again, he does have 14 home runs, tied for the team lead, for a St. Louis team that went on a little roll before the break and pulled even with the Cubs in second in the Central.

Still, the Cardinals probably need Fowler to get on a base at a slightly healthier clip if they are going to actually pull their record all the way back to .500. And while the Cubs have suffered for a lack of a leadoff hitter, it is only one spot in a lineup that has been disappointing from 1 through 9.

There is some good news, I guess. Ross announced Sunday that he will return to the diamond.

He will apparently play for an over-the-hill gang known as the Kansas Stars. That is an independent minor league team co-founded by, wait for it, Adam LaRoche(!) and featuring fellow apparently prematurely retired players Jake Peavy and Chipper Jones. There was no word on what role LaRoche's son Drake is playing for the team.

Ross's announcement contained nothing about why he has now decided it is OK to re-expose himself to the risk of concussions that the catcher cited as a major reason for his retirement last year.

I actually have no problem with Ross suiting up again. I believe all pro athletes should play as long as is humanly possible.

Fans like storybook retirements, ones where successful athletes finish with a championship and then ride off into a twilight doubleheader in Iowa, never to play again. But athletes in all sports will almost certainly never be as good at anything else as they were on the field/floor/ice. If they don't squeeze every last drop out of their playing career they will regret it.

Heck, at this point, I will definitely take following the Kansas Stars over following either of the local baseball teams (nice game on Sunday, White Sox! Maybe next year you'll try harder not to leave early for the break!)

The Cubs are still a winning streak away from returning to contention in the Central. And let's be clear about one thing: This team needs to play to win right now. There is no saving of prospects for future seasons. But I also don't understand the commentators who think that adding a starting pitcher or two will turn this thing around. This team has done a terrible job in the batter's box. It won't improve in any substantial way unless the bats get going. And that is what Theo is talking about when he says that if this team is to make a run, it needs to make it with what it has.

Surely it will be at least a little embarrassing for Theo if his team finishes behind the Cardinals. That would mean that for all of their tanking, the Cubs still managed to pull in front of St. Louis (a team that has never tanked a season) for only one season so far during his six-year tenure. The Cards of course finished in front of the Cubs in 2015 before losing to them in the playoffs.

Hey guys! Start with playing better than the Cardinals in the second half, OK? If you can do that, you can avoid a season that isn't just the most disappointing in baseball but also the most embarrassing.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:18 AM | Permalink

This Is Your Brain On White Sox

We've been forewarned. There are no guarantees. Prepare for loss upon loss. However, somewhere out there on the far horizon, like, say, 2019, there is reason for optimism. Simply witness what occurred on the other side of town.

So goes the preparation for fans of a ballclub in the midst of a rebuilding plan. Just be patient. Don't panic. Please do not become upset, and, above all else, keep the faith.

But this is not pleasant nor painless. Not when our White Sox are no-hit Sunday until Melky Cabrera's one-out single in the ninth inning en route to an embarrassing 10-0 loss to the Rockies in the thin air of Denver. Not when the Rox thump the Sox 12-4 on Friday, thrashing the eminently hittable Derek Holland in the first two innings as Colorado assumed command at 6-1.

If you tuned in late last Wednesday, the Sox already were behind Oakland 6-0 after four innings as journeyman Mike Pelfrey continued to serve up cookies. The Sox lost that one 7-4.

This season's edition of the White Sox carries a "never quit" tag, but the bottom line is that they've come up short far more often because of a lack of talent and young players who are still developing.

Heading into this week's All-Star Game break, Ricky Renteria's outfit occupies last place in the Central Division of the American League with a 38-49 record.

Try this: pitchers Pelfrey, Holland, James Shields, Miguel Gonzalez (currently disabled), and Dylan Covey (also injured) have started 59 of the team's 87 games this season. Their combined ERA is 5.37. Not even the 1927 Yankees could slug their way out of the depths the Sox have created for themselves.

At least we know that our reaction to this last-place team is organic. Try as we might to rationalize the errors, mental mistakes, poor base running and ineffective starting pitching, our anterior cingulate cortex (ACC for short) just won't let us.

For the uninformed, a group which included me until recent reading, the ACC "lies in a unique position in the brain, with connections to both the 'emotional' limbic system and the 'cognitive' prefrontal cortex," according to The Journal of Neuropsychiatry.

In Jon Wertheim and Sam Sommers' This Is Your Brain on Sports, a tome mentioned here a few weeks ago, they refer to the research of Harvard psychologist Mina Cikara, who investigated blood flow to the ACC when bad things happen to our favorite teams. In her case she looked at Red Sox fans.

Looking at our Sox, when Alen Hanson, an infielder, was inserted in right field on Saturday in a game the Sox eventually won on Tim Anderson's ninth-inning home run, my ACC got a workout when Hanson futilely attempted to corral Mark Reynolds' eighth-inning drive off the wall, resulting in a triple. Reynolds later scored to knot the game at 4 before Anderson's heroics.

Cikara used a method called fMRI, which measures brain function, as opposed to an MRI, which discloses structure. Her research documented increased activity in the ACC as an emotional response to things like Sox pitchers giving up long home runs or Todd Frazier flying out with the bases loaded. We fans can take comfort knowing that our cognitive and emotional systems are quite healthy. There's no stopping blood flowing to the ACC when Renteria's athletes mess up. There might be cause for alarm if we took it all in stride without any emotional response. Thankfully our ACCs are working just fine.

Even those of us who attempt to remain calm, if you call yourself a White Sox fan, recognize the fact that this ain't a lot of fun at the present time.

However, Cikara also took a look at our ventral striatum. "The ventral striatum is activated when we do - or even just anticipate doing - something we know will be pleasurable," according to the website Neuroscientifically Challenged. The ramifications of that should be apparent, but Cikara also found that when our ballclub performs with distinction, blood flow to this part of the brain picks up.

That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that the ACC experiences more intense activity than the ventral striatum ever could muster. So our lows feel worse than our highs feel euphoric.

Of course, there are other ways to get the old ventral striatum into high gear. Like checking the first inning at Wrigley Field on Sunday to discover that the Cubs got hit with a 10-spot. Let's be clear: some of my best friends are Cub fans, and they were happy for me in 2005 just as I was pleased for them last season. But you can't fight brain function, so the blood picked up on its path to my ventral striatum Sunday when I saw what was happening on the North Side. It was beyond my control.

And I'd be lying if I denied the fact that I've had more than a passing interest in the Milwaukee Brewers these days. According to fivethirtyeight.com, the Brew Crew now has a 47 percent chance to win the division compared to the Cubs' 29. Of course, that website has been wrong before.

Milwaukee was predicted to lose 92 games in Sports Illustrated's pre-season issue, yet here they are mid-season presenting a genuine threat to slide into post-season play. And consider the Twins, losers of 103 games a year ago but two games above .500 now and just a game behind in the wild card standings.

This bodes well for the White Sox as we await the arrival of Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech, Luis Robert and most probably a few players flying under the top-prospect radar. Whether we'll see any of them in 2017 is up to Rick Hahn. But even if some of the young guys are promoted this season, it won't make much difference.

What's nice about this week is that the Sox don't play until Friday when the Mariners come to town for three games. We could use a break. Our overwrought anterior cingulate cortexes need a rest.

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Former Bill Veeck bar buddy Roger Wallenstein is our White Sox correspondent. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:57 AM | Permalink

Swim Pretty

Drawing on cultural associations with bodies of water, the spectacle of pretty women, and the appeal of the concept of "family-friendly" productions, performative aquatic spectacles portray water as an exotic fantasy environment exploitable for the purpose of entertainment.

In Swim Pretty, Jennifer A. Kokai reveals the influential role of aquatic spectacles in shaping cultural perceptions of aquatic ecosystems in the United States over the past century.

Examining dramatic works in water and performances at four water parks, Kokai shows that the evolution of these works and performances helps us better understand our ever-changing relationship with the oceans and their inhabitants.

SwimPretty.jpg

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:57 AM | Permalink

Chicagoetry: Blues For Allah

Blues for Allah

"What good is spilling blood? It will not grow a thing;
Taste eternity the swords sing: Blues of Allah In 'sh'Allah."

- "Blues for Allah," lyrics Robert Hunter, music Jerry Garcia

Commuting home
From one world to the next,
I watch

The expressway parallel
To my train seat and

Daydream of my favorite
Old god, Osiris.

Not only is he
Lord of the Dead but he's also

Lord of Silence
And Lord

Of Love. He holds two
Golden implements across his heart
(A battered old boiler,

Like mine?), a crook
To steer his flock

And a flail to whip
Wheat from chaff,
Each encrusted

With blood-red rubies,
River-green emeralds and
Sky-blue sapphires, each

Co-opted by the Pharaohs -
Along with ceremonial beards -
As totems of godhead.

Also he commands the moody river.
I feel compassion for his burdens
And thus mine lighten.

The expressway, this highway,
Is a river we accompany, as Osiris
Accompanies the dead

To heaven.
I wish the highway
Was an ocean.

This is a sin,
To be gifted

A river only
To crave an ocean.

There goes another hearse,
Black barque of Anubis, accelerating
Downriver to the cemeteries

On the delta

Of Osiris.
Between the skyscrapers
And headstones

We thrust (bracing
Our boilers), racing
The recurrent hearses, through

The detritus of fallen gods,
Through lilac, rose of sharon, briar and cat tail,
Hurtling west

Toward immaculate sunset.

To the east, skyscrapers
Like glass obelisks

Mark the shoreline
And the stealthy undertow beyond,

Sky-blue buildings
Blending right into the sky!

They seem nearly invisible.
Perhaps that was the idea.

The train rolls on as dusk beards
The cat tails with royal shadow.

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J.J. Tindall is the Beachwood's poet-in-residence. He welcomes your comments. Chicagoetry is an exclusive Beachwood collection-in-progress.

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More Tindall:

* Chicagoetry: The Book

* Ready To Rock: The Music

* Kindled Tindall: The Novel

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:41 AM | Permalink

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Clearance at the Empty Bottle on Friday night.


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2. Royal Headache at West Fest on Saturday night.

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3. Femdot at West Fest on Saturday night.

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4. FACS at West Fest on Saturday.

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5. ESG at West Fest on Friday night.

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6. Derrick Carter at West Fest on Sunday night.

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7. Cymbals Eat Guitars at West Fest on Saturday.

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8. The Red Plastic Buddha at Livewire on Saturday night.

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9. Electric Medicine at Livewire on Saturday night.

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10. Friends of Dennis Wilson at Livewire on Saturday night.

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11. Dennis DeYoung at the Arcada in St. Charles on Friday night.

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12. Sun Stereo at Navy Pier on Friday night.

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13. Gorillaz on Northerly Island on Saturday night.

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14. 311 on Northerly Island on Sunday night.

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15. Clique James at Taste of Chicago on Friday.

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16. Maurice Jackson & the Independents at Taste of Chicago on Sunday.

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17. The Meat Puppets at the Square Roots Festival in Lincoln Square on Saturday night.

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18. Michael DeMaio at the Archer Ballroom on Friday night.

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19. Grün Wasser at the Archer Ballroom on Friday night.

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20. Johan Moon at the Archer Ballroom on Friday night.

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21. Champagne Mirrors at the Archer Ballroom on Friday.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:36 AM | Permalink

July 7, 2017

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Wolf Alice at Schubas on Wednesday night.


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2. Dej Monae at Taste of Chicago on Wednesday.

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3. Advance Base at the Empty Bottle on Monday night.

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4. Bleach Party at the Empty Bottle on Thursday night.

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5. A Giant Dog at the Empty Bottle on Thursday night.

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6. The Safes on Montrose Beach on Tuesday night.

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7. The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band at Fitzgerald's American Music Festival in Berwyn on Monday night.

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8. The Commonheart at Fitzgerald's American Music Festival in Berwyn on Monday.

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9. Jon Dee Graham at Fitzgerald's American Music Festival in Berwyn on Sunday night.

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10. Eric "Roscoe" Ambel & Sarah Borges at Fitzgerald's American Music Festival in Berwyn on Sunday night.

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11. Buddy Guy at Ravinia on Thursday night.

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12. Booker T. Jones at Ravinia on Thursday night.

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13. Sawyer Fredericks at SPACE in Evanston on Wednesday night.

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14. Quinn Sullivan at Navy Pier on Wednesday

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15. Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie at Northerly Island on Monday night.

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16. Forest Management at Eco on Tuesday night.

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17. Sug at Eco on Tuesday night.

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Catching up with . . .

Marshall Crenshaw with Los Straitjackets at Fitzgerald's American Music Festival last Saturday night.

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Shinyribs at Fitzgerald's American Music Festival in Berwyn last Saturday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:23 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #160: Highway To Cubs Hell

Hangover City. Plus: The White Sox Are The Cleveland Browns; The Bulls Got Ripped Off, Man!; Meet Your 2019 Stanley Cup Champions!; Greatest Bears Game Ever Coming This Christmas Eve!; and Schweinsteiger!


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SHOW NOTES

* 160.

* Libertyville.

* Tom Morello.

* Family over geography.

* "It was me and the guys in NWA."

* Led Zeppelin.

* Hell Bent for Leather (aka Killing Machine).

* 2nd Story.

* The appeal of teaching wore off in a hurry.

* Joanna's Rain Song.

* Swimming to Cambodia.

* Mike Daisey.

* Henry Rollins (aka Henry Lawrence Garfield).

21:04: Highway To Cubs Hell.

* Hangover City.

* 2005 White Sox.

* Theo: Our Biggest Fixes Are Inside The Clubhouse.

* The sweep of human history!

40:17: The White Sox Are The Cleveland Browns.

* Moncada Still No. 1.

* Rogers, May 2006: Williams Has Sox Loaded For Years To Come.

* "I have faith . . . a guarded faith."

1:01:10: The Bulls Got Ripped Off, Man!

1:01:41: Meet Your 2019 Stanley Cup Champions!

1:02:51: Greatest Bears Game Ever Coming This Christmas Eve!

* "Bad football is the funniest of all sports."

1:07:14: Schweinsteiger!

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STOPPAGE: 9:38

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Andrew Reilly at Beachwood HQ.

AndrewReilly.jpg

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For archives and other shows, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:59 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Elvis At The Golden Nugget

Window dressing.

fathersdaysignpainter1orig.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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Listen to Helene talk about Photo Booth; starts at 57:54.

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Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fantasy Hair Design.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Garage.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Clark Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pole Position.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Geometry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Found Love.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fill In The Blank.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vacuums Of The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dumpster Still Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wagon Master.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Intersecting West Rogers Park.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Antiques.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cow Patrol.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Backstage Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skully Bungalow.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Francisco Frankenstein.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Long Cool Heat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Smokers' Mast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Big Fat Phone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Happy Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alley Men.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Show!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You've Got Mailbox.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Broken Window Theory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dali Logan.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Svengoolie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Horner Park Hot Dogs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cubs Rehab.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 20th Century Schizoid Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Men On Vans.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Is Done.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snowy Lincoln.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Waiting Room.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Avondale Chicken.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Winter's End.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Friendly Skies.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boyhood Buzzer Beater.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: J Date.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: International Window Lady.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Shanghai Inn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Open For Business.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Andersonville Unplugged.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 3-Flat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Turkey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicagolandia.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Eat At Odge's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deitch Pharmacy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sud-Z Bubble.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bands Wanted!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Belmont Tavern.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Superheroic San Luis Freeze.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Oasis.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lyndale Food & Jewelry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Book Window.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alco Dude.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ballin Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Don't Worry, Be Cookie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Four Trey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Office.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America From Inside The Golden Nugget In Ravenswood.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cellphone Repair.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boots 'N' Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunrise Strip.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: At The Corner Of Glad And Happy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Uptown Autumn Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mid-Century Modern Halloween.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Autumn Station Wagon.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Betty's & Nick's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ohio House Impact.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: End School Zone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Portage Park Peek-A-Boo.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: South Side Sundown.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Susie's Drive-Thru.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Ham.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Food & Liquor, Milhouse.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Hare Blue Line Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Schwing!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ad Deluxe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jesus At The Drive-In.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Tanks Of Avondale.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Conveyance Belt.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Esquire In The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nick's Meat Market.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Keep Havin A Good Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Knock Knock.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Man At Marie's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonneville.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Logan Bags.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Stairwell.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Velvet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Court Is In Session.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: DLER ALKY.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Railyards Rush Hour.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop Killing People.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 1.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Greystone Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You Are Beautiful.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Auto Part Overlords.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bearground.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 2.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skyway Sculpture.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Dome Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hello, St. Joe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Revolution Books.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Driveway.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Proceed To Checkout.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Summer Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Daily Double.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Are Moving.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 3.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunny Day Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ashland & Pawn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Party Store.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Donuts.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: AAA Sales.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Rule.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Butcher Boy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Endorsement.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: I Voted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pink(ish) Cadillac.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stuffed With Sadness.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Air.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Economy Heating.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Season's Greetings.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Housemates.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Have Fresh Goat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartcam.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gaslight.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Urban Wheat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Embassy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln's Cozy Corner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Glory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bowling Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Red Lion, Red Hots.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Sitting.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Jukebox Is Not A Democracy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Descending Darkly.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Handicapped Milk Jug Zone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gumball Express.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicken Run.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wyoming, Michigan.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bus Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Manzana.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Don't Look Back.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mail Call.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gas Pump No. 8.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Photo Shoot.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flotos' Gifts.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Shelf Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: S&M Carpets.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:13 AM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

"The passage of a state budget won't answer all the questions nonprofits have, particularly those whacked by the two-year budget impasse," Crain's reports.

"How are they going to pay everybody?" said Merri Ex, CEO of Family Focus, which recently received enough funds from the state comptroller's office to delay planned layoffs and program cessations. "It'll take a long time before (the state) catches up."

If ever. Think of the devastation wrought by one man's maniacal pursuit of changing workman's comp rules to award injured workers less money.

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"Ex pointed to court orders for payments: On June 30, U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow ordered the state to pay $586 million a month in Medicaid payments. Another federal court order mandates payments to Family Focus and other social-services agencies that have contracts with the Department of Children & Family Services. Ex also is wary of contracts not backed by appropriations. 'Even though it's in the budget, is the money there?' she said. 'The takeaway is, people don't feel secure. They just don't.'"

Passage of a state budget may be the end of the governor's evisceration of social services, but the beginning of a new, tough slog.

"The state owes about $5 million, for example, to Lutheran Child and Family Services of River Forest. Earlier this year, the agency laid off 100 staffers, or 25 percent of its workforce, and shut down nine programs. CEO Mike Bertrand is doubtful that the budget will help the agency restore the programs or rehire the workers. The agency has signed about $24 million in state contracts for fiscal 2018, Bertrand said."

For example. Extrapolate at will.

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Taxing Narrative
"Rauner had invited news cameras to a tavern in Chicago's Hegewisch neighborhood, where he was joined by local businesspeople who complained about high property taxes. Rauner took the opportunity to rail against Madigan 'and his subordinates' for 'using leverage of suffering' to raise taxes," the Tribune reported.

Comment from our very own Tim Willette: "This stuff always drives me nuts. Cut people's taxes in half and you'll still find people who say they pay too much. The question should be what does the government do that benefits you directly that you would be willing to give up in exchange for a tax cut? Everything else is just selfishness. I don't have kids, therefore we shouldn't spend any money on schools. Etc."

Indeed. The media's framing doesn't help - it's almost wholly focused on taxes going up (and going up to a slightly less rate than the state imposed when Bruce Rauner took office; and a rate that is the same for you as it is for Ken Griffin) instead of the restoration of basic government services. For example, you won't find headlines that say "Agreement Reached To Fund State Government." But that's essentially what just happened.

Tim: And I'm assuming that 4.95% is not a top rate but the only rate, meaning short the personal deduction the janitor at Rauner's company pays the same rate that he does. And he's complaining?

Steve: Indeed, it's the only rate. Illinois, astonishingly, has a flat tax, the wet dream of the likes of Steve Forbes and Jack Kemp. Also, people have so little context. Property taxes in Chicago are not that high, relatively speaking, and when you look at income tax rates for states throughout the Midwest, Illinois is a bargain.

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Also:

+1 except most of their articles are bad.

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Via Politico Illinois:

Income tax hike: package would increase the state's personal income tax from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent and corporate income tax from 5.25 percent to 7 percent.

That hike in the corporate income tax rate, along with the closing of some corporate loopholes, is getting underplayed amidst the focus on personal income tax rates.

How it affects you: The Daily Herald's Jamie Sotonoff breaks down the impact if the budget passes:
  • A single person who earns $34,000 a year would pay an additional $382 a year.
  • A family of three making $75,000 a year would pay an additional $822 a year.
  • A family of four earning $150,000 a year would pay an additional $1,695 a year.
  • A 66-year-old retiree who has $5,000 in taxable earnings plus Social Security and pension income, which are not taxed in Illinois, would pay an additional $22 a year.

Among neighboring states, Wisconsin's graduated income tax ranges from 4 percent to 7.65 percent, Indiana's is 3.23 percent, Iowa's ranges from 0.36 percent to 8.98 percent, Missouri's is 1.5 percent to 6 percent, and Kentucky's is 2 percent to 6 percent, according to the Tax Foundation.

See, progressive taxation goes lower as well as higher.

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Morality Play
"The trajectory we are on right now is immoral. We have to have a budget," said state Rep. Michael Unes, one of 10 House Republicans (and one Senate Republican) to break with the governor and vote for the budget. "For me today, right here, right now, this is the sword that I'm willing to die on. And if it costs me my seat, so be it."

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The Leads
"After more than two years of political sparring, missed payments to creditors and plunging credit ratings, Illinois did on Thursday what most states do every year. It finished a budget."

- The New York Times

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"The Illinois House voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's vetoes of a budget package, giving the state its first spending blueprint in more than two years and ending the nation's longest fiscal stalemate since at least the Great Depression."

- AP

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"Seeking to restore stability to a state government teetering on the abyss, lawmakers on Thursday turned aside Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's opposition to a major income tax increase and a spending plan, ending a record-setting impasse.

"Illinois had gone 736 days without a budget, and the final seven packed in plenty of statehouse drama. Tempers flared, threats were issued, alliances shifted. A surprise tax hike vote over a long holiday weekend was met with a quick veto by a governor who'd dug in his heels. Lawmakers, though, stood their ground, with members of both parties coming together long enough to override.

"Even that final vote was not without delay, however, as the Capitol was locked down for two hours after a hazardous materials team went in to test white powder that was thrown into the reception area of the governor's office.

"Tests proved negative, even as a woman was taken in for questioning after being handcuffed. When the session got underway, House Speaker Michael Madigan's Democrats were joined by about one-fifth of House Republicans, who broke ranks with Rauner. As a result, the state income tax rate will rise from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent, costing an extra $1,200 a year for a family with a net income of $100,000."

- Chicago Tribune

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Budget Twitter:

Assignment Desk: Interview those siblings.

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Beachwood Photo Booth: Elvis At The Golden Nugget
Window dressing.

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Elite Public Schools Fail The Diversity Test
Including Payton.

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Bill Graham's Rock Revolution
At the Illinois Holocaust Museum. Really.

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Corn Kings & One-Horse Thieves
A plain-spoken history of mid-Illinois.

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Beachwood Sports Radio: Highway To Cubs Hell
Hangover City, with special guest Andrew Reilly. Plus: The White Sox Are The Cleveland Browns; The Bulls Got Ripped Off, Man!; Meet Your 2019 Stanley Cup Champions!; Greatest Bears Game Ever Coming This Christmas Eve!; and Schweinsteiger!

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Is in pre-production.

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BeachBook

In The World's Best Economy, Housing Prices Are Falling - Because That's What Housing Prices Are Supposed To Do.

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Extreme Wealth Is Bad For Everyone - Especially The Wealthy.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Bag it.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:34 AM | Permalink

Elite Public Schools That Rely On Entry Exams Fail The Diversity Test

The jewels in many an urban school district's crown are their exam schools, competitive public schools that base enrollment on test scores. With a school like New York's Stuyvesant, Boston Latin or Walter Payton (in Chicago) on their transcript, students are grouped with other, high-achieving peers, receive rigorous instruction and complete several Advanced Placement courses - all helping to clear a straight path to college and career success.

Hailed as promoting meritocracy, exam schools in fact promote inequity, especially for black and Latino students.

Working for over 25 years at the K-12 and higher education levels (as both a faculty member and administrator), I've seen this skewed enrollment pattern play out over and over again. However, several elite U.S. colleges and universities are embracing new admissions policies - policies that, if also implemented by top-tier exam schools, could promote greater access for all students.

The Minority Enrollment Gap

When it comes to student diversity, elite high schools leave much to be desired.

Take New York City, for example. This past spring, the city's eight exam schools (among them Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech and Bronx Science) accepted 5,078 rising ninth-grade students solely based on test scores. This, despite New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's campaign promise to base admissions to all schools on more "holistic" factors.

Black and Latino students will make up only 10 percent of this year's incoming class - though they account for 70 percent of public school students in New York City. At Stuyvesant this fall, only 13 students out of almost 1,000 incoming freshmen will be black.

Even with recent efforts to improve racial and ethnic diversity among its exam schools, Boston has also faced enrollment equity challenges. At Boston's flagship public exam high school, Boston Latin School, the student body remains significantly white and Asian. The school's incoming seventh grade class, for example, is only eight percent black and 14 percent Latino, in contrast to district-wide rates of approximately 32 percent black and 42 percent Latino.

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Rethinking Admissions Policies

As long as admission to exam schools is based solely on test scores or grades, this pattern may very well continue indefinitely.

Black and Latino students are just as capable and deserving of exam classroom seats as other students. However, they must contend with a range of factors that often don't impact their nonminority counterparts, including poor instruction at lower grades; unequal access to tutoring, test prep and enrichment; low placement of elementary students into advanced classes; and unconscious bias. Minority students also can contend with stereotype threat, a phenomenon where they conform - often unintentionally - to negative stereotypes about their race's ability to perform well within academic settings.

These factors can all negatively affect success on the standardized tests and grades that exam schools use for admissions.

A solution to breaking this pattern may come from several elite colleges and universities that are rethinking their admissions policies. Led by Making Caring Common, a project of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, these institutions are piloting new admissions policies that focus less on numbers and more on "ethical engagement."

bronxhs.jpgBronx Academy for Software Engineering hosted a community service day in May/Jon Mannion, CC BY-NC-ND

In a report released in January 2016, Making Caring Common argued for elite colleges and universities to include opportunities for candidates to submit authentic demonstrations of empathy, service to others and commitment to the common good as part of their application. They contend that these important values are worth promoting to students and families. In fact, research suggests that strength of character and "grit" are key determinants of future academic and career success.

Importantly, these new metrics could weigh social and emotional attributes that students across all backgrounds could exemplify in some way.

A Movement Gaining Traction

Since the report's release, over 175 colleges and universities - including Harvard, Yale, Boston College, MIT, Michigan State and the University of Chicago - have endorsed this admissions framework, with the goal of increasing student diversity. Boston public schools and several Boston-area private schools have endorsed the report as well.

Yet Boston, New York and other cities with exam schools must now "walk the walk" by implementing concrete approaches, such as asking for examples of ethical engagement or empathy as part of the application process. A school might give special consideration, for example, to candidates who worked to support their families at an early age, served as caregivers to younger siblings, organized efforts to support a needy classmate or led a food drive to help a local shelter.

Exam schools across the country could team with Making Caring Common and its growing list of higher education partners to determine how best to validly and reliably collect, evaluate and weight these types of student experiences.

If this new strategy to promote enrollment equity is gaining traction at Harvard and Yale, it should be considered by exam high schools as well. Otherwise, future incoming classes at Stuyvesant and Boston Latin will continue to look much the same.

Jake Murray is faculty director for professional education at Boston University's School of Education. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:00 AM | Permalink

July 6, 2017

Corn Kings and One-Horse Thieves: A Plain-Spoken History of Mid-Illinois

In Corn Kings and One-Horse Thieves, James Krohe Jr. presents an engaging history of an often overlooked region, filled with fascinating stories and surprising facts about Illinois's midsection.

Krohe describes in lively prose the history of mid-Illinois from the Woodland period of prehistory until roughly 1960, covering the settlement of the region by peoples of disparate races and religions; the exploitation by Euro-Americans of forest, fish, and waterfowl; the transformation of farming into a high-tech industry; and the founding and deaths of towns.

cornkings.jpg

The economic, cultural, and racial factors that led to antagonism and accommodation between various people of different backgrounds are explored, as are the roles of education and religion in this part of the state.

The book examines remarkable utopian experiments, social and moral reform movements, and innovations in transportation and food processing.

It also offers fresh accounts of labor union warfare and social violence directed against Native Americans, immigrants, and African Americans and profiles three generations of political and government leaders, sometimes extraordinary and sometimes corrupt (the "one-horse thieves" of the title).

A concluding chapter examines history's roles as product, recreation, and civic bond in today's mid-Illinois.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:27 AM | Permalink

At The Illinois Holocaust Museum | Bill Graham And The Rock & Roll Revolution

The llinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center will bring a pivotal era of rock music history to life with its new exhibition, Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution, opening July 16, 2017.

This exhibition explores the extraordinary life of renowned music promoter Bill Graham (1931-1991), who helped launch and promote the careers of countless artists including the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, The Who, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones.

It also traces the indomitable spirit of a man brought to the U.S. as an 11-year-old Jewish refugee fleeing the Nazis, fueling a lifelong passion and advocacy for social justice.

graham1.jpgBill Graham onstage before the final concert at Fillmore East, New York, 1971/John Olson, the LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Graham's celebrated Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco was the epicenter of rock's evolution in the 1960s. Graham went on to promote social change as a driving force behind milestone benefit concerts such as Live Aid (1985) and Human Rights Now! (1988). Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution transports visitors to that era with an abundance of memorabilia, archival concert footage, historical and new video interviews, and psychedelic art, demonstrating the lasting influence of Graham's vision on the immersive, multidimensional, and highly lucrative phenomenon of rock theater that persists today.

The exhibition was organized by the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Highlights include:

* Memorabilia from the Fillmore Auditorium, including the original apple barrel that greeted fans with fresh apples at the entrance.

* Two of the Grateful Dead New Year's Eve concert costumes worn by Bill Graham.

* Iconic photographs from rock's most famous photographers.

* Costumes, musical instruments, and artifacts from the careers of Janis Joplin, Keith Richards, Pete Townshend, and other groundbreaking artists.

* An installation of "The Joshua Light Show" - the liquid light show conceived in 1967 by multimedia artist Joshua White - customized specifically for the exhibition.

* Preparatory drawings and the original artwork of several iconic Fillmore concert posters, revealing the signature visual styles and creative process of psychedelic poster artists Bonnie MacLean, Wes Wilson, David Singer, Greg Irons and David Byrd.

Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution also illuminates how Graham's childhood experiences as a young refugee from Nazi Germany fueled his drive and ingenuity as a cultural innovator and advocate for social justice.

Born in Berlin, Graham arrived in New York at the age of 11 as part of a Red Cross effort to help Jewish children fleeing the Nazis.

The exhibition follows his path from a foster family in the Bronx, to military service in the Korean War, to his arrival in San Francisco just as the hippie movement was gathering steam.

Throughout his career, Graham's mastery at promoting, marketing, and managing artists propelled him to become one of the music industry's most important figures.

"We are thrilled to bring the story of Bill Graham's life and legacy to the Chicago area for this special exhibition," notes Susan Abrams, Museum CEO. "In the height of music festival season, it offers a truly immersive experience that is a feast for the senses with its costumes, light show, concert footage, and psychedelic posters. At the same time, the exhibition honors the accomplishments of one individual who overcame the trauma of fleeing the Holocaust and used his life to shape popular culture and help humanitarian causes."

Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution runs from July 16 to November 12, 2017 at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, 9603 Woods Drive in Skokie.

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richardsshoes.jpgBoots worn by Keith Richards during the 1981 Tattoo You tour/Collection of David and Alex Graham, photo by Robert Wedemeyer

Graham: "Keith had these boots. Every gig he drove me out of my mind. He wouldn't walk onstage unless it was in those boots. The heel broke off in Candlestick and he wouldn't go onstage without them. So I took the boot and the heel and I ran through the backstage area . . . I put [the heel] on with a hammer and nail. So you know how good I am at that? The worst. I'm surprised he didn't bleed to death."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:26 AM | Permalink

The [Thursday] Papers

"Comparing the state income tax hike he'd vetoed a day earlier to a 'two-by-four smacked across the forehead,' Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday warned lawmakers not to override him and said he would do 'everything possible' to try to make sure they don't," the Tribune reports.

Everything, governor? Some may wonder if you're doing anything.

Cue NPRIllinois' Brian Mackey:

So has he been trying to persuade, cajole or otherwise convince the Republicans who voted yes to change their position? Reporters asked if he'd even been in touch with them, and if so, what he's said.

"We are doing everything possible to make sure my veto stands and that it's not overridden," Rauner said.

"Like what?" a reporter asked.

"Everything possible," Rauner said.

"What does that mean?" a reporter asked, but she was interrupted by another question and the news conference moved on.

Whoever interrupted needs a stern talking to.

Here's the thing: At least two Republicans who voted yes say neither the governor nor his office have been in touch.

Politically, the best outcome for Rauner is for predominantly Democratic legislators to override his veto and give him his first budget to govern with, while campaigning on his attempt to block a tax hike. In that sense, Rauner can be a winner even though he has clearly lost his two-and-a-half year fight.

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Back to the Tribune:

"Despite the movement toward a resolution in Springfield, Moody's Investors Service indicated Wednesday that even overriding Rauner's budget vetoes might not be enough to prevent a downgrade. The agency cited the state's 'most pressing credit challenges': a $15 billion backlog of unpaid bills and a shortfall in government employee pensions systems that the state has pegged at $130 billion.

"The governor showed little public concern about the threats from ratings agencies, telling reporters Wednesday, 'Don't listen to Wall Street.'"

Isn't Wall Street's imprimatur what you want most when you pledge to run government like a business?

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But okay, la la la la la . . .

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"Rauner had invited news cameras to a tavern in Chicago's Hegewisch neighborhood, where he was joined by local businesspeople who complained about high property taxes. Rauner took the opportunity to rail against Madigan 'and his subordinates' for 'using leverage of suffering' to raise taxes . . .

"Rauner himself, however, has talked before about using political leverage. During an April 2015 appearance before the Chicago Tribune editorial board, he was asked how he would be able to accomplish his agenda with Democrats controlling the General Assembly.

"Crisis creates opportunity," he said then. "Crisis creates leverage to change . . . and we've got to use that leverage of the crisis to force structural change."

Rauner, then, is the one who thought he could use suffering as a wedge - to dislodge progressive Democrats from Michael Madigan's voting bloc in an end-around to get his "pro-business reforms." Think of all the suffering he created - and tolerated - in pursuit of changes to workman's comp rules, so-called "right-to-work" zones and term limits. And it didn't even work.

Rauner miscalculated badly, only strengthening Madigan's hand by stubbornly insisting on "reforms" so ghastly that progressives rallied around Madigan as the grotesque man on the wall needed to protect the elderly, children, the disabled, the addicted, the homeless, veterans, and the mentally ill, as well as the working- and middle-classes.

Let's face it: Bruce Rauner is a very bad man. Apparently he never read Moby-Dick.

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"If they were just going to do a tax hike with no reforms, they could have done that two years ago," Rauner said. "Instead they caused a crisis and they hurt innocent people. This is wrong. This is broken politics."

They.

They did it.

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"Gov. Bruce Rauner, who demagogued his way into office on the back of an Illinois income tax increase, resaddled that trusted pony Wednesday for another campaign ride," Mark Brown writes for the Sun-Times

"The governor could barely contain his phony outrage on the eve of an Illinois House effort to override his vetoes of a state budget that gifts him with both a functioning government and a re-election platform.

"'A disaster' for the people of the state of Illinois, the billionaire governor said of the budget that raises the individual income tax rate to 4.95 percent - slightly less than what it was when he first got out his checkbook to make this state his grandest acquisition."

Rauner To Public: Drop Dead
If I read this right, the governor's office simply ignored a FOIA from the Springfield State Journal-Register, and then simply ignored the public access counselor of the state attorney general's office. Just ignored them. Now they've been ordered to turn over the documents in question - and isn't our interest heightened?

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Tribune's Disastrous Sale To Sinclair
Conservative TV group trying to sell to completely nutso conservative TV group, changing the face of local news across America for the kookiest worst.

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The Political Odds
Updated to reflect recent developments.

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WTF, Democrats
As far as I can tell, this isn't a joke.

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The Grocery Store
Man's inhumanity to man.

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BeachBook
A sampling.

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Middle-Class Americans Were Fleeced By Neo-Liberalism.

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Is Your God Dead?

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Marty Gangler says: "Try the Gopher."

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Get to the point.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:47 AM | Permalink

July 5, 2017

The Grocery Store

Click on the comments icon for the full story.


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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:00 PM | Permalink

WTF, Democrats

In a move already being denounced by progressives as "tone deaf" and "literally the stupidest fucking idea" ever, tech billionaires Mark Pincus and Reid Hoffman have launched an initiative titled Win the Future (WTF) with the goal of bringing the Democratic Party back from the political wilderness.

Recode's Tony Romm first reported on the billionaires' plans and lofty objectives, which include pushing Democrats to "rewire their philosophical core" and recruiting candidates to challenge Democratic incumbents. The recruits, according to Romm, will be called "WTF Democrats."

(Editor's Note: As much as I can determine, this isn't a joke.)

The tech moguls have "contributed $500,000 to their still-evolving project" so far, Romm notes, and they have been "aided by Jeffrey Katzenberg, a major Democratic donor and former chairman of Disney, as well as venture capitalists Fred Wilson and Sunil Paul."

Pincus, the Chicago born co-founder of Zynga, signaled that the WTF platform will be "pro-social [and] pro-planet, but also pro-business and pro-economy."

"I'm fearful the Democratic Party is already moving too far to the left," Pincus said. "I want to push the Democratic Party to be more in touch with mainstream America, and on some issues, that's more left, and on some issues it might be more right."

Progressives reacted to the project - and to the comments of its founders - with a combination of scorn and dismay, portraying the effort as just the latest in a series of misguided attempts to push the Democratic Party rightward.

If the self-interested elites behind "Win the Future" want to be helpful, say critics, they should go save the Republican Party instead.

"It would be much more valuable for the world if sane, but conservative, self-protective rich people who are against bigotry and recognize that climate science is real became forces within the Republican Party and supported sane Republicans in primaries rather than water down the message of the Democratic Party and its commitment to economic equality and social justice," Jeff Hauser, director of the Revolving Door Project at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, told The Huffington Post.

Hauser concluded that the last thing the Democratic Party should be promoting is a coalition of candidates who are "regressive on corporate power."

Others similarly panned the billionaires' ambitions as yet another "centrist push" that runs counter to the prevailing agenda of the grassroots, which has of late ramped up calls for the Democratic Party to push aggressively for programs like Medicare for All and free public college tuition.

"Win the Future's technocratic bent seems to ignore the unexpected success of President Donald Trump and the competitive bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination by Sen. Bernie Sanders, both of whom ran populist campaigns against the reigning financial elite and the power it exerts in politics," noted The Huffington Post's Daniel Marans.

According to recent polls, most Americans believe that the Democratic Party is already out of touch, and many Democrats are not optimistic about their party's prospects. Tech billionaires, progressives argued, are the opposite of what the party needs.

"The weakness of the Democratic Party is not due to an underrepresentation of venture capitalists and tech company board members," concluded Alex Lawson, executive director of Social Security Works.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:26 PM | Permalink

A Wisconsin Republican Looks Back With Regret At Voter ID And Redistricting Fights

Dale Schultz, a Republican, served in the Wisconsin Legislature for more than 30 years, from 1983 to 2015. His Senate district is located in south Wisconsin, much of it rural farmland. Schultz was considered a moderate, and so much of what happened in state politics near the end of his tenure dismayed him: partisan fights over the rights of unions, a gubernatorial recall election, and claims of partisan Republican gerrymandering that will now be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

And then there was the prolonged entanglement over voting rights in the state - who could vote, when they could vote, how they could vote. In the face of years of political combat and federal court fights, the legislature ultimately adopted a vast array of changes to election laws. Among them:

  • Voters would have to produce certain types of identification.
  • Early voting was reduced.
  • Restrictions on absentee balloting were implemented.
  • Time frames for how long people had to be residing in the state before they could vote were lengthened.

Republicans hailed the moves as overdue steps toward improving the integrity of state voting. Democrats cried foul, alleging a conspiracy to suppress votes among people of color and others inclined to vote Democratic.

Schulz was in office for the birth of the efforts to tighten voting procedures and often present for the Republican deliberations about their aims. Schultz, before leaving office, voted for the initial voting measures, a decision he came to regret. He opposed some of the subsequent measures as litigation over the issues made their way through the courts and his career wound down.

ProPublica had a rare interview with Schultz recently about the issue of voting in Wisconsin. The Q&A follows. It has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

ProPublica: You were initially in favor of Republican efforts to tighten voting and reconfigure districts. What first appealed to you about those ideas?

Dale Schultz: Well, the blunt truth is, as a partisan politician, your knee-jerk reaction is to protect the standing of your party because that solidifies your power to accomplish what you want to do. My good friend and former colleague, Tim Cullen, also served as Senate majority leader but on the Democrat side, and we've said we're both guilty of voting for redistricting maps which were politically motivated. This isn't a one-party sin. It happens on both sides, and that's why we introduced our bipartisan bill to change how we redistrict in Wisconsin. I'm happy the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up the issue this fall.

The Republicans pushing the voter ID effort cited voter fraud as a concern and a reason to tighten voting rules and requirements. Did anyone ever show you compelling evidence of that?

No, in fact, quite the opposite. Some of the most conservative people in our caucus actually took the time to involve themselves in election-watching and came back and told other caucus members that, "I'm sorry, I didn't see it."

In terms of voting laws, look, I don't have a fundamental problem with having to show a photo ID in order to vote, but what I do have a problem with are the severe restrictions on what kind of photo ID is allowed and also using these laws to suppress the votes of specific groups.

You need to understand, I come from the old school of the "Institution of the Senate." When I was coming up through the ranks, and even when I was majority leader, I put great stock and respect into the chairmanship system. When you were given a chair of a committee, you were expected to put the good of the Senate above all else. So when the chair of the Senate elections committee says there's a problem with voter fraud in the state, and the committee passes a bill out, you take them at their word.

But that's on me.

Anyway, I ultimately ordered my staff to launch our own investigation and come up with three concrete examples of voter fraud in Wisconsin. Well, guess what? They couldn't do it, and you need to understand the time, I had graduates from the University of Wisconsin journalism school on staff who'd worked for national publications. But we did come up with two examples. One was a Republican legislative staffer who'd voted in the Madison area as well as back in her hometown in the same election. The other was the estranged wife of a Republican. That's it, and both examples were on the Republican side.

Did you ever raise the lack of evidence with your Republican colleagues?

Our caucuses were quite raucous. Our meetings and how we dealt with one another was blunt.

I asked my colleagues to show me three specific examples, and all I got was a bunch of hand-wringing and drama-filled speeches about the "buses of Democrats being brought up from Chicago." I said, "Show me where that was ever prosecuted or even charges brought." It was crickets. Nobody could give me an answer, and that was both an eye-opening and sad moment for me because I think it finally hit me that time-honored tradition of the "institution of the Senate" was all but dead.

You know, I had, I think it's fair to say, a reputation for challenging the thinking of our caucuses. But if you find yourself in a situation where you're dissenting too often, pretty soon people go, "Well, he never agrees with us, he's not really one of us. We're not going to bother to listen." So, you learn to pick your spots and try to make a difference where you can.

I want to be clear. I don't want to cast myself as some sort of superhero. Look, I'm a politician. I was for 30 years. Inherently, that means that you compromise and that everybody's hands get a little dirty as they try to work out a solution that is the best for people.

People were very frank and this is not a game for the timid. People were very emotional, but you know when it comes to casting votes, people know that once the decision is made, the team pretty much sticks together.

Talk about why you later came to regret ever voting for the measures.

I voted for the first voter law bill, and then I did what I'd done since I first got elected in 1982; I went out and did my regular scheduled district office hours. It took all of my first stop to realize I didn't do my homework. I had town and village clerks coming up to me saying, "Dale, are you nuts? Do you realize how restricting voting hours and early voting and absentee voting is going to affect how people can vote let alone making our jobs all the harder?" They also made it clear that there was no voter fraud happening that they were aware of. Because of the feedback from my constituents, I voted no on the subsequent bills.

I enjoyed all the people I represented and it was a great honor. But there were occasions where people said, "Dale, I've heard your explanation on what you've done and why you've done it, but I think you got this wrong." And I think voter ID was one of those.

A long time ago my father told me on the farm, if you happen to, when you're out in the pasture, put your foot in a cowpie, don't sit there and explain why you stepped in it, just take it out. And it's been my experience politically, that when you do that, and you explain the reasons, people tend to see that as a politician evolving and thinking and listening, and I think most people are hungry for that. And they're supportive of that, as long as it doesn't become a daily flip-flop.

The numbers are in from the 2016 election in Wisconsin. The state surprised the pollsters by going for Trump. And now there's likely to be a long debate and examination of whether the voter ID and other measures played a role in that outcome. Any early thoughts?

Oh, yeah, all of these things have an impact. Even just constantly keeping up a steady drumbeat of claims about election fraud has an impact. It motivates a base. How big an impact probably varies from state to state. In very close elections, even seemingly small impacts can have great consequences.

You got out of elective office after 32 years. Why?

Well, because I like to think I'm old enough and wise enough to know that there's more to life than politics, as important as it's been to me and as enjoyable as it has been to me for all those years. Then again, it's not that I haven't been bothered by the changes I'd seen around me or just the simple reality that it was less fun than it used to be as people stopped thinking and became more Pavlovian.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.

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Comments welcome.


Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:51 AM | Permalink

Tribune's Disastrous Sale To Sinclair

Conservative TV group trying to sell to completely nutso conservative TV group, changing the face of local news across America for the kookiest worst.


Forced to run extreme right commentary. And then there's the news!

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See also:

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Previously:
* Item: Former Trump Aide Joins Sinclair.

* Trump's FCC Chair Continues To Shaft The Public, Offer Major Handouts To Big Media.

* Trump-Friendly Sinclair's Takeover Of Tribune TV Stations Brought To You By Trump's FCC Chairman.

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P.S.: Jon Stewart.

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Comments welcome.

1. From Steve Rhodes:

Oliver gives local news too much credit; it's mostly a cesspool of stupidity. Stewart, on the other hand, doesn't acknowledge that some parts of the media did terrific reporting on the realities of Trump - and continue to - though local news is essentially already Sinclairized. Which is why much of America, living in their own bubble, has a completely different belief system in play (and believes the New York Times is failing and CNN is fake news).

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:29 AM | Permalink

July 4, 2017

Political Odds

For entertainment purposes only. And office pools. Updated as events warrant.

The chance that . . .

Rauner is re-elected: 35%. Dems give him a budget that saves the state that he also gets to veto to save face. But so far a massive failure.

J.B. Pritzker gets the Dem nomination: 45%. Putative frontrunner has the bucks, but a dispiriting candidacy.

column_pol_odds.gifChris Kennedy gets the Dem nomination: 20 percent. Down 10 ticks, because geez! Bumbling alternative to Pritzker only barely plausible because of pocketbook.

Daniel Biss gets the Dem nomination: 25 percent. True progressive-ish alternative could roll up the anti-billionaire vote.

Ameya Pawar gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. Unless everyone else flames out; he'll work hard, but please.

Scott Drury gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. Wrong year for an anti-Madigan platform; we need him on that wall.

Bob Daiber gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. Who?

Alex Paterakis gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. Who?

Tio Hardiman gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. At this point, can't even get a job. Wrong way to rebuild a career, unless your career goal is to be the next Dock Walls.

Lisa Madigan gets the Dem nomination: 100 percent. If Daddy wasn't standing in her way. Maybe her and Rauner have something to bond over after all.

Bill Daley gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. But Sneed will float his name - he's serious this time!

Dick Durbin gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. He would've won if he ran.

Toni Preckwinkle gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. She would've won if she ran.

Tom Dart gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. He would've won if he ran. Boy the Dems have a second-tier field.

Rahm runs for re-election in 2019: 55 percent. Up 25 ticks with no Clinton Administration job in the offing. Thanks, Trump.

Preckwinkle runs for mayor: 0 percent. Seems to be setting up political heirs instead.

Karen Lewis runs for mayor: 0 percent. She didn't want to run last time.

Chuy Garcia runs for mayor: 1 percent. He didn't want to run last time, though supposedly gearing up.

Kurt Summers runs for mayor: 45 percent. He's running for something, but unlikely to challenge Rahm.

Scott Waguespack runs for mayor: 30 percent. Tougher field than last two times; hasn't built citywide appeal.

John Arena runs for mayor: 30 percent. Hasn't built citywide appeal - and any alderman looking to make this jump has to become better known as Rahm's chief antagonist.

Roderick Sawyer runs for mayor 1 percent. Those rumors have settled down, thankfully; incredibly thin record to run on.

Kim Foxx runs for mayor: 10 percent. Down another 15 ticks on lackluster start; too soon.

Bridget Gainer runs for mayor: 25 percent. Apparently considering it, and field needs a woman, but willing to challenge Rahm?

Dart runs for mayor: 55 percent. If not now, when?

Troy LaRaviere runs for mayor: 10 percent. Being a spurned principal isn't enough.

Lisa Madigan runs for mayor: 10 percent. Only if Rahm wants her to.

Mike Quigley runs for mayor: 10 percent. Only if Rahm wants him to.

Ameya Pawar runs for mayor: 20 percent. Unlikely to challenge Rahm, but maybe run for governor is a tryout.

Willie Wilson runs for mayor: 1 percent. Won't he still be president?

Bob Fioretti runs for mayor: 1 percent. Only if Willie Wilson bankrolls him.

Dock Walls runs for mayor: 100 percent. He's Dock Walls.

Pat Quinn runs for mayor: 5 percent. Please don't.

Richard Boykin runs for mayor: 5 percent. Was making noise but has quieted down.

Garry McCarthy runs for mayor: 5 percent. Not enough Trump wards.

Chance The Rapper runs for mayor: 0 percent. No.

John Daley runs for mayor: 10 percent. Someone has to restore the dynasty - and it's not gonna be Bill.

Patrick Daley Thompson runs for mayor: 20 percent. Someone has to restore the dynasty - and it's not gonna be Bill.

Vice Mayor Brendan Reilly runs for mayor: 10 percent. Access to money, but not a clear path. State office?

Mendoza runs for mayor: 10 percent. Only if Rahm wants her to.

Andrea Zopp runs for mayor: 6 percent. In the discussion since Rahm invented a job for her.

Raoul runs for mayor: 25 percent. He could win, but eyes on a bigger prize?

Joe Berrios is indicted: 50 percent. Seems like just a matter of time, yet there he is, still a free man.

The Infrastructure Trust lasts another year: 5 percent. Down 10 percent. Is that thing still around?

The local media continues to ignore Homan Square: 100 percent. The psychology is just bizarre.

Donald Trump is impeached: 100 percent. Nearly inconceivable he lasts four years.

Propositions
Over/Under on how many police officers the feds indict in the Laquan McDonald case: 5. Convicted? That's another question. (UPDATE: 3 now indicted.)

Over/Under on the number of aldermen who will be indicted before the next election: 4. Up a half on rumbles of coming news.

Next alderman likely to be indicted, three-way parlay, choose from the following, in descending probability: Willie Cochran [done!], Jason Ervin, Howard Brookins, Anthony Beale, Emma Mitts, Walter Burnett, George Cardenas, Carrie Austin, Danny Solis, Patrick O'Connor.

Daley brother most likely to be indicted in descending probability, parlays available: John, Michael, Richard, Bill.

Daley relative most likely to be indicted in descending probability: Patrick Daley, Patrick Daley Thompson.

Emanuel brother most likely to be indicted in descending probability: Ari, Rahm, Ezekiel.

Next city/county officeholder likely to be indicted in descending probability: Dorothy Brown, Karen Yarbrough, Joe Berrios, Stanley Moore, Maria Pappas.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:30 AM | Permalink

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. The Henhouse Prowlers at Joe's Bar on Thursday night.

Video by Sarah Mitchell.

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2. Clusterpuck at Joe's Bar on Thursday night.

Video by Sarah Mitchell.

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3. Neighborhood Brats at Quenchers on Friday night.

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4. Chrash at Bottom Lounge on Friday night.

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5. Soja at the House of Blues on Friday night.

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6. My Double Life at the Elbo Room on Friday night.

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7. Propane! Propane! at the Burlington on Friday night.

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8. The Suburbs at Bottom Lounge on Friday night.

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9. Train in Tinley Park on Friday night.

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10. The Red Hot Chili Peppers at the big ol' West Side arena on Sunday night.

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11. Daedelus at Thalia Hall on Sunday night.

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12. Plains Druid at Heavy Petting on Saturday night.

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13. Spiiltek at Heavy Petting on Saturday night.

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14. Tourist at Heavy Petting on Saturday night.

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Catching up with . . .

Rammstein in Tinley Park on June 27th.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:13 AM | Permalink

July 3, 2017

The [Fourth Of July 2017] Papers

For completists, there was no column on Friday or over the weekend. I'm cat-sitting in Bucktown among other pressing matters. I'm really, really behind . . . in all phases of life. I hope to catch up this week, but I've been saying this exact thing for 11 years now . . . which reminds me, I've been telling people lately the site is in its 13th year but it's actually its 12th . . . . . I think. We went live in February 2006. That means we completed our 11th year last February, right? We're in our 12th year!

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I am totally working on the state budget, police reform and other goodies, including continuing media malfeasance! For now, let me post this placeholder column, good for however long I need it to be!

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The Cubs Are Team Trump Now
Hell Week exposes this franchise for what it's become. Plus: The White Sox Rebuild Is Not Going As Well As You Think.

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Joe & Mika Owe America An Apology
"Scarborough and Brzezinski are hardly emblems of journalistic integrity or political courage. Let's not forget that the Morning Joe cohosts, particularly Scarborough (a former Republican Congressman from Florida), are partly responsible for Trump becoming president. They've known Trump for over a decade and were once among his biggest fans."

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What Me & Tim Watched Last Night
Including: The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement.

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Beachwood Photo Booth: S&M Carpets
Shag & Mahal?

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The White Sox Report: Art Of The Walk-Off
Plus: Revisiting the idea of Todd Frazier leading off. Yup, still a good idea!

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Last Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: King Crimson, Jaga Jazzist, William Elliot Whitmore, Halo Circus, Reckless Order, Toto, OKGO, Ted Wulfers, and The Dead On.

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The Audacity Of The Dems' Cynical Opposition To Single-Payer
"Notwithstanding the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act, former president Barack Obama claimed that progressives who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders' (VT) presidential campaign and Medicare-For-All proposal undermined the popularity of the program and contributed to its vulnerability. The irony of Obama's later challenge in his farewell address and claim to support a program that would insure more people at lower costs than the Affordable Care Act was palpable: 'If anyone can put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we've made to our health care system - that covers as many people at less cost - I will publicly support it.'

"Obama's challenge has already been met by almost every other industrialized country, where universal health care plans like single-payer and national health service systems cover everyone at far lower costs than our current privatized system."

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BeachBook
A sampling.

Chicago's Elected School Board Stalls Again.

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Muslim Doctor In Small Minnesota Town That Welcomed Him, Then Voted For Trump, Tries To Understand His Totally Fucked-Up Neighbors.

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Confirmation Bias Goggles.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

LOL. Fake news.

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The media can adopt the governor's disingenuous 32% rhetoric or discuss the 1.2 percent increase in the IL income tax that just passed the General Assembly. But clearly, being spun in this scenario is willful. Also, the increase we're talking about is still below the "temporary" rate in place when Bruce Rauner took office, so the Democrats, with a dozen Republican votes, have actually "permanently" lowered taxes - at a time when the state desperately needs revenue.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Gin, tacos.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:50 PM | Permalink

Joe & Mika Owe America An Apology

Most media reports have portrayed Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski as aggrieved victims of Donald Trump's Thursday Twitter tantrum. It can't be pleasant to be attacked so personally by the president, but Scarborough and Brzezinski are fighting back.

On their MSNBC show Morning Joe on Friday and in an op-ed column in the Washington Post entitled "President Trump Is Not Well," they chastised Trump for his vicious and vulgar attacks on her appearance, for referring to her as "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" and him as "Psycho Joe." They denied Trump's claim that she had plastic surgery and that she was "bleeding badly from a face-lift" when she and Scarborough visited Trump's private club at Mar-a-Lago in Florida last year. They also levied a serious charge that Trump tried to blackmail them by threatening a negative story about the couple in the National Enquirer unless they asked Trump (who is close to the tabloid's publisher) to have the story killed.

America is aghast but hardly surprised by Trump's latest social media assault. It is totally consistent with his regular attacks on women, his efforts to bully and intimidate his critics, and his narcissistic need to get revenge on anyone who does not swear uncompromising loyalty to him.

Understandably, Brzezinski and Scarborough are attracting lots of sympathy for being the targets of Trump's vile comments. Democrats have used this episode to remind Americans about the president's unhinged personality, his disrespect for women, and how he demeans the office and embarrasses the country with his crude and repugnant remarks. Republicans have been relatively tepid in rebuking Trump. They have sought to distance themselves from his comments against the influential MSNBC co-hosts and particularly his sexist remarks about Brzezinski, but not one Republican so far has proposed a motion in Congress to censure the president for this and other outrageous statements.

On air, Brzezinski said that, "I am very concerned about what this once again reveals about the president of the United States. It's strange," adding "It does worry me about the country." Scarborough pointed to the "alarming" pattern of Trump's insults toward women. And in a tweet directed at Trump, Scarborough wrote, "Why do you keep lying about things that are so easily disproven? What is wrong with you?"

But Scarborough and Brzezinski are hardly emblems of journalistic integrity or political courage. Let's not forget that the Morning Joe cohosts, particularly Scarborough (a former Republican Congressman from Florida), are partly responsible for Trump becoming president. They've known Trump for over a decade and were once among his biggest fans.

In late 2015 and 2016, when Trump's campaign was gaining momentum, they defended him against his critics and offered him advice. For example, at an event at the 92nd Street Y in New York in November 2015, Scarborough proudly recounted how he frequently called Trump to offer political guidance. Returning the bromance favor, in January 2016 Trump talked about Scarborough with Boston talk radio host Howie Carr. "He's a great guy, and he has a great show . . . and we have a lot of fun," Trump said. After Trump won the New Hampshire primary in February 2016, Trump appeared on Morning Joe and told the co-hosts: "You guys have been supporters, and I really appreciate it."

A few days later, CNN reported that MSNBC officials were concerned about "Scarborough's friendship with Trump and his increasingly favorable coverage of the candidate." According to CNN, MSNBC insiders called Scarborough's admiration for Trump "over the top" and "unseemly." The Washington Post observed that Trump received "a tremendous degree of warmth from the show," and that his appearances on the show, in person and over the phone, often felt like "a cozy social club."

That coziness was caught on tape during an MSNBC town hall with Trump in New York that Scarborough and Brzezinski hosted in February 2016. An unaired clip of banter between Brzezinski and Trump in between segments revealed the two of them colluding about what questions she'd ask him. "Nothing too hard, Mika," Trump says. "OK," she responded.

Even after Trump's most disgusting and troublesome traits were revealed to the entire country throughout the campaign - his abuse of women, his attacks on Latinos, immigrants, Muslims, and people with disabilities, his profound ignorance of basic issues and government policy, and the corruption and scandals surrounding Trump University and the Trump foundation - Scarborough (and to a lesser extent Brzezinski) continued to lend Trump their support.

Trump and Scarborough's relationship was a bromance of convenience. Trump got sympathetic coverage. Scarborough got inside information and frequent interviews that boosted Morning Joe's ratings. But inevitably the two big egos clashed, with Brzezinski (slightly more liberal but less outspoken than her partner) collateral damage.

During the spring and summer, however, the relationship waxed hot and cold. In June, for example, Scarborough blasted Paul Ryan and other GOP leaders for endorsing Trump despite his "racist statements." He warned Republicans that if they don't "back away from those endorsements" they will "lose your standing as a national party." That month Scarborough also said that Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric "sounds a lot like Nazi Germany" and that Trump's suggestion that Barack Obama was complicit in the shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub was "beyond breathtaking."

In July, however, Scarborough parroted Trump's criticism of FBI director James Comey for not recommending criminal charges against Clinton. After Trump gave a speech in Ohio that month, Brzezinski said that the candidate "got his groove back," while Scarborough claimed that Trump looked "re-energized" and asked, "Is this guy really 70 years old?" On July 27, a week after Trump won the GOP nomination, however, Scarborough slammed Trump's views on Russia. "He's been an apologist for Vladimir Putin for a very long time," he remarked, adding that Trump's raise of Putin was "disqualifying." By the end of July, Scarborough was calling on Republican leaders to "cut [Trump] loose." But in August, reversing course, Scarborough backed Trump's false claim that he had opposed the Iraq war.

In September, the couple met with the GOP nominee at Trump Tower to "rekindle" their relationship, according to CNN. After that meeting, they fawned over Trump for the next six months. They defended Trump's call for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's Secret Service detail to disarm, his ugly comments on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, and reports that he misused his charitable foundation to support his private businesses. After polls revealed the Trump lost his first two debates with Clinton, they defended his performance and questioned the polling results. Scarborough even argued that Trump's shouldn't be judged by normal debate standards. He even declared that debate moderators don't need to fact-check statements made by the candidates - clearly a defense of Trump's long-distance relationship with the truth.

At a September press event, Trump falsely claimed that Clinton had "started the birther controversy" (about Obama's birthplace) but that he (Trump) had "finished it." On their September 19 show, Brzezinski called on Trump to apologize for his long "birther" crusade but Scarborough quickly dismissed her comment. (This was not the first time that he publicly treated her with disdain and disrespect. He once told her, on air, that her political analysis "means nothing" because she is a Democrat).

In October, after the New York Times reported that Trump may have avoided paying federal income taxes for almost 20 years, Brzezinski came to his defense, claiming that he was "brilliant" for bragging how he had exploited the tax code to his advantage. Scarborough lashed out at journalists who criticized Trump for refusing to say if would accept the election results if he lost.

After Trump won the election, the duo continued to defend him, while Scarborough continued to give him advice during the transition. When Trump picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier, to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Scarborough insisted that "I just know" that Trump "has to believe" in climate science. After Kellyanne Conway got a top White House job, she thanked Brzezinski for her "counsel and friendship."

The MSNBC couple attended Trump's New Year's Eve party at Mar-a-Lago. Once Trump took office, he solidified his relationship with them. Scarborough bragged how he and Brzezinski have "known and have been friends with Donald Trump for a decade," praising him as "the master of many things."

By April, however, the duo stopped their love affair with the new president. While hardly joining the ranks of the "resistance" movement, their comments became more and more negative. As Trump became increasingly mired in scandal, Scarborough criticized Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris environmental accords, which, he said, risked alienating China, India, and the U.S. business community. In May, Brzezinski bluntly stated, "This presidency is failing day by day by day through lies." They began questioning Trump's mental health.

In early June, while discussing Trump's tweet rampages, including his attack on London's mayor following a terrorist attack in that city, Scarborough observed, "There is not a sane rational human being who would have tweeted what he tweeted."

Trump clearly took this about-face as a personal betrayal. Not unexpectedly, he overreacted and began attacking them via Twitter, even while falsely claiming that he rarely watched their show. Thursday's Twitter tantrum was the latest, most personal, and most vulgar of his rants, but it was hardly out of character.

On Friday, the day after Trump's attack, Scarborough said, "The guy that's in the White House now is not the guy we knew two years ago." Brzezinski agreed: "Not even close."

That's a lie.

People who have followed Trump's career for years have remarked about his megalomania, vanity, need for flattery, hunger for adulation, nasty temper, thirst for revenge, instinct for humiliating his critics, sexist attitudes and abuse of women, racism, insistence on total fidelity, willingness to toss overboard anyone who fails his test of loyalty, and ignorance of history and current events. Scarborough and Brzezinski, who've known Trump for over a decade, had to be willfully oblivious to avoid seeing the true Trump.

All of Trump's traits that they now find so objectionable were clearly on display last year when they embraced him and his campaign. They chose to ignore the obvious. Whether they wanted to get closer to power, out of personal loyalty, or (in Scarborough's case) partisan allegiance, they helped normalize Trump even while he was violating every standard of decency expected of a presidential candidate and a president, while putting the nation at risk with his chaotic and impulsive behavior and unsteady leadership.

It is good that Scarborough and Brzezinski have finally recognized, or at least publicly admitted, that Trump is unfit to be president. If their recent critiques of Trump are the result of buyer's remorse, a mea culpa for their previous fealty, atoning for past sins, or simply jumping off a sinking ship - well, better late than never.

But we shouldn't forget or forgive them for helping this vile man become our nation's president. We are reaping the consequences of their poor judgement and their unwillingness to speak truth to power. They should apologize to the American people.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Peter Dreier is E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics, and chair of the Urban & Environmental Policy Department, at Occidental College. His most recent book is The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books, 2012). His other books include: Place Matters: Metropolitics for the 21st Century (University Press of Kansas, 3rd edition, 2014), and The Next Los Angeles: The Struggle for a Livable City (University of California Press, revised 2006).

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:16 AM | Permalink

What I Watched Last Night: Aaron Spelling, Aaron Sorkin, The Love Boat, The Rockford Files, M*A*S*H, Cheers, Falcone, Kolchak, Road House

An e-mail correspondence.

Steve: Idea: An Aaron Spelling and Aaron Sorkin production.

Tim: Long walk and talks on the Love Boat.

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Tim: Columbo Johnny Cash episode on Cozi.

Steve: Got it!

Tim: The Movement.

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Tim: Today's trivia: Coach from Cheers directed this episode.

Steve: No way!

Tim:

swansong.png

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Tim: Also so far I've counted two M*A*S*H generals - the USAF colonel (general who got chef-infantryman Ed Begley Jr. reassigned as cook) and the guy in the studio just now (Gen. Barker, who Frank and Margaret complain to when Hawkeye is made chief surgeon - also played Boss Hogg).

Steve: You are out of control!

Tim: This guy now is a dead ringer for Dean Acheson.

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Steve: "'Jump' was followed by two more singles from 1984: 'I'll Wait,' a ballad whose chorus was written by Roth with an uncredited Michael McDonald . . . "

Tim: That's . . . odd.

Phone phreak story on Rockford, interesting. The real Cap'n Crunch phreak named himself after a toy whistle prize the cereal maker distributed in Cap'n Crunch boxes. The whistle played a perfect 2600 Hz tone, which in the AT&T system was the means deployed by an operator to take control of a phone line (and which phreaks exploited to do same). Nick would appreciate this episode.

Steve: I'm watching!

Tim: At 9:00 I'm stepping out for 15 minutes - can you tell me what happened on the next episode?

Steve: Something about a cop TV show called Falcone . . .

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Steve: Kolchak is on ME-TV.

Tim: I've never watched it, but I put it in my notice file. Good stuff?

Steve: Eh, not paying attention.

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Tim: Road House has been playing all weekend. It makes me wonder if there's a remake in the works. It's airing now on Reelz (just started).

Steve: Reelz House.

Tim: Seriously, it's been on three networks this weekend.

Dalton's cutting people loose.

"There's always barber college."

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Submissions to What I Watched Last Night - and comments - welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:41 AM | Permalink

Walking And Leading Off

As much as anything else, baseball is a game of rituals, and the White Sox practiced one on two occasions last week.

I'm talking about the Art of the Walk-Off.

First it was Tuesday night against the Yankees, when Jose Abreu rifled a shot between third and short, scoring Willy Garcia and Alen Hanson, both of whom were on base via walks, giving the Sox a 4-3 victory.

Then on Friday against Texas, Melky Cabrera raised chalk with a laser past first base, capping a frantic three-run uprising as Tim Anderson and Hanson raced home as the Sox were victorious 8-7.

In each instance, the ritual commenced as soon as the winning run scored, although Cabrera's celebration was a two-part event because the Rangers challenged the call.

With nothing to lose, manager Jeff Banister wanted the umps to take a closer look at exactly where the ball landed. It caught the baseline, and the celebration continued in the Sox dugout.

These days the walk-off victory goes something like this:

1. Batter gets winning hit.

2. Batter acts like a deer in headlights, frantically running to elude his ecstatic teammates.

3. Teammates catch him.

4. Some have water bottles which they empty on batter's head.

5. Batter is taken to the ground and teammates pile on.

6. Everyone retires to the clubhouse in a joyous mood.

7. Home team fans exit stadium also feeling euphoric.

It's all quite predictable, although ripping the batter's shirt off - a simply lovely add-on that many fans enjoy - sometimes is part of the ritual.

Abreu on Tuesday finally got back to the dugout in a sleeveless t-shirt. Cabrera claimed that he was thankful on Friday that his pals didn't remove his uniform top since he wasn't wearing an undershirt.

Seems to me folks would have liked seeing him bare-chested. Maybe next time.

Of course, this all needs to be orchestrated and refined since this is a time when hammies might be pulled, obliques strained, or lats bent out of shape. All the roughhousing resembles more of a serenade than a brawl.

For good reason. Every team remembers back in 2010 when Kendrys Morales, then playing for the Angels, hit a game-ending grand slam, culminating with a leap onto home plate and into the arms of his adoring teammates. Only problem was that Morales landed awkwardly, breaking his ankle and ending his season. Morales remains a solid hitter today, but he was coming off a 34-homer, 108-RBI season, and he's never quite equaled those numbers since the injury.

The walk-off home run has a bit of a different twist in that the hitter circles the bases and tosses his batting helmet skyward about 30 feet from home plate. He still makes a triumphant leap to touch home, but teammates are careful to give him plenty of clearance before the water bottle dousing, and the leap is not quite as high or demonstrative as it used to be. Call it the Kendrys Morales Syndrome if you will.

These glorifications dedicated to the last-gasp victory do get tweaked every now and then. While his teammates poured two five-gallon containers - one filled with water, the other with Gatorade - over Cabrera's head on Friday, it was executed in the dugout as the athletes waited for the umpires to rule on the challenge. So the jugs were close at hand. No one was in danger of a rotator cuff or elbow injury caused by carrying five gallons of liquid across the diamond.

For the most part, the individual water bottles have replaced the larger tanks. It may be that groundskeepers are not so keen about cleaning up sugary energy drinks from the environs of big league ballparks.

We also see very few shaving cream pies smashed into the faces of the games' heroes. In the past, this occurred primarily during post-game interviews. Maybe it's the possibility of a broken nose or thick soap in one's eyes - rendering the athlete inactive the next day or longer - that signaled the end to this shenanigan.

Or possibly the practice comes under the heading of hazing which, of course, is frowned upon in professional sports.

Whatever the reason, the shaving cream pie seems to have gone the way of the four-pitch intentional walk.

Which is an obvious segue to the amount of time the White Sox spent last week engaged in competition. The seven games - a four-game split with New York and a 2-1 series edge against Texas - averaged three hours, 31 minutes. In addition, Thursday's 4-3 win over the Yankees didn't end until 1 a.m. due to an almost three-hour rain delay at the game's start.

Sunday's 6-5 win over Texas, thanks to an eighth-inning, two-run home run off the bat of Yolmer Sanchez, featured 20 strikeouts, ten walks, four Sox errors, and three replay reviews, one of which took more than four minutes.

Between the two ballclubs there must have been at least 15 conferences between pitchers, catchers, infielders and coaches. It seemed that signs were being communicated orally in tense situations. Another 15 minutes and the game would have taken four hours.

But when the Sox win - an occurrence which likely happens only two or three times a week - who cares how long it takes? The boys aroused the denizens last week by scoring 14 runs in the eighth and ninth innings. Down 6-1 on Monday to the Yankees, Rick Renteria's group staged a ninth-inning rally keyed by a three-run homer by Tim Anderson. Yankee manager Joe Girardi was compelled to use closer Aroldis Chapman, who induced Todd Frazier to fly out to end the game at 6-5.

However, Chapman, recently activated from the disabled list, was then unavailable on Tuesday, and Dellin Betances performed miserably in the closer's role, loading the bases on two walks and a hit batter before Abreu's heroics.

The Sox now are 3-4 in walk-off decisions. Last season they went 7-10 in those situations.

Finding Frazier
To follow up on last week's column, I floated the idea of inserting Todd Frazier into the leadoff role, the seven games last week provided more insight.

Leading off an inning last week, Frazier went 3-for-10 with two homers and a walk. With no one on base - the obvious situation at least once a game for the leadoff man - Frazier went 4-for-15 with three walks and a HBP. His on-base percentage for those instances was .421, an ideal percentage for a batter hitting first.

He didn't fare as well with runners in scoring position, picking up only one hit in five official at bats, but he also walked three times and drove in two runs in those situations.

Frazier has been walked 43 times this season, which is 19 more than anyone else on the team. His on-base percentage is a respectable .330, a few ticks above the league average. Seven of his 15 home runs have come leading off an inning. In the first inning this season, Frazier is hitting .350 compared to .213 for the year.

Is it not clear that Frazier is a markedly better hitter early in the game with no one on base in addition to his ability to draw bases on balls? Rickey Henderson hit 297 home runs as a leadoff man, so it's alright to have a power hitter bat first.

That's the last time you'll hear about Frazier leading off in this particular space. I promise.

(Editor's Note: I hope not!)

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Former Bill Veeck bar buddy Roger Wallenstein is our White Sox correspondent. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:17 AM | Permalink

The Cynical Opposition Of Some Democrats To Universal Health Care

After strong opposition from Americans concerned with the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act and opposition from Senate Republicans forced Mitch McConnell to delay the Senate vote on the American Health Care Act, and growing support across the country for a single-payer health care system, the time is ripe for a push towards truly universal health care.

Despite the opportunities afforded amidst the current situation and the Trump administration's plummeting approval ratings, as well as more than half of House Democrats co-sponsoring Rep. John Conyer's (MI) single-payer bill, many high-profile Democrats continue to employ cynical rhetoric in their subtle refusal to endorse a truly universal health care system.

Instead, Americans are forced to witness the opportunistic spectacle of Democrats like Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) professing their belief that health care is a right and not a privilege - the same Cory Booker who was one of 13 Democrats to vote against legislation allowing Americans to import cheaper Canadian prescription drugs, while simultaneously refusing to endorse either a single-payer or national health service system.

Other cynical uses of political rhetoric can be seen in statements made by high-profile Democrats like Rep. John Lewis (GA) who argue that "Affordable health care is the birthright of every American," despite dismissing universal health care because "there's not anything free in America." The carefully added qualifier "affordable" is the operative word that betrays their true belief that health care isn't actually a right, but a commodity to be sold on the market, rationed out by consumers' ability to pay. And there are always going to be people priced out of markets.

People are correct to be outraged that the American Health Care Act is estimated to cause an additional 22 million people to be uninsured by 2026, but under the Affordable Care Act right now, there are 28 million people who are priced out of health insurance markets and remain uninsured. In a country where the majority of Americans don't have enough savings to cover a $500 emergency, it's no surprise that even the insured can face immense medical debt, with medical expenses being the No. 1 reason Americans file for personal bankruptcy.

Notwithstanding the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act, former president Barack Obama claimed that progressives who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders' (VT) presidential campaign and Medicare-For-All proposal undermined the popularity of the program and contributed to its vulnerability. The irony of Obama's later challenge in his farewell address and claim to support a program that would insure more people at lower costs than the Affordable Care Act was palpable: "If anyone can put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we've made to our health care system - that covers as many people at less cost - I will publicly support it."

Obama's challenge has already been met by almost every other industrialized country, where universal health care plans like single-payer and national health service systems cover everyone at far lower costs than our current privatized system.

Yet, high-profile Democrats like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz continue to stonewall on support for a single-payer system and argue for the flaccid strategy of working within the Affordable Care Act because single-payer isn't politically viable: "If politically, Medicare-for-All actually became viable, if we elected enough people to Congress, that could make it happen, then I most definitely would be supportive of it."

Wasserman-Schultz's tepid response to a question on her support for single-payer is a reflection of compelling arguments made by political-philosophers like Michael Sandel in What Money Can't Buy, on how markets crowd out morals in public discourse and why we forbid markets in organ transplants - because the buying and selling of goods like human organs degrades them by inappropriately valuing them in terms of monetary worth.

If many of us already recognize the moral hideousness of trafficking in human organs because that would prioritize and value wealthier patients over poorer patients and those who need them the most, why should we permit trafficking in health insurance where private health insurers have perverse incentives to refuse coverage to those who need it the most and have similar outcomes to markets in human organs?

As some have already noted, Democrats who oppose the American Health Care Act without also supporting single-payer agree in principle that Americans should be allowed to die for the sake of rapacious private health insurers' profits, and are just haggling over numbers.

Health care is a fundamental human right which should be accessible to anyone regardless of their ability to pay for it, which is also outlined in the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And if we correctly wouldn't stand it if we heard Democrats say that they refuse to stand up for the civil rights of minorities because it isn't "politically viable," why should we allow our elected officials to make excuses for not fighting for our right to health care until it becomes "politically viable," instead of right now?

And when we keep in mind that America's health care crisis is currently causing many to rely on crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe and YouCaring for medical expenses, "cynical" is the appropriate word to describe Democrats who claim to support health care as a right, while simultaneously refusing to make health care anything but an "affordable" commodity.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:06 AM | Permalink

July 1, 2017

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. King Crimson at the Chicago Theatre on Wednesday night.


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2. The Dead On at Livewire on Monday night.

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3. Halo Circus at Wire in Berwyn on Wednesday night.

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4. Reckless Order at Wire in Berwyn on Wednesday night.

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5. Toto at the Arcada in St. Charles on Wednesday night.

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6. Ted Wulfers at City Winery on Wednesday night.

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7. William Elliot Whitmore at City Winery on Monday night.

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8. Jaga Jazzist at Millennium Park on Monday night.

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9. Ok Go at the Vic on Thursday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:42 PM | Permalink

MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock Including Riot Fest Highlights.
TV - No Rehabilitating Vietnam.
POLITICS - Rauner Vetoes Online Privacy.
SPORTS - Coffman: Cooper's Blooper Not As Bad As You Think.

BOOKS - Quimby's Adult Thrillers!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: Black Jeans In White Tel Aviv.


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