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A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (tvguide.com)
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« May 2017 | Main | July 2017 »

June 30, 2017

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #159: The Cubs Are Team Trump Now

Hell Week exposes this franchise for what it's become. Plus: The White Sox Rebuild Is Not Going As Well As You Think.


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SHOW NOTES

* 159.

* Roger Wallenstein.

* Hell Week.

* President Donald Trump Palling Around With The Enabling Chicago Cubs.

* Sweet: President Trump Opens White House To Cubs, Who Make Return Appearance.

* Cubs' Todd Ricketts Withdraws Name From Trump's Cabinet.

* Undercover Todd Ricketts.

* Albert Almora Denies Giving Trump The Middle Finger.

* The Ricketts' Better Hope There Are No Tapes!

* Joe Maddon And Anthony Rizzo Are Dead To Me Now:

"I like the United States a lot, I like living here a lot, I like everything about being here a lot," Maddon said. "When you get a chance as a citizen to go to the White House you go. Whether you like the person who is running the country or not, out of respect for the office itself you go. I don't agree with all of the things that are going on right now because I have a different perspective."

"I'm going because it's the United States of America, and I'd rather not live anywhere else except this country," said Anthony Rizzo.

17:45: Cubs Muzzle Miguel Montero's Magnificent Mouth.

* Miguel Montero vs. Tommy La Stella, Aroldis Chapman.

34:05: The White Sox Rebuild Is Not Going As Well As You Think.

* The Melk Man:

* Adam Engel.

* Wallenstein: Mediocre Minors.

* Nicky Delmonico.

* Yoan Moncada.

* Tim Anderson.

* Charlie Tilson.

* Jake Burger.

* Wallenstein's grade on the rebuild so far: C.

* The Continuing Quintana Conundrum.

* Michael Kopech.

* Lucas Giolito.

* Carson Fulmer.

* Reynaldo Lopez.

* Tyler Danish.

* Zack Collins.

* Tommy Kahnle.

* Ricky Renteria's Ejection Rate Skyrockets During White Sox Homestand.

* Male Fragility!

* Verducci: Why Pace Of Play Has Slowed To A Crawl, And A Dozen Ways To Fix It. From May 2014!

vs.

* Verducci: Baseball's Pressing Question: What Happens To A Sport When Nothing Happens? From June 2017!

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STOPPAGE: 6:36

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Roger, with new podcast mascot Benny, the pride and joy of our very own Nick Shreders. (Rhodes is cat-sitting.)

RogerAndBenny.jpg

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:41 PM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: S&M Carpets

Shag & Mahal?

s&mcarpetsincorig.JPG(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:27 PM | Permalink

June 29, 2017

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

Just stretch before you come off the couch, warns Owens.

New magnet technology!

Pass-heavy, concussion-free.


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Vick throws for eight touchdowns in debut.

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"The greatest thing in the entire world for someone born in the '80s."

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Plus:

Drew Brees starting co-ed youth flag football league.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:33 AM | Permalink

The [Thursday] Papers

For real-time commentary on Donald Trump's latest travesties, John Kass, the Cubs' visit to the White House, the Miguel Montero imbroglio and the rest of the news from the last 24 hours, see @BeachwoodReport. I've been doing work over there this week.

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What's English For Illegal?
"Many bilingual programs are violating state law by failing to provide adequate services to the [Chicago public school] district's growing share of students whose native language is not English," the Chicago Reporter has found.

"Two years ago, Chicago Public Schools officials got some pointed criticism in a report the district commissioned on educating the growing percentage of schoolchildren who are English learners.

"The report noted that CPS had a long history of ignoring advice on improving its bilingual programs.

"We hope this time will be different," the 2015 report from the Council of the Great City Schools stated.

"But it wasn't. CPS officials gave a copy of the report to the mayor's office, then did nothing."

*

"Chicago is just one of dozens of school districts that fail to meet the law. A Reporter analysis of recent state audits of 65 districts found that the vast majority (including CPS) failed to consistently provide children with services such as adequate help in their native language, proper classroom materials and an annual test of English proficiency.

"Yet districts rarely face sanctions that might force them to take action, such as the potential loss of state bilingual education funding."

Go read the whole thing, unless you insist on not feeling angry today.

*

"Prompted by community concerns, then-State Sen. Miguel del Valle commissioned researchers to evaluate the state of education for Chicago's English learners. Del Valle had been looking into the issue for a while and wanted data he could use to push for policy changes. The reports documented a troubling shortage of bilingual teachers - nearly a third of whom were only substitutes - and also found the district transitioned thousands of students out of bilingual education too quickly.

"Yet CPS officials showed no urgency to fix the problems, researchers recall.

"They constantly talked about how this new leadership is going to change this narrative," said Erica Dávila, an associate professor of educational leadership at Lewis University, who co-authored a 2004 report for del Valle. "And obviously we've seen that really hasn't happened."

Reminder: Miguel del Valle ran for mayor in 2011, when Rahm Emanuel won his first term. He was a flawed candidate, as they all are, but far less flawed than Chuy Garcia and obviously far more preferable than Rahm. We had our chance, Chicago.

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"In 2009, U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras lifted the [district's desegregation] consent decree, ending three decades of efforts to integrate Chicago schools. The decree's bilingual education provisions, according to Kocoras, duplicated protections in state law. The ruling came despite evidence presented by DOJ lawyers in court that the district repeatedly failed to enroll English learners in bilingual education fast enough or provide them with required services.

"Shortly thereafter, district auditors stopped making routine visits to schools. Over several leadership changes, the district never prioritized the needs of English learners. And the Office of Language and Cultural Education, which oversees bilingual education, was given additional work from other departments, but no extra staff."

This is a good example of how marginalized people become and remain marginalized. Those with money and clout get audiences with people in power all the time, and have their needs addressed with urgency. Everybody else falls off the radar - if they were ever even on it.

It takes real assertive effort, then, to truly address the neediest, who have no real access to power. It takes leaders.

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"In 2015, interim CEO [Jesse] Ruiz called for the school-by-school audit, suspecting widespread non-compliance with state law.

"Since then, district officials say compliance has gotten better. 'In general, across the district I'm satisfied with the rate of progress,' said Jorge Macias, a former CPS principal who has led the Office of Language and Cultural Education for just over a year.

"But CPS gave schools until 2020 to fully comply with the law, and has no plans to withhold state or federal funds earmarked for bilingual education as long as schools demonstrate improvement.

"Meanwhile, state oversight continues to fall short. Because multiple job vacancies went unfilled this year at the Illinois State Board of Education, just four people are left to monitor dozens of districts and $80 million in state and federal funds for English learners. The state made less than half as many compliance visits to districts as it was supposed to this year."

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Pro Flag Football Is Finally Here!
Starring Michael Vick, Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson and others!

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BeachBook

The Best Hot Dog In The World Is Actually From Iceland.

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Go.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Because he typed it for her.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Had enough yet?

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:05 AM | Permalink

June 28, 2017

The [Wednesday] Papers

For completists, there was no column on Monday or Tuesday.

I may not have a proper column until after the 4th of July weekend, we'll see.

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The BeachFest 2017 Playlist
It's still rock 'n' roll to me.

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The Great Lakes' Destructive Waves
Pitch: Twister but for tsunamis.

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The Fresh Air Fund's Complicated Racial Record
Including the harrowing story of Chicagoan Janice Batts.

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Todd Frazier Should Lead Off. Seriously
In The White Sox Report.

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FCC To Screw Rural Areas
"[Continuing] the ongoing policy shift from a focus on connections to the local community toward benefiting broadcasters' business operations and profit margins.

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South Side Teens At International Film Festival
"The main subjects and filmmakers are teen girls who have witnessed violence in their neighborhoods, backyards and even living rooms, but refuse to be defined by it."

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Textbooks In The Digital World
"[T]he proliferation of technology tools and resources has transformed the learning landscape. The shift from print to digital has given students and teachers access to content that exceeds the quantity and quality of a traditional textbook. With these advances come more engaging and exciting ways for students (and teachers) to learn."

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World Cup Concussion Fail
"[R]esearchers only saw medical professionals examine players for concussions in . . . just 15 percent of the head collisions seen on the field."

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Why Bruce Bartlett Is Not A Democrat
"I am part of the reason why Democrats have not been successful in the Trump era."

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The Queen's Speech
First Jonathan Pie delivers the journalism, then he does the news.

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Psychopath CEOs Destroy Value
And presidencies.

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BeachBook
A sampling.

Well, Time To Go Out In Front Of A Bunch Of People And Lie To Them.

*

Zillow Threatens To Sue Blogger For Using Its Photos For Parody Site.

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Garfield Wasn't Meant To Be Funny.

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Journalism, Because It's True.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

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Really bad people are running the country right now.

*

*

*

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Rapturous.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:50 AM | Permalink

BeachFest 2017! The Playlist

1. Ain't Talkin' Bout Love/Van Halen

2. Flying High Again/Ozzy Osbourne

3. Melissa/The Allman Brothers

4. Dreams/Letters To Cleo

5. Shoot To Kill/1994

6. Gator Country/Molly Hatchet

7. Idea/Sixteen Deluxe

8. AM DJ/Anne Kadrovich

9. How Long/Ace

10. Cheers (Where Everybody Knows Your Name)/G. Portnoy, and J. Hart Angelo

11. Long Division/Slow Runner

12. My Kinda Lover/Billy Squier

13. Uptown Top Ranking/Althea and Donna

14. Come Monday/Jimmy Buffett

15. Cereal Song/Bicycle Thief

16. She's Got A New Spell /Billy Bragg

17. I Guess I Planted/Billy Bragg & Wilco

18. Last of Me/The Billy's

19. Why Drunky?/The Blacks

20. Everything Is Broken/Bob Dylan

21. Lido Shuffle/Boz Scaggs

22. Growin' Up/Bruce Springsteen

23. Cha Cha Twist/The Detroit Cobras

24. Pedestrian At Best/Courtney Barnett

25. Kid/The Pretenders

26. No Surrender/Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (Live, 2016/01/19 Chicago)

27. Kung Fu Fighting/Carl Douglas

28. Ride Like The Wind/Christopher Cross

29. Shining Star/Earth Wind & Fire

30. If I Can't Have You/Eve's Plum

31. Weenie & The Butt/Family Guy

32. O-O-H Child/The Five Stairsteps

33. Last I Heard/Flesh Panthers

34. Drunk Friend/Freakwater

35. Friends In Low Places/Garth Brooks

36. My Maria/Gear Daddies

37. Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)/George Harrison

38. Glad & Sorry/Golden Smog

39. Just Keep Livin'/Dazed and Confused

40. Radio King/Golden Smog

41. Gimme/Jill Scott

42. This Beat Goes On-Switchin' to Glide/The Kings

43. The Future/Leonard Cohen

44. Straight To Hell/Lily Allen

45. Driving on 9/The Breeders

46. Pair-a-Buns/Mac Sabbath

47. Best Friend's Girl/Martin Zellar

48. Waterbed/Mary Ellen Mason

49. Unwritten/Natasha Bedingfield

50. Pop Is Dead/Radiohead

51. Are You Ready For The Country?/Neil Young

52. Starry Eyed Surprise/Paul Oakenfold feat. Shifty Binzer

53. How Deep Is Your Love/John Frusciante

54. Monkey Gone To Heaven/Pixies

55. Don't Believe The Hype/Public Enemy

56. Go All The Way/The Raspberries

57. I Love L.A./Randy Newman

58. Randy Newman/Family Guy

59. Chicago Teacher/Rebel Diaz

60. Left Of The Dial/The Replacements

61. TV Reporter/Rob Minkoff

62. I Got You (At The End Of The Century)/Wilco

63. Seven Year Ache/Rosanne Cash

64. Young James/Yoko and the Oh No's

65. To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High)/Ryan Adams

66. Negative Scanner at Milwaukee Ave Arts

67. Lake Shore Drive/Aliotta, Haynes & Jeremiah

68. Dance Song '97/Sleater-Kinney

69. The Breakfast Club/Family Guy, American Dad, Futurama

70. Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover/Sophie B. Hawkins

71. Steal My Sunshine/Len

72. Summer Of Drugs/Soul Asylum

73. Hold On, I'm Coming/The Soul Children

74. Ain't Never Been Nuthin' For Me In This World (Live)/Thelonius Monster

75. King Tut/Steve Martin

76. Color Me Impressed/The Replacements

77. Don't Stop Me Now/Queen

78. Slack Motherfucker/Superchunk

79. Way Out West/Teddy Morgan

80. Lil Bitch/Katie Got Bandz

81. WKRP in Cincinnati (Opening)

82. You Don't Know What Lonesome Is/The Sundowners

83. Barney Miller

84. Call Your Guy/Oozing Wound

85. Lee Elia Goes All the Way/Tom Latourette

86. Crystal Blue Persuasion/Tommy James & The Shondells

87. Best Friend/White Mystery

88. The Love Boat

89. Heavy Metal Drummer/Wilco

90. Girlfriend In A Coma/The Smiths

91. Welcome Back, Kotter

92. A Town Called Malice/The Jam

93. Goody Two Shoes/Adam Ant

94. The Night Chicago Died/Paper Lace

95. Wishing Well/Terence Trent D'Arby

96. Gimme That Nutt/Eazy E

97. Everybody Wants To Rule The World/Tears for Fears

98. Where Is The Love?/The Black-Eyed Peas

99. Straight to Hell-Paper Planes/The Clash-MIA

100. Baby's on Fire/Die Antwoord (Nadiasvati Remix)

101. It's a Long Way to the Top If You Wanna Rock 'N' Roll/ACDC

102. Empire State of Mind/Jay Z feat. Alicia Keys

103. Run The Jewels/Run The Jewels

104. That's Not My Name/The Ting Tings

105. Fox On The Run/Sweet

106. Chicago/Lucy Wainwright Roche

107. The Load Out-Stay/Jackson Browne

108. WKRP in Cincinnati (Closing)

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:47 AM | Permalink

Bruce Bartlett: Why I'm Not A Democrat

Note: Economist Bruce Bartlett is a man of fierce intellectual independence - and courage, too. Telling the truth about Republican economic policies during the George W. Bush presidency got him fired as a senior fellow at a conservative think tank and brought to an end his long career as an esteemed GOP "insider."

On the right he could boast a gold-standard resume as an architect of supply-side economics and "trickle-down" taxes with Rep. Jack Kemp (R-NY); a central figure in the "Reagan Revolution" as a White House aide; a director of the Joint Economic Committee; and a senior Treasury Department official in the days of George H.W. Bush.

But then he rocked Republican elites and movement conservatives alike with a book that went, in their eyes, beyond truancy to treason: Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy.

He next revised his own earlier ideas with some second opinions in The New American Economy: The Failure of Reaganomics and a New Way Forward.

Cast now into outer darkness beyond the Beltway, Bartlett became become a prolific writer and commentator.

He produced a third book on The Benefit and the Burden: Tax Reform - Why We Need It and What It Will Take. His fourth will appear in October: The Truth Matters: A Citizen's Guide to Separating Facts from Lies and Stopping Fake News in Its Tracks.

Just last weekend, Bartlett rattled the cages again with an essay in Politico under the headline, "Trump Is What Happens When a Political Party Abandons Ideas." In his latest contribution to BillMoyers.com, he takes on the Democrats.

- Bill Moyers


How I Became a Man Without a Party

By Bruce Bartlett

I am part of the reason why Democrats have not been successful in the Trump era. I am someone who should be a Democrat, but I'm not. Let me explain.

I was a Republican most of my life - I even worked in the White House for Ronald Reagan. I was very comfortable with the Reagan-era GOP. It was conservative, but not obsessively so, and not at the expense of proper governance. Republicans today easily forget all the "liberal" things Reagan did, such as raising taxes 11 times, giving amnesty to illegal aliens, pulling U.S, troops out of Lebanon, negotiating nuclear disarmament and many other heresies to conservative dogma.

At first, I cheered the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994 and even contemplated going back to work on Capitol Hill. I remember being invited to many meetings with Newt Gingrich and other Republican leaders to help them shape their agenda.

But soon, I was disturbed by things I saw the new majority doing in Congress. One of the first was slashing some 3,000 staff slots from the congressional committees. I thought this was very unwise because committee staff were the primary source of policy expertise. "Without staff to do the work, how were Republicans going to implement their agenda competently?" I thought.

It turned out that Gingrich was only interested in centralizing all policy on every issue in his own office. I soon found myself dealing with young staffers in the Speaker's office with no experience or expertise on the issues they were working on. Their only job was to get the Contract With America enacted; they weren't interested in fixing it or improving it or coming up with new ideas. They had all the policy ideas they needed, thank you.

I was further dismayed when Republicans became obsessed with bringing down Bill Clinton pretty much to the exclusion of everything else. With budget surpluses building up there were plenty of opportunities for Republicans and Democrats to work together on issues such as tax reform and entitlement reform that were simply lost to political rancor.

The incompetence of the George W. Bush administration finally drove me over the edge. The final straw for me was enactment of the budget-busting Medicare Part D program. As a conservative, I thought we needed to be reigning in such open-ended spending programs, not creating new ones.

In 2005, I wrote a book attacking Bush from the right called Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy. No Republican today would disagree with a word that I wrote, but, at the time, criticizing a Republican president was grounds for defenestration. I was fired from my job at a conservative think tank and banished from polite Republican company.

For a few years, I still considered myself to be a Republican, hoping that some degree of sanity would be restored. But it only got much worse. The election of Barack Obama seemed to drive even moderate Republicans over the edge into hysterical hatred and opposition, egged on by the so-called Tea Party, which consisted entirely of people who knew absolutely nothing about government or policy except that they were mad as hell.

This dictatorship of the idiocracy drove me out of the GOP. I began referring to myself as an independent.

Once freed from needing to feign party loyalty, I found myself receptive to ideas I had once rejected out of hand. I wrote a book that was skeptical of supply-side economics - the Republican theory that tax cuts are the cure for every economic problem. I wrote columns sympathetic to the welfare state and other heresies. I lost the last few Republican friends I had.

The simplest way to explain my intellectual and political evolution is that I had previously seen the Republican glass as half full, now I saw it as half empty. (These days, it is completely empty.)

The Trump phenomenon is the culmination of everything I hated about the Bush-Gingrich era Republican Party that drove me out, especially the anti-intellectualism. The sum total of Trump's agenda appears to begin and end with reversing whatever Obama did; I see no sign of a positive agenda even from a conservative point of view. The Republican Party appears to exist for the sole purpose of acquiring power in order to shower rewards on those who support the party, especially those who support it financially.

I've grown to hate my former party. You'd think this would make me a prime candidate for recruitment by the Democrats. But I'm not. First, no Democrat has ever reached out to me. I am not insulted by this, only surprised.

And my efforts to suggest ideas to Democrats have been uniformly rebuffed. Like the Republicans, Democrats are wary of apostates and are only receptive to those born into their church, it seems.

Of much more importance in terms of my reluctance to join the Democratic Party is that the party doesn't really seem to stand for anything other than opposition to the GOP.

Admittedly, just about everything the Republicans are doing deserves to be opposed. But the Democrats also need a positive agenda of their own. I remember thinking late in the 2016 campaign that I could not name a single policy proposal Hillary Clinton had put forward. I knew they existed - 10-point plans to fix various problems that were probably well-thought through, but all of the points were small bore and impossible to summarize easily. You had to go to her website and dig them out because they never appeared in any of her commercials or interviews.

As much as I hate what the conservative movement has become, it rose to power through some strategies that are easily duplicable by progressives. One is putting as much effort into marketing ideas as originating them. Another is coordinating efforts among disparate groups on the right - you support my cause and in return I'll support yours. And all these efforts are continuously repeated throughout the right-wing echo chamber.

It took decades for conservatives to set up the institutional infrastructure that supports and nourishes the GOP today. And fundraising was a big part of it. One thing conservatives learned is to share donors with each other through groups such as the Council for National Policy. I don't know of any similar group on the left.

Progressives always complain about a lack of funds, but clearly there is plenty of money available. Hillary Clinton did not lose because she had less money than Trump; she had considerably more. The congressional race in Georgia's 6th District just attracted tens of millions of dollars for the Democratic candidate. He lost, but not because he was underfunded.

What ultimately won the day for the right was its long-term focus. The left seems to me to be totally focused on the short-term - stopping whatever the Republicans are doing today. They'll worry about building institutions and developing a positive agenda when the crisis is past.

But tomorrow is another crisis and no Republican idea ever stays dead no matter how badly it was defeated; it will arise again like a phoenix the next time an opportunity presents itself. This puts Democrats permanently on defense. But as my old boss Jack Kemp, a former pro football player, always told me, "You don't win games on defense."

Another strength of the right that the left could learn is its self-confidence and aggressiveness. Turn on cable news at any hour and you will hear a right-winger expounding with bravado on some subject they have no clue about. If there is a liberal on for "balance," he or she will waste all their air time futilely trying to explain why what their opponent said was complete nonsense. As a consequence, progressives never get their points across and appear feckless. I often joke that a Democrat is someone who won't take their own side in a debate.

There are many other ways as well that Democrats handicap themselves that make me reluctant to join them. Sure, I'll vote for their candidates - in a choice between crazy and sane, I'll vote sane every time. But joining a party, even if it's only in my own mind, implies a higher level of commitment, one that I am not yet ready to make.

I suppose the easiest way to get me to join is to find a decent leader and at least one tent-pole big issue - like tax cuts were for the Republicans - around which intellectual-types like me can help build a tent that would include us. New publications need to be established where thinkers can throw out ideas, build support, answer critics and all the other things the right-wing echo chamber does so well for the GOP. A few million dollars a year would go a long way. But no one on the left with money seems to want to do anything except make contributions to Democratic candidates that go into worthless TV ads that only make Democratic consultants rich.

Anyway, for the time being, I will remain an independent who is waiting for a tough, muscular Democrat with the courage of their convictions and no fear of Republicans to arise, as French President Emmanuel Macron did. He showed that being a moderate does not mean being weak, and that fear of the right is the right's greatest strength, but one that is easily punctured. If I were a Democrat I would study Bobby Kennedy's race in 1968, the Bill Clinton of 1992, Sen. Pat Moynihan and other Democrats who could project strength and leadership and had new ideas to back them up. When one such Democrat emerges, I will be ready to join.

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Steve Rhodes:

I can appreciate the perspective on Ronald Reagan from where we sit today, but to argue in hindsight that Reagan wasn't a rock-ribbed conservative is a bit of political amnesia. Sure he raised taxes - after squeezing the nation by purposefully putting it through a recession while ramping up defense spending, causing a huge deficit. And pulling troops out of Lebanon? Only after 220 Marines who shouldn't have been there were killed when their barracks in Beirut was bombed. I mean, we could go all day with this. (Governance? How about Iran-Contra? C'mon!) Finally, what Bartlett describes is desiring a conservative Democrat - or more like, a Rockefeller Republican of the sort that is essentially non-existent, unless you look at the likes of . . . Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. So an interesting journey for Bartlett, and an interesting piece, but some blind spots.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:50 AM | Permalink

Few Players Screened For Concussions In Last World Cup

After more than four out of every five head collisions during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, soccer players didn't get recommended concussion checks on the sidelines, an analysis of game videos suggests.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study of its kind at this level of play," said lead author Dr. Michael Cusimano, a neurosurgeon at St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto.

Guidelines adopted by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) require players showing any potential signs of concussion after a head collision to be immediately withdrawn from play and assessed by sideline healthcare personnel, researchers note in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

But when they examined video footage of all 64 matches in the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, researchers only saw medical professionals examine players for concussions in 12 instances accounting for just 15 percent of the head collisions seen on the field.

"Patients suspected of concussion need to be properly assessed by medical professionals prior to being potentially exposed to repeated injury in rapid succession," Cusimano said by e-mail. "In some instances these repeated injuries can lead to fatal or lifelong disabling consequences."

Researchers focused on players who had at least two observable signs of concussion such as athletes clutching their heads, being slow to get up, disoriented, displaying obvious disequilibrium, unconsciousness or seizure-like movements.

A total of 61 athletes had 81 head collisions in 72 separate events, the study found.

Among the minority of athletes examined by healthcare professionals, 11 were cleared to return to play and three were removed from the match or tournament, the study found.

Exams done by health providers averaged just 107 seconds, though assessments ranged from 64 seconds to 180 seconds.

Of the 81 collisions researchers observed in the game video, 14 players showed one or no signs of concussion, 45 had two signs and 22 had three or more signs.

Out of the 67 cases when players showed at least two signs of potential concussion, 11 received no assessment and returned to play immediately, while 27 got checked out by another player or referee and then went back to the game.

For the 22 players with three or more concussion signs, 19 returned to play during the same game after an average exam time of 84 seconds.

Limitations of the study include the potential that exams were not recorded by game video that followed action on the field rather than activity on the sidelines, the authors note. Not all collisions involve injuries, and athletes may feign injury to draw a foul or downplay injury to remain in the game.

It's also possible that video footage didn't show every collision, and may have underestimated how many occurred, said Tamara Valovich McLeod, co-author of the National Athletic Trainers' Association position statement on management of sport concussion and director of athletic training programs at A.T. Still University's Arizona School of Health Sciences in Mesa.

Even so, too few players got checked out and none were examined long enough, McLeod told Reuters by e-mail. A thorough concussion assessment takes about 10 minutes, she said.

FIFA guidelines now dictate that play halt for three minutes to allow an on-pitch concussion assessment, noted Anthony Kontos, research director of the University of Pittsburgh's Sports Medicine Concussion Program.

"There has been an increased focus on concussions in soccer at all levels," Kontos, who wasn't involved in the study, said by e-mail. "However, there are lingering issues regarding substitutions rules and lack of time stoppages in soccer to allow for evaluation of players without disrupting the game and potentially disadvantaging a team who has to play short while a player is evaluated.

The trouble is youth soccer leagues may take their cues on concussions from the World Cup, said Dr. Sara Chrisman of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center in Seattle.

"Most competitive youth sport athletes follow professional teams and look to them to set the norms as to how to handle injury," Chrisman, who wasn't involved in the study, said by e-mail. "If a professional sporting organization does not take concussion seriously, it sends a message that youth athletes should also not take concussion seriously."

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

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

* The College Football Report: Dementia Pugilistica.

* Blackhawks Playing Head Games.

* Jay Cutler Should Consider Retiring.

* Dislike: Friday Night Tykes.

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

* Chicago Soccer Player Patrick Grange Had CTE.

* Sony Softened Concussion To Placate NFL.

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

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

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

* More Bad Concussion News For Young Football Players.

* NFL Tried To Fix Concussion Study.

* The Week In Concussions: Another Enforcer Down.

* Teen Concussion Rate Rising Significantly.

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

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

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

* Youth Football Finally Listening To Coach Coffman.

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

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

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

* More Teen Knowledge About Concussion May Not Increase Reporting.

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:48 AM | Permalink

A Pair Of Decades-Old Policies May Change The Way Rural America Gets Local News

While Americans were distracted by the very important public debates around an open internet and the proliferation of fake news online, the Federal Communications Commission quietly proposed reshaping a key way rural Americans stay informed - their local television news.

Two decades-old rules - called by policymakers the "main studio rule" and the "UHF discount" - come from different eras of broadcasting, one when the only electronic media was radio and the other from the days before the dominance of cable television.

They also come from a different era of government, when policymakers promoted the principle of localism - the belief that local broadcasters should serve their communities.

WCIA_television_tower_Seymour_Illinois.jpgThe WCIA tower in Seymour, Illinois/Dual Freq, CC BY-SA

In my new book, from the University of Illinois Press, Media Localism: The Policies of Place, on local media policy in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, I note a withdrawal from localism in media policy and the chipping away at this bedrock principle of American democracy. The recent FCC moves join this trend, to the detriment of local voices, local people and local stories.

Connecting With The Community

In 1939, radio was dominant and television just an experiment. The power of electronic media was already becoming clear. As a result, the FCC required all radio stations to have their main offices and broadcast studios located in the community they served. This became called the "main studio rule."

The FCC believed this rule would encourage radio stations to be responsive to their communities, in several ways. First, stations would likely employ people who lived in their coverage areas. Those people would be aware of issues facing the community and use the studio facilities to create and broadcast relevant programming.

In addition, listeners would not have to travel long distances to give input and feedback to station management. At those offices, stations had to maintain equipment for producing and airing local programming, keep records of what had been broadcast, and have both management and staff regularly on hand.

These requirements were based on the belief - central to telecommunications policy even today - that the airwaves are a public resource, managed by the government for the benefit of the public at-large. In exchange for being allowed the exclusive use of specific frequencies, broadcasters had a duty to serve their communities.

Loosening The Reins

By 1987, it was clear that people didn't often visit stations, but rather called or sent letters. As a result, the FCC allowed stations to locate their studios anywhere the station's signal could be clearly received.

At the same time, the FCC also removed the rule requiring stations to produce local programming - though they remained able to do so, because they were still required to maintain production and transmission equipment in their studios. In 1998, the FCC let stations move even farther away from their audiences.

Last April, the FCC proposed doing away with the rule altogether. In its proposal, the FCC noted telephones, e-mail and social media mean listeners don't need to be physically nearby to communicate with station management.

As a result, the FCC said, it was unnecessarily burdensome to force broadcasting companies to maintain local studios even somewhat near the communities they serve. This continues the ongoing policy shift from a focus on connections to the local community and toward benefiting broadcasters' business operations and profit margins.

That can cause problems, and not just because small communities that used to have local newsrooms may become afterthoughts for reporters and editors in centralized regional hubs. A deadly example happened in January 2002: One person died and a thousand were injured when a freight train derailed, releasing clouds of poisonous gas over Minot, the fourth-largest city in North Dakota. The residents weren't warned of the danger for hours. Local authorities had technical problems with an automated emergency alert system, and there was no one at the designated radio station to simply cut into the broadcast on a studio microphone and tell listeners what was happening.

Allowing Even Larger Media Mergers

The second decades-old rule the FCC wants to repeal would complicate matters further by allowing media companies to own even more TV stations across the country.

Media consolidation is already a major problem today, with critics claiming it leads to a lack of diversity in programming, in journalism and in employment. When it comes to local television, Pew Research recently reported that the five largest television ownership groups - Sinclair, Nexstar, Gray, Tegna and Tribune - own 37 percent of all full-power TV stations in the country.

Increasingly, a these owners are also editorializing on their local stations: The New York Times recently reported that Sinclair was forcing its stations to air conservative-leaning news segments, for instance.

This situation does not prioritize giving local viewpoints to the 46 percent of Americans who get their news from local TV, especially in the morning. And the problem of uniform perspectives from far away may get worse.

Defending Diversity

To fight consolidation in the hopes it would encourage diversity of ownership and therefore of viewpoints being broadcast, the FCC limited the number of people any one broadcaster can reach. Companies cannot own so many stations that, when combined, their total potential audience reaches more than 39 percent of viewers nationwide.

But the policy is not as straightforward as it might seem. When calculating how many viewers a station reaches, the FCC takes into account the physical properties of different parts of the broadcast spectrum. Some stations broadcast on VHF (very high frequency) channels (numbers 2 to 13 on TV controls), while others are UHF (ultra high frequency) stations, using channels 14 to 69. UHF channels don't travel as far as VHF ones, so the FCC assumes that, when compared with VHF signals serving the same area, UHF stations reach fewer people. This became called the "UHF discount."

In the days when over-the-air broadcasting was how most Americans got their TV, that meant a company could own more stations, even in the largest markets, so long as they were UHF broadcasters. It would take more UHF stations to serve enough viewers to hit the 39 percent audience threshold.

Changing The Rules

In 2016, President Obama's FCC eliminated the UHF discount, noting that digital broadcasting over the airwaves reduced the technical difference between VHF and UHF. (In fact, the UHF band is actually better for digital television.)

Four companies that owned many UHF stations found their viewership calculations changed significantly, exceeding 39 percent of the population. These four, ION, Univision, Tribune and Trinity, were allowed to keep their stations.

In April, led by Ajit Pai, a Republican member of the FCC under Obama who was elevated by Trump to chair the agency, the FCC restored the UHF discount. The move was intended to be the first part of a full review of the 39 percent audience cap. A federal lawsuit aimed to stop the rule change just recently failed.

The timing of this rule change is important. On May 8, Sinclair, the nation's largest owner of local television stations, announced that it planned to buy Tribune Media, the country's fourth-biggest local TV company. The $3.9 billion deal would add Tribune's 42 stations to Sinclair's existing 173.

More important, from the perspective of ensuring diverse media ownership, is the question of how many viewers Sinclair would be able to reach. Without the UHF discount, Sinclair was already approaching the 39 percent threshold, reaching 37.7 percent of American TV viewers, giving the company no room to expand.

But with the UHF discount back in place, the company's reach would be just 23.8 percent of U.S. households. Adding Tribune would bring it up to over 42 percent. That would force Sinclair to sell a few stations to get back under the cap - but the deal would still be a significant merger. It would be so big, in fact, that if the UHF discount didn't exist, the merged Sinclair-Tribune would be considered to reach more than 70 percent of American households.

Alas, Local Interests

These two changes - eliminating rules about where stations' main studios were located and restoring the UHF discount - strip away most of the remaining regulations protecting local influence over local news broadcasting. Companies like Sinclair can get even bigger, and can centralize the production of what should be local news broadcasts in faraway places.

Viewers in the major markets, like New York, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles, will always be able to find locally produced news reports on nearly any channel or platform. But rural residents served by Sinclair - like Lewiston, Idaho; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Steubenville, Ohio - would have a harder time finding their own communities represented in broadcast news.

Americans are clamoring for better journalism. The FCC should be protecting local TV news in small communities, not threatening this information lifeline for rural-dwelling Americans.

Christopher Ali is an assistant professor in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Virginia. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Previously in Trump's FCC:
* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Make The Air Fair.

* Trump's FCC Chair Continues To Shaft The Public, Offer Major Handouts To Big Media.

* Trump-Friendly Sinclair's Takeover Of Tribune TV Stations Brought To You By Trump's FCC Chairman.

* 'Maybe The Worst FCC I've Ever Seen.'

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:35 AM | Permalink

South Side Teens Set To Showcase Talents At International Film Festival

Four teens from Chicago's South Side are using their creativity, and an opportunity created by a unique Chicago partnership, to flip the narrative on violence and instead shine the spotlight on the lives behind the headlines this Friday.

Through the creation of a documentary film called Rise Up, four young filmmakers aim to help others feel the humanity of their intimate experience with violence.

As part of the six-week Documentary Filmmaking Program for Girls run by DePaul University's School of Cinematic Arts and sponsored by the Chicago Housing Authority, last summer Rise Up was created in response to violent episodes that some of the city's young people experience. The main subjects and filmmakers are teen girls who have witnessed violence in their neighborhoods, backyards and even living rooms, but refuse to be defined by it.

The teens have been submitting their completed documentaries into film festivals, and this week on June 30, four of the young filmmakers will screen Rise Up at the Windy City International Film Festival.

7 p.m.: B-roll of Meet and Great with filmmakers

7:30 p.m.: Documentary film screening begins

Mercury Theater
3745 North Southport Avenue

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Rise Up (Chicago, IL, 11 mins, Directors John Psathas & Shawntel Smitherman)

Showing with CHICAGO SHORTS VOL. 1, Friday June 30 @ 7:30 p.m.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:07 AM | Permalink

Textbooks In The Digital World

For decades, textbooks were seen as the foundation for instruction in American schools. These discipline-specific tomes were a fundamental part of the educational infrastructure, assigned to students for each subject and carried in heavy backpacks every day - from home to school and back again.

The experience of students is much different today.

As a scholar of learning technologies and a director for outreach and engagement at Ohio State's College of Education and Human Ecology, we've seen how technological advances and an increase in digital curriculum materials have hastened the move away from textbooks.

Does all of this technology spell the end of traditional textbooks? And if so, is that actually a good thing for students and teachers?

Standards And The Decline Of Textbooks

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan's National Commission on Excellence in Education released A Nation at Risk, which put a spotlight on school quality and accountability for student achievement.

By the mid-1990s, the academic standards movement had picked up steam, spurred by "Goals 2000," the Educate America Act of 1994.

In response, states and local communities drafted guidelines to indicate what students should know at each grade level.

With these guidelines, educators and policymakers began to question teachers' reliance on textbooks. Education organizations examined textbooks not only for their accuracy and quality, but for their alignment to academic standards.

Where once student success was marked by the end-of-chapter test for whatever textbook each school happened to use, success was now measured by how well students met standardized grade-level learning objectives.

Different textbooks might produce different levels of knowledge and understanding from students, but the new standards were common across an entire state.

Increased Access To Digital Content

With the rise of the Internet and the proliferation of online content, teachers have found new sources to support student learning.

Recent studies report that student-computer ratios in most U.S. schools have reached 5:1 (five students per computer), with almost all teachers having access to at least one computer in their classroom. One-to-one laptop programs, which provide every student with a computing device, have spread across multiple states.

To support these initiatives, schools have access to a wealth of free and premium content designed specifically for a K-12 curriculum. Most textbook publishing companies have launched digital platforms; in fact, several have transformed their core identities from traditional textbook publishers to learning science companies or digital education companies.

Much of this digitized content has blurred the definition of a "book." Digital lessons can present information through dynamic, interactive features like simulations and videos. Digital textbooks can also provide support features that just aren't possible in a print textbook: students can highlight text, search for content, change the font size or use text-to-speech audio.

Teachers are also looking outside the world of K-12 education to support their lessons. Content freely available on the Internet (including the digital collections of the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress and NASA) have created new opportunities for teaching and learning. Teachers can make classes more dynamic, more accurate and more customizable to meet the personalized learning needs of individual students.

Challenges In The Digital World

But it's not all good news. Schools are also confronting new challenges brought on by digital content.

Textbooks are relatively easy to use. The same is not necessarily true for digital resources, which might require technological expertise - on the part of the teacher or an in-school specialist - to implement well. Moreover, teachers' beliefs about technology integration are still barriers for adopting digital content in classrooms.

There's also a question of cost. Well-equipped schools are eagerly "going digital," often reallocating their textbook budgets to purchase these materials. However, a lot of schools struggle to cover the costs of making the transition.

Similarly, some schools, specifically those in rural communities, find it difficult to access wireless or high-speed internet services needed for digital learning; in 2016, 39 percent of rural areas lacked broadband internet.

How To Choose Digital Content

Infrastructure and technological know-how aren't the only obstacles. Digital education resources also vary in quality, and selecting the right content can be a major challenge for schools.

That means that a teacher's ability to evaluate and select digital content becomes an important requirement for digital learning. Teachers need to be able to find the right resources for their lessons - and make sure they're high quality, aligned to standards and compatible with existing tools. Without these skills, teachers struggle to integrate technology and digital content with their own teaching methods.

Most teachers rarely get the opportunity to learn how to evaluate, select and integrate digital resources into their classrooms. Professional development programs and resources from educational support organizations can help teachers make the transition to digital content.

While these resources exist, not enough teachers are able to take advantage of them. Our research indicated that the majority of teachers rate themselves low when asked to indicate their knowledge and skill in digital content evaluation.

Embracing Digital

So, do we still need textbooks? Yes. But the composition as well as the role of textbooks is changing. They're becoming more digitized, more open, more affordable, more dynamic and interactive, and more frequently updated.

Schools are buying fewer textbooks and are more often using them only as classroom or library reference materials or to teach special topics. Many school districts are shifting funds from their textbook budgets to purchase devices and digital content, but are making changes incrementally and replacing books with digital content based on their 3- to 5-year curriculum adoption schedules.

Meanwhile, the proliferation of technology tools and resources has transformed the learning landscape. The shift from print to digital has given students and teachers access to content that exceeds the quantity and quality of a traditional textbook. With these advances come more engaging and exciting ways for students (and teachers) to learn.

Kui Xie is the Cyphert Distinguished Professor of Learning Technologies and director of The Research Laboratory for Digital Learning at Ohio State University. Nicole Luthy is the Director of Outreach and Engagement in the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement at Ohio State. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:02 AM | Permalink

June 26, 2017

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Pegboy outside of Cobra Lounge for Motoblot on Saturday night.


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2. Theocracy at Reggies on Saturday night.

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3. Poison in Tinley Park on Saturday night.

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4. Def Leppard in Tinley Park on Saturday night.

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5. Acardia at the Wire on Sunday night.

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6. The Gypsy Kings at Ravinia on Friday night.

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7. A+E at Heavy Petting on Saturday night.

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8. No Dreams at Heavy Petting on Saturday night.

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9. Terran Wretch at Heavy Petting on Saturday night.

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10. Wish Fulfillment at Heavy Petting on Saturday night.

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11. M. Levi at Heavy Petting on Saturday night.

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12. MGMT at Mamby on the Beach on Sunday night.

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13. Cut Copy at Mamby on Sunday night.

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14. Flying Lotus at Mamby on Sunday night.

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15. Walk the Moon at Mamby on Sunday night.

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16. Muna at Mamby.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:32 PM | Permalink

Todd Frazier Should Lead Off. Seriously.

This will be mostly about numbers. If you're looking for solace and comfort after the weekend sweep by the A's, whose road record was 9-25 prior to arriving in town, you won't find it here. The warm, fuzzy words about Mark Buehrle, whose number 56 was retired on Saturday, can be appreciated elsewhere.

No, this will be more about the methods employed last Tuesday when the Sox knocked out 16 hits, including eight for extra bases, in a 9-7 loss to the Twins in Minneapolis. Rick Renteria's outfit also collected four walks while Twins' starter Ervin Santana, who entered the game with a 2.56 ERA, contributed an error, giving the Sox 21 baserunners.

Even though Sox pitching wasn't exactly stellar, you'd think that a team that is 10th in batting with a .261 mark could plate more than seven runs while stranding 14 potential tallies.

But this is the ballclub we're stuck with. Hawk Harrelson says a bunch of silly stuff, but, "Don't tell me what you hit, tell me when you hit it," is something worth investigating with this season's edition of Chicago's American League ballclub.

What's interesting and somewhat puzzling is that as a team the Sox are hitting .265 with runners in scoring position. With two outs in those situations, the mark is .250, not overwhelming but, in this era, acceptable. (The Astros are leading the majors in runs scored, and their average for RISP with two outs is .268.)

Individually, the team has some productive clutch hitters. Jose Abreu is hitting .338 with runners in scoring position. With two outs his average is those situations is a stellar .321. Avi Garcia, the league's second-leading batter with a .331 average, is hitting a robust .347 for RISP and .289 with two outs. Melky Cabrera's numbers are .314 and an eye-opening .393 with two outs. Leury Garcia, presently on the disabled list with a sore finger, has posted .308 and .350. Matt Davidson's numbers are .260 and .238, while Yolmer Sanchez is .269 and .227.

If you've been watching this group, you know where this is leading. Right to third baseman/designated hitter Todd Frazier. Since being acquired from Cincinnati prior to last season, Frazier has been cited as one of the team's leaders, a veteran who puts team first and is a positive influence in the clubhouse. And, despite a .225 batting average last season, Frazier had career highs in home runs (40) and RBI (98) a year ago. He also is more than an adequate third baseman.

That's all laudable, but what Frazier lacks - and there is a history - is the ability to hit in the clutch. Frazier was voted to the National League All-Star team in 2014 and again in 2015, when he was the starting third baseman. He also won the Home Run Derby in 2015 on his home field, the Great American Ball Park.

Yet that same season, Frazier hit just .210 with runners in scoring position and .182 in those instances with two outs. The season prior his numbers were .230 and .188. The Sox must have known this.

And he's continued to be about as productive (or less so) since he moved to the South Side. Last season, the two marks were .169 and .132 while so far this year, he's registered .185 and .148.

He's simply a better hitter with no one on base or a single runner on first.

Now consider that in 60 of the 65 games in which Frazier has appeared this season, he's batted either fourth or fifth in Renteria's lineup. He's primarily hit behind guys with the following on-base percentages: Leury Garcia (.345), Abreu (.343), Cabrera (.327), Avi Garcia (.372), and Sanchez (.329).

So why put Frazier in the lineup behind teammates who get on base with regularity when Frazier is a better hitter - 33 points higher at .218 - with no one in scoring position?

No doubt because of his power and reputation, Frazier easily leads the team in drawing walks with 36, 15 more than anyone else. Avi Garcia, who's been around the .330 mark all year, has walked just 12 times. Chew on that one for a while.

With an on-base percentage of .317 (ninth on the team), wouldn't the lineup be more potent with Frazier hitting, say, no higher than seventh?

Without an effective leadoff man on the other side of town, Anthony Rizzo has been leading off. Maybe Frazier could do that. He'd be assured of at least one at-bat with no one on base, which for him would be an advantage.

Of the 52 home runs Frazier has hit in a Sox uniform, 15 have come leading off an inning. C'mon, Ricky, at least try him at leadoff. It's not like you have Rickey Henderson on the ballclub.

Since Frazier is in the final year of a two-year contract, he's only going to be here for a few more months, if that long. Why not experiment in order to make Todd and the team more productive?

Despite a more-than-respectable team batting average, the Sox rank 22nd in runs scored. Renteria does tamper a bit with his lineup, but has been consistent with Frazier in the four- or five-spot all season. A change would be welcome.

The change we thought might be advantageous - playing at home - was a disaster against Oakland over the weekend. The Sox were outscored 18-5. They were shut out 3-0 on Friday for the fifth time this season. James Shields reverted to last season's form on Saturday, giving up six runs and three homers in the first three innings in a lopsided 10-2 loss. The bullpen couldn't hold a lead on Sunday after a strong outing by Derek Holland. The final was 5-3.

And now the Yankees are in town for four games. Despite losing 10 of their last 12 games, Joe Girardi's club is in a virtual tie with the Red Sox for the top spot in the American League East. They boast the only player, Aaron Judge, in the league with a higher batting average than Avi Garcia - .332 to .331 - but Judge leads everyone with 26 homers. At 6-foot-7 and 280 pounds, if there were any way possible to move back the fences for tonight's game, the Sox might consider it.

A far more plausible and possible move would be a revamped batting order.

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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:28 AM | Permalink

Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! The Queen's Speech

First the journalism, then the news.


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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.

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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 9:31 AM | Permalink

The Fresh Air Fund's Complicated Racial Record

New York City's Fresh Air Fund has sent city kids, most of them low-income, to suburban and rural neighborhoods for two-week summer vacations for the past 140 years.

Originally intended to restore malnourished, sickly and white immigrant children to health, the fund expanded its mission in the 1960s to focus on - as director Frederick Lewis put it in 1969 - "bridge-building and unifying" across racial lines.

While studying the history of the Fresh Air Fund and more than 60 similar programs across North America between 1939 and 1979, I found a significant gap between their racial aims and what the kids who took part experienced. My new book, Two Weeks Every Summer, examines the experiences of African-American and Latino children who traveled in those years from cities like New York, Chicago and Philadelphia throughout the Northeast and Midwest and to points as far West as Hawaii to stay with host families.

freshair1.jpgFresh Air host Mark Stucky of Newton, Kansas, shook hands with Thomas Flowers from Gulfport, Mississippi, as Doris Zerger Stucky - Mark's mother - watched in this 1960 photo/Mennonite Library & Archives, Bethel, Kansas

Nearly all these "guests" encountered bigotry or racial naivete. Since many well-intentioned responses to racially charged violence and rhetoric still follow the same assumptions as those of the Fresh Air movement, it's important to spot the model's flaws.

A Long History

Willard Parsons, a Presbyterian minister bent on saving "little tenement prisoners" from the Big Apple's "squalid homes and sun-baked streets," founded the Fresh Air Fund in 1877. His interest in immersing city children in the "pastoral peace" found in nature presaged concerns voiced by Richard Louv and others about urban children's "nature deficit."

Beginning in the 1950s, as the civil rights movement heated up, the kids taking these trips became more diverse, and more than 80 percent were black or Latino by the late 1970s. Fresh Air programs operated in 20 states by that point, sending children from more than 35 cities on vacation. They had served more than 1.5 million children.

freshair2.jpgTwo boys from Harlem pitch in at milking time on a Hinesburg, Vermont farm/New York Public Library, Schomburg Collection

Many hosts relished these intimate, home-based exchanges across racial lines. Arnold Nickel, a pastor and host from Moundridge, Kansas, even claimed in 1961 that bringing urban children into his community did more to quell racial tensions than the Freedom Riders - activists who faced violence and intimidation while integrating interstate bus travel in the South. "We work toward creating better relationships and better understandings," he said.

Some guests had such positive experiences that they eagerly returned when invited. Despite dealing with awkward questions about their home life, they enjoyed the chance to travel, swim in backyard pools and try new foods.

file-20170613-30107-5h71zf.jpgThis map identifies more than 1,100 Fresh Air hosting sites active between 1939 and 1979, drawn from archival sources, newspaper accounts and publicity materials/Map designed by Bill Nelson, based on data compiled by Molly Williams, CC BY-ND

Our Interviews

My team interviewed and collected memoirs from nearly 50 former hosts, guests and program administrators who participated in the program in the mid-20th century. Those interviewed represented the major sending communities including New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia and popular hosting sites. Their stories confirmed what we found in thousands of letters and other documents. Nearly all the hosts and administrators we interviewed were white, consistent with the program's demographics back then. Although we interviewed a few white former guests, most - also reflecting the demographics - were African American and Latino, and personally recalled instances of racial tension and overt racism.

Throughout this research, the Fresh Air Fund denied me access to its records, so I relied instead on thousands of regional newspaper reports, oral histories and other archives. Asked to address the Fund's racial history, its director declined, saying, "We have never been about race."

All 15 of the African-American former guests we interviewed remembered their hosts committing some form of racial harassment, expressing prejudice or being naive about bigotry. Most of the former Latino guests had similar experiences, but not the white children - even those with strong ethnic identities.

I frequently give lectures about this research at academic conferences and universities. Interestingly, audience members always tell me that they or people they know who took part in the program as guests in the 1980s or later also encountered overt prejudice and racial naivete.

Coping Mechanisms

Many kids of color taking part in the Fresh Air programs told their friends who later participated what to expect - and how to deal with racial epithets. For example, Thomas Brock, an African-American man who took part in the program while growing up in Virginia in the 1950s, recalled playing ball with the children in his host family as they called him the "N-word."

Not only did Chicagoan Janice Batts have to deal with feeling like she was at a "slave auction" when the white Iowan hosts came to pick up the tag-wearing African-American children in the 1960s and 1970s, her host siblings would ask questions like "Why is your nose so wide? Do you sunburn? Why is your hair curly?"

She experienced severe trauma as well; a host father sexually abused her over the course of two consecutive summers. After a series of sexual abuse lawsuits in the early 1980s, the Fresh Air Fund finally began to vet hosts to screen out potential abusers.

Another concern to many of the people who participated in the program as children in my study - a concern that Fresh Air alums who took part in the program more recently have shared with me - was the assumption that, because they were from the city and nonwhite, they were not "equal" to their rural host families.

For example, Cindy Vanderkodde, a Fresh Air guest from New York hosted by a Michigan family in the 1960s, remembers thinking at the time, "Oh wow, this is family, they love me." But when she moved into the hosting community a dozen years later as a college-educated social worker, things changed. "Once I became an equal . . . there was just no interest there," she told me.

Some Progress?

Fresh Air Fund administrators told me that hosts today rarely disparage the nonwhite children staying in their homes and that more nonwhite hosts take part in the program. Images of white families hosting children of color, however, dominate its website. More importantly, the model remains unchanged: short-term, one-way exchanges billed as rescuing kids of color from the inferior conditions of their urban life.

As psychologist Gordon Allport articulated in what he called a "contact hypothesis" in the 1950s, social scientists have long recognized that short-term contact between disparate groups can actually reinforce stereotypes and prejudices when participants are not on equal terms.

althea.jpgTennis player Althea Gibson shows two New York City children the first tennis racket she used in 1942, in the summer of 1973. Participation in Fresh Air ventures has declined in recent years, partly due to growing numbers of urban-based alternatives/AP Photo, CC BY-NC

In 1971, a black nationalist critic of the program, John Powell, called for a complementary "stale-air" program and suggested that Fresh Air ventures be "terminated" because its racially paternalistic assumptions were a recipe for failure. Most of these programs folded because of this kind of criticism, changes in family dynamics with host mothers increasingly working outside the home, and urban alternatives like free day camps. The Fresh Air Fund is by far the largest and most robust of the few remaining.

Despite their good intentions, I don't believe that one-way, short-term cultural exchanges like the Fresh Air programs can wipe racism off the map - especially given the economic and social gaps between the segregated communities in which we live.

Tobin Miller Shearer is an associate professor of history and the director of the African-American Studies Program at the University of Montana. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:33 AM | Permalink

Researchers Seek Warning System For Destructive Waves On Great Lakes

Contrary to popular belief, Earth's oceans do not have a monopoly on tsunamis.

Lesser known meteotsunamis are equally destructive and move just as fast in the Great Lakes.

greatlakesecho-lakes-lakemichigan-whitefishdunes.jpgAl (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research examined this phenomenon last week at a University of Michigan summit on developing an early warning series for these meteotsunamis. (The collaborative research center was recently formed under a five-year grant from that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.)

The name "meteotsunamis" is short for meteorological tsunami, meaning they are weather-related events. That's different than typical tsunamis more often associated with the ocean and that are giant waves caused by large displacements of water, often because of earthquakes or submarine landslides.

"When there are very intense storms that form suddenly on the lakes, that can create a pressure difference that actually pushes down on water from the surface," said Bradley Cardinale, a University of Michigan professor and director of the institute. "And as it displaces surface water, it can create waves as large as 20 feet."

The summit included 25 experts from the National Weather Service, NOAA, the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, and several universities in states that border the lakes.

"We are happy that we can now identify the causes at this point, but we want to make sure we can forecast it so people can be warned before one comes," said Chin Wu, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor and the summit leader.

Wu found in a published study that more than 100 meteotsunamis happen every year in the Great Lakes. This is much more common than originally believed, and is predicted to climb due to climate change, the study reports. Warm surface water from global warming could create a climate conducive for stronger storms, which would cause more meteotsunamis.

greatlakesecho-lakes-meteotsunamis-historicevents-map.jpg

The most common time for meteotsunamis is in the spring. They are most frequently sighted in the Great Lakes on Lake Michigan.

The potential growth in frequency and intensity in meteotsunami waves are among the reasons why coming up with an early warning system is important.

greatlakesecho-lakes-meteotsunamis-seasonal-chart.jpg

Often mistaken for seiches - a phenomenon where wind causes lake water to slosh back and forth, creating waves - they represent a very real threat to the region, Wu said. Cities, recreational beaches and nuclear power plants that dot the coastline are vulnerable to damage.

A warning system could save lives, property and prevent a nuclear disaster with consequences far greater than in Fukushima, Cardinale said. In the event of nuclear waste entering the Great Lakes, the contaminant would impact a resource used by millions of people and businesses.

The University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute reports that the Great Lakes provides water for 35 million people.

While most have little to no effect on the environment, researchers report several notable meteotsunamis in the Great Lakes:

  • In 1929, a 20-foot wave killed 10 people in Grand Haven, Michigan.
  • A 10-foot wave knocked fishermen off a pier in Chicago in 1954, killing seven.
  • A particularly strong meteotsunami in 2003 capsized a tugboat in the harbor at White Lake, Michigan.
  • In 2003, seven people drowned in Sawyer, Michigan, partly due to a moderate meteotsunami.

  • In 2014, a meteotsunami caused water to overtop the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, disrupting shipping operations for the day.

Experts at the summit hoped to start on an early warning system, and develop cooperation between relevant governmental agencies and researchers that could implement it. Experts from the Great Lakes Observing System monitor buoys and gliders that can be used in early detection.

"We're not going to come out of this meeting with a fully functionable early warning system, but it's going to be a heck of a step forward in discussions in compared to what we have right now which is nothing," Cardinale said.

Note: This article was originally published on June 20 by the Great Lakes Echo, which covers issues related to the environment of the Great Lakes watershed and is produced by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University.

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:25 AM | Permalink

Psychopath CEOs Destroy Value

Some enterprising manager ought to look into a Long Nice CEOs/Short Jerks hedge fund.

A new UK study finds that companies with leaders who show "psychopathic characteristics" destroy shareholder value, tending to have poor future returns on equity.

This, coming just a year after a study finding better operating results at companies with nice leaders, suggests there may be a viable investment strategy in buying the one and betting against the other.

Let's talk about the bad apples first; they are always so much more interesting.

Psychopathy is a disorder characterized by antisocial actions, excessive risk-taking, egotism and a lack of empathy and remorse. Sound like any successful CEOs you know?

The UK study doesn't seek to identify psychopaths per se, but, examining senior management and company characteristics as a whole, uses a series of markers which the authors believe are highly correlated with there being psychopaths in control.

"For four out of the five proxies (for psychopathy) considered the relationship with returns [as] statistically significant. Such results imply that managerial psychopathic behavior is an ominous sign of shareholder wealth destruction," Tomasz Wisniewski of the University of Leicester, and Liafisu Yekini and Ayman Omar of Coventry University write.

The study measures the extent to which company annual reports use words which are aggressive, use self-absorbed language or show a tendency to blame others, all traits they theorize reveal psychopathic tendencies. As psychopaths break rules, they also measure how often companies are caught out in accounting troubles. As they are thrill seekers, the study looks at a measure of idiosyncratic company risk, and as psychopaths lack empathy, the study looks at corporate charitable donations.

The upshot is though psychopaths may have some advantage in climbing the corporate ladder, once at the top they do shareholders no favors. Having psychopaths in the executive suite now points to poor returns in a year's time, according to the study.

Psychopathic behavior in the executive suite may not be a small or isolated problem. A 2011 study of Australian white-collar managers found that 5.76 percent could be classed psychopathic and another 10.42 percent dysfunctional with psychopathic characteristics.

"Overall, the reading of the literature reveals that the concentration of psychopaths tends to be particularly high in prisons and boardrooms," the authors write.

NICE PEOPLE DO FINISH FIRST

All of this accords well with the study last year from academics at Harvard, the University of Chicago and Stanford, which found that CEOs who score well for "agreeableness" are associated with companies which show better operating results.

Nice people, it seems, have a hard time getting ahead but do good work for those who employ them when they do.

That study looked at the language executives used in conference calls with analysts, which being unscripted are perhaps more revealing, and then mapped them to the five major personality traits of agreeableness, neuroticism, conscientiousness, extraversion and openness.

In terms of who gets to be a CEO it is not surprising that the group showed low levels of neuroticism, which is associated with emotional instability, anxiety and hostility.

While the mean scores for the other four traits were all more than three times higher than for neuroticism, it is striking that agreeableness was the fourth highest, with conscientiousness the highest. In other words, among personality trait holders only fretful neurotics are less likely to find themselves in the C-suite than nice people.

"There is a robust negative association between extraversion and return on assets and cash flow. Similarly, openness is negatively associated with profitability," Ian Gow of Harvard University, Steven Kaplan and Anastasia Zakolyukina of the University of Chicago and David Larcker of Stanford University write.

As for agreeable CEOs, they tend to spend less on R&D but have far and away the strongest positive correlation to return on assets, both in current and future terms. Earlier research has posited that agreeable CEOs do well by encouraging cooperation and less hierarchical structures and cultures. While that might make a company less "results-orientated" it also might make it better able to make good medium- and long-term investment decisions.

Less agreeable CEOs are more likely to be found at firms which are innovative and take on more risk via the use of borrowed money. In part, we may be seeing an illustration of the truism that a small growing company needs a different kind of leader than an established one.

A remorseless psychopath is no one's idea of a good leader, while having nice people in charge is not simply a matter of preference.

Investors, and companies, should work harder to weed out the one and promote the other.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:10 AM | Permalink

June 24, 2017

The Weekend Desk Report

A great big thanks to everyone who came out Friday night for BeachFest!, especially The Blue Ribbon Glee Club, who perform the first Monday of every month at Cafe Mustache, as well as making other appearances around town. Go see them!

For the record, the glee club sang "Teenage Kicks," "Bastards of Young," and "Waiting Room." Then the rest of us joined in - gleefully - and sang "Cruel to Be Kind" right back at 'em. It was awesome.

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I'll post the party playlist in the coming days, with commentary.

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I'd also like to thank Adam West for coming back from the dead to be with us Friday night. Here he is with the glee club's Dacey Arashiba.

daceywest.jpg

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For completists, there was no column on Friday.

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Beachwood Photo Booth: Shelf Life
A grocery story in two parts.

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Beachwood Sports Radio: Bears Hold Bulls' Beer
Trade for Trubisky suddenly not the worst by a Chicago team this year. Plus: 2017 Cubs Get Even Weirder; Are The White Sox The Next Cubs?; and Schweinsteiger!

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Weekend BeachBook
A sampling.

The Tribune Editorial Board: Arrogant Ignorance.

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Trump Cuts Funding To Chicago-Based Group That Combats White Extremism.

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Profits Are Booming At Health Insurance Companies.

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Weekend TweetWood
A sampling.

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They should also put huge spinning beach balls in the river.

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The Weekend Desk Tronc Line: Vomit-free.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:21 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #158: Bulls To Bears: Hold My Beer

Trade for Trubisky suddenly not the worst by a Chicago team this year. Plus: 2017 Cubs Get Even Weirder; Are The White Sox The Next Cubs?; and Schweinsteiger!


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SHOW NOTES

* Disco Danny Ford.

* Vanity Fair Q&A with Daniel Okrent.

* Daniel Raymond O'Shea.

12:10: The Butler Boondoggle.

* Take du jour:

- "[T]hey were never going to win a title with Jimmy Butler as their best player . . . " (Bernstein)

- "[T]he Bulls had gone as far as they were going to go with Butler as their best player . . . " (Haugh)

Rhodes: Such a lazy take. If you put the right pieces around Butler, the Bulls certainly could have won - or the Bulls could have made Butler the second-best player on the team by drafting, trading for or signing an eve better player! So nonsensical.

* From Butler's trainer, since deleted:

* Coffman via e-mail: "I have just one thing to say about the Butler trade: In its aftermath, I feel so much better about the Trubisky trade."

- From the Jimmy Butler vault:

* Blog-a-Bull: Did Bulls Negligence Help Cause Jimmy Butler's Knee Injury? It's The Bulls, So Probably!

* Blog-a-Bull: The Bulls' Own Ignorance Is Killing The Team, One Injury At A Time. The Thibs Era Wasn't Supposed To die For This.

* Cowley: Bulls Front Office Finally Got It Right Picking Butler Over Rose.

37:20: Blackhawks Hold Own Beer!

* The real news happened after the show:

- Dizzying week hits hard for Jonathan Toews, Joel Quenneville.

But what up, Mark Lazerus?

Friday, 11:17 p.m.: Saad is younger. He's more rounded. He's locked up for longer. And he makes the Hawks better."

Saturday, 11:22 a.m.: "[T]hey probably aren't better today than they were last week."

Granted, maybe Lazerus thinks Saad makes the Hawks better but losing Hjalmarsson cancels that out, but it all happened at the same time Friday morning.

* Coffman via e-mail: "This is a classic example of what we always talk about - other teams have TVs too and the Hawks weren't going to get anything for Seabrook and not much for Keith, so they traded their only D-man with real value."

39:02: 2017 Cubs Get Even Weirder.

* Anthony Rizzo leading off, Kyle Schwarber in the minors and Donald Trump as president.

* Don't hold their beer!

54:51: Are The White Sox The Next Cubs?

* Yes, unless you hold their beer!

59:38: Schweinsteiger!

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STOPPAGE: 2:02

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Disco Danny O'Shea at Beachwood HQ in AnySquared Studio.

DanOShea.jpg

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:59 AM | Permalink

June 23, 2017

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Air at the Chicago Auditorium on Tuesday night.


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2. Blake at the Tonic Room on Tuesday night.

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3. Zaius at the Subterreanean on Thursday night.

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4. Otep at Wire in Berwyn on Thursday night.

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5. Sammy Hagar at Ravinia on Monday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:27 PM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Shelf Life

A grocery story in two parts.

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ENLARGE BOTH FOR PROPER VIEWING:

1.

2.

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:18 AM | Permalink

June 22, 2017

The [Thursday] Papers

People! The party playlist is in pre-production. You will not want to miss this.

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I sense at some point I will give my "I Have A Dream" speech. Some folks have heard it. I used to give it a few times a year from behind the Beachwood Inn pool table. It's only 10 seconds long, max. But boy is it beautiful.

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Regular columns will resume next week. Too distracted this week.

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But here's a short summary of what you're missing: The usual suspects are doing their usual cynical, corrupt thing. Also: Idiots are not being held accountable. What more do you need to know?

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Minimum Wage Hikes Work
Seattle is the latest example; it's been studied for decades and the proof is incontrovertible. In other words, a fact!

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When you look at Kansas as the latest example of conservative economics failing, you begin to see the truth emerge - again - about how to grow prosperity.

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On Joe Louis, Race And How Society Treats Its Sports Heroes
Studying sports heroes in their context can offer insights into a nation, culture or society at the time - but the comparison with today's sports stars also reveals surprising continuities between the past and present.

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Gauguin: Artist As Alchemist
"Gauguin became an artist after traveling the world as a merchant marine and working as a stockbroker's assistant. His unconventional artistic path made him uniquely open to exploring a wide range of materials, including wood, wax, and ceramics."

At the Art Institute.

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BeachBook

Philando Castile Verdict A Painful Result Of Laws Rigged To Protect Cops.

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Developers Literally Whitewashed Pilsen's Historic Latino Murals.

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Pentagon Wasted $28 Million On Forest Camo Uniforms For Afghanistan Desert.

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Felt Bodega Runs Out Of Fake Food.

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Sears Canada Going Belly Up.

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Imagining The Museum Of Science & Industry.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

She's a United States senator.

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It's congressional Republicans who are now unrestrained, not - and due to- the president.

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We literally have a pathological liar as president. Incontrovertible.

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We're working 'round the clock to get the answer and we're almost there!

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Supporters: Fake news!

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Fake it, make it.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:54 AM | Permalink

At The Art Institute | Gauguin: Artist As Alchemist

Relentlessly adventurous in his work, Paul Gauguin created distinctive, innovative art across a wide variety of media. Get to know the many sides of this complex artist with the most in-depth examination to date of his radical experiments as a painter, sculptor, ceramist, printmaker and decorator.


June 25-September 10, 2017.

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"Gauguin became an artist after traveling the world as a merchant marine and working as a stockbroker's assistant. His unconventional artistic path made him uniquely open to exploring a wide range of materials, including wood, wax, and ceramics."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:19 AM | Permalink

'The Sky Didn't Fall': Study On Seattle $15 Minimum Wage Proves Critics Wrong

In an analysis bolstering the arguments of those fighting for minimum wage hikes nationwide, a group of University of California-Berkeley economists has found that Seattle's decision to gradually raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour has not hampered job growth, despite the frequent warnings of doom-and-gloom critics.

The study, released on Tuesday, examined the effects of the incremental wage increases in 2015 and 2016. After analyzing Seattle job data prior to the wage hikes - which were signed into law by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in 2015 - and after they began to take effect, researchers found "no evidence of job loss in the city's restaurant industry, even as pay reached $13 for workers in large companies."

Professor Michael Reich, lead author of the analysis, said the Seattle wage hikes are "working as intended, raising pay for low-wage workers, without negatively affecting jobs."

"These findings are consistent with the lion's share of rigorous academic minimum wage research studies," Reich concluded.

minimum_wage_fight_for_15.jpgShannon Kringen/Flickr

The study's results come shortly following the decision of congressional Democrats to support the Raise the Wage Act of 2017, a measure introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) that would raise the minimum wage to $15 nationally over a period of seven years and index it to inflation thereafter.

"We cannot rest," Sanders wrote upon introducing the legislation, "until every worker in America has the right to make at least $15 an hour."

On Tuesday, over 200 organizations joined Sanders and Democratic members of Congress in endorsing the Raise the Wage Act, according to a memo published by the National Employment Law Project.

"At a time when wage stagnation and income inequality pose serious threats to our families and our economy," the memo states, "the Raise the Wage Act of 2017 would begin to reverse that cycle and raise pay broadly across the bottom of the workforce."

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

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See also:

* Sun-Times: As Small Business Owners, We Know: $15 An Hour Entirely Reasonable.

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Plus:

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And:

Some Cities, Villages Opt Out Of Cook County's Minimum Wage Increase.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:02 AM | Permalink

On Joe Louis, Race And How Society Treats Its Sports Heroes

Joe Louis became the second black boxer to win the world heavyweight title when he defeated James Braddock in eight rounds in Chicago on June 22, 1937. That was 80 years ago. Louis held the title for 11 years - the longest of any heavyweight - through an era of crisis and war, and in the face of ingrained racial prejudice.

Like many sporting heroes, Louis not only displayed extraordinary physical prowess, but came to embody the behavior and ethical characteristics seen as desirable by mainstream society. He was also a powerful figure for African Americans to identify with. Studying sports heroes in their context can offer insights into a nation, culture or society at the time - but the comparison with today's sports stars also reveals surprising continuities between the past and present.

file-20170619-22079-1btro9y.JPGA statue of world heavyweight champion Joe Louis stands in his hometown of LaFayette, Alabama/SaveRivers, CC BY-SA

In the 1920s and 1930s, sport became a significant part of popular culture in America and Europe. While in the U.S., sports such as baseball and basketball were segregated by a "color line," boxing was sometimes championed as modern, fair and even democratic. But although mixed-race bouts were common, it was difficult for a black boxer to achieve his true potential - particularly in the heavyweight division.

The world heavyweight title had for decades been viewed as the "ultimate" test of human achievement, which meant that the racial identity of the holder came to matter. Jack Johnson, the first black boxer to hold the title (1908-15), became notorious for his refusal to conform to the sport's prescribed behavioral norms.

For example, he mocked defeated opponents, who were mostly white, and was open about his relationships with white women. Famously, Johnson had triggered a public search for a "Great White Hope" to defeat him. His "scandalous" behavior ensured that for the next two decades no black fighter was given the chance to challenge for the coveted title.

file-20170619-28851-1vdrswn.jpgCarl Van Vechten/Library of Congress

When Joe Louis emerged in Detroit as a hugely promising young boxer, his management team ensured that his public image contrasted clearly with Johnson's. The press was even issued with written guarantees of his sobriety, decency and humility. Although the media still resorted to crude stereotypes in their reporting of Joe "Brown Bomber" Louis, the strategy worked. In 1936, Louis suffered a shock defeat to the German Max Schmeling in a title eliminator bout. Despite this, it was Louis rather than the German who got the chance to challenge Braddock for the title.

After defeating Braddock, African-American newspaper The California Eagle was in no doubt about the significance of the moment. Reporting that "35,000 colored citizens [ . . . ] let out a mighty roar," the paper remarked:

[I]n the twinkling of an eye they realized that the victory, as accomplished by an intelligent, clean living, home loving, young Afro-American . . . would increase a hundred fold the respect for the race in general.

A Powerful Figure For The Powerless

This was not just a moment of sporting triumph but one with racial and social significance. Later, during the civil rights campaigns of the 1960s, Louis, like his friend Jesse Owens, was sometimes criticized as an "Uncle Tom" who had bowed to the prejudices of white America by adopting an emasculated, docile image. Yet such criticism ignores the empowering effect of Louis' status as a black champion who was recognized and adored by millions - and not only by African Americans.

In June 1938, Louis had the chance of a rematch against Schmeling, and his knock-out victory in the first round was often remembered as the "fight of the century." Schmeling was widely viewed as a representative of Nazi Germany, and their fight a duel between Nazi and American ideals, so Louis's victory was greeted with jubilation and relief across America. Legendary boxing commentator Jimmy Cannon wrote that Louis was "a credit to his race . . . the human race."

In fact, his great rival Schmeling was no Nazi - he did what he could to assist victims of persecution, even, according to one account, hiding two Jewish brothers from the violence of Kristallnacht, and was widely respected for his discipline and sporting attitude.

After the war, Schmeling and Louis were regularly reunited in public displays of reconciliation that seemed to reflect post-war international relations in the Cold War era. Schmeling, like Louis, had proven himself willing to conform to expectations, clinging to an unrealistic belief that sport could be separated from politics - something as unlikely then as it is now, as can be seen from the scandals surrounding the politics and finance of organizations like FIFA and the IOC.

Where Lies The Power Today?

The world today seems very different than that of Louis's heyday. Yet there are some noticeable parallels in the way in which we think about and portray our sports heroes.

In April 2017, a huge global television audience watched British heavyweight Anthony Joshua defeat Wladimir Klitschko at a sold out Wembley Stadium to unify three world titles, prompting comparisons between Joshua and previous champions, notably Muhammad Ali. The shots of Joshua towering over Klitschko recalled the iconic image of Ali standing victorious over Sonny Liston in 1965.

Yet rather than Ali the showman, praise for the "gentlemanly," focused and modest Joshua, who overcame adversity to rise to celebrity and success and who is presented as morally exemplary, is far more reminiscent of Louis and indeed Schmeling.

Such praise reinforces a form of unthreatening racial and gender identity to counterbalance the inherent violence of boxing as a sport. Joshua, a gold medalist for Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics, has become closely associated with modern, multicultural Britishness - in stark contrast to his predecessor, Tyson Fury, a British boxer from a family of Irish Travellers. Fury has seemed determined - just as Jack Johnson had been - to reject any attempt to present him as a role model.

Joshua has thus far embraced this image, and it is proving hugely lucrative for him. Yet such idealization can also prove impossible to live up to. Such a sports hero, embodying physical prowess and moral qualities, is as artificial a construct as the mythological heroes with whom they are often compared. As has happened to many of today's sporting heroes, the victims of tabloid "stings," Joe Louis came to suffer from the gulf between the realities of his private life and the public perception of him.

Jon Hughes is a senior Lecturer in German and Cultural Studies at Royal Holloway. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:31 AM | Permalink

June 21, 2017

How U.S. Gun Control Compares To The Rest Of The World

Note: This is an updated version of an article first published on June 24, 2015.

The shooting in Virginia that wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, as well as the shooting in a San Francisco UPS facility that left four dead on the very same day, have generated - yet again - the standard set of responses in the wake of a mass shooting in the United States.

The details of any such tragedy often emerge slowly, but a few points can be made. While deaths from mass shootings are a relatively small part of the overall homicidal violence in America, they are particularly wrenching. The problem is worse in the U.S. than in most other industrialized nations. And it is getting worse.

holster.jpgHandgun in a holster, baby in a stroller at the 2016 NRA convention in Louisville/Mark Humphrey, AP

The political overlay of the Virginia shooting also carries a particular social harm. Any thought that guns can play a helpful role in reducing tyranny in a democratic country like the United States should quickly be dispelled. Hopefully, that message will penetrate everyone from the NRA leadership and Sen. Rand Paul to anyone on the opposite end of the political spectrum who doesn't like the current developments of Republican rule.

I've been researching gun violence - and what can be done to prevent it - in the U.S. for 25 years. The fact is that if the NRA claim that guns helped reduce crime were true, the U.S. would have the lowest homicide rate among industrialized nations instead of the highest one - and by a wide margin.

The U.S. is by far the world leader in the number of guns in civilian hands. The stricter gun laws of other "advanced countries" have restrained homicidal violence, suicides and gun accidents - even when, in some cases, laws were introduced over massive protests from their armed citizens.

The State Of Play

Eighteen states in the U.S. and a number of cities including Chicago, New York and San Francisco have tried to reduce the unlawful use of guns as well as gun accidents by adopting laws to keep guns safely stored when they are not in use. Safe storage is a common form of gun regulation in nations with stricter gun regulations.

The NRA has been battling such laws for years. But that effort was dealt a blow in June 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court - over a strident dissent by Justices Thomas and Scalia - refused to consider the San Francisco law that required guns not in use be stored safely. This was a positive step because hundreds of thousands of guns are stolen every year, and good public policy must try to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and children.

The dissenters were alarmed by the thought that a gun stored in a safe would not be immediately available for use, but they seemed unaware of how unusual it is that a gun is helpful when someone is under attack.

Statistics show only the tiniest fraction of victims of violent crime are able to use a gun in their defense. Over the period from 2007 to 2011, roughly six million nonfatal violent crimes occurred each year. Yet data from the National Crime Victimization Survey show that 99.2 percent of victims in these incidents did not protect themselves with a gun - this in a country with roughly 300 million guns in civilian hands

gunsprotest.jpgActivists outside the NRA's annual meeting in Houston in 2013/Adrees Latif, Reuters

In fact, a classic study of 198 cases of unwanted entry into occupied single-family dwellings in Atlanta found that the invader was twice as likely to obtain the victim's gun than to have the victim use a firearm in self-defense.

The author of the study, Arthur Kellerman, concluded in words that those opposing safe storage of guns should heed:

On average, the gun that represents the greatest threat is the one that is kept loaded and readily available in a bedside drawer.

A loaded, unsecured gun in the home is like an insurance policy that fails to deliver at least 95 percent of the time, but has the constant potential - particularly in the case of handguns which are more easily manipulated by children and more attractive for use in crime - to harm someone in the home or be stolen and harm someone else.

More Guns Won't Stop Gun Violence

For years, the NRA mantra has been that allowing citizens to carry concealed handguns would reduce crime as they fought off or scared off the criminals.

Some early studies even purported to show that so-called right-to-carry (RTC) laws did just that, but a 2004 report from the National Research Council refuted that claim, saying it was not supported by "the scientific evidence," while remaining uncertain about what the true impact of RTC laws was.

Ten years of additional data have allowed researchers to get a better fix on this question, which is important since the NRA is pushing for a Supreme Court decision that would allow RTC as a matter of constitutional law.

The new research on this issue from my team at Stanford University has given the most compelling evidence to date that RTC laws are associated with significant increases in violent crime. Looking at Uniform Crime Reports data from 1979 to 2014, we find that, on average, the 33 states that adopted RTC laws over this period experienced violent crime rates that are roughly 14 percent higher after 10 years than if they had not adopted these laws.

In the meantime, can anything make American politicians listen to the preferences of the 90 percent on the wisdom of adopting universal background checks for gun purchases?

Gun Control Around The World

As an academic exercise, one might speculate whether law could play a constructive role in reducing the number or deadliness of mass shootings.

Most other advanced nations apparently think so, since they make it far harder for someone like your typical American mass killer to get his hands on particularly lethal weapons. Universal background checks are common features of gun regulation in other developed countries, including:

  • Germany: To buy a gun, anyone under the age of 25 has to pass a psychiatric evaluation. Presumably, 21-year-old Charleston shooter Dylann Roof would have failed.
  • Finland: Handgun license applicants are allowed to purchase firearms only if they can prove they are active members of regulated shooting clubs. Before they can get a gun, applicants must pass an aptitude test, submit to a police interview and show they have a proper gun storage unit.
  • Italy: To secure a gun permit, one must establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm and pass a background check considering both criminal and mental health records.
  • France: Firearms applicants must have no criminal record and pass a background check that considers the reason for the gun purchase and evaluates the criminal, mental and health records of the applicant.
  • United Kingdom and Japan: Handguns are illegal for private citizens.

While mass shootings - as well as gun homicides and suicides - are not unknown in these countries, the overall rates are substantially higher in the United States than in these nations.

While NRA supporters frequently challenge me on these statistics, saying that this is only because American blacks are so violent, pointing to the type of wildly incorrect claims about the percentages of whites killed by blacks that Dylann Roof spouted and Donald Trump tweeted, it is important to note that white murder rates in the U.S. are well over twice as high as the murder rates in any of these other countries.

Australia: No Mass Shooting Since 1996

The story of Australia, which had 13 mass shootings in the 18-year period from 1979 to 1996 but none in the succeeding 21 years, is worth examining.

The turning point was the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania, in which a gunman killed 35 individuals using semiautomatic weapons.

In the wake of the massacre, the conservative federal government succeeded in implementing tough new gun control laws throughout the country. A large array of weapons were banned - including the Glock semiautomatic handgun used in the Charleston shootings. The government also imposed a mandatory gun buy-back that substantially reduced gun possession in Australia.

australiaguns.jpgA pile of about 4,500 prohibited firearms in Sydney that have been handed in under the Australian government's buy-back scheme/David Gray, Reuters

The effect was that both gun suicides and homicides fell. In addition, the 1996 legislation disallowed self-defense as a legitimate reason to purchase a firearm.

When I mention this to disbelieving NRA supporters, they insist that crime must now be rampant in Australia. In fact, the Australian murder rate has fallen to one per 100,000 while the U.S. rate, thankfully lower than in the early 1990s, is still roughly 5 per 100,000 - nearly five times as high. Moreover, robberies in Australia occur at only about half the rate of the U.S.: 58 in Australia versus 113.1 per 100,000 in the U.S. in 2012.

How did Australia do it? Politically, it took a brave prime minister to face the rage of Australian gun interests.

Prime Minister John Howard wore a bulletproof vest when he announced the proposed gun restrictions in June 1996. The deputy prime minister was hung in effigy. But Australia did not have a domestic gun industry to oppose the new measures so the will of the people was allowed to emerge. And today, support for the safer, gun-restricted Australia is so strong that going back would not be tolerated by the public.

That Australia hasn't had a mass shooting since 1996 is likely more than merely the result of the considerable reduction in guns - it's certainly not the case that guns have disappeared altogether.

I suspect that the country has also experienced a cultural shift between the shock of the Port Arthur massacre and the removal of guns from everyday life, as they are no longer available for self-defense and they are simply less present throughout the country. Troubled individuals, in other words, are not constantly being reminded that guns are a means to address their alleged grievances to the extent that they were in the past, or continue to be in the U.S.

Lax Gun Control In One Nation Can Create Problems In Another

Of course, strict gun regulations cannot ensure that the danger of mass shootings or killings has been eliminated.

breivik.jpgPeople chat in a pub as a television shows Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik sitting in court as a judge reads his verdict in Oslo in 2012/Stoyan Nenov

Norway has strong gun control and committed humane values. But that didn't prevent Anders Breivik from opening fire on a youth camp on the island of Utoya in 2011. His clean criminal record and hunting license had allowed him to secure semiautomatic rifles, but Norway restricted his ability to get high-capacity clips for them. In his manifesto, Breivik wrote about his attempts to legally buy weapons, stating, "I envy our European-American brothers as the gun laws in Europe sucks ass in comparison."

In fact, in the same manifesto, Breivik wrote that it was from a U.S. supplier that he purchased - and had mailed - 10 30-round ammunition magazines for the rifle he used in his attack.

In other words, even if a particular nation or state chooses to make it harder for some would-be killers to get their weapons, these efforts can be undercut by the jurisdictions that hold out. In the U.S., of course, state gun control measures are often thwarted by the lax attitude to gun acquisition in other states.

John Donohue is the C. Wendell and Edith M. Carlsmith Professor of Law at Stanford. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:19 AM | Permalink

June 20, 2017

The [Tuesday] Papers

It's a busy, busy week. Things will be touch-and-go the rest of the way. Party preparations are underway.

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THIS JUST IN: The world's most dangerous acapella punk rock choir, The Blue Ribbon Glee Club, is now confirmed to perform at BeachFest at 9 p.m.! Plan accordingly!


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Also, please standby for this special message:

partymoontower.png

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Chris Mars' Song For Philando Castile

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U.S.-Led Airstrikes Causing 'Staggering Loss of Life' In Syria
"We have been killing a lot of civilians in and around Raqqa for quite some time now, yet these incidents are rarely admitted by the coalition and there is almost no interest from international media."

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Worst. FCC. Ever.
"This is not populism; this is a plutocracy. Trump has surrounded himself with millionaires and billionaires, plus some ideologues who believe in, basically, no government. And the Trump FCC already has been very successful in dismantling lots of things - not just the net neutrality that they're after now, but privacy, and Lifeline, which is subsidized broadband for those who can't afford it. And just all sorts of things up and down the line. The whole panoply of regulation and public interest oversight - if they could get rid of it all, they would; if they can, they will."

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Meet The Jackie Robinson Of NASCAR
Wendell Scott.

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Ink: Chicago Blue
"A very very deep blue. In fact, super dark blue."

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BeachBook

Chicago Touch Luau Social.

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FTC Social Media Actions.

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Jeff Koons Lays Off Half His Painting Staff.

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Chiquita To Human Rights Groups: Drop Dead.

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Jets Wanted Jay Cutler To Visit, But Couldn't Find The Time.

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Fake Corner Store Reminds North Lawndale Of What It Doesn't Have: Food.

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Vic Mensa Blasts DJ Akademics For Dissing Chicago.

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German Report On Bastian Schweinsteiger.

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Fan Sues Bears Over Banning Him From Wearing Packers Gear.

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Rahm Stonewalls On CPD Staffing Analysis.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Eisentronc!

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:03 PM | Permalink

UN Investigator: U.S. Coalition Airstrikes Causing 'Staggering Loss of Life' In Syria

Intensified airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition targeting the Islamic State are responsible for a "staggering loss of civilian life" in Raqqa, Syria, a United Nations investigator says.

The northern Syrian city, the so-called capital of the Islamic State (ISIS), is where U.S.-backed forces, including Syrian Kurdish and Arab U.S.-backed rebel groups, have begun an offensive. That effort to retake the city from ISIS, also referred to as ISIL, was aided by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.

But these increased strikes were in the crosshairs of Paulo Pinheiro, the chairman of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry for Syria, who gave the U.N. Human Rights Council his dire assessment of the situation for Syrian civilians, who "are in the unenviable role of being the target of most warring parties" and face "disastrous consequences."

staggeringlossoflife.jpgPhoto: EPA

While Pinheiro told the U.N. body that a successful offensive "could liberate the city's civilian population from the group's oppressive clutches, including Yazidi women and girls, whom the group has kept sexually enslaved for almost three years as part of an ongoing and unaddressed genocide," he underscored that the "imperative to fight terrorism must not [ . . . ] be undertaken at the expense of civilians who unwillingly find themselves living in areas where ISIL is present."

He said that the "that the intensification of airstrikes" as a result of the offensive "has resulted not only in staggering loss of civilian life, but has also led to 160,000 civilians fleeing their homes and becoming internally displaced."

Those fleeing Raqqa, and countless others forced to join the ranks of internally displaced people across Syria, face "a wretched experience" and "are particularly vulnerable to violence," Pinheiro said. He also pointed to "aerial bombardments by pro-Government forces" and other forced evacuations that leave civilians in peril.

According to Reuters:

[T]he U.S. delegation [to the Human Rights Council] made no reference to Raqqa or the air strikes. U.S. diplomat Jason Mack called the Syrian government "the primary perpetrator" of egregious human rights violations in the country.

U.S.-led coalition airstrikes killing Syrian civilians is not new.

Chris Woods, director of monitoring group Airwars, told The Intercept that "We have been killing a lot of civilians in and around Raqqa for quite some time now, yet these incidents are rarely admitted by the coalition and there is almost no interest from international media."

A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy

Echoing Pinheiro, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said this month, "Just because ISIS holds an area does not mean less care can be taken." He added: "Civilians should always be protected, whether they are in areas controlled by ISIS or by any other party."

Human Rights Watch also denounced in a statement the reported use of white phosphorus munitions by the coalition in Raqqa as well as Mosul, Iraq.

"No matter how white phosphorus is used, it poses a high risk of horrific and long-lasting harm in crowded cities like Raqqa and Mosul and any other areas with concentrations of civilians," said Steve Goose, arms director at the human rights organization. "U.S.-led forces should take all feasible precautions to minimize civilian harm when using white phosphorus in Iraq and Syria," he said.

Pinheiro said in his address: "the only way to end civilian suffering is to end this war."

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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:00 AM | Permalink

Ink: Chicago Blue

"A very very deep blue. In fact, super dark blue."


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A second opinion:

"This is an exclusive ink that I picked up in Chicago, and it's probably pretty hard to find right now," Mike Matteson writes.

"It may show up from some vendors who picked up extras after the end of the Chicago [Pen] Show, or it might be on the secondary market. Anyway, that's where I'd look if I were looking for some.

"This is a really interesting shade of blue. Deep, rich, and thick. It's not all that much like anything I had swatched (as you'll see below), so I may go to the trouble to dilute it a little. The closest thing I could find was the J. Herbin Bleu Ocean. Pretty cool to find such a unique blue!"

Click through for his review!

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:28 AM | Permalink

'Maybe The Worst FCC I've Ever Seen'

In just a few short months, the Trump wrecking ball has pounded away at rules and regulations in virtually every government agency. The men and women the president has appointed to the Cabinet and to head those agencies are so far in sycophantic lockstep, engaged in dismantling years of protections in order to make real what White House strategist Steve Bannon infamously described as "the deconstruction of the administrative state."

The Federal Communications Commission is not immune. Its new chair, Republican Ajit Pai, embraces the Trump doctrine of regulatory devastation. "It's basic economics," he declared in an April 26 speech at Washington's Newseum. "The more heavily you regulate something, the less of it you're likely to get."

His goal is to stem the tide of media reform that in recent years has made significant progress for American citizens. Even as we rely more than ever on digital media for information, education and entertainment, Pai and his GOP colleagues at the FCC seek to turn back the clock and increase even more the corporate control of cyberspace.

Net neutrality, the guarantee of an internet open to all, rich or poor, without preferential treatment, was codified by the FCC in 2015.

Pai - a former lawyer for Verizon - wants net neutrality reversed and has taken the first steps toward its elimination.

He has abandoned media ownership rules and attacked such FCC innovations as the Lifeline program that subsidizes broadband access for low-income Americans.

Among other rollbacks, he also has opposed rules capping the exorbitant cost of prison phone calls (that cap was overturned on June 13 by the US Court of Appeals).

A veteran of the FCC, Michael Copps vehemently opposes Pai's master plan to strengthen the grip of big business on our media. Copps served two terms as a commissioner, including a brief period as interim chair. He also has taught history, worked as chief of staff to former Democratic South Carolina Sen. Fritz Hollings and was an assistant secretary of commerce.

Today, Copps is special adviser for the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at the nonpartisan grassroots organization Common Cause. He "just may be," Bill Moyers once said, "the most knowledgeable fellow in Washington on how communications policy affects you and me."

Recently, I spoke with Copps to get his assessment of how the election of Donald Trump and Ajit Pai's FCC chairmanship are affecting Americans and the media landscape.

"I remain convinced that the last presidential election we had was of, by, and for, big media," he said. "It made billions of dollars for these big media companies. We're entering into a period where there likely will be more mergers than we've ever had before. The political and marketplace atmosphere that we have in this country right now favors them."

The transcript that follows has been edited for length and clarity.


Michael Copps: [CBS CEO Les] Moonves said it best: "I don't know if Donald Trump is good for the country. but he's damn good for CBS." The election was just a glorified reality show and I do not think it was an aberration. Until we get that big picture straightened out and we get a civic dialogue that's worthy of the American people and that actually advances citizens' ability to practice the art of self-government - that informs citizens so they can cast intelligent votes and we stop making such damn-fool decisions - we're in serious trouble.

To me, that remains the problem of problems, it remains at the top of the list. Journalism continues to go south, thanks to big media and its strangulation of news, and there's not much left in the way of community or local media. Add to that an internet that has not even started thinking seriously about how it supports journalism. You have these big companies like Google and Facebook who run the news and sell all the ads next to it, but what do they put back into journalism? It isn't much.

I don't think right now that commercial media is going to fix itself or even that we can save it with any policy that's likely in the near-term, so we have to start looking at other alternatives. We have to talk about public media - public media probably has to get its act together somewhat, too. It's not everything that Lyndon Johnson had in mind back in 1967 [when the Public Broadcasting Act was signed], but it's still the jewel of our media ecosystem. So I'm more worried than ever about the state of our media - not just fake news but the lack of real news.

That's priority No. 1; I don't think you solve anything until you find some ways to repair our commercial media. That's not coming from inside the fabled Beltway anytime soon. It'll require major input from the grass roots. Big media won't cover its own shortcomings, so we have to have a national conversation and make some democracy-encouraging decisions. We just have to find a way.

Michael Winship: What about "fake news?"

Copps: The fake news thing is a challenging phenomenon. No one has a viable solution yet that I know of. Again, don't look to Washington for much input under the present management. Maybe reinvigorating real news, the fact-based investigative journalism that big media has done so much to eliminate, would be the best solution. True journalism can do more than anything else to push aside fake news.

Winship: So how do you characterize the Trump administration's attitude toward communications issues?

Copps: This is not populism; this is a plutocracy. Trump has surrounded himself with millionaires and billionaires, plus some ideologues who believe in, basically, no government. And the Trump FCC already has been very successful in dismantling lots of things - not just the net neutrality that they're after now, but privacy, and Lifeline, which is subsidized broadband for those who can't afford it. And just all sorts of things up and down the line. The whole panoply of regulation and public interest oversight - if they could get rid of it all, they would; if they can, they will.

I think the April 26 speech that Ajit Pai gave at the Newseum, which was partially funded, I think, by conservative activist causes, was probably the worst speech I've ever heard a commissioner or a chairman of the FCC give. It was replete with distorted history and a twisted interpretation of judicial decisions. And then, about two-thirds of the way through, it became intensely political and ideological, and he was spouting all this Ronald Reagan nonsense - if the government is big enough to do what you want, it's big enough to take away everything you have, and all that garbage. It was awful.

It's maybe the worst FCC I've ever seen or read about.

Winship: How much of all this do you think is just simply the idea of destroying anything supported by the Obama White House? Is it that simple?

Copps: Well, I think that some of it is the ego problem, but I think it goes beyond that. I think there is that right-wing, pro-business, invisible hand ideology, and then there's just the unabashed and unprecedented and disgusting level of money in politics. I don't blame just the Republicans; the Democrats are just about as beholden to it, too.

Winship: You mentioned Pai's speech at the Newseum; does he have any real philosophy?

Copps: Yes, I think he believes this stuff, I think he's a true believer. He was in the Office of General Counsel when I was in there - very articulate, very bright, very pleasant. He is an attractive personality, but he has this Weltanschauung or whatever you want to call it that is so out of step with modern politics and where we should be in the history of this country that it's potentially extremely destructive. And Michael O'Rielly, the other Republican commissioner, is about the same. He's an ideologue, too.

It's all about the ideology, the world of big money, the access that the big guys have and continue to have. It's not that the FCC outright refuses to let public interest groups through the door or anything like that; it's just the lack of resources citizens and public interest groups have compared to what the big guys have. The public interest groups don't have much of a chance, but I think they've done a pretty good job given the lack of resources.

Winship: Did you expect Pai to move so fast against net neutrality?

Copps: It doesn't surprise me, but it's so dangerous. Net neutrality is the sine qua non of an open internet - "You can't have one without the other," as the old song goes. We'll need to hope for a good court outcome if the FCC succeeds in eliminating the rules. But I really don't see how big telecom or the commission can make a credible case to overturn what the court approved just two years ago, and then go back to what the court overturned before that. It's downright surreal. But citizens should not limit their pro-net neutrality messages to just the FCC; Congress needs to understand how popular these rules are, so they keep their hands off it, which they may be more inclined to do as the 2018 elections come closer.

Winship: There's so much of an X factor to everything.

Copps: There really is. I just hope we can get the media covering it better. I think if we get a couple of really big mergers, and of course we have AT&T and Time Warner out there now, which Trump said he was going to oppose. I don't think he really will, but that itself should be an issue. And then, if we can join that to the net neutrality issue, then I think we can get some media attention. If we can do that with Time Warner and AT&T or whatever other mergers come along, certainly including Sinclair-Tribune, then we can actually make some progress. I sure hope so.

Winship: There still seems to be a lot public support for net neutrality.

Copps: No question about it, but there would be an avalanche if more people were informed about the issue by the media. Many Trump voters, I am convinced, are not consumers who support $232 a year for a set-top box or who like constantly rising bills for cable and internet service, or who want a closed internet. That's not why they voted for him.

Winship: Have the net neutrality rules passed in 2015 had a chance to work? Have they had a chance to be effective?

Copps: Yes, I think so. Some say they are a solution in search of a problem, but that's not true. I think the companies have been on their good behavior over the last few years, by and large - but there have been numerous abuses, too. But once you throw out the rules we have now, it'll be "Katy bar the door," and by the time we get another administration in, either the FCC or the Congress, it'll probably be too late to reverse the tide.

Winship: What are the implications for free speech?

Copps: They are huge. If you have an internet service provider [ISP] that's capable of slowing down other sites, or putting other sites out of business, or favoring their own friends and affiliates and customers who can pay for fast lanes, that's a horrible infringement on free speech. It's censorship by media monopolies.

It's tragic: here we have a technology, the Internet, that's capable really of being the town square of democracy, paved with broadband bricks, and we are letting it be taken over by a few gatekeepers. This is a First Amendment issue; it's free speech versus corporate censorship.

Winship: I want to talk to you about privacy, about protecting consumer information that's on the net.

Copps: If the huge internet service providers are going to glean all manner of personal information about us and share it with others or sell it to others, we ought to have a right to say, "Yes, count me in, I don't mind that," or "No, I don't want any part of that." And I think the vast majority would say, "No, thank you, I don't want any part of that." So privacy is a huge issue. We've talked about it some in national security terms, but it's a much bigger issue in citizen terms and what it does to the average person.

Winship: You mentioned Lifeline; I was wondering if you could talk a little bit more about that.

Copps: Lifeline is directed toward those who cannot afford to be connected to broadband. How do they find a job when most corporations don't accept paper resumes or don't want to interview you in person? Nowadays you have to e-mail something to potential employers. How do you and your kids educate yourselves? How do kids do their homework when they don't have broadband, and the kid in the next town or even in the next block has high-speed broadband? How do you care for your health - especially that now we're getting seriously into telehealth and telemedicine?

You cannot be a fully functioning 21st-century citizen in this country unless you have access to high-speed broadband. It's as simple as that. We shouldn't settle for less. I don't know that the FCC can do this by itself, and we need a national mission to do this. And we need everybody pushing for it. I hope it's going to be included in Trump's infrastructure plan, but I'll be surprised if it's in such a meaningful way that it's going to get coverage for all the people in the inner cities and rural America.

And, you know, we're way, way down in the rankings in broadband penetration, adoption and affordability. And without competition, even when you have broadband, without competition people are paying through the ceiling for inferior service. They've got to feed families and find shelter, but broadband is also essential to them.

Winship: I think another issue that a lot of people aren't aware of is the whole prison telephone problem.

Copps: Commissioner Mignon Clyburn has done a fantastic job on that. We have such a high percentage of our population in the United States incarcerated and for their families to communicate with them or vice versa has become just very, very expensive. It's an industry that has made a lot of money off of other people's distress, and if you have a son in prison, and you can't afford to communicate with them, that doesn't help anybody, including the person who's in prison. Commissioner Clyburn made some good progress on interstate calling in this regard, but then you've got to go state by state, and now the court has just thrown some obstacles in the way of the intrastate calls. So, there's work to be done, and we'll see how far it goes. But we were on the track of making good progress under the previous commission.

Winship: Do you think there's any interest in consumer service remaining among the Republicans on the FCC or in Congress?

Copps: It's mighty hard to find if you look at all the party line votes and partisanship at work. I think there will be some cooperation for infrastructure if broadband is included. It depends on how much. Some Republicans will vote for that, but you can't find a Republican for net neutrality, and you can't find a Republican for doing anything to counteract the outrageous influence of money in the political bloodstreams.

Winship: With so many of these American Enterprise Institute types and various other conservative groups and people wielding influence, would they lobby to eliminate the FCC completely?

Copps: Oh, yes indeed. There were reports during the transition that some of those people were actually saying, "Do we even need an FCC? Why don't we just get rid of it?"

Winship: So what can we all do at this point?

Copps: Figure out how you really make this a grassroots effort - and not just people writing in, but people doing more than that. In July, we will have a day devoted to internet action, so stay tuned on that. In addition, as Bill Moyers says, "If you can sing, sing. If you can write a poem, write a poem." Different initiatives attract different audiences, so whatever you can do, do. John Oliver made a huge difference in getting us to net neutrality and now he's helping again. If you went up to the Hill right after that first John Oliver show on net neutrality [in 2014], you saw immediately that it made a difference with the members and the staff.

There's no one silver bullet, no "do this" and it suddenly happens. You just have to do whatever you can do to get people excited and organized. It's as simple as that.

Winship: So that's where the hope is?

Copps: Well, that's where my hope is. I don't see anything else unless we get a change in power in Washington, and not just the name of the party in control but candidates who really are ready for a change and ready to do something to make it more reflective of what, I think, is the popular will.

Winship: Which of the Democrats are good on these issues?

Copps: There are a lot of them. I hesitate to get into names for fear of missing some. The problem is that Republicans inside the Beltway are joined in lockstep opposition on almost all these issues, and the level of partisanship, lobbying, big money, and ideology have thus far been insurmountable obstacles. But I believe if members of Congress spent more time at home, holding more town hall meetings, they would quickly learn that many, many of their constituents are on the pro-consumer, pro-citizen side of these issues.

It's just such a formative time, and in many respects the future is now. I don't know how long you can let this go on. How long can you open the bazaar to all this consolidation, how much can you encourage all this commercialization, how much can you ignore public media until you get to the point of no return where you can't really fix it anymore? And I also think that the national discourse on the future of the Internet has really suffered while we play ping pong with net neutrality; one group comes in, does this, the other group, comes in and reverses it, boom, boom, boom. And net neutrality is not the salvation or the solution to all of the problems of the internet. As you know, it's kind of the opening thing you have to have, it lays a foundation where we can build a truly open internet.

But net neutrality alone doesn't solve consolidation, it doesn't solve commercialization, it doesn't solve, really, the big questions of the future of the Internet. Add to the list issues of artificial intelligence and is AI going to put us out of work? These aren't strictly communication issues, but they are internet issues. What does AI mean for the future of work in our society? Are we even going to be working? Or, can we say the Internet is throwing people out of work without sounding Luddite, because that's been said throughout history and it's been proven wrong, but I think now it looks like a lot of people already have been thrown out of work by it.

If Hillary Clinton had been elected, I would have gone down and talked with her and suggested a White House conference on the future of the Internet. You can't answer all these questions that I just posed but you can ask the questions and you can get the best minds in the country talking about them. Give the conference a mandate and get them to come back with a report and some recommendations and at least put people on it with enough visibility that the media has to cover it.

If we could win net neutrality, which is a stretch, there will be a lot of people who say, "Well, that takes care of the internet, everything's fine and dandy right now." But that's not true at all. It's just not true.

This post first appeared on BillMoyers.com.

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Previously in Ajit Pai's FCC:
* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Make The Air Fair.

* Trump's FCC Chair Continues To Shaft The Public, Offer Major Handouts To Big Media.

* Trump-Friendly Sinclair's Takeover Of Tribune TV Stations Brought To You By Trump's FCC Chairman.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:16 AM | Permalink

Driven: The Story Of The First African American Inducted Into The NASCAR Hall Of Fame

Meet Wendell Scott.


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"Wendell Scott was to NASCAR what Jackie Robinson was to baseball. The difference was that Robinson played in liberal Brooklyn and had the backing of Branch Rickey, and Scott raced in the segregated South and had . . . nobody."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:31 AM | Permalink

June 19, 2017

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Nick Cave at the Chicago Auditorium on Friday night.


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2. Varsity at the Empty Bottle on Saturday night.

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3. The Hold Steady at the Empty Bottle on Saturday night.

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4. Surfer Blood at Lincoln Hall on Saturday night.

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5. Ann Wilson at the House of Blues on Friday night.

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6. Metallica at Soldier Field on Sunday night.

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7. Mount Kimbie at Thalia Hall on Sunday night.

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8. Mukqs at DADS on Sunday night.

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9. Aviary at DADS on Sunday night.

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10. Sug at DADS on Sunday night.

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11. Mist at the Hideout on Saturday night.

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12. Brett Naucke at the Hideout on Saturday night.

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13. Wiggle Room at the Hideout on Saturday night.

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14. Synecult at the Hideout on Saturday night/

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:16 PM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

It's happening - this Friday!

You don't need to be invited to attend! It just means you're not a Facebook friend of me or the site, and/or not on any of my other contact lists. You are invited! You are also encouraged to RSVP directly to me so we can get the best sense possible of how many folks to expect. (We have several different RSVP mechanisms, so the number of attendees you see on the Facebook page or EventBrite are drastically underreported! It's gonna be . . . possibly big. You won't want to miss it!)

Featuring: Take Your Photo With Adam West. (We've arranged it.)

And: The Blue Ribbon Glee Club will perform a couple of choice selections.

Also: Door prizes!

Finally: Bring a map. Of anything.

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The White Sox Report: Pelfrey's Proof
Motivating Mike - and Matt.

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Wisconsin's Penokees Are A Geologic Gem
"Billions of years of geologic processes, a cataclysmic meteor impact and changes in Earth's atmosphere all contributed to shaping a land with striking visual and physical properties."

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Self-Regulation Protects The Wolves Of Wall Street
"The dozen FINRA flags examined by Reuters include regulatory sanctions for misconduct, employment terminations after allegations of misconduct and payments by firms to settle customer complaints. They also include brokers' personal financial troubles, such as bankruptcies or liens for nonpayment of debts.

"Last year, a FINRA official told Reuters, the regulator identified 90 firms as posing the highest risk to investors and flagged them internally for higher scrutiny. But FINRA declined to name the firms publicly or to release statistics showing the concentration of brokers with a history of FINRA flags within each firm."

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Pie: Papering Over Poverty
"I assume the $370 million you're about to spend on Buckingham Palace includes a sprinkler system."

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BeachBook
A sampling.

The History Channel Is Finally Telling The Stunning Secret Story Of The War On Drugs.

My biggest complaint about the Gary Webb fiasco is that his editors worked on the story and eagerly signed off on it, only to escape their own accountability while Webb was hung out to dry.

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Desegregating Libraries In The American South.

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Some Cities, Villages Opt Out Of Cook County's Minimum Wage Increase.

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A Property Tax Increase Does Nothing For The Poorest Towns In Illinois.

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Putting Profits Ahead Of Patients.

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What Will It Take?

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TweetWood
A sampling.

Why We Need Many Voices!

And that means more than two. Especially two that draw from the same pool of people. Extrapolate to all areas of coverage.

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The paper isn't failing because of market conditions, but because of shitty management.

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Thank you, Chelsea Manning.

Manning and Snowden: Heroes for our time.

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Shoutout especially to the hard-working dad whose kid didn't get into Payton because you made that phone call . . .

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Packages available.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:26 AM | Permalink

Pelfrey's Proof

"We work harder when we have something to prove."

So writes L. Jon Wertheim in a neat little book, This Is Your Brain on Sports, his second anthology where the Sports Illustrated editor teams up with a psychologist - in this case Sam Sommers of Tufts - to investigate certain aspects of the games we watch such as home field advantage and the appeal of the underdog. It's entertaining stuff.

Sox pitcher Mike Pelfrey is a good example of the above declaration which Wertheim included in a chapter about the tendency of athletes - regardless of their fame, talent, or ability - to feel disrespected. Many times it's the thin-skinned superstars who moan and groan, especially when they lose.

That's not the situation with Pelfrey, who turned in another strong performance Saturday in Toronto. He limited the Blue Jays to a single run over six innings while giving up just four hits, walking no one, and striking out five as the Sox played one of their best games of the year in a 5-2 win.

Let us go back less than three months to the end of spring training when the Tigers released the 33-year-old righthander, a former (2005) first-round (ninth overall) draft choice of the Mets. Pelfrey was so ineffectual in 17 innings of the practice games in Florida - a 7.94 ERA; opponents hit .343 against him - that Detroit was willing to eat his $8 million salary.

About a week later the Sox took a flier on Pelfrey, no doubt attracted to the fact that they could pay him the minimum while the Tigers were still on the hook for $7.5 million. As the season opened, Pelfrey was in Charlotte where he performed about as poorly in two starts as he did in spring training.

Nevertheless, when James Shields, who returned to the rotation on Sunday after missing two months, went down with a strained right lat - do you even know where yours is? - Pelfrey got the call. Why bring up one of the young prospects who might be in danger of being lit up at the major league level, thus losing all confidence? Pelfrey, an 11-year-veteran with 250 big league games under his belt, was expendable.

CBS Sports's RotoWire declared "[H]e should be seen purely as an innings eater at best." How disrespectful!

Yet here we are 11 starts and 55 innings later with Pelfrey arguably the most dependable member of the team's rotation. The guy even threw an inning in relief last Wednesday in a 10-6 loss to Baltimore, the lone setback for the Sox in the four-game series on the South Side.

In his last 32 innings stretching over seven games, Pelfrey has a sparkling 1.97 ERA. When he throws strikes like he did on Saturday, he's tough to beat because he keeps the ball in the park. In his entire career, Pelfrey has given up less than one home run per nine innings. Opponents have slammed just five round-trippers off him this season, so that statistic is holding true as Pelfrey tries to resurrect his career.

Pelfrey is not the only member of the White Sox who apparently has something to prove. Third baseman/designated hitter Matt Davidson is another example.

Like Pelfrey, Davidson was a first-round draft choice (2009) of the Diamondbacks. After hitting 80 homers over five minor league seasons, the D-backs gave Davidson a look at the end of the 2013 season. Apparently they were underwhelmed since they shipped Davidson to the Sox in exchange for pitcher Addison Reed, who, by the way, continues to flourish as the closer for the Mets this season.

Davidson continued to hit for power in the Sox organization. That is, when he hit. In two seasons at Charlotte, he clubbed 43 home runs - but also struck out 355 times while posting a .201 batting average. Not exactly what you're looking for in a prospect.

Nevertheless, when Davidson began making better contact last season - .268 at Charlotte - he was called up on June 30 only to break his foot in his very first game, sidelining him for the remainder of the season.

If there is a guy with something to prove, it's Matt Davidson. With a home run to back up Pelfrey on Saturday - his fifth in six games - he leads the team in that category with 15, and he's been hitting around .260 all season. He still strikes out about 40 percent of his plate appearances, but no one seems too concerned about striking out these days. Davidson's OPS of .847 is second only to Avi Garcia's .912.

Just when you think the Sox are headed into a deep chasm, they tend to rebound, as they did last week with five wins in seven games to inch toward .500 at 31-37. Sure, that's not jaw-dropping, although a year ago, the ball club was 33-35.

So, despite the rebuilding tag on this season's group, they're only two games worse than last season when Chris Sale and Adam Eaton were part of the cast, and the postseason was the goal.

Can it be that the motivation to prove that individual players are major league quality has played a role? Going back to Pelfrey, according to Baseball Reference, despite a 68-96 lifetime record, he's earned almost $38 million since 2006. Maybe a fat paycheck motivates Davidson who's making the MLB minimum of $535,000, but Pelfrey should be financially secure the remainder of his days. For him, the chance to prove himself has got to be a strong motivator.

Other players such as Yolmer Sanchez, Tommy Kahnle, Leury Garcia, Kevan Smith and Omar Narvaez are not exactly household names, even on the South Side. Observing how these heretofore peripheral ballplayers respond to the challenge of becoming major league players creates some intrigue for a team that has virtually no chance of playing in October.

And it's not just on the South Side. Teams like Colorado, Arizona, Houston and even the Yankees are motivated by the desire to be taken seriously while clubs like the Cubs and Cleveland seemingly have little to prove. But even with superior talent, repeating doesn't come automatically.

The Sox tangle this week with another team working to prove itself, the Minnesota Twins, losers of 103 games last year but a game above .500 so far this season. After the three games in Minnesota, the Sox will have played 44 road games where they are 16-25. At home the fellas are 15-12, all of which means that with 91 games remaining, the Sox will play at home 54 times.

Playing at home with something to prove just might be interesting.

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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:16 AM | Permalink

Papering Over Poverty

"I assume the $370 million you're about to spend on Buckingham Palace includes a sprinkler system."


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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.

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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 3:41 AM | Permalink

Self-Regulation Protects The Wolves Of Wall Street

NEW YORK - In three years of managing investments for North Dakota farmer Richard Haus, Long Island stock broker Mike McMahon and his colleagues charged their client $267,567 in fees and interest - while losing him $261,441 on the trades, Haus said.

McMahon and others at National Securities Corporation, for instance, bought or sold between 200 and 900 shares of Apple stock for Haus nine times in about a year - racking up $27,000 in fees, according to a 2015 complaint Haus filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Haus alerted the regulator to what he called improper "churning" of his account to harvest excessive fees. But the allegation could hardly have come as a surprise to FINRA, the industry's self-regulating body, which is charged by Congress with protecting investors from unscrupulous brokers.

FINRA has fined National at least 25 times since 2000. As of earlier this year, 35 percent of National's 714 brokers had a history of regulatory run-ins, legal disputes or personal financial difficulties that FINRA requires brokers to disclose to investors, according to a Reuters analysis of FINRA data.

McMahon did not respond to requests for comment. National declined to comment.

National is among 48 firms where at least 30 percent of brokers have such FINRA flags on their records, according to the Reuters analysis, which examined only the 12 most serious incidents among the 23 that FINRA requires brokers to disclose. That compares to 9 percent of brokers industry-wide who have at least one of those 12 FINRA flags on their record.

In total, the 48 firms oversee about 4,600 brokers and billions of dollars in investor funds.

See complete list of firms and statistics on each.

finra.jpgFINRA headquarters in New York City/Brendan McDermid, Reuters

FINRA officials acknowledged in interviews with Reuters that the longstanding hiring practices at certain firms are a threat to investors. But they also argued that they can do little to stop firms from hiring high concentrations of potentially problematic brokers because doing so is not illegal.

That leaves investors like Haus vulnerable to a small group of brokerages that regularly hire advisors with blemishes on their backgrounds that would make them unemployable at most firms, former regulators and industry experts said.

The dozen FINRA flags examined by Reuters include regulatory sanctions for misconduct, employment terminations after allegations of misconduct and payments by firms to settle customer complaints. They also include brokers' personal financial troubles, such as bankruptcies or liens for nonpayment of debts. (Full coverage, including an explanation of Reuters methodology, here.)

Last year, a FINRA official told Reuters, the regulator identified 90 firms as posing the highest risk to investors and flagged them internally for higher scrutiny. But FINRA declined to name the firms publicly or to release statistics showing the concentration of brokers with a history of FINRA flags within each firm.

In an interview with Reuters, FINRA's executive vice president of regulatory operations, Susan Axelrod, declined to comment on any specific firm identified by Reuters. She would not directly address why the regulator will not publicly name the firms it identified as high-risk.

"Let's just say those are not new names to us," she said of the firms identified by Reuters.

FINRA chief executive Robert Cook, however, addressed its unwillingness to name names in a speech on Monday morning in Washington at Georgetown University, according to prepared remarks released by FINRA.

"We must consider fairness and due process," Cook said. "FINRA does not possess a crystal ball - someone who we may identify as a high-risk broker for oversight purposes is not necessarily a bad actor."

The regulator has created a dedicated unit focused on those high-risk firms, Axelrod told Reuters, but she declined to discuss its budget, staffing or specific duties. Cook on Monday said the unit included an unstated number of "examiners and managers" with experience dealing with high-risk brokers.

FINRA makes data on individual brokers' backgrounds available through BrokerCheck, which Axelrod said provides "unparalleled transparency" to investors. That site allows the public to search histories of complaints and sanctions against individual brokers - but only one at a time.

The regulator will not release the data in bulk form, such as a database, that would enable researchers to identify firms with high concentrations of brokers with a history of FINRA flags.

Reuters analyzed the FINRA data after receiving it from researchers at Columbia University Law School DataLab, who wrote computer code to extract it from the regulator's website.

Reuters sought comment from officials at all 48 firms. Some responded that many of the FINRA-mandated disclosures do not necessarily equate to misconduct by brokers, such as when a firm pays a client to settle a complaint without admitting wrongdoing.

Cook, the FINRA chief, echoed that point in his speech Monday.

"A broker who has an unpaid lien because of a debt accrued due to a medical issue in her family must disclose that lien," he said. "That event should not be treated the same as fraud or stealing money from customers."

At least one executive from a firm identified in the Reuters analysis serves on FINRA's 24-member Board of Governors - Brian Kovack, president of Fort Lauderdale-based Kovack Securities Inc.

Thirty-four percent of the firm's 388 brokers have a history of FINRA flags, according to the Reuters analysis.

In a statement, Brian Kovack attributed those figures to the firm's decision to take on a large number of new brokers from another brokerage in 2014, which prevented the firm from using its usual vetting process for new employees.

Asked why, three years later, the firm still has a high concentration of brokers with FINRA flags, Kovack said it took "considerable" time to ensure the review of new brokers' backgrounds was "fair and transparent."

After the review, the firm asked some advisors to leave, Kovack said, without specifying how many or the reasons they were dismissed.

SELF-REGULATION

FINRA is not a government agency, but rather an industry-financed "self-regulatory organization" - as FINRA puts it - that is not subject to public records laws and receives no taxpayer support.

Its annual operating budget of about $1 billion - supporting about 3,500 staffers in 16 offices - comes primarily from dues paid by member firms and individual brokers. FINRA has the power to fine, suspend and ban firms and brokers, and it can refer potentially criminal cases to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Last year, in an unlikely collaboration, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, sent FINRA a letter demanding the regulator do more to stop broker misconduct and to prevent those with troubled histories from concentrating in the same firms.

"FINRA is not doing nearly enough to fulfill its investor protection mission," the letter read.

The regulator responded with a letter on June 15 of last year saying that it closely oversees firms "to determine whether they present a heightened risk to investors."

From 2013 to mid-2016, the regulator told the senators, it identified 279 "high-risk" brokers. After identifying them, the regulator permanently banned 238 brokers from the industry for subsequent violations.

FINRA oversees about 3,800 brokerages and 630,000 brokers.

In interviews with Reuters, Axelrod pointed to firms that FINRA expelled. The regulator shut down about 130 firms in the six years ending in January 2017, with many cited for securities fraud, misuse of funds or falsifying records.

But the Reuters analysis of FINRA data found that the regulator did not expel the firm's chief executive in 58 percent of those cases, leaving him or her free to join other brokerages. The brokers at those banned firms typically were also able to continue working in the industry.

Axelrod said that FINRA gives extra scrutiny to former executives of expelled firms after they show up with new jobs at other firms.

'OVERWHELMING' EVIDENCE

Regulators in at least one state think more can be done to crack down on brokers and brokerages with track records of violations.

Massachusetts securities regulators are considering changing their licensing practices after completing a review last year of brokerages with a high proportion of brokers with troubled histories.

"The evidence is pretty overwhelming that there is a practice here - a history here - of people moving from one firm to another and re-offending," Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin told Reuters. "We can't simply stand by and say, 'The companies will do a better job.' They won't do a better job unless they feel some incentive."

Some former regulators contacted by Reuters agreed with FINRA's policy of withholding its internal risk ratings of firms from the public.

Susan Merrill - former head of enforcement at FINRA and now a partner with the law firm Sidley Austin - said that releasing such ratings would be unfair to firms who have not necessarily broken laws or regulations.

"If there is a finding by the regulator," Merrill said, "then that's fair game."

FINRA's former CEO, Richard Ketchum, told Reuters last June that the regulator was considering publicly disclosing more information about firms with high concentrations of problematic brokers.

"We are looking hard at questions about how we can appropriately and fairly provide that broader disclosure . . . when firms have concentrations of persons that have similar problems," Ketchum said in an interview.

Cook said Monday that FINRA was considering additional measures to rein in high-risk brokers, but he didn't go into specifics.

WOLVES OF WALL STREET

Many of the 48 firms identified by Reuters regularly cold-call customers on the phone with high-pressure sales pitches, according to regulatory complaints and sanctions against the firms and their brokers.

Long Island, New York, has historically been a haven for boiler-room brokerages, which inspired the movie, The Wolf of Wall Street, based on the true story of broker Jordan Belfort and his firm, Stratton Oakmont. Belfort pleaded guilty to securities fraud and money laundering in 1999.

FINRA warned in a news release last year that boiler-room tactics were on the rise, particularly those targeting the elderly and other vulnerable investors.

Brokers generally know which firms will hire them despite past sanctions, said Dean Jeske, a lawyer at Foley & Lardner and FINRA's former deputy regional chief counsel for enforcement in the Midwest.

"When you get a mark on your (record), it's hard to get a job at Morgan Stanley or Merrill Lynch," Jeske said.

Mike McMahon has had little trouble landing jobs at brokerages despite a trail of allegations and settlements.

McMahon left National in 2014 and later joined a smaller firm, Long Island-based Worden Capital Management - where 43 percent of 79 brokers had a history of FINRA flags as of earlier this year.

Forty-one percent of the firm's brokers had at some point in their careers worked at firms that were later expelled by FINRA, according to the Reuters analysis.

Jamie Worden, head of Worden Capital, said in a statement that his firm's compliance team vets all prospective brokers and that FINRA-mandated disclosures do not necessarily indicate wrongdoing.

"The public disclosures only represent a sliver of the information surrounding any circumstance," Worden said.

McMahon, National and another firm where he worked have agreed to pay a total of $1.35 million since 2007 to settle 10 separate client complaints involving McMahon, according to McMahon's record on FINRA's BrokerCheck website.

In addition, McMahon currently faces four additional complaints to FINRA - which have yet to be resolved in a settlement or arbitration ruling - from clients he advised while working with National, the regulator's records show.

McMahon denied any wrongdoing in several of the settled complaints.

Haus - the customer who lost more than half a million dollars with McMahon and others at National - told Reuters that the ordeal made him contemplate suicide.

"I was ashamed," said the soybean farmer and U.S. military veteran. "I didn't want to tell anyone I'm losing my life savings."

Haus settled his complaint against National in November for an undisclosed amount of money. The settlement required him to sign a nondisclosure agreement, and he has since not responded to Reuters' inquiries.

HIRING OPPORTUNITY

In many cases, the firms identified by Reuters continue to operate after years of repeated run-ins with FINRA and other regulators.

Take Los Angeles-based WestPark Capital, where about half of the firm's 95 brokers have FINRA flags on their records. More than 47 percent of WestPark brokers once worked at firms that were later expelled by FINRA.

Regulators including FINRA and the New Jersey Bureau of Securities have sanctioned WestPark six times in the past 11 years for a variety of alleged violations.

In 2004, FINRA suspended WestPark's chief executive, Richard Rappaport, for 30 days from his management role and fined him and the firm $50,000 in response to allegations that WestPark omitted critical information from investment research reports and lacked supervisory controls.

Without admitting wrongdoing, Rappaport agreed to the punishment in a settlement with FINRA. But he then ignored the suspension and continued to actively manage WestPark, according to FINRA disciplinary records reviewed by Reuters.

His punishment for ignoring the 30-day suspension? Another 30-day suspension from FINRA and a $10,000 fine.

In 2016, West Park saw a hiring opportunity. The firm started taking on dozens of brokers from Newport Coast Securities - a firm that FINRA banned from the industry that year for excessive trading in client accounts to rack up fees and for recommending unsuitable investments. Newport appealed the expulsion.

By early 2017, WestPark had hired about 40 brokers from Newport Coast - including its former CEO, Richard Onesto.

WestPark and Rappaport declined to comment. Onesto did not respond to requests for comment.

PUMP AND DUMP

Another firm Reuters identified in its analysis - Windsor Street Capital, which boasts of its integrity and moral compass on its website - has been fined 12 times by FINRA since 2000 but may now face much stiffer penalties from the SEC.

Fifty-eight percent of the firm's 48 brokers had FINRA flags on their records, according to the Reuters analysis. Over the years, FINRA fines have cost the firm about $300,000, and Windsor has appealed two other fines totaling more than $1 million.

In January, the SEC brought administrative actions against Windsor Street Capital and its former anti-money laundering officer, John Telfer, for allegedly facilitating a $25 million pump-and-dump scheme - in which investors promote or "pump" the value of a dubious stock they own just before selling, or "dumping" it.

Windsor declined to comment to Reuters but denied any misconduct in an SEC filing.

The SEC alleges that Windsor allowed clients to sell hundreds of millions of unregistered penny stocks through Windsor brokerage accounts and did not report the suspicious transactions to the U.S. Treasury Department.

The Windsor clients bought stock in dormant shell companies, spread false information to promote the companies' products and then dumped the shares as other investors bought in at inflated prices, the SEC alleges in a case that is still pending.

Windsor made about $500,000 in commissions and fees from transactions related to the scheme, according to the SEC.

When asked if FINRA investigators contributed to the SEC's investigation, an SEC official declined to comment and pointed to the agency's press release, which only credits SEC investigators.

FINRA did not respond to requests for comment on whether it had a role in the Windsor investigation.

'HAPPY NEW YEAR!'

At Long Island-based Joseph Stone Capital, 71 percent of the firms' 59 brokers had FINRA flags on their records, according to the Reuters analysis.

Joseph Stone was investigated by the state of Montana after one of its sales representatives, Lawrence Sullivan, cold-called the office of Montana's Commissioner of Securities and Insurance to pitch an investment on January 15, 2016, according to a report on the incident by the regulator.

The securities commission launched an investigation into the firm after the call, during which Sullivan quickly backtracked and denied he was pitching securities, according to the report.

Reuters could not reach Sullivan for comment. The staffer he called - Patrick Navarro, an assistant analyst at the state regulator - did not respond to requests for comment.

Investigators ultimately unearthed "fraudulent and unethical" practices, including excessive trading in client accounts - resulting in commissions totaling 28 percent of the $877,493 invested by clients in Montana, according to the regulator's report.

The firm settled with the state on April 18, agreeing to pay $30,000 in restitution to clients without admitting wrongdoing.

During the call that got the firm into trouble, Sullivan pitched Navarro on an investment in Paypal stock, the report said. After Navarro informed Sullivan that he worked for the state's securities regulator, Sullivan blurted out "Happy New Year!" and hung up.

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All links by the Beachwood Added Value Affairs Desk.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:34 AM | Permalink

Wisconsin's Penokees Are A Geologic Gem

In a state where the landscape tends towards low-lying swamps, flat fields and rolling hills, northern Wisconsin's Penokee Range of mountains are a dramatic outlier. Though their elevation is relatively modest - the Penokees are often just called hills - the range stands out. Billions of years of geologic processes, a cataclysmic meteor impact and changes in Earth's atmosphere all contributed to shaping a land with striking visual and physical properties.

penokee1.jpgCorrigan's Lookout, off of Highway 122 near Saxon, offers a sweeping view of the Penokees/jchapiewsy, Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

The Penokees consist of two elevated ridges that run about 50 miles through Ashland and Iron counties, and continue on for about another 50 miles in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where they're referred to as the Gogebic Range. Like seven similar outcrops around Lake Superior, the Penokee-Gogebic Range has plentiful deposits of iron and other minerals.

In 2011, this fascinating geology collided with environmental concerns and renewed a statewide debate over mining. A company called Gogebic Taconite began seeking approval from the state Department of Natural Resources to open a new iron ore mine in the Penokees. After a long and politically contentious process that saw the company helping legislators craft a new iron mining bill, with Wisconsin's Native American tribes and environmental advocates sounding alarms about the proposed mine's impact on water quality, Gogebic Taconite backed out, citing concerns about federal wetland regulations.

Tom Fitz, an associate professor of geoscience at Northland College, was involved in the mining debate, noting the presence small asbestos-like fibers in the Penokees that could damage people's lungs if disturbed. However, Fitz has been studying the range since long before the Gogebic Taconite controversy, and thinks about its geology in terms of a much longer time scale.

In a July 27, 2016, talk hosted by the Lafayette County 4-H club, recorded for Wisconsin Public Television's University Place, Fitz delved into how the Penokees - "some of the oldest rocks in Wisconsin" - took shape. He explored the processes that formed the complex layers of rock making up the range, detailed the benefits the region provides, and discussed the difficulty of balancing different human and environmental needs.

Fitz also pointed out a lot of the beauty simply present in the region's geology. He even once collaborated with a photographer on an artistic photo series inspired by the rocks of the Penokees. Taken with how vividly the Penokee geology illustrates the history of Earth, Fitz said, "it is also beautiful in itself, just to see it."

Key Facts

  • The Penokee Range consists of two 400-foot ridges that run roughly southwest to northeast alongside each other, one to the north and one to the south. 
  • The three main types of rock in the range were all formed eons ago. About 2.7 billion years ago, the continents as they currently exist were only beginning to take form, and the area that would become northern Wisconsin was underwater. Eruptions from submarine volcanoes created a layer of rock on the ocean floor. Much of this rock was eroded away over the next few hundred million years, but some of it remains as the foundation of the current-day Penokees.
  • About 2.5 billion years ago, cyanobacteria began carrying out photosynthesis on a large scale, releasing increasing amounts of oxygen into thes atmosphere. During this process, the oceans were rich in dissolved iron, and as this combined with the newly available oxygen, the two elements formed deposits of iron oxide, interspersed with layers of other rock, and are called banded iron formations. In the Penokees, this is known as the "Ironwood" formation, and visitors can see it illustrated dramatically in the banded (or striped) cross-sections of exposed rock in the area. The formation of these layers likely wrapped up about 1.85 billion years ago.
  • Also about 1.85 billion years ago, a meteor more than six miles in diameter slammed into what is now Ontario to create the Sudbury Basin. This impact created a 10-foot layer of broken rock that sits between the Penokees' Ironwood formation and the soil above.
  • About 1.1 billion years ago, what is now the North American continent began to divide, instigating massive lava flows that would form the basalt that makes up much of the range's northern ridge.
  • These geologic processes created an estimated 2.7 billion tons of economically viable iron ore in the Penokees. Much of the iron used in the United States has come from the eight "iron ranges" around Lake Superior, especially the Mesabi Range in Minnesota. There is also a small amount of gold mixed into the gneiss formations in the range.
  • Taconite, a low-grade form of ore found in the banded iron formation, is the focus on renewed interest in iron mining in the Penokees.
  • The sheer heat of geologic processes over billions of years created long, skinny mineral formations known as amphibole fibers - a form of asbestos - in some parts of the Penokee Range. If disturbed, this mineral can become airborne as needle-like fibers that can be inhaled and cause a form of cancer called mesothelioma. The range also contains iron sulfide that, when ground up and combined with water in some mining processes, can create acidic drainage. Both substances contribute to environmental concerns about mining in the Penokees.

Key Quotes

  • On envisioning long-term geological processes: "When we're talking about geologic stories, we have to extend our thinking of time into deep time."
  • On the magnetic properties of the Penokees: "There aren't many places in the world where you can go up to a rock and throw a magnet and it sticks, and the Penokee Range is one of those places . . . it's also one of the few places on earth where your compass doesn't necessarily point north, which can make navigation in those words very challenging."
  • On the amount of gold present: "There's just enough to keep people interested. Maybe more."
  • On amphibole fibers: "in some places the rock is mostly this mineral . . . the concern there is that if these things become airbone and get lodged in your lungs, they stay there indefinitely and in some people they cause disease . . . Every place where rocks rich in this mineral have been mined, people have died of mesothelioma."
  • On the environmental challenges surrounding the Penokees: "We all use resources and we have these competing needs. We need iron, we need clean water, we need clean air, we need wilderness space, we need forest products. We have all of these competing demands and we have an increasing population."

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

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Previously in Wisconsin:

* Wisconsin Cheese Production Continues To Grow.

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

* Tips For Growing Blueberries In Wisconsin.

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

* The Top 10 Wisconsin Insect Trends Of 2016.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:28 AM | Permalink

June 17, 2017

The Weekend Desk Report

For completists, there was no column on Friday.

Chicago now has a gourmet marshmallow cafe. I'm not sure how I feel about this, because I love marshmallows (and s'mores), but . . . I mean . . . you know. C'mon.

Comments welcome.

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Beachwood Photo Booth: Flotos' Gifts
An adventure since 1946!

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Beachwood Sports Radio: The Cubs Are Officially In Trouble
And help may not be on the way. Plus: On Hahn; The Human Journey Of Scott Darling; Bears Look Good Against The Bears!; Dwyane Wade's Fake News; What Kevin Durant Has Done; The Pens & P.K.; and Schweinsteiger!

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U.S. Plans Threaten To Undermine Global Bank Reforms
U.S. plans to delay globally-agreed reforms to make banks safer after the financial crisis will throw a system of international regulatory cooperation into confusion, European Union and Asian regulatory sources said.

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Throwing Injuries: Are We Missing Something?
Yes, and it's right in front of our faces!

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Is still in pre-production, dammit!

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Take Your Photo With Adam West
We're making it happen.

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BeachBook

A Savior For Bronzeville?

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Rahm Is Super Angry This Time.

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Reminder: WE OVERTHREW A DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT IN IRAN.

And installed a tyrant.

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How U.S. Policies Spread Fast Food Restaurants Throughout Poor Urban Black Neighborhoods Instead Of Grocery Stores.

The economy has many hidden hands, despite what many would have you believe.

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It's Relatively Cheap To Sway An Election Through Fake News.

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Livin' In The USA: Why It's Nearly Impossible To Contest A Secret Surveillance Order.

Obama's legacy.

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McDonald's Exits Longtime Olympic Partnership.

Gold medals will no longer come with fries.

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Footage Confirms Oakland Police - Like Virtually All Police - Are Less Respectful To Blacks Than Whites. Sometimes They Even Kill Them For No Reason. #PhilandoCastile

*

Inside The Oil Industry's Not-So-Subtle Push Into K-12 Education.

*

Douglas Park Should Be Named After Frederick, Not Racist Stephen.

No-brainer.

*

Google Should Help Identify These Criminals.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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*

*

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Also, 100% chance of McDonald's on Saturday.

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The Weekend Desk Tronc Line: 110%.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:53 AM | Permalink

June 16, 2017

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Mary Timony at the Empty Bottle on Thursday night.


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2. Vader at Reggies on Wednesday night.

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3. Worshipper at Reggies on Thursday night.

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4. Iron Maiden in Tinley Park on Thursday night.

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5. Miss May I at Wire in Berwyn on Tuesday night.

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6. Indigenous at SPACE in Evanston on Wednesday night.

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7. Boulevards at Thalia Hall on Tuesday night.

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8. Ghost in Tinley Park on Thursday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:06 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #157: The Cubs Are Officially In Trouble

And help may not be on the way. Plus: On Hahn; The Human Journey Of Scott Darling; Bears Look Good Against The Bears!; Dwyane Wade's Fake News; What Kevin Durant Has Done; The Pens & P.K.; and Schweinsteiger!


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SHOW NOTES

* 157.

:29: The Cubs Are Officially In Trouble.

* It's time to panic.

* The answer: La Stella! La Stella!

* Fangraphs' Cool Standings.

* MLBTradeRumors.com.

31:20: On Hahn.

34:32: The Human Journey Of Scott Darling.

vs.

The uproarious Anthony Rizzo.

40:20: Bears Look Good Against The Bears!

* Leonard Floyd Says It Took 2 Months To Get 'Mind Back Together' After [Second] Concussion.

* Bernstein: What Does John Fox Know That We Don't?

51:51: Dwyane Wade's Fake News.

53:04: What Kevin Durant Has Done.

* Jim Coffman And Stephen A. Smith vs. Steve Rhodes And David Haugh.

59:30: The Pens & P.K.

1:01:50: Schweinsteiger!

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STOPPAGE: 3:50

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:38 PM | Permalink

Throwing Injuries In Young Baseball Players: Is There Something We Are Not Considering?

Unfortunately, we sports medicine doctors are seeing an increase in injuries to the throwing arm in youngsters, and many of these require surgery. Most worrisome is that the risk for developing a throwing injury was shown to increase by 36 times in adolescent pitchers who continued playing with a fatigued arm.

As a sports medicine physician and a former collegiate baseball player, I am concerned about this rise in injuries. They not only take a youngster out of commission for a game or season, but they also can have lasting effects. My team of researchers at the University of Florida is looking for ways to prevent arm injuries.

Too Many Pitches During Games?

The majority of injuries in overhead throwers occur in the throwing arm. When including pitcher and position players, anywhere from 51 to 69 percent of all reported injuries occurred in the throwing arm.

Increased awareness about the injuries could be a factor in the projected slowdown of surgeries. Greater awareness could lead to increased reporting of the injuries from the pre-internet era until now.

In addition, attention to the reporting of Major League Baseball injuries creates consciousness by young players, coaches and parents of the growing concern of these overuse throwing injuries.

There is more to the increase than just more reporting, however. A more serious reason in higher usage of the throwing arm.

For example, during the Koshien Baseball Tournament in Japan, a study of Japanese high school-aged pitchers showed pitch counts greater than 150 pitches in multiple pitchers, with a high of 187 pitches - for one pitcher - in 2016.

And in Kansas a high school pitcher attracted national media attention in 2016 by pitching 157 pitches in one game.

Surgeries to reconstruct a frequent injury to a ligament in the elbow of the throwing arm - also known as Tommy John surgery - have been increasing in baseball players at all levels of play for the past 20 years. One study showed about a 9.5 percent increase per year from 2007 to 2011.

Unfortunately, data suggests that this trend toward more Tommy John surgeries, which reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in the elbow, is not likely to decrease until at least 2025.

Too Many Pitches Before Games?

It is important for parents, players and coaches to be aware of simple methods to prevent these overuse injuries. Some approaches include not playing on multiple teams at the same time and throwing restrictions, such as taking a day of rest based on the number of pitches thrown. Also, players should keep their rotator cuff strong and never pitch if an arm is in pain.

However, these actions have not reduced the number of overuse throwing injuries given the growing number of injuries.

Thus, there has been an increased emphasis on pitch restrictions, particularly at the youth and high school levels. Originally, Little League Baseball and the USA Baseball Medical Advisory Committee developed pitch count restriction recommendations based upon age.

More recently, Major League Baseball developed PitchSmart, a website that provides information to players, coaches and parents to prevent overuse injuries in youth and adolescent pitchers. As of 2016, the National Federation of State High School Associations began requiring a pitching restriction policy in each state based on the number of pitches thrown in a game, not based upon innings (which was previously used).

One interesting aspect of the pitch restriction recommendations is that there is no consideration for number of pitches thrown in the bullpen or during before-inning warm-ups. Players may therefore be considered in the "safe" zone of pitches thrown when compared to state guidelines - when in reality, the pitching volume and unaccounted workload including the bullpen and before-inning warm-up pitches would be significantly higher than recommended.

With that in mind, our team at the University of Florida began considering the actual number of pitches a pitcher throws in each high school game. Our theory is that there is an unaccounted workload factor right in front of us.

While our study's data is ongoing, initially we have found it is very typical to have a pitcher throw 70-80 pitches in a game but actually "pitch" more than 120-130 pitches if we include the bullpen and between-inning warm-ups. We should note we are not looking at injuries at this time, as this is an observational study only.

It should also be stated that while there is significant variation in bullpen warm-up volume, it is our opinion that it would not be appropriate to "regulate" how a pitcher warms up as every pitcher has his or her own style to feel comfortable prior to entering live game competition.

However, our study thus far shows that there is significant variability in the number of bullpen pitches thrown, varying from less than 20 pitches to more than 50 pitches.

One unanswered question is that if there are now pitch limitations but there is a certain percentage of pitches unaccounted for, do we need to train our pitchers differently? Given that an increase of early season throwing injuries is potentially due to not training appropriately in the off-season, our study reinforces the importance of a preseason pitching program to ready the arm and body for the coming season.

The ultimate goal of our study is to is prevent throwing injuries before they happen in our adolescent pitchers. Our hope is that years from now, the number of overuse throwing injuries will decrease, allowing our youth and adolescent overhead throwing athletes every opportunity to enjoy America's pastime on the field of play, not in the doctor's office.

Jason Zaremski is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Florida. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:58 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Flotos' Gifts

Where shopping is an adventure since 1946!

flotos.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

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Again, if you enlarge, then click on the photo, you can explore the details - like the t-shirts in the window.

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:31 AM | Permalink

U.S. Plans Threaten To Undermine Global Bank Reforms

LONDON/HONG KONG - U.S. plans to delay globally-agreed reforms to make banks safer after the financial crisis will throw a system of international regulatory cooperation into confusion, European Union and Asian regulatory sources said on Tuesday.

But the rollback will be welcomed by global banks as it will allow them to cut back on how much expensive capital they must hold to support their business, the sources said.

Since the financial crisis, watchdogs around the world have been working via the G20 group of leading economies to increase cooperation between regulators following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

But the U.S. Treasury unveiled plans on Monday to upend the country's financial regulatory framework in a 150-page report that suggested more than 100 changes.

"Trump's proposals are going in the wrong direction," Jakob von Weizsaecker, a German Social Democrat in the European Parliament's economic and monetary affairs committee, told Reuters. "In Europe, we must be careful not to forget the lessons of the financial crisis. It would be a huge mistake for us to follow the U.S. lead on this."

The U.S. Treasury has called for a delay implementing a globally agreed rule on bank liquidity which requires banks to cover long term funding needs from January 2018.

The U.S. Treasury also wants to delay a fundamental review of banks' trading books, which was also agreed globally through the Basel Committee of international regulators.

This trading book review represented a major overhaul of how banks set aside capital to cover risks from stocks, bonds and other instruments kept in their trading businesses.

The U.S. Treasury said these two rules would have added new capital and liquidity requirements to existing rules banks have to follow.

The European Union has already proposed a draft law to implement these pieces of regulation.

"This raises some question marks. It's a bit worrying," an EU source said on condition of anonymity as the bloc has not reached a formal position on the U.S. Treasury's announcement.

The Basel Committee could not be reached immediately for comment.

LEVEL PLAYING FIELDS

Asia-based regulatory experts said the U.S. Treasury's position would lead some watchdogs in their region to review their implementation timelines. They are already unhappy about having the West's post-crisis reform agenda imposed on them.

"This is going to create level-playing field problems, and concerns for global banks when dealing with fragmented regulatory regimes in the region," Kevin Dixon, global APAC lead, Center for Regulatory Strategy at Deloitte in Sydney, said.

Even so, any rollback on the fundamental review of banks' trading books by Asian regulators would generally be a boon for global banks operating in the region, Keith Pogson, senior partner, Asia Pacific financial services at EY in Hong Kong, said.

The U.S. Treasury will also review a mechanism for winding down failed banks.

"Depending on how the review is implemented, it can create quite a lot of trouble for cooperation between supervisors," the EU source said. "We are looking at this with quite a bit of potential concern. It could jeopardize the whole international cooperation on resolution of banks."

VOLCKER RULE

Many of the other reforms proposed by the U.S. Treasury are domestic, such as scaling back on "gold plating" of globally agreed rules.

The U.S. Treasury review also suggested the country's so-called "Volcker Rule" needed amending to avoid damaging market liquidity. The Volcker Rule restricts banks' ability to make bets in financial markets with their own money.

An EU version of the Volcker Rule is currently before the European Parliament.

The U.S. Treasury also proposed easing capital requirements on U.S. branches of foreign banks which hold $4.5 trillion in assets.

At present, the Federal Reserve requires them to ring-fence capital on U.S. soil inside an "intermediate holding company", but the U.S. Treasury wants changes to encourage foreign banks to increase investment in U.S. markets and provide credit to the economy.

The EU has proposed similar requirements for foreign branches in the bloc, and the U.S. move could prompt a rethink of those plans in Europe.

Additional reporting by John O'Donnell in Frankfurt.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:01 AM | Permalink

June 15, 2017

Michigan's Top State Health Official Among Five Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter For Role In Flint Water Crisis

Michigan's attorney general announced Wednesday that the head of the state's health department and four others have been charged with involuntary manslaughter for their role in the years-long Flint water crisis.

Nick Lyon, director of Michigan Health and Human Services, "failed in his responsibilities to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Flint," state AG Bill Schuette said at a press conference Wednesday.

A statement from Schuette's office alleges that Lyon waited a year before alerting the public about the outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease as a result of the crisis, an act that led to the death of 85-year-old Robert Skidmore. He also thwarted an independent researcher from investigating the cause of the outbreak, the statement says.

Lyon was also charged with misconduct in office.

The others now slapped with involuntary manslaughter charges are former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley; former City of Flint Water Department Manager Howard Croft; Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's Drinking Water Chief Liane Shekter-Smith; and Water Supervisor Stephen Busch.

Those four, the Detroit News reports, "had been charged with less-serious crimes during the past year."

NPR writes: "More than a dozen former state and city officials have been criminally charged in connection with the Flint water crisis," and thus far, "Lyon and Wells are the highest-ranking state officials to be charged."

According to Lonnie Scott, executive director of advocacy group Progress Michigan, the new charges stemming from Schuette's investigation "show that the failure in Flint lies squarely at the feet of Governor Rick Snyder."

"Now that these charges have been levied against a top cabinet official, we renew our call for Governor Rick Snyder to immediately resign," Scott added

Yet Snyder, who on Wednesday offered a statement in support of Lyon and Wells, continues to evade accountability.

The Washington Post reports:

Schuette on Wednesday addressed the pressure he has gotten to charge Snyder, who has heard repeated calls to resign for his appointment of emergency mangers in Flint and the state's delayed and inadequate response there.

"We only file criminal charges when evidence of probable cause to commit a crime has been established," Schuette said. He later revealed that investigators have been unable to speak with Snyder about his role in the catastrophe. "We attempted to interview the governor. We were not successful," he said.

The announcement of the new charges comes a day after Flint activists delivered over 1,000 water bottles to the office of Snyder, each filled with a letter from a Flint resident saying what he or she feels is owed by the governor as a result of the water crisis.

One message read: "you owe me clean water and money if not, you schould [sic] go to jail."

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

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Previously:
* The Best Reporting (So Far) On The Flint Water Crisis.

* Item: Flint Hint.

* How Al-Jazeera America Reported The Flint Water Crisis - A Year Ago.

* A Flint Journal Reporter Explains How The Water Crisis Happened.

* Race Best Predicts Whether You Live Near Pollution.

* How The EPA Has Failed to Challenge Environmental Racism in Flint - and Beyond.

* We Helped Uncover A Public Health Crisis In Flint, But Learned There Are Costs To Doing Good Science.

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And:

* Flawed CDC Report Left East Chicago Children Vulnerable To Lead Poisoning.

* East Chicago Is Toxic.

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Finally:

* Millions Of American Kids Going Untested For Lead Poisoning.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:36 AM | Permalink

Chicago Vegan Fest 2017!

Highlights from last weekend from interesting people.

1. Pharaoh Said That.


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2. Featuring Karyn Calabrese.

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3. By Jonny Juicer.

Dude, that OJ's just drinking a big glass of sugar . . .

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4. Nobody gonna take my crown . . . I dare you.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:56 AM | Permalink

The [Thursday] Papers

People, can we crowdfund for this? We could rebrand it as a Beachwood property and . . . Beachwoodify it.


Oh, think of the possibilities.

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Downside: It's in Union, Illinois.

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Upside: We could make - and keep - Union weird.

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Flint Gov Evades Water Probe Questioning As Five Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter
"Investigators have been unable to speak with Gov. Snyder about his role in the catastrophe. 'We attempted to interview the governor. We were not successful.'"

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Chicago Vegan Fest 2017!
Featuring Pharaoh, Karyn Calabrese and Jonny Juicer.

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BeachBook

Trump Rolls Back Civil Rights Efforts Across Federal Government.

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Trump Loyalists Tarred Chicago Furniture Maker Mistaken For Washington Lawyer/Dem Donor.

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Gene Simmons Seeks To Register Trademark On Iconic Rock Hand Gesture.

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Chicagoans' Worst Nightmares.

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The Real Reasons McDonald's Abandoned The Suburbs.

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An Important Message From Billy Bragg.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: It smarts.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:04 AM | Permalink

June 14, 2017

The [Wednesday] Papers

We're having a party and you're invited.

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Related: Take Your Photo With Adam West!

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Also:

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Truly, everyone is invited. We'd love to see you - even if you hate me or think I hate you! Life is too short.

RSVPs welcomed only so we can know how many miles of fun to plan for.

Because I'm an idiot outside of my chosen profession, I used an evite thingy for the first time and mistook EventBrite for E-Vite, or whatever, and let me just say EventBrite is confounding. So not everybody got onto that contact list. Nonetheless, you can RSVP via EventBrite (I think by "buying" a free ticket), or via the EventBrite posting on the Beachwood Facebook page, or personally to me.

If you didn't get an invite via one of my contact lists, no problem! That was just a starter set. Again, y'all are invited. Just let us know. Hope to see you.

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For completists, there was no column on Tuesday.

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Meet The Chicago North Shore Ramada
Neither in Chicago, on the shore, or in the town (Wheeling) of its address.

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Chicago's Still Got The Blues
Blues Fest 2017 highlights, featuring: Gary Clark Jr., Rhiannon Giddens, Rhymefest, A Video Tribute To The Late Lonnie Brooks, William Bell, Theo Huff & The New Agenda, Cedric Burnside, Billy Branch, Melvia Chick Rodgers, and Christof "Kingfish" Ingram.

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Melody Angel, Yoko and the Oh Nos, Sweet Cobra, Negative Scanner, Flesh Panthers, The Appleseed Cast, The Deftones, Rise Against, Lizzo, Laura Pergolizzi, Marlo, Galantis, Excision, Martin Garrix, Malaa, Yellow Claw, Diplo, John Waite, Johnny Moon and the Astronauts, The Will Woodrow Project, John Legend, Spa Moans, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Beastmaker, Dylan Walshe, Kipper Darling, and Brent Brown.

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Now Just Five Men Own Almost As Much Wealth As Half The World's Population
"In 2016 alone, the richest 1% effectively shifted nearly $4 trillion in wealth away from the rest of the nation to themselves, with nearly half of the wealth transfer ($1.94 trillion) coming from the nation's poorest 90% - the middle and lower classes."

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When Pols Cherry-Pick Academic Data
It's time for academics to step up.

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The Blood Of Emmett Till
She lied.

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Protecting Pets From The Dog Days
"Pet owners must be aware that both dogs and cats can suffer from the same heat-related problems affecting humans, which include over-heating, dehydration, and even sunburn."

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Parochial School

Think about how many TV stations and newspapers Tribune Company once owned - and Tribune Media and Tronc continue to own - around the country and then cry to me about loss of local ownership. The time for tears was a long time ago when Tribune's greed-minded expansion began the company's downward spiral.

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BeachBook

Felt Bodega Kicks Ass.

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Gary Historic Sites Open To Public This Weekend. Beachwood Field Trip, Who's With Me?

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Condo Will Replace Last Undeveloped Space Along Lake Shore Drive.

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It's here.

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Chelsea Manning Worked At A Guitar Center In Chicago.

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Supreme Court A Millionaire's Club.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Whoa. Then again, anyone familiar with how these contests work . . .

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Unfit for office, and making the whole world less safe.

I won't hold my breath for the John Kass column - except the one blaming this on Democrats and the liberal media.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: A savage journey.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:39 AM | Permalink

Blues Fest 2017!

Highlights.

1. Gary Clark Jr.


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2. Rhiannon Giddens.

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3. Rhymefest.

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4. Video tribute to the late Lonnie Brooks.

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5. William Bell.

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6. Theo Huff & The New Agenda Band.

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7. Cedric Burnside.

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8. Billy Branch.

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9. Melvia Chick Rodgers.

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10. Christone "Kingfish" Ingram.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:13 AM | Permalink

What Should Academics Do When Pols Cherry-Pick Data And Disregard Facts?

When politicians distort science, academics and scientists tend to watch in shock from the sidelines rather than speak out. But in an age of "fake news" and "alternative facts," we need to step into the breach and inject scientific literacy into the political discourse.

Nowhere is this obligation more vivid than the debate over climate change. Contrary to the consensus of scientific agencies worldwide, the president has called climate change a "hoax" (though his position may be shifting), while his EPA administrator has denied even the most basic link to carbon dioxide as a cause.

It's another sign that we, as a society, are drifting away from the use of scientific reasoning to inform public policy. And the outcome is clear: a misinformed voting public and the passage of policies to benefit special interests.

Using Data To Meet Predetermined Goals

We saw this dynamic at work when President Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. In making his case, he presented an ominous economic future: "2.7 million lost jobs by 2025," and industries devastated by 2040: "Paper - down 12 percent. Cement - down 23 percent. Iron and steel - down 38 percent. Coal - and I happen to love the coal miners - down 86 percent. Natural gas - down 31 percent."

These data points were drawn from a study - one study! - funded by the American Council for Capital Formation, a pro-business lobbying group, and conducted by National Economic Research Associates, a consulting firm for industrial clients often opposed to environmental regulations. The New York Times editorial board called the data "nonsense" and "a cornucopia of dystopian, dishonest and discredited data based on numbers from industry-friendly sources."

A closer look at the study reveals how it was misused and distorted to make the president's case. The NERA study modeled five different scenarios, but President Trump cited only one. It assumed limited technological development with regard to clean technologies that could reduce the costs of low-carbon energy over the long term. Also, the president's use of the study's cost projections did not put them in the context of a larger economy in 2040.

Indeed, the study looked only at specific industrial sectors and not the economy as a whole and it did not consider where other sectors of the economy might benefit by policies to reduce greenhouse gases. It also didn't note that some industries, including coal mining, face decline for market reasons that go beyond climate policy. And lastly, it did not consider the costs of inaction to climate change as compared to action.

Since the president's speech, NERA has issued a statement that the "study was not a cost-benefit analysis of the Paris Agreement and does not purport to be one" and that "use of results from this analysis as estimates of the impact of the Paris Agreement alone mischaracterizes the purpose of NERA's analysis."

In short, the use of their analysis was misleading. And yet, there it is, standing as justification to the American public for the historic U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

That American public, surveys show, is often uninformed about science and the scientific process. And so academic scholars have an important role to play standing up for scientific integrity by speaking out when it is threatened.

Just this past winter, the Arlington Heights-based Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank that rejects the scientific consensus on climate change, sent their book Why Scientists Disagree about Climate Change to 25,000 K-12 science teachers for inclusion in their curriculum. Their goal is to reach 200,000.

This represents a threat that requires a response from all who value rigorous evidence-based decision-making: professors, research scientists, college deans, university presidents, journal editors, heads of professional societies, donors, employers, professionals and the general public.

Standing Up For Scientific Integrity

I have long advocated for greater public engagement from academics. But how do we bring scientific literacy to the realm of policy-making? We begin by being authentic in local, regional and global arenas. Surveys in both 2013 and 2016 show that only one in three Americans discusses global warming with friends or family. If that number is to ever approach 100 percent, academic scholars must lead the way, whether that be in small gatherings, town hall meetings, local schools, newspaper editorials and publications, public protests, government testimony and of course the classroom.

At the extreme, some, like Patrick Madden, have decided to run for office.

Madden.png Computer scientist Patrick Madden is running for Congress because "in Washington, there's an all-out attack on the very idea of facts, and on anyone who tells the truth."/Patrick Madden for Congress

We cannot wait until our particular science is under threat, as some MIT scientists had to do when President Trump misused their climate data in his speech as well. We must stand up for all science and the integrity of the scientific process now.

Responding When Science's Credibility Is Challenged

This is not comfortable terrain. Science and scientists have long been mistrusted by a segment of American society, newly emboldened to attack its credibility on several fronts. Consider just these five and how to respond.

  • It is not the place for scientists to become political. But any research that asks people to change their beliefs or their actions is, by definition, political. You can try to remain outside the fray, but in my view, that is the same as remaining irrelevant.
  • There are mistakes in scientific research, so scientists should not be trusted. Any good scientist knows you do not throw out an entire model when a flaw is found. Scientific research is corrected when subsequent studies challenge prior work, and fatally flawed studies are retracted.
  • Scientists are arrogant and don't want to listen. One should not conflate the act of standing up for a conclusion that is based on rigorous scientific analysis with arrogance. It is an issue of tone, not of content.
  • Academics are liberal and therefore biased. Some studies show that academia in general is a left-leaning institution, and we can do better at bringing a diversity of viewpoints to campus. But, that does not mean that scientific research is biased. The peer review process is established to remove weak reasoning and selection biases, creating an environment where conservative professors thrive as much as liberal.
  • Scientists use fossil fuels too, so they are not serious. Scientists should be authentic and reduce their carbon footprint. But the solutions to climate change require broad-scale shifts in our industrial systems and culture, and this will happen only by continuing our research, teaching and engagement, all of which require energy.

The corruption of science is an existential threat to both the academy and democratic society, neither of which can function on half-truths and fictions that distort our sense of the real problems we face and the solutions we should enact. If scientists do not step up to change our course toward a scientifically illiterate public, who will? If we don't do it now, then when?

Andrew J. Hoffman is the Holcim (US) Professor at the Ross School of Business and Education Director at the Graham Sustainability Institute, University of Michigan. This article was originally published on The Conversation

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:59 AM | Permalink

Meet The Chicago North Shore Ramada

Which is actually in Wheeling, which is named after Wheeling, West Virginia.


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It has a bowling alley.

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On TripAdvisor:

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Yelp review that ends badly for the reviewer, too:

Read JW W.'s review of Ramada Plaza Chicago North Shore on Yelp

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"Family, friends, local and state dignitaries, and Prospect Heights officials last week celebrated Lakhani Hospitality Group's new Ramada Plaza Hotel, 1090 S. Milwaukee Ave.," the Daily Herald reported last August.

"More than 100 guests toured the hotel, a former Fairbridge Inn renovated at a cost of $5.2 million, and the Lakhani Group gave a check for $10,000 to St. Alphonsis Liguori Parish . . .

"The Ramada Plaza is Skokie-based Lakhani Hospitality's fifth. The family also is the owners/operators of five gasoline stations and three Bar Louie restaurants . . .

"Although it has a Wheeling address, the Ramada Plaza Chicago North Shore is located in Prospect Heights."

Oh.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:51 AM | Permalink

June 13, 2017

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Melody Angel at Blues Fest on Sunday.


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2. Yoko and the Oh Nos outside the East Room on Saturday.

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3. Flesh Panthers outside the East Room on Saturday.

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4. Negative Scanner and Sweet Cobra at Bric-a-Brac on Saturday.

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5. The Appleseed Cast at the Green Music Fest in Wicker Park on Saturday.

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6. The Deftones at Northerly Island on Friday night.

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7. Rise Against at Northerly Island on Friday night.

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8. Lizzo at the Metro on Friday night.

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9. Laura Pergolizzi at Lincoln Hall on Friday night.

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10. Marlo at Spring Awakening at Addams/Medill Park on Saturday.

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11. Galantis at Spring Awakening on Friday night.

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12. Excision at Spring Awakening on Saturday night.

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13. Martin Garrix at Spring Awakening on Sunday night.

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14. Malaa, Yellow Claw and Diplo at Spring Awakening on Saturday/Saturday night.

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15. John Waite at City Winery on Sunday night.

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16. Johnny Moon and the Astronauts at the Elbo Room on Sunday night.

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17. The Will Woodrow Project at the Elbo Room on Thursday night.

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18. John Legend at Ravinia on Saturday night.

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Catching up with . . .

Spa Moans at Danny's on June 6.

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Rodrigo y Gabriela at the Vic on June 3.

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Beastmaker at Bottom Lounge on June 2.

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Dylan Walshe at the Aragon on June 2.

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Kipper Darling at Red Line Tap on June 7.

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Brent Brown at the Wire in Berwyn on June 7.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:23 PM | Permalink

Take Your Photo With Adam West!

At Beachwood Fest.

We're making it happen.

You're all invited.

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From the vault of the late, great Beachwood Novelties:

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There was even a Facebook group for his candidacy - which also found its way into our Mayoral Odds.

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Remembering Adam West.

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Eulogy by Ralph Garman and Kevin Smith.

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A Family Guy Farewell.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:53 AM | Permalink

The Blood Of Emmett Till

The cousin of Emmett Till, a black teen whose 1955 lynching in Mississippi helped trigger the modern civil rights movement, says a new book helps clear his cousin's reputation.


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From the publisher:

"In 1955, white men in the Mississippi Delta lynched a fourteen-year-old from Chicago named Emmett Till. His murder was part of a wave of white terrorism in the wake of the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared public school segregation unconstitutional. Only weeks later, Rosa Parks thought about young Emmett as she refused to move to the back of a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Five years later, Black students who called themselves 'the Emmett Till generation' launched sit-in campaigns that turned the struggle for civil rights into a mass movement. Till's lynching became the most notorious hate crime in American history.

"But what actually happened to Emmett Till - not the icon of injustice, but the flesh-and-blood boy? Part detective story, part political history, The Blood of Emmett Till 'unfolds like a movie' (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution), drawing on a wealth of new evidence, including a shocking admission of Till's innocence from the woman in whose name he was killed."

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See also:

Author Timothy Tyson at a U.S. National Archives event.

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Plus:

* The New York Times: Emmett Till's Murder: What Really Happened That Day In The Store?

* The Atlantic: How The Blood of Emmett Till Still Stains America Today.

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Previously:

Emmett Till's Father Was Hung.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:34 AM | Permalink

Protecting Pets From The Dangerous Dog Days Of Summer

The dangerous weather conditions associated with the Dog Days of Summer are returning to Chicago. Pet owners must be aware that both dogs and cats can suffer from the same heat-related problems affecting humans, which include over-heating, dehydration, and even sunburn. Preemptive action taken now can make a difference and help pets have a safe and enjoyable summer with their owners.

The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association offers the following simple precautions that pet owners and families must take to protect their companion animals from the elements all summer long:

* Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle, as overheating can quickly lead to death. Dogs and cats do not sweat like humans; sometimes, they are unable to pant fast enough to cool down. Even with the windows open, or located in the shade, a parked vehicle can quickly become a furnace on a hot day.

* Don't force your pet to exercise after a meal in hot, humid weather. Try to exercise in the early morning or later in the evening when the temperatures are cooler, and keep long walks to a minimum. Since your pet does not always know to say when, it is up to you to pay careful attention. The minute your dog goes from walking in front of you to lagging behind you, this is usually a sign it has become too exerted and overheated.

* Never leave your dog standing on hot asphalt for long periods of time as the body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads may burn.

* Always bring plenty of cold water, along with a portable bowl when out with your pet to ensure proper hydration.

* Provide plenty of shade as well as a well-constructed doghouse for a pet that spends time outside. Bring your animal inside during the hottest part of the day and supply plenty of cool water. It is best that cats remain indoors on extremely hot days.

* Offer a cool or air conditioned room for your pet. Old and overweight animals require extra attention in hot weather. Short nosed, large heavy coated breeds, and dogs with heart and/or respiratory problems are at greater risk for heat stroke.

* Maintain a well-groomed pet to prevent summer skin irritations. Shaving a heavy-coated dog's hair to a one-inch length will help prevent overheating. Cats should be brushed more often in the summer to help thin-out any excess fur. Exercise caution to not to shave the hair all the way down to the skin, as this will remove protection from the sun and can expose your pet to sunburn.

* Watch for any changes in skin color, since pets are not immune from skin cancer.

* Do not take your pet to the beach unless shade and plenty of fresh drinking water are readily available. If swimming in salt water, thoroughly rinse your pet to prevent skin irritation.

"Dogs will often slow down, seek shade or stop exercising in the heat," says Chicago Veterinary Medical Association President Dr. Benjamin Welbourne. "Other times, more subtle signs of excessive panting, drooling or confusion can be seen prior to a heat stroke. Watch and listen to your pet, enjoy the shade with your companion, and always bring water to prevent these crises."

Preparation is the always key with a plan in advance of an emergency by knowing the location of the nearest veterinarian and emergency veterinary medical services. Store the information for your doctor or the emergency clinic in your cell phone and on the refrigerator. If you suspect the slightest problem or discomfort in your pet, call a veterinarian and make an appointment for an exam.

About The CVMA
The CVMA is an association of over 1,000 veterinarians and 4,000 support staff who lovingly assist more than one million Chicago area pets and their families. The membership of the CVMA is dedicated to the health and well-being of animals through its nurturing of the human animal bond.

The CVMA will strive to fulfill the diversified needs of its members by providing nationally recognized CE programs, cultivating membership involvement, and offering innovative member services and exemplary public awareness.

Since 1896, the CVMA has continued a proud tradition of providing its members with vital services and programs which have expanded dramatically over a century to meet the ever-changing needs of the veterinary profession and its diverse patients and clients.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:06 AM | Permalink

Now Just Five Men Own Almost As Much Wealth As Half The World's Population

Last year it was eight men, then down to six, and now almost five.

While Americans fixate on Donald Trump, the super-rich are absconding with our wealth, and the plague of inequality continues to grow. An analysis of 2016 data found that the poorest five deciles of the world population own about $410 billion in total wealth. As of June 8, the world's richest five men owned over $400 billion in wealth. Thus, on average, each man owns nearly as much as 750 million people.

Why Do We Let A Few People Shift Great Portions Of The World's Wealth To Themselves?

Most of the super-super-rich are Americans. We the American people created the Internet, developed and funded Artificial Intelligence, and built a massive transportation infrastructure, yet we let just a few individuals take almost all the credit, along with hundreds of billions of dollars.

Defenders of the out-of-control wealth gap insist that all is OK, because, after all, America is a "meritocracy" in which the super-wealthy have "earned" all they have. They heed the words of Warren Buffett: "The genius of the American economy - our emphasis on a meritocracy and a market system and a rule of law - has enabled generation after generation to live better than their parents did."

But it's not a meritocracy. Children are no longer living better than their parents did. In the eight years since the recession the Wilshire Total Market valuation has more than tripled, rising from a little over $8 trillion to nearly $25 trillion - and the great majority of it has gone to the very richest Americans.

In 2016 alone, the richest 1% effectively shifted nearly $4 trillion in wealth away from the rest of the nation to themselves, with nearly half of the wealth transfer ($1.94 trillion) coming from the nation's poorest 90% - the middle and lower classes. That's over $17,000 in housing and savings per lower-to-middle-class household lost to the super-rich.

A meritocracy? Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos have done little that wouldn't have happened anyway. All modern U.S. technology started with - and to a great extent continues with - our tax dollars, our research institutes and our subsidies to corporations.

Why Do We Let Unqualified Rich People Tell Us How To Live? Especially Bill Gates!

In 1975, at the age of 20, Bill Gates founded Microsoft with high school buddy Paul Allen. At the time Gary Kildall's CP/M operating system was the industry standard. Even Gates's company used it. But Kildall was an innovator, not a businessman, and when IBM came calling for an OS for the new IBM PC, his delays drove the big mainframe company to Gates.

Even though the newly established Microsoft company couldn't fill IBM's needs, Gates and Allen saw an opportunity, and so they hurriedly bought the rights to another local company's OS - which was based on Kildall's CP/M system. Kildall wanted to sue, but intellectual property law for software had not yet been established. Kildall was a maker who got taken.

So Bill Gates took from others to become the richest man in the world. And now, because of his great wealth and the meritocracy myth, many people look to him for solutions in vital areas of human need, such as education and global food production.

* Gates on Education: He has promoted galvanic skin response monitors to measure the biological reactions of students, and the videotaping of teachers to evaluate their performances. About schools he said, "The best results have come in cities where the mayor is in charge of the school system. So you have one executive, and the school board isn't as powerful."

* Gates on Africa: With investments in or deals with Monsanto, Cargill, and Merck, Gates has demonstrated his preference for corporate control over poor countries deemed unable to help themselves. But no problem - according to Gates, "By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world."

Warren Buffett: Demanding To Be Taxed At aAHigher Rate (As Long As His Own Company Doesn't Have To Pay)

Warren Buffett has advocated for higher taxes on the rich and a reasonable estate tax. But his company Berkshire Hathaway has used "hypothetical amounts" to "pay" its taxes while actually deferring $77 billion in real taxes.

Jeff Bezos: $50 Billion In Less Than Two Years, And Fighting Taxes All The Way

Since the end of 2015, Jeff Bezos has accumulated enough wealth to cover the entire $50 billion U.S. housing budget, which serves five million Americans. Bezos, who has profited greatly from the Internet and the infrastructure built up over many years by many people with many of our tax dollars, has used tax havens and high-priced lobbyists to avoid the taxes owed by his company.

Mark Zuckerberg (6th Richest in World, 4th Richest in America)

While Zuckerberg was developing his version of social networking at Harvard, Columbia University students Adam Goldberg and Wayne Ting built a system called Campus Network, which was much more sophisticated than the early versions of Facebook. But Zuckerberg had the Harvard name and better financial support. It was also alleged that Zuckerberg hacked into competitors' computers to compromise user data.

Now with his billions he has created a "charitable" foundation, which in reality is a tax-exempt limited liability company, leaving him free to make political donations or sell his holdings, all without paying taxes.

Everything has fallen into place for young Zuckerberg. Nothing left to do but run for president.

The False Promise Of Philanthropy

Many super-rich individuals have pledged the majority of their fortunes to philanthropic causes. That's very generous, if they keep their promises. But that's not really the point.

American billionaires all made their money because of the research and innovation and infrastructure that make up the foundation of our modern technologies. They have taken credit, along with their massive fortunes, for successes that derive from society rather than from a few individuals. It should not be any one person's decision about the proper use of that wealth. Instead a significant portion of annual national wealth gains should be promised to education, housing, health research, and infrastructure. That is what Americans and their parents and grandparents have earned after a half-century of hard work and productivity.

Paul Buchheit is a college teacher in Chicago. His latest book is Disposable Americans: Extreme Capitalism and the Case for a Guaranteed Income. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Previously by Paul Buchheit: The Absurd Amount Of Entitlements That Go To Rich People.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:27 AM | Permalink

June 12, 2017

SportsMonday: Mired In Mediocrity

Mired in mediocrity.

That is all the Cubs have been this season. The last month has been about streaks forward and backward, but it all adds up to average (31-31). And it is becoming ever more apparent that this is most likely who the 2017 Cubs are.

The team has had better than average pitching and equally less than average hitting. The defense has been disappointing, but better of late. It has been a struggle against good teams.

Strangely enough, Exhibit A are the surging Colorado Rockies, who just took three of four from the Cubs at Wrigley despite the home team's 7-5 victory Sunday. Colorado, coached by a manager, Bud Black, who has now had success at multiple stops in the big leagues, has the National League's best record at 41-24.

This is the first time in a long time the Rockies have been this competitive this far into the season. They also find themselves in baseball's toughest division, with the Dodgers 1 1/2 games back and the Diamondbacks trailing by 2. It is starting to look a lot like the NL Central in 2015, when the Cardinals won it and the Cubs and Pirates made it into the playoffs as high-achieving wildcards.

The biggest factor arguing against any sort of major Cubs surge in the near future? injuries have started to crop up: Kyle Hendricks is on the 10-day disabled list and Jake Arrieta might be fixing to join him after a cut on his pitching thumb forced him out of Sunday's game early.

Both injuries appear to be minor but these are just the sorts of disruptions that never happened to the Cubs last season. And the jury is still way out on fifth starter Eddie Butler. He has looked good at times during his six starts for the Cubs but he is just like his team - mediocre. The record is 3-2 and the ERA is 4.03. Butler has struck out 21 and walked 15. He suffered the loss in the Cubs' 9-1 setback against the Rockies on Saturday.

And for a team with plenty of smart, young players, the Cubs' offense is remarkably limited. I understand that we are in the "Three True Outcomes" Era, which is all about walks, strikeouts and home runs, but this is ridiculous.

On Sunday, the Cubs had used a Ben Zobrist three-run home run to take an early 4-0 lead and appeared poised to really start to stretch out their advantage in the fourth, when Miguel Montero launched a lead-off double and Addison Russell singled him to third. The bottom of the order was coming up but at least someone would hit a ground ball or a fly ball to score the run from third?

Nope. Arrieta struck out looking, Jon Jay did the same and Kris Bryant capped it of by . . . striking out swinging. Bryant had appeared to get a big break when his catchable foul tip on the second-to-last pitch slipped out of Rockies catcher Tony Wolters' glove. But Bryant couldn't take advantage of the reprieve.

Somehow innings like this seem to make an opposing comeback inevitable and sure enough, the Rockies soon pulled even at four. Fortunately the Cubs still had several more homers in them, with Russell, Kyle Schwarber and Montero going deep to build the lead back up.

The next stretch of schedule is road-heavy, but at least it doesn't feature any games against the powers in the West. Three games in the next three days at the Mets are followed by a three-game trip to Pittsburgh over the weekend. A three-game set at home with the Padres is followed by more road games against the Marlins and NL East-leading (by a lot) Nationals.

The Cubs will be fortunate to make it through that stretch at the same break-even point at which they start it.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:23 AM | Permalink

CAKE 2017

"The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) is a weekend-long celebration of independent comics, inspired by Chicago's rich legacy as home to many of underground and alternative comics' most talented artists - past, present and future.

"Featuring comics for sale, workshops, exhibitions, panel discussions and more, CAKE is dedicated to fostering community and dialogue amongst independent artists, small presses, publishers and readers."

CAKE 2017 was held this weekend. Here are some highlights.

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Almost certainly my new favorite comic

A post shared by Harris Smith (@negative_pleasure) on

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o we've got goods

A post shared by max huffman (@maxhuffman) on

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:32 AM | Permalink

Mediocre Minors

Back on May 17, a post on the White Sox website claimed, "White Sox Creating Winning Culture In Minors."

But the question is, "Can you create a winning culture by losing?"

Rebuilding teams like the White Sox lose ballgames by the boatload at the major league level while the young talent in the minor leagues percolates as it is prepared, cajoled and nurtured for future stardom.

A bevy of media personnel made a trip last month to Indianapolis (where the Charlotte Knights were playing) to see firsthand how the young players were doing. All reports were glowing. The treasure trove obtained from the trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton received high marks as did other high draft choices and bright-eyed young players.

With all those prospects toiling in the Sox system, surely they are learning how to play and win together.

Well, not so fast. As of Sunday, for instance, the Knights were 27-35, good for third place in the four-team south division of the International League. The Birmingham Barons, the Sox Double-A ballclub in the Southern League have a 22-40 record, which is dead last in their division. The advanced Single-A team, the Winston-Salem Dash, fell to 20-43 on Sunday, good for last place in its division of the Carolina League. The news from Kannapolis, the other Single-A team, is somewhat better; the Intimidators are 33-27, which is third best in their seven-team division.

Even at 26-35 after dropping a 4-2 decision in Cleveland on Sunday to complete a poorly-played road trip at 2-7, the Sox still have a better record than three of their minor league teams. Is this the meaning of creating a winning culture?

In addition, the poster boy of prospects, Charlotte second baseman Yoan Moncada, has struggled since the media hype of last month. After being disabled for 10 days with a sore thumb, Moncada has just nine hits in 59 at-bats for a .153 mark since his return. His average has dropped to .278 from .331.

In all fairness, the recent sample size is small. Moncada has been compared to a young Robinson Cano, who in all likelihood will enter the Hall of Fame when the time arrives. Interestingly, Cano's batting average of .278 in six minor league seasons was far from the .306 he owns as a major leaguer. After getting off to a fast start at Triple-A Columbus in 2005, the Yankees promoted Cano, who wound up hitting .297. The next season he hit .342 and made the All-Star team. We can always hope.

Hawk Harrelson said last Wednesday during a 3-1 loss in Tampa Bay that today's amateur draft isn't as crucial as recent years since the Sox farm system already is loaded with highly-rated prospects. That's nonsense. With the 11th pick, the Sox obviously have an opportunity to sign one of the very best amateur players in the nation. Last year's top draft choice, catcher Zach Collins, is hitting .219 at Winston-Salem, although his slash is a respectable .219/378/.820 with nine home runs and 28 RBI.

Former No. 1 Courtney Hawkins (2012) started the season at Birmingham, where he hit .135 before being demoted to Kannapolis. The Sox can ill-afford a poor draft despite being rated by SB Nation as fourth in farm system depth and upside. Drafting a kid at least as talented as Collins is necessary for this struggling franchise. Another Courtney Hawkins would qualify as a genuine failure despite Harrelson's assessment.

Leaving the minor league system for a moment, Rick Renteria's big league club not only has been losing - nine losses in the last 11 games - but the manner in which they get beat would embarrass even a high school team. Pop-ups drop between infielders and outfielders. Sacrifice bunts are turned into double plays by the opposition. Even though the Sox beat Cleveland 5-3 last Saturday, five guys were thrown out on the bases, attempting to steal, score, or stretch a hit. Cut -off men are missed, and outfielders (especially center fielder Leury Garcia) throw to the wrong bases.

Those are primarily mental errors, but we have physical ones as well. Shortstop Tim Anderson's 15 errors are tops in all of baseball, and Avi Garcia's seven miscues in right field are tied for the major league lead for outfielders.

There was no shame last Friday when former Cy Young winner Corey Kluber beat the Sox 7-3. However, on Wednesday in Tampa Bay they couldn't do a thing with the Rays' Jacob Faria, who was making his major league debut. Faria pitched into the seventh inning, yielding a mere three hits as he got the 3-1 decision over the Sox. Ten days earlier the Tigers' Buck Farmer earned his first major league win with a 4-3 decision in which he limited the Sox to three hits in seven-plus innings, blanking our athletes while striking out 11. Apparently it doesn't matter whom the White Sox face because any pitcher is capable of beating them.

Possibly this is too harsh. After all, this is rebuilding time. You look for things like veterans who can be traded for prospects, although we've been somewhat let down in that department as well. Third baseman Todd Frazier, in the final year of a two-year contract, got off to a horrible start, but at least he has awakened and might be able to help a contender once August rolls around. In his last eight games, Frazier has 13 hits in 29 at-bats to raise his average to .222, or about what he hit last season. Todd also clubbed three homers in those games and drove in eight runs.

Melky Cabrera probably won't be attractive to any ballclub six weeks from now, and Jose Quintana, whose record fell to 2-8 with a 5.30 ERA Sunday in the loss to Cleveland, has created more raised eyebrows than text messages to GM Rick Hahn this season.

The best trade possibility would be closer David Robertson, who has no great value for the Sox since save situations are few and far between. For most of his seven seasons with the Yankees, Robertson was a set-up man for Mariano Rivera. Robertson is enjoying fine success so far this year. He's has 10 saves in 11 chances with a splendid WHIP of 0.86. Opponents are hitting just .146 against him.

The way pitchers are dropping this season with a variety of injuries, Robertson could help a ballclub in either an eighth- or ninth-inning role. The best opportunity for the Sox to gather more young prospects would be to couple Robertson with Quintana, Derek Holland, Miguel Gonzalez or Mike Pelfry, who remain healthy despite their mediocre records.

Chances are we won't see Moncada or any of the other future White Sock on the South Side until rosters expand in September. While Moncada is hitting .278 in Charlotte, current second baseman Yolmer Sanchez is hitting .302 and making most of the plays in the field. Too bad Moncada doesn't play the outfield, where the big team needs a lot of help.

In the meantime, maybe the minor leaguers can turn things around and create that winning culture that seems so important to the Sox organization. Losing isn't helpful regardless of the level.

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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:35 AM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

[White] Opioid Addicts Find an Ally in Blue.

"Police leaders are assigning themselves a big role in reversing a complex crisis, and not through mass arrests."

vs.

Police Are Less Respectful Toward Black Drivers, Report Finds.

"Police officers are significantly less respectful and consistently ruder toward black motorists during routine traffic stops than they are toward white drivers, a paper released this week found."

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Cook County's Rigged, Racist Property Tax System
The Tribune states it plainly in its remarkable series on Cook County's property taxes and the broken - some would say rigged - system run by Assessor Joe Berrios (and his predecessors):

"Cook County failed to value homes accurately for years. The result: a property tax system that harmed the poor and helped the rich."

Highlights with commentary.

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The Political Odds
The race for governor is on.

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CAKE 2017!
"Jesus Christ! Chuck Berry AND Sun Ra versus Marty McFly?! Sign me up."

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Election Carnage
Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter, on populism.

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Melody Angel, Yoko and the Oh Nos, Sweet Cobra, Negative Scanner, Flesh Panthers, The Appleseed Cast, The Deftones, Rise Against, Lizzo, Laura Pergolizzi, Marlo, Galantis, Excision, Martin Garrix, Malaa, Yellow Claw, Diplo, John Waite, Johnny Moon and the Astronauts, The Will Woodrow Project, John Legend, Spa Moans, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Beastmaker, Dylan Walshe, Kipper Darling, and Brent Brown.

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From the Beachwood Sports Desk . . .

Cubs Mired In Mediocrity
In Jim Coffman's SportsMonday.

White Sox Mired In Minor League Mediocrity
Something special not brewing after all.

TrackNotes: Tapped Out
If these three-year-olds do anything remarkable for the rest of the year, it will be remarkable..

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BeachBook

Stop Pretending You're Not Rich.

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After A Year, Seattle's New Minimum Wage Hasn't Raised Retail Prices.

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Prince's Seed Money Helps Solar Start-Ups Weather Trump Assault.

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How The EFF Cracked Printers' 'Hidden Dots' Code.

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Greatest Generation Ever Killing Chains Like Applebees And Buffalo Wild Wings.

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See Artists Lead A Mini-Rebellion Against Trump.

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The 109-Hour Work Week Necessary To Make Rent.

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Trump's Aluminum Tax Could Make Your Beer More Expensive.

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More great news from our very own ConAgra!

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TweetWood
A sampling.

Because CPS gets "too much" money.

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#HillarysHealth

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Bruce Rauner and some other guy.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Both cat and fish.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:23 AM | Permalink

Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Election Carnage

Populism works both ways, it's not all right-wing. It can go to the left as well.


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See also: Broadcast Impartiality Rule Has Helped Labor To Achieve Biggest Poll Shift Since 1945.

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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!

-

Plus:

If Only All TV Reporters Did The News Like This.

-

And:

Australia Is Horrific.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:51 AM | Permalink

Cook County's Broken, Racist, Rigged Property Tax System

The Tribune states it plainly in its remarkable series on Cook County's property taxes and the broken - some would say rigged - system run by Assessor Joe Berrios (and his predecessors):

"Cook County failed to value homes accurately for years. The result: a property tax system that harmed the poor and helped the rich."

That's not an opinion. It's a reported conclusion - one that seems irrefutable.

Now, what are we gonna do about it?

*

"Chicago has long been a city divided by race and class, a metropolis with starkly different crime rates, economic realities and educational opportunities depending on where you live. But there's another division in Chicago and Cook County, one that for years has gone unexamined even as it pits rich against poor."

Emphasis mine.

"An unprecedented analysis by the Tribune reveals that for years the county's property tax system created an unequal burden on residents, handing huge financial breaks to homeowners who are well-off while punishing those who have the least, particularly people living in minority communities."

This is the definition of institutional racism. (Paging the Tribune's commentariot.)

*

"Assessor Joseph Berrios has resisted reforms and ignored industry standards while his office churned out inaccurate values. The result is a staggering pattern of inequality."

That would be the same Joseph Berrios who is chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party - and friend of such local stalwarts as Toni Preckwinkle. What sayeth you now, Toni?

*

"Among his strongest allies: Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Ald. Edward Burke, both property tax lawyers who benefit from the county's broken system."

Here's who else props Berrios up - and/or vice versa.

*

"From North Lawndale and Little Village to Calumet City and Melrose Park, residents in working-class neighborhoods were more likely to receive property tax bills that assumed their homes were worth more than their true market value, the Tribune found.

"Meanwhile, many living in the county's wealthier and mostly white communities - including Winnetka, Glencoe, Lakeview and the Gold Coast - caught a break because property taxes weren't based on the full value of their homes.

"As a result, people living in poorer areas tended to pay more in taxes as a percentage of their home's value than residents in more affluent communities. Known as the effective tax rate, the percentage should be roughly the same for everyone living in a single taxing district.

"But the Tribune's analysis shows the rates became skewed in favor of wealthier residents."

I don't ever want to hear the rich complain about taxes again.

*

"The assessor's office says it does not check its own work for fairness and accuracy, as is standard practice for assessors around the world.

"So the Tribune stepped in, compiling and analyzing more than 100 million property tax records from the years 2003 through 2015, along with thousands of pages of documents, then vetting the findings with top experts in the field. The process took more than a year."

This is a phenomenal piece of journalism.

"The conclusion: Residential assessments have been so far off the mark for so many years that the credibility of the entire property tax system is in doubt."

*

"Berrios, who took office in December 2010, declined to be interviewed for this series."

Declined is such a polite word. Say "refused." In fact, say "refused several requests to sit for an interview and answer questions we wanted to ask on behalf of taxpayers. His refusals occurred on the following days and in the following forms . . . "

*

"But through an interview in September with top aide Thomas Jaconetty, and then in written statements in 2017, the office defended its assessments as fair and accurate and said it strongly disagreed with the Tribune's findings.

"'The (Cook County Assessor's Office) believes the valuation and uniformity opinions formed by the Chicago Tribune are not sufficiently credible,' the office said in a statement."

Not good enough, Jaconetty.

*

"Jaconetty stressed that residents who believe their property is overvalued have the option to appeal - and are encouraged to do so.

"But when the Tribune partnered with the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy to study appeals filed by homeowners, the paper found that the process makes an already unequal system even less fair."

Checkmate.

*

"In defending the office, Jaconetty also noted that under Berrios the county has sent out property tax bills on time, which hadn't been the case for about 35 years."

At least we send out our rigged bills on time!

*

"Because of this, officials say, local governments saved millions in borrowing costs for loans used to tide them over until property taxes come in."

Fact check, please.

*

"But that timeliness came as accuracy suffered. Since 2009, the Tribune found, Cook County's assessments have been so inaccurate they violated standards set by the International Association of Assessing Officers, a professional organization that develops guidelines used around the world."

Link mine.

*

"Areas of the city where gentrification had taken hold saw values come in low, while homes just outside those neighborhoods were more likely to be overvalued. Small apartment buildings in the trendy eastern parts of Humboldt Park and Logan Square were likely to catch a break while many on the west sides of the neighborhoods got hammered.

"Bungalows in the far south suburbs of Chicago Heights, Lynwood and Ford Heights were far more likely to be overvalued while luxury homes in Wilmette and Winnetka were undervalued, some by as much as half."

Pick your cliched response:

A) The system works.

B) A feature not a bug.

*

Yes, Bruce Rauner, we need property tax reform! And that means you'll pay more!

*

"By comparing sale prices to property tax bills, the Tribune and the University of Chicago calculated the effective tax rate for Chicago and found it differed widely by neighborhood between 2009 and 2015, even though the rate should have been roughly the same for everyone.

"For example, the average effective tax rate in North Lawndale and Little Village was around 2 percent - about two times higher than in wealthier areas like the Gold Coast and Lincoln Park."

Berrios wouldn't say how his office arrived at its figures.

*

This reporting was done by Jason Grotto, John Chase and David Kidwell. Grotto is joining ProPublica Illinois, while Chase and Kidwell are now at the BGA.

Major losses.

*

From Part 2 of the series:

"Working with the Center for Municipal Finance at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy, the Tribune examined appeals on more than 2.7 million residential parcels and found that, in every year from 2009 to 2015, the industry's statistical measures of fairness got worse after the appeals process.

"That inequity has placed a financial burden on those who can least afford to pay more, the U. of C. study found. On average, even after appeals, people who own homes in the bottom 25 percent of values paid nearly $500 more a year in property taxes than they would have if the system were fair, the research shows.

"The reason: Wealthier neighborhoods appealed at much higher rates and regularly received significant assessment reductions even though homes in those areas were more likely to be undervalued. In poorer neighborhoods, homeowners not only are more likely to have their properties overvalued by the assessor, they are less likely to appeal."

*

"'You can't blame the people who appeal,' said U. of C. professor Christopher Berry. 'They are just responding to the incentives that the system gives them. But that system effectively transfers the tax burden onto those who can least afford it while giving a break to those of greater means. It's a textbook example of institutional racism.'"

Emphasis mine because Zorn.

*

"The system doesn't just help those in higher-priced homes. It has created a lucrative business for tax attorneys and given a political boost to Berrios.

"In 2015, when appeals hit an all-time high, records show that attorneys' fees from residential appeals totaled roughly $35 million, triple the amount in 2003. Many of these lawyers have helped fill the campaign coffers of Berrios, who is also chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party and committeeman of the 31st Ward Democratic Organization."

And don't forget, Michael Madigan is the chair of the Illinois Democratic Party. The Democratic Party in Illinois (still) has a lot to answer for.

*

"Berrios controls three active campaign accounts where he's raised more than $5 million since 2009, an unprecedented amount for an assessor. More than half of it came from tax attorneys and related businesses, a Tribune analysis of campaign data found."

How is such a clear conflict-of-interest even legal?

Dear Bruce Rauner: Campaign finance reform is far more important than term limits.

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From Part 3 of the series:

"For more than a decade, the Cook County assessor's office hid a secret inside the massive computer programs used to calculate property tax assessments for single-family homes.

"It didn't look like much - just a few snippets of code amid thousands of lines - but it created erroneous valuations for homes throughout the county, affecting the tax bills sent to more than 1 million residential property owners every year.

"What the code did was deceptively simple: It decreased every estimated home value in the county by about 40 percent, a troubling practice that ignored legal requirements set out in county ordinances.

"The artificially low values threw the property tax system so far out of whack that it may have violated provisions of the state constitution. But, shrouded by an opaque and convoluted assessment system, these widespread inaccuracies were invisible to the average homeowner.

"The Tribune already has revealed how the county's assessment system under Joseph Berrios has been riddled with errors that punished the poor while providing breaks to the wealthy.

"Now the investigation shows that the assessor's office knowingly produced inaccurate property assessments during the long tenure of his predecessor, James Houlihan, and even as far back as the 1980s."

Remarkable journalism.

But I'd like to see a Part 4: What is the Democratic Party going to do about it?

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:16 AM | Permalink

June 11, 2017

TrackNotes: Tapped Out

There was a big day of racing Saturday at Belmont Park.

And they also ran The Belmont Stakes.

It was just a flighty day.

* Best news, first thing, was that Epicharis, the Japanese horse with a swollen tendon, was a veterinarian scratch. Duh, but you never know in this day and age.

* Pop singer Andy Grammer - I caught 30 seconds and he seems sincere but does what they tell him to - looks to be a nice guy who was happy to experience racing.

He told interviewer Carolyn Manno she looked "freakin' beautful" and she did and is, with a Becky Thatcher look yesterday and a couple of very good questions. Women dig horse racing, believe me.

* Songbird returned in the Ogden Phipps and looked the toughest tomboy on the playground. She had to work for it, but prevailed without the whip. Class will out.

* You think you could get a goddamned answer, but it appears Disco Partner set a world record for six furlongs on the turf, perhaps a world record for six furlongs on any surface, in the Jaipur Invitational.

Trust me, :21.43 and :43.04 in the first two quarters is flying, And he wasn't even leading. He overtook Pure Sensation, who set a track record in this same race a year ago.

* Hall of Fame Jockey Mike Smith won five stakes races, four of them for Bob Baffert. Proof.

* Tapwrit won the Belmont Stakes. If these three-year-olds do anything remarkable for the rest of the year, it will be remarkable.

-

Tom Chambers is our man on the rail. See his Belmont preview here. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:04 PM | Permalink

June 10, 2017

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #156: About Addison Russell

Theo takes honest tack. Plus: Grandpa Heyward; Cubs Still Mediocre; White Sox Now Officially The Worst; The NBA's Defenseless Finals; Pens Looking To Join Kings, Blackhawks In Decade's Pantheon; Butler Bullshit; and Schweinsteiger!


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SHOW NOTES

* 156.

* Love the El, hate the CTA.

4:50: About Addison Russell.

* Haugh: Theo Epstein, Cubs Set Proper Wait-And-See Tone Regarding Addison Russell.

* Morrissey: We Don't Know Addison Russell - Or Any Other Pro Athlete.

* When he was merely a cartoon figure . . .

* Folks on Twitter disbelieving he could be an abuser because Pokemon.

20:57: Grandpa Heyward.

* Jason Heyward Fills Leadership Void.

* Cubs Can't Blame Loss Of Dexter Fowler For Team's Troubles.

23:59 Cubs Still Mediocre.

* LeMahieu reaches the basket:

* Kyle Hendricks Says Injury 'Nothing Traumatizing.'

31:58: White Sox Now Officially The Worst.

* Let the AL East bidding begin!

39:53: The NBA's Defenseless Finals.

45:26: Pens Looking To Join Kings, Blackhawks In Decade's Pantheon.

47:58: Toews vs. Trump.

50:07: Butler Bullshit.

* Bernstein: Bulls' Butler Call Seems Too Late.

* Rosenbloom: What Jimmy Butler Should Tell The Bulls.

* Coach Rondo?

56:09: Who Will Catch The Beautiful Crisp Spirals Of Mike Glennon and Mitch Trubisky?

* Wiederer: "As if the Bears needed more question marks within their receiving corps..."

57:21: Schweinsteiger!

* Still scorching!

-

STOPPAGE: 1:31

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

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:57 AM | Permalink

June 9, 2017

Books First! Chicago

"Connecting children through sharing a love of reading and putting a library in every underserved Chicago public school that doesn't have one of their own."


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"Since our founding in 2012, BooksFirst! has collected 60,000 books creating libraries for 7,000 Chicago Public School kids. The books are delivered through a volunteer network to 22 public schools without libraries and with 15% or more homeless kids."

How You Can Help.

-

See also:

* 'BooksFirst:' One Woman's Quest To Put A Dent In The CPS Library Shortage.

* Rose Phillips Online.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:40 AM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Boss Hog at Do Division on Sunday.


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2. RLYR at Do Division on Sunday.

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3. Longface at Subterranean on Sunday night.

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4. Skeletonwitch at the Metro on Thursday night.

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5. Lurrie Bell at the House of Blues on Wednesday night.

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6. The Nick Moss Band at SPACE in Evanston on Monday night.

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7. Abbath at the Metro on Thursday night.

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8. Future Islands at the Riv on Tuesday night.

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9. Phoenix at the Aragon on Monday night.

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10. Behexen at the Cobra Lounge on Sunday night.

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11. Samantha Glass at Danny's on Tuesday night.

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12. Tool at the Rosemont arena on Thursday night.

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13. Oops at Subterranean on Sunday night.

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14. Daymaker at Subterranean on Sunday night.

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Catching up with . . .

Zakk Sabbath at the Bottom Lounge on June 2.

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Morbid Angel at the Metro on June 3.

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Future in Tinley Park on June 2.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:37 AM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

Muddy Waters mural dedication.


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Beachwood Photo Booth: Photo Shoot
Red alert.

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How TV Cultivates Authoritarianism
And helped elect Trump - and we're not talking about the news.

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Socialism Strikes Back!
New Labor is dead, you fuckers!

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TrackNotes: Holy Bull & The Belmont
"If Thoroughbred horse racing had a mirror today and through this weekend, its gaze would reveal a diminished opacity, ghostly, with the demonic horseflies of fan discontent, ill-bred horses, greedy track companies, oversaturation and perverted priorities dancing about its head, without so much as a Thoroughbred's tail to swat them away," our very own Tom Chambers writes.

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Books First! Chicago
"Connecting children through sharing a love of reading and putting a library in every underserved Chicago public school that doesn't have one of their own."

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Boss Hog, RLYR, Longface, Skeletonwitch, Lurrie Bell, The Nick Moss Band, Abbath, Future Islands, Phoenix, Behexen, Samantha Glass, Tool, Oops, Daymaker, Zakk Sabbath, Morbid Angel, and Future.

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Beachwood Sports Radio: About Addison Russell
Theo takes honest tack. Plus: Grandpa Heyward; Cubs Still Mediocre; White Sox Now Officially The Worst; The NBA's Defenseless Finals; Pens Looking To Join Kings, Blackhawks In Decade's Pantheon; Butler Bullshit; and Schweinsteiger!

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BeachBook

The Secret To My Success? Anti-Depressants.

See also: Peter Listening to Prozac Kramer's Against Depression.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

ChicagoTribune.com.

*

*

*

*

Make America Fast Again. #MAFA

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Up to speed.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:50 AM | Permalink

Socialism Strikes Back!

New Labor is dead, you fuckers!


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See also: Broadcast Impartiality Rule Has Helped Labor To Achieve Biggest Poll Shift Since 1945.

-

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.

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Plus:

If Only All TV Reporters Did The News Like This.

-

And:

Australia Is Horrific.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:52 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Photo Shoot

Red alert.

photoshoot.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING; THEN CLICK ANYWHERE ON THE PHOTO FOR AWESOME CLOSE-UPS)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:49 AM | Permalink

TrackNotes: Holy Bull And The Belmont

If Thoroughbred horse racing had a mirror today and through this weekend, its gaze would reveal a diminished opacity, ghostly, with the demonic horseflies of fan discontent, ill-bred horses, greedy track companies, oversaturation and perverted priorities dancing about its head, without so much as a Thoroughbred's tail to swat them away.

It would also see, standing right behind, an image frozen in time. Frozen on Wednesday, June 7, in fact. The racing "industry" will never be able to escape his eyes, his plea eternal: "I did my part. Will you now do yours?"

For today, we mourn the passing of Holy Bull, just as 12 horses - as of this writing - of questionable talent and soundness, are to be sent off Saturday in the 149th Belmont Stakes (Grade I, $1,500,000, 12 furlongs/1.5 miles) at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

Holy Bull, the 1,300-pound, silver/dark gray behemoth out of Great Above and the Al Hattab mare Sharon Brown, was the definition of greatness in 1993-94 in a short career that included a three-year-old season that was as good as it could have possibly been without winning the Triple Crown. He was euthanized Wednesday, at 26, due to the infirmities of old age.

Enjoy the sweeping brushstrokes of his 1994 Florida Derby masterpiece. The will-not-be-denied of the scintillating Travers, and the I'm-better-than-you Woodward. After taking the Belmont Futurity at two, he also won the Hutcheson, Blue Grass Stakes, Metropolitan Handicap (Met Mile), Dwyer Stakes and the Haskell Invitational the next year.

The 'Bull, at three, took them all on, age be damned, including Go For Gin, Cherokee Run, Devil His Due, Tabasco Cat, Commanche Trail and 1994 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Concern. After a dull 12th in the Kentucky Derby on a sloppy track, Holy Bull bypassed the Preakness and Belmont Stakes and launched his odyssey against his elders in the Met Mile. He won the Olympic Handicap early in 1995. Injured on the backstretch, he was pulled up in the Donn Handicap, where he was facing the soon-to-be-legendary Cigar. That Donn became Cigar's fourth win in his epic 16-race win streak.

"I feel sure myself that that day, he would have beaten Cigar," owner and trainer Jimmy Croll said upon 'Bull's induction into the Hall of Fame. "Holy Bull was right at his peak. But it was one of those things. He made a misstep."

In retirement he forged a second legacy, as a sire. His progeny include 2000 two-year-old champion Macho Uno, who begat Mucho Macho Man; the 50-1 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo; Stephen Foster winner Flashy Bull; Confessional; Bishop Court Hill, and; Pohave. He also sired successful broodmares, who produced Judy the Beauty, Cairo Prince, Happy My Way, Munnings, Caravaggio and Going Ballistic. His grandson, Tommy Macho, fittingly represents him and Macho Uno in Saturday's Met Mile.

The thrill of the game courses our veins in reliving Holy Bull's great carer, but the pulse slows in looking at a Belmont Stakes that looks a mess this year. There's trouble out West, too, but more on that later.

Classic Empire is out of the Belmont with an abscess in his right front hoof. It's the same ailment that caused him to miss at least one prep on the way to a brutal and gutty fourth in the Kentucky Derby. Maybe he didn't have enough foundation, explaining Cloud Computing's nipping him at the wire in the Preakness. Trainer Mark Casse did a solid by scratching him before the race draw. Had he run, or on early bets, he would have been a nagging-hooved favorite and horseplayers wouldn't have known.

'Empire's music stopped and that gave the morning line favorite's chair to Irish War Cry at 7-2, for a race trainer Graham Motion didn't want for this son of Curlin just a few weeks ago.

"He's had a good couple of weeks and I can honestly say this was not my original plan," Motion said. "When he ran so disappointingly in the Derby, I wanted to go home and just forget about the rest of the Triple Crown - which is what the Derby does to you when you don't run well." Irish' breezed six furlongs last Saturday in 1:14 to earn his way in.

As a bettor, you have to wonder about Gormley. His trainer, John Shireffs, also seems to be reluctantly enthusiastic. Creatures of habit, Gormley worked at Santa Anita on Saturday, alone and in blinkers, both firsts for him. Seems he also earned his way into the Belmont with a good workout. The Santa Anita Derby winner and ninth-place finisher in the Derby was fashionably late to Elmont, arriving on deadline Wednesday. Eyes on the prize or just a shot? I think the latter.

We have a potential situation with Japanese entry Epicharis. Promised a $1 million bonus by the New York Racing Association if he came in and won this race, it now appears he has an ouchie in his right front that required a "lameness treatment" that included phenylbutazone, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to ease pain and swelling.

Banned for humans - Aleve is your go-to over-the-counter NSAID, boomers - the horse is required to not receive any more for at least 24 hours before the race. Dancer's Image in the 1968 Derby . . . aww, that's another story. While his connections are saying he should be ready, what if he's not feeling tip-top? He was last seen beaten a nose to Thunder Snow in the UAE Derby way back in March. Do you wager on him?

NYRA calls it "enhanced recruitment," but it's really a bribe to allow New York to benefit from increased betting handle that would come from Japanese horseplayers. While Bloodhorse reprints a press release hyping this misdirectional bullshit, I smell a lame rat and they'd better hope to hell this horse doesn't break down in the race.

Continuing our theme, Lookin At Lee is the only horse out of 425 three-year-olds nominated for the 2017 Triple Crown running in this race after also having run in the first two legs of the Crown.

The last time that happened was in 2010 when Super Saver won the Derby, Lookin At Lucky (Lookin At Lee's sire!) the Preakness, and Drosselmeyer - that's a bad memory - the Belmont.

Your Triple Crown leg newcomers are Twisted Tom (post position 1), Hollywood Handsome (5) and Meantime (9).

Twisted Tom comes in with three straight wins, including the Federico Tesio at Laurel, but while his 70s Beyer Speed Figures range might play in Maryland, they won't here. Hollywood Handsome has no wins in a race of any consequence and finished fifth in the Illinois Derby. Meantime is only a maiden winner with a fading second in the Peter Pan.

J Boys Echo is spiraling downward. Senior Investment, third in the Preakness, looks enough of a closer here. I thought Joel Rosario gave Illinois Derby winner Multiplier a bad ride in the Preakness - why not bring in Hawthorne pilot Jimmy Graham for the mount? - and he comes in with first-time blinkers.

And our friend Patch, he without a left eye, once again drew the far outside post position at 12. Man, I hope he wins.

For me, it'll be a numbers game, look at the odds. They should be fair across the board.

GHOST TOWN
Seems that for the second time this meet, Santa Anita cancelled a Thursday card, April 27 and June 8, because of a lack of entries to fill the races.

Read through the story and you see the classic blame game. Read the comments not too far down for the reality.

"You have to be concerned if you have a good horse population and you're not getting participation in the (entry) box," said Tim Ritvo, chief operating officer of The Stronach Group, which owns and operates Santa Anita.

"We need to find ways to say, 'OK, he's participating and brings some value, and he's not participating and maybe it's time to find another place to race,'" Ritvo said, clearly insinuating that trainers are using Santa Anita as a training facility and are not eager to run races.

"It's free stabling out there, and the only way we get a return on that investment is if the horses get onto the racetrack," said Stronach Group West Coast Vice President and bean counter Joe Morris.

Trainer John Shireffs, with the kind of immaturity (greed) we often see from horsemen, said New York also has small fields and it has bigger purses. So there!

"And somewhere along the way, instead of always having this negativity, they should (acknowledge) the horsemen are working hard to fill the races. Don't you think honey is a little better than vinegar?" Shireffs said.

Coming off of having just three entries in the Grade I (!!) Beholder Mile Stakes June 3, the Left Coast cognescenti need to get their traps shut.

Ritvo either doesn't know what horses he has on the grounds or can't write races for the horses he does have. Or both. That spells bad racing secretary. There are too many races and race days, all over the country. Hawthorne has scaled back, but it delivers what it promises.

Final Jeopardy. They are perennially the victims of the way horse racing is run. Who are: The fans?

BELMONT BUNDLING
NYRA's big M.O. has been to run a bunch of big races on Belmont Stakes Day, prestige and handle and all that. Concentrate, goose the gamblers and clean up.

But unlike outrageous boxing pay-per-views where the undercards suck, we do have a good day of racing from Big Sandy.

We have:

* The Easy Goer Stakes, $150,000, 3 year olds, 8.5 furlongs.

* The 129th Brooklyn Invitational, Grade II, $400,000, four and up, 12 furlongs;

* The Acorn Stakes, Grade I, $700,000, fillies 3 and up, 8 furlongs.

* The 49th Ogden Phipps, Grade I, $750,000, fillies and mares four and up, 8.5 furlongs.

We'll lay eyes once more on the lovely Songbird, the classy lady with the 11-1-0 in 12. Now four years old, she'll curtsy with long-time rival Carina Mia. But she hasn't raced since a nose beat in November's Breeders' Cup Distaff. Like a soap flakes afternoon drama, we approach post time, 12:52 Central, in total suspense and anticipation.

* The Jaipur Invitational, Grade III, $300,000, four and up, 6 furlongs turf.

* The Woody Stephens, Grade II, $500,000, 3 year olds, 7 furlongs.

Keep an eye on Bob Baffert's American Anthem, 8 post, to take his measure.

* The Just a Game, Grade I, $700,000, fillies and mare four and up, 8 furlongs turf. The Irish Roca Rojo will take on Dickinson.

* The Metropolitan Handicap, better known as the Met Mile, Grade I, $1,200,000, three and up, 8 furlongs.

Awesome Slew, Tommy Macho. I'll be looking.

* The Manhattan, Grade I, $1,000,000, four and up, 10 furlongs turf.

Wake Forest, Potemkin, Divisidero, Sadler's Joy go around again.

Your coverage is 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Net and 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. on the big peacock. Twenty percent chance for rain in Elmont, 81.

This is a hardcore, wagering weekend, at least here at TrackNotes. Enjoy.

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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:53 AM | Permalink

How TV Cultivates Authoritarianism - And Helped Elect Trump

Many gallons of ink (and megabytes of electronic text) have been devoted to explaining the surprise victory of Donald Trump.

Reasons range from white working-class resentment to FBI Director James Comey's decision to reopen the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation to low turnout. All likely played some role. It would be a mistake to think the election turned on one single factor.

However, a study we conducted during the campaign - just published in the Journal of Communication - suggests an additional factor that should be added into the mix: television.

We're not talking about cable news or the billions in free media given to Trump or political advertising.

Rather, we're talking about regular, everyday television - the sitcoms, cop shows, workplace dramas and reality TV series' that most heavy viewers consume for at least several hours a day - and the effect this might have on your political leanings.

An Authoritarian Ethos

Studies from the past 40 years have shown that regular, heavy exposure to television can shape your views on violence, gender, science, health, religion, minorities and more.

Meanwhile, 20 years ago, we conducted studies in the United States and Argentina that found that the more you watch television, the more likely you'll embrace authoritarian tendencies and perspectives. Heavy American and Argentinian television viewers have a greater sense of fear, anxiety and mistrust. They value conformity, see the "other" as a threat and are uncomfortable with diversity.

There's probably a reason for this. Gender, ethnic and racial stereotypes continue to be prevalent on many shows. Television tends to distill complex issues into simpler forms, while the use of violence as an approach to solving problems is glorified. Many fictional programs, from Hawaii Five-O to The Flash, feature formulaic violence, with a brave hero who protects people from danger and restores the rightful order of things.

In short, television programs often feature an authoritarian ethos when it comes to how characters are valued and how problems are solved.

Viewing Habits And Trump Support

Given this, we were intrigued when, during the campaign, we saw studies suggesting that holding authoritarian values was a powerful predictor of support for Trump.

We wondered: If watching television contributes to authoritarianism, and if authoritarianism is a driving force behind support for Trump, then might television viewing - indirectly, by way of cultivating authoritarianism - contribute to support for Trump?

About two months before the party conventions were held, we conducted an online national survey with over 1,000 adults. We asked people about their preferred candidate. (At the time, the candidates in the race were Clinton, Sanders and Trump.)

We then questioned them about their television viewing habits - how they consumed it, and how much time they spent watching.

We also asked a series of questions used by political scientists to measure a person's authoritarian tendencies - specifically, which qualities are more important for a child to have: independence or respect for their elders; curiosity or good manners; self-reliance or obedience; being considerate or being well-behaved. (In each pair, the second answer is considered to reflect more authoritarian values.)

Confirming our own earlier studies, heavy viewers scored higher on the authoritarian scale. And confirming others' studies, more authoritarian respondents strongly leaned toward Trump.

More importantly, we also found that authoritarianism "mediated" the effect of watching a lot of television on support for Trump. That is, heavy viewing and authoritarianism, taken together in sequence, had a significant relationship with preference for Trump. This was unaffected by gender, age, education, political ideology, race and news viewing.

We're not the first to note that entertainment can have political consequences. In a Slate article shortly after the election, writer David Canfield argued that prime-time television is filled with programming that is "xenophobic," "fearmongering," "billionaire-boosting" and "science-rejecting."

What we think of as "harmless prime-time escapism," he continued, actually "reinforces the exclusionary agenda put forth by the Trump campaign." Our data reveal that this was not simply speculation.

None of this means that television played the decisive role in the triumph of Donald Trump. But Trump offered a persona that fit perfectly with the authoritarian mindset nurtured by television.

What we think of as "mere entertainment" can have a very real effect on American politics.

James Shanahan is the dean of the media school at Indiana University. Michael Morgan is a professor emeritus of communication at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:50 AM | Permalink

June 8, 2017

The [Thursday] Papers

"The U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday that it has not reached an agreement with the city of Chicago on federal oversight of police reform as Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has suggested," the Tribune reports.

"When Emanuel's office trickled out the news late Friday that the mayor was backing away from a written commitment to seek federal court oversight of police reform, the administration characterized a new arrangement with President Donald Trump's Justice Department as 'an agreement in principle.'

"But Justice Department spokesman Devin O'Malley said Emanuel's office had just sent the proposal to Washington that same day, and that the Trump administration had not agreed to anything, including using a memorandum of agreement as the approach for police reform."

So Rahm . . . lied?

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Not only that, but Rahm defended the non-existent agreement against the quick backlash against what the police reform community sees as hugely inadequate - and a violation of Rahm's written commitment to a much tougher oversight process.

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"Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins issued a statement late Wednesday saying that 'the draft agreement submitted to DOJ by the city last week is exactly that, a draft. But it follows months of discussions with DOJ and an agreement on the approach.'"

Fine. But, even after months of discussion, a draft is not an agreement. Presumably, such a draft would have to be run up several flagpoles.

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"The mayor and his office have described the new approach on police reform as including an independent monitor who would oversee police reforms, but that it would not include the mandatory court enforcement of a consent decree. Emanuel's office has declined to release a copy of the plan it sent to the Justice Department, and [Justice Department spokesman Devin] O'Malley declined to discuss any details of the city's proposal, citing ongoing discussions."

In other words, "We've come to an agreement but we can't show it to you because we haven't yet come to an agreement."

*

"O'Malley also would not say whether the possibility of a consent decree remained on the table."

Really? This is of vital importance. If a consent decree is indeed still possible, even in a Jeff Sessions administration, then Rahm is really misleading us.

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"He also declined to say whether Emanuel proposed backing off from the federal court oversight or whether it came at the suggestion of the new Justice Department leadership."

Really? This is of vital importance. If a consent decree is indeed still possible, even in a Jeff Sessions administration, then Rahm is really misleading us.

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"The mayor has ignored questions this week on who initiated the decision to move away from federal court oversight of the police reforms, a commitment the mayor made in January after then-President Barack Obama's Justice Department completed a civil rights investigation into the Chicago Police Department."

You would think there would be no reason to ignore such questions if the mayor was truly left with no other choice.

*

Also, I wish the TV and radio stations who host Rahm in regularly scheduled interviews, as well as the Op-Ed pages that publish his PR, would ban Rahm from their platforms as long as he continues to dodge reporters on an almost daily basis. He should not be allowed to pick and choose when he answers questions and in what forum. And it's offensive to reporters, whose jobs are made harder when the mayor they cover has safe harbors from which he can disseminate his unvetted political messaging.

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"Criminal justice experts and reform advocates have stressed that even if the Justice Department no longer wants to pursue a consent decree under Sessions that Emanuel still could partner with community organizations to seek the oversight of a federal judge. The mayor has not answered questions this week asking whether he has considered such an approach."

Remember when police reform included greater transparency?

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"This proposal is a nonstarter for anyone committed to real reform of Chicago's broken system of policing," Karen Sheley, director of the ACLU of Illinois Police Practices Project, told the Tribune. "The city is proposing to sign a set of promises with a DOJ that is hostile to real police reform."

The ACLU also noted that Emanuel's statements that he is committed to reform echo similar past City Hall assurances that "have not yielded results."

Indeed. Like his predecessors, Rahm is doing the bare minimum that is politically necessary - and not one inch more. In fact, he's been dragged kicking and screaming at every step of the process. There should be no doubts left about his insincerity.

*

Now, again, to Fran Spielman's alternate reality over at the Sun-Times:

"An independent monitor overseeing Chicago Police reform can be 'as good' as court oversight, but only if the U.S. Department of Justice is party to the agreement and Mayor Rahm Emanuel remains committed to the five-year process, a policing expert said Tuesday."

How do you build an article around what a single person - friendly to the mayor's position - tells you? Especially when what he says runs counter to what every other expert has told us?

*

"'If you get a department that's resistant, doesn't think anything's wrong, they're fighting it, then you've got to go to court. But that's not the case here. That's why I think something like this can work,' said former Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., police chief Charles Ramsey, a former Chicago deputy police superintendent."

Ramsey has just undercut his case - apparently without Spielman's notice - because no honest observer can truly believe the CPD isn't resistant to reform generally and the reforms specifically called for in the wake of a blistering U.S. Justice Department review of the department's patterns and practices.

*

"I don't think consent decrees are always needed. I really like collaborative reform," Ramsey told the Sun-Times. "You can make the kinds of changes you need. It can be as transparent as you want it to be. And you can get the same result . . . Everything is there with the exception of reporting directly to a federal judge."

Everything about it is the same except the key provision that makes it different.

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"Ramsey is in a unique position to pass judgment on Emanuel's plan. Not only was he paid $350 an hour and $36,490 over four months to help guide the Chicago Police Department through the federal civil rights investigation triggered by the police shooting of Laquan McDonald, but he also ran the Washington and Philadelphia police forces during DOJ investigations of those agencies."

Spielman takes it as a credential that Ramsey made $34,490 in just four months serving the mayor. I take it as Ramsey knowing which side is bread is buttered on. It's nearly disqualifying as a credential, not enhancing.

*

"In Washington, that culminated in a seven-year memorandum of agreement and the hiring of an independent monitor similar to the one that Emanuel has proposed in Chicago.

Spielman laps up Rahm's talking points about Washington instead of citing the numerous other cities that benefited from an actual consent decree in ways they would not have otherwise.

*

"Police reform in Philadelphia is '95 percent complete' after a process Ramsey described as 'collaborative reform with no independent monitor . . . Just us and the DOJ.'

"'I'm deputy monitor now in Cleveland, which is operating under a consent decree. And most of the interaction we have is between the monitor and the Department of Justice,' he said."

Sounds like Ramsey is applying for the Chicago job!

*

"We keep the judge apprised. But so far, the judge has not had to intervene in anything because the department, and Justice and the monitor - we get on the same page . . . without the court actually having to weigh in. They're always there in the event there's a problem that can't be resolved. But my experience has been that a good monitor can resolve most things."

Then why would you ever need a federal consent decree? For departments that are resistant to reform? Name one U.S. police department that isn't!

Also, do we really want to leave police reform in the hands of a collaboration between Rahm's City Hall and Sessions' Justice Department? I'll take the community and a federal judge, please.

*

"Earlier this week, Emanuel argued that he's not backing away from his January commitment to negotiate a court-enforced consent decree with the Justice Department.

"He's simply recognizing political reality; when U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions decided to retreat from police reform agreements nationwide, it left the Chicago Police Department on the dance floor without a partner."

That may be what Rahm wants us to believe, but as the Tribune reports, we don't know if that's true. And there's at least one other alternative Spielman refuses to recognize: partnering with community groups to seek the oversight of a federal judge.

*

"'The model that we're looking at - a memo of agreement - is just exactly what Chuck Ramsey did with Washington, D.C. You have an outside monitor, an independent set of eyes, that will help us implement the very principles that we negotiated with the Obama Justice Department,' the mayor said."

And I was about to say this was still a one-source story!

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Previously this week in police reform:
* Rahm failing at all three jobs. In The [Monday] Papers.

* Rahm's phony police reform. In The [Tuesday] Papers.

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Chicago's Guitar Goddess Shreds The Blues
Meet Joanna Connor.

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Trump's Not The Only Pol Blocking Constituents On Twitter
A Chicago alderman has been known to do the same, for example.

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BeachBook

A Taste Of West Africa On The South Side.

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A Case For Reparations At The University Of Chicago.

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Inside Trump's Secretive Immigration Court: Far From Scrutiny And Legal Aid.

See also: Immigrants In Detention Centers Are Often Hundreds Of Miles From Legal Help.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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If you're in the mafia.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Normal Chicago.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:54 AM | Permalink

Chicago's Guitar Goddess Shreds The Blues

"Instead of playing pure blues, like [Buddy] Guy or [Lonnie] Brooks, Connor's music slowly developed a hard-rock identity - her squealing lead-guitar licks recall the Allman Brothers, and her songs' deep-metal feeling comes straight from Cream."

1. At the Broad Street Blues Fest in Griffith, Indiana.


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2. At some dude's barbecue in Norwood.

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3. At the Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Roots and Blues Festival.

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4. At the North Atlantic Blues Fest.

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5. At Kingston Mines.

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On Facebook.

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Chicago Blues Guide: "Chicago's guitar goddess has played around the world, recorded for multiple labels and backed up everyone from Jimmy Page and Buddy Guy to James Cotton and Junior Wells. Yet she remains humble, down-home and still not a household name."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:36 AM | Permalink

Trump's Not The Only One Blocking Constituents On Twitter

As President Donald Trump faces criticism for blocking users on his Twitter account, people across the country say they, too, have been cut off by elected officials at all levels of government after voicing dissent on social media.

In Arizona, a disabled Army veteran grew so angry when her congressman blocked her and others from posting dissenting views on his Facebook page that she began delivering actual blocks to his office.

A central Texas congressman has barred so many constituents on Twitter that a local activist group has begun selling t-shirts complaining about it.

And in Kentucky, the Democratic Party is using a hashtag #BevinBlocked to track those who've been blocked on social media by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. (Most of the officials blocking constituents appear to be Republican.)

The growing combat over social media is igniting a new-age legal debate over whether losing this form of access to public officials violates constituents' First Amendment rights to free speech and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Those who've been blocked say it's akin to being thrown out of a town hall meeting for holding up a protest sign.

On Tuesday, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University called upon Trump to unblock people who've disagreed with him or directed criticism at him or his family via the @realdonaldtrump account, which he used prior to becoming president and continues to use as his principal Twitter outlet.

"Though the architects of the Constitution surely didn't contemplate presidential Twitter accounts, they understood that the president must not be allowed to banish views from public discourse simply because he finds them objectionable," Jameel Jaffer, the Knight Institute's executive director, said in a statement.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment, but press secretary Sean Spicer said earlier Tuesday that statements the president makes on Twitter should be regarded as official statements.

Similar flare-ups have been playing out in state after state. Earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland called on Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, to stop deleting critical comments and barring people from commenting on his Facebook page. (The Washington Post reported that the governor had blocked 450 people as of February.)

Deborah Jeon, the ACLU's legal director, said Hogan and other elected officials are increasingly foregoing town hall meetings and instead relying on social media as their primary means of communication with constituents. "That's why it's so problematic," she said. "If people are silenced in that medium," they can't effectively interact with their elected representative.

The governor's office did not respond to a request for comment this week. After the letter, however, it reinstated six of the seven people specifically identified by the ACLU (it said it couldn't find the seventh). "While the ACLU should be focusing on much more important activities than monitoring the governor's Facebook page, we appreciated them identifying a handful of individuals - out of the over 1 million weekly viewers of the page - that may have been inadvertently denied access," a spokesperson for the governor told the Post.

Practically speaking, being blocked cuts off constituents from many forms of interacting with public officials. On Facebook, it means no posts, no likes and no questions or comments during live events on the page of the blocker. Even older posts that may not be offensive are taken down. On Twitter, being blocked prevents a user from seeing the other person's tweets on his or her timeline.

Moreover, while Twitter and Facebook themselves usually suspend account holders only temporarily for breaking rules, many elected officials don't have established policies for constituents who want to be reinstated. Sometimes a call is enough to reverse it, other times it's not.

Eugene Volokh, a constitutional law professor at the UCLA School of Law, said that for municipalities and public agencies, such as police departments, social media accounts would generally be considered "limited public forums" and therefore, should be open to all.

"Once they open it up to public comments, they can't then impose viewpoint-based restrictions on it," he said, for instance allowing only supportive comments while deleting critical ones.

But legislators are different because they are people. Elected officials can have personal accounts, campaign accounts and officeholder accounts that may appear quite similar. On their personal and campaign accounts, there's little disagreement that officials can engage with - or block - whoever they want. Last month, for instance, ProPublica reported how Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., blocked users on his campaign account after they criticized his positions on health reform and other issues.

But what about their officeholder social media accounts? The ACLU's Jeon says that they should be public if they use government resources, including staff time and office equipment to maintain the page. "Where that's the situation and taxpayer resources are going to it, then the full power of the First Amendment applies," she said. "It doesn't matter if they're members of Congress or the governor or a local councilperson."

Volokh disagreed. He said that members of Congress are entitled to their own private speech, even on official pages. That's because each is one voice among many, as opposed to a governor or mayor. "It's clear that whatever my senator is, she's not the government. She is one person who is part of a legislative body," he said. "She was elected because she has her own views and it makes sense that if she has a Twitter feed or a Facebook page, that may well be seen as not government speech but the voice of somebody who may be a government official."

Volokh said he's inclined to see Trump's @realdonaldtrump account as a personal one, though other legal experts disagree.

"You could imagine actually some other president running this kind of account in a way that's very public minded - 'I'm just going to express the views of the executive branch,'" he said. "The @realdonaldtrump account is very much, 'I'm Donald Trump. I'm going to be expressing my views, and if you don't like it, too bad for you.' That sounds like private speech, even done by a government official on government property."

It's possible the fight over the president's Twitter account will end up in court, as such disputes have across the country. Generally, in these situations, the people contesting the government's social media policies have reached settlements ending the questionable practices.

After being sued by the ACLU, three cities in Indiana agreed last year to change their policies by no longer blocking users or deleting comments.

In 2014, a federal judge ordered the City and County of Honolulu to pay $31,000 in attorney's fees to people who sued, contending that the Honolulu Police Department violated their constitutional rights by deleting their critical Facebook posts.

And San Diego County agreed to pay the attorney's fees of a gun parts dealer who sued after its Sheriff's Department deleted two Facebook posts that were critical of the sheriff and banned the dealer from commenting. The department took down its Facebook page after being sued and paid the dealer $20 as part of the settlement.

Angela Greben, a California paralegal, has spent the past two years gathering information about agencies and politicians that have blocked people on social media - Democrats and Republican alike - filing ethics complaints and even a lawsuit against the city of San Mateo, California, its mayor and police department. (They settled with her, giving her some of what she wanted.)

Greben has filed numerous public records requests to agencies as varied as the Transportation Security Administration, the Seattle Police Department and the Connecticut Lottery seeking lists of people they block. She's posted the results online.

"It shouldn't be up to the elected official to decide who can tweet them and who can't," she said. "Everybody deserves to be treated equally and fairly under the law."

Even though she lives in California, Greben recently filed an ethics complaint against Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, a Democrat, who has been criticized for blocking not only constituents but also journalists who cover him. Reed has blocked Greben since 2015 when she tweeted about him . . . well, blocking people on Twitter. "He's notorious for blocking and muting people," she said, meaning he can't see their tweets but they can still see his.

In a statement, a city spokesperson defended the mayor, saying he's now among the top five most-followed mayors in the country. "Mayor Reed uses social media as a personal platform to engage directly with constituents and some journalists . . . Like all Twitter users, Mayor Reed has the right to stop engaging in conversations when he determines they are unproductive, intentionally inflammatory, dishonest and/or misleading."

Asked how many people he has blocked, she replied that the office doesn't keep such a list.

J'aime Morgaine, the Arizona veteran who delivered blocks to the office of Rep. Paul Gosar, a Republican, said being blocked on Facebook matters because her representative no longer hosts in-person town hall meetings and has started to answer questions on Facebook Live. Now she can't ask questions or leave comments.

"I have lost and other people who have been blocked have lost our right to participate in the democratic process," said Morgaine, leader of Indivisible Kingman, a group that opposes the president's agenda. "I am outraged that my congressman is blocking my voice and trampling upon my constitutional rights."

Morgaine said the rules are not being applied equally. "They're not blocking everybody who's angry," she said. "They're blocking the voices of dissent, and there's no process for getting unblocked. There's no appeals process. There's no accountability."

A spokesperson for Gosar defended his decision to block constituents but did not answer a question about how many have been blocked.

"Congressman Gosar's policy has been consistent since taking office in January 2010," spokesperson Kelly Roberson said in an e-mail. "In short: 'Users whose comments or posts consist of profanity, hate speech, personal attacks, homophobia or Islamophobia may be banned.'"

On his Facebook page, Gosar posts the policy that guides his actions. It says in part, "Users are banned to promote healthy, civil dialogue on this page but are welcome to contact Congressman Gosar using other methods," including phone calls, e-mails and letters.

Sometimes, users are blocked repeatedly. Community volunteer Gayle Lacy was named 2015 Wacoan of the Year for her effort to have the site of mammoth fossils in Waco, Texas, designated a national monument. Lacy's latest fight has been with her congressman, Bill Flores, who was with her in the Oval Office when Obama designated the site a national monument in 2015. She has been blocked three times by Flores's congressional Twitter account and once by his campaign account. One of those blocks happened after she tweeted at him: "My father died in service for this country, but you are not representative of that country and neither is your dear leader."

Lacy said she was able to get unblocked each time from Flores's congressional account by calling his office but remains blocked on the campaign one. "I don't know where to call," she said. "I asked in his D.C. office who I needed to call and I was told that they don't have that information."

Lacy and others said Flores blocks those who question him. Austin lawyer Matt Miller said he was blocked for asking when Flores would hold a town hall meeting. "It's totally inappropriate to block somebody, especially for asking a legitimate question of my elected representative," Miller said.

In a statement, Flores spokesperson Andre Castro said Flores makes his policies clear on Twitter and on Facebook. "We reserve the right to block users whose comments include profanity, name-calling, threats, personal attacks, constant harping, inappropriate or false accusations, or other inappropriate comments or material. As the congressman likes to say, 'If you would not say it to your grandmother, we will not allow it here.'"

Ricardo Guerrero, an Austin marketer who is one of the leaders of a local group opposed to Trump's agenda, said he has gotten unblocked by Flores twice but then was blocked again and "just kind of gave up."

"He's creating an echo chamber of only the people that agree with him," Guerrero said of Flores. "He's purposefully removing any semblance of debate or alternative ideas or ideas that challenge his own - and that seems completely undemocratic. That's the bigger issue in my mind."

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

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See also: Cappleman Critics Say They've Been Blocked By Chicago Alderman On Twitter.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:56 AM | Permalink

June 7, 2017

Camper Van Elvis Reviews La Unica Food Mart

1. Exterior.


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2. Interior.

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3. Taste Test: Colombian Steak Plaintains And Black Beans & Rice.

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4. Full Review & Rating.

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La Unica on Yelp.

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Camper Van Elvis's YouTube channel.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:33 AM | Permalink

Civil War Pharmacy

When the Civil War began, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry was concentrated almost exclusively in Philadelphia and was dominated by just a few major firms; when the war ended, it was poised to expand nationwide.

Civil War Pharmacy is the first book to delineate how the growing field of pharmacy gained respect and traction in, and even distinction from, the medical world because of the large-scale manufacture and dispersion of drug supplies and therapeutics during the Civil War.

9780809335923_0.jpeg

In this second edition, Michael Flannery captures the full societal involvement in drug provision, on both the Union and Confederate sides, and places it within the context of what was then assumed about health and healing.

He examines the roles of physicians, hospital stewards, and nurses - both male and female - and analyzes how the blockade of Southern ports meant fewer pharmaceutical supplies were available for Confederate soldiers, resulting in reduced Confederate troop strength.

Flannery provides a thorough overview of the professional, economic and military factors comprising pharmacy from 1861 to 1865 and includes the long-term consequences of the war for the pharmaceutical profession.

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From Google Books:

"This richly detailed book shows why the South found drug provision especially difficult and describes the valiant efforts of Confederate sympathizers to run the Union blockade in order to smuggle in their precious cargoes.

"You'll also learn about the scurrilous privateers who were out to make a personal fortune at the expense of both the Union and the Confederacy.

"In addition, Civil War Pharmacy illuminates the systematic effort of pharmacists, physicians, and botanists to derive from Southern plants adequate substitutes for foreign substances that were difficult, if not impossible, to obtain in the Confederacy.

"In this painstakingly researched yet highly readable book, Michael A. Flannery, co-author of the critically acclaimed America's Botanico-Medical Movements: Vox Populi, examines all these topics and more.

"In addition, he assesses the relative successes and failures of the pharmaceutical aspect of health care at the time - successes and failures that affected every man in army camps and in the field."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:12 AM | Permalink

Indigenous Metropolis: Chicago's Urban Indians

"Patricia Marroquin Norby, director of the D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry Library, presents 'Indigenous Metropolis: Chicago's Urban Indians' at the Chicago History Museum. This program was recorded by Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV)."


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See also:

* "Born in Chicago, she is of Purépecha/Nde and Chicana heritage."

* "Although I grew up in the Midwest, the spirit of the Southwest and Mexico is constantly with me because of the oral history and traditions I was raised with."

* "I am the first Indigenous woman to permanently direct the Center in 42 years."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:52 AM | Permalink

Where The Boys Are Polka

1. Memorial Day Polka Party at Lone Tree Manor in Niles.


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2. At the 2016 Quonset Hall Polka Festival in Thorp, Wisconsin.

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3. At Glendora Banquets in Chicago Ridge.

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4. At the 7th Annual Paczki Ball Dinner/Dance Fundraiser, Knights of Columbus Council 8082, Casa Maria Hall, St. Maria Goretti Church in Dyer, Indiana.

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5. At Taste of Polonia in Chicago, 2009.

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See also:
* FatherNorb's YouTube channel.

* Jimmy Kilian CDs.

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Previously in Polka:
* This Polka Band Could Be Your Life.

* This Happened: The 45th Annual Chicago Festival Of Polka Bands.

* Here Comes Wally! A Chicago Polk-Rock Opera.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:28 AM | Permalink

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

Male and female high school athletes have moderate levels of knowledge about concussion symptoms, but the boys are much more likely to not report concussions for fear of seeming weak, a small U.S. study suggests.

The reasons boys gave for not wanting to report a concussion tended to center around not wanting coaches or teammates to think they were weak or to "get mad," researchers report in the Journal of Athletic Training.

"Although males and females have similar concussion symptom knowledge, we still see a negative stigma" with reporting them, lead author Jessica Wallace told Reuters by e-mail.

"Especially within male-dominated sports, we are seeing that many male athletes are not reporting because they are highly sensitive to how their peers and coaches view them," said Wallace, an athletic trainer and researcher at Youngstown State University in Ohio.

Wallace thinks better concussion education programs are needed to teach kids the dangers of continuing to play with a concussion.

Concussion symptoms can include headache, dizziness and difficulty concentrating or sleeping. In all, 22 concussion symptoms are typically included in sport-related concussion education programs, the study team writes.

Athletes who continue to play with a concussion risk re-injury and a longer recovery time.

To determine how well high school athletes recognize these symptoms and how likely they are to report a concussion, as well as why they wouldn't, the researchers enrolled 288 athletes (198 boys and 90 girls) at three Michigan high schools.

The participants answered a single survey that included a test of recognition of concussion symptoms. The survey also asked whether the student had ever experienced a concussion, how many concussions they had reported to a trainer, coach, parent or other authority figure, and reasons for not reporting the symptoms.

Of the 58 participants who had sustained a concussion, 25 reported having had two or more.

Knowledge of symptoms was similar between the sexes, with scores ranging from about 11 to 18 out of a possible 21 on the test.

The top reason for both boys and girls to not report a concussion was because they did not think it was serious. Other common reasons included not wanting to lose play time and not wanting to let the team down.

The boys were anywhere from four to 11 times less likely than girls to report concussions, for reasons having to do with how they were perceived by peers and coaches.

It is important for athletes, parents, and coaches to understand that concussion is a treatable injury, but "an athlete has to report the injury for it to be treated," Wallace said.

"If an athlete fails to report the injury and continues to play while symptomatic, it can either delay recovery or potentially result in a catastrophic outcome," she said. Coaches need to emphasize that concussions are serious and that reporting concussion symptoms is expected, Wallace added.

She suggests using a "buddy system" of reporting concussions. "Often, athletes will not report their own concussion, but they will be mindful and protective of their teammates. So the 'buddy system' would help me as the athletic trainer because the athletes would come and tell me if they thought their teammate/friend was experiencing a concussion or concussion symptoms," she said.

"Studies such as these are building blocks to helping us understand how to provide effective and impactful interventions to help athletes better report their injuries," said Zachary Kerr, an exercise and sport science researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"Barriers to concussion reporting by athletes need to be resolved, with an emphasis not only on education and knowledge, but also the pressures that athletes face from peers, adults, and their own perceptions," said Kerr, who wasn't involved in the study.

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

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

* The College Football Report: Dementia Pugilistica.

* Blackhawks Playing Head Games.

* Jay Cutler Should Consider Retiring.

* Dislike: Friday Night Tykes.

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

* Chicago Soccer Player Patrick Grange Had CTE.

* Sony Softened Concussion To Placate NFL.

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

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

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

* More Bad Concussion News For Young Football Players.

* NFL Tried To Fix Concussion Study.

* The Week In Concussions: Another Enforcer Down.

* Teen Concussion Rate Rising Significantly.

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

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

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

* Youth Football Finally Listening To Coach Coffman.

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

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

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

* More Teen Knowledge About Concussion May Not Increase Reporting.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:08 AM | Permalink

Broadcast Impartiality Rule Has Helped Labor To Achieve Biggest Poll Shift Since 1945

At the beginning of the UK general election campaign it looked as if it might be the most lop-sided contest since 1945. Polls showed the Labor party lagging behind the Conservatives by between 16 and 22 points, a level of Tory supremacy that - even according to those pollsters that showed the narrowest margin - surpassed their landslide victory in 1983, when the Conservatives won by 15 points (42.4% of the popular vote to Labor's 27.6%).

After the second week of the campaign all the polling companies - ComRes, ICM, Kantar, Opinium, ORB, Survation and Yougov - reported numbers that added up to what the renowned psephologist David Butler has called the biggest poll shift in any election campaign since 1945. The Conservative lead was cut dramatically to between 5 and 14 points. This has since narrowed further to a lead of between one and 12 points.

While this range could still give the Conservatives a comfortable majority, it opened up a possibility that was unthinkable at the beginning of the campaign - the idea that the government could lose its overall majority.

We have also seen a dramatic shift in the perception of the party leaders. Before the campaign, polls showed strong approval ratings for Theresa May's party leadership and very negative ratings for Jeremy Corbyn. By May 25-26, YouGov reported a narrowing of the gap between them, but May still had a positive rating of +9 while Corbyn's was -28 (a 37 point gap in favor of May). But by June 1-2, Corbyn's rating had actually moved slightly ahead of May's (Corbyn -2 to May's -5).

Anyone familiar with research about the complex relationship between media coverage and public opinion will know that significant changes in public perceptions generally take place over a much longer period. So whatever the result on Friday morning, how do we explain this remarkably rapid shift?

Shifting Focus

Part of the explanation is that Corbyn's team has run a better campaign than May's. But it is underpinned by broadcast news coverage that is bound by a public service ethos. As Loughborough's research shows, press coverage in this campaign has been overwhelmingly anti-Labor and broadcasters have by no means given Labor an easy ride. But their statutory obligation to impartiality means that they have done what news providers are supposed to do in a democracy, and given both sides roughly equal time to make their case.

The teams monitoring the campaign at both Cardiff and Loughborough found Labor receiving roughly equal coverage from week two - the week that precipitated Labor's biggest poll surge. While some of this was negative - based on judgements about the leaking of Labor's manifesto, for example - it also became more policy-oriented.

file-20170606-3662-dionr.pngHow the debate has shifted/JOMEC, Cardiff University, Author provided

This has given a number of policies in Labor's manifesto - policies polls suggest are popular with a majority of the electorate - significant airtime. This was arguably the first time since Corbyn became leader that Labor had received as much coverage as the Conservatives on policy issues - in a way that allowed both sides to set out their stalls.

And there's the rub - whatever the merits of the two campaigns, what was striking was the contrast with a year's worth of negative coverage of Corbyn and relatively positive coverage of May. In this context, Labor has outperformed expectations, while the Conservative leader struggled to live up to a campaign premised on her much-heralded leadership qualities.

History Of Bias

This does raise questions about the impartiality of media coverage over the preceding year. Veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby is the latest to criticize media coverage of Labor under Jeremy Corbyn - both for its right-wing bias and its "lazy pessimism" about Corbyn's viability as a potential prime minister.

Press bias against Corbyn has been both predictable and overt. But the BBC has also been criticized for lapses in impartiality. In January, for example, the BBC Trust reprimanded the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg for editing an interview with Corbyn on the six o'clock news in ways that gave a false and negative impression of Labor's leader.

This is not a matter of wilful bias by the broadcasters, who are genuinely committed to impartiality - but it does show how news judgements are not politically neutral. For the past two years, politics has been dominated by the ability of the two main party leaders to control their parties. By this measure, May clearly beats Corbyn. While this is an important and legitimate issue, its primacy in political reporting meant that insufficient attention has been paid - until now - to the very real policy choices that impact peoples' lives.

It has also meant that the Conservative party's economic record has received remarkably little serious scrutiny. In a series of articles, Oxford University economist Simon Wren-Lewis describes how Conservative claims about their "strong and stable" management of the economy have been replicated rather than questioned. This is in spite of a wealth of data suggesting that the government's austerity policy has, by many measures, hindered economic growth. It has produced the slowest economic recovery on record - a worse record on GDP per capita growth than any previous Labor government and a stagnation on earnings that puts the UK behind every wealthy country except Greece.

At the beginning of the campaign, both the Cardiff and Loughborough studies showed the Conservative party dominated coverage, with a focus on "leadership" rather than policy. This suited a Conservative party campaign based on promoting May's leadership qualities and denigrating Corbyn's. The polls only began to move when broadcasters became more balanced and policy-focused.

This exposure may have changed some public perceptions, but the residual impact of a year's worth of coverage - that gave us "strong and stable" versus "coalition of chaos" - is likely to remain. While this narrative looks decidedly less secure than it did, it will probably be enough to secure the Conservative party victory.

Justin Lewis is a professor of communication at Cardiff University. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

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1. From Steve Rhodes:

I don't favor "impartiality" rules, but it's important to understand the implications of what this post posits.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:19 AM | Permalink

June 6, 2017

The [Wednesday] Papers

'That idea of riding through the backyards and back porches of the city - by front windows - is still very much the same experience that people would have had 100 years ago.'


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See also: A Look At Vintage CTA Rail Cars In Today's Loop.

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Love the El, hate the CTA.

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Where The Boys Are Polka
Quonset huts and banquet halls.

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Impartiality Rule Boosts Labor
A funny thing happened when the media started covering policy.

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Chicago's Urban Indians
Indigenous metropolis.

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HS Boys Stigmatize Concussions
Four to 11 times less likely than girls to report them.

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Civil War Pharmacy
A thorough account from SIU Press of the modern U.S. pharmaceutical industry's explosive inception.

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Camper Van Elvis Reviews La Unica
Assyrian God meets Colombian delights.

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BeachBook

Bob Dylan's Nobel Lecture.

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Alexandra Bell Uses Her Public Art To Expose Media Racism.

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Chicago Suburb That Wouldn't Allow Mosque To Pay $580,000.

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Assignment Desk, Activate!

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Solar Employs More People In U.S. Electricity Generation Than Oil, Coal And Gas Combined.

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After Years Of Scamming Black Homeowners, Mark Diamond Finally Charged.

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Kids Are Quoting Trump To Bully Classmates.

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Apple Makes iPhone Screen Fixes Easier As States Mull Repair Laws.

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Industry Analyst: Rahm's Podcast Sucks.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Rahmtastic.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:22 PM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday portrayed a memorandum of agreement to have an independent monitor oversee Chicago Police reform as the next best thing to court oversight opposed by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions," Fran Spielman writes for the Sun-Times.

"Emanuel said he's not backing away from his January commitment to negotiate a court-enforced consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice.

"He's simply recognizing the political reality that Sessions' decision to review and retreat from police reform agreements nationwide has left the Chicago Police Department on the dance floor without a partner."

We know that virtually no one connected to the police reform process agrees with Rahm, but nary is heard a dissenting word in Spielman's account.

Not only that, but two "top" mayoral aides are granted anonymity to do their boss's bidding.

Why? The aides haven't been authorized to speak publicly about how great Rahm is?

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The Tribune's account is quite different - which demonstrates for the billionth time why a city needs multiple independent news outlets that provide a variety of approaches on even the most seemingly straightforward, "objective" reporting tasks:

But the top Obama Justice official who oversaw the federal investigation has called Emanuel's tentative deal with the Trump administration "woefully inadequate," the Chicago Tribune reported Friday. Vanita Gupta, the former head of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, said Chicago's police problems were "deep and long-standing," and she predicted the out-of-court agreement would not have any teeth.

The mayor made his brief comments about the new agreement with Trump officials at the ribbon-cutting of a new cybersecurity firm in the Loop. Emanuel, who declined a Tribune interview request, walked away from reporters without addressing Gupta's criticisms and ignored questions about why he would not still seek court oversight. Reporters waited outside to ask further questions, and Emanuel's police detail found an alternative exit for the mayor.

Puts a different cast on the mayor's remarks, doesn't it?

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And then there's this:

Gupta pointed out it was less than six months ago that Emanuel and the city agreed to carry the police reform process into federal court. She said neither the Justice Department nor the city has formally disavowed that pledge.

"When I went to Chicago with the attorney general (Loretta Lynch) and announced the findings, we announced an agreement in principle . . . to negotiate a consent decree to be filed in federal court," Gupta said. "We reached those agreements because those parties understood the gravity and scope (of the problem)."

Experts and reform advocates have noted that even in the absence of federal pressure, Emanuel still could partner with community groups and seek judicial oversight of reform efforts. The mayor did not respond to a question on whether he had considered that option.

Lori Lightfoot, whom Emanuel appointed as president of the city's Police Board and as chairwoman of a police reform task force, said the community must be engaged in the process or the "final product will have zero legitimacy."

Finally, the tack WBEZ took:

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday that allowing an independent federal monitor to oversee the Chicago Police Department is 'exactly the right way' to achieve reform, but some experts said that route will not be enough on its own."

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Back to our lesson: "Competition" in media isn't about faux scoops or posting a story minutes before others or any of the ways it is commonly thought of, it's about raising the standards for everyone so the public is better informed. In other words, it's about which outlets do a better job. It's about quality.

That, too is why "cooperation" among media outlets can be - not always, but often - dangerous. We don't need a singular viewpoint, mindset and approach to swamp all others. Even an "objective" news story is produced in significantly different ways by different outlets. Covering the news, it turns out, isn't that different than reviewing movies. We can agree on the facts, but everything else is up for grabs.

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Being Bruce
Via WBEZ:

"When we're on a good path - a good path - to change the system, there's no need for different answers," Rauner said when asked why he's stuck with the same talking points as the budget crisis has dragged on. "Democrats come up to me and say, 'Governor, stay strong. You're on the right track.'"

Those must be the same people from the Bears' parking lot who told George McCaskey last season to "hang in there" because they really like the direction the team is going.

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Reminder: Rauner has a history of inventing Democrats, including legislators, who personally tell him they support his approach and agenda. He's never named names or introduced one, and none have ever stepped forward to verify their existence.

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Also, here's Rauner showing courage and leadership in the face of a racist president who is a pathological liar with no grip on reality. Lives, and posterity, hang in the balance. (Props to interviewer Amanda Vinicky.)

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Zip Line
"Growing in. With growing pains. That summarizes the state of The 606, Chicago's signature rails-to-trails project, two years after its much-ballyhooed opening," Blair Kamin writes for the Tribune.

The "growing in" involves The 606's nicely maturing, but not yet magical, landscape of 224 species of trees, shrubs, grasses, vines, bulbs and forbs (a forb, for you nonbotanists out there, is a herbaceous flowering plant other than a grass).

The "growing pains" are The 606's unintended consequences: Rising rents and a wave of development threaten to force out some of the very middle- and working-class people to whom the elevated park was supposed to deliver much-needed open space.

First, it's a little late to express concern about this now. Residents have been talking about this from day one - and virtually no one in a position of power has been listening.

Second, the gentrification spurred by the 606 is hardly an unintended consequence - it's exactly what the mayor and his cronies wanted.

Similarly, the 606 wasn't developed - at least not once it became the 606 and not the Bloomingdale Trail - to serve the middle- and working-class who already lived in some of the neighborhoods it runs through; it was built to serve the new residents it would attract.

"In the past, parks were perceived exclusively as a net good," said Adrian Benepe, director of city park development at the Trust for Public Land, the San Francisco-based nonprofit that joined with the city of Chicago and the Chicago Park District to bring The 606 into being. "Now you do have some pushback. You have people saying: 'It's a net good until it displaces me.' And then it's a net bad."

You could say the same about every gentrifying amenity. But the truth is the city wants to displace you. You are displaceable.

The 606 also has become a flashpoint for controversy as developers tear down modest homes and apartment buildings alongside it and replace them with luxury apartments and expensive single-family homes.

Who could have foreseen such a thing?!

Benepe, of the Trust for Public Land, said it's unfair to single out parks as the lone cause of displacement. For The 606, he said, the nonprofit convened a "working group in the neighborhood anticipating this exact issue," but it was powerless to build affordable housing in tandem with the trail.

Why was it powerless? The only reason I can think of is that city leaders had no interest in it.

The big question is whether park advocates and public officials should intervene - beforehand - on behalf of those who are likely to be displaced.

How is that a question? Why wouldn't public officials intervene - beforehand - on behalf of those likely to be displaced? You're fucking with their lives! The least you can do is intervene!

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From the Trib's editorial page:

"According to a report by the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University, housing prices along the trail west of Western Avenue rose 48 percent from 2013, when construction on the trail began, to 2016. In neighborhoods just east of the trail, housing prices have gone up nearly 14 percent in that time."

Which is just fine with the Trib.

Gentrification has posed a dilemma for American cities for as long as there have been cities. Indeed, there's something unsettling about seeing a neighborhood with an enduring identity and feel gradually morph into something tonier and shinier, a transformation that changes the neighborhood's character. But cities aren't static entities, frozen in time. They evolve, principally because their neighborhoods evolve. People move in and out, businesses and shops come and go. It's a process as natural as evolution itself.

Gentrification isn't "natural." It's not simply people moving in and out of a neighborhood. It's borne of intentional public policy decisions designed to incentivize developers (and others) to ease the way for higher-income individuals and families to displace lower-income individuals and families in order to "improve" a neighborhood. Urban amenities, increased police protection and better city services are part of the package.

Should mayors and city councils ensure that affordable housing doesn't get lost in these neighborhood transformations? Of course. The trick is to craft the right solution. For example, we like the idea of tying affordable housing into "transit-oriented development" - projects that encourage use of mass transit by situating near train stations buildings with retail space, high-density housing and limited parking. A portion of the apartments can be set aside as affordable housing.

LOL.

We just went through this in Logan Square, where the latest TOD projects are luxury units whose affordable set-asides are unaffordable (besides being ugly, outsized and out of character for the neighborhood).

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See also: "It may be a lot fancier than its predecessor, but it's still a neighborhood bar at heart."

If the neighborhood is Streeterville.

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I would take the Two Way over the 606 in a heartbeat. Cheap neighborhood bars are amenities too.

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See also: Losing Logan Square.

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Then They Came For Me
"What is every American's duty in the face of racist government action?"

(Ask Bruce Rauner!)

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BeachBook

In Trump's White House, Everything Is Coming In 'Two Weeks.'

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It Turns Out There Is No Saudi Arms Deal.

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Crews Recover 3rd Body From Wisconsin Mill Blast.

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San Francisco Investigating Whether Uber And Lyft Are Public Nuisances.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Straight to hell.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:22 AM | Permalink

At The Alphawood | Then They Came For Me

What does an American look like? Who is welcome in this country? What is every American's duty in the face of racist government action?

These and other important questions are posed by Alphawood Gallery's first original exhibition, Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII and the Demise of Civil Liberties, debuting Thursday, June 29 and continuing through November 19. Then They Came for Me at the Alphawood Gallery (2401 North Halsted Street) is free and open to the public.

Albers1.jpgClem Albers, San Pedro, California, April 5, 1942/National Archives

Then They Came for Me examines a dark episode in U.S. history when, in the name of national security, the government incarcerated 120,000 citizens and legal residents during World War II without due process or other constitutional protections to which they were entitled.

Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, set in motion the forced removal and imprisonment of all people of Japanese ancestry (citizens and non-citizens alike) living on or near the West Coast.

During this 75th anniversary year of Executive Order 9066, we look back at this shameful past to learn lessons for our present and future in the face of new challenges created by fearmongering and racism at the highest levels of government.

Then They Came for Me is steeped in Chicago history. Thousands of previously incarcerated persons resettled here after release from the camps, and they built a vibrant and rich Japanese-American community in the Chicago area that lives on today.

This Chicago story forms an important part of the exhibition and its message. Alphawood Gallery has partnered with the Japanese American Service Committee and members of Chicago's Japanese-American community to produce Then They Came for Me.

This important and timely exhibition will employ a wide range of photography, video, art and historical artifacts to provide multiple perspectives, engaging visitors in critical discussions of this story of injustice and its profound relevance today.

Alphawood Gallery is supported by the Alphawood Foundation. It was created to bring exhibitions to Chicago that further the Foundation's mission of promoting a more equitable, just and humane society.

"A difficult but important part of our mission is shining a light on great injustice, inhumanity and unfairness when it happens in our own country," says Jim McDonough, executive director of the foundation.

"By understanding how this could have happened only 75 years ago, we hope to promote a more fair and just America today. The lessons that we take from this history will help us counter the hatred and xenophobia being peddled in the name of national security and patriotism. The title of the exhibition, Then They Came for Me, acknowledges the terrible truth that this could happen to any group, to any one of us. And if we don't stand up for our neighbors when they are threatened in this way, who will stand up for us?"

Added Michael Takada, CEO of the Japanese American Service Committee, "We at the JASC and within the broader Japanese-American community are proud to be a part of such a timely and important exhibit. Through our JASC Legacy Center archives, we have been entrusted with preserving and promoting the lessons learned through the experience of wartime incarceration and resettlement.

"For the Japanese-American community, having seen what can happen when racism, xenophobia, wartime hysteria, and a lack of political leadership are allowed to flourish, we hope to continue to help spread the message that each new generation must challenge itself to guard our civil liberties and human rights, and to not take them for granted."

EXHIBITION CONTENT

Then They Came for Me draws largely upon 100 powerful images culled from the recently published book Un-American (CityFiles Press) by Chicago-based photography historians Richard Cahan and Michael Williams.

Forming the core of the exhibition's incarceration narrative will be these works by renowned American photographers Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams and others documenting the eviction of Japanese Americans and permanent Japanese residents from their homes and their subsequent lives in incarceration camps.

Adams, Lange and others were hired by the U.S. Government's War Relocation Authority to document the "evacuation" and "internment" of Japanese Americans along the West Coast.

Lange.jpgLange, Turlock, California, May 2, 1942/National Archives

Lange left the program after three months, and some of her photographs, which revealed her growing unease with the circumstances she encountered, were impounded by the military for the duration of the war.

Alongside the photographs will be a rich trove of documents, diaries, art, other photographs and archival materials - the majority generously lent by JASC's Legacy Center and rarely seen in public.

Video and visual art complementing the experience includes regular screenings of the film And Then They Came for Us, a moving new look at this issue by noted documentarians Abby Ginzberg and Ken Schneider. (The film has its Chicago premiere at the Gene Siskel Film Center on Monday, June 26, at 7 p.m.; more information here.)

PROGRAMMING

Following the model of Alphawood Gallery's successful presentation of Art AIDS America, which offered more than 120 programs with partners across the city, Then They Came for Me will include a robust series of programs both on- and off-site to encourage and expand conversations on related contemporary issues.

On its opening night, Alphawood Gallery will conduct a "Know Your Rights" training by Art Now, Act Now in association with local social justice organizations.

Weekly public exhibition tours will begin Saturday, July 1 at 1 p.m., and will take place every Wednesday and Saturday at 1 p.m., and every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

A Take Action space at Alphawood Gallery will be dedicated to advocacy and will feature programming, resources and materials from partner organizations.

Visitors will be invited to participate in an oral history project, to which they can contribute their personal stories relating to the incarceration and resettlement.

Many additional public programs at the Gallery are in development, including performances by Tatsu Aoki; a panel entitled "Rightlessness: From Japanese Incarceration to the Muslim Ban" led by American Studies scholar Dr. Naomi Paik (UIUC); a reading of Chay Yew's original play "Question 27, Question 28" (presented by Victory Gardens Theater); a performance of "Home/Land" by the Albany Park Theater Project; a special edition of the Neo-Futurists' "Infinite Wrench;" an Anti-Workshop led by performance artist Karen Finley; film screenings including Far East of Eden, Rabbit in the Moon, Looking for Jiro, Skate Manzanar and more.

Additional public programs and events (to be announced shortly) will address the impacts of Executive Order 9066 that are still felt throughout Japanese American communities and beyond, and provocatively explore vital questions about citizenship, immigration, racial discrimination, profiling, economic disparity, detainment, civil liberties, equality, activism and more.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:47 AM | Permalink

June 5, 2017

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Girlpool at Do Division on Saturday.


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2. The Dopamines at Quenchers on Sunday night.

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3. Sigur Ros at the Chicago Auditorium on Saturday night.

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4. The Ponys at Do Division on Saturday night.

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5. U2 at Soldier Field on Saturday night.

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6. Blue Dream at Cobra Lounge on Thursday night.

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7. Com Truise at the Concord on Saturday night.

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8. You at the Burlington on Friday night.

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9. Carl Palmer at the Arcada in St. Charles on Saturday night.

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10. Ratt at the Concord on Friday night.

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11. Diamond Rexx at the Concord on Friday night.

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12. Mr. Big at the Arcada in St. Charles on Friday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:00 PM | Permalink

Hawking Hawk

If you're scratching your head after the announcement about Hawk Harrelson over the weekend, join the club.

Reducing his broadcast responsibilities strictly to road games last season, we all knew that Harrelson, who will turn 76 in September, was nearing the end of his tenure in the booth alongside Steve Stone. Always one to challenge boundaries, Harrelson abandoned home games after the 2015 season since he lives in South Bend. What reasonable person would drive 180 miles round-trip when the Sox played at home, especially for night games when he might not get on the road until almost midnight or later?

When the news first broke last week that Harrelson would do 20 games (primarily Sunday home games) next season, Hawk was in typical form.

"Living in the eastern zone and working in the central zone, after the games are getting longer, that makes my trip with my temper - semi-truck driver and my temper don't mix," Harrelson was quoted as saying on Fox Sports. "Not at 3:30 in the morning, especially when it's raining because I've got an axe-handle in the back of my car with some mace. And I've literally chased some of those guys before. I'm just glad I haven't caught anybody because one of us would've been knocked out."

Whew! Suffice it to say that Hawk won't be running for a position in the Teamsters Union upon retirement from broadcasting.

Heretofore, Harrelson cited a desire to spend more time with his family - his three grandchildren in particular - when he cut back his schedule last year. Since he's basically worked 81 dates the past two seasons, he has approximately 284 days a year to be with the grandkids. Those of us who are grandparents know that is more than ample opportunity.

Once the news got out, the White Sox had their own spin in a lengthy press release sans any mention of axe handles. Sean Spicer would be envious.

"We are very pleased to be able to assist Hawk with this transition, to help him achieve the incredible milestone of eight decades in the game," gushed marketing head Brooks Boyer.

You do the math. How can a 75-year-old man have been in baseball for 80 years?

As a 17-year-old in 1959, Harrelson was signed by the then-Kansas City Athletics and reported to the Olean (NY) Oilers of the Class-D New York-Penn League. About as low as you can go at the time, Harrelson hit .192 with three home runs and eight RBIs. For years Harrelson has regaled us with tales about his playing career, but I can't recall him saying much about those stats from so long ago.

Apparently an appearance in the last year of the '50s qualifies as his first decade in baseball.

By 1962 Harrelson was tearing up the Eastern League, hitting .272 with 38 dingers and a robust 138 runs driven in, all of which got him a promotion to the A's the next season. Harrelson had a lackluster big league career for five seasons before tangling with A's owner Charley Finley, a formidable match in terms of flamboyance, ego, and impulsivity. Finley released Harrelson in late August of the 1967 season, and the Red Sox quickly signed him. The Fenway faithful adopted Hawk as their own and his career took off. Toward the end of the 1968 season when Harrelson slashed .275/.356/.874 with 35 home runs and 109 RBI - he was third in the MVP voting - Harrelson appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated wearing a trademark Nehru suit.

Hawk on SI cover.jpg

Writer William Leggett called him "the boulevardier of the American League," adding that Harrelson "develop[ed] a reputation as the game's best arm wrestler, pool shooter and golfer as well as being a man who played defense with all the finesse and surety of Venus de Milo."

Hawk was shocked - and devastated; he briefly retired - when he was traded to Cleveland the next season, but he still hit 30 homers. However, in spring training in 1970, he broke his leg and by 1971 at the age of 29, he quit baseball in an attempt to join the PGA Tour. His biggest success was qualifying for the British Open in 1972, missing the cut by a single stroke.

Harrelson joined the Sox broadcast team in 1982. So impressed was owner Jerry Reinsdorf that he installed Hawk as general manager in 1986, whereby Harrelson's most notable move was firing manager Tony LaRussa in favor of his buddy Jim Fregosi. We know how that one turned out. Since 1990, Harrelson has been a Sox announcer non-stop. Getting back to the eight decades' theme. Harrelson will do those 20 games next season and then will be a Sox ambassador - whatever that is - in 2020, the start of another decade, Hawk's eighth in baseball according to the team's silly calculations.

We can only image what this swan song will look like. In this age where conspiracy theories predominate, can it be that the Celebration of Hawk will hide the fact that the team on the field - which has lost 19 of its last 28 games - is pretty awful? If that's the case, a few among us might enjoy the adoration while most fans will recognize the plan for what it is - an attempt to take the focus off the field.

Harrelson's presence - as a player, announcer, as a character - has always created not so much controversy, but certainly discussion and often humor. In his early days in the booth -when the sayings, jargon, and stories were new - his banter with guys like color man Tom Paciorek (another former player) were fun and lively.

However, we've heard them all many times over. His constant analysis about "hitting with short arms" and "pitching to his arm side" have become redundant. There is little apparent homework when it comes to the background and makeup of current players. Occasionally we get silence when there is action on the field.

And what, exactly, will we get for 20 Sundays next season that we haven't heard already?

Ken Harrelson has had a glorious career. He'll be the first to tell you, and he's not wrong. He's done what he dearly loves for a long, long time, which is admirable and something we'd like for ourselves. But we all arrive at the end of the line when it is time to move on, do something differently, discover gems that we never knew existed while giving others a chance to fill the gap we leave behind. Why stretch it out?

Eight decades? Such a meaningless excuse. Axe handles? Makes much more sense.

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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:58 AM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel has backed off his commitment to enter a court-enforced agreement with the federal government to reform the Chicago Police Department, his administration confirmed late Friday," the Tribune reports.

"Instead, Emanuel's administration is seeking a solution outside of court, one that drew criticism from criminal justice experts, reform advocates and the former federal official who oversaw the yearlong civil rights investigation into the police force that led to a damning report on the department's problems."

Any questions about Rahm's sincerity on the matter have now been answered: His heart was never in it. Instead, he was doing and continues to do the bare minimum dictated by political necessity. Most people don't change, no matter how many fuzzy sweaters they put on for heartwarming campaign commercials or how many tears they cry giving speeches before the city council. Rahm remains ruthless.

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"The mayor and (police) Superintendent (Eddie Johnson) have been clear that the city is on the road to reform and there are no U-turns," mayoral spokesperson Adam Collins told the Tribune in statement e-mailed to the paper after City Hall's latest U-turn.

"Collins declined to answer questions about the details of the tentative agreement, including who would select the independent monitor, what specific reforms would be included and the time frame for enacting any changes."

Adam Collins, if it wasn't for your boss and the editors at the Trib who find e-mailed statements acceptable for publication, you'd be Today's Worst Person In Chicago.

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"The Obama administration official who led the federal investigation, Vanita Gupta, former head of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, said Friday that the new arrangement was 'woefully inadequate.'

The problems outlined by Justice officials in the report are far too serious for the department to be reformed without the guidance and force of a judge, she said.

"The issues we found were deep and longstanding," Gupta said. "In a police department of that size, with the problems we found, it's exactly the kind of (department) where the consent decree process can make the most difference," she continued.

" . . . A memorandum of agreement is going to become yet another set of recommendations for the Chicago Police Department that are (not) going to have any teeth," she said.

That's just the way Rahm likes it: Toothless and ruthless.

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"Experts and reform advocates noted that - even in the absence of federal pressure - the Emanuel administration could have partnered with community groups and sought judicial oversight of an agreement seeking reform."

LOL.

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As far as the timing of this development, it actually wasn't announced on a late Friday as part of an effort to bury it in a weekend news dump as some of us presumed - which doesn't mean it wasn't the result of a cynical media strategy.

"The mayor's office did not plan to announce its pursuit of a federal agreement for an independent monitor on Friday. But when Emanuel administration officials learned new Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham had scheduled a radio interview on WVON-AM 1690 to discuss police reforms, the administration rushed to get ahead of Graham's appearance.

"Officials in the mayor's office anticipated that Graham, head of the police union that represents rank-and-file officers, might divulge the decision to seek an independent monitor. Instead, Graham talked about the need for more psychology clinicians in the department and discussed the importance of more cooperation from the community, among other issues."

For godsakes, don't let someone get ahead of your carefully massaged message, which includes e-mailed statements at the ready!

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"Jonathan Smith, a Washington, D.C., attorney who once led Justice Department efforts to reform local police departments, criticized the tentative deal as 'a handshake, essentially, between the parties.'

"What they have said is they are going to rely on the city of Chicago's good faith to comply with the agreement . . . and that is a disaster in this circumstance," he said.

Don't forget: This all came about in the first place because of the murder of Laquan McDonald. Clearly, all Rahm has cared about in the aftermath of the teenager's death is his own politics, as evidenced by his office's own e-mails, his choice of Johnson as superintendent, his limp response to his blue-ribbon panel's recommendations on police department reform, and now this. What other evidence do you need?

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School Board Daze
"As the clock neared midnight on the last day of the spring legislative session, the Illinois Senate revived a plan that could someday strip Mayor Rahm Emanuel and future mayors of the ability to handpick members of the Chicago Board of Education," the Sun-Times reports.

"And though Illinois politics is most certainly an unpredictable endeavor, the odds of the measure becoming reality look increasingly likely."

If that's true, this story has been hugely underplayed.

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"Yes, it's still unclear whether Gov. Bruce Rauner will support the legislation to create an elected school board in Chicago. His approval would mean a big defeat for Emanuel - Rauner's onetime friend turned political enemy - but it also would amount to a huge win for the Chicago Teachers Union, and, by extension, organized labor groups that Rauner has battled since taking office.

"However, both Democrats and Republicans overwhelmingly back the idea of making Chicago's school board elected like every other one in the state: The House approved the legislation 105-9, while the Senate vote was 53-2. That means that even if Rauner vetoes the legislation, lawmakers in both chambers would have the ability to override him and make the measure law."

Whoa, look at those numbers!

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"Under the Senate-approved version of the legislation, the first election of school board members in Chicago would take place at the same time as the 2023 mayoral race. The original language put the school board election on the 2019 ballot, in which Emanuel is expected to seek a third term."

Hmmm, a lot can happen in six years.

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FYI:

"Senators late Wednesday also cleared an amendment that would lower the number of proposed Chicago school board members in the bill from 21 to 15. That's still a huge increase from the seven city school board members in place now."

*

Shade:

"Top CPS officials have lobbied state legislators hard to treat Illinois' largest school district just like all the others - except when it comes to how school board members are chosen. Their efforts in the Capitol have focused on funding and pension parity while testifying in committees against an elected board."

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"Rauner said Friday he doubted the bill would make it to his desk: 'My sense is it's more for political spin. I don't think it's coming to my desk. I know the mayor is strongly opposed,' the governor said on WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station."

I wish the article would have explained the mechanism by which both houses of the General Assembly pass a bill and it still doesn't get sent to the governor's desk. That's a real thing, as far as I understand it, but I'd like to know more about how and why that actually occurs and may play out.

Nonetheless, there is also news here in that neither Michael Madigan, John Cullerton nor Kwame Raoul did the mayor's bidding here. Unless the plan all along has been to never send the bill to Rauner.

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Raoul says the bill isn't about Rahm, but Raoul is wrong. If Rahm's school board hadn't been such a disaster, the idea of an elected school board - right as it is - would never have gotten enough momentum to pass (especially so heartily).

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Rahm Hits The Trifecta
I've often said that Rahm has three jobs: mayor, police chief and superintendent of schools. He's failing at all three, isn't he?

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Springfield Shuffle
"When Richard M. Daley was Chicago's mayor, legislators in Springfield were assured of one thing: At least one day every year, they'd get a good meal," Mark Guarino reports for Crain's in a piece called "Where Is Emanuel In The Budget Fight?"

Daley would direct some of the city's most prominent vendors to the state capital to feed legislators he wished to influence. During the "Taste of Chicago in Springfield," lawmakers would be using one hand to pick up grub like cheesecake, rib sandwiches and deep-dish pizza while their other hand was pressed into Daley's for votes.

"'Mayor Daley, he didn't just glad-hand, he arm-twisted, too,' says Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax & Budget Accountability, a think tank in Chicago. 'It's incumbent on the mayor to lobby for the city.'

"That old-school style of lobbying has essentially vanished during the tenure of his successor. Mayor Rahm Emanuel spends little to no time downstate and leaves lobbying to a small city department. The state budget crisis has devolved into an ugly war of words between Emanuel and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, which has many lawmakers scratching their heads because the two have a friendship that has thrived outside of politics. The bond between the two is now so frayed that they decline to share a stage. If both are booked for an event, oftentimes one will leave the building before the other is slotted to speak."

I'm not so sure about the premise. First, I don't see how sending food to legislators constitutes arm-twisting, and second, I seem to recall the exact same complaints about Daley not expending any political capital - much less actually making a personal appearance or two - on lobbying Springfield.

For example, here's Kristen McQueary reporting on the same issue in 2011 for the Chicago News Cooperative/New York Times:

As Mayor Rahm Emanuel spent his second week in office on City Hall's fifth floor, his influence was being felt 200 miles away in Springfield, where lawmakers were considering his legislative agenda, including casino, schools and pension proposals.

A prodigious BlackBerry networker, Mr. Emanuel has been connecting with legislators regularly and deploying lobbyists to advance his agenda as the legislative session draws near a close on Tuesday. He has been deeply involved in the details of several bills affecting the Chicago Public Schools and a potential casino, lawmakers said. He also met with Springfield's power brokers when they were in Chicago.

"He has the advantage of being kind of a famous guy," said the Senate president, John J. Cullerton, Democrat of Chicago. "He was White House chief of staff. He is close to the president. And as you know, the media covers the mayor more than the U.S. senators or the governor. As a result, he's a big shot. He can be very effective down here."

Mr. Emanuel's hands-on style contrasts with former Mayor Richard M. Daley's arms-length approach to the General Assembly. Mr. Daley rarely called lawmakers - even those from Chicago districts - to lobby for bills. He relied on a small circle of trusted middlemen to handle the details and often shared his views on legislative matters at news conferences downtown.

Daley's hands-off approach to Springfield was well-known - and the cause of much vexation.

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P.S.: Did PR hack Dennis Culloton have something to do with McQueary's story?

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P.S.S.: The Tribune, in its retrospective book about Daley, called a lobbying trip he made to Springfield "uncharacteristic."

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Sun-Times Suitors
Suddenly we have some new contestants, including:

* Former Ald. Edwin Eisendrath.

Here's an interesting interview I did with him in 2010; unlike J.B. Pritzker and other leading Dems, Eisendrath actually challenged Rod Blagojevich's re-election when everyone knew there was a good chance he could land in the pokey.

* Neil Bluhm.

I profiled Bluhm in 2000 for Chicago magazine; sadly it's not online so I can't link to it but I'll dig out a hard copy and review it for relevance. Since then, Bluhm has become a casino magnate.

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The White Sox Report: Hawking Hawk
You do the math. How can a 75-year-old man have been in baseball for 80 years?

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Chicagoetry: Wreck On The Highway
You ponder the protocols of sirens.

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Girlpool, The Dopamines, Sigur Ros, The Ponys, U2, Blue Dream, Com Truise, You, Carl Palmer, Ratt, Diamond Rexx, and Mr. Big.

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BeachBook

Neighbors Upset At Equipment On Roof Of MCA.

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U.S. Treasury Cash Supply Tight As Rich Americans Delay Paying Taxes.

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Obama Handed Trump A Weapon To Kill His Signature Health Care Law.

Obamacare is better than the proposed AHCA, but it's still awful in the big picture and should have been declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court as it was going to be until John Roberts lost his nerve.

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NBC Lives In Data-Free Zone With Claims Of Freedom From Eyeglasses.

Again: Journalism has a huge quality issue.

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How To Call BS On Big Data.

Instruction I gave in my only memo as managing editor of The Minnesota Daily: "Whenever interviewing someone, ask to yourself 'Why is this bastard lying to me?'"

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Chicago Park Drinking Fountains Have Been Running For Weeks To Flush Pipes.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

Don't kid yourself, this is the ethos of Corporate America at-large (and that includes media companies).

The corporate mindset is the enemy.

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Irony: Republicans are the complicit French surrender monkeys of the Trump presidency.

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Not breaking news: The president is a dunce.

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A PR process that would shield us from the president's true thoughts. I prefer it this way. Now deal with who our president is.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Competitive.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:58 AM | Permalink

Chicagoetry: Wreck On The Highway

Wreck on the Highway

Punching through the post-midnight air
Comes the unmistakable sound of hurtling metal
Crunching into hurtling metal.
Not a collision; the sound of two cars
Moving fast in the same direction
Coming together violently, then
Coming to a halt.

The sounds make a clear picture.
You anticipate such things when you sleep
Fifty feet from an interstate.
You are startled if not surprised.

You get up. You have to see.

You have to see:
The instinct is profound and after midnight
You are too weary to fight it.
Maybe you can help.

Often, what has happened is relatively minor.
You live effectively in the mezzanine at an on-ramp, and
Most of the crashes are there and minor, in slow traffic.
Last time, at mid-day, you looked to see a van
Perched atop the concrete divider between ramp lanes.

It looked funny; no one was hurt, although folks
Were clearly angry and confused,
Snapping at one another, raising their hands to God.
Something to see: two tow trucks
With what appeared to be large rubber bands
Wrapped around the van seeing it carefully
Back onto the road surface.

This was clearly different from the moment it happened.
It was nearby, but when you get out of bed to look
Out the window, there's nothing to see. Traffic
Is moving along at apparently normal speed for 1:30 a.m.
On an interstate expressway, and there is

No more noise.

You're not sure what, if anything happened.
You don't make any phone calls.
This sticks with you that you don't call the police.
To say what? You can't see anything but you thought
You heard something?

That sticks with you.

Back in bed, you note that there are no sirens
For a significant passage of time. Maybe
It's nothing. Then, from a long distance, a siren.
You ponder the protocols of sirens.
This one is from a great distance away
And may be attending another accident.

But then you see the blue and red lights,
Right out front. OK, something did happen, and
Something fairly serious, from the sound of it.
The lights stop about fifty yards west,
And you want to see. Again, you want to see,

Fearing, yet also frankly anticipating, the potential carnage.
That sticks with you. That really sticks with you.

"Keys, man. Keys. Don't get locked out
Of the goddam building in the middle of the night
To gawk." Actually, keys in hand, you still use
The brick to keep the inside front door

From locking shut. You cross your narrow street,
A frontage road, and step up to the
Concrete base of the chain-link fence over the highway.
You're at a height where you could step out
Onto the roof of a stalled semi-trailer.

You can see one fire truck, bright lights on the shoulder,
And the short-sleeved uniformed arm

Of an officer making some sort of gesture.
That's all. You can't see the cars involved as
They're blocked by a state police prowler
And a fire truck, as traffic finally starts to back up.

You go back inside.

Now loud sirens come closer, one
At a time. You get up to see the tops
Of these vehicles. Two more fire trucks
And at least one ambulance.
They come in waves, taking much longer

Than you might have imagined.
In fact, it stretches out over a longer
Period of time than you had guessed.
You don't think you hear sirens leaving the scene.
Again, you ponder the protocols of sirens.

You acknowledge, not for the first time,
How rare such an accident here is, given your proximity
To the highway. It happens every day, all the time, somewhere,
But you thought it would be happen right out front
Every day, all the time, when you first moved in.
You are thankful that is not the case.

You think of the Springsteen song from The River
Called "Wreck on the Highway:"

"And I thought of a girlfriend or a young wife
And a state trooper knocking in the middle of the night
To say your baby died in a wreck on the highway."

"God help those poor people," you say out loud
To yourself, acknowledging, not for the first time,

That you're praying.

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J.J. Tindall is the Beachwood's poet-in-residence. He welcomes your comments. Chicagoetry is an exclusive Beachwood collection-in-progress.

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More Tindall:

* Chicagoetry: The Book

* Ready To Rock: The Music

* Kindled Tindall: The Novel

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:04 AM | Permalink

June 3, 2017

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. The Amazing Heeby Jeebies at Cobra Lounge on Wednesday night.


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2. Murder Junkies at Reggies on Sunday night.

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3. Sara Watkins at SPACE in Evanston on Tuesday night.

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4. Jerry Joseph at Martyrs' on Wednesday night.

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5. Sam Prekop at the Empty Bottle on Tuesday night.

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6. Mukqs at the Empty Bottle on Tuesday night.

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7. TALsounds at the Empty Bottle on Tuesday night.

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8. Mickey Thomas at the Genesee in Waukegan on Thursday night.

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9. Terri Nunn at the Genesee in Waukegan on Thursday night.

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10. Lou Gramm at the Genesee in Waukegan on Thursday night.

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11. Major at City Winery on Thursday night.

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12. The Outer Vibe at Sofar on Wednesday night.

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13. Arbouretum and Brokeback at Schubas.

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Catching up with . . .

Yngwie Malmsteen at the Arcada in St. Charles on May 21.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:55 AM | Permalink

June 2, 2017

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #155: What's Wrong With The Cubs

A lot of things, it turns out. Plus: The Good News And The Bad News About Hawk Harrelson; MLB Standings Review; Ryan Pace, Secret Agent; The Patrick Sharp Dominoes; Pens Up; Warriors Golden; and Schweinsteiger!


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SHOW NOTES

* 155.

3:41: Something Is Officially Wrong With The Cubs.

* Someone needs to get angry; they have no edge.

* Cameron/Fangraphs: What's Wrong With The Cubs?

* Bernstein: Making Sense Of The Cubs Not Being Good.

* Deadspin: It's Been A Rough Week For The Cubs.

34:27: The Good News And The Bad News About Hawk Harrelson.

41:24: MLB Standings Review.

51:55: Ryan Pace, Secret Agent.

Screen Shot 2017-06-02 at 1.45.57 PM.png

53:37: The Patrick Sharp Dominoes.

56:14: Pens Up.

57:59: Warriors Golden.

59:11: Schweinsteiger!

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STOPPAGE: :58

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:46 PM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

"As the final hours of the spring session ticked down, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner railed against Democrats for failing to send him a budget and for letting the state government stalemate spill into its 24th month," the Tribune reports.

"The public scolding came after Rauner had spent time working to ensure that a Democrat-led attempt to pass a spending plan with multiple tax increases never made it to his desk."

That's because it would have interfered with his re-election message.

"While Rauner's reelection strategy hinges on branding Democrats as tax-happy, he might have had difficulty explaining to voters why he vetoed a budget that would raise taxes but also would have ended an impasse that's diminished the state's financial standing, decimated social services and starved universities."

The alternative - Democrats passing Rauner's "turnaround" reforms - is a bridge that has been too far since day one. The result: gridlock.

And that's why he governor is to blame, no matter Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan's role in this mess.

The governor already has put $50 million of his own money into his re-election bid and given millions more to the Illinois Republican Party, which has been plastering Democratic districts with attack ads.

Asked about those ads, which ran during the make-or-break final month of the session, Rauner said, "I don't know, I mean, whatever. I spend no time thinking about the politics. That's separate and I don't spend time on it."

"There are people outside of government whose job is the politics and the messaging around politics," Rauner continued. "That's it's own process. I literally, I mean, I probably spend 2 percent of my time or my thought process on that stuff outside, you know, in the evening or weekend. But it's virtually none of my time."

What an appalling lack of responsibility. Rauner is funding the state party practically single-handedly. It's also beyond belief that he's had nothing to do with the messaging. Even if that were true, he could always call on those who purportedly do to knock it off. Instead, he's only encouraged it - almost as if he wanted to sabotage a budget agreement. Or maybe no "almost" about it.

Senate Democrats blamed Rauner's ongoing campaign for poisoning their attempts to negotiate a budget with Senate Republicans.

"It was literally every week, we were met back in the district with, 'All they want to do is raise your taxes, they don't want to vote on any reforms,'" said Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, who was among the bipartisan group of senators working since January to strike a "grand bargain" on the budget.

That was - and is - the message Rauner is funding. Is it true?

For months, Rauner lavished praise on the Senate negotiators, predicting the talks were close to a resolution. The idea was for the two sides to agree on a plan to raise taxes, cut spending and grant Rauner some of the items on his legislative wish list, including changes to the state's insurance system for injured workers and a freeze on property taxes. The governor leaned heavily on the Senate talks in his February budget proposal, which left a $4.57 billion line-item titled "working together on 'grand bargain.'"

As the group got closer to a deal, Rauner swept in from the sidelines to tank it, according to the Senate Democrats.

Why? He said it was because Democrats didn't make enough concessions, such as loosening collective bargaining rules guiding public works and school boards around the state. But that sounds like an awfully convenient excuse.

"Rep. Christian Mitchell, a Chicago Democrat, said the governor's contradictions spooked Democrats.

"'He's saying privately that he understands that there needs to be revenue to balance the budget even if he gets his reforms, but then he's sending out letters saying, 'Hey we deserve a budget with no tax increases,' Mitchell said. 'Or sending out tweets that say, Taxes aren't the answer. We need reform. So you're sort of saying one thing in public and another thing in private, and I think there are many who would argue that reveals your character.'"

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Speak of the devil . . . "Let's Understand Why Illinois Property Taxes Are Highest."

There is an opening in Springfield for a radical change agenda. It's just not an agenda that reflects Rauner's priorities. And on those priorities is how he should be judged.

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Beachwood Photo Booth: Gas Pump No. 8
SuperAmerica.

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: The Amazing Heeby Jeebies, Murder Junkies, Sara Watkins, Jerry Joseph, Sam Prekop, Mukqs, TALsounds, Mickey Thomas, Terri Nunn, Lou Gramm, Major, The Outer Vibe, Arbouretum, Brokeback, and Yngwie Malmsteen.

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Beachwood Sports Radio: What's Wrong With The Cubs
A lot of things, it turns out. Plus: The Good News And The Bad News About Hawk Harrelson; MLB Standings Review; Ryan Pace, Secret Agent; The Patrick Sharp Dominoes; Pens Up; Warriors Golden; and Schweinsteiger!

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BeachBook

Republican Congressman Refuses To Say If Americans Entitled To Eat.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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You might have to click through to see this in full.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Deadline extended.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:07 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Gas Pump No. 8

SuperAmerica.

20170129_192601_resized.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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

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Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fantasy Hair Design.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Garage.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Clark Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pole Position.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Geometry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Found Love.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fill In The Blank.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vacuums Of The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dumpster Still Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wagon Master.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Intersecting West Rogers Park.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Antiques.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cow Patrol.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Backstage Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skully Bungalow.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Francisco Frankenstein.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Long Cool Heat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Smokers' Mast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Big Fat Phone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Happy Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alley Men.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Show!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You've Got Mailbox.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Broken Window Theory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dali Logan.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Svengoolie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Horner Park Hot Dogs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cubs Rehab.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 20th Century Schizoid Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Men On Vans.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Is Done.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snowy Lincoln.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Waiting Room.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Avondale Chicken.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Winter's End.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Friendly Skies.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boyhood Buzzer Beater.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: J Date.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: International Window Lady.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Shanghai Inn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Open For Business.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Andersonville Unplugged.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 3-Flat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Turkey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicagolandia.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Eat At Odge's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deitch Pharmacy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sud-Z Bubble.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bands Wanted!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Belmont Tavern.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Superheroic San Luis Freeze.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Oasis.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lyndale Food & Jewelry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Book Window.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alco Dude.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ballin Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Don't Worry, Be Cookie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Four Trey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Office.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America From Inside The Golden Nugget In Ravenswood.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cellphone Repair.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boots 'N' Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunrise Strip.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: At The Corner Of Glad And Happy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Uptown Autumn Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mid-Century Modern Halloween.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Autumn Station Wagon.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Betty's & Nick's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ohio House Impact.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: End School Zone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Portage Park Peek-A-Boo.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: South Side Sundown.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Susie's Drive-Thru.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Ham.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Food & Liquor, Milhouse.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Hare Blue Line Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Schwing!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ad Deluxe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jesus At The Drive-In.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Tanks Of Avondale.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Conveyance Belt.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Esquire In The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nick's Meat Market.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Keep Havin A Good Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Knock Knock.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Man At Marie's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonneville.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Logan Bags.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Stairwell.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Velvet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Court Is In Session.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: DLER ALKY.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Railyards Rush Hour.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop Killing People.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 1.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Greystone Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You Are Beautiful.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Auto Part Overlords.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bearground.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 2.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skyway Sculpture.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Dome Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hello, St. Joe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Revolution Books.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Driveway.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Proceed To Checkout.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Summer Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Daily Double.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Are Moving.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 3.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunny Day Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ashland & Pawn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Party Store.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Donuts.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: AAA Sales.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Rule.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Butcher Boy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Endorsement.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: I Voted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pink(ish) Cadillac.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stuffed With Sadness.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Air.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Economy Heating.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Season's Greetings.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Housemates.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Have Fresh Goat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartcam.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gaslight.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Urban Wheat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Embassy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln's Cozy Corner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Glory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bowling Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Red Lion, Red Hots.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Sitting.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Jukebox Is Not A Democracy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Descending Darkly.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Handicapped Milk Jug Zone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gumball Express.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicken Run.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wyoming, Michigan.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bus Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Manzana.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Don't Look Back.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mail Call.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:26 AM | Permalink

June 1, 2017

Injury Rates In Young Female Athletes May Be Underestimated

Injury rates among elite young female athletes may be higher than what's been reported, new data suggest.

"Most studies define injury as time loss from participation, whereas many athletes with overuse injuries continue to participate despite pain and reduced performance. When time-loss definitions are used, about 90 percent of overuse injuries appear to be missed," researchers write in the journal BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine.

Angelo Richardson of Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands and colleagues studied 60 young women who competed at the national or international level in soccer, basketball or gymnastics. The average age of the study participants was 17.

Every two weeks during the 2014-2015 season the athletes filled out questionnaires that asked about health problems, including not just new injuries but also overuse injuries, which occur over time as a result of repeated stresses on tissues, bones and joints.

Overall, at any given time during the study, 48 percent of the athletes reported injuries, the authors found. And every two weeks, nearly 61 percent of the athletes were reporting some sort of health problem - either injury or illness.

Put another way, if a thousand athletes such as these were to participate in their sports for an hour, nine of them would sustain an injury, the researchers said. By comparison, a 2016 study of high school soccer players in the U.S. found that if a thousand of them were to practice or play soccer for an hour, only two would sustain an injury - with only a slight difference between girls and boys.

Injury rates were similar for all three sports. But when it came to "substantial" injuries, the soccer and basketball players were at higher risk, with rates of roughly 28 percent in each group, compared to the gymnasts, whose rate of substantial injuries was 16 percent.

The high prevalence of self-reported injuries among these talented female athletes suggests that efforts toward prevention are needed, the authors wrote.

"I believe this study provides some real value to what we know as health care providers who work in sport," athletic trainer Scott Sailor, who is president of the National Athletic Trainers' Association, told Reuters in an e-mail.

"Often the data we have deals with time loss injuries and the majority of injuries athletic trainers treat on a daily basis are non-time loss," said Sailor, who was not involved in the study.

It's crucial that athletes be appropriately prepared for the demands of the sport, Sailor said. This involves making sure they have adequate strength and flexibility, but it goes beyond that, to making sure they have appropriate movement patterns - that the way they run, jump, lunge, land, etc. is efficient and effective so that they don't get their joint in a position where their body can't protect them from injuring tissues, he said.

"Working with athletic trainers or other sports medicine professionals can provide added benefit and ensure proper form, movement and reduced risk of injury. Equally important is ensuring our athletes have adequate nutrition, hydration and rest," he said.

Failing to do these things predisposes the athlete to injury and illness, he added.

"Most training for athletes has now transitioned from maximum lifts in the gym to functional exercises that train sport-specific movement patterns," said Lawrence Spriet, a researcher in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, in e-mail to Reuters.

"Ensuring that athletes fuel properly through their diet, have consistent warm-ups and cool-downs before and after exercise, and use individualized training protocols can all assist in injury prevention," said Spriet, who wasn't involved in the study.

It is not uncommon for athletes to sustain injuries but it is essential to try to prevent injuries that cause time-loss from training and competition, decrease performance levels, and that can become chronic if not treated properly, Spriet added.

"Seeking treatment at the onset of complaints or injury will help avoid this," he said.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:32 AM | Permalink

The [Thursday] Papers

The newspaper mindset persists.

From Natasha Korecki's Politico Illinois Playbook:

THE BUZZ - This is a day you'll want to buy hard copies of the Sun-Times and the Tribune, sit down with a large cup of coffee, and read. There's that much news; not just hard news, but impactful investigative pieces that warrant your attention, involving the Chicago Police Department, the Democratic primary race for governor, the future of the Dept. of Children and Family Services and the future of Illinois.

Why would a particularly newsy day necessitate buying hard copies of the papers? Read the lesser versions without links! Oh yeah, newspapers still rarely use links (it's 2017). Read the unupdated versions! Read the versions you could have read online last night! If anything, a particularly newsy day necessitates an online read, in which one can take full advantage of all the online tools available, shift between stories and sites beyond the Tribune and Sun-Times, and get a broader range of viewpoints.

Also, Korecki is offering this advice in an e-mail newsletter with links to the newsy stories she's aggregated! "Instead of following the links I'm providing here, follow along with your print editions!"

Mindset, people. Mindset.

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Related: The Sun-Times isn't in need of saving because of market conditions, but because of the utter failure of its ownership and management to adapt and innovate for the digital age, which is now old enough to graduate high school and head to college. The people there too can't shake the notion of spreading out your print editions in the morning while drinking a huge mug of coffee, but that's not how increasingly huge numbers of people consume the news anymore. A more apt image might be recharging your cellphone because you're going to be on it all day catching the latest twists and turns.

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Also, you can't hear the audio of J.B. Pritzker's wiretapped conversation with then-Governor Rod Blagojevich - the day's top story, because a state budget not passing was not unexpected - from the print edition. I'm just gobsmacked I'm still writing about this kind of thing 12 years after I started this site.

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Before I get to Pritzker, I'm going to start with the (still nonexistent) state budget, just for my own organizational purposes.

Korecki nicely sums up the state of play:

Here's the lead we wrote exactly one year ago: "If Springfield is indeed the 'banana republic' Gov. Bruce Rauner described on Tuesday, then it's completely gone apeshit ... There's no budget - balanced or unbalanced - for Rauner to even consider signing. That leaves schools guessing about whether they can open on time in the fall - something Rauner has desperately tried avoiding. It leaves other schools and universities at risk of closing. Not to mention social service funding which has been through the wringer already for the last 11 months."

Copy, paste: Swap out 11 with 22 and we've arrived at the present. Rauner is now poised to enter year three without a budget.

What's next: It's tough to take anyone too seriously when it's clear the two main players - House Speaker Mike Madigan and Gov. Bruce Rauner - despise one another. Madigan vows to return in June and hold "continuous" session. Please. The House had gone weeks at a time without meeting during the regular session that just ended when it would only have taken a simple majority vote to pass budget measures. Madigan was mum during all the negotiations in the Senate.

Gov. Bruce Rauner held a news conference on Wednesday placing all the blame on Democrats and talking about turning around the state by growing jobs and the economy and the need for continued negotiation. Please again. Without a budget, the state's pile of unpaid bills has climbed to $14 billion; its credit ratings are plunging. Rauner ranted about Democrats touring the state to create headlines but Rauner has released one ad after another blasting the people he's supposed to negotiate with. During the news availability he stood next to GOP Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, who earlier in the session was on the verge of closing in on a grand bargain deal with Democrats before Rauner pulled the plug. By all accounts, Radogno was pushed to the side in future negotiations.

On Twitter, Korecki pins the tail on the donkey - and that doesn't mean the Democrat:

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Politics prevailed over governing, the Tribune reports:

Spring session ended with another thud Wednesday, as Democratic fear of blowback from raising taxes trumped a desire by some to put a spending plan on Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's desk.

The end result is that for the second year in a row, partisan dysfunction at the Capitol sent lawmakers into a summer overtime session, leaving unanswered questions about whether an agreement can be reached to ensure elementary schools open on time this fall, universities can avoid further cuts and the poor can get social services.

We're now looking at the possibility that Rauner will go a full term without a signing a budget.

"Rauner had vowed to veto a Democratic budget that included an income tax hike and sales tax expansion, but he nonetheless classified the House's inaction on a spending plan as a 'complete dereliction of duty by the majority in the General Assembly.'"

Rauner, of course, has never proposed a serious budget and, as noted, pulled his party off the grand bargain that seemed like Illinois' only hope because . . . it didn't hurt workers enough?

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This is the fight of Rauner's life. He is determined to bring radical change to the state; he perceives himself as a one-man revolution who will finally put a stop to what he (incorrectly) believes is holding Illinois back. If he were to compromise, he'd be just another dealmaking pol instead of the change agent he promised - to voters and himself - that he'd be. It's one man holding up 12.8 million of us for principles he believes are worth achieving no matter how many are hurt in the meantime. How do you negotiate with that?

Madigan is not entirely blameless, but Rauner is the one who can't accept that he can't change the laws of electoral physics.

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Rauner already campaigning/fundraising on his own failure to deliver a budget.

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"Illinois had its bond rating cut to a step above junk by S&P Global Ratings because of the long-running political stalemate over the budget that's kept the state from dealing with its chronic deficits," Bloomberg reports.

"The company warned that the rating could be cut again, which would make Illinois the first state since at least 1970 with a below investment grade."

Well, Rauner promised to bring Illinois back and he has - to 47 years ago.

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Maybe we've got to expand our means of livin'.

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Noted: An update on the 911 legislation I wrote about on Wednesday.

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Primary Blues
"Democratic governor candidate Chris Kennedy on Tuesday went after some of the biggest players in Illinois Democratic politics - though pointedly not by name - in calling for changes in a local property tax system that he called rigged and likened to 'extortion,'" the Tribune reports.

"Kennedy was later asked if Berrios, Madigan and Burke are corrupt. He replied: 'The people who are in the system feel like they're playing by the rules and, as such, they feel like they're not breaking the rules. I think we need to change the rules so if this conduct continues, it's against the law.'"

Huh. Isn't this the same defense J.B. Pritzker used regarding his use of the county's property tax appeal system? Why yes, it is! He just availed himself of the same opportunity everyone else has to reduce their assessments!

The problem is twofold: First, that Kennedy is unwilling to call out Berrios, Madigan and Burke for their obvious corruption, regardless of whether what they do is "legal." After all, who writes the laws, rules and regulations governing this stuff? They didn't come down from the mountain with Moses.

Second, the idea that participating in a corrupt system is okay as long as that's what everyone else is doing is corrupting in itself. It helps perpetuate the system. A person of character does what's right regardless of what the law is or what opportunities one is availed of. In the case of Pritzker, a massively wealthy person essentially cheated the public out of badly needed tax revenue for what amounts to chump change for him.

Which brings me to Pritzker's new problem:

"I've got a lot of reasons why it makes sense. The problem for you would be the same problem with the Senate really," Pritzker said. "I've given you contributions."

"Total nonissue," Blagojevich replied. "First of all, you give money to everybody, like (Attorney General) Lisa Madigan, OK?"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, no question," Pritzker said.

"Which, incidentally, if you can do for me what you did for her, before the end of the year. Can you think about that?" Blagojevich asked, aware that Pritzker had donated $50,000 to Madigan during the previous year.

"I can't, I mean, not while everything's up in the air, but I hear ya," Pritzker said. "I hear ya and, and, and ... But anyway ..."

"If we go in that direction, though, if that does happen, I mean there's some other people who can help us that you know," Blagojevich said.

"Sure," Pritzker said.

"If you feel skittish about that, which I believe you shouldn't, but go ahead," Blagojevich said.

"Yeah," Pritzker replied, "I don't think we should even talk about it but I understand what you're saying."

Pritzker was smart enough to know he shouldn't be talking about campaign contributions in the same conversation as a political appointment, but at the same time let Blagojevich know that he "heard" him and that he understood what he was saying. In other words, he winked and nodded.

He also did not accept the discussion as confirmation that the allegations swirling around Blagojevich were true. Quite the opposite.

"I think you've got a lot to run on," Pritzker told Blagojevich. "It's just, we've got to get the legal thing behind you."

Just get the legal thing - which you've just provided me proof of - behind you! Pritzker even practically begged to be an intimate advisor and intermediary on other appointments.

Pritzker later called Blagojevich "to see how he was 'holding up under all the Senate pressure,' according to a transcript of the conversation the Tribune obtained."

So that's where his sympathies lied, feigned or not.

Pritzker had a chance to show character and split with Blagojevich - and take his millions with him - and help lead his party and state in another direction, but instead he chose to put his own political ambition first.

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Injury Rates In Young Female Athletes Almost Certainly Underestimated
"Most studies define injury as time loss from participation, whereas many athletes with overuse injuries continue to participate despite pain and reduced performance. When time-loss definitions are used, about 90 percent of overuse injuries appear to be missed."

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BeachBook

Top 20 Percent Of Americans 'Hoard The American Dream.'

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Master class.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:23 AM | Permalink

MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Can Anyone Stop Sinclair?
POLITICS - Hundreds Turn Selves In For Toppling Statue.
SPORTS - Bears Psychosis Grips City.

BOOKS - How Subversive Artists Made Thrifting Cool.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Cloudy Gate.


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