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October 31, 2018

RECALL! O Sole Mio Chicken Tortellini

Les Aliments O Sole Mio, a Boisbriand, Quebec establishment, is recalling approximately 3,880 pounds of chicken tortellini products that were produced without the benefit of inspection by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and imported into the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Wednesday.

The heat-treated, not fully cooked, not shelf-stable chicken tortellini items were produced on October 20, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:

* 20-oz. packages of "O'SOLE MIO LA PASSIONE DELLA CUCINA ITALIANA Tortellini CHICKEN" with lot code 293018 and "USE ON OR FREEZE BY" JAN. 18 19.

The products subject to recall bear Canadian establishment number "764" within the Canadian mark of inspection. These items were shipped to warehouse locations in Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

The problem was discovered when the CFIA notified FSIS that the Canadian establishment produced the product outside the approved period of work shift agreement.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers' freezers or refrigerators. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Consumers and members of the media with questions about the recall can contact Fiore Napolitano, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Les Aliments O Sole Mio, at (450) 435-4111, Ext. 227.

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Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov.

The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

NOTE: Access news releases and other information at FSIS' website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Follow FSIS on Twitter at twitter.com/usdafoodsafety or in Spanish at: twitter.com/usdafoodsafe_es.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:20 PM | Permalink

Judge: "Deliberate Indifference" Of IDOC Mental Health Care Requires Federal Oversight

A federal court has found that the State of Illinois continues to violate the constitutional rights of more than 12,000 prisoners with mental illness.

The finding comes even after the case had reached a settlement agreement in 2016; the plaintiffs had to return to court when the Illinois Department of Corrections failed to live up to its agreement and constitutional violations continued, according to the plaintiffs' lead counsel, Harold Hirshman, senior counsel for Dentons.

The court issued a 50-page decision finding that IDOC has been deliberately indifferent to prisoners' mental health, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

"It is clear mentally ill inmates continue to suffer as they wait for the IDOC to do what it said it was going to do," wrote U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm. The court described the changes needed to IDOC's mental health care as "monumental."

A court-appointed monitor and doctors for IDOC testified the mental health care in Illinois' prisons is "dangerous" and an "emergency." The court expressed concern "with the overall lack of a sense of urgency" in response to the harms being done to prisoners with mental illness.

The court order finds that prisoners in acute mental health crisis - those with worsening psychosis, or who are actively suicidal - are not provided with the mental health treatment needed to stabilize. Instead, they are locked in seclusion cells 24 hours a day with nothing to do, with only 15-minute treatment sessions each day. Hundreds of Illinois prisoners are placed on these "crisis watches" each month. In one recent month, 121 such prisoners remained locked in those isolation cells for over 10 days.

The order also addresses solitary confinement, which is known to exacerbate mental illness. IDOC staff testified to the negative impact of solitary confinement on those with mental illness, yet more than 80% of Illinois prisoners in solitary are classified as mentally ill. The court-appointed monitor, Dr. Pablo Stewart, testified that this issue was as serious as any he has seen in his career, and that Illinois prisoners with mental illness in solitary are "suffering immensely."

The court found that the violations are largely caused by "systemic and gross deficiencies in staffing." Reports showed that Wexford Health Sources - the private company that IDOC pays to provide mental health care in all its prisons - failed to provide more than 10,000 hours of clinical staff time required by its contract to deliver mental health treatment to Illinois prisoners. As a result, many prisoners' psychiatric medication is not managed, and people often just stop taking their medications. Thousands of prisoners are in danger because of the lack of needed medication management.

In a 2016 settlement agreement, IDOC agreed to provide at least eight hours of structured out-of-cell time each week to those in solitary confinement, but evidence at trial showed that the prisoners only received two to four hours per week, mostly provided through weekly movies. The court found that this is insufficient: "It is generally accepted that out-of-cell time for mentally ill inmates in segregation is necessary to avoid a rapid decline in mental health."

"Thousands of people with mental illness throughout Illinois prisons are suffering needlessly from mental illness that could be treated," said Amanda Antholt, senior attorney at Equip for Equality and one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs. "Their conditions are getting worse during their incarcerations, when our state needs to provide the care needed to make them better so that they can go home to their families and communities. It should not take years of litigation, and multiple court orders, to get the state to provide even the most minimal care people who are desperately in need."

"Prisoners in Illinois with mental illness have been tortured for far too long. We are thrilled that the court sees this injustice and that there will be federal oversight of the care provided to this vulnerable population," said Alan Mills, executive director of Uptown People's Law Center and one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs."

The court's order follows a June 8, 2018 report by Stewart, the independent court-appointed monitor, that IDOC has failed to comply with 18 of the 25 terms that it previously agreed to in a settlement agreement. The order gives the IDOC two weeks to submit a proposal to address the constitutional deficiencies. The plaintiffs will then have one week to respond to that proposal.

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See also:

* Pantagraph: Federal Judge Issues Permanent Injunction In IDOC Mental Health Lawsuit.

* Capitol Fax: Another Gigantic State Government Failure.

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Previously: Mentally Ill Prisoners Win Injunction; Judge Declares IDOC's Failure To Provide Mental Health Care An "Emergency Situation."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:04 PM | Permalink

The [Wednesday] Papers

"Megyn Kelly's slow-motion exit from NBC News has turned into an all-out legal battle," CNN reports.

"NBC is said to be reluctant to pay out the rest of her three-year contract, which is reportedly worth $69 million. And Kelly is said to be reluctant to sign away her rights to speak freely.

"Sources confirmed to CNN that one of the sticking points involves something called a non-disparagement clause, which would prohibit Kelly from speaking ill of NBC in the future."

I'm not exactly a Megyn Kelly fan, but I hope - and we all should hope - she holds firm on the rejecting a non-disparagement clause. Silencing a former employee is bad enough, but when that former employee is, well, not exactly a journalist but a media person, it's even worse. Shame on NBC - but then what else is new.

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Office Of Labor Standards
Last week: Chicago One Week Away From New Office Of Labor Standards.

Today:

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Ed "Chuy" Burke
"Burke's opponents recognize he's been working overtime to repair his image with predominantly Hispanic voters," WBEZ reports.

"He's doing things he has never done before," said Jamie Guzman, who moved from Little Village to Gage Park three years ago for the specific goal of beating Burke. "He is out there knocking doors; he just created a Facebook page. He is definitely pandering."

"In addition to Guzman, Burke is also facing challenger Jose Torrez in February.

"That new Facebook page confirms that Burke has been making the rounds at neighborhood events and appearances at anti-deportation demonstrations. At City Hall, he forced the leadership of a city-funded, social service agency to explain their involvement in detaining child immigrants. More recently, he targeted an agreement the city has with Gary Airport in Indiana for its work deporting immigrants captured from around the Midwest."

*

But this is the best/worst part:

"Alderman Ed Burke says: 'Say No to Trump by Voting against Rauner on Nov. 6th,'" reads a graphic texted to residents, urging them to vote out Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. The words hover around a photo of Burke standing alongside two of Chicago's most prominent Latino Democrats, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez and Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia.

Click through to see for yourself.

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Patched Out
"Days before the election, a leading motorcycle group is rescinding its endorsement of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner," NPR Illinois reports.

"ABATE of Illinois' political action committee says it's disappointed in a recent executive order from the governor.

"Issued last week, the order is aimed at expanding opportunities for developing self-driving cars in Illinois.

"ABATE warns that the current technology isn't good enough to spot bikers and prevent collisions."

Hmmm, that seems like a stretch. Really, ABATE? Does he at least get to keep his patches?

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Punishing Bullies Doesn't Work
"The current consensus on how to reduce bullying is amorphous. Researchers talk about 'holistic' and 'multi-faceted' approaches that focus on improving both "school climate" and 'social-emotional learning.'

"It's a lot of jargon but from what I can tell, they're talking about building a strong, caring community where students learn to take personal responsibility for their own actions.

"Rather than targeting the bullies, the idea is to teach everyone to be a better person.

"Researchers believe that bullying can thrive when it's socially acceptable and bullying is more likely to be tamped down when it's not 'cool.'"

In other words, it's not about the bully, it's about how everybody else reacts to the bully. Change the community response and the bully will follow.

cc: Republicans.

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Honored | Chicago's "Doctor Of Wrestling"
David Curby, who has served as executive director of Beat the Streets Chicago and also coaches a youth wrestling club at St. Sabina, is going into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

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ChicagoReddit

Anyone here ever lived in a coach house? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Chicago, A Rugby City.

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BeachBook

God, The Editor.

*

MLK: What We Lost.

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How Republicans Became Anti-Choice.

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We Posed As 100 Senators To Run Ads On Facebook. Facebook Approved Them All.

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What Went Wrong At Treasure Island?

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TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

*

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Spooky action at a distance.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:43 AM | Permalink

Punishing Bullies Doesn't Work

In September 2018, I wrote about the so-called "Trump effect" on bullying in schools, citing a study that found higher bullying rates in GOP districts after the 2016 presidential election. But that piece raised an important question: What should schools do to address and prevent bullying?

The scientific evidence on what works is complicated.

There's a whole cottage industry of consultants selling anti-bullying programs to schools but academic researchers say there is no proof they work. There are some small studies with positive results. But when reputable researchers study efforts to expand these strategies across schools among many students and compare bullying rates with those at schools that didn't receive the intervention, there tends not to be a difference. For example, this 2007 review of anti-bullying programs found "little discernible effect on youth participants."

"A lot of us know the dirty secret that these programs don't work out in the real world," said Ron Avi Astor, an educational psychologist at the University of Southern California and an expert in bullying prevention. "All of us talk about it."

Meanwhile, researchers notice that schools often address bullying in ways that are counter productive. Jonathan Cohen, a psychologist and an adjunct professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, is currently working on a paper about the gap between anti-bullying policies and the scientific evidence on bullying. He found that state policies typically encourage schools to focus on identifying bullies and punishing them. Often a student who is misbehaving and treating another student badly is sent to the principal's office and punished with a suspension or an expulsion, Cohen said.

"That flies in the face of twenty-some years of empirical research that shows punishing kids is unhelpful," said Cohen.

Instead, he argues that schools should combine consequences for bullies with mediation, counseling or a learning experience. "Not all, but characteristically, the students who fall into the profile of a mean, bullying person, are in fact people who are struggling with psychological issues," Cohen said.

Severe punishments can often backfire and exacerbate bullying, according to Christian Villenas, research director at the National School Climate Center. "Sometimes students feel that they were defending themselves and now they're being punished for it," he said. "That can end up escalating the issue, online or somewhere else" outside of school.

School shootings and violence have prompted schools to take an even more punitive stance against student misbehavior, experts I talked to said. School boards are responding to understandable parental fears but not factoring in what academic experts and researchers believe to be true.

The current consensus on how to reduce bullying is amorphous. Researchers talk about "holistic" and "multi-faceted" approaches that focus on improving both "school climate" and "social-emotional learning." It's a lot of jargon but from what I can tell, they're talking about building a strong, caring community where students learn to take personal responsibility for their own actions. Rather than targeting the bullies, the idea is to teach everyone to be a better person. Researchers believe that bullying can thrive when it's socially acceptable and bullying is more likely to be tamped down when it's not "cool." (This 2013 report from the American Educational Research Association lays out the research community's recommendations more thoroughly. Notice that holding a school-wide assembly where the principal tells everyone not to be a bully isn't among them; experts say these events don't resonate with kids. )

However, even these community-oriented approaches haven't been 100 percent scientifically proven to work. What researchers know is that the higher a school's climate rating - that is, the more that students, parents and teachers think their school is a safe place where people are respected - the lower the bullying rates. Similarly, the higher the social-emotional skills, such as the ability to wait and not react impulsively, the lower the bullying rates. But what hasn't been clearly proven is that improvements in school climate or social-emotional skills will necessarily lead to a reduction in bullying.

"We're not seeing climate improvement by itself reduces violence," said USC's Astor. Astor's research is now looking at how academic improvements at schools, combined with school climate improvements, together can reduce violence or bullying at schools.

It's also unclear how big a problem bullying is and whether it's getting worse. Many researchers say that roughly one in five students experiences some sort of bullying in a given academic year, a rate that has been stable for many years. In September 2018, a nonprofit group that regularly surveys students to inform philanthropists called YouthTruth claimed that bullying significantly worsened in the 2017-18 school year and now one in three students is bullied. (But the organization didn't survey a nationally representative sample of students; the 160,000 students who filled out their survey were disproportionately from high-poverty urban schools where rates of bullying tend to be higher.)

Meanwhile, many behaviors that might be considered to be part of bullying, such as fighting, have dropped dramatically since the 1990s, according to the federal government's indicators of school crime and safety.

"We're seeing a decrease in these behaviors but an increase in people claiming bullying," Astor said. "It's a subjective category."

As our society changes its notions of what is acceptable behavior, we might be lowering the bar on what is considered bullying. For example, a student who was teased regularly in the 1970s might not have considered the taunting to be cruel enough to cross the threshold into bullying. But a victim of the same teasing now might characterize it that way.

Indeed, confusion over what bullying is and isn't makes it very hard for schools and teachers to document and track. Cohen points out that many states have advised schools to use an academic definition, which narrowly defines bullying as something that is repeatedly done to be intentionally cruel and by a kid who is more powerful than the victim. Often teachers don't know for certain if a bullying incident has happened before or if it was intended to be cruel. Sometimes incidents don't get reported that ought to be.

"This is a scholarly definition which is useful for researchers but it's very confusing and unhelpful for teachers and school administrators," he said. Often schools are blamed for not adhering to what the research says but here's an example of the research community undermining practice.

This post was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Sign up for the Hechinger newsletter.

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See also: The item Woolly Bully.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:48 AM | Permalink

Honored | Chicago's "Doctor Of Wrestling"

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame announced Monday that the Class of 2019 inductees are Distinguished Members Carl Adams, Rich Lorenzo, Brandon Paulson and Townsend Saunders, Meritorious Official David Errett, Order of Merit recipient Dr. David Curby and Medal of Courage recipient James McCloughan. The Hall of Fame will announce its Outstanding American honoree at a later date.

Dr. David Curby helped found and serves as the director of the International Network of Wrestling Researchers, which has more than 500 members in 75 countries, and also serves as the editor of the International Journal of Wrestling Science, the organization's official publication.

His website, INWR-Wrestling.com, is the world's foremost website on the scientific aspects of wrestling. The INWR has organized and conducted scientific symposiums at the World Championships since 2010.

Curby, who has compiled a library of more than 2,800 published scientific articles on wrestling, helped found and serves as secretary for United World Wrestling's Scientific Commission.

He served as executive director of Beat the Streets Chicago and also coaches a youth wrestling club at St. Sabina.

On the mat, Curby was a Junior National Champion and a Junior World team member. He was a four-year starter, team captain and a Big Ten champion at the University of Michigan.

A Fulbright Scholar, Curby received his bachelor's degree in physical education from Michigan and his master's degree and doctorate from Northern Illinois in physical education and educational psychology.

He was athletic director and administrator of physical welfare at Niles North School in Skokie from 1994-2008, after working as a teacher and department chair of physical education and health at Lyons Township High School.

Curby was named "Physical Educator of the Year" in 1984 by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Curby received the Lifetime Service to Wrestling award from the Illinois Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2015 and received the Alan Rice Leadership Award from the Alan and Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions in 2014.

He received the United States Olympic Committee's "Doc" Councilman Award for scientific contributions to coaching in 2011 and is also a member of the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association Hall of Fame.

Following the death of his son, Jacob, in 2010, Curby and his family founded the Jacob Curby Foundation, in memory of their son, who was a member of the United States National Greco-Roman team, and conducted the Jacob Curby Cup, which was one of America's premier Greco-Roman competitions.

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The Hall of Fame Board of Governors approved the selections at its meeting in Kansas City on Oct. 24. The induction ceremony will be held at the 43rd Annual Honors Weekend on May 31-June 1, 2019 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. For more information on Honors Weekend, please telephone (405) 377-5243.

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See also:

* WWR39: The Doctor of Wrestling, Dr. David Curby, On The Scientific Study Of Wrestling.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:10 AM | Permalink

October 30, 2018

Megyn Kelly's Race Record

"Megyn Kelly's Today show run at NBC is over after a tumultuous week that began when she defended blackface Halloween costumes on Tuesday, causing massive backlash that led her to apologize the next day," USA Today reports.

Look, NBC knew what it was getting when it signed Kelly. They ignored her record on race - among other things - because they saw dollar signs in their eyes. The media, too, largely ignored her record on race - among other things - because hitching your wagon to a rising star (who might welcome you on to her show!) a much smarter career move than telling the truth. And if she was crushing it in the ratings, she'd still have her job.

Let's review.

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"Just for the record: I am not a white supremacist!"

If you have to make such a declaration . . .

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"The Megyn moment has upended the popular notion of how a Fox News star is supposed to behave, and led to the spectacle of a Fox anchor winning praise from the very elites whose disdain Fox has always welcomed," Jim Rutenberg wrote in a 2015 Times Magazine profile. All this, despite the fact that, for more than a decade, she had built her brand around bizarre, dubious takedowns of black American culture, and had been virulently opposed to calling herself a feminist."

The link: "Don't Forget That Megyn Kelly Is a Racial Demagogue | The recent flattering coverage of her move to NBC leaves out the ugliest episodes of her work at Fox. By Jamelle Bouie. Read it; it's really all you need.

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Her most infamous moment. December 2013:

Of course it should go without saying, but just for the record:

"Santa Claus can be traced to a real life monk named St. Nicholas who lived in what is today Turkey, according to the History Channel. Jesus Christ was born to a Jewish family around what is now Israel, and his race has long been debated with several scholars saying he likely looked like what many modern day people of Middle Eastern descent look like."

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And, tangentially related from the Beachwood vault:

Megyn Kelly's Invitation-Only Lunch With DuPage County Republicans And A Few Cubs.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:25 AM | Permalink

Segregation Snapshot: One Saturday Afternoon On The South Side

Let me put this in context.

My first job out of journalism school at the University of Iowa was at Hollister Newspapers (later Pioneer Press) covering primarily high school sports on the North Shore. While I no longer go to many games, I've always enjoyed prep sports for their unpredictability, excitement, and a freshness and innocence not usually integral at the college or pro level.

Lake Forest, the Scouts, qualified for the state 6A playoffs by rallying to win its final two games for a 5-4 season record. They drew Wendell Phillips High of Bronzeville, the defending 5A state champions, as a first-round opponent Saturday at Gately Stadium on 103rd Street.

I know an junior interior lineman on Lake Forest - his dad is my nephew from a previous marriage. I saw the kid play once as a freshman and an earlier game this season.

And I've been curious to see Phillips play ever since their coach Troy McAllister turned them into a powerhouse of the Public League and eventually into state champions. I frequently drive past the school on Pershing Road (39th Street) on my way to be with some wonderful young people who meet on South State Street in a program called Camp of Dreams. I'm president of the board.

I've met a couple of Phillips alums and know that the school has an illustrious history beginning in 1904. Nat King Cole went there. So did Gwendolyn Brooks, Herbie Hancock, Dinah Washington, Sam Cooke and a number of athletes who went on to play professionally. Originally the school's demographic was overwhelmingly white, and Wendell Phillips himself was a white person who was a champion of abolition at the time of the Civil War.

The Great Migration attracted African Americans to Bronzeville, which became a cultural center for black people, and Phillips morphed into a school serving primarily black families. It also fell on hard times, and in 2010 became what is known as a "turnaround" school, meaning CPS basically cleaned house by firing the principal and all the teachers, who then could re-apply with the new administration. Say what you will about this re-do, but the fact of the matter is that Phillips today remains very much in business - as opposed to many schools on the South Side which are shuttered forever.

Suffice it to say that Lake Forest High has never been a "turnaround" school, nor can anyone envision such a scenario.

Which brings us to Saturday.

Admission was $5, and my nephew's other uncle and I presented our tickets at the gate on the west side of the stadium.

"You're from Lake Forest," said the young African-American woman at the gate taking tickets. It was a statement, not a question.

"How can you tell?" I asked. She broke into a wide grin as did I, and she directed us to the east gate where the Lake Forest fans were being directed. After presenting our tickets, a security guard ran his wand over each spectator before waving him or her to the stands. My guess is that this is not protocol for Lake Forest home games.

So the snapshot looked like this: Black people sitting on one side, predominately white folks on the other. The teams on the field mirrored the demographics in the stands, though Lake Forest does have a few black players including the son of former Bear star Big Cat Williams.

It was a sensational game. Well-played. Competitive. Good sportsmanship. Close and exciting. Phillips scored with 35 seconds remaining to rescue a 30-24 outcome despite the fact that few people, very likely including the Lake Forest players, figured that the Scouts had even a remote chance to stick with the Wildcats.

Maybe I just should leave it at that: A lovely way to spend an autumn Saturday watching high school kids play their hearts out in a memorable game.

For better or worse, that's not who I am. I understand the history behind having fans from the two teams sit on opposite sides of the field at a city stadium that in the past has occasionally been the scene of fights between the opposing sides. The mentality is to expect the worst in order to keep the peace.

Of course, this was a different dynamic, and the optic was one where blacks and whites by design were separated by fifty yards of turf. Wasn't this an opportunity to let people sit where they wanted? We don't designate seating at a Cubs, Sox, Bulls or Bears games by race, and that surely wasn't the intent of the people who managed the game last Saturday. However, if an uninformed person with no knowledge of the past happened to stop by, it sure looked that way.

The coming together of two schools - one from a traditionally affluent suburb and the other from the heart of the city - occurs frequently in match-ups for state competition and holiday tournaments. They represent one opportunity where people from very different backgrounds, experiences and skin color wind up in proximity to one another. The distressing aspect is that, if left to their own devices, the fans last Saturday still very well might have self-separated. But at least that would have been their choice.

In one instance, a Lake Forest player pushed a Phillips ball-carrier at the out-of-bounds marker, sending the kid into the cyclone fence near the sideline. The refs might have called Lake Forest for a late hit, a possibility I pointed out, at which juncture a Lake Forest partisan turned to me and suggested, "Why don't you go sit on the other side?"

Any other day that might have been an option, but not Saturday.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:36 AM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

Chicago journalist Jamie Kalven appears on the latest episode of Ken Davis's Chicago Newsroom with a fairly stunning anecdote.

From Davis's newsletter write-up:

Kalven tells that Toni Preckwinkle played a critical role in bringing the "sixteen shots" narrative into the public consciousness. He tells us that he'd asked her directly if she could find any details about the Laquan autopsy, which had been performed by the Medical Examiner's Office, under her supervision. Here's what he told us on this week's show.

"I was actually going out for a run in the evening, a cold December night, snow falling and she drove up alongside me and beckoned me into her car . . . As I recall it she didn't even say hello. She immediately said, "16 shots front and back," and that was the first time I heard those words and it continued to reverberate. And then not too long after that I was able to FOIA the autopsy."

That, my friends, is a moment - one I don't remember having been previously disclosed.

It feels like we still don't know everything about the Laquan McDonald case.

Adding:

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El Chapo Jr.
"As with many family businesses, when the patriarch is unable to perform his duties one of the children steps up to run things," Chuck Goudie reports for ABC7-TV.

Such is the case with Jesus Alfredo Guzman-Salazar, who federal agents say is overseeing the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico while his drug lord dad is preoccupied with a cocaine trafficking trial in New York City.

But Guzman-Salazar, 35, does not appear to have assumed quiet control of cartel business.

Investigators say he routinely posts photos of his lavishness on social media accounts, some of them private, displaying exotic cars and expensive private jets, vacation hideaways, high-powered weapons and stacks of cash that they say are the spoils of an illicit lifestyle.

Guzman-Salazar, who goes by the nickname "Alfredillo," has been wanted by U.S. drug agents in Chicago since his indictment with his father nearly a decade ago. El Chapo's flesh-and-blood, six sons via various marriages, "remain in charge of his vast drug trafficking empire" according to federal prosecutors in a newly-filed court document.

The Daily Mail had the story last week.

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O'Hare Gantry?
"While The Boring Company is hard at work preparing for the upcoming public showing of its proof-of-concept tunnel in Hawthorne, CA on December 10, the tunneling startup also appears to be laying the foundations for its high-profile transport project in Chicago. The project, which would connect downtown Chicago to O'Hare airport, is expected to break ground within the next few months," Teslarati reports.

"The Boring Company has issued few updates on the Chicago project since it won the contract last June. Save for an image of a tunnel boring machine gantry that was shared on Twitter; the tunneling startup has been quite silent about the progress of its preparations for the high-profile project. Earlier this month, though, Teslarati photographers Pauline Acalin and Tom Cross were able to snap more images of the TBM gantry being built for the Chicago transport line. What's more, sophisticated equipment in the same site also suggests that a large machine - possibly The Boring Company's new TBM - is under construction."

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Obama Library Center Losing Designs
The Diller Scofidio + Renfro is clearly the best - and better than the one we're getting. I wonder why it was rejected. Assignment Desk, activate!

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The ensuing e-mail conversation . . .

Steve: Do you think this includes beer? Hookers? Blow?

Mike: It would be fascinating to know where they draw the line - can I have nachos delivered?

Steve: Right. "Yes, call for delivery. I'd like condoms, a fifth of Scotch and Plan B."

Tim: "Give me a bottle of anything and a glazed doughnut to go."

Steve: "Three scratch-offs, please."

Tim: "Hello, 7-11? Can I have ten thousand marbles, please?"

Assignment Desk, activate!

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Segregation Snapshot: One Saturday Afternoon On The South Side
Black people sitting on one side, predominately white folks on the other - mirroring the demographics of the teams on the field.

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Megyn Kelly's Race Record
If you have to declare you're not a white supremacist . . .

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ChicagoReddit

Am I living in Chicago wrong? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram



I'm pro-candy corn, btw. Very pro-candy corn. Love candy corn. It's classic! The rest of you are the worst.

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ChicagoTube

Elevator World: Multiple New High Rise Projects Win Approval In Chicago

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Pocket play.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:26 AM | Permalink

October 29, 2018

The [Monday] Papers

For completists, there was no column on Friday. Weekend Desk Reports have also become sporadic. Sorry.

"This week for the first time, Illinois is issuing every public school in the state one of four designations: exemplary, commendable, underperforming, or lowest performing," WBEZ reports.

"Hundreds of schools will be assigned those bottom two ratings of 'underperforming' or 'lowest performing.' But state education officials stress that the new labels aren't a punishment, and struggling schools will get access to resources and extra help to improve."

I also have a new rating system, and I label this plan "underperforming."

Today's Worst Liars In Illinois
"Somewhere, somehow, a memo must have gone out to Republican lawmakers who voted for the American Health Care Act, the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare: If you are attacked for undermining protections for people with existing health problems, jab back by saying the claim got Four Pinocchios from the Washington Post," the paper reports.

That's not true. Republicans are twisting an unrelated fact check and are misleading voters. We have found at least seven politicians who have done this.

Rep. Peter J. Roskam (Illinois's 6th District): In a debate on Oct. 22, he said: "Sean [Casten] has falsely accused me of being against protecting people with preexisting conditions and that was fact-checked by the Washington Post, who gave that four Pinocchios."

Rep. Rodney Davis (Illinois's 13th District): In a debate on Oct. 18, he said: "The lies about preexisting condition coverage being taken away have been scored a Four Pinocchio by the Washington Post. Read the bill. In the bill, it specifically says, 'Nothing in this bill shall allow insurance companies to deny anyone coverage for preexisting conditions.'"

Here's the kicker:

"We asked these lawmakers whether they would be willing to withdraw the citation of the Pinocchios. None agreed to do so.

"That's dismaying. These lawmakers have been put on notice that they are peddling a falsehood - and politicians who care about their reputation should acknowledge they made a mistake and offer an apology.

"Instead, they apparently believe it is politically advantageous to continue to deceive the voters in their districts. It is especially galling because many accuse their opponents of spreading lies - and then cry Four Pinocchios."

Pizza Puffery
"Chicago restaurant supplier El-Greg Inc. owes competitor Illinois Tamale Co. $220,000 after an Illinois federal court jury found Thursday that it had infringed Illinois Tamale's trademark on Pizza Puffs by selling a similar product," Law360 reports.

"Jurors agreed with Illinois Tamale's stance that El-Greg infringed its trademarked Pizza Puffs by labeling its product 'Pizza Pies (Puffs)' and awarded $30,000 in damages and $90,000 in profits on Illinois Tamale's trademark infringement and false advertising claims. The jury also found that El-Greg violated a 2004 legal settlement with Illinois Tamale that it would not describe its pizza pastries as 'puffs' and awarded $100,000 for breach of contract."

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When I grew up in Minnesota, our thing was Totino's Pizza Rolls.

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Also, what was school lunch without pizzaburgers?

I couldn't find a photo that adequately represents what I remember those looking like, but I could go for a couple right now, perhaps with tater tots. Second only to Taco Tuesday.

Cox Pox
"Tucked away off the main drag in this northwest Indiana town, not far from a busy plasma donation center and a former Tepe's Department Store that serves as the town hall, sits a cluster of nondescript apartment buildings," the Los Angeles Times reports.

"The Chapelle Le Grande, with its garden-style units, is among the more than 22 Midwest apartment complexes that have made Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox a wealthy man.

"Cox has tapped into the profits from those real estate ventures, combined with the proceeds from his Illinois-based law office, investment firm and property management business, to bankroll two decades of ambitious - and thus far unsuccessful - forays into politics. This year, that wellspring of cash has helped take Cox all the way to the November election and a one-on-one face-off with Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom."

That Cox, a failed Illinois pol, has gotten as far as he has out west is a puzzle - or a testament to how weak the GOP is in California these days. His only political success here was winning the presidency of the Cook County Republican Party, whose membership could probably all fit on a CTA bus.

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"Cox loaned $1 million to his quixotic bid for president in 2008; more than $1.1 million for his failed U.S. Senate runs in Illinois in 2002 and 2004; and more than $750,000 on other political runs in Illinois."

"Almost all of that money leads back to apartment buildings in blue-collar towns scattered across Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, which Cox began buying up with the help of outside investors beginning in the 1980s. In all, Cox's firms own and manage more than 2,600 apartment units.

"Cox's tale of self-made success is the central theme of his campaign. He casts himself as a political outsider with the business smarts to put California back on track after a rise in homelessness, poverty and housing prices, problems Cox attributes to the state Democrats in power.

"He often talks of his humble beginnings growing up on the South Side of Chicago after his parents divorced. Cox was raised by a single mother who scraped by on a public school teacher's salary."

Yeah, that's not quite right.

Go read the rest of the Times story, though, there's plenty of Illinois in it - including the time Jay's, the potato chip company, sued him.

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New on the Beachwood . . .

Watch Warner Saunders Discuss Racism With Studs Terkel
"We are saddened by the recent passing of news anchor and Chicago native Warner Saunders. To commemorate his legacy, watch a clip of Saunders and Studs Terkel discussing racism on Saunders' show, Common Ground."

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How Bush, Obama & Trump Made The Walton Family Obscenely Rich
To the tune of at least $6.5 billion - of your money.

How America's Tax Laws Encourage Inequality
"Instead of reflecting a society constantly striving to better itself, U.S. tax laws are mired in the past as they reinforce the social and economic marginalization of women, racial and ethnic minorities, the poor, members of the LGBTQ community, immigrants and people with disabilities."

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Recall! Buddy's Pork & Chicken
These items were shipped to institutional locations in Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and New Jersey.

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Painting The Floating World
"This exhibition, the first public showing of Roger Weston's comprehensive ukiyo-e painting collection in the United States, showcases how artists of the period captured ukiyo, or the 'floating world,' where people of all ranks shared in the enjoyment of the floating world's attractions - brothels, kabuki theater and seasonal festivities."

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SportsMonday: TCB
"The bottom line I suppose, and I will admit I am stretching, is that whatever negative impression may have been created by this game, it was at least matched by a positive."

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From Friday . . .

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #223: Bears Breakdown
It's special teams, stupid. Plus: Blame Ryan Pace For Setting An Impossible Standard Mitch Trubisky Will Never Meet; Check Back On The Bulls Around Christmas; Corey Crawford Is The Khalil Mack Of The Blackhawks; The Boston Red Sox Are Ridiculous; and Gold Glove Finalists Of Interest.

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ChicagoReddit

Callin all chicago games heads and nerds- its that time of year again, Saturday from 10 to 4pm International Games day at Harold Washington! :0 from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

Although I must say, Three Musketeers is clearly the superior bar.

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ChicagoTube

Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers / "Reality Bites"

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BeachBook

The Suffocation Of Democracy.

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Healthcare Companies Saving Billions From GOP Tax Bill.

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How Vacant Storefronts Rise From The Dead As Halloween Costume Shops.

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The Menace Of Eco-Fascism.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Moments of truth.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:25 PM | Permalink

SportsMonday: TCB

If the NFL tries to fine safety Eddie Jackson for the hit that gave the Jets brief life in the second half of Sunday's business-like 24-10 victory for the Bears, he will have a slam dunk appeal.

After he scurried in from the sideline after making that ridiculous call, you could see the ref mouth the words, "It was over his head." What he meant was, the ball was clearly uncatchable and therefore he threw the flag for a personal foul.

Small problem for the zebra: the pass in question went right through the receiver's hands. Jackson was a step-and-a-half away from him when it happened and it was obviously incorrect to penalize him for delivering that hit. It was another lousy call by refs who know the league gets most pissed when they miss roughing penalties.

On the other hand, this game did also feature refs picking up a flag for unnecessary roughness. After initially moving to penalize cornerback Kyle Fuller for his hit on Jets tight end Neal Sterling, the officials conferred and realized that Fuller's crushing hit was legal because he led with his shoulder. So we had that going for us, which was good.

The bottom line I suppose, and I will admit I am stretching, is that whatever negative impression may have been created by this game, it was at least matched by a positive. In fact, the Bears had plenty of positives in a routine but utterly necessary victory at home against a lousy team. And they accomplished that victory without their best player, which was the most positive thing of all.

Twisted ankles suck. They hurt so much when they happen you feel like you are going to throw up. And for weeks afterward you are susceptible to re-twisting it. Or you could suffer a compensation injury during that time, i.e., injure something else because you are compensating for your wounded ankle.

Khalil Mack's ankle injury didn't seem that serious when he did it, but we are reminded for the millionth time that you can't judge injuries unless you suffer them. Any concerns that Mack wasn't being tough enough were eliminated when he came back to play last week. This week it was time to step back and give the thing a chance to heal.

One of the many great conversations between Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone in the last month of the baseball season, the sportswriter said with all the sarcasm he could bring to bear, was one about players playing through injuries.

Their point was that back when they competed, guys played for their teams despite injuries because they didn't have long-term guaranteed contracts. Unfortunately it didn't seem to occur to them that because of injuries, those guys usually played terribly; that they and their teams would obviously have been better off if they had sat out for a while, allowing the injury to heal and a healthy player to play better baseball in their stead.

So Mack was out. And while the Bears' defense didn't generate an epic pass rush, it generated enough of one to do the job against a rookie quarterback. And the secondary played better, partly because it was facing a rookie quarterback and partly because it played better.

Mitch Trubisky gets one more game to impress us before the first big marker in his career quarterbacking for Matt Nagy - the halfway point of Season 1. He failed to do so in this game (completion percentages barely over 50 against bottom feeders don't cut it) in terms of his overall performance.

But Nagy's offense and Trubisky's throwing were impressive when it mattered - after the Jets drove to a touchdown pulling them within one score (that was the drive sparked by the lousy call on Jackson) in the fourth quarter.

At just the point when many NFL offenses would have gone completely conservative, Trubisky came out passing up a storm. His first pass in the ensuing drive was an almost no-hope bomb but at least he made sure it wasn't intercepted. Then he and Anthony Miller connected on a big gain and the Bears were off and running. The fact that Jordan Howard had 80 yards and a touchdown received more than enough attention after the game.

The more important fact was that Nagy was at his most aggressive when it would have been easy to play it safe. Way to go, big fella!

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:15 AM | Permalink

Painting The Floating World

"This exhibition, the first public showing of Roger Weston's comprehensive ukiyo-e painting collection in the United States, showcases how artists of the period captured ukiyo, or the 'floating world,' where people of all ranks shared in the enjoyment of the floating world's attractions - brothels, kabuki theater and seasonal festivities."


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"Accompanied by a 350-page catalogue that includes major new essays by leading scholars, Painting the Floating World features over 150 works from the 17th through the 19th century. Each painting offers an exquisite glimpse of the past; as a whole the exceptional collection reveals ukiyo-e's rich connection to trends in fashion, beauty, and cultural life over centuries."

November 4 to January 27.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:39 AM | Permalink

Watch Warner Saunders Discuss Racism With Studs Terkel

"We are saddened by the recent passing of news anchor and Chicago native Warner Saunders. To commemorate his legacy, watch a clip of Saunders and Studs Terkel discussing racism on Saunders' show, Common Ground."


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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:30 AM | Permalink

October 27, 2018

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #223: Bears Breakdown

It's special teams, stupid. Plus: Blame Ryan Pace For Setting An Impossible Standard Mitch Trubisky Will Never Meet; Check Back On The Bulls Around Christmas; Corey Crawford Is The Khalil Mack Of The Blackhawks; The Boston Red Sox Are Ridiculous; and Gold Glove Finalists Of Interest.


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SHOW NOTES

* 223.

* Three Mile Lyle:

4:13: It's Special Teams, Stupid.

* Coffman: The Real Bears Goat.

* The Belichick Breakdown: Bears Special Teams:

* Will Bears Ground Jets?

* Jerome Howard!

31:25: Check Back In On The Bulls Around Christmas.

* Kris Dunn Trying To Stay Positive After News He's Out 4 To 6 Weeks.

* Zach LaVine Becoming A Star.

* Portis Out 4 To 6 Weeks.

* Bulls Doing Everything To Downplay Markannen Injury.

49:53: Ryan Pace Set An Impossible Standard For Trubisky.

* Value of draft day trade can never be met.

52:27: Corey Crawford Is The Khalil Mack Of The Blackhawks.

* Rosenbloom: Legit.

57:07: The Boston Red Sox Are Ridiculous.

1:00:15: Gold Glove Finalists Of Interest.

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STOPPAGE: 3:32

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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 1:20 AM | Permalink

October 26, 2018

$6.5 Billion: A Low-Ball Estimate Of The Walton Family's Haul After 16 Years Of Bush, Obama And Trump Tax Giveaways

What's one similarity between the economic policy agendas of Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump? All three made the Walton family - the wealthiest family in the world - even richer.

According to a new analysis by the union-led campaign Making Change at Walmart, the combination of Bush's 2003 tax cuts for the rich, Obama's extension of those tax cuts, and Trump's passage of a $1.5 trillion giveaway to the wealthy last year has netted the owners of Walmart $1.1 million per day in dividend income tax savings for the past 16 years.

"It should anger working and middle-class Americans of all political backgrounds that they pay taxes while the Walton family reaps the rewards of a $6 billion dollar tax break," Amy Ritter, communications director for MCAW, said in a statement.

"It is time Americans know that the Walton family, the wealthiest family in the world, is being subsidized even as Walmart workers live paycheck-to-paycheck with jobs that have few benefits," Ritter said. "It is time for our political leaders to wake up to the reality that our broken tax system is helping the least deserving and hurting the most deserving."

By its own admission, MCAW's conclusion that the Walton family has raked in over a million bucks per day in tax savings for the past 16 years is conservative, and underestimates the overall tax windfall the Waltons have received during the three most recent administrations.

In a press release, MCAW - which is run by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union - pointed out that its analysis only examined "the Walton family ownership of Walmart stock through two entities - Walton Enterprises LP/LLC and the Walton Family Holdings Trust. The savings for individual family members, who own millions of additional Walmart shares on which dividends are also paid, was not included in this analysis."

Even so, the numbers are striking: While Walmart's starting wage has risen just slightly over the past 16 years amid soaring grassroots pressure, MCAW estimates that the Walton family has raked in $6,510,847,623 in dividend income tax savings.

"The level of tax savings reflects not only a broken tax system that has been exploited by the Walton family, but shows the indifference the largest Walmart shareholders have to the economic plight facing tens of thousands of workers who depend on taxpayer-funded government assistance and programs," MCAW concluded.

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

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Previously in tax scammage:

* McDonald's Breaks Promise To Raise Wages.

* Last Year, Amazon Paid No Federal Income Taxes. Now, It's Trying To Kill A Local Tax That Aims To Help the Homeless.

* Trump Vowed To Punish Companies That Moved Jobs Overseas. Is Congress Rewarding Them?

* After Long Career Bailing Out Big Banks, Obama Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner Now Runs Predatory Firm That Exploits The Poor For Profit.

* Jeff Bezos Just Became The Richest Person Ever. Amazon Workers Just Marked #PrimeDay With Strikes Against Low Pay And Brutal Conditions.

* A Sweet New Century For America's Most Privileged.

* With Nation Transfixed By Kavanaugh Monstrosity, House GOP Votes To Give Rich Another $3 Trillion In Tax Cuts.

* Deepwater Horizon Settlement Comes With $5.35 Billion Tax Windfall.

* Offshoring By 29 Companies Costs Illinois $1.2 Billion Annually.

* Government Agencies Allow Corporations To Write Off Billions In Federal Settlements.

* The Gang Of 62 Vs. The World.

* How The Maker Of TurboTax Fought Free, Simple Tax Filing.

* $1.4 Trillion: Oxfam Exposes The Great Offshore Tax Scam Of U.S. Companies.

* How Barclay's Turned A $10 Billion Profit Into A Tax Loss.

* Wall Street Stock Loans Drain $1 Billion A Year From German Taxpayers.

* German Finance Minister Cries Foul Over Tax Avoidance Deals.

* Prosecutor Targets Commerzbank For Deals That Dodge German Taxes.

* A Schlupfloch Here, A Schlupfloch There. Now It's Real Money.

* How Milwaukee Landlords Avoid Taxes.

* Study: 32 Illinois Fortune 500 Companies Holding At Least $147 Billion Offshore.

* Watch Out For The Coming Tax Break Trickery.

* When A 'Tax Bonanza' Is Actually A Huge Corporate Tax Break.

* The Hypocrisy Of Corporate Welfare: It's Bigger Than Trump.

* Oxfam Names World's Worst Tax Havens Fueling 'Global Race To Bottom.'

* Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average Illinois Small Business $5,789 A Year.

* State Tax Incentives To Corporations Don't Work.

* GOP Tax Plan Would Give 15 Of America's Largest Corporations A $236 Billion Tax Cut.

* Triumph Of The Oligarchs.

* Amazon Short-List Proves Something "Deeply Wrong" With America's Race-To-The-Bottom Economy.

* Apple's $38 Billion Tax Payment Less Than Half Of $79 Billion They Owe.

* U.S. Surpasses Cayman Islands To Become Second-Largest Tax Haven On Earth.

* Less Than Year After GOP Tax Scam, Six Biggest Banks Already Raked In $9 Billion In Extra Profits.

* After Budget Cuts, The IRS's Work Against Tax Cheats Is Facing "Collapse."

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Previously in The Paradise Papers:

* 'Paradise Papers' Reveal Tax Avoidance, Shady Dealings Of World's Rich And Powerful.

* Just How Much Money Is Held Offshore? Hint: A SHIT-TON.

* Development Dreams Lost In The Offshore World.

* Keeping Offshore 'Hush Hush,' But Why?

* Tax Havens Are Alive With The Sound Of Music.

* Today In Tax Avoidance Of The Ultra-Wealthy.

* Go To Town With This Offshore Leaks Database.

* The Paradise Papers: The View From Africa And Asia.

* The Paradise Papers: The End Of Elusion For PokerStars.

* The Paradise Papers: An Odd Call From The Bermuda Government.

* The Paradise Papers: Nevis Is An Offshore Haven Of Opportunity

* The Paradise Papers: The Long Twilight Struggle Against Offshore Secrecy.

* The Paradise Papers: A Fair Tax System Will Be Lost Without Public Pressure.

* Item: Today In The Paradise Papers: Through Death Threats And Scare Tactics, Honduran Reporter 'Perseveres.'

* The Paradise Papers: Journalists Flee Venezuela To Publish Investigation.

* Last Stop: Chicago.

* The Paradise Papers: 'Africa's Satellite' Avoided Millions Using A Very African Tax Scheme.

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Previously in The Panama Papers:

* The Panama Papers: Remarkable Global Media Collaboration Cracks Walls Of Offshore Tax Haven Secrecy.

* The Panama Papers: Prosecutors Open Probes.

* The [Monday] Papers.

* Adventures In Tax Avoidance.

* Mossack Fonseca's Oligarchs, Dictators And Corrupt White-Collar Businessmen.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! They're All In It Together.

* Meet The Panama Papers Editor Who Handled 376 Reporters In 80 Countries.

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Previously in carried interest, aka The Billionaire's Loophole:

* Patriotic Millionaires Vs. Carried Interest.

* The Somewhat Surreal Politics Of A Private Equity Tax Loophole Costing Us Billions (That Obama Refused To Close Despite Pledging To Do So).

* Fact-Checking Trump & Clinton On The Billionaire's Tax Break.

* Despite Trump Campaign Promise, Billionaires' Tax Loophole Survives Again.

* Carried Interest Reform Is a Sham.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:34 AM | Permalink

RECALL! Buddy's Pork And Chicken

Buddy's Kitchen, a Burnsville, Minnesota establishment, is recalling approximately 212,746 pounds of ready-to-eat pork and chicken products that contain vegetables that may be contaminated with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.

The ready-to-eat pork and chicken items were produced on various dates from Oct. 19, 2017 through Oct. 9, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:

* 7.95-lb. bulk cases containing 16 pieces of "Provolone and Roasted Peppers Omelet with Sicilian Potatoes & Italian Chicken Sausage (Bulk Pack)," with lot codes 01/02/18, 01/15/18 and 05/09/18, and case code 70578.

* 11.02-lb. bulk cases containing 24 pieces of "Chicken Chorizo & Montamore Scramble," with lot codes 04/30/18 and 07/09/18, and case code 70658.

* 9.52-lb. bulk cases containing 24 pieces of "Chicken Chorizo & Montamore Scramble," with lot codes 10/30/17, 11/04/17, 12/05/17, 12/19/17, 01/16/18, 02/22/18 and 04/24/18, and case code 70630.

* 9.75-lb. bulk cases containing 24 pieces of "PANCETTA STYLE CRUMBLE & SMOKED FONTINA SCRAMBLE," with lot codes 10/19/17, 10/31/17, 11/20/17, 12/04/17, 01/03/18, 01/10/18, 02/12/18, 02/27/18, 03/30/18, 04/09/18, 05/07/18, 05/29/18, 06/13/18, 07/09/18, 08/06/18 and 09/07/18, and case code 70620.

* 11.93-lb. bulk cases containing 24 pieces of "Provolone and Roasted Peppers Omelet with Sicilian Potatoes & Italian Chicken Sausage (Pop-Put)," with lot codes 01/02/18, 01/05/18, 01/15/18, 01/25/18, 04/30/18, 05/08/18, 05/09/18, 05/16/18, 05/17/18, 05/24/18, 05/31/18, 07/24/18, 08/01/18, 08/06/18, 08/27/18, 09/05/18, 09/18/18 and 10/09/18, and case code 70577.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number "P-4226" inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to institutional locations in Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and New Jersey.

The problem was discovered on Oct. 16, 2018, when Buddy's Kitchen, Inc. received notification that the vegetables used in the production of their ready-to-eat products was being recalled by their vegetable supplier due to Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella concerns.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution lists will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Consumers and members of the media with questions regarding the recall can contact Dave Smith, CEO, Buddy's Kitchen, at (952) 894-2540.

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Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov.

The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

NOTE: Access news releases and other information at FSIS' website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Follow FSIS on Twitter at twitter.com/usdafoodsafety or in Spanish at: twitter.com/usdafoodsafe_es.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:07 AM | Permalink

How America's Tax Laws Encourage Inequality

Talk of tax reform always seems to be in the air.

Last fall, Republicans in Congress hastily pushed through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, hailing it as "historic legislation" and "once-in-a-generation tax reform."

But that legislation has proved unpopular because it is widely and accurately viewed as tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, with any effort at reform being merely coincidental.

Despite the unpopularity of last fall's effort, this fall House Republicans pushed through what they are calling "Tax Reform 2.0."

They seem to hope to win over voters prior to the midterm elections with the mere promise of further tax cuts - the legislation was dead on arrival in the Senate.

That didn't deter President Donald Trump from recently touting a vague plan for a "major" middle-class tax cut before the midterm elections, even though Congress is out of session and not coming back until January.

But reducing tax reform to little more than a series of tax cuts designed to appease campaign donors and secure votes ignores the expressive role that a tax system plays in society.

What and how a country chooses to tax says a lot about its values, a subject I explore in my new book, Our Selfish Tax Laws: Toward Tax Reform That Mirrors Our Better Selves.

Imagining Equality

A core value built into the DNA of America, for example, is equality.

And in practice, Americans imagine their country to be more equal than it is and strive to treat every member of society that way.

But America's tax laws paint a different picture. Instead of reflecting a society constantly striving to better itself, U.S. tax laws are mired in the past as they reinforce the social and economic marginalization of women, racial and ethnic minorities, the poor, members of the LGBTQ community, immigrants and people with disabilities.

Tax And Marriage

For instance, U.S. tax law has chosen marriage as the defining characteristic of all individuals when deciding how income tax returns should be filed. That is, most Americans file their 1040s either as "single" individuals or as "married filing jointly." But even when taxpayers in these two groups have equal incomes, they aren't necessarily treated equally.

Among married couples, our tax laws give preferential treatment to those whose marriages comport with "tradition" - that is, with one spouse working in the labor market and the other in the home. These couples are rewarded with marriage "bonuses" because they pay less tax than if they earned the same amount but hadn't married.

In contrast, those in "modern" marriages, where both spouses work outside the home, often suffer marriage penalties. These couples pay more tax than if they earned the same amount but hadn't married.

And "single" taxpayers never receive a bonus but instead often pay more tax than a married couple with the same income.

While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act temporarily mitigates the marriage penalties for some two-earner married couples, it fails to address other aspects of the tax laws that contribute to the marriage penalty. Low-income married couples, for example, are still hit with significant marriage penalties under the Earned Income Tax Credit.

At the same time, the new act increased bonuses paid to single-earner married couples that provide financial encouragement for one spouse - traditionally the wife - to stay at home. To take a simple example, an individual making $100,000 with no dependents who takes the standard deduction would see a 43 percent reduction in taxes in 2018 by marrying a stay-at-home spouse, but would have seen a reduction of only about 38 percent in 2017.

The penalty for not marrying increased correspondingly.

Rewarding Discrimination

The tax treatment of employment discrimination awards is another example.

Traditionally, personal injury awards have been excluded from taxable income. Courts differed on whether employment discrimination awards were covered by this exclusion, with some courts allowing these awards to be recovered tax-free and others requiring them to be taxed. In 1996, Congress stepped in to end litigation over this issue and decided to take away the exclusion, thus requiring workers to report an employment discrimination award on their federal taxes.

Disadvantaged groups are the ones most likely to suffer from employment discrimination. The top categories of discrimination reported by the EEOC include race, disability, sex, age and national origin. Members of the LGBTQ community also suffer discrimination, but legal protection is not available for them in every state.

All of these groups bear significant monetary and psychological costs as a result of employment discrimination. The awards they are given are intended to help mitigate those costs - to make them whole. Such awards should not be taxed any more than the awards that make victims of car accidents whole for their injuries, which are still covered by the exclusion.

On the other side of the ledger, Congress continues to let employers required to pay these discrimination awards deduct them from their tax bills as business expenses.

If the goal is to prevent employment discrimination, it's counterproductive to penalize victimized workers with a tax while rewarding employers who allegedly or actually discriminated with a benefit.

Again, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made a nod at reform - and the #MeToo movement - by taking away that employer deduction for settlements in certain sexual harassment cases. But that misses the bigger picture and deeper problem with the tax code.

Meaningful Tax Reform

These are but two examples among many of how the tax laws present a distorted picture of what Americans value and the type of society that America aspires to be.

Much more is at stake in tax reform than retaining political power or doling out tax cuts. True tax reform takes time and should entail discussions among the electorate and with politicians regarding the role that the tax laws play in exacerbating social and economic inequality.

Instead of empty tax talk aimed at buying votes, we would be better off if those who wish to serve in Congress spent the time before - and after - Election Day talking with their constituents about the ways in which our tax system can help to create a more just society rather than a society that just rewards privilege.

Anthony C. Infanti is a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

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Previously in tax scammage:

* McDonald's Breaks Promise To Raise Wages.

* Last Year, Amazon Paid No Federal Income Taxes. Now, It's Trying To Kill A Local Tax That Aims To Help the Homeless.

* Trump Vowed To Punish Companies That Moved Jobs Overseas. Is Congress Rewarding Them?

* After Long Career Bailing Out Big Banks, Obama Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner Now Runs Predatory Firm That Exploits The Poor For Profit.

* Jeff Bezos Just Became The Richest Person Ever. Amazon Workers Just Marked #PrimeDay With Strikes Against Low Pay And Brutal Conditions.

* A Sweet New Century For America's Most Privileged.

* With Nation Transfixed By Kavanaugh Monstrosity, House GOP Votes To Give Rich Another $3 Trillion In Tax Cuts.

* Deepwater Horizon Settlement Comes With $5.35 Billion Tax Windfall.

* Offshoring By 29 Companies Costs Illinois $1.2 Billion Annually.

* Government Agencies Allow Corporations To Write Off Billions In Federal Settlements.

* The Gang Of 62 Vs. The World.

* How The Maker Of TurboTax Fought Free, Simple Tax Filing.

* $1.4 Trillion: Oxfam Exposes The Great Offshore Tax Scam Of U.S. Companies.

* How Barclay's Turned A $10 Billion Profit Into A Tax Loss.

* Wall Street Stock Loans Drain $1 Billion A Year From German Taxpayers.

* German Finance Minister Cries Foul Over Tax Avoidance Deals.

* Prosecutor Targets Commerzbank For Deals That Dodge German Taxes.

* A Schlupfloch Here, A Schlupfloch There. Now It's Real Money.

* How Milwaukee Landlords Avoid Taxes.

* Study: 32 Illinois Fortune 500 Companies Holding At Least $147 Billion Offshore.

* Watch Out For The Coming Tax Break Trickery.

* When A 'Tax Bonanza' Is Actually A Huge Corporate Tax Break.

* The Hypocrisy Of Corporate Welfare: It's Bigger Than Trump.

* Oxfam Names World's Worst Tax Havens Fueling 'Global Race To Bottom.'

* Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average Illinois Small Business $5,789 A Year.

* State Tax Incentives To Corporations Don't Work.

* GOP Tax Plan Would Give 15 Of America's Largest Corporations A $236 Billion Tax Cut.

* Triumph Of The Oligarchs.

* Amazon Short-List Proves Something "Deeply Wrong" With America's Race-To-The-Bottom Economy.

* Apple's $38 Billion Tax Payment Less Than Half Of $79 Billion They Owe.

* U.S. Surpasses Cayman Islands To Become Second-Largest Tax Haven On Earth.

* Less Than Year After GOP Tax Scam, Six Biggest Banks Already Raked In $9 Billion In Extra Profits.

* After Budget Cuts, The IRS's Work Against Tax Cheats Is Facing "Collapse."

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Previously in The Paradise Papers:

* 'Paradise Papers' Reveal Tax Avoidance, Shady Dealings Of World's Rich And Powerful.

* Just How Much Money Is Held Offshore? Hint: A SHIT-TON.

* Development Dreams Lost In The Offshore World.

* Keeping Offshore 'Hush Hush,' But Why?

* Tax Havens Are Alive With The Sound Of Music.

* Today In Tax Avoidance Of The Ultra-Wealthy.

* Go To Town With This Offshore Leaks Database.

* The Paradise Papers: The View From Africa And Asia.

* The Paradise Papers: The End Of Elusion For PokerStars.

* The Paradise Papers: An Odd Call From The Bermuda Government.

* The Paradise Papers: Nevis Is An Offshore Haven Of Opportunity

* The Paradise Papers: The Long Twilight Struggle Against Offshore Secrecy.

* The Paradise Papers: A Fair Tax System Will Be Lost Without Public Pressure.

* Item: Today In The Paradise Papers: Through Death Threats And Scare Tactics, Honduran Reporter 'Perseveres.'

* The Paradise Papers: Journalists Flee Venezuela To Publish Investigation.

* Last Stop: Chicago.

* The Paradise Papers: 'Africa's Satellite' Avoided Millions Using A Very African Tax Scheme.

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Previously in The Panama Papers:

* The Panama Papers: Remarkable Global Media Collaboration Cracks Walls Of Offshore Tax Haven Secrecy.

* The Panama Papers: Prosecutors Open Probes.

* The [Monday] Papers.

* Adventures In Tax Avoidance.

* Mossack Fonseca's Oligarchs, Dictators And Corrupt White-Collar Businessmen.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! They're All In It Together.

* Meet The Panama Papers Editor Who Handled 376 Reporters In 80 Countries.

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Previously in carried interest, aka The Billionaire's Loophole:

* Patriotic Millionaires Vs. Carried Interest.

* The Somewhat Surreal Politics Of A Private Equity Tax Loophole Costing Us Billions (That Obama Refused To Close Despite Pledging To Do So).

* Fact-Checking Trump & Clinton On The Billionaire's Tax Break.

* Despite Trump Campaign Promise, Billionaires' Tax Loophole Survives Again.

* Carried Interest Reform Is a Sham.

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Comments welcome.


Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:10 AM | Permalink

October 25, 2018

Rock 'N' Roll McDonald's Without The Rock 'N' Roll

Sucks.


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2012 Walk-Through.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:59 AM | Permalink

The [Thursday] Papers

"A Chicago Reporter investigation has found a troubling pattern of Chicago police officers charging people they've assaulted with aggravated battery to a police officer, aggravated assault of a police officer, or resisting arrest. Defense attorneys call these 'cover charges' and say it's a way to cover up bad behavior or justify their excessive use of force."

For example:

"Had Laquan McDonald somehow survived the volley of 16 bullets fired by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, he would have been charged with aggravated assault of a police officer.

"The charges would have been based on reports from officers at the scene on the night of Oct. 20, 2014, who said McDonald raised the knife over his shoulder in 'an aggressive manner,' forcing the officer to shoot the 17-year-old in self-defense. Those reports were refuted by the infamous dashcam video and three of the officers who filed them are set to go on trial next month for conspiracy, obstruction of justice and official misconduct.

"That trial and Van Dyke's conviction earlier this month for second-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm are exceedingly rare. Much more often, it's the person on the other end of police force that ends up arrested, charged and convicted."

To wit:

"Two out of every three times a CPD officer reported using force since 2004, they arrested the subject on one of these charges . . . Cover charges are alleged in nearly one in five of the 1,112 police misconduct lawsuits paid out by the city between 2011 and 2017, making it among the most common types of misconduct leading to a settlement."

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New on the Beachwood . . .

Rock 'N' Roll McDonald's Without The Rock 'N' Roll
Sucks.

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Chicago One Week Away From New Office Of Labor Standards
Set to follow cities including New York, Seattle and San Francisco in creating such an office.

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Ten Cent Beer Night Was A Total Disaster
"Ten cents for a beer at a baseball game might sound like a dream come true. But the reality of that scenario unfolded on June 4, 1974 during a Major League Baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers. What transpired was a night full of nudity, violence, and total chaos."

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Poems For Uncertain Times
'At the turbulent confluence of relentless news cycles and the repeated rending of our interior lives.'

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Postage Stamp. J.Gossaert, Art Institute of Chicago.

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BeachBook

19th-Century Superior Street Row Houses Threatened With Demolition.

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Cost Of Wisconsin's Stance On The Affordable Care Act: $1.1 Billion Through This Fiscal Year.

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They Look Like Cops But They're Not. And They're All Over Michigan.

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Church Group Known For Founder's Nude Rituals Opens A Restaurant In Wauconda. It's The Talk Of The Village.

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The Heavy Focus on 5G Wireless Means We Are Ignoring 68 Million Americans Facing High-Speed Cable Monopolies.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Grrrreat!

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:39 AM | Permalink

Ten Cent Beer Night Was A Total Disaster

"Ten cents for a beer at a baseball game might sound like a dream come true. But the reality of that scenario unfolded on June 4, 1974 during a Major League Baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers. What transpired was a night full of nudity, violence, and total chaos."


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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:25 AM | Permalink

October 24, 2018

Nostalgia For A World Where We Can Live

Monica Berlin's Nostalgia for a World Where We Can Live resides at the turbulent confluence of relentless news cycles and the repeated rending of our interior lives. In Berlin's poetry, sorrow makes its own landscape - solitary, intimate, forward-looking. Whether we attempt to traverse it or choose to bypass, her poems show us where we live, how we carry on.

nostalgiaberlin.jpg

These poems notice the day in the wind, the night tucked up to the train tracks, and a slipping-in of yesterday, memory-laden, alongside the promise of a more hopeful tomorrow. Here is the Midwest, vibrant and relic, in the ongoing years of collapse and recovery. Here the constant companionship of weather lays claim to its own field of vision. Here, too, devastation: what's left after. Berlin reminds us we are at the mercy of rivers, oceans, earth, wind, rain, blizzard, drought, and each other. "Maybe what I mean/to say is that I've come to see all the names we might/recognize destruction by," Berlin's speaker discovers. "We might/sometimes, stupidly, call it love."

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A Berlin work-in-progress from 2015:

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Monica Berlin is a professor of English at Knox College in Illinois.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:43 PM | Permalink

Chicago One Week Away From New Office Of Labor Standards

A city council committee Tuesday approved an ordinance that would create an Office of Labor Standards to enforce laws governing workplace issues such as the minimum wage, sick time provisions and other worker protections. The proposal moves to the full council for a vote next Wednesday. If approved, Chicago would follow cities including New York, Seattle and San Francisco in creating such an office.

The pending ordinance is the result of a two-year campaign led by local workers' rights organization Arise Chicago.

"From my experience I've learned that just passing laws is not enough. Many workers are suffering from wage theft, discrimination, harassment, and other abuse that causes both physical and moral pain, and damages workers' dignity," Arise's Martina Sanchez told councilmembers at Tuesday's committee hearing.

Sanchez was a leader of the Earned Sick Time campaign, spurred from her own experience of living without paid sick days. When her husband was hospitalized and she stayed with him, their household lost both incomes.

Through tears, Sanchez pleaded with councilmembers to think of their own constituents, such as a worker she recently spoke to. "Someone right now is suffering. He was working repairing roofs, in the cold, risking his life for over eight hours a day. His employer stole his whole week of wages. His wife is pregnant. How can they survive?"

Committee chair Patrick O'Connor confirmed with the chair of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, which would house the new Office of Labor Standards, that "When the Office investigates, and mediates or brings about a settlement, the City can and would include restitution for those aggrieved."

Given that O'Connor is Mayor Rahm Emanuel's floor leader, the ordinance is likely to pass the full council next week and become law.

Sophia Zaman, executive director of Raise the Floor - an alliance made up of eight local worker centers - voiced the need for city-community partnerships in order to best improve low-wage working conditions.

"As an alliance of worker centers, we organize in low-wage sectors where the work is most precarious and contingent, and disproportionately held by women, immigrants, and people of color," Zaman said. "Every day we see that illegal abuse of Chicago's most vulnerable workers has become standard practice. This is true for low-wage workers across identities, industries, neighborhoods.

"Oftentimes, these workers don't have the protections of a collective bargaining agreement, so they rely on agencies to monitor workplaces and ensure their rights are respected.

"And in order for agencies to effectively enforce the law, they require the tacit knowledge workers have about workplace practices and conditions.

"But often, without a worker center bridge, low-wage workers are skeptical of placing their trust in government agencies. That's why community partnerships are so important. We look forward to working with the new Office of Labor Standards to achieve our shared goals of ending workplace abuse and creating a healthy, stable economy for workers and businesses alike."

Workers speaking before the committee shared stories of current violations of city ordinances.

Lamar Hendrix-Glass, a former Treasure Island worker, said that company closed its grocery stores the store closed without properly notifying its workers. He also said the company may have violated the Chicago Earned Sick Time Ordinance.

"I worked at Treasure Island grocery store in Hyde Park until its abrupt closing on October 28th, leaving my co-workers and I unemployed," Hendrix-Glass said. "It wasn't until workers from the closed North and Clybourn store were relocated to Hyde Park that I learned about Treasure Island's 'Paid Time Off' or PTO policy. One of the Clybourn co-workers told me about the app I could download from ADP, the paycheck company that showed my schedule and hours, and how much PTO I had earned. The company never told me about the app or PTO so hearing this news left me disturbed. I had been working there for months and not one manager brought that to our attention. As soon as I learned about the app tracking our hours and PTO, I told my co-workers. None of them knew about it either. I even took a sick day earlier in the year, and wasn't paid. It's only now, that I see this may have been a violation of the Earned Sick Time Ordinance."

Juan Sandoval, a member of Arise Chicago, says he is currently experiencing wage theft. "I work at a restaurant in the West Loop. I began working there in April, when the city's minimum wage was $11 an hour. The owner offered me $10. It took several conversations requesting the full minimum wage before she agreed to pay $11.

"In July, when the city minimum wage increased to $12 an hour, the owner did not raise our wage. Again, I had to have several conversation just to be paid the full minimum wage.

"Then in September, the owner decided to pay me at flat salary rate as an independent contractor to not pay employment taxes. I'm paid for my 72 hours per week, but I'm not paid time-and-a-half for my 32 hours of overtime. So the owner is stealing $312 from me every paycheck.

"I talked to my co-workers about this wage theft, but they all think that either there's nothing we can do, or are afraid of losing their jobs. That's why it's important for the city to open the Office of Labor Standards. So that if one worker like me reports a problem, they can investigate and benefit all workers."

Dr. Linda Forst, senior associate dean and a professor of environmental and occupational health at UIC's School of Public Health, described the benefits of a higher minimum wage and paid sick days on public health. "Low wage work has been shown to have a negative impact on health. It is often dangerous, putting workers at risk for illness and injury. Low wage workers tend to be women, African Americans, Hispanics, low educated individuals, and immigrants. The average age of low wage workers is 36, contrary to the misconception that it is young workers who are most affected.

"I strongly urge the passage of this progressive legislation. The Office of Labor Standards will improve the health of a most precious resource - the Chicago workforce. At the same time, it will assure sound business development. But most importantly, it is a demonstration of the moral health and leadership of this great city at a time when we sorely need it."

The final speaker was Arise Chicago's Worker Center Director Adam Kader. "As we anticipate Chicago's economy to continue to grow, we must ensure that workers share in its prosperity," Kader said. "For it is the workers who not only produce our economy; it is they who also produce our city's culture and make it great. Chicago's culture is made by its neighborhoods. And those neighborhoods reflect the workers who live and labor in them. The Office of Labor Standards is an affirmation of the value working people in Chicago and represents a commitment to workers' well-being."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:11 PM | Permalink

Horseface, Ho-Hum

I'm not even annoyed. It's worse than that. I'm accustomed.


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Previously in Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter!:

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Explains The Economy.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! It's Shit Crap News, Tim.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Is Going To Paris.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Grow Some Balls; Tell The Truth.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! MP Is A Wanker Santa.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Merry Fucking Christmas.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! New Year's Rant.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Sexy Skype.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! TTIP Is Boring Shit.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! The Truth About Teachers & Doctors.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Valentine's Day 2016.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! On The 'Environment" Beat.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Political Theater As News.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Charter Wankers International.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! The Panama Papers: They're All In It Together.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Answer The Fucking Question.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Snapchatting The Environment.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Election Fever!

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Day-Glo Fuck-Nugget Trump.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Dickens Meets The Jetsons.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Tony Blair: Comedy Genius Or Psychopath?

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! What Real Business News Should Look Like.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Facts Are No Longer Newsworthy.

* Pie's Brexit.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Real Life Is Not Game Of Thrones.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Labor: The Clue's In The Title!

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! The Pie Olympics.

* Occupy Pie.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Where Is The War Against Terrorble Mental Health Services?

* Progressive Pie.

* The BBC's Bake-Off Bollocks.

* Pie Commits A Hate Crime.

* Pie Interviews A Teenage Conservative.

* Jonathan Pie's Idiot's Guide To The U.S. Election.

* President Trump: How & Why.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! All The News Is Fake!

* Happy Christmas From Jonathan Pie.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! 2016 In Review.

* Inauguration Reporting.

* New Year: New Pie?

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Make The Air Fair.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! A Gift To Trump?

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Strong And Unstable.

* Pie & Brand: Hate, Anger, Violence & Carrying On.

* Socialism Strikes Back!

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Election Carnage.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Papering Over Poverty.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! The Queen's Speech.

* Showdown: North Korea vs. Trump.

* Time For The Royal Scroungers To Earn Their Keep.

* Cricket vs. Brexit.

* The Real Jonathan Pie.

* A Hostile Environment.

* Jonathan Pie | Trump's America.

* Pie: Putin's America.

* Amazon And The Way Of The World.

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Plus:

If Only All TV Reporters Did The News Like This.

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And:

Australia Is Horrific.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:55 AM | Permalink

The [Wednesday] Papers

"A judge who was caught on video apparently dropping a handgun in a Chicago courthouse has been acquitted of carrying a concealed weapon in a prohibited area," AP reports.

In other words, a judge who was caught on video apparently dropping a handgun in a Chicago courthouse has been acquitted of apparently dropping a handgun in a Chicago courthouse.

"Will County Circuit Judge Edward Burmila ruled Tuesday that it wasn't clear from the surveillance video that the object that fell from Cook County Judge Joseph Claps' jacket was a firearm."

If it wasn't a gun, what was it?

"We know full well that something can look like and appear to be a gun and not be a firearm," Claps' lawyer, Thomas Breen, said in his closing argument, according to the Sun-Times. "There are replicas out there, there are cap guns, there are water pistols, there are BB guns out there."

Those things do exist. But Claps never actually claimed that he was carrying a replica, cap gun, water pistol, or BB gun; Breen just inferred that it could have been one of those.

As Breen walked out of the Maywood court house Tuesday, a reporter asked if Claps, in fact, had dropped a replica or toy gun in the lobby, at 26th and California. Breen, smiling, reached into his pocket, apparently for a prop he decided he hadn't needed in the courtroom.

"Don't panic," he said, as he pulled out a silver, plastic toy pistol and let it fall to the sidewalk.

Cute.

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Here's the surveillance video. Note the chyron.

AP put it plainly in a previous article: "Surveillance video shows the judge retrieving the gun and putting it in his pants pocket."

Somehow I don't think Claps will sue for libel or defamation.

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Likewise, the Tribune reported on Tuesday that "cameras caught a gun falling out of his jacket in the lobby."

In July, the Tribune reported that "Security cameras captured the gun tumbling out of Claps' jacket" in an article headlined "Video Captures Gun Falling From Judge's Jacket At Courthouse."

Will Claps now demand a retraction?

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The Tribune headline on the verdict: "Judge Acquitted On Misdemeanor Gun Charge Despite Video Evidence."

"Two sheriff's deputies testified they heard a noise, turned around and saw the judge picking up a gun from the floor of the courthouse lobby. But Burmila questioned why the deputies didn't immediately seize the weapon under those circumstances.

"Both deputies testified they thought the judge was legally permitted to carry a weapon in the courthouse where he worked - the Leighton Criminal Court Building, the county's main criminal courthouse at 26th Street and California Avenue."

It turned out Claps has a concealed carry permit, but is still not permitted to carry in the courthouse.

"Claps, 70, has been a judge for more than two decades, including the last 15 years with the Circuit Court's criminal division. He previously worked as the top assistant to the Illinois attorney general and as a Cook County prosecutor."

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I mean, I know it was just a misdemeanor charge, but my understanding is that guns dropped onto hard floors sometimes go off. And guns that sometimes go off sometimes kill people. That's just my understanding.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Three Stooges Slay St. Charles
"Far superior to three lamebrained chowderheads getting up there thinking they can do Three Stooges impressions, this cast delivered," our very own Tom Chambers writes.

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Horseface Ho-Hum
Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter, is not even annoyed. It's worse than that. He's accustomed.

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ChicagoReddit

Commuting on CTA for first time in 8 years: what are your tactics for making your commute more cozy? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Aztec Dance Chicago.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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*

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Sky blue waters.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:40 AM | Permalink

Three Stooges Slay St. Charles

From the harmonic "hello, hello, hello" at the opening curtain to the clarion call "For Duty and Humanity!!" to close the first act, and the slapstick justice of "Disorder in the Court" in Act 2, The Three Stooges: Live on Stage at the historic Arcada Theatre in far-west suburban St. Charles on Sunday was a satisfying laughfest and more for die-hard Stooges fans.

Far superior to three lamebrained chowderheads getting up there thinking they can do Three Stooges impressions, this cast delivered.

The stage show also transplanted the near-capacity crowd back to an age when vaudeville acts like the Stooges, as long as 100 years ago and even before radio, crossed the country and entertained the masses in theaters just like this. A little song-and-dance, a magic trick, and the tried-and-true slapstick genius of the Three Stooges kept a crowd of men, women and children of all ages entertained for nearly three hours.

This show is the latest iteration of an "interactive" revue originally performed at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in the mid-1990s. The St. Charles show, announced nearly a year ago, faced at least two cancellations this spring. Chicago summer festival producer and Arcada Theatre owner and impresario Ron Onesti said it was simply a timing issue with the booking arrangements. The show, produced by Knight Entertainment Group, is notably officially sanctioned by C3 Entertainment, caretakers of the Howard, Fine and DeRita estates, and is now firmly scheduled for several venues around the U.S.

The show's loose and original premise of trying to save the theater for financially busted Mr. Manny takes the audience to some of the exotic locales made famous in the 190 shorts the Stooges made for Columbia Pictures.

Chris Durmick as Moe Howard, Danny Roque as Larry Fine, and Andrew Pagana as Curly Howard have the live slapstick down just fine. Pagana was beaten in the finals by Will Sasso for the role of Curly in the Farrelly brothers' 2012 movie tribute to the boys. A special added attraction is Curly G (aka Brad Server) who really is a grandson of the Curly Howard. Also, October 22 would have been Curly's 115th birthday.

Curly G pulls his weight quite well as a cop, cowboy villain, waiter and bailiff. There's a lot of Curly in him, but it never intrudes on Pagana's centerstage bits.

Nick Santa Maria is great as the equivalent to Bud Jamison/Vernon Dent as Mr. Manny, the western town mayor, the German doctor and the judge. Ginger Pauley, wearing an evolved flapper look, is the show's comedy moll who, besides taking turns as a nurse, saloon dance hall girl, college teacher and showgirl in court, is featured in an early song extolling the virtues of her character, Peggy O'Neill. She wants to be in showbiz in the worst way, but has to leave because it's so expensive to live in the big city. "St. CHARLES?!" the Stooges shout in a classic double take. Larry also laments his plight with the sweet little number "It's Not Easy Being Larry."

Dialed way down from what the original show must have been, the "scenery" consists of an LED backscreen that depicts various sets. It's put to good use in the opening when a send-up of the Columbia Lady pounds the shadows of the inquisitive Stooges into submission with her torch. Canaries circling and chirping whenever one of the boys gets knocked out was a nice touch.

Absent early on, they got the famous sound effects synced, mostly, but when the sound went off well ahead of the gag, the actors just went for it. The audience didn't care. The principals caught the dialogue virus, forgetting the joke sequence when witness Curly was being questioned on the stand, but Santa Maria loudly threw it to them and they ad-libbed like pros and stayed with it until they got it.

In their tribute to "A Plumbing We Will Go," Curly and Larry stage left start a hilarious "tug of war" with a drain snake with Moe stage right. Finally, when a large animated bulge travels through giant industrial piping from right to left, together stage left (how'd they do that?) their leader's head pops up out of the "sink" and Curly declares "that big clog looks just like Moe!"

All the biggest and most famous lines were there. They performed "Swingin' the Alphabet" from Violent Is The Word For Curly, and Pagana was faithful and funny recreating much of the Maharaja scene from Three Little Pirates.

In the post-show Q&A, Server explained how Jerome (Curly) Howard was his mother's father, and obviously never met him. He was only 48 when he died in 1952. Not even told of his heritage until well into school, he was taught silence on the matter, and also never met Moe or Larry. Naturally, "Moe" and "Larry" introduced themselves.

Pal o' mine and Daily Herald Tri-Cities community columnist Dave Heun stayed on the case to get these tickets and we speculated the whole time what kind of crowd it would be. Onesti wasn't saying. Our 3:00 show was probably 85-90 percent filled and when we rolled by later during the second show, the parking lots looked full.

But the biggest revelation was the diversity in age of the audience. Another very rare sighting was the multitudes of women and young girls yukking it up, many in Three Stooges t-shirts. In the end, Onesti, nearly astonished at how many there were, brought all of the kids up on stage for photos and hellos. One of them had Curly down cold and another early teen went toe-to-toe with Moe. Hilarious.

It was fantastic to see new groups of parents schooling the kids in the subversive silliness and masterful slapstick the Three Stooges will continue to give us for generations to come.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:38 AM | Permalink

October 23, 2018

Many Midwesterners Will Never Believe In Climate Change. Here's How To Encourage Them To Act Anyway.

The number of politically conservative Americans who are climate skeptics is growing, and the evidence suggests that they're unlikely to change their opinions.

This is particularly evident in the Midwest. Although 61 percent of U.S. adults are concerned about global warming, in many Midwestern counties more than half of adults are not at all worried about the issue.

Efforts to meet the dire calls of the UN's climate change report cannot neglect this region. Our work shows that there are some strategies that can encourage protective climate actions, even in skeptical regions like the Midwest.

Midwest Skeptics

The Midwest - defined here as the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Minnesota - is a key contributor to climate change in the U.S.

Across the region, per-capita greenhouse gas emissions are exceptionally high. The typical Midwesterner emits about 22 percent more emissions than the national individual average.

The Midwest is also threatened by the impacts of climate change. Warming temperatures and rising humidity are leading to more heat waves and heavy rain. That puts additional stress on transportation and energy infrastructure, as well as introduces significant health risks. If the Midwest does not prepare for these events, energy demands and associated emissions in the region will likely increase, as will the number of deaths from climatic events.

Researchers have suggested a number of policies, individual actions and projects that could address the Midwest's significant contributions to and vulnerabilities to climate change. However, whether these actions are pursued appears to be highly tied to public attitudes toward climate change.

Over time, Americans have become further entrenched in their partisan view of climate change, with conservatives becoming increasingly skeptical. The percentage of Republicans who believe human activity contributes to rising global temperatures declined by 10 points between 2001 and 2016, while the percentage of Democrats who believe that increased.

Midwesterners who identify as either politically conservative or Republican appear to be highly skeptical of climate change. For instance, only 46 percent of Republicans in Indiana, agreed that climate change was occurring, compared to 80 percent of the Democrats.

Additionally, it would also be wrong to assume that only uneducated conservatives are climate skeptics. Rather, political orientation appears to moderate the influence of education on skepticism, meaning more educated conservatives are actually more confident in their skepticism.

This research suggest that attempts to change skeptics' minds would likely fail, both in the Midwest and in the country as a whole.

Preserving, Not Changing

If skeptics will not accept the reality of human-caused climate change and that it's here to stay, what can be done?

Conservatives appear to be particularly opposed to the idea that humans cause climate change. Past research suggests this may be a result of conservatives' preference for the status quo, preserving life as it is (or was). Rejecting humans' involvement also means rejecting the need to change society and your value system.

lasallefarm.jpgA farm in LaSalle County, Illinois/Eddie J. Rodriquez, Shutterstock

This perspective may actually make conservatives particularly open to a resilience approach to climate change. Resilience focuses on implementing household or community practices that reduce vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. For instance, the risks of flash floods from heavy rain can be reduced by installing water-absorbent green infrastructure, like permeable pavement and rain gardens.

This approach emphasizes preserving, rather than changing, society. It can be pursued without believing that humans are causing the environmental issues. In consequence, one can argue that efforts to increase climate resilience align with conservative attitudes. Preliminary research suggests conservatives support and undertake resilience practices at similarly high rates to liberals.

At Indiana University's Environmental Resilience Institute, we meet regularly with mayors, county commissioners and other local officials. Our conversations with conservative leaders about climate change are often met with statements that climate change is difficult to acknowledge. But the topics of most concern listed by public officials during these meetings - flooding, business development, workforce development, crime and blighted housing - can be aligned with climate resilience strategies.

Public leaders in Indiana are conducting studies on how to reduce the impact of flash flooding to protect the local economy and quality of life, converting streetlamps to LEDs as a crime-prevention strategy, installing green infrastructure to revitalize blighted neighborhoods and reduce runoff from heavy rains, and introducing an electric car-share program as a way to avoid dependence on foreign oil. These approaches are pursued to increase climate resilience, but many also decrease emissions.

Though our outreach is in still early stages, preliminary success suggests an important point: Efforts to address climate change in one of the most skeptical, conservative regions of the U.S. may be better served by focusing on preparing for environmental changes, and not on what is causing them.

Matthew Houser is an assistant research scientist at Indiana University. Andrea Webster is the implementation manager at Indiana University's Environmental Resilience Institute. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

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Comments welcome.


Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:20 AM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

Inbox, from phil@cfaevents:

"CFA Events has teamed up with businessman, television personality, philanthropist and Chicago's own Marcus Lemonis for a multi-year sponsorship of the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade. As part of the Camping World Holdings family, the leading outdoor and camping retailer, the title sponsorship will be held by Uncle Dan's Outdoor Store, a specialty retailer of outdoor gear, apparel and camping supplies.

"The Uncle Dan's Thanksgiving Day Parade will be broadcast live nationally on WGN America and in Chicagoland on WGN9."

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Crain's:

"A lawsuit seeking class-action status accuses Camping World Holdings and certain company officials, including Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis, of misrepresenting the company's financials while they sold more than $530 million in Camping World shares."

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Inbox, from 7-Eleven:

Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 3.03.20 PM.png

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Me:

Be right back.

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Inbox, from our very own Mike Luce:

https://twitter.com/barndogkarck/status/1054610567057547264?s=12

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Me:

Hero.

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Inbox, Michael Golden, Unlock Congress:

Regain The Majority Or Unrig The System? You Can Do Both.

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Me:

Right on, Michael.

(As some of you might recall, I helped edit Michael's Unlock Congress.)

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Inbox, the University of Minnesota J-School:

The Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication Alumni Society Board is hosting an Alumni Mixer!

Alumni from all graduation years, please join us for networking, reconnection, collaboration and fun.

Appetizers will be served.

Monday, Nov. 12, 2018
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Lake Monster Brewing Company, St. Paul

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Me:

Mmmm, Lake Monster Brewing . . .

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Inbox, from LinkedIn:

Making Your Side Gig Work.

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Me:

Pass.

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Inbox, from Yahoo:

Unexpected sign-in attempt.

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Me:

Just seeing if you still exist. I suspect most of your sign-in attempts these days are unexpected.

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Inbox, Governor Rauner's Press Office:

Nominees sought for Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission.

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Me:

I nominate myself. My platform is to go the next 100 years without mentioning Route 66, unless it involves an Elon Musk hyperloop. Then only in ridicule.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Many Midwesterners Will Never Believe In Climate Change. Here's How To Encourage Them To Act Anyway.
It's all about preserving our way of life, not changing it.

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ChicagoReddit

Did the Chicago political "machine" rig elections? Or did people just keep voting for them? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

View this post on Instagram

#inktober day 23: M U D D Y

A post shared by Tyler Snodgrass (@snodzilla) on

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ChicagoTube

Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis, "Fuck This Town 2018," Live at FitzGerald's.

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BeachBook

From Dirt to Enriched Uranium, Beachwood Members get Beachwood Perks!

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TweetWood
A sampling.

And the Republican Party is now the Trump Party. Therefore, the Republican Party is now the White Nationalist Party. Also known as the Neo-Nazi Party. A moment of truth has arrived and the masks have come off. Please remember which side everyone is on and hold them to account - forever.

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To put it mildly.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Moment of truth.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:10 AM | Permalink

October 22, 2018

SportsMonday: Sunday's Real Bears Goat

His name is Chris Tabor.

That is the identity of the Bears' current special teams coach, otherwise known as this week's blue-ribbon goat.

It wasn't just that the Bears gave up two special teams touchdowns on Sunday in a 38-31 loss to the Patriots that in one fell swoop dropped them from first to last in the NFC North. And it wasn't just that those two scores were obviously the difference in what was otherwise an evenly matched affair.

It was that the Bears were utterly embarrassed on those two plays.

Cordarelle Patterson blasted through only token opposition at the point of contact between the critical mass of blockers and defenders during his kickoff return touchdown. He then sprinted away as kicker Cody Parkey realized he wouldn't come close to catching him and yet still executed an utterly futile swan dive to the turf.

And finally Patterson took his sweet time crossing the final five yards and the goal line as the Bears failed to take up even a token chase of the Patriot wide receiver. It was a miserable effort. And it wasn't even the Bears' worst breakdown on the day.

That happened when Dont'a Hightower absolutely obliterated the right side of the Bears offensive line on a second half punt from near midfield. He then stuffed Pat O'Donnell's kick (let's pause here for a moment to point out that while the block wasn't his fault, O'Donnell has regressed to thoroughly mediocre for the Bears the last few games).

Fellow Patriot linebacker Kyle Van Noy was first to the ball but fumbled it and then fumbled it again. A team that hadn't given up would have used that time to get back and make a tackle, but Van Noy instead had a third crack at picking up the ball and then ran into the end zone without being challenged.

Guys screwed up the coverage of the kickoff and the blocking on the punt, but all the blame here goes to Tabor. His units simply weren't ready to compete with a Patriots team that always has something up its sleeve in those situations. Bill Belichick is known to revel in making tweaks to special teams. The one that worked best on Sunday was sending in Hightower to make a rare appearance on the punt block unit.

Tabor actually assisted special teams legend Dave Toub prior to his Bears gig. This game was almost enough to earn him a demotion back to an assistant.

We also had questions about Tabor after his bizarre decision during the second half of the Bears' blowout of the Bucs (doesn't it seem like that game happened last season at this point?). He decided to run a "fake like you are catching a punt on one side of the field while a guy who lingered near the sideline actually catches it on the other" return in the second half.

Generally you want to save plays like that for I, don't know, when it actually might result in a meaningful big play as opposed to one that if it had worked would have put the Bears up six touchdowns rather than five.

The coach's only excuse is that he is working with sub-par talent. And it is true that when Ryan Pace throws away draft picks like they are nothing, you suffer for it in the form of glaring weaknesses in the bottom half of your roster.

But it says here that the talent wasn't the problem on Sunday - it was the schemes and the inability to adjust to things like Hightower making an appearance as a special guest star on the punt block unit.

Oh, and Mitch Trubisky wasn't nearly good enough. He overthrew several open guys in the first half, then over-compensated and constantly underthrew guys in the second half. But he played well enough to give the Bears a chance and I'm still waiting on the halfway point of the season before I weigh in with an overall assessment of his play and his potential.

On to New York! Or actually New Jersey, for a match-up with the Jets next Sunday. Our teams may drive us crazy but at least they all call their namesake city home.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

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Adding 10/25 . . .

Belichick Breaks Down Special Teams Play Against Bears.


Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:28 AM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

I haven't solicited donations in a long time, and I hate doing so, but if you are so inclined, now would be a good time. Thanks.

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Wet Governor
"In his first term leading one of the nation's most racially diverse states, Republican Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's appointees to government boards and cabinet positions were overwhelmingly white and male, a WBEZ investigation has found.

Earlier this week, Rauner boasted of commanding a highly diverse workforce in his administration and for his re-election effort. He sought to contrast that record with the discrimination lawsuit filed by campaign staffers for JB Pritzker, his Democratic challenger in next month's election for governor.

On Wednesday, Rauner said, "Our administration has a huge number, and I've appointed many African-Americans to key boards, key leadership positions in our departments, and many Latinos as well."

But WBEZ's analysis of Rauner's own state employment reports reveals that blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are far scarcer in the Rauner administration than in the overall population of Illinois.

In fact . . .

"Hispanic activists once successfully sued the Rauner administration to learn more about its hiring practices, quickly suspecting that minorities had relatively few opportunities with the state under the first-term governor.

"Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia, a Democratic Cook County commissioner and former Springfield lawmaker, was the plaintiff in a lawsuit to force the Rauner administration to abide by a state law that requires the governor to provide an annual accounting of all state board appointments by race and gender."

Click through for the rest.

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Is "white" what Rauner means when he touts his re-election campaign slogan "Our Home. Our Fight?" Because I've always wondered who the "our" referred to. Seems like a dog whistle to me. Unless he means private equity investors.

Harvest Swoon
"As farmers harvest soybeans across Illinois this month, a key question has emerged: Where will they put them all?" Claire Bushey writes for Crain's.

"The harvest is predicted to surpass the record set last year, creating mountains of the fuzzy pods, which go into everything from miso soup and soy lattes to animal feed and biodiesel fuel. But the state lost its best customer this summer when China imposed a retaliatory 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans. Shriveled demand left last year's crop sitting in storage elevators, and the price has plummeted. Farmers want to hold onto their soybeans until the price improves, but they have to find a place to put them."

Thanks, Trump.

Galaxy Goof
"'The Standard Model as it stands cannot possibly be right because it cannot predict why the universe exists,' said Gerald Gabrielse, the Board of Trustees Professor of Physics at Northwestern University," the Daily Galaxy reports.

I don't follow. Physics models don't tell us why, they only tell us what. Why is outside the realm of this particular branch of science.

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FYI, "Gabrielse is the director of the Center for Fundamental Physics at Low Energy."

I confess, I didn't know there was a center studying my lifestyle.

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New on the Beachwood . . .

After Budget Cuts, The IRS's Work Against Tax Cheats Is Facing "Collapse"
'Provided you're not a close associate of President Donald Trump, there may never be a better time to be a tax cheat. Last year, the IRS's criminal division brought 795 cases in which tax fraud was the primary crime, a decline of almost a quarter since 2010. Business owners don't pay $125 billion in taxes each year that they owe.'

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SportsMonday: Bears' Real Goat
His name isn't Nagy, Trubisky, Fangio or Mack.

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Eisha Love: A Trans Woman Of Color In Chicago
"Love was incarcerated in a men's jail after acting in self-defense. Now, as she rebuilds her life and continues to process the impact of her incarceration, she faces the challenge of trying to get a steady job as an out trans woman with a criminal record."

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We kind of called it . . .

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #222: The Cult Of Vic Fangio
State of the Bears. Plus: Bulls Season Peaks In First Quarter Of Opener; What's Up With Corey Crawford And Brandon Saad?; and AL Rules.

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TrackNotes: Crushing The Breeders' Cup
Now we wait.

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Frederick Douglass: Prophet Of Freedom
"There has not been a major biography of Douglass in a quarter century."

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Recall! Caito Salads And Bowls
These items were shipped to retail locations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri.

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For completists, there was no column on Friday.

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ChicagoReddit

Best bar/club to rage at Sunday afternoon / evening ? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Capitol Night Club commercial (1995), 4244 North Milwaukee Avenue.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Surveil this.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:12 AM | Permalink

After Budget Cuts, The IRS's Work Against Tax Cheats Is Facing "Collapse"

Tax evasion is at the center of the criminal cases against two associates of the president, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. The sheer scale of their efforts to avoid paying the government has given rise to a head-scratching question: How were they able to cheat the Internal Revenue Service for so many years?

The answer, researchers and former government auditors say, is simple. The IRS pursues fewer cases of tax evasion than it did less than 10 years ago. Provided you're not a close associate of President Donald Trump, there may never be a better time to be a tax cheat.

Last year, the IRS's criminal division brought 795 cases in which tax fraud was the primary crime, a decline of almost a quarter since 2010. "That is a startling number," Don Fort, the chief of criminal investigations for the IRS, acknowledged at an NYU tax conference in June.

Bringing cases against people who evade taxes on legal income is central to the revenue service's mission. In addition to recouping lost revenue, such cases are supposed "to influence taxpayer behavior for the hundreds of millions of American citizens filing tax returns," Fort said. With fewer cases, experts fear, Americans will get the message that it's alright to break the law.

Starting in 2011, Republicans in Congress repeatedly cut the IRS's budget, forcing the agency to reduce its enforcement staff by a third. But that drop doesn't entirely explain the reduction in tax fraud cases.

Over time, crimes only tangentially related to taxes, such as drug trafficking and money laundering, have come to account for most of the agency's cases.


The IRS Loses Its Bite


Starting in 2011, budget cuts have slashed the IRS's enforcement staff by a third, and the audit rate has fallen even more.

1.0%0.80.60.40.200.5%50thousand403020100'08'10'12'14'17'08'10'12'14'1733,200Enforcement staffIncludes examinationsand collectionspersonnel as well asspecial agentsAudit rateIncludes individualand businesstax returns


Source: Internal Revenue Service


"Due to budget cuts, attrition and a shift in focus, there's been a collapse in the commitment to take on tax fraud," said Chuck Pine, who used to be the third-ranking criminal enforcement officer at the IRS and is now a managing director at BDO Consulting. "I believe there are thousands of individuals who have U.S. tax obligations and are not complying with U.S. tax laws."

The result is huge losses for the government. Business owners don't pay $125 billion in taxes each year that they owe, according to IRS estimates. That's enough to finance the departments of State, Energy and Homeland Security, with NASA tossed in for good measure. Unlike wage earners who have their income separately reported to the IRS, business owners are often on the honor system.

The IRS declined to comment on its enforcement efforts.

Cohen's and Manafort's cases illustrate different but common types of tax cheating, and how the IRS has struggled to enforce the law. Cohen failed to report income from domestic businesses. Manafort used exotic foreign locales and shell corporations to hide his money.

Cohen's tax evasion schemes were straightforward. Besides paying off a pornographic movie star and a former Playboy model in violation of campaign finance laws, he pleaded guilty to lying on his tax return. Whether it was income from his business owning taxi medallions, millions of dollars in interest payments on a loan he'd made to another taxi operator or the $30,000 he made by brokering the sale of a luxury handbag, Cohen simply hid the money from his accountant and the government. Over five years, he didn't disclose $4.1 million, saving himself $1.5 million in taxes.

The IRS typically catches such evasion by auditing taxpayers. Theoretically, evidence picked up in audits can be used to start criminal cases. But the rate at which the agency audits tax returns has plummeted by 42 percent since the budget cuts started. Criminal referrals were always rare and are becoming rarer still, dropping from 589 referrals in 2012 to 328 in 2016. With the government conducting 1.2 million audits in 2016, that's one criminal referral for roughly every 3,600 audits.

"The focus of auditors and tax collectors is not to identify fraud, it's to collect tax," said a special agent, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Management has set other priorities, he says. "So by default, the employees are not doing it."

In addition, current and former IRS agents say that audits are not as intensive as they used to be. Because the IRS pushes agents to close audits more quickly, they make fewer requests for records and interviews.

"The quality of those referrals was also down," said Marie Allen, a recently retired auditor who worked at the IRS for more than 30 years conducting complex financial investigations. "That is what people popularly think we should be doing, and I'm trying to say it ain't so."

Budget cuts have diminished the criminal investigation division, trimming the number of agents by a fifth since 2010. Recently, the IRS closed four of its 25 field offices, according to Fort. In New York state, home of the country's financial industry, the revenue service is down to 161 agents, about a hundred fewer than it had 15 years ago.

It doesn't help that many agents prefer chasing flashier crimes than tax evasion. Rob Warren, a research associate at Catholic University who previously spent a quarter century at the IRS, interviewed 30 former special agents. He asked each agent which of their cases had been their favorite. The answers, Warren said, typically were only tangentially related to taxes.

"It was usually narcotics, Ponzi schemes, some public corruption," Warren said. "Agents loved Ponzi cases because there was a real victim, an old lady or something like that."

Federal prosecutors seek out special agents for these cases because they are skilled financial investigators. And tax crimes, like failing to declare illegal income from, say, a bribe or cocaine sales, can be easier to prove than bribery or selling drugs.

In recent years, the IRS has also been pulled away from classic tax dodging cases by soaring rates of identity theft. IRS management assigned scores of agents to chase perpetrators who used stolen identities to collect tax refunds.

One tax fraud hotbed that has been a clear priority of both the IRS and the Justice Department is going after money Americans stashed overseas without reporting it to the federal government. But there are clear reasons that Manafort, who hid his money in places like Cyprus and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, might still have escaped detection. Switzerland has been the Justice Department's primary target over the past 10 years, an effort that has resulted in settlements with the giant Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse, and dozens of smaller institutions.

The IRS allowed Americans with foreign accounts to voluntarily disclose them and pay a smaller penalty than they would have had they been caught hiding the information. Some 56,000 people participated, netting the government $11.1 billion. The IRS's criminal division also brought several cases against people for concealing accounts.

For all this success, there has been little change in the amount of wealth stashed overseas. Americans have about $1.2 trillion of personal assets in tax havens, according to data compiled by Gabriel Zucman, an assistant professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and two colleagues. It's unclear what portion has been disclosed to the IRS.

"What has happened over the last 10 years is real progress," Zucman said. "But what the data suggest is that it has not had a dramatic effect on the amount of offshore wealth."

Money has flowed out of Switzerland and into Asian tax havens like Hong Kong and Singapore.

Moreover, the IRS has made little use of new weapons in the fight against wealth hidden overseas. In 2010, President Barack Obama signed a law that was supposed to provide a crucial tool for government auditors and prosecutors. That law, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, required banks with American account holders to report information to the United States. Like employers filing W-2 forms about their workers, these reports would force account holders to come clean. Eight years later, the program is still getting off the ground. Countries around the world have signed agreements, and more than 100,000 foreign banks have sent information to the United States. But "there is no ongoing compliance impact of the FATCA at this time," according to a report this year by the inspector general for the IRS.

The report found serious problems with the millions of records collected so far. About half of the records, for example, didn't include identification numbers for the taxpayers, making it difficult to match the accounts with specific individuals. The IRS hadn't set up a process for using the records. The agency said it was working on such a system.

Here, too, the cuts to the IRS's budget have had an impact. During the Obama administration, the IRS asked Congress for hundreds of millions of dollars to carry out the program, but received nothing. Since Trump took office, the revenue service has stopped asking.

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

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Previously in tax scammage:

* McDonald's Breaks Promise To Raise Wages.

* Last Year, Amazon Paid No Federal Income Taxes. Now, It's Trying To Kill A Local Tax That Aims To Help the Homeless.

* Trump Vowed To Punish Companies That Moved Jobs Overseas. Is Congress Rewarding Them?

* After Long Career Bailing Out Big Banks, Obama Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner Now Runs Predatory Firm That Exploits The Poor For Profit.

* Jeff Bezos Just Became The Richest Person Ever. Amazon Workers Just Marked #PrimeDay With Strikes Against Low Pay And Brutal Conditions.

* A Sweet New Century For America's Most Privileged.

* With Nation Transfixed By Kavanaugh Monstrosity, House GOP Votes To Give Rich Another $3 Trillion In Tax Cuts.

* Deepwater Horizon Settlement Comes With $5.35 Billion Tax Windfall.

* Offshoring By 29 Companies Costs Illinois $1.2 Billion Annually.

* Government Agencies Allow Corporations To Write Off Billions In Federal Settlements.

* The Gang Of 62 Vs. The World.

* How The Maker Of TurboTax Fought Free, Simple Tax Filing.

* $1.4 Trillion: Oxfam Exposes The Great Offshore Tax Scam Of U.S. Companies.

* How Barclay's Turned A $10 Billion Profit Into A Tax Loss.

* Wall Street Stock Loans Drain $1 Billion A Year From German Taxpayers.

* German Finance Minister Cries Foul Over Tax Avoidance Deals.

* Prosecutor Targets Commerzbank For Deals That Dodge German Taxes.

* A Schlupfloch Here, A Schlupfloch There. Now It's Real Money.

* How Milwaukee Landlords Avoid Taxes.

* Study: 32 Illinois Fortune 500 Companies Holding At Least $147 Billion Offshore.

* Watch Out For The Coming Tax Break Trickery.

* When A 'Tax Bonanza' Is Actually A Huge Corporate Tax Break.

* The Hypocrisy Of Corporate Welfare: It's Bigger Than Trump.

* Oxfam Names World's Worst Tax Havens Fueling 'Global Race To Bottom.'

* Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average Illinois Small Business $5,789 A Year.

* State Tax Incentives To Corporations Don't Work.

* GOP Tax Plan Would Give 15 Of America's Largest Corporations A $236 Billion Tax Cut.

* Triumph Of The Oligarchs.

* Amazon Short-List Proves Something "Deeply Wrong" With America's Race-To-The-Bottom Economy.

* Apple's $38 Billion Tax Payment Less Than Half Of $79 Billion They Owe.

* U.S. Surpasses Cayman Islands To Become Second-Largest Tax Haven On Earth.

* Less Than Year After GOP Tax Scam, Six Biggest Banks Already Raked In $9 Billion In Extra Profits.

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Previously in The Paradise Papers:

* 'Paradise Papers' Reveal Tax Avoidance, Shady Dealings Of World's Rich And Powerful.

* Just How Much Money Is Held Offshore? Hint: A SHIT-TON.

* Development Dreams Lost In The Offshore World.

* Keeping Offshore 'Hush Hush,' But Why?

* Tax Havens Are Alive With The Sound Of Music.

* Today In Tax Avoidance Of The Ultra-Wealthy.

* Go To Town With This Offshore Leaks Database.

* The Paradise Papers: The View From Africa And Asia.

* The Paradise Papers: The End Of Elusion For PokerStars.

* The Paradise Papers: An Odd Call From The Bermuda Government.

* The Paradise Papers: Nevis Is An Offshore Haven Of Opportunity

* The Paradise Papers: The Long Twilight Struggle Against Offshore Secrecy.

* The Paradise Papers: A Fair Tax System Will Be Lost Without Public Pressure.

* Item: Today In The Paradise Papers: Through Death Threats And Scare Tactics, Honduran Reporter 'Perseveres.'

* The Paradise Papers: Journalists Flee Venezuela To Publish Investigation.

* Last Stop: Chicago.

* The Paradise Papers: 'Africa's Satellite' Avoided Millions Using A Very African Tax Scheme.

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Previously in The Panama Papers:

* The Panama Papers: Remarkable Global Media Collaboration Cracks Walls Of Offshore Tax Haven Secrecy.

* The Panama Papers: Prosecutors Open Probes.

* The [Monday] Papers.

* Adventures In Tax Avoidance.

* Mossack Fonseca's Oligarchs, Dictators And Corrupt White-Collar Businessmen.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! They're All In It Together.

* Meet The Panama Papers Editor Who Handled 376 Reporters In 80 Countries.

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Previously in carried interest, aka The Billionaire's Loophole:

* Patriotic Millionaires Vs. Carried Interest.

* The Somewhat Surreal Politics Of A Private Equity Tax Loophole Costing Us Billions (That Obama Refused To Close Despite Pledging To Do So).

* Fact-Checking Trump & Clinton On The Billionaire's Tax Break.

* Despite Trump Campaign Promise, Billionaires' Tax Loophole Survives Again.

* Carried Interest Reform Is a Sham.

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Comments welcome.


Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:13 AM | Permalink

Frederick Douglass: Prophet Of Freedom

As a young man, Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time.

In this remarkable biography, David Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historians have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass's newspapers. Blight tells the fascinating story of Douglass's two marriages and his complex extended family. Douglass was not only an astonishing man of words, but a thinker steeped in Biblical story and theology. There has not been a major biography of Douglass in a quarter century. David Blight's Frederick Douglass affords this important American the distinguished biography he deserves.

frederick-douglass-9781416593881_hr.jpg

"David Blight's incandescent Frederick Douglass is a monumental achievement of biographical empathy," blurbs David Levering Lewis, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919. "A much-awaited masterpiece of a life."

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"A stunning achievement. Blight captures an icon in full humanity."

- Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-1963.

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Audio excerpt:

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Blight teaser:

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:54 AM | Permalink

RECALL! Caito Salads And Bowls

Caito Foods, an Indianapolis establishment, is recalling approximately 1,532 pounds of ready-to-eat salad and bowl products made with chicken that contain a corn ingredient that may be contaminated with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Friday.

The ready-to-eat salads and bowls made with chicken were produced from Oct. 6, 2018, through Oct. 14, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:

  • 11.5-oz. plastic clamshell packages containing "good & deLISH sante fe style salad with chicken," with "ENJOY BY" dates of 10/13/18 through 10/21/18 (inclusive).
  • 8.75-oz. plastic clamshell packages containing "Santa Fe Style Salad with Chicken," with "Sell By" date of 10/13/18 through 10/21/18 (inclusive).
  • 11.25-oz. plastic clamshell packages containing "FRESH Garden HIGHWAY SALADS SANTA FE STYLE SALAD WITH CHICKEN," with "Best If Sold By" dates of 10/12/18 through 10/20/18 (inclusive).
  • 12-oz. plastic bowl packages containing "good to go! Chipotle Chicken Bowl," with "Sell By" dates of 10/11/18 through 10/19/18 (inclusive).
  • 8.75-oz. plastic clamshell packages containing "FRESH Garden HIGHWAY Santa Fe Style Salad with Chicken," with "Best if Sold By" dates of 10/13/18 through 10/21/18 (inclusive).

The products subject to recall bear establishment number "P-39985" inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri.

The problem was discovered on Oct, 14, 2018, when Caito Foods, LLC received notification that the corn used in the production of their ready-to-eat salad products was being recalled by their corn supplier due to Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella concerns.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers' refrigerators. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution lists will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact the Caito Foods Consumer Feedback Line at 1-844-467-7278. Members of the media with questions regarding the recall can contact Meredith Gremel, Caito Foods, LLC, at (616) 878-2830.

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Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov.

The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

NOTE: Access news releases and other information at FSIS' website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Follow FSIS on Twitter at twitter.com/usdafoodsafety or in Spanish at: twitter.com/usdafoodsafe_es.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:43 AM | Permalink

October 19, 2018

TrackNotes: Crushing The Breeders' Cup

Now, we wait.

Play it cool, bide our time. But always alert. On the stakeout for developments big, small, or small that could get big.

As the Breeders' Cup World Championships fission towards the Nov. 2-3 big blast at Louisville's Churchill Downs, there's not a helluva lot an experienced horseplayer can do except calmly keep an eye on things. Mine the increasingly banal conversations for truly unique tidbits that might be said only once. Like, Flicka was sneezing all day Wednesday. Fury had his head down all the way out to the morning jog. Or, Trigger looks like he's lost weight. Buttermilk looks feisty and on the muscle.

It's just like a meal at Tommy's Ma's house. "Henry, you don't talk much." Just listenin'. That's what you do, eat your rigatoni and listen. It's delicious.

There's not much talkin' these days. Trainers ain't sayin' squat, horses are truly scattered across the country to honor their training preferences, at least as defined by their connections, and workouts are not yet official. There is a difference. It will become a fluid locomotive of energy and scrutiny. Just not quite yet.

In the wide-eyed early days when you really thought you were going to hit the two-day festival but good, the major preps would be over and you'd envision the ensuing starting gates and maybe even start constructing wagers. STOO-pid.

A so-and-so - or four - drop out, there could be musical chairs with jockeys, or Wonder Horse would opt for the Classic when we damn well know he should be in the Dirt Mile. Or a super filly would foolishly take on the boys, skewing the prices sometimes good, sometimes bad. One year, I forgot to check the weather until after the post position draws and had to re-handicap the whole damn thing. The Tomlinsons (wet track ratings for a horse) danced in my brain. And keep in mind TrackNotes loomed colossal in those frenetic hours.

Then there's the question of the amount, source and depth of information you seek out. Thankfully, I've never heard the term "Win the Breeders' Cup War" like they do on TV with cupcakes and storage lockers. The big one is "CRUSH! the Breeders Cup," with any other marketing term you can think of by as many touts as there are miles between the planets. They will help me profit for a small sign-up fee, of course.

One wrinkle, although I can't say they did it last year either, is that TVG's The Works show doesn't look like it's on this year. What with wagering from Pocono harness commanding more attention. They used to show all of the workouts, ranging from official timed to gallops to just visiting the track, that would occur anywhere from seven to five days out. With expert commentary and when it was in the dark, surreal cool. It was good in a few different ways, including pumping horseplayer adrenalin. The Daily Racing Form shows works, which I will have to binge stream. Not so fun.

Of course, there is the "Bible" of horse racing, The Daily Racing Form. They offer a package of information that I will admit I buy each year. Do I sound sheepish about it? I just remember an old-timer telling me once "Do that and you kill your ROI before you even effing start!" Sure, I guess, but it puts all those horses in one place to allow me to recall their exploits over the year and I can keep redownloading updates. And I've got a couple racing buddies with whom I share my "insights." That makes the price tag worth it.

The funny thing is that columns, podcasts, buzz, limited radio, the collective experts always seem to distill the favorites. Nine guys in The Form picking three horses in a race, there may only be fives horses between them all.

In fact, go to the BC homepage, and right there, they're touting Accelerate. He's already the buzz horse and that insinuates itself.

The biggest thing I've learned is to not listen to all the experts and paid race-pickers. They pick the same suspects anyway and your head could explode if you let them get inside.

Yakkin' up the individual runners is premature this week, but we did have one very good bit of news. Enable, the English superfilly coming off her second straight win (!) in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Group I, 12 furlongs turf [1.5 miles], ParisLongchamp) will travel to America to run in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Watch the Arc and be patient; it is as deeply satisfying a horse race as you will ever experience.

While waiting, minds wander. There are memories.

There was a time when it was at the OTB on Jackson Boulevard. Smaller crowd, actually, than the Derby, but intense. I remember one time betting the last few races, then going home to watch. Computer access today is pretty seamless.

We'll never forget 2002, when Big Shoulders Arlington Park hosted. A roll of the weather dice BC poohbahs are mostly unwilling to spin today, it was the track implied by one of the biggest race betting scandals of all time. Pick Six. Volponi 45-1. Bet architecture. Suspicion before sundown. It would have happened at any track that year, but it happened during racing here. Draw your own conclusions.

Money had to have exchanged hands, it being Texas and all, when the 2004 BC was awarded to Lone Star Park in somewhere called Grand Prairie, which I think is a one-campfire bedroll horse ride outside of Dallas.

That whole weekend felt heebie-jeebie. It didn't help when Singletary - yes, he was named after our own beloved Samurai - thwarted me at 16-1 in the Mile over the likely Artie Schiller, who might still be running. David Flores even sported Da Bears silks. As you could have easily guessed, Singletary, the horse, didn't do much of anything after that.

And that year's Classic truly was. One of my all-time faves, Ghostzapper, showed the powerful greatness I came to love in running the classic 10 furlongs in 1:59.02. Secretariat ran the same distance in the Kentucky Derby in 2:00 flat, still the record. And the 'Zapper beat the 'nother fave Roses in May and Pleasantly Perfect with Funny Cide and Smarty Jones Triple Crown spoiler Birdstone also in the field.

But we were lied to. We heard later that Lone Star drained so badly - it rained heavily during the week and every night - that the backside of the track was spongy. First thing I thought was "quicksand," which was not far off, anecdotally. It was not mud or slop.

2007 at Monmouth Park on the Jersey Shore was a total washout. Rained, hard, the entire time. But we did get to see the fantastic Curlin weave his magic in the Classic. Today, he is a great sire.

Remember Goldikova, the little Euro filly who won the Breeders' Cup Mile on the turf three straight times, 2008-2010? I thought The Beachwood chronicled her quite nicely at the time.

Zenyatta relaxed last and patented her Breeders' Cup Classic win with the late charge in 2009. Brother Mike and me were in the Gold Cup Room at Hawthorne, both to immerse in the track atmosphere and watch the Breeders' Cup. On a 10-inch TV and the monitors all around. I remember yelling "She did it!" three or four times.

Zenyatta lost the race, her first loss ever, a year later to Blame.

And we'll never forget American Pharoah chiseling his legacy into racing's tablets in his Breeders' Cup Classic win in 2015.

This year, they're going to run all of the Juvenile races on Friday. That takes some pressure off of me because I find it difficult to wager on the kids. Who knows what they'll do? I'll probably wet my beak in the Friday shootaround, but I'll need to be convinced. Save the bulk of the bankroll for Saturday. Maybe take a Euro on turf, if there is one. Or a Todd Pletcher two-year-old.

We don't have a single matinee idol this year . . .

Nip it, in the bud, right now! Just listen.

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Tom Chambers is our man on the rail. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:32 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #222: Fins, Pats & The Cult Of Vic Fangio

State of the Bears. Plus: Bulls Season Peaks In First Quarter Of Opener; What's Up With Corey Crawford And Brandon Saad?; and AL Rules.


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SHOW NOTES

* Room 222.

2:49: Fins, Pats & The Cult of Vic Fangio.

* Coffman: Come On, Vic!

* Pullman or Paxton?

Or Jeff Daniels?

29:42: Bulls Season Peaks In First Quarter Of Opener.

* ACL vs. UCL.

47:15: What's Up With Corey Crawford And Brandon Saad?

* The jury is still sequestered!

59:57: AL Rules.

* Red Sox machine.

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STOPPAGE: 5:56

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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 2:54 PM | Permalink

Eisha Love: A Trans Woman Of Color In Chicago

"Love was incarcerated in a men's jail after acting in self-defense. Now, as she rebuilds her life and continues to process the impact of her incarceration, she faces the challenge of trying to get a steady job as an out trans woman with a criminal record."

Trailer:


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Film:

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See also:

* Gretchen Rachel Hammond, Windy City Times, 2015: Transgender Woman Released From Jail After Nearly 4 Years Without Trial.

Interview:

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And:

* In Her Own Words: Eisha Love Looks Back.

* Trans Woman Claims Self-Defense In Case.

* Mother Of Eisha Love: Heartbreak And Courage.

* One Night In The Area Of Austin.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:20 AM | Permalink

October 18, 2018

Chicago vs. Michigan, 1903

"[Michigan's] head football coach was Fielding H. Yost. The Wolverines played their home games at Regents Field. The 1903 team compiled a record of 11-0-1 and outscored opponents 565 to 6. The only points allowed came on a touchdown in a 6-6 tie with Minnesota. All eleven wins were shutouts. The 1903 Michigan team was the third of Yost's 'Point-a-Minute' teams and has been recognized retrospectively as a co-national champion by the National Championship Foundation," according to Wikipedia.

"Michigan concluded the 1903 season with its traditional rivalry game in Chicago against Amos Alonzo Stagg's Chicago Maroons. The New York Times reported that the game was attended by a record-setting crowd: 'All records for attendance were broken, fully 20,000 enthusiastic spectators braving a heavy snowfall to see the game.' Another account placed the attendance at 15,000. The Michigan Alumnus noted that Michigan men regarded Chicago as 'their dearest rival,' and the Thanksgiving Day game at Marshall Field marked the culmination of the season."

"A blizzard threatened cancellation of the game, but the snow stopped suddenly and the wind died down in the early afternoon. The game was commenced at 2 pm after seven or eight inches of snow were cleared from the field.

"Stagg's 1903 team featured three future College Football Hall of Fame inductees: Walter Eckersall at quarterback, Hugo Bezdek at right halfback, and Tiny Maxwell at right tackle. All-American Frederick A. Speik also played at left end for the 1903 Maroons. The two teams were expected to be evenly matched, but the game, played on a snowy and slippery field, proved to be one-sided. Chicago was handicapped by the illness of Coach Stagg who directed the game from a closed carriage where he lay "bundled up in blankets."

"Michigan scored on every drive in the first half, save one, and Chicago made only one first down in the first half. Eckersall's defensive play was praised in accounts of the game, though, on one play, Willie Heston eluded Eckersall 'by a well-timed hurdle' for a 20-yard gain. Heston scored two touchdowns, but Tom Hammond was the leading scorer with 13 points on two field goals (five points each) and three point after touchdown kicks. The game was played in halves of 35 and 20 minutes, with the second half being cut short to avoid playing after darkness had fallen.

"Walter Camp attended the game, watching from the sidelines. Camp offered the following comments:

The helping of the men on the Michigan team was high-grade football. Their work at helping the man with the ball was as good as that displayed in any game I have seen this season. This is the first western game I have witnessed this year. I was particularly impressed with the work of Heston as a halfback.

"The Chicago Daily Tribune opened its game coverage, 'The premature blizzard which descended on Chicago yesterday made it anything but an ideal football day, but that driving snow storm was gentleness itself compared to what was in store for Chicago's two football elevens.'

"The Detroit Free Press called it 'the most severe drubbing ever administered to the Maroons in the history of football of that institution.'

"Noted sports writer Joe S. Jackson wrote: 'Chicago was not beaten - it was run over, buffeted about, almost made the sport of its opponents at times . . . '

"The Michigan team was the guest of the Studebaker Theatre the evening after the game.

"At a post-season dinner, Fielding Yost said that he regarded Michigan's play in the Chicago game to be 'the best he had ever seen by a Michigan team during his three years here.' Michigan's captain, Curtis Redden, opined that the spectators saw 'the finest exhibition of speed and team work ever seen in the West.'"

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That Michigan team was good. Consider:

"In their 12th season under head coach Amos Alonzo Stagg, the Maroons compiled a 12-2-1 record, finished in fourth place in the Western Conference with a 4-1-1 record against conference opponents, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 413 to 61."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:08 PM | Permalink

Less Than Year After GOP Tax Scam, Six Biggest Banks Already Raked In $9 Billion In Extra Profits

It has been nearly a full year since the Republican Party rammed through its transparent scam of a tax bill in the face of massive grassroots resistance, and the results have been almost precisely what nearly every analyst predicted: Record profits for the rich and massive corporations, little to nothing for American workers.

Among the greatest beneficiaries of the GOP's bill have been America's six largest banks, which this week reported soaring third quarter profits and - according to the Not One Penny coalition - have already raked in a over $9 billion in extra profits as a direct result of President Donald Trump's $1.5 trillion tax law.

"These latest filings show that big banks have stopped at nothing to make more money - and that the GOP's tax law gave them license to put profits over people," Not One Penny spokesperson Ryan Thomas said in a statement on Thursday, highlighting the enthusiastic earnings reports of Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo.

"These six banks have constantly chosen to use these tax breaks to enrich their shareholders and executives while laying off employees and exploiting consumers," Thomas noted, pointing to the explosion of stock buybacks since the GOP tax bill became law. "These shameful actions - and the Republican tax law that permitted them - indicate just how rigged the system is against working people and the middle class."

American workers have seen virtually zero gains from the GOP tax bill despite lofty promises from Republican lawmakers. Overall, even as the economy has grown at a steady clip this year, wages for most workers have actually fallen in real terms as CEO pay has skyrocketed.

These results explain why Republicans have been "running away" from their tax bill on the campaign trail in the lead-up to the midterm elections.

"Turns out a tax bill that overwhelmingly benefits rich people and corporations isn't the most winning issue with voters," Vox's Emily Stewart noted on Wednesday.

Thomas of Not One Penny concluded that the GOP's "blatant disregard for working families epitomizes why we must hold Republicans accountable for passing a tax law written solely for the wealthiest individuals and biggest corporations."

With midterms less than three weeks away, the GOP is plowing ahead with another $600 billion in tax cuts for the rich while vowing to slash Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security if they retain control of Congress.

Here is the Not One Penny coalition's breakdown of Wall Street's latest earning report:

  • Bank of America: The bank has seen a $3.1 billion tax cut so far this year due to the 2017 tax law. It announced earnings of $7.2 billion this quarter for a total of $20.9 billion so far this fiscal year. Since the tax law was passed, Bank of America announced a $20.6 billion stock buyback program and this quarter the company spent $6.6 billion on buybacks and dividends, enriching corporate shareholders. In May, Bank of America announced the closure of an office in California, resulting in 575 layoffs. The bank also agreed to pay $15 million to settle claims that its bankers overcharged their clients on securities.
  • Citigroup: The bank has enjoyed a $1.3 billion tax cut so far this year due to the 2017 tax law and announced earnings of $4.6 billion this quarter for a total of $13.7 billion so far this fiscal year. Since the tax law was passed, Citigroup announced a $17.6 billion stock buyback program and this quarter, the company spent $6.4 billion on buybacks and dividends, both of which enrich corporate shareholders. Meanwhile, in June, Citibank laid over off over 100 workers, paid $100 million to settle charges that it manipulated interest rates, and was forced to spend $355 million in refunds to millions of customers it was overcharging interest.
  • Goldman Sachs: Due to the 2017 tax law, the bank has enjoyed a $353 million tax break so far this year. Goldman Sachs announced earnings of $2.5 billion this quarter for a total of $7.5 billion so far this fiscal year. Since the tax law was passed, Goldman Sachs announced a $5 billion stock buyback program and this quarter, the company spent $1.2 billion on buybacks and dividends, both of which enrich corporate shareholders. Meanwhile, it has closed up shop in Cedar Rapids, resulting in layoffs for 39 employees, while it constructs a new office for its outgoing CEO that could cost up to half a million dollars.
  • J.P. Morgan: The bank has seen a $2.1 billion tax cut so far this year due to the 2017 tax law, and announced earnings of $8.4 billion this quarter for a total of $25.4 billion so far this fiscal year. Since the tax law was passed, JP Morgan announced a $20.7 billion stock buyback program and this quarter the company spent $6.9 billion on buybacks and dividends, which enrich corporate shareholders. The company plans to spend 151 times what it spent on wage increases for workers on stock buybacks. At the same time, JP Morgan announced that it will lay off 400 employees in its consumer home-lending business. In August, the company laid off 100 employees in its asset management division.
  • Morgan Stanley: The bank, which has enjoyed a $738 million tax cut so far this year due to the 2017 tax law, announced earnings of $2.1 billion this quarter for a total of $7.2 billion so far this fiscal year. Since the tax law was passed, Morgan Stanley announced a $4.7 billion stock buyback program and this quarter, the company spent $1.2 billion on buybacks and dividends, both of which enrich corporate shareholders.
  • Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo has enjoyed a $1.5 billion tax cut from the tax law, and announced earnings of $6 billion this quarter for a total of $16.3 billion so far this fiscal year. Since the tax law was passed, Wells Fargo announced a $24.5 billion stock buyback program and this quarter the company spent $8.9 billion on buybacks and dividends, both of which enrich corporate shareholders. Last month, Wells Fargo announced a plan to cut up to 10 percent of its workforce in the next three years, a loss of between 13,250 and 26,500 jobs. Wells Fargo has been mired in scandals this year, and is involved in numerous settlements. It is being forced to pay $1 billion, the largest fine ever imposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in addition to millions more in refunds to customers for misleading and predatory practices.

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

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Previously in tax scammage:

* McDonald's Breaks Promise To Raise Wages.

* Last Year, Amazon Paid No Federal Income Taxes. Now, It's Trying To Kill A Local Tax That Aims To Help the Homeless.

* Trump Vowed To Punish Companies That Moved Jobs Overseas. Is Congress Rewarding Them?

* After Long Career Bailing Out Big Banks, Obama Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner Now Runs Predatory Firm That Exploits The Poor For Profit.

* Jeff Bezos Just Became The Richest Person Ever. Amazon Workers Just Marked #PrimeDay With Strikes Against Low Pay And Brutal Conditions.

* A Sweet New Century For America's Most Privileged.

* With Nation Transfixed By Kavanaugh Monstrosity, House GOP Votes To Give Rich Another $3 Trillion In Tax Cuts.

* Deepwater Horizon Settlement Comes With $5.35 Billion Tax Windfall.

* Offshoring By 29 Companies Costs Illinois $1.2 Billion Annually.

* Government Agencies Allow Corporations To Write Off Billions In Federal Settlements.

* The Gang Of 62 Vs. The World.

* How The Maker Of TurboTax Fought Free, Simple Tax Filing.

* $1.4 Trillion: Oxfam Exposes The Great Offshore Tax Scam Of U.S. Companies.

* How Barclay's Turned A $10 Billion Profit Into A Tax Loss.

* Wall Street Stock Loans Drain $1 Billion A Year From German Taxpayers.

* German Finance Minister Cries Foul Over Tax Avoidance Deals.

* Prosecutor Targets Commerzbank For Deals That Dodge German Taxes.

* A Schlupfloch Here, A Schlupfloch There. Now It's Real Money.

* How Milwaukee Landlords Avoid Taxes.

* Study: 32 Illinois Fortune 500 Companies Holding At Least $147 Billion Offshore.

* Watch Out For The Coming Tax Break Trickery.

* When A 'Tax Bonanza' Is Actually A Huge Corporate Tax Break.

* The Hypocrisy Of Corporate Welfare: It's Bigger Than Trump.

* Oxfam Names World's Worst Tax Havens Fueling 'Global Race To Bottom.'

* Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average Illinois Small Business $5,789 A Year.

* State Tax Incentives To Corporations Don't Work.

* GOP Tax Plan Would Give 15 Of America's Largest Corporations A $236 Billion Tax Cut.

* Triumph Of The Oligarchs.

* Amazon Short-List Proves Something "Deeply Wrong" With America's Race-To-The-Bottom Economy.

* Apple's $38 Billion Tax Payment Less Than Half Of $79 Billion They Owe.

* U.S. Surpasses Cayman Islands To Become Second-Largest Tax Haven On Earth.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:29 AM | Permalink

Storytelling | Dia De Los Muertos

Commemorate, commiserate, and celebrate with Story Club South Side!

Join us as we invite spirits living and dead to tell stories and celebrate Dia de los Muertos together!

We will be creating an altar de ofrenda at the show, and our audience is invited to participate by bringing a photo or memento of someone who has passed on. We'll have art supplies on hand, as well, for those who'd like to make a tribute on the spot.

Story Club South Side Oct 2018 promo image.jpg

WHEN: Tuesday, October 23

* 6:30 p.m. - FREE storytelling workshop open to the public.

* 7:30 p.m. - Open mic sign-up begins.

* 8 p.m. - Showtime!

WHERE: Co-Prosperity Sphere, 
3219-21 S. Morgan St. in Bridgeport. Coming from I-90/94, get off at the 31st St exit. If you're coming via CTA, you can take the Orange Line to Halsted and then hop on the Halsted bus, #8, south to 31st St or take the Red Line to 35th St, then take the 35th St. bus, #35, to Morgan Street.

FEATURED PERFORMERS:

* Writer, zine queen, and Quimby's bookmonger LIZ MASON!

* Cat guardian and born storyteller YVETTE MARIE!

SPECIAL GUEST:

* Altar de Ofrenda designer JOSE RIOS!

Hosted by ANDREW MARIKIS & co-produced by CYNTHIA E. HANIFIN!

THE DRILL:

The 6:30 p.m. storytelling workshop is with Story Club host Andrew Marikis and is free to everyone regardless of experience! There are two or three open mic slots available. Open mic participants will have eight minutes to tell a story - it doesn't have to be on theme, just a story! Open mic sign-up starts at 7:30 p.m. with host Andrew Marikis.

TICKETS:

$5 presale tickets, $10 at the door. Cash bar. BYOFood HIGHLY encouraged. To find ticket links and other details, go to www.storyclubchicago.com or the Facebook event page.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:46 AM | Permalink

Holiday Hullabaloo

The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus celebrates 35 years of making music with their upcoming 35th Anniversary Holiday Hullabaloo.

The chorus will be joined by 11 additional Chicago-based LGBTQ+ performing arts organizations, including About Face Theatre, Allegrezza, Artemis Singers, Chicago Pride Guard, Chicago Spirit Brigade, Chicago Tap Theatre, GayCo, Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles, Lakeview Orchestra, Pride Films & Plays, and Windy City Gay Chorus.

With 22 musical numbers performed by members of 12 organizations, CGMC will contribute 150 singing voices with 20 dancers. Holiday Hullabaloo will be performed November 30 - December 2 at three different venues in the Chicagoland area. Visit cgmc.org/holiday for more information and tickets.

HolidayHullabalooLogoV3-01.png

The 35th Anniversary Holiday Hullabaloo combines GGMC traditional favorites such as Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus," "Wrapping Paper," "Hot Hanukkah" and Tchaikovsky's "Waltz of the Flowers" with some new contributions like "Solstice Carole" by the Weird Sisters and Jay Althouse's "Going to Bethlehem."

"This show will be big," said CGMC's artistic director James Morehead. "This is one of the few chances to see almost all LGBTQ+ performing arts organizations in one two-hour show!"

This will be one of the largest to date. Past large-scale performances include A Show of Concern: The Heart of America Responds (1987), National Women's Choral Festival (1986), 10th Sister Singers Network festival (2010), and Gay Games VII (2006).

Preparation for the show has been fast and furious, according to Morehead, with new members learning organizational traditions while all members build relationships with new pieces and repertoire.

Morehead said he is looking forward most to the finale of the holiday show. "We are closing the program with 'This Christmastide' by Donald Fraser, a Chicago native, with all performers joining together," he said. "This moment will bring us all onto stage at the same time for a glorious moment together."

CGMC's members are buzzing about the anniversary celebration and upcoming show. "I think it's a milestone for any non-profit, but for the Chorus it represents 35 years of raising our voices for acceptance and change, and we have seen mighty change," said CGMC member Michael J. Anderson. Anderson has been a member for seven years, served as President on the Board of Directors, and currently serves as Governance Committee Chair. "I sing because it makes me feel part of a larger community that is breaking down barriers with a voice for social justice and acceptance."

CGMC continues to be a voice for the LGBTQ+ community while also functioning as a safe place to sing and build lifelong relationships for members of the community and allies. The shows have always shed light on current issues. "When the chorus was founded in 1983, near the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, we doubted how long we would survive," said Morehead. "Let's continue to celebrate our steadfastness and commitment."

"The need for this group is much different now than 35 years ago, so it's heartening that it has thrived and is still relevant," said Larry Olson, chorus member of 13 years and chair of CGMC's Alumni Committee.

The entire 2018-19 anniversary season celebrates community. The fall cabaret "Banned Together" highlighted censored songs to give voice to the voiceless. The holiday show brings together members from many performing arts organizations to celebrate the holidays. The live singing drag show "Lipstick & Lyrics: Band Together" in February celebrates the right to protest and demand equal rights for all. And finally CGMC's spring show "Stonewalled: 50 Queer Years" honors the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots while urging us to do better in the next 35 years.

CGMC delivers performances that combine theater, choral artistry and musical theater into one musical experience. Audiences are sure to have the time of their life, enjoying beautiful music and laughing hard.

WHEN/WHERE

Friday, November 30, 8 p.m.
Harris Theater for Music & Dance, 205 East Randolph Street

Saturday, December 1, 8 p.m.
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie

Sunday, December 2, 7 p.m.
Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W 111th St

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:36 AM | Permalink

The [Thursday] Papers

"Records indicate that between 2005 and 2015, the board voted about 58 percent of the time to allow an officer to keep his or her job even though the police superintendent was seeking to fire them. The board either found the officer not guilty or reduced the punishment," WBEZ reports.

"In 2016 and 2017, that number plunged to just 20 percent, a phenomenon an expert said might be due to the release of the Laquan McDonald video. But so far this year, the board has returned to trend, voting to retain officers about 64 percent of the time."

The report doesn't mention it, but Lori Lightfoot was the police board president from June 2015 to May 2018. Perhaps that played a role.

Floor Follies
"State Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin (D-Chicago) worked the floor at Wednesday's City Council meeting to build support for her candidacy to replace retiring City Treasurer Kurt Summers" the Sun-Times reports.

"Conyears-Ervin, wife of Ald. Jason Ervin (28th), boldly violated the seldom-enforced rule that only former aldermen are allowed on the City Council floor."

If the rule is seldom-enforced, how can violating it be bold?

The Venue Remained The Same
"Special Prosecutor Joseph McMahon has billed Cook County for nearly $50,000 for expenses from his more than two years handling Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke's murder case," the Sun-Times reports.

"All told, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office has received bills or paid out directly more than $18,000. Records from McMahon's office also show a pair of invoices totaling $31,600 that have been submitted, for a report on public attitudes toward Van Dyke's case by the research firm the Halvorsen Group."

Money well spent? From CBS2 Chicago in August:

"[Van Dyke's lawyer Dan] Herbert said a defense expert found 87 percent of people in Cook County have an opinion in the case, and 74 percent of those polled believe Van Dyke is guilty.

"Special prosecutor Joseph McMahon countered that the defense's polling was 'manipulated.'

"According to McMahon, a prosecution expert found as many as 3.4 million people in Cook County could serve as unbiased jurors, because they either have never heard of the case, or because they would be able to reach a verdict based only on the evidence presented at trial and the judge's instructions."

Radical Is As Radical Does
Governor Bruce Rauner is intensifying his attacks on his Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker, with less than three weeks to go before the election. Rauner, who trails Pritzker in most polls by double digit margins, referred to the billionaire Democrat as a 'Mercedes Marxist' in an interview on the The Big John and Ramblin' Ray Show," WLS-AM reports.

"He's proposing eleven billion in new spending, he's a Mercedes Marxist, he's a radical leftist, he's proposing a massive new income tax hike and it's gonna crush the middle class as well as job creators in this state.

If JB Pritzker was a radical leftist, I'd have seen him at the meetings.

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Just kidding, I'm not a radical leftist. I'm a radical stoplyingist. But truly, this is right out of the GOP playbook. JB Pritzker is standard corporate liberal, for better and worse. So was Barack Obama, whose record clearly marked him as the exact opposite of a change agent. Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were conservative Southern governors who presidented that way as well. But radicalizing one's opponent is a tried-and-true strategy that helps explain how we got to where we are.

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On the other hand, Rauner's Turnaround Agenda could fairly be described as pretty radical.

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P.S.: Still letting the lawsuit filed by some Pritzker campaign workers evolve before commenting. Without taking a position, it's . . . weird. It seems to me there's more to learn before we know what's really going on - either way.

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Same with this. What the . . . ?

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New on the Beachwood . . .

Chicago vs. Michigan, 1903
"The Chicago Daily Tribune opened its game coverage, 'The premature blizzard which descended on Chicago yesterday made it anything but an ideal football day, but that driving snow storm was gentleness itself compared to what was in store for Chicago's two football elevens.'"

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Less Than Year After GOP Tax Cut, Six Biggest Banks Already Raked In $9 Billion In Extra Profits
"These six banks have constantly chosen to use these tax breaks to enrich their shareholders and executives while laying off employees and exploiting consumers."

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Storytelling | Dia De Los Muertos
"We will be creating an altar de ofrenda at the show, and our audience is invited to participate by bringing a photo or memento of someone who has passed on."

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Holiday Hullabaloo
Twelve queer organizations, three big performances.

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ChicagoReddit

Voter Registration online lookup - Wrong Middle Initial from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Mykelia Jacobson at the 65th Annual Chicago A.I.C Powwow.

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BeachBook

157 Of The World's 200 Richest Entities Are Now Corporations, Not Governments.

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This Is Why McDonald's Coke Tastes Better Than All The Others.

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(Chicago Blind Rapper) Skully TV / Be Quiet

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Sound stage.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:12 AM | Permalink

October 17, 2018

The [Wednesday] Papers

You'd think the (major) candidates for governor have enough money to hire people to properly fill out a survey . . .

Meanwhile, dude who bought the governorship complaining about dude buying the governorship.

The truth: "[B]oth candidates use tax tricks only available to the super wealthy to pay a whole lot less than most people."

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The Illinois National Guard will take time off from being constantly called upon by hack politicians to intercede in Chicago crime-fighting to intercede in any attempted Russian hacking into the November elections.

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Trump tweets from toilet that he's not to blame if Republicans lose House. Rauner, whose campaign is in the toilet, says his messaging is to blame if he loses the People's House. Pritzker says he's not to blame for house missing toilets.

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Toni Preckwinkle doesn't have a Chance to become Chicago's next mayor.

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Then again, Amara Enyia still doesn't have a chance.

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Jennifer Pritzker is the bizarro Laura Ricketts.

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Millennials kill cheese, Chili.

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ChicagoReddit

I left a stack of these "Cinematic Use Only" fake 100's on the table at my house to see if my roommate or the guests were trustworthy. Today, all but 1 were missing. Haha! from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Kelly Kapowski in Chicago.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Time and place.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:04 AM | Permalink

October 16, 2018

The [Tuesday] Papers

Whatever.

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ChicagoReddit

What's an event that would be big enough that it would require us to add another star to the flag? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

One-Armed Rabbit | Short Film | United States | Chicago Comedy Film Festival

"When a fighter pilot awakens in the desert with no memory of how she got there, a furry hallucination provides her unexpected company. For fans of Kung Pow! Enter the Fist and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

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BeachBook

Climate Change Could Cause Beer Shortage.

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Why Chinese Artists The Zhou Brothers Built A 'Playground For Artists' In Their Adopted Hometown Of Chicago.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: No picnic.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:13 PM | Permalink

October 15, 2018

The [Monday] Papers

"Chicago's Affordable Requirement Ordinance has fallen short of creating the affordable housing needed in communities most at-risk of displacement," James Rudyk, the executive director of the Northwest Side Housing Center, writes in a letter to the Sun-Times.

"According to the City of Chicago data portal, as of July 2018, the ARO has only generated 334 affordable units, under both the original 2007 ordinance and the 2015 revision that set a five-year goal of 1,200 units by 2020."

That's pathetic. What does Bill Daley propose?

Sears Jeers
"In more bad news for Sears, a suburban school district is suing the once-mighty retail giant, saying the schools should get back some of the millions of dollars in diverted tax money because Sears has violated the agreement that brought its headquarters to Hoffman Estates," the Tribune reports.

Nearly 30 years ago, to lure Sears' home base from Sears Tower in Chicago and keep it in Illinois, the retailer received nearly $250 million in tax breaks and incentives to move to its sprawling Hoffman Estates headquarters.

With that deal, much of the property tax revenue generated by Sears' head offices in Hoffman Estates went back into the development of the surrounding Prairie Stone Business Park, near the Jane Addams Tollway at Illinois Route 59.

When the deal was to expire in 2012, local taxing districts like Community Unit School District 300 were supposed to see the full benefit of the increased tax base, but instead Sears landed an extended deal with the renewed threat of leaving the state.

Sears, you are Today's Worst Business In Illinois.

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This story reminds me of one that I did for the Tribune in 1994:

When Sears threatened to pull out of The Centre at Park Forest in 1987, the village worked with the shopping center to put together an attractive incentive package, including $1.5 million to renovate the store.

Sears decided to stay and signed a 10-year contract.

But when Sears announced earlier this month that it was leaving three years early because it had been lured to Lincoln Mall in nearby Matteson, Park Forest officials decided not to yield to the rules of the economic development game.

Instead, they are demanding that the retail giant give the village its money back. Not just the $1.5 million in renovation money, but the $2.5 million it projects it would have received in property and sales taxes over the next three years. And when it goes, the officials want Sears to take its building with it.

This was the money quote:

"It's unfortunate that Sears has a reputation of being where America shops and of having dependable products, and they come to the All-American city, the All-American suburb, and they're breaking their word," said Village Manager Jack Manahan. "I wish they were as dependable as their products."

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New on the Beachwood . . .

SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!
This one is on the defense.

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Chicago Book Haul: The Dial
From transcendalist journal to modern literary magazine to bookstore.

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Chicagoetry: West Side Blues
Even Joey the Clown had to move.

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ChicagoReddit

Sears files for bankruptcy. from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

2015 Chicago Halloween Parade Thriller Finale

"For the first time, Columbus Drive hosted a Halloween Parade in Chicago. A Michael Jackson impersonator led an impressive Thriller dance to top of the festivities. Earlier, Lupe Fiasco served as Grand Marshal."

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TweetWood
A sampling.

The media honoring bloodlines continues to amaze me.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Fish, chips.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:01 PM | Permalink

Chicago Book Haul: The Dial

"A new and used bookshop located on the second floor of the historic Fine Arts Building in downtown Chicago. Open every day!"


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"The Dial was a literary magazine founded in 1840. From 1840 to 1844 it was a transcendentalist journal. Margaret Fuller served as its editor and its most notable contributor was Ralph Waldo Emerson. In 1880 Francis Fisher Brown revived the magazine in The Fine Arts Building, with a focus on politics and literary criticism. The Dial's final and best known incarnation (1920-1929) was as a modernist literary magazine which published many influential writers, including T.S. Eliot, William Butler Yeats, William Carlos Williams and E.E. Cummings."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:32 AM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

This one is on the defense. It isn't even close.

Yes, the offense had two brutal red-zone turnovers and another killer fumble late in regulation of the Bears' 31-28 loss to the Dolphins. And yes, Matt Nagy did some strange things at the end of the Bears' final possession.

Oh, and the refs sucked, what with the "Brushing the Passer" (thank you, Steve) call on Leonard Floyd and the infuriatingly ridiculous offensive pass interference on Trey Burton in the end zone. The zebras capped it all off with a crushing unwillingness to flag obvious holding down the stretch as Dolphins obviously grabbed Bear pass-rushers Khalil Mack continuously and Aaron Lynch on one huge play in particular.

But this was a supposed better-than-average defense against a back-up quarterback with limited arm strength. And that unit stunk it up all day long. Just like the Packers game when the Bears completely failed to take advantage of a hobbled Aaron Rodgers, Vic Fangio's unit failed to take advantage of an obvious, extended mismatch.

Come on, Vic! When the quarterback can't throw a pass of more than 25 yards with any accuracy you have your defensive backs move up and attack. Why is that so difficult for you? It is as though the man is so in love with his game plan (which this week was designed to counter strong-armed starter Ryan Tannehill rather than Brock Osweiler) that he will not change it no matter what.

Also, the tackling. I mean, are you kidding me? That was the most miserable display of tackling from the Bears since the atrocious one-two punch of huge losses to the Patriots and Packers in 2014 that sealed Marc Trestman's doom.

Albert Wilson, superstar! Except the Dolphins' until-now fringe receiver isn't that guy. Not even close. And yet the Bears defense treated him like he was freaking Barry Sanders at his absolute best.

One guy who does not wear goat horns in any way, shape or form? Mitch Trubisky. Yes the end zone interception was brutal, and if the second-year quarterback heaves up another wounded duck way back to the left after he rolls right (like he did twice on Sunday), we will have to stage an intervention.

But Trubisky did way more than enough to win. And when he had a chance to drive the Bears to decisive scores late, he was thwarted by Tarik Cohen's brutal fumble near midfield at the end of regulation and by Nagy's weird play-calling in OT.

After Akiem Hicks' miraculous forced fumble at the one and Eddie Goldman's fortuitous recovery on the goal line rather than even a couple inches further forward, the Bears took over on the 20 and Jordan Howard went to work.

Howard blasted forward for gains of 19 and 15 yards to take the Bears to the verge of field goal range (the Miami 41). Unfortunately, that apparently was all Howard could muster because coach "Ultimate Whiteboard" Nagy first brought in Tarik Cohen for a run up the middle (two yards) and then Bennie Cunningham (three) before finally going back to Howard, who was stuffed for no gain on third down.

It was as though Nagy thought the Bears were on the 31 rather than the 41 when they started that series of downs. Hopefully going forward, the coach will know that you don't go completely conservative when you are still looking at an eventual field goal attempt of more than 50 yards.

You also don't go completely conservative with Cohen and Cunningham! If you have those guys in the game you don't call plays that are obviously made for a bruiser like Howard. I'm guessing Howard was in good enough shape to do something that shouldn't have been that hard - run the ball for a third consecutive time. But the Bears rotated in other backs without calling plays for them - or for their quarterback who has shown he can run the football - or for anyone else doing anything else.

Cody Parkey came in for a much longer than necessary 53-yard field goal attempt, tried to give it a little extra oomph and lost it out to the right. Then the Bears defense failed one final time.

All of that being said, a loss on the road against a non-conference foe is not going to make or break this season. The Bears still have five games left against division opponents. Three of those will be at home. The contests against the Vikings, Packers and Lions are going to be what matters.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:05 AM | Permalink

Chicagoetry: West Town Blues

West Town Blues

Rose of Sharon thrived in the odd patch of hard dirt
Amid the asphalt, concrete and steel when I lived in West Town.

Defiant rose, city rose, hard rose. "Jaybird, when Joey the Clown
Ran the neighborhood, women could walk home from work

At 2:30 in the morning and feel safe," declared my landlord, Dominic.
I would watch my neighbors celebrate their daughter's Quinceanera

Across the back alley, uncertain what it was at first but
Guessing it was a coming of age ceremony in the Hispanic community

Like Confirmation or Bar Mitzvah. Right:
When a young woman turns fifteen, when the rose grows thorns.

For decades, when ethnicities were segregated
By neighborhood, West Town was largely Italian.

Dominic had houses throughout a three-block radius, his investment portfolio.
True to form, he was secretive about the basement.

The water heater was just one of many cut corners.
One time I found him down there kibitzing the repairman

To NOT repair the thing properly because the replacement parts
Would cost too much.

Lately it became a more Hispanic neighborhood,
Though the "white" folk were still mostly Old School

Italian. Like, literal stone-cutter Italians, descended from the
Original residents. Then one morning, I get in my car

To run errands, and here comes Dominic,
In the middle of the morning street, loudly, and with a smile:

"I'd vote for a nigger, Jay, before I'd vote
For your Irish buddy Daley!"

I hadn't asked. Him, and the remnants of a legacy where it mattered
Which white you were and

When one revered men like Joey the Clown.
Fuckin' Dominic.

This is how they roll: bigots can't wait
To trot out their slurs, especially if they think

You'll be offended. I did wonder

How I hadn't "passed," what with my English Protestant sounding
Last name, how he sussed that I was Potato Famine

Irish on both sides. This was my West Town
From 1987 until 2007, when the Developers

Finally took moved in. I faced the music: "You got to move."
So: west up Grand to Humboldt Park. Many ethnic Chicagoans followed

A common diagonal boulevard upwards and outwards by generation:
Poles up Milwaukee, Germans up Lincoln, Scandinavians up Clark, etc.

For the Italians, west up Grand to Elmwood Park
Where they finally found Joey in hiding at a friend's,

On the lam in '05. Late in life, he fled
His home on Ohio Street just west of Hoyne,

A block from my old flat, charged with racketeering,
Extortion and loan sharking. He'd grown a long beard

A la Saddam Hussein. Beard of thorns.
Hard rose. I wonder how he voted.

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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

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:50 AM | Permalink

October 14, 2018

Lyric Musicians Ratify Contract

The musicians of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra ratified on Sunday the tentative agreement reached Saturday evening with Lyric management.

The musicians of the orchestra went on strike on October 9 for one reason: to preserve the Lyric Opera that generations of Chicagoans have built over the past 65 years. A world-class opera company needs a world-class orchestra. The musicians will never stop fighting for that ideal, but at this time, the music needs to return to the Civic Opera House. Further cancellations by Lyric management were threatened, and the result would have been destructive for everyone - Lyric, the musicians and other Lyric employees, and Lyric's loyal patrons.

Additionally, given that Lyric's other unions (including IATSE and AGMA) had settled their contracts earlier, we were keenly aware of the pressure on the members of those unions and their families. We needed to settle this contract not only for us, but for them.

In the end, both parties compromised. This is still a concessionary contract, but much less so. When we started bargaining in March, management was demanding pay cuts of up to 43 percent. That was still on the table as recently as 10 days ago. The final agreement includes a reduction in the number of main opera season weeks from 24 to 22 and a reduction in the number of musicians, but those concessions are mitigated by more favorable terms we were able to obtain:

  • There is now a 5.6 percent increase in weekly salary over the 3-year contract term.
  • The 2019-20 season now includes a guarantee of five additional weeks for the "Ring" cycle, outside of the 22-week main opera season.
  • The orchestra size will be reduced by four instead of five musicians, delayed until the 2019-20 season.
  • The spring musical is now guaranteed to employ 37 members of the orchestra, and the salary for the musicals increases significantly (by 6.6 percent).
  • There are new guarantees regarding the hiring of orchestra musicians for Joffrey Ballet productions beginning in 2020.
  • Health care benefits are maintained as is; family leave is now eight paid weeks; and there are numerous other improvements in working conditions.

The musicians of the orchestra are forever grateful for the overwhelming support we received from Lyric's patrons and donors from the moment the strike began. That outpouring of support gives us great hope for the future of Lyric Opera. We are confident that they are ready to stand with us as we continue to fight to preserve Lyric Opera of Chicago as one of the world's greatest opera companies and the crown jewel of Chicago's cultural life.

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Previously: Lyric Opera Strike | A View From The Pit.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:29 PM | Permalink

The Weekend Desk Report

For completists, there was no column on Friday.

"A central Illinois pork-processing plant last year discharged more nitrogen from animal waste into waterways than any other slaughterhouse in the country, according to a report published Thursday," the Tribune reports.

In an assessment of water pollution produced by 98 large meat-processing facilities across the United States, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Environmental Integrity Project found that a plant in Beardstown, Ill., owned by meat-processing giant JBS released about 1,850 pounds of nitrogen on average each day into a tributary of the Illinois River. That's the amount contained in raw sewage produced daily by a city with the population roughly the size of Evanston, the report says.

The facility, about 240 miles southwest of Chicago, is within its permitted discharge limits under the Clean Water Act, but the disclosure raises questions about the stringency of federal water pollution standards surrounding meatpacking plants.

Illinois is the fourth-largest producer of pork, and it shoulders a significant share of environmental problems as a result. A Tribune investigation found that between 2005 and 2014, pollution incidents from hog confinement operations killed at least 492,000 fish and impaired 67 miles of the state's rivers, creeks and waterways.

From JBS's website:

"At JBS USA and Pilgrim's, how we leave the planet in a better condition than which we found it is at the heart of each environmental, economic and social decision we make."

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FYI, via Wikipedia:

"BS USA Holdings, Inc. is an American food processing company and a wholly owned subsidiary of JBS S.A., a Brazilian company that is the world's largest processor of fresh beef and pork, with more than $50 billion in annual sales as of 2017. The subsidiary was created when JBS entered the U.S. market in 2007 with its purchase of Swift & Company . . .

"JBS USA's operations can be traced back to 1855, when 16-year-old Gustavus Franklin Swift founded a butchering operation in Eastham, Massachusetts. Its early origins on Cape Cod, led to later Brighton, MA, Albany, NY, and Buffalo, NY locations, and in 1875 Swift and Company was incorporated in Chicago."

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Interesting:

"In December 2006, six of the company's meat-packing facilities in Colorado, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Iowa, and Minnesota were raided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, resulting in the apprehension of 1,282 undocumented immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Peru, Laos, Sudan, and Ethiopia, and nearly 200 of them were criminally charged after a ten-month investigation into identity theft."

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Also, bribery investigations.

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And:

"The USDA has added more stores to the retail distribution list in the JBS Tolleson [a unit of JBS USA] ground beef Salmonella Newport outbreak. The case count still stands at 57 people sick in 16 states," Food Poisoning Bulletin reports. "More than 30% of those patients have been hospitalized because they are so ill. Almost 7 million pounds of ground beef and ground beef products have been recalled."

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The USDA had previously complained of "egregious" practices at the Tolleson facility.

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In July, the Cass County Gazette named JBS the Business of the Month.

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New on the Beachwood . . .

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #221: Are The Blackhawks Back?
Sort of, but not really. Plus: Chili Cook-Off; MLB's Final Four; Non-Jew Tarik Cohen And The Bears Taking Their Talents To South Florida; Jimmy Hollywood vs. Toledo Thibs; 2018 Bulls Should Get Sponsorship From Elon Musk's Boring Company; and Golf At The Grate.

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Conway Barbour And The Challenges Of The Black Middle Class In 19th-Century America
Despite an unconventional life, Barbour found in each place he lived that he was one of many free black people who fought to better themselves alongside their white countrymen.

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Recall! Malone's Pork Head Cheese
These items were shipped to retail locations in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin and were also sold via internet catalog sales.

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Weekend ChicagoReddit

Good Hedgehog Vet In Chicago?

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Weekend ChicagoGram

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Weekend ChicagoTube

Sweet Home Chicago / Blues Club Art Tokyo

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Weekend BeachBook
A sampling.

"Bob Smith" Was A Black Lives Matter Sympathizer With Lots Of Facebook Friends. It Turned Out He Was A White Undercover Police Officer.

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Avocados And Almonds Are Not Vegan.

Is anything, really?

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Chicago Man Makes 500th Blood Donation.

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Weekend TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: 20 percent.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:27 PM | Permalink

October 12, 2018

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #221: Are The Blackhawks Back?

Sort of, but not really. Plus: Chili Cook-Off; MLB's Final Four; Non-Jew Tarik Cohen And The Bears Taking Their Talents To South Florida; Jimmy Hollywood vs. Toledo Thibs; 2018 Bulls Should Get Sponsorship From Elon Musk's Boring Company; and Golf At The Grate.


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SHOW NOTES

* 221.

* The alternative universe(s) of Kanye West.

* Transcript: Kanye West's White House Meeting With Donald Trump.

1:51: Chili Cook-Off.

* Gonzalez: Cubs Fire Hitting Coach Chili Davis.

* Dave Magadan played for the Cubs in 1996, slashing .254/.360/.367 in 201 PAs.

* Coffman: Trade Almora.

15:25: MLB's Final Four.

* Red Sox vs. Astros.

* Brewers vs. Dodgers.

* AL over NL.

* Billy Witz, New York Times: Seeds Of The Yankees' Playoff Loss Were Planted Last Winter.

* Richard Justice, MLB.com: Attanasio In Awe Of Brewers' Rapid Ascent.

27:40: Non-Jew Tarik Cohen And The Bears Taking Their Talents To South Florida.

* Wiederer: 'He Really Believed In Me': A Scout's Discovery Of Tarik Cohen And The Bears' Vision For What's Ahead.

* Tarik Cohen's Jewish Combine:

* The Hora.

37:28: Jimmy Hollywood vs. Toledo Thibs.

* Kevin Garnett Says The Jimmy Butler Drama In Minnesota Is A 'Shit Storm.'

46:31: 2018 Bulls Should Get Sponsorship From Elon Musk's Boring Company.

* But Coach Coffman is here for it!

* Johnson: Jabari Parker Says Reserve Role Would Be 'Huge Adjustment.'

54:38: Are The Blackhawks Back?

* Nick Ashbourne, Yahoo Canada Sports: Toews And DeBrincat Combo Has Blackhawks Flying Again.

1:04:35: Golf At The Grate.

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STOPPAGE: 6:00

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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 2:24 PM | Permalink

Conway Barbour And The Challenges Of The Black Middle Class In 19th-Century America

Focusing on the life of ambitious former slave Conway Barbour, Victoria L. Harrison argues that the idea of a black middle class traced its origins to the free black population of the mid-19th century and developed alongside the idea of a white middle class. Although slavery and racism meant that the definition of middle class was not identical for white people and free people of color, they shared similar desires for advancement.

conwaybarbour.jpg

Born a slave in western Virginia about 1815, Barbour was a free man by the late 1840s. His adventurous life took him through Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky; Cleveland, Ohio; Alton, Illinois; and Little Rock and Lake Village, Arkansas.

In search of upward mobility, he worked as a steamboat steward, tried his hand at several commercial ventures, and entered politics.

He sought, but was denied, a Civil War military appointment that would have provided financial stability.

Blessed with intelligence, competence, and energy, Barbour was quick to identify opportunities as they appeared in personal relationships - he was simultaneously married to two women - business and politics.

Despite an unconventional life, Barbour found in each place he lived that he was one of many free black people who fought to better themselves alongside their white countrymen.

Harrison's argument about black class formation reframes the customary narrative of downtrodden free African Americans in the mid-19th century and engages current discussions of black inclusion, the concept of "otherness" and the breaking down of societal barriers.

Demonstrating that careful research can reveal the stories of people who have been invisible to history, Fight Like a Tiger complicates our understanding of the intersection of race and class in the Civil War era.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:19 AM | Permalink

RECALL! Malone's Pork Head Cheese

Malone's Fine Sausage, a Milwaukee establishment, is recalling approximately 26,323 pounds of ready-to-eat pork head cheese product that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Wednesday.

The ready-to-eat pork head cheese items were produced on various dates from Aug. 27, 2018 through Oct. 5, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:

* Various weights of vacuum-sealed packages containing "Glorious Malone's Fine Sausage, INC. GOURMET PORK DELICACY HOT SEASONED HEADCHEESE" with a "Sell By" dates from 10/26/2018 through 12/5/2018 and lot codes 3524 through 3540.

* Various weights of vacuum-sealed packages containing "Glorious Malone's Fine Sausage, INC. GOURMET PORK DELICACY MILD SEASONED HEADCHEESE" with a "Sell By" dates from 10/26/2018 through 12/5/2018 and lot codes 3524 through 3540.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number "EST. 15702" inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin and were also sold via internet catalog sales.

The problem was discovered on Oct. 9, 2018 by FSIS inspection program personnel while verifying the disposition of product that FSIS tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website.

Media and consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Daphne Jones, president at Malone's Fine Sausage, at (414) 732-1820.

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Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov.

The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

NOTE: Access news releases and other information at FSIS' website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Follow FSIS on Twitter at twitter.com/usdafoodsafety or in Spanish at: twitter.com/usdafoodsafe_es.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:31 AM | Permalink

October 11, 2018

The [Thursday] Papers

In no particular order.

1. Daley Crowned.

"Bill Daley is padding his lead in the mayoral fundraising sweepstakes - and topping the $1 million benchmark - with help from two of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's most reliable campaign contributors," the Sun-Times reports.

"On Tuesday, Daley reported receiving $75,000 from Lester, Patricia and Paula Crown and another $25,000 contribution from Richard Robb, an executive with Henry Crown & Co., who is married to Rebecca Crown."

Lester, Patricia, Paula and Rebecca Crown, you are Today's Worst Family In Chicago.

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"Daley also bagged a $50,000 contribution from Chicago venture capital pioneer Bryan Cressey. Cressey was an early partner in the private-equity firm GTCR that once included Gov. Bruce Rauner. The 'C' stood for Cressey. The 'R' stood for Rauner. Cressey gave $276,200 to Emanuel's mayoral campaigns."

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Meanwhile . . .

"On Thursday, Daley bristled when asked whether he was in the race to stay.

"I'm not even gonna answer that stupid question," Daley said. "I'm not insulting you. But, it is a stupid question."

It's only a stupid question because of the way it was presumably posed: "Are you in the race to stay?" Um no, I'm in the race to drop out. I mean, he does have a track record of dropping out of races - sometimes before he even gets started. And there are better questions to ask him. But still, poor form, Bill.

2. Bulls' Official Asset Manager.

"The Chicago Bulls and Calamos Investments today announced a multi-year partnership that makes the metropolitan Chicago-based global asset manager the first company to display its logo on the Bulls court apron in the United Center," the team announced.

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About founder John Calamos:

"It was at that time in the late 60's, fighting a war in Vietnam, when he started thinking about managing risks in the markets and convertible securities."

3. AFL-CIO LOL.

"The biggest federation of unions in the United States has called on companies this year to raise worker pay amid a flourishing economy. But now employees of the AFL-CIO say the labor group isn't practicing what it preaches - and they're prepared to picket over it," the Washington Post reports.

"About 50 janitors, drivers, secretaries and accountants at the union's offices in greater Washington, all represented by the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), voted Tuesday to authorize a strike if their employer does not meet their demands."

4. Biometric Burke.

"A proposed amendment to the Chicago municipal code would allow businesses to use face surveillance systems that could invade biometric and location privacy, and violate a pioneering state privacy law adopted by Illinois a decade ago," the Electronic Freedom Foundation says.

The amendment's sponsor is Ed Burke.

5. Who Own Da Beach?

"In an unexpected twist, the State of Illinois has emerged as the owner of Lincoln Street beach, once the private lakefront domain of Northwestern University that opened to Evanston residents this year," the Evanston Review reports.

"Lincoln Street beach is not the property of Northwestern University. I cannot tell you whose property it is," Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said at a Sept. 17 City Council meeting.

But on Oct. 1, Bobkiewicz confirmed it likely belongs to the state.

"We've had some further discussion with (Illinois Department of Natural Resources) and they believe they" own it, Bobkiewicz said. "The State of Illinois."

Does that mean Bruce Rauner can now privatize it?

6. Food Desert Debacle.

"Improving food access in 'food desert' communities is a stated priority of the City of Chicago," Marynia Kolak, Daniel Block and Myles Wolf write for the Chicago Reporter.

Over the past few years, City-led initiatives promoted new store openings in high need areas, such as the Whole Foods in Englewood. Most, but not all, of the Dominick's stores that closed in 2013 have reopened under new banners.

Despite these seemingly positive steps, findings in our recent study "Urban foodscape trends: Disparities in healthy food access in Chicago, 2017-2014" suggest that many of the new stores that were added provided even more options - but only in areas that already had many options. They did little to improve supermarket access in areas with persistently low access in 2007 and 2011.

Good job, everyone!

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"Despite an increase in the total number of supermarkets in Chicago, food deserts and food inequity persists. For example, African Americans make up approximately one third of Chicago's population, but almost 80 percent of the population of persistently low or volatile food access areas."

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Lyric Opera Strike An Old Story
CEO gets a big raise while cutting workers' pay.

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USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster
A difference in degree, not kind, of the egregious practice followed by nearly all the nation's newspapers, including the New York Times and the local Chicago dailies.

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Let's Face It, College Athletes Don't Have Time For School
The data is in.

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Political Books Red Hot
Bob Woodward's Fear was the fastest-selling title for Barnes & Noble in over three years, with stores selling more than a book every second on the first day.

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Chicago Man Named America's Best Driver
Thank you, Myron Hubbard.

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ChicagoReddit

Going to Chicago soon and wondering if I can purchase a bottle of Malort at the Duty-Free shop in the O'Hare airport from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Houston Nileators vs. Chicago Lights.

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BeachBook

Just 100 Companies Responsible For 71% Of Global Emissions.

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"Can Anyone Hear Me?" Shout Terrified Climate Scientists Frantically Waving Arms As Passerbys Walk Straight By.

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Instagram Poetry Is A Huckster's Paradise.

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Epson Tricked Its Customers With A Dangerous Fake Update.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Any day now.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:37 PM | Permalink

Lyric Opera Strike | A View From The Pit

As the strike continues, we must turn our attention to where so many of Lyric's problems lie: the management of Lyric Opera of Chicago and, in particular, Anthony Freud.

A Familiar Story: The CEO Gets a Big Raise While Cutting Workers' Pay
It is undisputed that Freud and Lyric's upper management have exploded the budget from $60.4 million in 2012 to $84.5 million in 2017. Where has that $24 million gone? Certainly not to the orchestra. As we've pointed out, the orchestra's share of the budget shrank from 14.6 percent to 11.9 percent during that time.

Here's one clue: While the musicians' salaries have stagnated, Freud's has not. He saw a compensation increase of 18 percent from 2014 to 2017. In 2016 alone, right after the orchestra musicians agreed to a wage-neutral contract with health care cuts, Freud got a 16 percent raise. His annual salary last year was a staggering $784,387 - roughly 12 times a musician's base salary of $65,912 this year.

Consider this simple fact: Each orchestra musician stands to lose at least $6,000 this year as a result of Freud's proposed cuts. He makes that much in just three days.

Paying the musicians less, cutting the number of musicians, gutting the number of performances . . . while at the same time the CEO gives himself a massive raise? This is not a "new business model" or "sustainable" financial approach, as Freud feebly claims. It is a very old business model. It was discredited long ago. We cannot return to the Dark Ages.

Freud's Track Record Of Failure
Since the strike began, Freud has protested that Lyric must downsize because not enough people are interested in opera. But his approach would make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. By eliminating Lyric's popular radio broadcasts and slashing the number of performances by 35 percent - alienating longtime subscribers in the process - Freud has made it virtually impossible for music lovers to access opera. It's a recipe for failure; fewer performances, plus no broadcasts, equals less opportunity to hear or experience opera.

Freud also claims that donors won't support Lyric anymore unless the musicians get on board with his slash-and-burn agenda. That's nonsense. Our donors have been loyal and generous, and we are grateful every day for their support. They support Lyric Opera because they love opera. Donors want to be confident that Lyric is a good steward of their generous gifts, for sure, but most of all, they want to know that their generosity is supporting opera, and they must be given reasons to be excited about it. Nobody gives to a balance sheet.

Continuing his baseless attacks, Freud complains that he doesn't want to "pay musicians for work not done." That is the height of irony. If Freud's assertions of financial distress are to be believed, then it happened entirely on his watch. If he wants to point the finger at anyone being paid for not doing their job, he need only look in the mirror. Eight hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money to pay for failure.

This Must Stop
Lyric and Freud are recklessly careening down the wrong path. Lyric is trying to cut its way to success - cut the orchestra, eliminate radio broadcasts, and cut the number of performances. Everyone in the arts knows that is the path to ruin. Far from building anything "sustainable," it instead guarantees a downward spiral. We, the musicians of the Lyric Opera Orchestra, cannot allow ourselves to be a party to Freud's demolition of Chicago's great opera company.

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See also: Lyric Opera Responds To Union Charges.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:10 AM | Permalink

Political Books Red Hot

Political books have seen a 57% sales jump compared to last year.

The data also shows that three states that voted blue in 2016 have trended toward books that are positive to President Trump, while two states that voted red lean toward buying books critical of him.

Meanwhile, the states that were most likely to buy books supporting Trump were: Texas, Florida and North Carolina. The states that were most likely to buy books critical of the president were: New York, California and Massachusetts.

"U.S. politics has been red-hot in 2018 as readers have flocked to analyses and insider accounts of the White House and the U.S. political scene," said Liz Harwell, senior director of Merchandising, Trade Books. "One of the hottest political books of 2018, Fear, was the fastest-selling title for the company in over three years, with our stores selling more than a book every second on the first day. From October through the holidays, we have a variety of big books from across the political spectrum, with authors ranging from Tucker Carlson to Bernie Sanders."

Barnes & Noble's Top 10 Political Bestsellers in 2018

1. Fear: Trump in the White House, Bob Woodward

2. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Michael Wolff

3. Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, James Comey

4. The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump, Gregg Jarrett

5. Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump, Michael Isikoff and David Corn

6. The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations, John McCain

7. Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy, Jeanine Pirro

8. Killing the Deep State: The Fight to Save President Trump, Jerome R. Corsi

9. Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, Peter Schweizer

10. Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House, Omarosa Manigault Newman

Red and Blue States: By the Book

To get a regional view of political book-buying, we looked at which states are more likely to buy books that support Trump, and which states lean toward titles critical of the White House. We also compared our results of book-buying to the 2016 electoral map, which showed five states whose book-buying trends went counter to the election results.

Three states that voted Democratic in 2016 but were more likely to buy books positive toward Trump: Nevada, New Hampshire, and Colorado. Two states that voted Republican but tended to buy books critical of Trump: Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

In the map below, red states lean more toward books that are positive toward the President. Blue states lean more toward titles that are critical of him. Those that ran counter to the 2016 electoral map are marked with a star.

barnes2.jpg

Political Books to Watch

Recent and forthcoming political books that span the political spectrum:

* Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution, Tucker Carlson, released Oct. 2 by Simon & Schuster

* Full Disclosure, Stormy Daniels, released Oct. 2 by St. Martin's Press

* Why We Fight: Defeating America's Enemies - With No Apologies, Sebastian Gorka, released Oct. 9 by Regnery Publishing

* The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism, Steve Kornacki, released Oct. 2 by HarperCollins

* Trump's Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency, Corey R. Lewandowski and David N. Bossie, releasing Nov. 27 by Center Street

* The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy, Michael Lewis, released Oct. 2 by Norton, W.W. & Company

* The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, Andrew G. McCabe, releasing Dec. 4 by St. Martin's Press

* The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy, Greg Miller, released Oct. 2 by HarperCollins

* Where We Go From Here: Two Years in the Resistance, Bernie Sanders, releasing November 27 by St. Martin's Press

* Them: Why We Hate Each Other - and How to Heal, Ben Sasse, releasing Oct. 16 by St. Martin's Press

* Trump, the Blue-Collar President, Anthony Scaramucci, releasing Oct. 23 by Center Street

* Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents, Pete Souza, releasing Oct. 16 by Little, Brown and Company

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:57 AM | Permalink

Fact Check: USA Today Published An Op-Ed They Agreed To Pretend Was Written By President Donald Trump That Is - Surprise - Riddled With Falsehoods. That's Just A FACT.

Note: On Wednesday, USA Today published an Op-Ed by President Donald Trump that included several falsehoods about single-payer health care.

Lies and deceptions from Trump are nothing new. Lies and deceptions from Trump about Medicare-for All are new, so it's worth correcting his USA Today column attacking such a system.

One reason his attacks on Medicare-for-All are new is that he probably has supported it in the past. But whatever, there's no reason to think Trump particularly believed what he said then, or what he says now. On to the major lies and deceits:

  • Medicare-for-All would not "end Medicare as we know it and take away benefits that seniors have paid for all their lives." The reason it's called Medicare-for-All is because it would take the existing program and expand it to everyone. Seniors' benefits would not be taken away - in fact, they would be improved, but everyone else would gain the benefits of Medicare, too.
  • Medicare-for-All is not going to cost an "astonishing $32.6 trillion" over 10 years, because it will introduce major savings not adequately accounted for in the study Trump cites. Significant savings would come from eliminating vast amounts of paperwork and bureaucracy imposed by the current dysfunctional system, and steeply dropping costs for brand-name pharmaceuticals. But even if Medicare-for-All cost as much as Trump alleges, that amount would be less than projections for our current system, which also leaves tens of millions of Americans without coverage.
  • Trump's claim to have kept his pledge to maintain coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and create new health insurance options is completely deceptive. First, the protections for pre-existing conditions remain in place only because Trump failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, a Republican-led lawsuit is challenging the ACA, including guarantees for pre-existing conditions, and there's a real worry that, especially with Brett Kavanaugh now on the Supreme Court, it might succeed. As for new junk health insurance options Trump has authorized, they offer only the illusion of care, because they permit insurers to skirt the requirement to cover pre-existing conditions.
  • Medicare-for-All would not "lead to the massive rationing of health care." It is the current system that rations care, based on the ability to pay. One-third of Americans say they had a problem accessing medical care because of cost in the last year. With Medicare-for-All, everyone will be able to see a doctor or access treatment, irrespective of how much money they have.

Why is support for Medicare-for-All skyrocketing? First, because Americans know from their own experience that the current system is a total mess. Health care is unaffordable, co-pays are a killer and doctors make you wait and then don't have enough time for you. The data backs up people's impressions: We pay far more than other countries for health care, and we get far less - among rich countries, we alone have massive coverage gaps, and our health care outcomes are by far inferior.

Medicare-for-All would take the best performing part of our health care system - Medicare - improve it, and then extend it to all Americans. That system alone will ensure coverage for all Americans, and, by wiping out the massive inefficiencies of the current corporate-dominated system, it will enable us to expand coverage and improve quality for no additional cost.

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

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See also:

* Kessler, Washington Post: Fact-Checking President Trump's USA Today Op-Ed On Medicare-For-All.

* Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times: Trump's USA Today Op-Ed On Medicare Is Full Of Lies - And USA Today Should Not Have Published It.

* Yglesias, Vox: Trump's USA Today Op-Ed On Heath Care Is An Absurd Tissue Of Lies.

* The Hill: USA Today Defends Running Trump's 'Medicare For All' Op-Ed.

* PolitiFact: Fact-Checking Donald Trump's Op-Ed Against Medicare For All In USA Today.

* NPR: FACT CHECK: Trump's False Claims On 'Medicare For All.'

* Bustle: 8 Claims In Trump's USA Today Op-Ed On 'Medicare For All' That Are False.

* The Root: USA Today Allows Trump To Publish Fake News.

* Pierce, Esquire: Congratulations, USA Today, You're Now A Propaganda Organ Of The Trump Administration.

* GQ: Why Is USA Today Helping Donald Trump Lie?

* Boing Boing: Trump's Health Care Column With All The Lies Removed.

* Fox News: Trump Tears Into 'Radical Socialist' Dems, Medicare For All In Rare Op-Ed.

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And:

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Steve Rhodes:

This is really just a difference in degree, not kind, of the egregious practice followed by nearly all the nation's newspapers, including the New York Times and the local Chicago dailies - gladly publishing unvetted press releases of public officials who already use their power and media managers to shape narratives. (See, for example, Rahm's Op-Ed About Laquan McDonald Is Misleading At Best.) It's not as if these are opinions that would otherwise go unheard - or even that the public officials have actually written the pieces themselves instead of their staff. As I've written on this site for years, it's a deceptive, anti-journalistic practice that ought to end.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:48 AM | Permalink

It's Naive To Think College Athletes Have Time For School

From my first day as a sociology professor at a university with Division I football and men's basketball teams, education and athletics struck me as being inherently at odds.

Student-athletes filled my courses to take advantage of the fact that the classes met early in the morning.

The football and men's basketball players - most of whom were black - quickly fell behind due to scheduling constraints. Only so much time was set aside for academics and, often, it wasn't enough. Academic rigor and athletic success were simply incompatible goals.

Now - as a researcher who is studying college athletes through the lens of race and class - I have compiled evidence to show just how much more time college athletes devote to sports over academics.

Lopsided But 'Normal'

Early data from my ongoing research on the academic experiences of black Division I football and men's basketball players shows that they spend three times as many hours per week on athletics as they do on academics.

On average, the players spend more than 25 hours on sports-related activities other than games, such as practice, workouts, general team meetings, film sessions and travel.

On the other hand, the players spend less than eight hours on academics outside of class, such as writing papers, studying, getting tutored or working on group projects.

This imbalance is institutionally constructed and perpetuated. Perhaps most disturbingly, the student-athletes I surveyed perceive this lopsided situation as "normal."

Some may argue that the players should be satisfied with the fact that their scholarships enable them to reap the benefits of a college education.

The problem with that argument is that college athletes aren't able to fully actualize their identities as students to the same degree as their classmates. College sports are just too demanding, and universities do not make any special concessions for athletes' additional time commitments.

Money At Stake

It is important to distinguish the lives of college athletes who don't generate money for their institutions, such as soccer and tennis players, and those who are deeply intertwined with the generation of revenue for colleges, universities and the NCAA, which cleared $1 billion in revenue in 2017.

That kind of money cannot be made without serious time commitments by the players.

Every time I watch a college football or men's basketball game on TV, I can't help but wonder what the players on my screen missed in class that day.

They are students such as Jalen (a pseudonym), a football player who requested a meeting with me mid-semester. He wanted to discuss how my office hours conflicted with team practices and film sessions.

For an hour we discussed what he understood as unfixable. Jalen wanted and needed to utilize the main academic support systems provided by the college, but literally didn't have the time.

Jalen was by no means alone. Rather, his plight was emblematic of untold numbers of college athletes who struggle to balance sports and academics.

Workers Or Students?

So, are college athletes workers who attend school part-time? Or are they students who play sports part-time?

Players at schools across the country are speaking up about the fact that they generate revenue for the colleges they play for but not for themselves.

They have attempted to unionize and filed lawsuits to get what they see as their fair share.

Meanwhile, the NCAA claims that student-athlete balance is not only possible, but that most Division I players achieve it.

Disparities Persist

The reality is that most football and men's basketball players underperform academically and routinely graduate at lower rates than "other student-athletes, black non-athletes and undergraduates in general."

Recent academic scandals - from fraudulent classes to inappropriate tutor support and administrative cover-ups - reveal that a sports-first mentality permeates college campuses.

The NCAA continues to describe Division I football and basketball players as "regular students who happen to play sports." However, the NCAA rarely details how this student-athlete balance is supposed to work.

There are tournament-time commercials that remind viewers how most college athletes "will go pro in something other than sports." However, less mentioned, if at all, are what kind of practical routes exist to this theoretically "balanced" identity.

Even the NCAA's own surveys of college athletes show that athletics takes precedence over academics.

Coaches and college staffers are getting rich in the name of higher education while their mostly black players are - in their own words - "broke."

And this despite the fact that student-athlete responsibilities have grown as the business of college sports grows.

For instance, some of the games last longer, and the average hours that players spend per week on athletics continue to creep upward.

Conflicts Continue

Recently, 2017 Heisman runner-up Bryce Love drew criticism for "setting a bad precedent" for choosing to attend summer classes instead of Stanford's media day.

Almost 60 percent of participants in my current national research study find it difficult or very difficult to balance sports and academics - from the moment they set foot on campus until graduation, if they graduate at all.

Considering the fact that less than 2 percent of college football players get into the NFL, and only 1.2 percent of college basketball players get drafted into the NBA, the reality is that most college athletes will never see a payoff in professional sports.

But the real tragedy is that, having devoted so much time to sports instead of their studies, they won't really get to see their college education pay off, either.

Jasmine Harris is an assistant professor of sociology at Ursinus College. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

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Previously:

* Relevant Excerpt: The Cartel: Inside The Rise And Imminent Fall Of The NCAA.

* In Scandal After Scandal, NCAA Takes Fall For Complicit Colleges.

* The Man Who Made March Madness A Monster Moneymaker.

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Comments welcome.


Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:44 AM | Permalink

Chicago Man Named Best Driver In America

For Myron Hubbard, work isn't really work at all if you love what you do. And what Hubbard loves most is transporting people with special needs around the Chicago area as a driver for SCR Medical Transportation.

"It doesn't matter how much we've amassed; it matters how much we've helped others," said Hubbard, who spent 25 years working in child care, two years driving for the Southeast Michigan Authority for Regional Transportation, and 10 years as a Greyhound bus driver before joining SCR Medical Transportation eight years ago. "We're people helping people, and I love the fact we are helping people with special needs."

That dedication will be recognized on the national stage later this month when the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association recognizes Hubbard as its Paratransit & Contracting Driver of the Year, the top driver award in the industry. The TLPA is the oldest and largest trade organization of its kind in the world.

Hubbard's attention to delivering the safest ride with the utmost care is now the standard for SCR, which entrusts him with training thousands of other drivers.

"If I had to describe somebody I want all of our drivers to emulate, Myron is that person," said Michael Staley, director of operations at SCR. "To have the opportunity for somebody who exemplifies the characteristics that Mr. Hubbard does, to be honored in such a way by such an organization, is truly an honor for SCR and Mr. Hubbard."

Hubbard will receive his award in front of hundreds of industry leaders at the TLPA's 100th Annual Convention & Trade Show on Oct. 29 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:26 AM | Permalink

October 10, 2018

The [Wednesday] Papers

For completists, there was no column on Tuesday.

"Elon Musk's settlement of a securities-fraud case has removed a cloud over the company and its leader. But another remains: how its electric-car production is measuring up against Mr. Musk's ambitious forecasts, a matter that a federal regulator is still investigating," the New York Times reports.

"One group of internet sleuths thinks it has found clues in plain sight, pointing to lots and garages in California, New Jersey, Arizona and other states where Tesla cars have been found parked in large numbers.

"The group's efforts to document those sites could shed light on the delivery troubles that the Tesla chief has acknowledged, and reveal whether demand for the company's cars is as high as he has suggested.

"Since July, Tesla has been parking anywhere from a couple of dozen to a few hundred cars at a lot in Burbank, Calif. In Lathrop, 70 miles east of San Francisco, Tesla has as many as 400 cars at an industrial site. A similar number turned up outside an industrial building nearby. At times cars have been seen entering and leaving the building, suggesting it may be a collection point or repair center.

"Hundreds more have been found in Antioch, northeast of San Francisco. On Thursday, a batch of about 100 Model 3s turned up in Bellevue, Wash. Smaller collections have surfaced in Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City."

Assignment Desk, activate!

Don't Cross The Oboe Line
"The 64th season of the Lyric Opera of Chicago was disrupted Tuesday when musicians walked off the job to protest cuts proposed by management," AP reports.

"The musicians set up a picket line outside the Civic Opera House on Tuesday and played excerpts from various operas as they expressed opposition by the opera company to cut the number of orchestra musicians by five."

"What we are suggesting to the orchestra is that we reduce the number of core players through attrition and with voluntary retirement benefits," said Lyric Opera CEO Anthony Freud. "The thing is that currently, the core number of musicians is 74. Many of the operas we perform don't need an orchestra of 74."

Well, that certainly seems to make sense.

"The opera company also wants to cut the pay of remaining musicians by 8 percent and the number of working weeks by two weeks to 22 weeks."

Oh.

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"The musicians' contract with the opera company expired June 30. At issue is management's contention the previous contract no longer reflects the company's economic reality. Lyric Opera contends its diminishing audience can no longer support as many weeks of performances as in the past.

"It's a national trend that opera performances are harder and more expensive to sell than they ever have been," Freud said. "We're scheduling the maximum number of opera performances we believe we can sell."

Well, that certainly seems to make sense.

"Taking aim at Freud, [a] statement [by striking musicians] notes that the company general director's salary increased 18% from 2014 to 2017 to over $800,000, noting that his 16% jump in 2016 came immediately after the musicians agreed to a cost-neutral contract with cuts to health care," Chicago Classical Review reports.

Oh.

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"Is there a future for grand opera in Chicago?" the Reader's Deanna Isaacs asked last February.

"[I]n spite of years of trying to build it, the audience for opera, in comparison to the fans who'll turn out for Broadway musicals, is paltry. It's also diminishing."

Solidarity Opportunity
"Three unions that represent faculty and staff at City Colleges of Chicago say the college's bargaining team will not come to the table to negotiate contracts," WBEZ reports.

"The unions said they plan to picket all City Colleges of Chicago board meetings until contract agreements are reached."

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Meanwhile, the Chicago hotel strike is down to two properties.

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New on the Beachwood . . .

Get Ready For Pinball!
The most nonstop excitement ever is coming to the Westin Chicago North Shore.

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How To Save A Democracy
Two University of Chicago law professors have a plan.

They don't really outline it here, but apparently they do in a new book. Meanwhile, they have thoughts on Kavanaugh.

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Did The Jackson Park Wolfpack Play Their Last Homecoming - Again?
The Wolfpack is a community football team that plays on the field in Jackson Park where the Obama Center will be located. They're still awaiting a plan.

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Trump-Proofing The Presidency
"We now know how to strengthen the system against future presidents who lack an ethical compass."

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ChicagoReddit

Gorilla Glue Used to Stick Tracking Transmitters on Turtles' Shells from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Tachuelita Show TV - En la Aventura : Congreso de Payasos Chicago 2018

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Past due.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:10 AM | Permalink

October 9, 2018

Trump-Proofing The Presidency

President Donald Trump has exposed serious shortcomings in executive branch ethics laws that threaten our democracy and must be addressed, according to a report issued by Public Citizen and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

The report outlines specific policy reforms, ranging from requiring that presidents divest assets that pose a risk of conflict of interest and disclose tax returns and other detailed financial information to implementing a broader nepotism law and banning preferential treatment in security clearances for a president's family member.

Trump differs starkly from all of his modern day predecessors - and likely all presidents in U.S. history - due to the breadth of his assets, his refusal to divest himself of those assets and his disregard for avoiding conflicts of interest as a check on government corruption, the groups said.

Trump's decision to retain his financial interests in the Trump Organization set the tone for the present ethics crisis. He has used the presidency to promote his business interests, and serious questions have been raised about whether his business interests have improperly influenced his decisions in office. That's why all modern presidents before Trump have generally divested themselves of such interests.

"No president has pushed the ethical boundaries like Trump," said Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs for Public Citizen. "Trump has shown utter disregard for the norms of avoiding conflicts of interest as a check on government corruption. The only silver lining is that because of Trump, we now know how to strengthen the system against future presidents who lack an ethical compass."

"Many of the unprecedented ethical problems we see with this administration stem from President Trump's failure to divest from his businesses," CREW executive director Noah Bookbinder said. "This administration's catastrophic ethical failings have provided a clear road map of the gaps in our system of presidential ethics which must be filled. If Congress does not address these problems and fix this inherently broken system, then Trump won't be the exception - he'll likely be the start of a new trend."

The groups identified four areas of reform:

  • Preventing Conflicts of Interest. Solutions include requiring the president and vice president to divest assets that pose a risk of conflict of interest within 30 days of the president's inauguration and creating an inspector general's office to investigate potential ethics violations across the executive branch, including within the White House.
  • Improving Financial Disclosure of Candidates and Officeholders. Solutions include improving the specificity of financial disclosure forms and requiring presidential and vice presidential candidates and officeholders to disclose their tax returns prior to election.
  • Enhancing Rules on Gifts to Candidates and Public Officials. Solutions include limiting contributions to inaugural committees; prohibiting sitting presidents from collecting money for their future libraries or other legacy buildings; and enhancing disclosure requirements for legal defense funds established by executive branch officials.
  • Strengthening the Integrity of Government. Solutions include clarifying that the current law banning presidents from hiring immediate family members supersedes other laws on White House employment; restricting the size of federal contracts that family members of a president may receive; prohibiting a president's family member from receiving security clearances except in certain cases; requiring disclosure of all White House visitor logs; preventing the White House from unduly interfering in Justice Department affairs; ensuring that government employees don't improperly engage in political activities; ensuring that people who influence policy are covered by ethics rules; applying ethics and transparency rules to presidential transition teams; and ending the practice of post-election transition teams relying on private donations to fund their work.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:20 PM | Permalink

Get Ready For Pinball!

The longest continuously running pinball spectacular is coming to the Westin Chicago North Shore in Wheeling on October 17 though October 20.

Pinball Expo, now in its 34th year, promises to be the most non-stop excitement ever with something for everyone.

Tour the world's largest pinball factory and get an up-close look at how today's modern marvels are designed and built. Want to be the first to see and play the inaugural machine from Team Pinball? They are coming all the way from their headquarters in Cardiff, South Wales. Pinball Expo 2018 is the place to be for this and so much more.

pinball1.jpg

How about four days of 10 different tournaments with a chance to win over $25,000 in cash and prizes?

And it's not just for pinball. There are video game competitions and a host of other amazing events to test your skills. If you want to hear and learn from the industry movers and shakers, over 30 hours of seminars and presentations fill the calendar. And don't forget about playing dozens of pinball machines, literally around the clock. Enjoy silverball madness from vintage classics to the latest high-tech offerings.

Mark your calendars for Pinball Expo 2018 and be a part of pinball history. Maybe you will even make your own pinball history. For more information and special event packages, please contact Rob Berk, call (330) 716-3139 or visit the official website for Pinball Expo 2018.

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Pinball Expo 2018 Preview:

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Pinball Expo 2017:

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Pinball Expo 2016:

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Pinball Expo 2015:

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1998!

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Stern Tour, 2015:

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The Greatest Pinball Machine Ever Made.

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Beachwood Inn Review: The Pinball Machine.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:21 PM | Permalink

Did The Jackson Park Community Football Team Just Play Its Last Homecoming?

The Wolfpack is a community football team that plays on the field in Jackson Park where the Obama Center will be located. On Sunday on the field in Jackson Park at 61st and Stony Island, they played their 21st, and what might be their last, homecoming game there.

"We are concerned that with the construction on the new field halted, we may not have anywhere to go," said Wolfpack head coach Ernest Radcliffe. "I want the Obama Center, and the new field in Jackson Park, but I also want a CBA ordinance to make sure our youth participants don't get pushed out of the neighborhood."

The Wolfpack are part of the Obama CBA coalition.

"Just like a church" Radcliffe said, "that field is our sanctuary. It's where we do mentoring with youth and parents."

Thousands of youth have participated in the Wolfpack athletic program over its 21-year history.

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Previously: Jackson Park Community Football Team Holds What They Fear Will Be Their Final Homecoming Game On Field Where Obama Library Set To Be Built.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:08 AM | Permalink

How To Save A Constitutional Democracy With A Tainted Judiciary

Aziz Huq and Tom Ginsburg's book How to Save a Constitutional Democracy is out from the University of Chicago Press later this month, and will be the basis of a blog symposium on Take Care.

The confirmation process of Brett Kavanaugh has been decried by many for damaging the U.S. Senate's norms of civility and the U.S. Supreme Court's nonpartisan reputation. But that process, and in particular the September 27th hearing on allegations of attempted rape by Kavanaugh, has had a much more specific risk to the Court as an independent institution. This risk will cast a disabling shadow on any vote cast by Kavanaugh in a case that yields predictable partisan divisions.

The risk arises primarily (though not only) because of Kavanaugh's denials of heavy drinking habits in high school and college. These are at odds with the recollections of a large number of his peers. The discrepancy is no small matter. Rather, it goes to the core of sexual assault allegations against him. If Kavanaugh falsely stated that he never drank enough to blackout and memory impairment, then he cannot categorically deny the possibility that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's grave allegations are correct. Yet, he has repeatedly done so. (There are other grounds for questioning Kavanaugh's truthfulness under oath on a surprising range of issues; we set those aside here for the sake of brevity and analytic clarity.)

Kavanaugh's aggressive deflections of questioning about his drinking suggest he understood how crucial this fact was. Democrats understand it, too. Some quickly called for an FBI investigation into potential perjury respecting this very issue. The FBI investigation did not reach these questions. After November, however, some Democrats may wield subpoena power permitting them to find out more, and perhaps even to draw up articles of impeachment.

Allegations of perjury go not only to matters of legitimacy or reputation. They also bite on Kavanaugh's independence from the currently dominant political coalition. Simply put, his fate is now hitched to the electoral fortunes of the Republican Party. His freedom from a substantial risk of impeachment now rests on the preservation of Republican control of key national institutions.

Kavanaugh should understand the risk of impeachment. Indeed, as a key player in Ken Starr's investigation of the Clintons, he helped create it. The first article of President Clinton's impeachment, flowing from that investigation, hinged on his "perjurious, false and misleading testimony" to a grand jury regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. That article prevailed in the U.S. House 228-206, but failed in the Senate.

It is hard to see a difference between perjury to a grand jury and perjury before the Senate, at least when it comes to impeachment. Nor is there a good reason to differentiate lying about sex from lying about drinking. Potential perjury in seeking a seat on the Court is a stronger basis for impeachment than the facts alleged in the Clinton impeachment. Indeed, a decade ago, two (conservative) legal scholars sketched a colorable case for removing federal judges outside the impeachment mechanism on the even-more slender basis of a judicial finding of misbehavior.

Kavanaugh's potential perjury means that he will always be shadowed by at least the prospect of impeachment. This threat has no statute of limitations. It means concretely that whether Kavanaugh remains on the bench depends on whether Democrats at some point seize enough political power to credibly threaten impeachment. And because Kavanaugh's tenure is directly tied to the persistence of Republican control of Congress, he has a direct and personal interest in maintaining Republicans in power.

It is important to see that this follows even if you think Kavanaugh did not lie, or commit attempted rape; what matters is that Democrats can credibly threaten impeachment in relation to those allegations, and have ample incentive given their base's sentiments to do so. Of course, Republicans have no such incentive. It is this asymmetry that creates the functional linkage between Kavanaugh's expected tenure and Republican political power.

This linkage is, in our view, intrinsically troubling. But it also means that votes by Kavanaugh on disclosure rules, gerrymandering, or (say) the subpoenaing of a sitting president will be necessarily occluded in doubt about his motives. As a sitting justice, moreover, Kavanaugh would have the power to act alone to issue stays and orders in some ongoing case. This power to stay matters is especially potent in time-sensitive election-related litigation. It is easy to imagine this power generating great controversy. Finally, every doctrinal innovation Kavanaugh introduces that helps Republicans will be tainted by doubt about its bona fides.

America has known ideologically committed judges aplenty. But a justice whose very place on the Court depends on a partisan majority is new. We can think of no account of judicial independence that is consistent with this state of affairs.

This tainting of judicial independence cannot be untangled from a risk to democracy writ large. As we document in our new book, capturing the judiciary is an important element of democratic backsliding. From Venezuela and Bolivia to Hungary, Poland and Turkey, many democracies have suffered when populist movements won elections and seized legal and constitutional tools to entrench themselves beyond defeat at the polls. A first move in their playbook is to co-opt the courts. In Eastern Europe, the Fidesz and Law and Justice parties purged their nations' constitutional courts, stocking them instead with loyalists. After a 2016 coup attempt, Turkey President Recep Tayyep Erdogan locked up or dismissed about a thousand judges. In the Philippines, a chief justice critical of President Rodrigo Duterte has been impeached. Duterte himself remained untouched by the law, despite having bragged of extrajudicial executions.

Targeting judges make sense. Supreme courts can impose critical frictions on populists bent on evading the law. In Colombia, for example, the Supreme Court stymied President Alvaro Uribe's second attempt to do away with term limits - a move that would allowed him unprecedented power over state agencies. In South Africa, the Constitutional Court prevented former president Jacob Zuma from avoiding penalties for major graft and appointing a stooge as chief prosecutor. Its actions were pivotal to catalyzing Zuma's resignation in February 2018.

Kavanaugh's appointment to the Court was always going to produce some damage to democracy. His prior jurisprudence shows skepticism of efforts to reduce money's effects in politics, not just by regulating campaign contributions and expenditures, but also via disclosure mandates. Kavanaugh is not only unlikely to allow challenges to partisan gerrymandering or voter suppression, he may also vote to overrule a 2015 precedent permitting states to establish nonpartisan redistricting commissions. A 2016 decision allowing states to use their whole populations, rather than eligible voter populations, may even be at risk. Kavanaugh's mere elevation will likely embolden state and federal officials who are more comfortable picking their voters, and tightening their links with big money donors, than allowing voters to select them.

The damage done by Kavanaugh's testimony to his structural independence, however, is qualitatively different. It also marks a turning point - for the worse - on the part of the Supreme Court's trajectory in American politics.

No matter how well-intentioned Kavanaugh may prove, he cannot erase the shadow on the Court's independence that his own testimony has created.

Kavanaugh's testimony created a new - and unprecedented - risk that he will be personally beholden to his fellow Republicans in the House and the Senate, above and beyond his manifest ideological commitments.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Aziz Huq and Tom Ginsburg are both professors at the University of Chicago Law School.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:34 AM | Permalink

October 8, 2018

SportsMonday: The Plan

So what should the Cubs do now? I have some thoughts.

Trade Albert Almora and move Jason Heyward to center. And have the switch-hitting Ian Happ spend extra time during the off-season hitting right-handed because when he isn't subbing for Heyward against tough lefties he'll be subbing for Kyle Schwarber over in left.

The Cubs should give Schwarber, who hit all but one of his 26 homers in 2018 against righties, 550 more at-bats to take one last shot at his becoming the big-time, almost-everyday power hitter they projected him to be. If a hitter is going to be much better against one sort of pitcher than another, better it be against righties just because there are so many of them among humans (usually estimated at 90 percent of the population). In other words, Happ will usually sub for Heyward. Unless Happ is playing second base.

Almora had a decent year hitting the baseball (less so drawing walks but why should he be different than anyone else in this goofy organization?). He is an above average defensive centerfielder (remember that the average major league centerfielder is at least good). He is just the sort of guy that a successful team with well above average hitting at the corners (first and third, left and right) can put in center to play great defense first and foremost.

Almora (third on the team with a .286 batting average) doesn't do a good enough job drawing walks and he has at-best doubles power. I'm not saying you will get a huge haul for him but someone should be willing to part with at least a decent prospect and at least one more guy who has least a long shot at contributing in the majors some day. Teams need at least a few batting average guys. They can hit sixth or seventh (or eighth if the team is good enough) and actually drive in runs rather than coax yet another walk that doesn't drive in the guys on second and third. And hopefully at least a few teams haven't noticed what a lousy baserunner he is.

Sign or trade for a great hitter who can play at least average right field. The chances of the Cubs signing Bryce Harper are not great and they should think long and hard before they even get involved in that bidding war. And someone other than Theo Epstein needs to weigh in with a persuasive case to make a big free agency signing.

When you look at Epstein's extra-large moves during his tenure with the Cubs - and his final few years in Boston - the record of failure is downright disturbing. The general manager signed Carl Crawford, Hanley Ramirez, Jason Heyward and Yu Darvish to deals worth almost $600 million collectively. Other than Heyward's glorious Game 7 speech, the deals haven't paid off. Thank goodness that isn't my money. And don't feel bad for the Rickettses. The billionaire family is still doing just fine.

Here's an idea: work out a trade for Miggy Cabrera. Of course, the Tigers will have to pick up a big chunk of his contract to make it work (although again, I don't care). Sure, Miggy has been more of a first baseman of late but I'll bet he can play a decent right field . . . wait a minute, I just looked at his contract. The injury-prone now 35-year-old ballplayer is owed $30 million in 2019, 2020 and 2021 and $32 million in 2022 and 2023. Maybe that isn't such a good idea and moving on now as we say a prayer of thanksgiving that we aren't Detroit sports fans (although nice win over the Packers on Sunday, Lions!).

The main thing I'm trying to say is the Cubs are probably better going and getting a bad contract (but not Cabrera's disaster) to fill the hole in right than they would be having Theo give Harper who knows how much moolah. Have Theo make a trade rather than break the free agency bank.

In the infield, it is hard to believe that Addison Russell will play another game for the Cubs. Hey Addison, you accepted a 40-game suspension. If you want to play here again, you will need to make a statement expressing way more contrition than you have yet.

So Javy settles in at short. My thought would be to then stick with Kris Bryant at third (he is above-average defensively at the position - far less so in left field) and give David Bote a shot at second. And if Bote can't do it well enough, bring in Happ.

The first priority in the offseason is to find a veteran catcher who will be a new David Ross going forward. Willson Contreras regressed massively during the last few months of the 2018 season. He looked like he was maturing in the first half of the season but at the end he was the same overly emotional mess that he has been too frequently during his Cub career. And he couldn't buy an extra-base hit to save his life.

There we go. Just a few moves to make the lineup better going forward while remembering that this 2018 team did win 95 games.

As far as the pitching goes, well, with eight legit major league starters under contract for next year, doesn't it makes sense to groom at least one of them, if not two, to be Andrew Miller style multi-inning relievers? Of course it does.

Go get em, Theo!

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:20 AM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

"The city of Columbus, Ohio, will not observe the controversial federal holiday honoring its namesake, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, for the first time this year," USA Today reports.

"City offices are instead scheduled to close on Veterans Day in November, though a spokesperson for the mayor's office said the decision was not spurred by movements to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, a counter-celebration held on the same day to commemorate Native Americans."

Then why?

"Ohio's capital city is the most populated city named after Columbus, with 860,000 people in the 2016 U.S. census. The city, however, lacks the funding to give its 8,500 employees both Veterans Day and Columbus Day off, said Robin Davis, a spokesperson for Mayor Andrew Ginther."

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"Columbus made its announcement Thursday in a two-paragraph news release focused on the impact on trash pickup and parking enforcement schedules," CBS News reports.

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By the way . . .

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Last word:

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Postscript | Resignifying the day at Logan Bar:

LoganDC2.jpg

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New on the Beachwood . . .

SportsMonday: The Plan
What should the Cubs do now? Our very own Jim "Coach" Coffman has some ideas.

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The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #220: Worst 95-Win Team Ever!
Offense cold as The Freeze. Plus: Judging Joe; Back To The Future; Joe's Job (In)security; Jason Benetti's Awesome Statcast; The 2018 Cubs Lacked Killer Instinct; Dr. Theo & Mr. Epstein; Bring Cole Hamels Back; White Sox Season In Verse; State Of The Bears; Blackhawks Should Get Used To Winning Ugly; Bulls Set To Open Most Boring Season Yet; There Is Nothing To Say About College Football; TrackNotes, Racing Luck; Ugly Light-Up Christmas Sweaters Now With Audio!; and Tempered Expectations For 2019 Cubs.

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Chicago Reddit

Is it legal to plant a tree on the verge in front of my house ? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Incredible CN lashup at the Chicago Marathon w/ IC 1000, IC 1003, and WC 3018

"[A]t Canal/Cermak just south of downtown."

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BeachBook

Melania Trump Cosplays Nazi Villain On Holiday In Egypt - Continues Search For The Ark.

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U.S. Government Requests For Comment Are Routinely Flooded By Pro-Corporate Bots.

The most pseudo-patriotic companies and the people who lead them are also those who most pervert democracy in order to attain their own egoistic, greedy desires.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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I finally came up with a nickname for JB.

As for the incumbent, I'm thinking about Raunerovich, as a play on Baloneyvich, which I thought was my best ever and never caught on because this world sucks.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Five dollars and footlong.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:31 AM | Permalink

October 6, 2018

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #220: Worst 95-Win Team Ever!

Offense cold as The Freeze. Plus: Judging Joe; Back To The Future; Joe's Job (In)security; Jason Benetti's Awesome Statcast; The 2018 Cubs Lacked Killer Instincts; Dr. Theo & Mr. Epstein; Bring Cole Hamels Back; White Sox Season In Verse; State Of The Bears; Blackhawks Should Get Used To Winning Ugly; Bulls Set To Open Most Boring Season Yet; There Is Nothing To Say About College Football; TrackNotes, Racing Luck; Ugly Light-Up Christmas Sweaters Now With Audio!; and Tempered Expectations For 2019 Cubs.


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SHOW NOTES

* 220.

* Coffman: "My god, someone get a freakin' hit!"

* Theo's State of the Cubs Union: "Our offense broke."

8:40: Judging Joe.

* Rhodes: "It's possible for both of the following statements to be true . . . "

* Terrance Gore's Other Job:

* When you don't want to see Jason Heyward or Kyle Schwarber in a pinch-hit situation.

* FanGraphs: Kyle Chokeber.

16:43: Back To The Future.

* Get Manny!

* Get rid of Addy!

* Rhodes: "Theo is the Ryan Pace of the Cubs!"

* Worst 95-win team ever!

24:05: Maddon's Job (In)security.

* Joe Thibodeau!

* Now we know why Maddon was so defensive this year.

* Theo: "Launch angle is not a fad."

37:30: Jason Benetti's Awesome Statcast.

39:59: Theo: 2018 Cubs Lacked Killer Instinct.

* Lester: Team was complacent, arrogant.

* Rhodes: Maybe Maddon's Game 3 and getaway day lineups were complacent . . .

* Javy: We paid too much attention to other teams.

50:16 Dr. Theo & Mr. Epstein.

* Terrible offseason, great midseason.

54:11 Bring Cole Hamels Back.

54:52: White Sox Season In Verse.

55:19: State Of The Bears.

* Coffman: "Jordan Howard better get over himself."

* Trubisky? How 'bout Mahomes!

* Next up: Fins, Pats.

* Smokin' Jay Cutler.

1:04:53: Blackhawks Should Get Used To Winning Ugly.

* Analysis Of A Roof Shot.

* Cam Ward Overcomes Rough Start For OT Win: 'Needed to take a deep breath.'

1:07:47: Bulls Set To Open Most Boring Season Yet.

1:08:05: There Is Nothing To Say About College Football.

1:08:12: TrackNotes: Racing Luck.

1:08:17: Ugly Light-Up Christmas Sweaters Now With Audio!

1:12:15: Tempered Cubs Expectations For 2019?

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STOPPAGE: 12:42

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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 9:34 AM | Permalink

October 5, 2018

The (Not Even Close) Case Against Jason Van Dyke

"After about two hours of closing arguments, jurors [in the Jason Van Dyke trial] were instructed on the law by Judge Vincent Gaughan and sent back at about 12:30 p.m. to begin deliberating what will be one of the most closely watched verdicts in Cook County history. If no verdict is reached Thursday, it is believed the jurors will be sequestered at a nearby hotel before resuming discussions Friday," the Tribune reported late Thursday.

No verdict was reached and, indeed, jurors were sequestered overnight. Deliberations are expected to continue today.

"Van Dyke, 40, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm and one count of official misconduct.

"Jurors, though, will have the option to instead find Van Dyke guilty of the lesser charge of second-degree murder. To do that, they would need to find that Van Dyke's claim he feared for his safety when he fired 16 shots at McDonald was unreasonable."

After reviewing coverage of the trial, I believe Van Dyke will be found guilty, one way or another. At least it's obvious to me that he should be found guilty. But you never know what a jury will do.

I will also say that Van Dyke's lawyer, Daniel Herbert, was less adept in the courtroom than I expected him to be, and that, surprisingly, Van Dyke's best day was the day he testified on his own behalf, simply because that's when he became human to the jury, flaws and all. He may have earned some sympathy that day. But that day also might have been his worst, because his testimony was so at odds with the video we've all seen and with the established facts of the case.

Anyway, I last wrote about the trial on September 18, when (or thereabouts) the prosecution wrapped up their case. Here are the highlights of what's happened since - the defense's case, the prosecution's cross-examination, Van Dyke's own testimony, and closing arguments - in roughly chronological order, with occasional commentary and analysis.

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"A defense expert in the trial of a white police officer charged with murder in the death of Laquan McDonald on Monday criticized the official autopsy results in testimony that seemed to contradict what video of the 2014 shooting shows," the AP's Don Babwin reported, again unafraid to vet the testimony with his own eyes for us.

"Forensic pathologist Shaku Teas testified that she believes at least 12 of the 16 shots fired by Officer Jason Van Dyke on Oct. 20, 2014, hit McDonald before the 17-year-old was on the ground. Prosecutors told the jury last week that the video shows McDonald hitting the ground less than two seconds after the first shot was fired. Twelve more seconds of gunfire then follows, they said.

"Under intense questioning by prosecutors, Teas seemed to contradict her own testimony, saying she had no opinion on whether five of the shots hit the teen before he fell. She then stated that she didn't know how many shots hit McDonald before he fell."

In other words, Teas's testimony was a mess. A win for the prosecution.

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"Later Monday, Van Dyke's attorneys turned to another key component of their strategy: McDonald himself. They called witnesses to testify about the teen's history of violent behavior. Miguel DeJsuus, who works at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, told jurors of an incident in which McDonald told him he was on drugs before striking him. Joseph Plaud of the Cook County's Sheriff's Department testified about seeing McDonald 'yelling, screaming, swearing' while he was in the juvenile court lockup a little more than a year before the shooting."

Objection, your honor - relevance!

"But both witnesses along with another man who worked in the lockup acknowledged that they never spoke to Van Dyke about McDonald before the shooting - admissions designed to tell the jury that Van Dyke knew nothing about the teen's past when he shot him."

Another win for the prosecution on the facts, though maybe the defense got half a point in its effort to present McDonald as a dangerous person - though I doubt it.

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"Truck driver Rudy Barillas testified Wednesday he was parking in a secured lot on Chicago's Southwest Side in October 2014 when he spotted a black youth inside a truck, told him to leave and then called 911," the Tribune reported.

"'He pulled out a knife, and he wanted to hurt me,' Barillas said through a Spanish interpreter. 'He came towards me and tried to stab me.'

"As a rapt Cook County jury watched, Barillas rose on the witness stand and demonstrated how the attacker - later identified as 17-year-old Laquan McDonald - thrust the knife toward him in his right hand. Barillas said he was able to fend off the attack by throwing his cellphone at the man and then gravel at his face. He said the man fled when he heard him calling the police a second time.

"Barillas' story of his encounter with McDonald - which occurred minutes before the teen was fatally shot by Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke - bolstered the image Van Dyke's defense team has carefully painted of McDonald as an armed and aggressive individual who was a threat to both police and citizens.

"But it came with a catch: None of the police officers responding to the scene that night - including Van Dyke - knew that McDonald had tried to stab Barillas. In fact, the only information Van Dyke had at the time he opened fire was that the teen may have been burglarizing trucks and had 'popped' a squad car tire with his knife."

Another win for the prosecution, as the defense continues what will become a pattern of presenting witnesses who do not help their cause.

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"In a tense cross-examination, [CPD officer Leticia] Velez stuck by her testimony that she was concerned that McDonald might have had a gun. However, she conceded that the entire incident happened so quickly that she didn't have time to warn other officers about her concern. She also said she was in shock at the time," the Tribune reported.

"While Velez initially said she did not recall whether she unholstered her weapon that night, after assistant special prosecutor Jody Gleason showed Velez her sworn testimony from another proceeding in 2015, the officer conceded she may have had her gun out.

"Velez also said under oath in 2015 that after Van Dyke's partner, Joseph Walsh, kicked the knife out of McDonald's hand after he had been shot 16 times, he conducted a thorough pat-down to search for weapons. However, the dashcam video of the shooting does not show Walsh taking that action, Gleason pointed out.

"When pressed, Velez maintained that Walsh did, in fact, conduct the search.

"'I'm saying he searched him, OK?' she said."

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"The first time Yvette Patterson laid eyes on Laquan McDonald, he was hanging out in the alley behind her house as she came home from a party in the early morning hours of Oct. 20, 2014," the Sun-Times reported.

"He walked over and was like, 'Can I see your car? I just want to use it. I'll bring it right back,'" Patterson recalled on the witness stand Thursday, as a witness for the defense of Jason Van Dyke, the police officer who fatally shot McDonald less than 20 hours later.

"In her testimony Thursday, Patterson remembered 'laughing and talking' with the 17-year-old, and politely declining to loan him her car. Defense attorney Dan Herbert noted that she'd called 911 and in a 2015 interview with the FBI, she'd told agents the conversation started with McDonald asking her 'Who the fuck do you know that lives here?'

"Patterson insisted she wasn't frightened of McDonald but did want to be protected as she went inside.

"'I ended up calling the police for the simple fact that I wanted to get into the house, I wasn't in fear at all,' she said. 'He was a very nice young guy, evidently.'

"Patterson's cheery testimony was one of several blows to Van Dyke's defense, as his lawyers have struggled to build the case they previewed in their opening statement that McDonald was on a 'wild rampage' the night he was shot."

The defense might have been better off not presenting any witnesses at all.

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"Assistant special prosecutor Joseph Cullen questioned [Dr. James Thomas] O'Donnell on whether McDonald was displaying rage that night - from the effects of the PCP - or whether he was simply trying to avoid police," the Tribune reported.

"'He continued to walk away from officers toward an empty fence . . . That's what you describe as rage?' Cullen asked.

"'Yes,' O'Donnell replied. 'He's still in the situation with a knife in his hand and disobeying orders from the police . . . still showing aggressive behavior and actions. I would describe that as violent rage behavior.'"

Erratic, yes. Violent rage? No.

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"A Chicago police officer has told jurors at the trial of a white officer charged with murder in the shooting of Laquan McDonald that he once told officers to beware of people possibly carrying guns disguised as knives," AP reported.

"The testimony came Wednesday as defense attorneys sought to bolster their argument that Jason Van Dyke legitimately saw McDonald as a threat before shooting him 16 times as he walked away carrying a knife.

"William Schield said he raised the prospect with officers in 2012, two years before McDonald was killed, about knives specially fashioned to shoot bullets. The implication was that Van Dyke could have imagined McDonald had such a device."

This argument depends on the unlikelihood that Van Dyke - and no other officers at the scene - remembered that warning 24 months after, purportedly, hearing it. It also ignores that no other officer on the scene felt threatened when Van Dyke rolled up, jumped out of his car and unloaded 16 shots into McDonald. Maybe no one else got the 2012 memo.

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"There were no explicit references to racism during the testimony, though witnesses made subtle references to skin color on several occasions. The defense, for example, commissioned an animated video of the shooting in which the designer put the McDonald character in all-black clothing and with a hoodie pulled over his head, despite video evidence showing him dressed in jeans with large, light-colored pockets and his sweatshirt hood down," the Tribune reported.

A) Why was the defense allowed to show an animated version of the shooting when a real version already exists on video?

B) Really with the hoodie and all-black clothing?

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"The designer also testified he typically does not put skin color on animated characters, but he did so in this case."

Gee, I wonder why.

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Also:

"On the stand, Van Dyke referred to McDonald in police parlance as a 'male black' in a hoodie at least four times during his testimony."

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Now, if one was to give Van Dyke the benefit of the doubt in any way, shape or form, it might be that he misunderstood the situation he was pulling up into.

"But [Laurence] Miller, the defense psychologist, told the jury that in the moments before Van Dyke had arrived on the scene, he told his partner that he might have to shoot the offender," the Tribune reports.

"Oh my God, we are going to have to shoot the guy," Van Dyke recalled telling his partner during an interview with the psychologist.

"Van Dyke also knew officers had asked for a Taser to subdue McDonald, but he also openly questioned why police didn't shoot the teen after he popped their car tire and scratched a windshield, Miller said.

"Why didn't they shoot him if he's attacking them?" Van Dyke asked his partner, according to Miller.

Of course, he wasn't attacking them.

"During cross-examination Tuesday, Van Dyke did not deny making the comments to Walsh, his partner that night," the Tribune reported.

"I thought the officers were under attack," Van Dyke said. "The whole thing was just shocking to me."

If Van Dyke indeed misunderstood the situation, that might explain - not justify - why he did what he did. I've always wondered if Van Dyke was ever tested for drugs or was having a particularly bad day because he arrived on the scene seemingly super-agitated. Sixteen shots indicate some sort of uneven mental state. In any case, these statements might be the ones that do him in.

"Legal experts, including veteran defense attorney Terry Ekl, who believes Van Dyke did well on the witness stand, told the Tribune that those statements were damning.

"'It showed he had an aggressive state of mind before he even got there,' Ekl said. 'It shows a predisposition. I thought it was significant.'"

*

"Van Dyke faltered at times under cross-examination, saying he couldn't remember certain details, particularly when it came to statements he made to police immediately after the shooting. He grew testy at several points, snapping at the prosecutor to let him finish his answers and addressing her sharply as 'Miss,'" the Tribune reported.

"Van Dyke testified that he started firing at McDonald again, at one point actually aiming at the knife to try to knock it out of the teen's hand. When his weapon was empty, he began to reload because that's what he had been trained to do, but he stopped when Walsh told him it wasn't necessary, Van Dyke testified.

"Jason, I got this," he said Walsh told him.

Van Dyke said he watched Walsh kick the knife out of McDonald's hand. Once that threat was eliminated, he called for help, he told the jury.

"I screamed into the radio, 'We need an ambulance,'" he said.

Assistant special prosecutor Jody Gleason quickly pounced on Van Dyke's version of events during cross-examination, first challenging his account of McDonald raising the knife before being shot.

"Now you sat here for several days," Gleason said. "Where do you see that in the video?"

"The video doesn't show my perspective," answered Van Dyke, repeating a common theme of the defense throughout the trial.

Gleason then showed Van Dyke the computer animation created by the defense that was intended to show the shooting from the officer's perspective. She asked where McDonald lifted the knife in the computer-generated model. Van Dyke said the defense's own video also didn't depict what he saw.

So his testimony was not only at odds with the real-time video we've all seen, but with the animated video that his own defense team made in sympathy with his purported point-of-view.

Toast.

*

"Gleason also questioned why Van Dyke didn't use the six seconds between the time he got out of his squad car and the time he opened fire to move away from McDonald or take cover behind the car.

"In that six seconds, he got a lot closer to me," Van Dyke said.

Gleason pointed out that the video showed Van Dyke took a step closer to McDonald, despite his initial claims that he backpedaled as McDonald came closer.

"I know that now, yeah," he said. "Not intentionally. I thought I was backpedaling."

"What?" Gleason asked with a tone of incredulity.

"Miss, I thought I was backpedaling that night," Van Dyke said.

"You thought you were backpedaling as you're firing shot after shot after shot?" Gleason asked.

"What I know now and what I thought at the time are two different things," Van Dyke shot back.

Van Dyke said during his testimony that McDonald never turned his back on officers, despite prosecutors insisting he was "walking away."

"He could have made a decisive turn and walked in the opposite direction," he said. "He could have thrown that knife away and ended it all right then and there."

Gleason, the prosecutor, rephrased the question moments later.

"And you could have ended it all the minute he hit the ground, correct?" Gleason asked.

Van Dyke said he took that amount of time for him to "reassess" the situation.

"But you testified that even when you reassessed the situation, you continued to shoot him," Gleason said.

"Because to me it seemed like he was getting back up," he said.

I would guess that any sliver of sympathy jurors may have held for Van Dyke evaporated at this point.

*

A couple of more exchanges between Gleason and Van Dyke, via the Sun-Times:

Assistant Special Prosecutor Jody Gleason: And then you continued to shoot him after that?

Van Dyke: I shot at that knife. I wanted him to get rid of that knife.

Gleason: Okay. Let's talk about the knife. You're not trained as a police officer to shoot at somebody's knife, are you?

Van Dyke: No, you're not.

Gleason: You're trained to shoot at center mass, correct?

Van Dyke: Yes.

Gleason: So why did you continue to shoot at his knife? That's not what you're trained to do.

Van Dyke: My focus was just on that knife, and I just wanted him to get rid of that knife. That's all I could think.

*

And:

Gleason: Now, you stopped shooting because your gun was empty, correct?

Van Dyke: Yes.

Gleason: And it wasn't because you thought the threat was over with, right?

Van Dyke: (After a long pause) I'm sorry?

Gleason: It wasn't because you thought the threat was over with, right?

Van Dyke: Between the time I stopped shooting and the time I reloaded, the situation had drastically changed.

Gleason: Really? What changed?

Van Dyke: There was no longer a threat by the time I reloaded my weapon and brought it up to the ready position.

Gleason: Why wasn't he?

Van Dyke: In those couple of seconds he, um, he had stopped moving.

*

"Prosecutors called just one witness in their rebuttal case," the Tribune reported.

"Cook County Sheriff's Officer Adam Murphy was the only officer on the scene to comfort McDonald after the shooting, telling him to hang in there and assuring him paramedics were coming. On Wednesday, Murphy told jurors that he saw a pool of blood around McDonald on Pulaski Road and that the blood was coming from the teen's body - testimony meant to dispute the defense team's suggestion that McDonald died so quickly there wasn't much blood at the scene."

Every defense witness appears to have been successfully rebutted.

*

Now about the jury . . . here are the ones who could hang this thing. Descriptions via NBCChicago.

Juror 1: "On her questionnaire she said she respects police and 'they are just doing their job.'"

Juror 5: "She said she knows about the case from the news and has seen the video. 'I had different thoughts,' she said. 'Why did Laquan keep walking away? Why didn't he stop?'"

Juror 7: "A white male who said he has not seen the video. Though he said on the questionnaire he had not heard about the case, he admitted to the judge he had. He also said, 'I'm just a big supporter of the 2nd amendment. And I have a lot of respect for police officers.'"

He wanted on this jury. How was he allowed when he was untruthful about having seen the video?

Juror 10: The most intriguing juror.

"A Hispanic woman who works for a downtown parking company but is applying to become a Chicago police officer."

Whoa, how is she allowed on the panel? And what a box she's in - she can voted to convict and risk going into the department as a pariah or vote to acquit and be deemed by at least some elements of the command staff as lacking the judgement to be a cop.

But note: "On her questionnaire, she wrote 'no one is above the law.'"

Juror 11: "He said he has seen the video but hasn't formed an opinion."

How do you see that video and not form an opinion?

Juror 12: "A white female who wrote on the questionnaire, 'No matter what your occupation is, if you knowingly did something wrong, you should face consequences.'"

*

Two alternate jurors now dismissed because they won't be needed were leaning toward conviction, the Tribune reports.

"Most definitely I would have said guilty," said one dismissed alternate, a Hispanic man who drives a truck for FedEx. "For me he should have waited a little bit longer. I mean he knew the Taser was coming. That's what did it for me."

And:

The other alternate, a white woman who works in marketing at a downtown law firm, said she was swayed by the fact that other officers on the scene that night didn't feel the need to use deadly force - and McDonald was trying to get away from officers, not charge toward them.

"When he was on a dark street with someone, he popped a tire to try to get away. He hit a car to try to disable it. He wasn't coming at folks," she said. "Where was he actually causing an issue that Jason Van Dyke thought that he needed to use deadly force? I just didn't understand that."

*

"Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham said Van Dyke "gave a very honest, unrehearsed account of what he saw that night," the Sun-Times reports.

If Van Dyke's testimony was unrehearsed, his lawyer should be disbarred.

*

The jury has asked for a transcript of the testimony of Joseph Walsh, Van Dyke's partner that night.

*

Finally, our scary police department:

"If he's convicted, other officers wondered if police would become even more hesitant to do aggressive police work out of fear of being sued, indicted or fired," the Tribune reports.

Really? So CPD should be given carte blanche to commit murder in order for the force to keep their edge?

"The officers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they're not authorized by the department to speak to the media, also offered opinions on whether Van Dyke should be convicted, with most of those the Tribune talked to saying they believed he did nothing illegal. Many did think Van Dyke will be fired, however."

*

"Some of the officers interviewed by the Tribune believe a conviction for Van Dyke would be a blow to the police, making officers less proactive on the streets. But others say that type of aggressive policing has already plummeted ever since the dashboard camera video of the McDonald shooting was released by court order in November 2015 on the same day Van Dyke became the first officer in decades to be charged with first-degree murder for an on-duty shooting.

"Because of that, some officers said police have already stepped back on their aggressiveness, only responding to 911 calls over the radio without relying on their street smarts to act on their own."

Great, officers fearing a loss of impunity are now half-assing their jobs.

"It's not going to make a difference because those people have already shut down," said one supervisor who works in some of the city's most violence-plagued neighborhoods. "The damage is done."

Another sergeant disagreed, saying a conviction could still have an impact on police. "Even people who haven't de-policed over the years, they may de-police," the sergeant said.

Did any officers - even just one - say that a conviction would be a win for the department because it would show they are accountable, it would help build trust with the people they serve, and it would be a step forward toward reforming the department?

*

"Another veteran supervisor thinks there's going to be unrest no matter the verdict.

"They were happy when the Bulls won, and the city (nearly) burned to the ground," said the supervisor, who works in a citywide unit. "A lot of people may use the trial . . . to do their nasty deeds."

I wonder who the supervisor means by "they."

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See also:

"Jason Van Dyke's fellow officers began working to keep him out of trouble almost immediately after he shot Laquan McDonald, and detectives and higher-ranking officers continued to try to protect him even months after the department cleared him of wrongdoing, according to a court document unsealed Thursday," the Sun-Times reports.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:50 AM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

For completists, there was no column on Thursday.

"Jeppson's Malort, a bitter wormwood liquor that's simultaneously embraced and reviled by many Chicagoans, has been acquired by the Pilsen-based CH Distillery," the Tribune reports.

"CH Distillery, a craft distillery known for its organic vodka, plans to make and bottle Malort at its Pilsen distillery beginning next year, effectively bringing Malort, a Swedish liquor with deep Chicago roots, back to its hometown."

By the way, you are allowed to put ketchup on your Malort.

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New on the Beachwood . . .

The (Not Even Close) Case Against Jason Van Dyke
The defense might have been better off not calling any witnesses at all.

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How We Know Brett Kavanaugh Is Lying
A comprehensive reader that leaves absolutely no doubt.

*

New NFL Bluetooth® Ugly Christmas Sweater Has Fans Dancing Into The Holiday Spirit
With audio! Audio sweaters!

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Modern By Design: Chicago Streamlines America
Discover how Chicago brought modern design to the American marketplace.

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How Torture Tears Apart Societies From Within
A profound tear in the fabric that makes us human.

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The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour
Is in pre-production.

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Chicago Pneumatic CP50804200H18 12 W x 18 L 05 HP General Air Belt Sander review

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BeachBook

John Carlos And Tommie Smith 50 Years Later.

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East Germany's Secret Underground Murals.

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Guantanamo's Banned Books Week.

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Public Art Advocates Speak Out Against The Sale Of Chicago Library's Kerry James Marshall Mural.

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Kim Kardashian's Theory About Why Chicago Looks More Like Her Than Kanye.

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Hersheypark Unveils Plans For Chocolatetown.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Did anyone get that this whole time?

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:50 AM | Permalink

October 4, 2018

How We Know Brett Kavanaugh Is Lying

Recognizing that his 10,000-word essay was potentially "a lot" for some consumers, Nathan J. Robinson, editor-in-chief of Current Affairs magazine, has created a video version with the same title - "How We Know Kavanaugh Is Lying" - for those who might find it easier to digest.

Robinson first published his essay on Saturday, after the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, but the video version was posted online Monday evening.

If you have 15 minutes and want to hear a good explanation of why Kavanaugh proved himself a liar whereas Ford came out of her testimony more credible than even before she went in, watch this:

As numerous observers and lawmakers have now pointed out, if it's shown definitively that Kavanaugh lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee while under oath, that would be a clear case of perjury and "disqualifying" for a nominee seeking a lifetime seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Indeed, as Sen. Bernie Sanders declared Monday night, if Kavanaugh lied about anything that would be a federal crime.

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

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See also:

* I Was Brett Kavanaugh's Roommate. He Lied Under Oath.

* I Know Brett Kavanaugh, But I Wouldn't Confirm Him.

* Brett Kavanaugh Isn't Robert Bork. He's John Tower.

* Brett Kavanaugh's Character Cannot Be Found In His Resume.

* Brett Kavanaugh: A Youth Pastor's Perspective.

* Amid Concerns Of Narrow FBI Probe, Why Definition Of 'Boofing,' Kavanaugh's Drinking Habits, And His Truthfulness Are Crucial.

* Prosecutor's "Reprehensible" Memo Proves GOP Aimed To Put Accuser Ford On Trial, Not Brett Kavanaugh.

* The American Bar Association Had Concerns About Kavanaugh 12 Years Ago. Republicans Dismissed Those, Too.

* The Unbearable Dishonesty Of Brett Kavanaugh.

* Kavanaugh Said He Had 'No Connections' to Yale. He Was, In Fact, A Legacy Student.

* Kavanaugh And The Blackout Theory.

* At Times, Kavanaugh's Defense Misleads Or Veers Off Point.

* The Lies That Senators Must Tell Themselves To Support Brett Kavanaugh.

* 'I Got Into Yale' Isn't A Moral Defense.

* E-Mails Show That Republican Senate Staff Stymied A Kavanaugh Accuser's Effort To Give Testimony.

* Here's Where Kavanaugh's Sworn Testimony Was Misleading Or Wrong.

* Wikipedia Entry For 'Devil's Triangle' Changed To Match Kavanaugh's Answer.

* Why Brett Kavanaugh Wasn't Believable.

* The Elite Legal World's 'Conspiracy of Silence.'

* Feinstein: Kavanaugh Misled About Grand Jury Secrecy In Vince Foster Probe.

* Evidence Of Kavanaugh Perjury Mounts After Durbin Releases More 'Confidential' Documents.

* Brett Kavanaugh's Unlikely Story About Democrats' Stolen Documents.

* I Wrote Some Of The Stolen Memos That Brett Kavanaugh Lied To The Senate About.

* A Conservative's Conservative Before He Was Nominated And An Open-Minded Jurist After.

* 'Not An Accident' Kavanaugh's Female Law Clerks 'Looked Like Models,' Yale Professors Advised Students.

* How 65 Women Came To Kavanaugh's Defense In Matter Of Hours.

* 'Brett Was Involved' - Inside Supreme Court Nominee's Work For Bill Clinton Probe.

* The Brett Kavanaugh Files: Explore The Documents.

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Plus:

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He signed his Beach Week letter "Bart."

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Judge has since reportedly been interviewed by the FBI - now that he knows from Kavanaugh's testimony what the corroborating answers are.

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This is true, this is what FFFFF means.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:54 PM | Permalink

New NFL Bluetooth® Ugly Christmas Sweater Has Fans Dancing Into The Holiday Spirit

Forever Collectibles (FOCO) introduce today the first series of Bluetooth-enabled ugly Christmas sweaters. It's never too early to prepare for ugly Christmas sweater season, and if you're a sports fan, the time is now. The officially-licensed knitted NFL team light-up Bluetooth sweaters for the 2018 holiday season have arrived! The sweaters, debuting this fall with the National Football League, will also be released across all major professional and collegiate sports and availability will vary by team and league later this fall.

bearssweaterfront.jpg

bearssweaterback.jpg

"Last season we introduced the light-up sweater and it was a huge success," said Matthew Katz, senior licensing manager. "This year we had to up the ante, and the only way to do that was to add a sound feature. Now your sweater can literally play any sound you want it to, whether it's a touchdown celebration dance or the team's theme song. We know our sweaters now deliver the closest in-game experience to fans!"

FOCO is widely regarded as one of the largest suppliers of licensed products in professional sports, offering more than 3,000 items to sports fans since 1998. Ugly Christmas sweaters have traditionally been one of the company's best-sellers in the past and with the introduction of the new Light Up Bluetooth speaker, the company stays on the forefront of the category.

Compatible with both Android and Apple devices, the new Light Up Bluetooth Sweater collection includes all 32 NFL teams complete with a speaker enclosed in the bottom of the sweater powered by triple-A batteries. Sweaters light up with an additional on/off switch located on the sweater. Fans can pre-order and shop the entire Light Up Bluetooth holiday sweater collection at www.foco.com under sweaters or by team. The sweaters are available for pre-order for $89.99 with free shipping for "squad members" on orders over $100. Availability will vary by team and league.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:23 PM | Permalink

How Torture Tears Apart Societies From Within

Munir is a Kurdish man in his forties. We met several times in his home, with his family, and in the clinic where he has been for therapy. It took him a long time to open up.

Even though his wife knew that he had received medical assistance to counter the long-term effects of physical torture under Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, she did not know the details of what had been going on in the multiple places of confinement he, as a Kurdish activist, had been detained in Iraq - least of all that he was raped at a local branch of the Mukhabarat, the regime's infamous intelligence service.

About his time in prison, Munir stated that "I lost everything there; I lost my manhood." Derivatively, his imprisonment had on more than one occasion resulted in a row in which his wife would wonder about his lack of desire for conjugal intimacy. In this sense both his actual time in the prison and the way in which this moment in time continuously exert pressure on his conjugal relation has turned his imprisonment into a temporal marker of emasculation because of both the rape and the way in which his wife misconceives of him.

Munir is one of the many people I met while conducting ethnographic fieldwork among clients and health professionals in a Danish NGO in 2003-2004 and 2016-2018.

Accepting The Traumatic Victim

For over 30 years this NGO has offered interdisciplinary rehabilitation for survivors of torture. As such, my fieldwork has unfolded within the heart of what Didier Fassin and Richard Rechtman argued is The Empire of Trauma, namely the global apparatus of psychiatric interventions, manuals and theories which have given way to the traumatic victim as being culturally and morally respectable.

empireoftrauma.png

Many in Denmark complain that - out of approximately 160,000 who have gained residency there - too many refugees fail to integrate. That is, they do not learn Danish; they fail to contribute to the workforce; and they generally do not display proper "Danish" markers of belonging, despite the fact that belonging might be felt yet not always be tangible in familiar cultural gestures, such as performing the handshake irrespective of gender; consuming alcohol; and sending small children to state nurseries rather than taking care of them at home.

What those critical of migration tend to forget is that reinhabiting life after torture or any trauma - one-third of all refugees in Denmark have experienced or witnessed an event of torture - is one of the most fundamental difficulties faced by patients as well as by therapists.

Understanding why it is difficult is crucial, not only for current victims but also for their kin.

A Fundamental Inversion Of The Social World

Indeed, crafting a new social fabric in another country is often hampered because their social worlds have been torn to the extent that they might never be stitched back again.

As the philosopher Jean Améry writes, torture is a fundamental inversion of the social world.

Building on personal experience of the extermination camps of the World War II, Améry teaches us that torture is never only about the here and now in which an individual is suffering at the hands of a perpetrator. Rather, torture is such a profound tear in the fabric that makes us human that it can distort even the most fundamental elements of social existence, including, not least, social relations with near as well as distant others.

Repercussions On Kin And Generations

Understanding the reverberations of Munir's experience of torture, we are aided by anthropologist Shahla Talebi's rendering of violence and loss in the case of a female Iranian prisoner who committed suicide after she was released from prison under first the Shah and later the Islamic Republic.

talebi.jpg

Talebi knows from her own experience the torture and excruciating circumstances of imprisonment because she was imprisoned in Tehran for a decade herself. In the book Ghosts of Revolution, she teaches us how life after torture might in fact never become inhabitable again, thus her fellow inmate's suicide:

The gravity of the losses that result from multiple forms of violence, including society's gendered expectations and judgements, prevents her from redefining her subjectivity under the current conditions of her life and beyond the loss.

Munir did not commit suicide. But we sense his struggle to redefine male subjectivity from being a Kurdish political activist to being a caring father and responsible husband. Despite his secret, Munir has in his own words a strong and warm friendship with his wife, part of the story being the care he takes never to speak about his past experience of violence in front of her and their children. We see how his gestures of care toward his family are braided with his unrevealed memory and embodied sense of thwarted masculinity. Munir's experience of rape thereby surfaces not only in intimate moments with his wife, but as much in his continuous effort to care for his wife and children.

Anthropologist Veena Das offers a way to understand Munir's experience of simultaneously care and defeat by asking us to understand the conjoining forces of kinship, politics and pain where torture is made to stand out as a singular event but which is actually always folded into the ordinary. It reveals itself in the social ties through kinship or with other communities of belonging.

Does Treatment Make A Difference?

Underlining how difficult the process of healing might be for the survivor's sense of self, recent scientific studies have concluded that whereas specialized treatment might not make a notable difference for the individual survivor, it does if measured at the family level where the effects of treatment are seen in the upward socioeconomic status of the children of the survivors.

Meanwhile, other studies estimate that torture-related trauma increases the risk of violence within a family, as such underlining Améry's insight that torture scars the social world fundamentally.

The clinical staff among whom I do fieldwork know these challenges intimately from years of professional practice. As such there is a schism in working to ameliorate the effects of torture while knowing that those very effects may only hardly be treated. As stated, the beneficiary effects might not even be tangible until the next generation. How is this schism worked through in and beyond therapy?

The Wall

A senior psychotherapist recounted to me how she had just initiated a treatment plan with a client, who in turn had offered her a picture of what taking up therapy at the clinic meant to her: To be able to let go, break down, and simultaneously have the sensation that there was a wall behind her so that even if she fell there was something, and someone behind her to help her piece together not only herself but her relationships to her children, too.

In therapy, she did not have to keep up appearances; did not have to communicate how and why she was not well. The therapists knew.

finlandtorture.jpgUtö, Finland, graffiti/Aaron Blanco Tejedor, Unsplash

The woman's expression of the wall as a picture of therapy and the therapist who receives this picture both acknowledge what kind of object the wall is. It is a picture showing us that the client and the therapist agree on what suffering means and on the fact that no one can prevent the afflicted of falling apart. They also accept that this failure is part of the attempt of stitching together a fractured social world. This eventually enables a process of healing, not necessarily for the torture survivor but for the next generation.

This article was published in collaboration with the International Violence and Exiting Violence Platform and republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

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Lotte Buch Segal is an assistant anthropology professor at the University of Copenhagen, Foundation House of Human Sciences.

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See also John Conroy's Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People: The Dynamics of Torture.

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Previously in torture:
* Doc Of Rages.

* They Said No To Torture.

* The Trews: What Should We Think About CIA Torture.

* The Tortured History Of The Senate Torture Report.

* Torture USA.

* The Best Reporting On Detention And Rendition Under Obama.

* Primer: Indefinite Detention And The NDAA.

* The Senate Report On CIA Interrogations You May Never See.

* Guantanamo: If The Light Goes Out.

* The Prison That Just Can't Be Closed.

* Barack Obama's Secret Island Prison.

* Guantanamo Prisoner Lifts Lid.

* Read The Fucking Torture Report, People.

* American Torture Story - Chicago Chapter.

* Obama Administration Blocks Release Of New Torture Details.

* REVEALED: The Boom And Bust Of The CIA's Secret Torture Sites.

* Torture By Iraqi Militias: The Report Washington Did Not Want You To See.

* 'Stunning:' CIA Admits 'Mistakenly' Deleting Copy of Senate Torture Report.

* Incommunicado' Forever: Gitmo Detainee's Case Stalled For 2,477 Days And Counting.

* The Terror Suspect Who Had Nothing To Give.

* Abducted, Tortured And Held 14 Years Without Trial, Gitmo Diary Author Finally Free.

* CIA Cables Detail New Deputy Director's Role in Torture.

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And, of course, for our voluminous coverage (too voluminous to list) of Jon Burge (and Homan Square), just pop his name into the search bar there on the right rail.

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Comments welcome.


Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:09 AM | Permalink

Modern By Design: Chicago Streamlines America

Inspired by modern technology, streamlined design emerged during the early 1930s and became one of the most popular design styles in history.

Discover how Chicago brought modern design to the American marketplace in the new exhibition, Modern by Design: Chicago Streamlines America, opening Saturday, October 27, at the Chicago History Museum. The exhibition is presented as part of the yearlong Art Design Chicago initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art.

"Chicago is world-famous for modern architecture but its contributions to modern design are often overlooked," said Olivia Mahoney, senior curator at the Chicago History Museum. "This exhibition explores how Chicago shaped the look and feel of modern America with streamlined graphics, products and interior design."

Visitors will discover how Chicago introduced streamlined design on a mass scale at the 1933-34 Chicago World's Fair and how Chicago companies subsequently adapted the style to make a wide range of products for American consumers who wanted the latest look and technology in their homes and workplaces.

Nearly 300 objects, photographs and documents from the 1930s-1950s trace this compelling story. Objects on view, many for the first time, include:

  • Tubular steel furniture designed by Wolfgang Hoffmann for the W.W. Howell Company.
  • Streamlined appliances and products by Sunbeam, Sears and Montgomery Ward.
  • Advertisements for Wrigley Gum designed by Otis Shepard.
  • McCormick-Deering Farmall tractor designed by Raymond Loewy.
  • American Flyer toy trains, Radio Flyer wagons, and Tootsie Toy cars.

The exhibition will feature personal stories about designers such as Marianne Willisch and Lyn Colby, interior designers; Otis Shepard and Henry Harringer, graphic designers; and Wolfgang Hoffmann, Robert Budlong and John Morgan, industrial designers.

Art Deco Chicago: Designing Modern America serves as the companion publication to Modern by Design. The book is an expansive take on American Art Deco that explores Chicago's pivotal role in developing the architecture, graphic design, and product design that came to define the middle-class style in the 20th century.

Public programs will take place throughout the run of the exhibition. Programs include "Family Design Day at CHM."

Admission to the exhibition is included with regular Museum admission ($19 adults/ $17 seniors and students, and free for children 12 years of age and younger and Illinois residents 18 years and younger). The exhibition will run through December 1, 2019.

micdesign.jpgUnidyne microphone made by Shure Brothers, Chicago, c. 1940

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clockdesign.jpgWall clock designed by George Stephens and made by the Hammond Clock Company, Chicago, 1938.

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potdesign.jpgCoffee set designed by Michael McArdle and and made the Chicago Flexible Shaft Company, 1935.

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tabledesign.jpgTubular steel coffee table with glass top designed by Wolfgang Hoffmann for the W.W. Howell Company, Geneva, Illinois, c. 1935.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:37 AM | Permalink

October 3, 2018

The [Wednesday] Papers

1. Assignment Desk, Activate: How They Really Got Rich.

Every one of these people should get the New York Times treatment.

Who's with me? Grant money? Publishing partners? I'm ready to work.

2. A History Of Police Violence In Chicago.

"At the turn of the century, Chicago police killed 307 people, one in 18 homicides in the city - three times the body count of local gangsters," historian Jeffrey S. Adler has found.

"African Americans made up 3 percent of Chicago's population and 21 percent of police homicide victims from 1910 to 1920."

3. Beer Bubble Bingo.

"Lagunitas Brewing Co. said Tuesday that it would cut 12 percent of its workforce, citing a retrenchment of the American craft beer market," the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports.

I guess it was time for the craft beer bubble to pop.

"The decision to downsize comes 17 months after Dutch brewing giant Heineken International acquired full ownership of the homegrown brewery company."

Ohhhhhhhh. I guess it was time for the corporate ownership bubble to pop.

"The workforce reduction will affect every department in the company, which operates a production plant in Chicago and a taproom in Seattle, CEO Maria Stipp said in a prepared statement."

Maria Tipp, you are Today's Worst Person With A Connection To Chicago.

4. Cicero And 372 Other Cities Growing Faster Than Chicago.

Rahm's job here is done.

5. Possessing Pilsen.

"After 34 years operating Chavez Jewelry in Pilsen, the family business will permanently close its doors at 1420 W. 18th St., the owner confirmed.

"Chavez, 67, said a shift in neighborhood's demographics has played a role in the closing. Since 2011, she has seen rents in the area continue to climb, while her mostly Latino clientele has dwindled."

"I love what I do, but the rents have become too high," Chavez said. "I can't afford it anymore."

Because affluent white people have decided to claim the neighborhood for their own. That's gentrification in a nutshell.

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ChicagoReddit

Transplant city? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

View this post on Instagram

Wuv

A post shared by Tim Inklebarger (@timinklebarger) on

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ChicagoTube

We Are Medieval Times.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Gastro of the soul.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:38 AM | Permalink

October 2, 2018

The [Tuesday] Papers

More tomorrow.

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ChicagoReddit

PSA: anyone considering renting out the boombox pop-up shops at Randolph and Halsted, do not do it it is a total waste of time. from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Salmon Fishing On The Chicago Lakefront.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Sparring partner.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:28 AM | Permalink

October 1, 2018

SportsMonday: Trumagic

It was still a stupid trade. But maybe ol' Mitch will justify it after all.

Ryan Pace was still negotiating against himself when he traded three draft picks to move up one spot (from No. 3 to 2) in the first round of the 2017 draft to draft the quarterback from North Carolina named Trubisky. He was fleeced by a rookie general manager (the 49ers' John Lynch) in his first 10 minutes on the job of drafting players for San Francisco.

Don't believe me? Ask Hub Arkush, who has way better sources than you do. Our man Hub has said on numerous occasions that there were no other offers for the 49ers' pick (and even if there had been, none included the No. 3 pick, the primary asset the Bears sent away - if the Browns had made the trade with the Niners, the primary asset would have been their next pick, No. 12). Pace got it in his head that he was going to be Mr. Aggressive and there was no stopping him.

But now we have the first evidence that it wasn't just justified, it was totally justified dude! In other words, the team that obliterated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48-10 Sunday looks like it has enough depth to be successful despite the lost picks. And the guy they did it for, the young quarterback with the glorious arm, has written a first chapter in a book of greatness.

My goodness could a game be more fun than that for a Bears fan? It was the most satisfying victory around here at least since 2013, when Marc Trestman was still an exciting offensive innovator. And it might have been the best since, I don't know, the 2006 NFC Championship?

Okay, let's try to calm down a little bit. But before we do, we can definitely revel in the fact that these last 30 days now qualify as one of the more remarkable portions of Bears history.

The Bucs defense was terrible. They were playing after a short week of preparation (after losing to the Steelers on Monday night) but still . . . the Bears put the wide open in wide receivers, and running back Tarik Cohen.

The coolest thing is that Trubisky became the first Bears quarterback since Johnny Lujack in 1949 (!) to throw six touchdown passes in a game. And Lujack never threw the kind of spirals Trubisky does. Of course the ball was fatter when the former Notre Dame great plied his trade.

Defensively the Bears made it clear it doesn't matter if they are facing a veteran or a promising (relative) youngster, they are consistently able to make the big plays that make a difference. How about the fact that Khalil Mack has strip sacks in four consecutive games?! Thanks again, Coach Gruden.

The team's run of health continued. Sam Acho suffered an injury and may be out for awhile but the Bears will almost certainly get injured cornerback Prince Amukamara back for the next contest. They will also see Marcus Cooper return but given the emergence of undrafted rookie corner Kevin Toliver, Cooper is probably falling down the depth chart.

Now the Bears get a few days to revel in it with the bye looming on Sunday. And after that are the Dolphins and then the Patriots. And eventually after that they get back into a division competition that should be great.

This team is looking so good, Pace might not have to trade away any more draft picks for the foreseeable future.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:05 AM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

"For more than 100 years, my family's business, General Iron Industries, has provided a vital service: We process and recycle the Chicago area's discarded metal products, including demolition debris, vehicles and kitchen appliances. While the need for our recycling service has grown, our neighborhood along the North Branch of the Chicago River has changed dramatically," one of GII's owners, Adam Labkon, writes in a Tribune Op-Ed headlined "Polluter Or Good Neighbor? Setting The Record Straight."

What record is he setting straight, exactly? At least in part, the record reported by the Tribune's own environment reporter, Michael Hawthorne, as well as that of the paper's editorial board. In other words, the paper itself!

"Unfortunately, some have branded us with a scarlet 'P' for polluter, and questioned the motives of aldermen who recently defeated an order ostensibly to restrict our hours, but which effectively would have crippled our operations," Labkon writes in a persuasive piece - to anyone not familiar with the record in question.

"In the cynical view of such critics, aldermen who acknowledged the necessity of our business and our tenure in the neighborhood were deemed compromised, while the lone alderman who moved to effectively shut us down had only altruistic motives. This conclusion is both wrongheaded and dangerous because it lacks a thoughtful examination of the facts, starting with the record before a City Council committee and the entire council."

A thoughtful examination of the facts? How about these - missing from Labkon's piece:

* "Federal authorities cracked down Friday on a controversial scrap shredder along the North Branch of the Chicago River, the latest in a series of legal actions prompted by complaints about clouds of metallic pollution drifting into the Bucktown and Lincoln Park neighborhoods," Hawthorne reported in July.

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regional office in Chicago cited General Iron Industries with multiple violations of the Clean Air Act after inspectors found the scrap yard had failed to contain lung-damaging particulate matter within the company's property. The agency also accused General Iron of violating the law by failing to reduce emissions of noxious chemicals and heavy metals linked to birth defects and cancer, including lead, mercury and zinc.

"General Iron has been on the EPA's watchlist of chronic polluters since at least the late 1990s. But the agency didn't step in this time until Ald. Brian Hopkins, 2nd, revealed last year that University of Illinois at Chicago researchers had found alarming levels of particulate matter downwind from the facility. The independent monitoring, commissioned by a neighbor fed up with smoke and noise from the facility's two massive shredders, prompted the EPA to order its own set of tests, which General Iron conducted in May under agency supervision."

* "Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration and a group of aldermen vigorously defended a clout-heavy scrap yard on Tuesday, brushing aside neighbors who shared stories about noxious pollution and loud noises from one of the last industrial operations in a fast-gentrifying corridor along the North Branch of the Chicago River," Hawthorne reported in mid-September.

"[Ald. George] Cardenas and other aldermen offered decidedly more positive stories about General Iron. Emanuel administration officials testified that dozens of city inspections haven't found anything wrong at the scrap yard and questioned whether Hopkins' measure would hold up in court.

"We don't want to be counterproductive to business in the city," Cardenas said. "We need to be more compassionate to these industries."

"The Labkons also have spread more than $500,000 in political contributions among local politicians during the past seven years, according to campaign finance records.

"Burnett got $16,000. Other recipients included Emanuel, $51,500; Tunney, $39,750; and Cardenas, $15,000.

"A dozen City Hall lobbyists have been on the family's payroll in recent years, including John Borovicka, who worked for Emanuel when the mayor was a congressman; Victor Reyes, a former political operative for Mayor Richard M. Daley; and John R. Daley, son of Cook County Commissioner John Daley and the former mayor's nephew."

* "Since the late 1990s, it's been on the Environmental Protection Agency's watchlist of chronic polluters. General Iron has been the subject of EPA crackdowns three times in the last decade and a half. The latest came in July, when the agency cited General Iron for failing to contain lung-damaging particulate matter within the company's property. The EPA also accused the company of failing to reduce emissions of chemicals and heavy metals linked to birth defects and cancer," the Tribune wrote in a September editorial headlined "The Tale Of Lincoln Park's Misunderstood' Scrap Yard."

"All of that has made living near General Iron a noxious nightmare. Georgia Nicholson, who lives across the street from the scrap yard, says she washes metallic particles off her patio several times each day, the Tribune's Michael Hawthorne reports. In years past, other neighbors have complained about the noise, the fumes, 'the oily film that they find on their cars, on their sidewalks, on the wading pools,' says Ald. Brian Hopkins, 2nd, whose ward includes the site . . .

"How could we even think that ulterior motives explain why aldermen would passionately back up a scrap yard with a history of pollution violations?

"Hopkins' request was soundly defeated. It's heartening to see aldermen so vociferously defend what they describe as a misunderstood scrap business. We wonder, though, if those same aldermen would be as enthusiastic if they were the ones sweeping metallic dust off their patios."

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Obviously Labkon deserves every opportunity to defend his family's business. I'm sure Hawthorne would be willing - if not eager - to sit down with him and discuss the issue at length. What Labkon doesn't deserve is the opportunity to present an unvetted Op-Ed purportedly "setting the record" of the newspaper (and neighbors and the EPA) "straight" in a fact-free manner, opinion piece or not. The result is a disservice to readers, who come away deceived, not to mention a reporter whose work is undermined.

Adam Labkon is Today's Worst Person In Chicago, but whoever at the Tribune allowed his piece to be published is Today's Worst Enabler.

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New on the Beachwood . . .

With Nation Transfixed By Kavanaugh Monstrosity, House GOP Votes To Give Rich Another $3 Trillion In Tax Cuts
It's never enough.

taxcutscam2.jpg

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WFLU-TV
Starring Anchor 1, Anchor 2, Not Tom Skilling, Frumpy Sports Guy and the rest of Chicago's News Team For The Flu Vaccine.

wflu.jpg

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From the Beachwood Sports Desk . . .

SportsMonday: Trumagic
Okay, let's try to calm down a little bit. Oh, let's not.

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The Season In Verse | Has The Rebuild Burst?
You gotta love Yolmer, he's a delight for the fans. But let's face it, folks, he's more of a utility man.

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TrackNotes: Racing Luck
Any bettor who doesn't feel at least some luck after a nice win is lying. Granted, your wonderful race-picking know-how is massaged, but there's always a big exhale. Woo-hoo.

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ChicagoReddit

Jewel and their "Deep Dish Sundays"... It says pan pizza on the box... from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

View this post on Instagram

My baby made me meatloaf last night. 💛

A post shared by Allison Grote Gerlach (@allisugerlach) on

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ChicagoTube

Chicago Billboard In The Middle Of The Street.

"YES this is seriously what they did. They tore up a city street to put a billboard up. Then they installed two stop sigs and put signs under them for people to alternate turns."

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BeachBook

Net Neutrality Is Now Law In California.

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More Evidence That Nutrition Studies Don't Always Add Up.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Heritage.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Win or don't go home.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:10 AM | Permalink

With Nation Transfixed By Kavanaugh Monstrosity, House GOP Votes To Give Rich Another $3 Trillion In Tax Cuts

With the nation's attention rightly transfixed by the Senate GOP's monstrous efforts to ram through a Supreme Court nominee who has been credibly accused by multiple women of sexual assault, House Republicans on Friday voted overwhelmingly to approve another $3 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans just weeks before the November midterms.

"Today the GOP doubled down on last year's giveaway to the donor class known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," Morris Pearl, chair of the Patriotic Millionaires, said in a statement following the 220-191 vote. "Tax Cuts 2.0 gives nearly $3 trillion to the wealthiest Americans, and will become yet another excuse for Republicans to slash Medicare and Social Security."

"In less than a year, House Republicans have handed out trillions of tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations," added Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee. "Now, middle class families are on the hook for higher health care costs, and Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block."

Three Democrats - Reps. Conor Lamb (Penn.), Jacky Rosen (Nev.), and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) - voted for the GOP-crafted measure, which would permanently extend the individual tax cuts under the current Republican tax law.

According to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the House GOP's measure - which progressive critics have denounced as "Tax Scam 2.0" - would send the vast majority of benefits to the very top.

"The richest one percent of filers would see an average tax cut of $40,000, while those in the middle 20 percent of earners would see an average cut of $980," the Washington Post noted in a summary of TPC's findings.

"The American people are already paying too high a price for the GOP's blatant disregard for our families and our economy," Ryan Thomas of the Not One Penny coalition said in a statement on Friday. "This is yet another shameful tax law that would swindle working families and siphon even more funding from the programs that help our communities thrive - all in order to give more tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires and wealthy corporations."

"Today's vote is yet another call for us to end the culture of corruption endemic in the Republican Party," Thomas concluded. "The GOP believes they can continue to put the wants of the wealthiest people and corporations above the needs of the American people - but the American people are watching and we will hold them accountable."

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 6:47 AM | Permalink

WFLU-TV

Starring Anchor 1, Anchor 2, Not Tom Skilling, Frumpy Sports Guy and the rest of Chicago's News Team For The Flu Vaccine.


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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:30 AM | Permalink

MUSIC - December In Chicago Drill.
TV - Don't Weaken Media Ownership Limits.
POLITICS - Another SRO Crisis.
SPORTS - TrackNotes: Mom.

BOOKS - How Stereo Was Sold To A Skeptical Public.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicago Footwork King's Bail Battle.


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