Chicago - Sep. 19, 2018
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BWM*: 82/12
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« July 2017 | Main | September 2017 »

August 31, 2017

The [Thursday] Papers

Friday Update: I'm off to Minneapolis for the weekend. This space may or may not be updated before Tuesday. Check back neither often nor early to find out for yourself.

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Shit's fucked up today.

This is all I have for you.

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The New York Times' Op-Ed-Ad
Free space for notorious mercenary.

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Sinclair's Flippant FCC Filing
Is this how Tribune Media ends?

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Chicagoetry: September 1, 2017
We must love one another. Or die.

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Last Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: The Lillingtons, and Gene Simmons.

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Last Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Make-Overs, Drift City Ransom, Tideshift, Lord Giver, and Todd Rundgren.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Is as does.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:28 AM | Permalink

New York Times Slammed For Running 'Advertorial' By Notorious War Profiteer

The New York Times came under fire on Wednesday for running what critics characterized as "uncontested propaganda" in the form of an Op-Ed by notorious war profiteer and Blackwater founder Erik Prince.

As in his other prominent op-eds that ran recently in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, Prince - the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos - pitched his plan to largely privatize the 16-year war in Afghanistan. Many have denounced this for-profit scheme - which would place the war in the hands of an American "viceroy" and private mercenaries - as tantamount to "colonialism."

On Wednesday, though, commentators directed their ire at the outlet that "uncritically" provided a platform for Prince's "advertorial."

"Why is the New York Times Op-Ed page publishing Erik Prince's sales pitch for more mercenaries?" asked The New Republic's Sarah Jones.

The scheme being proposed "would make Prince, who now owns another private military company, Academi, very rich," Jones added. "The conflicts of interest are glaring, and yet this advertisement was given pride of place in the opinion section."

Further, as Slate's Ben Mathis-Lilley observed, Prince's Times bio failed entirely to highlight these conflicts of interest.

While the bio "notes that [Prince is] the chairman of the Frontier Services Group, it doesn't make clear that the Frontier Services Group's business involves selling 'force protection' to clients in countries including Afghanistan."

As many observed following Prince's Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, it is hardly surprising that a war profiteer sees an opportunity to profit off a war with no end in sight.

The real problem, argues GQ's Jay Willis, "is not that Prince is taking advantage of an opportunity to shill for his latest collection of well-compensated mercenaries. It's that the New York Times is giving Prince space on its opinion pages in order to do so."

Freelance reporter Paul Blest noted that the Times "allow[ed] Erik Prince to grovel for a new contract" in its opinion section "almost 10 years to the day" of the 2007 Nisour Square massacre - the killing of 17 Iraqis by security guards employed by Prince's notorious Blackwater firm.

Others similarly criticized the Times on social media:

*

*

*

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:01 AM | Permalink

Chicagoetry: September 1, 2017

September 1, 2017
After W.H. Auden

"This is my shadow.
There are many like it

But this one is mine," I thought
As I, uncertain and afraid,
Played with its shapes
While taking the recycling out

To the green bins
In the back alley.

Shade on stone,
My idiosyncratic, beleaguered

Silhouette:
Like a snowflake,

Utterly unique in sub-atomic detail.
Like clouds:

Shadow makers & shadow killers.

White clouds come
In flotilla into this neutral air: catamarans, dhows,
Sampans & kayaks,

Their shadows making

A mirror configuration in black
Across the plain. The engine is wind,
The fuel is mind.

Trees applaud the breeze!
When the clouds coalesce,
All shadows die.

Solid as a cloud
I lean slightly into the breeze &
My shadow leans with me.

Wait: that cloud looks

Like an adapter for a 45 rpm
Single, allowing it to fit snugly
Onto a phonograph record player spindle.

Now comes a convoy of carriages:
Landaus, phaetons, hansoms, victorias.
Then a canopy of oak tree tops:
Burr, pin, black & scarlet.

I could do this forever,
In near-stupor, defenseless, yet
Investing an affirming flame
Into the smallest tasks, seizing

Eternity in every shadow & cloud,
Each embodying a euphoric dream.

Now with my hands I make
A shadow on the alley concrete,
An imperfect square:
Bible, Torah, Gita,

Quran?

You can't make a cloud but
You can make a shadow.

We must love one another
Or die.

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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 12:52 AM | Permalink

Sinclair's Flippant FCC Filing

Free Press filed its reply Tuesday to last week's Sinclair Broadcast Group merger filing at the Federal Communications Commission. Sinclair's filing should have been an opportunity for the company to explain the supposed benefits of its merger with Tribune Media Company, but Sinclair largely used its submission to attack organizations and individuals that asked the FCC to deny the proposed deal.

Earlier this month, Free Press filed a petition asking the FCC to halt the transfer of broadcast licenses that would give Sinclair control of more than 233 local TV stations reaching 72 percent of the country's population, far in excess of congressional and FCC limits on national and local media ownership.

On Aug. 22, Sinclair filed its response to these petitions from Free Press and others, claiming that its massive merger with Tribune "will serve the public interest in myriad ways" despite these ownership-rule violations. Sinclair specifically called out Free Press' petition in its response, offering flippant denials of the merger's harms and empty claims designed to convince the FCC to allow just a handful of monopoly-minded broadcasters to control the airwaves nationwide.

In its response, Free Press explains how the merger blatantly violates the FCC's broadcast-ownership rules and undermines the FCC's goals of promoting localism, diversity and competition in broadcasting.

Sinclair offers "little to no substantive basis on which to dispute this evidence," Free Press notes in its filing. "Applicants resorted to mischaracterizing the arguments in our Petition to Deny, harping on minute technical discrepancies, and conjuring up empty procedural claims suggesting that relevant issues be addressed in a rulemaking proceeding instead. Their energies, and transparent attempts to distract the Commission from the issues at hand, are misplaced."

In addition to violating the agency's longstanding ownership rules, the merger would give an even bigger megaphone to a company that forces its stations to run right-wing political commentaries every single day.

Sinclair routinely overrides the objections of local journalists and fails to provide coverage that serves community needs.

At its worst, Sinclair uses its massive network of broadcast stations to fan the flames of racial and religious prejudice and put local communities at risk.

"When a broadcaster's political perspective is so strident that it inhibits local editorial control and subverts localism, the Commission must consider whether that broadcaster is acting in the public interest," reads the Free Press response.

"Sinclair has long evaded the FCC rules it's now trying to completely erase with the help of the Trump FCC under Chairman Pai," said Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron.

"Sinclair forces its local stations to air pro-Trump propaganda and then seeks favors from the Trump administration worth billions. This should be a national scandal. And if it's allowed to happen, it will unleash a new and unprecedented wave of consolidation in local TV that may boost short-term stock prices but will spell long-term disaster for local communities."

"For all their bluster, Sinclair and Tribune have once again failed to show how this unprecedented merger could possibly serve the public interest," said Free Press Policy Analyst Dana Floberg.

"Instead they seek to distract the FCC with boasting and technical quibbles in the hopes that Chairman Pai will overlook the transaction's blatant violations of FCC ownership rules. The reality is that this deal would seriously harm people of color, low-income families and other communities that rely on local television for local news. It would silence independent community voices while giving mega-broadcaster Sinclair even more control over what we see and hear on the news."

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Previously:
* Item: Former Trump Aide Joins Sinclair.

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

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

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

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

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

* Tribune's Disastrous Sale To Sinclair.

* Lawmakers Demand Answers About FCC's Favoritism Toward Sinclair.

* Can Anyone Stop Trump's FCC From Approving A Conservative Local News Empire?

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:10 AM | Permalink

August 30, 2017

The [Wednesday] Papers

"A month ago, only education policy nerds were talking about establishing a private school tax credit scholarship program in Illinois," Eric Zorn writes for the Tribune.

Now, after a flurry of negotiations in Springfield, we're going to have one of the biggest such programs in the country.

Without committee hearings and expert testimony. With almost no public debate and precious little debate in the General Assembly, Illinois is about to join the ranks of states that funnel significant amounts of public money into K-12 private schools, many of them religious.

Welcome to the Combine, Governor Rauner. Your table was waiting all along.

*

"The 'Invest in Kids Act,' as Republicans called their amendment to the school funding overhaul in Springfield, was a last-minute bargaining chip, a concession the GOP demanded from the Democratic legislative majorities in order to put votes behind an omnibus bill that gave Democrats quite a bit of what they wanted."

That's being a bit kind to Democrats. I've yet to see any reporting showing that Democratic leaders chose this path over letting the whole school funding bill die - in which case an override of the governor's veto of the original bill that passed both chambers of the Assembly might have gained enough votes to pass. True, that's a game of chicken Dems may not have wanted to play, but then so is this - and they blinked. Perhaps eagerly.

"Democrats' stated reasons for signing on to the deal vary," Ben Joravsky writes for the Reader. "In the case of Madigan and Cullerton, it's obviously a gift to Archbishop Blase Cupich, head of the Archdiocese of Chicago."

And the mayor? To a man with no core principles, expediency as the path of least resistance is always the way to go.

"As a part of the agreement, the Chicago Public Schools gets the hundreds of millions of dollars it needs to pay its most immediate teacher pension obligations," Joravsky notes. "The state deal also lifts the cap on property taxes, which means that Rahm will be able to raise the tax rate to fetch more money for the schools."

The bill could have had $750 million in tax credits for private schools - and, say, a lollipop for every resident of the state - for all Rahm cared. He just wanted his damn money - now.

"The scholarship subsidy contradicts pretty much everything the Democrats supposedly believe in when it comes to education finances."

Democrats have a way of supposedly believing in a lot of things. That's their public-facing brand. Their reality, particularly in Illinois, has always been a different story, and this is just the latest example.

"When the deal passed the house, Madigan hailed it as a great 'compromise.' But to some of us, it smells like betrayal."

It's only a betrayal to those who foolishly still believe Democratic rhetoric. This is exactly who they are.

And we've been reminded once again who Michael Madigan is - which has been easy to forget during Rauner's tenure when Madigan has been the monster on the wall keeping us safe at night. He's still a monster, and it would be nice to be rid of him and the governor.

*

"The agreement and 38-13 Senate vote Tuesday came after weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations among the four Democrat and Republican legislative leaders after Rauner used his amendatory veto powers to rewrite an earlier proposal," the Tribune reports.

"Rauner contended that version set aside too much money for CPS, often calling it a 'bailout.' However, the bill he now plans to enact could result in the Chicago district receiving as much as $450 million in new money - about $150 million more than in the original bill. It also contains little to reflect the changes Rauner proposed in his veto."

And yet, Rauner is claiming a win. After all, the state now has a voucher program.

*

"Republicans countered that they were able to get items they've long sought and wouldn't have secured without the governor's veto.

"That includes $75 million in tax credits to help pay for tuition to private schools. In addition, school districts would face fewer requirements on daily physical education classes, and voters in well-funded districts could petition to lower their property taxes."

GOP finally brings gym class reform to Illlinois!

*

"Previously, an Illinois Appellate Court in 2001 upheld a state income tax credit of up to $500 for parents for paying 'qualified educational expenses' that exceed $250 for the education of children in K-12 private schools.

"The credit was challenged based on the state constitution prohibiting government money for religious purposes, including a ban on spending to 'aid' or 'to help support or sustain any school' that is 'controlled by any church or sectarian denomination.'

"In its 2001 ruling, the Appellate Court noted that a tax credit 'does not constitute public funds' received by the government. Instead, 'it merely allows people to keep more of their own money.'"

Would it help, dear Court, if we made everyone who qualified for the tax credit send "their" money into the state and then the state issued a refund? Because that's the same thing. Does it really have to touch a state employee's hands to no longer be their money?

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Slow & Low
Highlights from this month's lowrider festival in Pilsen.

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Salukis Football!
An in-depth look.

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Tackle Rings?
Trying to attract kids to football is tough these days.

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I Was An Exxon-Funded Climate Scientist
The company knew.

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BeachBook

ABC News's Chief National Correspondent Is A Royal Dick Who Should Be Fired.

*

Mike North Has No Regrets About Being A Racist, Sexist Pig.

*

Members Of Congress Scoring Personal Loans From Political Contributors.

Swamp things.

*

3 Reasons Not To Believe These 7 Reasons That Beer Is Good For You.

Hey, I'm not against beer, I'm against shitty reporting.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

*

Who Would Jesus Block?

*

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Trolly.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:37 AM | Permalink

Tackle Rings?

"Coaches with the Southeast Polk Youth Football League in Des Moines said recent findings on brain damage linked to player-on-player hits have hurt numbers out here on the turf," KCCI-TV reports.

"To stop the shortages, league organizers are using alternatives like 'tackle rings' to reduce the risk."


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

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

* The College Football Report: Dementia Pugilistica.

* Blackhawks Playing Head Games.

* Jay Cutler Should Consider Retiring.

* Dislike: Friday Night Tykes.

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

* Chicago Soccer Player Patrick Grange Had CTE.

* Sony Softened Concussion To Placate NFL.

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

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

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

* More Bad Concussion News For Young Football Players.

* NFL Tried To Fix Concussion Study.

* The Week In Concussions: Another Enforcer Down.

* Teen Concussion Rate Rising Significantly.

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

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

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

* Youth Football Finally Listening To Coach Coffman.

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

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

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

* More Teen Knowledge About Concussion May Not Increase Reporting.

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

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

* Nearly All Donated NFL Brains Found To Have CTE.

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

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

* Study: CTE Affects Football Players At All Levels.

* Dan Jiggetts Is Right About CTE.

* Letting Our Boys Onto The Football Field Is A Losing Play.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:31 AM | Permalink

Salukis Football!

Southern Illinois Salukis Football, the first book to focus solely on the program and its history at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, details the organization's greatest moments, from its origins around the beginning of the 20th century through the extraordinary leadership of head coaches William McAndrew, Rey Dempsey and Jerry Kill, to the present-day team and its coach, local hero Nick Hill.

Dan Verdun draws on more than 100 interviews with coaches, players, sports historians and sports reporters, as well as newspaper and magazine archives and other sources, to give readers an in-depth look at Saluki players, coaches and teams from all eras.

salukisbook.jpg

Beginning with an exploration of the earliest days of football at Southern Illinois Normal University - as it was then called - including the first official team in 1913 under the school's first athletic director and the years leading up to World War II, the book covers the history of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, referencing personal interviews with key players and coaches of the IIAC from the late 1940s through the disbanding of the conference in 1970.

Chapters about the 1950s and subsequent decades tell of the program's history through biographical sketches of coaches as well as legendary players such as Marion Rushing, Carver Shannon, Houston Antwine, and Jim Hart.

These brief tales reveal where the players came from, why they chose SIUC, what they accomplished while wearing the maroon and white, and how they fared after college.

Additional chapters cover recruiting, transfers, rivals, venues and celebrated supporters such as Mike Reis, the "Voice of the Salukis."

A final chapter offers media analysis of the fans' central debate: which historical Saluki team was the greatest?

Appendixes include "All-Century Team," "Retired SIU Jersey Numbers" and "Saluki Hall of Fame," and list SIU players in the NFL, the CFL, the USFL, and the Arena Football League.

Illustrated with approximately 75 color and black-and-white photos of players and coaches, games, and other subjects, Southern Illinois Salukis Football offers readers a fresh, colorful perspective of the SIUC football program.

Author
Dan Verdun grew up in Odell, Illinois, and holds degrees from Eastern Illinois University and Northern Illinois University. He is the author of books on Northern Illinois, Eastern Illinois, and Illinois State football. He teaches in Naperville, where he lives with his wife Nancy, son Tommy, and daughter Lauren.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:27 AM | Permalink

Slow & Low

"Slow & Low: Chicago Lowrider Festival began as a small gathering of 40-plus cars enthusiasts in 2011," Rick Lobes writes.

"Today's event has grown to over 200 cars and attended by thousands. It took place in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago on Sunday, August 6th."

Highlights:


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See also:

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Plus: Chicago Lowrider Festival.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:04 AM | Permalink

I Was An Exxon-Funded Climate Scientist

ExxonMobil's deliberate attempts to sow doubt on the reality and urgency of climate change and their donations to front groups to disseminate false information about climate change have been public knowledge for a long time, now.

Investigative reports in 2015 revealed that Exxon had its own scientists doing climate modeling as far back as the 1970s - science and modeling that was not only accurate, but that was being used to plan for the company's future.

Now, a peer-reviewed study published August 23rd has confirmed that what Exxon was saying internally about climate change was quantitatively very different from their public statements.

Specifically, researchers Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes found that at least 80 percent of the internal documents and peer-reviewed publications they studied from between 1977 and 2014 were consistent with the state of the science - acknowledging that climate change is real and caused by humans, and identifying "reasonable uncertainties" that any climate scientist would agree with at the time.

Yet over 80 percent of Exxon's editorial-style paid advertisements over the same period specifically focused on uncertainty and doubt, the study found.

The stark contrast between internally discussing cutting-edge climate research while externally conducting a climate disinformation campaign is enough to blow many minds.

What was going on at Exxon?

I have a unique perspective - because I was there.

From 1995 to 1997, Exxon provided partial financial support for my master's thesis, which focused on methane chemistry and emissions. I spent several weeks in 1996 as an intern at their Annandale research lab in New Jersey and years working on the collaborative research that resulted in three of the published studies referenced in Supran and Oreskes' new analysis.

Climate Research At Exxon

A scientist is a scientist no matter where we work, and my Exxon colleagues were no exception. Thoughtful, cautious and in full agreement with the scientific consensus on climate - these are characteristics any scientist would be proud to own.

Did Exxon have an agenda for our research? Of course - it's not a charity. Their research and development was targeted, and in my case, it was targeted at something that would raise no red flags in climate policy circles: quantifying the benefits of methane reduction.

Methane is a waste product released by coal mining and natural gas leaks; wastewater treatment plants; farting and belching cows, sheep, goats and anything else that chews its cud; decaying organic trash in garbage dumps; giant termite mounds in Africa; and even, in vanishingly small amounts, our own lactose-intolerant family members.

On a mass basis, methane absorbs about 35 times more of the Earth's heat than carbon dioxide. Methane has a much shorter lifetime than carbon dioxide gas, and we produce a lot less of it, so there's no escaping the fact that carbon has to go. But if our concern is how fast the Earth is warming, we can get a big bang for our buck by cutting methane emissions as soon as possible, while continuing to wean ourselves off carbon-based fuels long-term.

For the gas and oil industry, reducing methane emissions means saving energy. So it's no surprise that, during my research, I didn't experience any heavy-handed guidance or interference with my results. No one asked to review my code or suggested ways to "adjust" my findings. The only requirement was that a journal article with an Exxon co-author pass an internal review before it could be submitted for peer review, a policy similar to that of many federal agencies.

Did I know what else they were up to at the time? I couldn't even imagine it.

Fresh out of Canada, I was unaware that there were people who didn't accept climate science - so unaware, in fact, that it was nearly half a year before I realized I'd married one - let alone that Exxon was funding a disinformation campaign at the very same time it was supporting my research on the most expedient ways to reduce the impact of humans on climate.

Exxon's choices have contributed directly to the situation we are in today, a situation that in many ways seems unreal - one where many elected representatives oppose climate action, while China leads the U.S. in wind energy, solar power, economic investment in clean energy, and even the existence of a national cap and trade policy similar to the ill-fated Waxman-Markey bill of 2009.

Personal Decisions

This latest study underscores why many are calling on Exxon to be held responsible for knowingly misleading the public on such a critical issue. For scientists and academics, though, it may fuel another, different, yet similarly moral debate.

Are we willing to accept financial support that is offered as a sop to the public conscience?

The concept of tendering literal payment for sin is nothing new. From the indulgences of the Middle Ages to the criticisms some have leveled at carbon offsets today, we humans have always sought to stave off the consequences of our actions and ease our conscience with good deeds, particularly of the financial kind. Today, many industry groups follow this familiar path: supporting science denial with the left hand, while giving to cutting-edge research and science with the right.

The Global Climate and Energy Project at Stanford University conducts fundamental research on efficient and clean energy technologies - with Exxon as a founding sponsor. Philanthropist and political donor David Koch gave an unprecedented $35 million to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in 2015, after which three dozen scientists called on the museum to cut ties with him for funding lobbying groups that "misrepresent" climate science. Shell underwrote the London Science Museum's "Atmosphere" program and then used its leverage to muddy the waters on what scientists know about climate.

It may be easy to point a finger at others, but when it happens to us, the choice might not seem so clear. Which is most important - the benefit of the research and education, or the rejection of tainted funds?

The appropriate response to morally tainted offerings is an ancient question. In the book of Corinthians, the apostle Paul responds to a query on what to do with food that has been sacrificed to idols - eat or reject?

His response illustrates the complexity of this issue. Food is food, he says - and by the same token, we might say money is money today. Both food and money, though, can imply alliance or acceptance. And if it affects others, a more discerning response may be needed.

What are we as academics to do? In this open and transparent new publishing world of ours, declaration of financial supporters is both important and necessary. Some would argue that a funder, however loose and distant the ties, casts a shadow over the resulting research. Others would respond that the funds can be used for good. Which carries the greatest weight?

After two decades in the trenches of climate science, I'm no longer the naif I was. I'm all too aware, now, of those who dismiss climate science as a "liberal hoax." Every day, they attack me on Facebook, vilify me on Twitter, and even send the occasional hand-typed letter - which begs appreciation of the artistry, if not the contents. So now, if Exxon came calling, what would I do?

There's no one right answer to this question. Speaking for myself, I might ask them to give those funds to politicians who endorse sensible climate policy - and cut their funding to those who don't. Or I might employ one colleague's admirable and practical response: use a Koch-funded honorarium to purchase a lifetime membership in the Sierra Club.

Despite the fact that there's no easy answer, it's a question that's being posed to more and more of us every day, and we cannot straddle the fence any longer. As academics and scientists, we have some tough choices to make, and only by recognizing the broader implications of these choices are we able to make these decisions with our eyes wide open, rather than half shut.

Katharine Hayhoe is the director of the Climate Science Center and a professor at Texas Tech University. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:25 AM | Permalink

August 29, 2017

Salukis Football!

Southern Illinois Salukis Football, the first book to focus solely on the program and its history at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, details the organization's greatest moments, from its origins around the beginning of the 20th century through the extraordinary leadership of head coaches William McAndrew, Rey Dempsey and Jerry Kill, to the present-day team and its coach, local hero Nick Hill.

Dan Verdun draws on more than 100 interviews with coaches, players, sports historians and sports reporters, as well as newspaper and magazine archives and other sources, to give readers an in-depth look at Saluki players, coaches and teams from all eras.

salukisbook.jpg

Beginning with an exploration of the earliest days of football at Southern Illinois Normal University - as it was then called - including the first official team in 1913 under the school's first athletic director and the years leading up to World War II, the book covers the history of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, referencing personal interviews with key players and coaches of the IIAC from the late 1940s through the disbanding of the conference in 1970.

Chapters about the 1950s and subsequent decades tell of the program's history through biographical sketches of coaches as well as legendary players such as Marion Rushing, Carver Shannon, Houston Antwine, and Jim Hart.

These brief tales reveal where the players came from, why they chose SIUC, what they accomplished while wearing the maroon and white, and how they fared after college.

Additional chapters cover recruiting, transfers, rivals, venues and celebrated supporters such as Mike Reis, the "Voice of the Salukis."

A final chapter offers media analysis of the fans' central debate: which historical Saluki team was the greatest?

Appendixes include "All-Century Team," "Retired SIU Jersey Numbers" and "Saluki Hall of Fame," and list SIU players in the NFL, the CFL, the USFL, and the Arena Football League.

Illustrated with approximately 75 color and black-and-white photos of players and coaches, games, and other subjects, Southern Illinois Salukis Football offers readers a fresh, colorful perspective of the SIUC football program.

Author
Dan Verdun grew up in Odell, Illinois, and holds degrees from Eastern Illinois University and Northern Illinois University. He is the author of books on Northern Illinois, Eastern Illinois, and Illinois State football. He teaches in Naperville, where he lives with his wife Nancy, son Tommy, and daughter Lauren.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:30 PM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

"Following some twists and turns, the Illinois House on Monday narrowly approved a historic overhaul of the way the state funds schools, a key step toward freeing up money for classrooms that also sets the stage for a Chicago Public Schools property tax hike," the Tribune reports.

"The measure, which passed with two votes to spare, heads to the Senate for a vote as early as Tuesday. Gov. Bruce Rauner has vowed to sign the bill 'quickly,' and Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised the plan as providing 'parity and stability for children across Illinois.'

"The day was not without drama, however, primarily due to Democratic opposition to a Republican-backed $75 million tax credit program for private school tuition."

And also due to Democratic collusion with Republicans for the tax credits, also known as "vouchers."

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"Still, the agreement was hailed as an example of what can happen when Democrats and Republicans work together instead of ripping each another apart."

Hailed by who? The Democrats and Republicans who supported the bill? I'm not sure that qualifies as the broad hailing the reporters are implying here - especially since the tax credit program was hammered out in private among a few select legislators in a back room.

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Here's how big a deal this is to Republicans:

"House Republican Leader Jim Durkin called the agreement 'probably the most significant legislation to pass out of this chamber in decades.'"

I'm all for bipartisan compromise, but shouldn't that give Democrats pause?

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"Rauner argued the original bill set aside too much money for CPS."

But CPS comes out of this with more money than the original bill that Rauner vetoed.

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"Legislative leaders announced a tentative plan last week, but did not unveil the details until just hours before lawmakers were called to vote on the plan Monday."

Again, that doesn't sound like something to be hailed.

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Democrats, like newspapers, will always break your heart.

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The outstanding question which I haven't seen answered - and I haven't read all of the coverage, so if it it exists somewhere, let me know - is if the scholarship/voucher program was absolutely necessary to get this bill passed. I find it hard to believe it was. Can you imagine headlines like "Republicans Kill Entire State School Funding Bill Over $75 Million in Last-Minute Private Scholarship Voucher Program?"

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So why did Democrats go along with it? Here's an explanation that sadly rings true from the Tribune's Eric Zorn:

"Because too many lawmakers, including some Democrats, have either given up on the idea of public education, are secretly fond of the idea that taxpayers should support religious indoctrination or are under the delusion that competition for scarce resources will magically make public schools better."

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Here's more from WBEZ's Linda Lutton:

"The program is controversial because every dollar donated to the scholarship programs is 75 cents less in tax revenue to the state. So taxpayer money that would otherwise go to state coffers to pay for things like roads and schools is diverted to help pay for tuition at private schools."

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And here's Lutton on another reason why this is so maddening:

"Before Monday, the program was never presented as a stand-alone bill to be debated by lawmakers - another point of controversy among opponents. It was introduced during closed-door negotiations between Republicans and Democrats over the school funding overhaul Rauner vetoed."

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Illinois' AVR
In a time of increased efforts to restrict access to the polls, Illinois took a step in the opposite direction, becoming on Monday the 10th state to enact automatic voter registration.

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BeachBook

The Partisan Frame Of This Post About Ted Cruz, Hurricane Harvey Aid & An Ill-Prepared Interviewer.

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Many Famous Suffragettes Were Actually Working To Advance White Supremacy.

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If You've Never Lived In Poverty, Stop Telling Poor People What To Do.

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Illinois Athletic Director: I Love Our War Chant, But We're Getting Rid Of It For Some Reason.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: MBGA.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:12 AM | Permalink

In 'Huge Leap Forward,' Illinois Becomes 10th State With Automatic Voter Registration

In a time of increased efforts to restrict access to the polls, Illinois took a step in the opposite direction, becoming on Monday the 10th state to enact automatic voter registration (AVR).

This "is a huge leap forward," said Jonathan Brater, counsel with the Brennan Center's Democracy program. "This groundbreaking accomplishment, brought about by the persistence of civic groups, election officials, and legislators, means a quarter of Americans now live in a state where AVR has been approved. We hope other states will follow suit."

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the bill after state legislators unanimously passed the measure in late May. Prospective voters will be automatically registered at the Secretary of State's office when obtaining a driver's license or state ID, unless they choose to opt out. The bill's proponents call it a "win-win-win," as it strengthens democracy by adding voters to the rolls, cuts down on errors, and decreases paperwork.

According to the Associated Press:

Most of the changes will take place ahead of the November 2018 election when Rauner is seeking a second term, including a major update of voter files and registrations through the Secretary of State's offices, which in Illinois provides motor services for drivers. Other agencies will be on board by July 2019.

"We are proud of our work to bring over 1 million eligible voters into the electoral process in Illinois," said Brian Gladstein, executive director of Common Cause Illinois, one of the groups behind the Just Democracy coalition. "During a time of heightened partisanship fighting in Springfield and across the nation, we have demonstrated that breaking down barriers to the ballot box can be achieved and supported by both Democrats and Republicans. We must begin restoring faith by our citizens in our democracy and AVR is a good step in that direction."

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See also:

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:56 AM | Permalink

August 28, 2017

The [Monday] Papers

Yes.

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Does That Bears Game Matter?
Not really. Okay, a little. Maybe.

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Wizard World
Some of our favorite cosplayers from Chicago Comicon 2017.

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An Ugly, Reachable White Sox Goal
Convoluted but not unreasonable.

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TrackNotes: It's All Happening
"The inability of the horses to relate at all with the fans provides a comforting detachment, a forced objectivity. For wagering purposes, we believe we know what a horse will do, but we understand that we can't know."

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NIU's Golden Parachute Problem
College presidents walk away with fortunes even as they leave red ink and scandal behind.

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Is still in production, as is last week's Week in Chicago Rock, sigh.

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BeachBook

Why 2,000 Chicago Mechanics Are At War With Car Dealers.

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UW Study Finds Surprising Lack Of Research On How Air Pollution Affects Birds.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

Your move, Republicans.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Fit to serve.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:02 PM | Permalink

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. The Lillingtons at the Metro on Saturday night.


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2. Gene Simmons at Park West on Saturday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:16 PM | Permalink

NIU Exemplifies Outrageous Golden Parachute Problem

Victim of a years-long state budget impasse, Northern Illinois University has a $35 million funding shortfall. It has laid off 30 employees, left 120 other jobs unfilled and postponed building and renovation projects.

There are potholes in the roads and parking lots. Students say the dorms leak. Then again, there are fewer students to complain. Freshman enrollment plummeted by 20 percent last year. Those who are left have seen their fees and other charges rise by $15 million. The university's credit was downgraded in June to junk status by the Moody's bond-rating agency.

It was against this backdrop that the president, Douglas Baker, was declared by state investigators to have mismanaged the public institution by sidestepping competitive bidding rules to hire consultants who were paid more than $1 million. One charged $250 an hour.

Within two weeks of that report's release, Baker resigned - and, in a closed-door meeting of the university's board of trustees, was given $587,500 in severance pay, plus up to $30,000 to cover his legal fees. He's also due a previously unreported $83,287 for unused vacation time, the university acknowledged. That's a total of $700,787.

"Absolutely ridiculous," said Illinois state Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), vice chair of the committee that oversees higher education.

Often hammered out in secret, and seldom brought to public attention except when they explode into controversy, these kinds of golden parachutes for university and college presidents are not unique to Northern Illinois.

And while anger often flares up when presidents' salaries are publicized, salary totals alone don't come close to exposing the universities' true financial obligations to their chief executives.

It's these hidden severance deals that increasingly obligate higher education institutions to continue paying long-departed presidents large amounts for years, further thinning already stretched finances.

"The university has incurred a liability that is potentially millions of dollars," said James Finkelstein, professor emeritus of public policy at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government, who studies public universities' presidential contracts.

Unless they're fired - something that almost never happens because of concerns about institutions' reputations and potential litigation - the presidents of almost every public university are entitled to some kind of substantial payout when they leave, from the equivalent of one year's salary to the value of the time remaining on their contracts. Chief executives of public doctoral institutions make $430,283 on average, the human resources organization CUPA-HR reports; of privates, $626,487.

If they do complete their terms, 13 percent of presidents are entitled to "contract completion bonuses" of from $50,000 to $1 million, Finkelstein found in research he conducted with Schar School colleague Judith Wilde. Forty percent get deferred compensation, or an additional payment on top of their base pay put aside separately. This not only provides them tax benefits; it's often not included in publicly reported salaries.

Nearly half of university and college presidents are eligible, after stepping down, for year-long sabbaticals - a kind of paid leave for academics to do research - at their full presidential pay. About two-thirds are guaranteed positions on the faculty, often with the help of graduate assistants, and get free admission to campus sports and cultural events, VIP parking and continued paid-for memberships to country clubs and social organizations.

For one university president's divorce case, in which Finkelstein was enlisted as an expert witness, he calculated that the university's liability to the 65-year-old executive, who he won't name, came to an additional $5 million to $7 million after his contract was up, given his life expectancy. That included his salary for a faculty position that required him to teach two courses per year at what Finkelstein determined came to $250,000 per course.

The president also got to choose the subjects of the courses and when he wanted to teach them, and could opt to offer them online, Finkelstein said. "He could be sitting on the beach somewhere and teach them both in one semester. So that was a pretty good deal."

Rewarding Incompetence

After the University of Massachusetts-Boston ran up a deficit of $30 million - with enrollment and donations down, part-time faculty laid off, courses canceled and building projects repeatedly delayed - the chancellor, J. Keith Motley, resigned in April.

Though Motley's contract expired in January, it had been "verbally renewed," the public university system said, which means that Motley has now begun the stipulated year's sabbatical at his full $422,000 presidential pay, and can then return to the faculty at a guaranteed $240,000 annually.

He also will collect an additional 7 percent of his base salary in deferred compensation for each of the 10 years he served as president, the university system said, a benefit that records from the state comptroller's office indicate will come to more than $200,000.

"They've cut courses. They're cutting faculty. And they have this package for the outgoing chancellor," Marlene Kim, a professor of economics at the university and president of the union representing faculty and staff, said with evident exasperation. The campus day care center will also now be closed. "A lot of faculty feel sick from the cuts being made and obvious cuts not being made."

Directly connecting high salaries and benefits for top administrators to budget cuts or rising tuition is difficult to do, a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland found. But the report concluded it was logical to assume that containing administration outlays would help curb college costs.

The payouts also have symbolic significance, said Howard Bunsis, a professor of accounting at Eastern Michigan University who focuses on postretirement benefits.

"We get this superstar treatment of presidents and we lose sight of what we're here for," Bunsis said. "The presidents are treated like they're CEOs in the business world. To me, who loses is the students."

So does higher education in general, according to a survey released in May by the think tank New America. It found that 58 percent of Americans think colleges and universities put their own interests ahead of students'. A separate study found that institutions whose presidents' names appear on the Chronicle of Higher Education annual list of the 10 highest paid see a drop in financial contributions the following year.

"Donors are punishing the organization that makes them unhappy in the only way they know how," said Brian Galle, a professor of law at Georgetown University and the study's co-author, along with David Walker of the Boston University School of Law.

Galle and Walker also found that the pace of raises for presidents slows down after they show up on that list. "This suggests that increased public awareness does have an effect," Galle said.

But as pressure has mounted to restrain pay, more and more benefits have been added, often hidden in contracts agreed to in executive session and not available for review except through public-records requests that some universities and university systems resist or delay. Almost 60 percent of presidential searches require members of the search committee to sign confidentiality agreements, Finkelstein has found, some of them threatening criminal prosecution for violations of secrecy.

Legislation that Cullerton said he plans to file in Illinois next year would strip away this cover, requiring that severance agreements in particular be disclosed at the time when public university and college presidential contracts are signed, that public notice be given and that the Illinois General Assembly get 30 days to review the deals.

As it stands, he said, "We hear about it after the fact. And not only do you hear about it after the fact, you hear about it after the payout has already been made."

Cullerton dismisses the idea that oversight like this would discourage top candidates from applying for presidential posts in Illinois, an argument that was brought against a similar bill he proposed unsuccessfully in 2015.

"These are highly sought-after jobs," he said. "I don't think it's going to handcuff anybody from getting the best-qualified candidate because they're not going to get an exit package when they screw up."

Given the myriad challenges facing higher education, however, severance deals protect university presidents against the risks of making hard decisions, said Richard Legon, president of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, which represents boards of trustees.

"The complexity of these institutions has grown more profound," said Legon. "These are complex corporations that require real bold leadership. And attracting those kinds of leaders to take this job is increasingly competitive."

Besides, he said, most presidents finish their time in office successfully, without the kind of controversy that invites harsh public criticism of their severance deals.

"When there's a presidential failure or a parting of the ways for whatever reason before a contract ends, and you see the requisite expectation to pay for whatever, yeah, it jumps off the page," Legon said. "But when that person was brought in, to persuade him or her to take the job, there had to be some coverage for the risk of failure."

Competition for top talent and the idea that large universities are as complex as big corporations overseen by CEOs are two reasons boards of trustees give for lavishing these benefits on presidents. People with the skills needed to lead such multifaceted organizations could get at least the same salaries and perks in the private sector, they say.

A new survey of 1,546 university presidents and chancellors calls this into question. Fewer than 2 percent worked in the private sector before becoming presidents, the survey, by the American Council on Education and the TIAA Institute, found; fewer than 8 percent said they planned to move into the corporate world afterward.

"There's no evidence that the private sector is coming and raiding our universities to steal our presidents to run for-profit corporations," said Finkelstein, who has reviewed the histories of Fortune 1,000 CEOs and found no former university presidents among them.

Presidents also stick around for much less time than CEOs. While CEOs of S&P 500 companies stay in their jobs for an average of about 11 years, according to The Conference Board, the average length of university presidents' terms has fallen to 6 1/2 years at public and 7 years at private universities, ACE and the TIAA Institute report - down from 8 1/2 years a decade ago. That means still more churn, and more post-presidential financial liabilities for institutions.

"When the public begins to see and understand what goes into these compensation packages," said Finkelstein, "then they can decide - families can decide, legislators can decide, donors can decide - whether this makes sense to them."

This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Sign up here for our higher-education newsletter.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:12 PM | Permalink

Chicago Comicon 2017!

Some of our favorite cosplayers from Wizard World Comic Con.

Comicon_2017-90.jpg

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See the whole album here.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:39 AM | Permalink

An Ugly, Reachable Goal

Goal-setting wasn't supposed to be part of this rebuilding season. Ricky Renteria's vague notion of playing "clean" baseball is about as close to a stated goal as anything we've heard, but judging from all of the unclean games we've witnessed, Ricky's fellows have fallen short of their skipper's objective.

Winning ugly would be a welcome respite because losing ugly is exactly that.

But with a homestand last week that saw the White Sox take three of five from the Twins before winning a three-game series against the embattled Tigers, there is one convoluted goal for this team: Not losing 100 games. And it just might be reachable.

With 33 games remaining on the schedule, the Sox would have to go 10-23 to reach the century mark. In the previous 33 games of which Sunday's 7-1 win over Detroit was the 33rd, the boys went 13-20. Nothing to gloat about, but 13 more wins would leave them at 65-97, thus averting losses in three digits for the year. For those of us who detest tanking for a higher draft choice, that would suffice.

The Sox are 30-34 at home with 17 games remaining at Sox Park. Division leader Cleveland will face off against the last-place Sox seven more times, and a three-game trip to Houston, the West Division leader, looms in mid-September. But there also are encounters with cellar-dwelling San Francisco and the Tigers, who seem to be reeling, especially after the massive brawl at Yankee Stadium last Thursday.

Starting pitching has really hurt this team, and we'll know this week whether Miguel Gonzalez will be traded to a contender rather than stay on the South Side the rest of the season. If there is such a thing as an ace on this staff, Gonzalez is it. In his last four starts, Miggy has a couple of wins and a sparkling 1.29 ERA over 28 innings. What contender wouldn't want a guy like that for the month of September? It all depends on what general manager Rick Hahn can get in return.

Then we have the emergence of Lucas Giolito, the centerpiece of the Adam Eaton trade with the Nationals last winter. Giolito made his White Sox debut last week in two games, a 4-1 loss to the Twins on Tuesday before a strong effort Sunday against Detroit for his first major league victory in which he posted seven shutout innings on a yield of three hits, three walks, and four strikeouts.

Giolito didn't pitch poorly against Minnesota, giving up four hits in six innings. Problem was that three of those wound up in the outfield seats. But the 6-foot-6, 255-pound righthander found his curveball on Sunday and displayed much better command of his hard stuff. Having him in the rotation from here on out should help to keep the season losses in double digits.

Giolito has an interesting background. He attended the Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, a posh private institution analogous to Chicago's Latin School or Francis Parker. Harvard-Westlake is better known for its rigorous academic credentials and prestigious college matriculations than its athletic program. Tuition for the 2017-18 school year is $37,000, although 20 percent of the student body (grades 7-12) receive financial aid.

However, the school has had a few outstanding athletes, including the Collins twins, Jason and Jarron. The latter sits next to Steve Kerr as a Golden State Warriors assistant coach, while Jason had a 13-year NBA career and became the first openly gay athlete playing one of the four major sports.

Many H-W grads have gone on to Hollywood careers including Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal. Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow also is an alumnus of Harvard-Westlake.

Giolito was selected by the Nationals in the first round (16th overall) of the 2012 draft, despite the fact that he missed playing his senior year of high school because of a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow. The injury required surgery before Giolito ever threw a pitch for money.

What is noteworthy is that classmate Max Fried, a lefthanded pitcher, also was a first round draft choice, taken No. 7 by the Padres in 2012 but later traded to the Braves. Like Giolito, Fried also has had Tommy John surgery, and similar to his high school teammate, Fried was promoted this month to the big league level, pitching four times in relief for Atlanta before being sent back to Triple-A.

My friend Christopher Kliner, a 2002 graduate of Harvard-Westlake, pointed out the irony of two of the nation's top high school pitchers attending his alma mater at the same time.

"We had a smart kid once in a while who was really a good athlete," says Kicker, the name he goes by. "But you're not there just to play sports. That's not the Harvard-Westlake ethos. When I was there, there were no typical dumb jocks. Everyone was a driven student. Sports there weren't anything to write home about."

While Giolito was the big news for the Sox last week, pitching prospect Carson Fulmer thankfully got lost in the shuffle after lasting for just four outs on Monday in the second game of a doubleheader against the Twins. The Sox lost that one 10-2, and Fulmer returned to Charlotte after the game.

Fulmer, who had a fine college career at Vanderbilt, also is a 2012 high school graduate, and, like Giolito, he attended an independent school, All Saints Academy, an Episcopal school in Winter Haven, Fla. The mission statement on the school's website states, "Inspiring independent thinkers, principled leaders, and humble learners."

Fulmer was drafted by the Red Sox in the 15th round in 2012 but chose college instead of signing. The Sox then took him with their first choice (8th overall) in 2015.

Fulmer, like his school's mission says, no doubt is a humble learner this season at Triple-A Charlotte where he is 7-9 with a 5.79 ERA. He has six quality starts (at least six innings with three or less earned runs) in 25 outings.

Too bad the American League doesn't have an All-Academic team. Assuming Fullmer develops into major league caliber, he and Giolito would be good candidates.

Friday is September 1 when any player on a team's 40-man roster can get a taste of the major leagues. Don't expect anything spectacular from the White Sox, such as a promotion for someone like hard-throwing pitcher Michael Kopech, who's just 21 and recently joined the Charlotte ballclub. He's already pitched 130 innings this season, and that's enough for now.

Let Nicky Delmonico, Yoan Moncada, and Reynaldo Lopez get healthy to finish out the last month of the season while helping to keep those losses in the 90s, a not unreasonable goal.

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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 9:25 AM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Does That Bears Game Matter?

It may not have mattered in general, but it mattered to the Titans.

Most years, at about this time in the NFL preseason, we remind ourselves that It Just Doesn't Matter. What happens in the Bears preseason has so little to do with what happens once the real games start in another two weeks.

The "IJDM" mantra is always true, even after a game in which two Bears quarterbacks performed well. Two! So many more than usual. I refer of course to the Bears' 19-7 thrashing of the Tennessee Titans in Nashville on Sunday.

And yes, one of those quarterbacks nailed down his starting job by playing well early in this specific game and the other reminded us of his sizable potential later on. Mike Glennon was a little better than Mitch Trubisky but he was most better when the best receiver was still in the lineup.

And here we come to the massive exception to the IJDM. That of course would be the injury list.

Last year one of these stupid, meaningless games reached out and bit the Packers. Star wide receiver Jordy Nelson suffered a knee injury and was out for the season. This year, one of these moronic games reached out and bit the Bears. Cam Meredith, the Bears' leading returning receiver, is almost certainly out for the season after suffering a gruesome knee injury on the final play of the first quarter.

Here is a line you don't hear very often: I hope Meredith's injury is only a torn ACL (which would mean he is out for the year). When it happened, I feared it might be even worse - the sort of injury that also includes damage to the patellar tendon and which, even in this era of amazing sports medicine, puts careers at serious risk. That was the sort of injury quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered with the Vikings last year in the preseason(!).

Bridgewater still isn't back more than a year after he went down. At the very least, the incredibly profitable NFL ought to cut its number of annual exhibition games from four to two.

We wish Meredith well. This was going to be a contract year for him with potentially very profitable restricted free agency coming at the end - if he continued to perform the way he had last year and in training camp so far this time around. Meredith attended high school at west suburban St. Joseph. He excelled in the NFL at receiver despite wasting his college years playing a position that doesn't exist in the league: running quarterback. But that is a story for another day.

So to take this all the way back to the start, while the overall importance of these games is miniscule, it was apparent that this game meant something to the Titans and that the Bears' performance caused them substantial frustration.

Titans head coach Mike Mularkey exposed his offensive starters to the risk of injury until the beginning of the fourth quarter in pursuit of the one touchdown that he apparently thought would redeem his team's effort on the day. The fact that the score came against the Bears' backups apparently didn't matter to the slightly unhinged coach.

So against a Titans team desperate to score even once at home, the Bears' defense barred the door for three quarters. Not bad. The line seems to be populated by multiple playmakers this time around with Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman looking especially good in the middle. Lamarr Houston and Willie Young also made big plays from the outside.

The Bears were able to generate enough pass rush to get to quarterback Marcus Mariota. Under pressure, he overthrew several passes early and never did settle into a good rhythm. Cornerback Prince Amukamara suffered an early injury (doh!), but the Bears front seven was good enough that Mariota was able to only occasionally exploit the teams' weaknesses in the secondary.

On offense, it looks like there is reason for actual optimism about the line. The fivesome of Bobby Massie, Josh Sitton, Cody Whitehair, Hroniss Grasu and Charles Leno protected the passer well and opened holes for the running game. The line looked good enough that one wonders where exactly Kyle Long is going to go if he ever completely bounces back from the serious ankle injury he had last year.

If the Bears put Long at guard, it probably means Whitehair moves over to center, disrupting two positions. My guess is Long opens the season on the bench no matter how healthy he is. Remember, he still has a shoulder injury that was not addressed in the offseason.

We conclude by evoking IJDM one final time. There is room for a little optimism with this team at this point. But if they stink it up against a brutal schedule to start the season - still the by-far most likely outcome - we will think of the good feelings that came out of Sunday's performance with irritation at ourselves for being gullible again.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:47 AM | Permalink

August 25, 2017

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Make-Overs at Bric-a-Brac on Thursday night.


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2. Drift City Ransom at Livewire on Thursday night.

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3. Tideshift at Quenchers on Thursday night.

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Catching up with . . .

Lord Giver at Livewire on August 10.

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Todd Rundgren at the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin on August 19.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:35 PM | Permalink

TrackNotes: It's All Happening

Fearless Leader has always said that if you're doing the same things journalistically in years two through nine as you did in year one, you don't really have 10 years' experience.

It's easy to feel that way in Thoroughbred horse racing, as you annually go through the same races on nearly identical dates at the same tracks across the land.

But one difference between racing and, say, the Super Bowl is that the horses and competitive complexions and resultant wagering possibilities are so varied year to year in a particular big race. It's not no stinkin' New England Patriots every year. Even Super Bowl betting is monotonous.

But once again, August 26, 2017, I've got great news and good news. It's Travers Stakes Day! It's going to be as memorable a Travers card as we've seen. Or is it that we can remember? That's the great news. The good news is that I'm not going to repeat today the history or the many reasons I love this big summer day from Saratoga. But if you're interested, it's all here, so I'll save you the search.

With one helluva race day looming, this is a good time to reflect on the racing season so far. One reason, as you'll see, is that it's all sorta coming together in this Travers.

With the BozoPuter going down in late June, I was shut out of the Grand Prize Game, watching the races more as a fan than a bettor, some wagering opportunities missed and others thankfully missed. The Triple Crown season itself, including the preps, was lackluster. Yet, on Saturday, we might see who really was the best of the three.

Horseplayers will argue all day about who they believe will win, but deep down, we always know the start, the pace, jockey judgement, the all-important trip and the unknowable feelings of the horse always demand the addendum: "I think."

Unlike the ballteam writers in every town, you don't usually see the turf scribes telling the horse owners or trainers what to do and nobody can tell the horse what to do. I hope any orchestrations I've ever attempted here have been strictly to improve the fan experience.

The inability of the horses to relate at all with the fans provides a comforting detachment, a forced objectivity. For wagering purposes, we believe we know what a horse will do, but we understand that we can't know. Add to the "I think" the big "We'll see."

There is no greater example than Arrogate, the son of Unbridled's Song.

Unraced at two, he climbed the ladder as a three-year-old last year. Just 364 days ago, he stunned the world in this Travers, smashing the race record, track record and the magical two-minute mark by clocking 1:59.36, a nearly 13-length winner and besting General Assembly's two minutes flat in 1979. His 122 Beyer Speed Figure in that race put him in the rarified air of a Ghostzapper or even Secretariat on a slow day.

Marching on, he topped California Chrome half a length in the Breeders' Cup Classic, as good a race as 'Chrome ever ran. He dominated the Pegasus World Cup Invitational in January, and then hopped a plane and won the Dubai World Cup in March by nearly five. What have we here?

Well, horses and races. In the San Diego Handicap on July 22nd, Arrogate threw in the worst race since his debut, looked disinterested and finished a bad fourth, more than 15 back. There could be a thousand reasons, but none has been found, trainer Bob Baffert saying he came out of the race just fine.

Forward to last Saturday, the prestigious Pacific Classic, where Arrogate would surely get rid of the big hiccup. Nope. Showing the guts and class he surely has, Arrogate was still strained and pained as he first went three wide, tried to keep up further in, and wheeled outside way too late to catch his stablemate Collected.

Race caller Trevor Denman said it: "He's doing better than last time, but he's still not comfortable." Arrogate's the only horse to win both the Travers and the Breeders' Cup Classic, but it seems long ago.

See what I mean? They all get beat. Unlike the overpaids at the large metropolitan dailies and wattage cottages, I can't sit here and tell the horses or, also you, why. He seemed tired, seemed like something was wrong with him, seemed like he didn't like the track, seemed anxious. Know it, there's no pontification hook there.

The only "whys" I have for you are the many reasons to dive into tomorrow's Saratoga card.

In the 148th (the first Civil War was still raging) Travers Stakes (Grade I, three year olds, 12 furlongs, dirt, $1,250,000), we will have, for the first time since 1982, the winners of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes squaring off in New York State's version of the North Woods.

In order, Always Dreaming (6-1 morning line), Cloud Computing (8-1) and Tapwrit (7-2 favorite), 7-1-4 post positions, respectively, will see if they can settle the Crown debate and not look back on the way to the Breeders' Cup.

'Dreaming finished eighth in the Preakness and was third in the Jim Dandy, the local prep for this. If you believe he needed that first back race for foundation . . .

Cloud Computing also went from the Preakness to the Dandy, where he finished fifth. The same "if" goes here. Tapwrit ran by far the best race of his life in the Belmont, but hasn't raced since. That takes him out of favoritism, at least for me, but the touts like that he's "well rested."

Another great part of this race is all the others, too. Look out for Baffert's West Coast (4-1) and Mike Smith. A lot of the forum wiseguys like Irap (8-1), and while you can question his class, he did win the Blue Grass and comes in off two straight wins in the Ohio and Indiana Derbies. Fayeq (30-1) steps way up in class, but the son of Malibu Moon is making the progress you like to see. Gunnevara (20-1) doesn't seem to belong, but he did win the Saratoga Special here a long time ago. Good Samaritan (5-1) is your Jim Dandy winner. Girvin (10-1) comes in off a Haskell Invitational win and a tough beat in said Ohio Derby. His only bad race was the Kentucky Derby, so hope his odds hold.

Look, I don't know how good these horses would even do in the Great Oklahoma Land Rush, when this race was already 25 years old. But this is an evenly matched field of 12. There is a smattering of triple-digit Beyers in here, but the contenders are all mainly mid- to upper-90s. This spells one thing: eyes glued to the tote board and wagering fun.

At 1:23 Central, zone in on Songbird (2-5) in the 70th running of The Personal Ensign (Grade I, fillies and mares three and up, nine furlongs, dirt, $700,000) as she tries to win her 14th out of 15 starts.

Our darling's connections, when asked why Songbird did not win as convincingly as she usually does, blamed the heat and a deep track in the Delaware Handicap and promised that race has made her fit as a fiddle. The four-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro won by an identical one length in the Ogden Phipps on the Belmont undercard in June, her first race of the year.

She'll have a tough foe in five-year-old Forever Unbridled who, in my unpatented up-and-down angle should be up here, coming in off a pedestrian win in the Fleur de Lis in June. On paper, she's class-challenged, but they're running the race on dirt. Songbird, second in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, beat Forever' that day.

Try to get to the NYRA.com website after the Travers to stream Lady Eli (4-5) in the Ballston Spa (Grade II, fillies and mares three and up, mile and a sixteenth, turf, $400,000).

Probably pointed to the BC Filly and Mare Turf, this grande dame of the turf makes her last appearance at The Spa after her connections said she will be sold for broodmare service at the end of the year.

Her greatness interrupted for more than a year with a bout of laminitis, she'll want to win this race for the first time after a tough beat last year. She overcame a bobbled start but won the Diana here July 22nd and won the Gamely at Santa Anita in May. The five-time Grade I winner Lady Eli is destination race watching.

She'll have tough competition in the Irish mare Roca Rojo (9-2), Antonoe (3-1) and Dickinson (10-1).

Bob Baffert's American Anthem (2-1) will battle Coal Front (4-1), the Stay Thirsty colt out of a Mineshaft mare, in the H. Allen Jerkens (Grade I, three year olds, seven furlongs, dirt, $500,000), formerly the King's Bishop.

American Anthem comes in off two straight Grade I wins, including the Woody Stephens last out on Belmont Day. Coal Front won the Grade II Amsterdam here a month ago. Practical Joke (5-2) last won in the Grade III Dwyer at a mile, so these seven furlongs should be right in his wheel house, but please don't tell anyone.

These are just the star horses. The racing will be the real star and will also include the Grade I Ballerina, Grade I Forego, and the Grade I Sword Dancer on the turf.

For your television navigation, FS2 FoxSportsNet is scheduled to open at 1 p.m. and will hand off to the big NBC5 at 3:30 for the main events. If you're jonesing before that, MSG+HD is always a good way to go. MSG is professional race analysis and Fox is starting to make some pretty good bones on its telecasts.

Not that I would ever tell you what to do.

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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:15 PM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

A work in progress.

Work in progress #rodrigolara #rodrigolarazendejas #chicagoart #installationart #crowdgate #sculpture

A post shared by Rodrigo Lara (@rod__larzen) on

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Beachwood Photo Booth: Cherry Pie
Tastes so good makes a grown man cry.

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Noncompete Clauses vs. Labor Law
Lisa Madigan, Jimmy John's and prostituting your wife.

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Is in pre-production.

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The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour
Jim "Coach" Coffman did not make it back from an out-of-town trip in time to record a podcast this week, so we'll just take the week off unless I get inspired to do one myself.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Identity formation.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:19 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Cherry Pie

Tastes so good makes a grown man cry.

cherrypie.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:53 AM | Permalink

How Noncompete Clauses Clash With U.S. Labor Laws

Most Americans with jobs work "at-will:" Employers owe their employees nothing in the relationship and vice versa. Either party may terminate the arrangement at any time for a good or bad reason or none at all.

In keeping with that no-strings-attached spirit, employees may move on as they see fit - unless they happen to be among the nearly one in five workers bound by a contract that explicitly forbids getting hired by a competitor.

These "noncompete clauses" may make sense for CEOs and other top executives who possess trade secrets but seem nonsensical when they are applied to low-wage workers such as draftsmen in the construction industry.

As a scholar of employment law and policy, I have many concerns about noncompete clauses - such as how they tend to make the relationship between workers and bosses too lopsided; suppress wages; and discourage labor market mobility.

jimmyjohns.jpgDavid Goldman/AP

In addition to tracing their legal and legislative history, I have come up with a way to limit this impediment to worker mobility.

How We Got Here

Courts began to enshrine the at-will doctrine in the 19th century, making exceptions only for employees with fixed-term contracts. In Payne v. Western & Atlantic Railroad Co., the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that a railway foreman in Chattanooga had the right to forbid his workers from buying whiskey from a merchant named L. Payne.

Payne had sued the railroad, claiming it couldn't threaten to fire employees to discourage them from buying goods from a third party. The court disagreed, arguing that the railroad had a right to terminate employees for any reason - even that one.

The notion of at-will employment and its associated lack of job protections soon rose to the level of constitutional mandate. The 1894 Pullman strike, which disrupted national rail traffic, prompted Congress to pass the Erdman Act four years later. That law guaranteed the right of rail workers to join and form unions and to engage in collective bargaining.

But the Supreme Court struck down that law in 1908. Writing for the majority in Adair v. United States, Justice John Marshall Harlan explained that since employers were free to use their property as they wished, they could impose and enforce their own labor rules. Employees, in turn, were free to quit. Harlan wrote:

The right of a person to sell his labor upon such terms as he deems proper is, in its essence, the same as the right of the purchaser of labor to prescribe the conditions upon which he will accept such labor from the person offering to sell it.

That might sound reasonable, but the Adair ruling led to the proliferation of "yellow dog" contracts threatening workers with firing if they joined or organized unions. The term disparaged people who accepted such conditions, but the principle had widespread legal approval.

For three decades, the at-will doctrine stymied legislation that would have protected labor rights. Even when a supervisor told a long-term employee he would be fired unless his wife had sex with the supervisor, courts refused to protect the man from losing his job.

Labor Rights And The Law

With the passage of the National Labor Relations (Wagner) Act in 1935, all private sector workers and unions gained the power to collectively bargain with employers. Subsequent labor agreements, such as the one the Steel Workers Organizing Committee negotiated with U.S. Steel in 1937, made employers prove "just cause" before firing anyone.

The Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1991 added employment protections prohibiting discrimination based on race, gender, religion and national origin.

The Americans With Disabilities Act, which Congress passed in 1990, ensured that persons with disabilities would have access to jobs with or without reasonable accommodation.

Those laws and other measures, including modern exceptions to the at-will rule, offer workers some security. But they provide no protection at the federal level from noncompete clauses.

Push-Back

The leeway for employers to impose these provisions varies widely from state to state and is in flux.

For example, Alabama and Oregon have sought in recent years to limit their scope, while Georgia and Idaho have made it easier for companies to enforce them. A uniform federal rule could clarify the situation and benefit both employees and employers.

Critics have pointed out the disadvantages of noncompete clauses to unskilled labor.

"By locking low-wage workers into their jobs and prohibiting them from seeking better-paying jobs elsewhere, (companies) have no reason to increase their wages or benefits," Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said when she sued the Jimmy John's fast-food franchise last year for making its employees sign noncompete clauses.

The chain subsequently agreed to drop its noncompetes, which had also come under fire in New York.

The clauses had barred the sandwich maker's workers from working for other firms earning more than 10 percent of their revenue from "submarine, hero-type, deli-style, pita, and/or wrapped or rolled sandwiches" for two years after leaving the Jimmy John's payroll.

A Proposal

In 2015, Sen. Al Franken introduced legislation to ban noncompete clauses for low-wage workers. The Minnesota Democrat's bill failed to gain enough support to become law, and, in light of President Donald Trump's goal of reducing the number of federal regulations, nothing presently stands in the way of states that want to expand these restrictive labor practices.

I propose a balanced approach between the current free-for-all among the states and outlawing these clauses altogether: Congress could modify the Norris-LaGuardia Act. Passed in 1932, this law banned injunctions against specified union activities by removing federal court jurisdiction over those disputes.

Similarly, Congress could render noncompete clauses unenforceable in federal courts unless employment contracts provide due process protections, such as arbitration, against capricious or unjust discharges of employees. In exchange for job security, a worker might be willing to commit to some curtailment of other employment opportunities.

This approach would balance the rights of workers and management by allowing workers to trade some rights of freely accessing labor markets against better job security.

That is, workers would have a choice of security or mobility. Employers could choose to attract employees with incentives, such as higher salaries or more job stability.

Executive contracts with noncompete clauses typically include lucrative buyout provisions and protections from arbitrary treatment. If employees with lower pay and less prestige aren't free to get new jobs, their bosses have a corresponding duty to extend to them the rights enjoyed by people atop the corporate ladder.

Raymond Hogler is a management professor at Colorado State University. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:10 AM | Permalink

August 24, 2017

The [Thursday] Papers

"Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner held a conference call with staff members Thursday morning to announce the departure of his new communications team, saying they were 'good people trying to do good work' but ended up being not a 'good fit,'" the Tribune reports.

Of course, he hired the now-departed communications team just six weeks ago in a staff purge that veteran Springfield observers called unprecedented.

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Now, who does this remind you of?

"The reality is in addition to the enemies on the other side of the aisle (Democrats), we have enemies in the media and enemies who should be on our side, some of them former members of the administration," a source on a conference call Rauner held with his staff this morning told the Tribune.

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Of course, this is all about a controversial cartoon that Rauner denied seeing for days.

Now that he's finally admitted to seeing it, he still won't say if he thinks it's racist.

"Rauner also revealed that he has seen the Illinois Policy Institute's cartoon," Rich Miller reports at Capitol Fax.

"I can see why some people would be upset about it," he said. Rauner then claimed that part of the reason he ran for governor was because he wanted a more "just system," and pointed at the Chicago public schools as an example of something that needs to be fixed.

Rauner was asked if he thought the cartoon was racist. "I understand why some people are upset by it." He then repeated that line when asked again.

Let's ask the question another way, then: "Why are some people upset by it?"

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"When it was pointed out to him that the cartoon was published by an organization he has supported and is his 'go-to' think tank, Rauner said: 'I have not leaned on them as my go-to think tank. That is not an accurate statement.'"

And neo-Nazis aren't Trump's go-to hate group.

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"The governor also reportedly blamed many of his current problems on the top staff members who were fired or resigned in July," Miller also reports.

Well, who hired them?

Oh.

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"The communication staffers' exits mark a cap to a dizzying spell of public flaps for the governor since he directed a staff takeover in mid-July - including the firing of his 'body man' on his first day for sexist and racially insensitive tweets; criticism over the right leanings of his high-level staffers; a clarification by e-mail of his comments on Charlottesville and a highly criticized national interview on Fox News," the Sun-Times reports.

[Another departing communications staffer] came under fire when an online post revealed she argued that abortion is being used "to rid the world of disabled and other "unwanted' persons" - comparing it to Nazi Germany.

Oof.

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Caveat:

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RECALL! Expresco Chicken Skewers
"These items were shipped to retail locations in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and Texas."

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BeachBook

Trump Supporters Post Fake Photos Of Huge Crowds At Phoenix Rally - As Real Photos Show Room Half-Empty.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Da do do do.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:10 AM | Permalink

RECALL! Expresco Chicken Skewer Products

WASHINGTON - Expresco Foods, a Montreal establishment, is recalling approximately 20,446 pounds of imported chicken skewer products that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Wednesday.

The fully cooked chicken skewer items were packaged on August 9 and 15, 2017. The following products are subject to recall:

1.31-lb. packages of "WEST END CUISINE GRILLED MEDITERRANEAN STYLE CHICKEN SKEWERS HAND-MADE WITH CHICKEN BREAST" containing the UPC code 621588314947 with lot codes: 172562, 172640, 172571 and 172704.

1.09-lb. packages of "EXPRESCO GRILLED Garlic & Herb CHICKEN SKEWERS" containing the UPC code 621588315555 with lot codes: 172563, 172668, 172669 and 172670.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number "36" inside the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and Texas.

The problem was discovered by the FSIS import inspector during routine inspection of foreign shipments. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

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

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract.

In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn.

In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems.

Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers' freezers.

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

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

Media and consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Garry Arpin, Expresco Foods, Inc. Principal Communications Director at (514) 843-2353.

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

The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday.

Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

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

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

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

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USDA RECALL CLASSIFICATIONS

Class I This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

Class II This is a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.

Class III This is a situation where the use of the product will not cause adverse health consequences.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:42 AM | Permalink

August 23, 2017

The [Wednesday] Papers

"Early on there had been whispers that the new President's instinct was to pull out of Afghanistan but now we know 3,900 more U.S. soldiers will soon be sent in," the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports.

"The clues were there in the data monitored by the Bureau. The US Air Force has dropped 1,984 missiles and bombs in Afghanistan in 2017, according to the latest figures, nearly three times the number it had released at the same time last year.

"The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has been tracking US military activity in Afghanistan since 2015. The numbers paint a stark picture of an entrenched and multifaceted conflict that has refused to comply with the hopes of the White House."

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See also: The Taliban Tried To Surrender And The U.S. Rebuffed Them. Now Here We Are.

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Authoritarian America
"California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye on Tuesday pushed back against criticism of her pleas to federal authorities to stop courthouse arrests of undocumented immigrants, telling a Sacramento gathering that she's challenging arrest policies, not immigration laws," the National Law Journal reports.

"If you're here, whatever your status, you enjoy the benefits of the laws of the state," Cantil-Sakauye told judges, lawyers and legislative staffers attending the Women in the Court Legislative Day at California's Capitol. A federal policy, not a law, "is superseding all of the other causes of justice," she said.

"Cantil-Sakauye in March assailed federal authorities for what she described as 'stalking' undocumented immigrants in state courthouses, saying the arrests dissuade potential witnesses and victims from coming to court. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials acknowledged the courthouse arrests."

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Liar-in-Chief
The latest from Trump-friendly Axios.

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The "highlights" from the Washington Post.

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Your Turn: Kaepernick's Protest
"I paid too much money for a ticket for an NFL game to see some jerk turn it into a social comment."

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Is It A Mistake To Crack Down On Hate Sites?
"There are significant problems with relying upon powerful companies to police the Internet."

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Pork Sausage Patties Recalled
"These items were shipped to distribution and retail locations in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin."

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BeachBook

Billy Joel Wears Star Of David During Show.

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Bike Paths vs. The Homeless In Uptown.

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The Problem(s) With Tasers.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

"As a white male, I have nothing to add to the discussion of Chicago public schools funding."

Correction: "Nuthin'."

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This is the night Donald Trump became President Davis.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Degeneration.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:05 AM | Permalink

Your Turn: Colin Kaepernick's Protest

A BillMoyers.com post this week on the significance of Colin Kaepernick's on-field protest and the fallout it has created for the quarterback hit a nerve with our readers, leading to more than 6,000 comments on Facebook (and counting).

During the 2016 football season, Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem to express his concerns about racial issues in America. In "Why Colin Kaepernick Matters," columnist Samuel G. Freedman describes how Kaepernick, who is now a free agent after six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, has been essentially blacklisted by the NFL for his nonviolent political protest.

Here's a sampling of the (lighted edited) comments that we received after asking our Facebook community what they thought of Kaepernick's protest.

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"It's a disgrace that a young man kneeling in silent, respectful protest is considered inappropriate, while hundreds of angry, torch bearing, screaming monsters rampaging through the night is actually being defended by some people." - Ellen Gordon

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"I wish every black player in every single major U.S. pro sport - basketball, football and baseball - would refuse to play until Colin has a contract. The owners literally think they own these players, but the players - the vast majority of whom are black - own these sports. Who wants to own boxes to watch second-string benchwarmers play? They need to show these organizations who is really boss." - Rebecca Meiers-De Pastino

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"Here's proof that this is a racist country. Players with domestic violence, animal cruelty, tax evasion and other crimes don't seem to foster nearly the animosity of a young man making a peaceful statement of protest. While he is vilified for his politics, he has quietly gone about his life, having the unmitigated gall to commit acts like helping at risk youth and other charitable activities. He represents the best of America . . . The rich white men who own the teams of the NFL aren't half the man he is." - Eileen Peterson

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"I paid too much money for a ticket for an NFL game to see some jerk turn it into a social comment. He had other venues to protest on. Don't try to ruin my day just because you're upset about something. Take it somewhere else." - Scot Yates

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"One thing I have recently become aware of is my own unearned privilege that doesn't allow me to see things from a young black man's perspective. The police officers who I have known are great people doing one of the toughest day-to-day jobs that there is. But right now we know that there is a thing called implicit bias affecting all of us. The only way to address that is to become aware of the limits of our own objectivity, and our ability to know what is true to others who come from a different perspective. I'm grateful that Colin helped me become more aware of that while suffering the consequences. If he spoke near my community, I would buy a ticket for each member of my family." - David Farin

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"Michael Bennett, one of our Seattle Seahawks, decided to sit on the bench during the national anthem at the game on Sunday. He was very humble as he explained why he chose to sit. In USA Today, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll expressed his opinion. I will say this: I would sit with Michael Bennett before I'd ever stand with Donald Trump. I will never be so blind that I would pledge allegiance to a white supremacist who is destroying the reputation of America, and neither should any of us . . . Until Congress saves us from this scourge, I'm sitting with Michael!"

[Last Wednesday, Bennett said white players are needed to join the protest for it to be effective ].

- Karen Mcdonell

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"What you do in your private life is one thing, but doing protest during and at your place of EMPLOYMENT is wrong. Kaepernick deserved to be blackballed, and the NFL, NBA and MLB need policies in place to prevent this kind of behavior to occur when on the field." - John W Campbell

To which Judy O'Connell replied:

"He is taking a knee to the national anthem, which isn't played on any corner, and if you do it in private it isn't exactly a protest, is it? Yes, we have rules in the workplace but I don't believe it was a rule at the time he did it. He is paying the price for his conviction just as others have done before him, some with their life. Equality is an inch-by-inch battle. - Judy O'Connell

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"Kaepernick obviously loves his country so much that he goes onto his knee, during the playing of the national anthem, and he is saying 'I am waiting for my country to live up to what it stands for, by defending and respecting all of its citizens, so I will be able to stand up with my hand on my heart which would be full of pride.'" - David White

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"I equate [it] to the 1968 Olympics when two U.S. athletes [Tommie Smith and John Carlos] bowed their heads and raised their fists during the playing of the national anthem at the medal ceremony. It's a shame that it's 2017 and the black community is still protesting the same racist America." - Cindy Newman

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See also:

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Previously in Colin Kaepernick:

* Don't Be Surprised If Colin Kaepernick Prompts More Schoolchildren To Sit For The Pledge Of Allegiance.

* Why Colin Kaepernick Matters.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:24 AM | Permalink

RECALL! Wisconsin Pork Sausage Patties

WASHINGTON - Fair Oaks Farms, a Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin establishment, is recalling approximately 1,134 pounds of pork sausage patties that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Tuesday.

The fully cooked pork sausage patties were produced on August 8, 2017. The following products are subject to recall:

2-lb. plastic sleeve packages containing "BREAKFAST Best FULLY COOKED ORIGINAL PORK SAUSAGE PATTIES," with a sell-by date of 05/15/2018.
The products subject to recall bear establishment number "EST. 17479T" above the sell-by date. These items were shipped to distribution and retail locations in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.

The problem was discovered when firm's routine testing indicated positive results for Listeria monocytogenes. The products were on hold at a distribution center; however, the products were inadvertently shipped. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

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

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract.

In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn.

In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems.

Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers' freezers.

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

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

Media and consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Laura Villarreal, Fair Oaks Farms Director of Quality Assurance, at 800-528-8615 ext. 4116.

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

The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday.

Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

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

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

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

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USDA RECALL CLASSIFICATIONS

Class I - This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

Class II - This is a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.

Class III - This is a situation where the use of the product will not cause adverse health consequences.

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Previously in Wisconsin:

* Wisconsin Cheese Production Continues To Grow.

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

* Tips For Growing Blueberries In Wisconsin.

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

* The Top 10 Wisconsin Insect Trends Of 2016.

* Wisconsin's Penokees Are A Geologic Gem.

* Wisconsin Researchers Aim To Make Cows Happier.

* Wisconsin And The Extinction Of The Passenger Pigeon.

* The Life Of Land After Frac Sand.

* Blueberry Maggot Fly Poised To Expand In Wisconsin.

* Efforts To Boost Marten Numbers In Wisconsin Meet Ongoing Failure.

* How To Raise A Pizza.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:16 AM | Permalink

It's A Mistake To Crack Down On Hate Websites

The torch-lit march by armed white supremacists in Charlottesville continues to generate debate about how hate groups should be regulated. Amid growing public pressure following the march, internet companies rushed to remove from their platforms websites espousing violent hate speech.

GoDaddy terminated its domain services to the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer website, as did Google. Cloudflare, a company that protects websites from online attacks, also banned the hate website from its platform. Russia ordered the site barred from being hosted in the country.

My research and my book, Chokepoints: Global Private Regulation on the Internet demonstrate that many internet companies already remove content and ban users "voluntarily" - that is, in the absence of legislation or any judicial processes. Major intermediaries including Google, PayPal, GoDaddy, Twitter and Facebook voluntarily police their platforms for child sexual abuse content, extremism and the illicit trade in counterfeit goods.

Many people understandably applaud these efforts to stamp out hate speech and other objectionable content. However, internet companies' efforts as de facto regulators of speech raises serious questions: How should online content be regulated? By whom?

chokepoints.jpg

I do not support white supremacists and I am not arguing against some policing of such speech. Rather, I am saying that we need to consider seriously how to regulate online content as the next case may not be as clear-cut.

There are significant problems with relying upon powerful companies to police the Internet, because their enforcement practices are troublingly opaque and prone to arbitrary interpretation.

Disturbing Precedent

In a sobering contrast to the cheering of internet companies for their public opposition to the Daily Stormer, Cloudflare's CEO Matthew Prince offered a nuanced, cautionary perspective, warning that withdrawing services from hate groups in response to public pressure sets a troubling precedent in policing online speech.

In a blog post explaining Cloudflare's actions against the Daily Stormer, Prince argued that the company considers due process a "more important principle" than freedom of speech. Due process, he said, means that "you should be able to know the rules a system will follow if you participate in that system." This statement aptly captures the inherent problems with intermediaries working as de facto regulators of content and online behavior.

Earlier this year, Shopify employees and hundreds of thousands of people urged and petitioned the online commerce platform to stop hosting far-right Breitbart's internet store.

Reinstated executive chairman Steve Bannon calls Breitbart "the platform for the alt-right."

The so-called "alt-right" - a term popularized by Richard Spencer - covers a mix of white supremacist, separatist, neo-Nazi, fascist, racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and populist conservative ideologies.

Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke said he was defending free speech as the Ottawa company continued to host Breitbart's online store under threat of employees resigning.

tobialutke.jpgTobias Lütke/Paul Chiasson, The Canadian Press

After public pressure and a grassroots campaign dubbed #DeleteShopify led to scrutiny that revealed more questionable business, Shopify was forced to adopt an "Acceptable Use Policy."

The contrasting examples of the Daily Stormer and its deletion by internet companies, and Shopify's steadfast support for Breitbart, demonstrate extremes of a dilemma that only promises to intensify.

Arbitrary Policies, Regulation

Internet intermediaries have the potential to be powerful regulators on a wide variety of issues because they can act swiftly and without court orders. Importantly, they have latitude to censor any content or ban users under their terms-of-service agreements.

PayPal reserves the right to terminate its services to users "for any reason and at any time," language that is echoed in most intermediaries' service agreements. The capacity for arbitrary regulation is thus baked into intermediaries' internal rules.

Prince cautioned that Cloudflare's action against the Daily Stormer sets a precedent for intermediaries to police speech without court orders requiring them to do so.

These intermediaries often act at the behest of governments that prefer companies to be the public (but largely unaccountable) face of internet regulation. But those firms are generally ill-equipped to distinguish legality from illegality, causing wrongful takedowns and mistakenly targeting lawful behavior.

Equally problematic: Intermediaries' enforcement processes are often opaque as their content moderators arbitrarily interpret their complex, fast-changing internal rules. These problems are compounded by intermediaries' growing use of automated tools to identify and remove problematic content on their platforms.

There is also the concern of so-called mission-creep when rules first enacted against child abuse or terrorism - noteworthy catalysts for enforcement action - are later applied to other distinctly less-harmful issues, such as the unauthorized downloading of copyrighted content.

Dystopian Future Is Here

Regulatory efforts commonly expand from censoring violent hate speech to other speech that may be considered controversial by some, such as that of Black Lives Matter. As well, governments worldwide regularly pressure intermediaries to censor and track critics and political opponents.

When major intermediaries become go-to regulators responsible for policing content on behalf of governments or in response to high-profile protests, their already considerable power increases. U.S.-based internet companies already dominate many industry sectors, including search, advertising, domain registration, payment and social media. Cloudflare's Prince rightly warned that by depending on a "few giant networks," a "small number of companies will largely determine what can and cannot be online."

This dystopian future is already here.

The takedown of the Daily Stormer undoubtedly makes the world a better place. But do we really want companies like Facebook and Twitter to decide - independently, arbitrarily and secretly - what content we can access and share?

Given these seemingly intractable problems, what can we do? First, we should avoid governing on the basis of protests or media pressure. Instead, we need a clear set of rules to enable intermediaries to respond consistently, transparently and with respect for due process, as Prince recommended. Governments should clarify the nature of - and, importantly, the limitations of - intermediaries' regulatory responsibilities.

Finally, we must stop governing in response to specific crises - so-called "fake news," terrorism and hate groups - and instead think critically about how we can and should govern the Internet.

Natasha Tusikovis an assistant professor of criminology in the Department of Social Science at York University. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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See also: How Cloudfare Helps Serve Up Hate On The Web.

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Previously in Charlottesville:

* That Vice Report.

* Heather Heyer's Mother Is The President We Don't Have.

* Police Stood By As Mayhem Mounted In Charlottesville.

* The Plot Against America - And Me.

* In Support of Eight Arrested for Toppling Statue, Hundreds Turn Themselves In.

* Federal Agencies Warned of White Supremacist Threat in May.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:10 AM | Permalink

August 22, 2017

The [Tuesday] Papers

From our very own Greg Boozell:

"Just got back from Moonstock in Carterville, IL. Here's a shot of Ozzy Osbourne on stage singing 'Bark At The Moon' during totality of the solar eclipse. What a scene."

moonstock.jpg

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Here's the link to the full album.

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Video:

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Paper Bullets, Faintlife, Pretty Lights, Sonny Landreth, KISS, Carl Palmer and the ELP Legacy, Yes, and Mystery Actions.

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Last Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Ester Drang, Belle & Sebastian, RealBadRealFast, Punch Brothers with I'm With With Her, Mark Fosson, The Yolks, Jollys, Chris Twist, Slaughter, and Hot Tuna.

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Grade Inflation For The Rich
"It's not that those students have been getting smarter. Even as their grades were rising, their scores on the SAT college entrance exam went down, not up. Nor are those in some schools more intelligent than those in others.

"It's that grade inflation is accelerating in the schools attended by higher-income Americans, who are also much more likely to be white, the research, by the College Board, found. This widens their lead in life over students in urban public schools, who are generally racial and ethnic minorities and from families that are far less well-off."

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How To Raise A Pizza
"Some small family farms in Wisconsin are providing a unique (and direct) take on farm-to-table by providing idyllic dining experiences inside refurbished barns and on hillsides overlooking active pastureland. While farms of all stripes offer these dining experiences, a specific type of on-farm dining has risen to the top over recent years: the pizza farm."

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The Chicago International Table Tennis Open
"The Edgeball Chicago International Open is a table tennis festival, fun-filled weekend with music, cheerleaders, dancers, magician, games and raffles."

The event was held in Libertyville earlier this month. Here are some highlights.

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BeachBook

CHIRP Sees Transmitter At The End Of The Tunnel.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

But did a shadow eclipse their website? It's 2017. Shows you where the mindset - and pride - still is, sadly.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: In fact, it's all dark.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:41 PM | Permalink

How To Raise A Pizza

Farm-to-table dining is more than a trend. In communities across Wisconsin, people are demanding more sustainably and locally produced foods - and craving opportunities to learn about how these foods are produced. Some small family farms in Wisconsin are providing a unique (and direct) take on farm-to-table by providing idyllic dining experiences inside refurbished barns and on hillsides overlooking active pastureland. While farms of all stripes offer these dining experiences, a specific type of on-farm dining has risen to the top over recent years: the pizza farm.

The originators of the pizza farm concept, veteran farmers Robbi Bannen and Ted Fisher, never really expected their "unplanned" idea to take off. The couple was struggling to keep up with delivering produce through their community supported agriculture (CSA) program and lugging it to regional farmers' markets. So Bannen and Fisher struck upon a way to have customers to come to their farm in Stockholm, which is located about an hour southwest of Eau Claire near the Mississippi River.

Both had extensive experience working in restaurants and decided on a whim to build a wood-fired oven out of locally sourced brick and construct a commercial kitchen in their barn. Bannen says they opened A to Z Produce and Bakery in 1998 "to make sourdough bread and use the things that we grew to make pizza."

brickoven.jpgThe brick oven at A to Z/Bjorn (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A to Z's motto, "Where the farm is the table," sums up the experience. Diners bring their own chairs and picnic blankets and settle in a spot surrounded by the very vegetables that they will enjoy on their pizza, from tomatoes in the sauce to radicchio, shallots, and other innovative toppings. Pigs, sheep, and cattle languidly graze, keeping the fields fertile and (eventually) providing delicious meats for toppings like A to Z's homemade lamb sausage. Bannen creates her own pizza crust and bread using wheat that is harvested and stone ground right on the farm.

"We really love doing what we're doing. For us it's always been about making great tasting food," says Bannen. "It's not that easy to make a living selling vegetables, [but making pizzas] allows us to keep growing vegetables."

Fisher works the brick oven on Tuesday pizza nights, from March to October. Deep into the summer months, the farm is bustling like a fairground and diners can expect upwards of an hour wait for their specialty pies. While the off-season is quieter, Bannen says that she typically works "sixteen-hour days, seven days a week."

atoz.jpgA to Z Produce and Bakery/Robb Bannen

Their customers have definitely changed since 1998. "Twenty years ago, everybody that came here had a farm in their history," says Bannen. "That's just not true anymore because of the lack of the farmers in the landscape."

Once home to thousands of predominantly small to medium-sized family farms, Wisconsin has seen a marked loss of both farms and farmland over the past decade. Bannen says that even though people are further and further removed from the farming experience, she's noticed a deep personal connection with the land emerge in people who visit their farm - especially young people. This helps her stay hopeful about the future of small farms in America.

"You don't decide you're going to connect somebody to the land, but it can happen," she says. "And for that brief period of time when we're open, people get to feel like it's theirs."

pizza.jpgMmmm/Robb Bannen

To say that Tony Schultz, who refers to Bannen and Fisher as the "godmother and godfather" of pizza farms, was influenced by A to Z's model is putting it lightly.

Schultz, along with wife Kat Becker, is owner and operator of Stoney Acres Farm in Athens, which is about half an hour west of Wausau. Schultz takes the concept of locally sourced very seriously. Even though he doesn't produce his own pizza cheese, Schultz sources his base of Monterey Jack and mozzarella from nearby Bletsoe's Cheese - and Bletsoe's uses only milk from dairy farmers within a 10-mile radius. Other artisan cheeses that end up on Schultz's pies come from across the state: blue cheese from Black River Blue, fresh mozzarella from Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics in Waterloo, and gouda from Marieke Gouda in Thorp.

Like A to Z's pizza, everything else on a Stoney Acres pizza has been grown or created right on the farm. Organic wheat is grown, harvested, and freshly ground into flour for the homemade dough. Schultz's sage, oregano, and basil are used for the homemade sauce, as are his tomatoes and toppings such as mushrooms, onions, butternut squash, rainbow beets, kale, broccoli, and peppers, just to name a few.

pizza2.jpgKat and Tony/James Gill, Wisconsin Public Television

Schultz's pastured pigs are processed locally by Custom Meats of Marathon or Geiss Meat Service in Merrill, and cured into ham, prosciutto, and bacon, all without the use of nitrates. His grass-fed cows are butchered only in early summer or early fall, after the largest flushes of cool season grasses and clovers, adding to the flavor and nutritional quality of the meats, which are then dry-aged for at least two weeks at Custom Meats.

For Schultz, locally sourced means supporting the community in which he was raised. Schultz, who grew up on Stoney Acres when it was a 50-cow conventional dairy operation, is a third-generation farmer; the farm has been in his family since the 1940s. After earning his degree at UW-Madison in 2004, Schultz took over and converted the operation to an organic farm. He started marketing his produce through the Wausau Farmers' Market, and was integral in starting the Wausau Winter Market, both of which are located near the riverfront in the heart of downtown. In 2007 he opened a community supported agriculture business, which has grown from delivering fresh vegetables to 72 members to 200 members today.

It was in 2012, at a Farmers Union meeting, that Schultz met Bannen and Fisher and first heard about their pizza farm concept. And he decided to "steal" the idea, as he likes to put it, but he ensures that credit is always given where due. "This idea originated in the Midwest, Western Wisconsin. Take that, East Coast," quips Schultz.

Visitors to Stoney Acres are in for a true Wisconsin farm experience, with cows grazing, pigs rooting around, and an occasional rogue chicken wandering out of the coop. Kids are free to run around, explore, even dig in the horseshoe pit that substitutes as a sandbox. Adults can relax on the lawn and watch the sunset, or stroll the grounds while they wait for their wood-fired pies. If it rains, no problem: a renovated granary seats up to a hundred people.

The farm is open to the public for pizza every Friday, from late April to early November. New this year, Stoney Acres is also opening its doors on Saturdays to customers who purchase tickets online.

Schultz and Becker work three brick ovens, which are started the night before in order to reach the 900 degrees required to cook the pizzas in about five minutes. Diners are welcome to bring other foods to supplement the pies and can also enjoy a local brew or mead from a new beer garden opened just last year.

Schultz is a big fan of the Margherita pizzas, but he has many other unique creations that change with the seasons. Spring brings "It's All Clover Now, Baby Blue," a pie with blue cheese and sprinkles of purple clover, as well as "The Scape Goat," which includes chèvre and minced garlic scapes. In fall, Schultz turns his squash into sauce for creations such as the "Fall'n in Love," featuring butternut squash, blue cheese, caramelized onions and leeks, apples, and sausage. ("I'm partial to puns," admits Schultz.)

Schultz says that seasonality is "the inspiration and muse" for the pizzas. But there's also a sense of place that comes through in each pizza, a real flavor of the land and all of its bounty.

"We're doing ramps now, microgreens are coming out of the hoop house, arugula is coming out of the fields, and I foraged some fiddleheads which were sticking out of the forest floor," he says. But Schultz stresses that Stoney Acres is a farm first - 80 percent of his time during the week is dedicated to tending his vegetable crops and maintaining his produce business. The pizza element allows the farm to open its doors to friends, neighbors, and others to showcase its beauty and functionality, while diversifying his revenue stream.

At a time when industrial farming deeply influences the foods we purchase and the way we prepare them, small farms are rethinking how they deliver their products, maintain their businesses, and support their families. As more consumers become invested in learning about where their food comes from and how it is grown and prepared for market, small family farms can benefit.

"I care about food first," says Schultz, noting how a great meal can bring people together from different backgrounds. "Pizza is the perfect food [because] it bridges certain food experiences. My neighbors are here eating my arugula on my pizza, people drive from Minneapolis or Chicago or Madison to a small town in central Wisconsin to have pizza on our farm. Serving this type of food and producing food in this way brings so many people out to the farm. It makes us successful."

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This article was originally published in the Spring 2017 issue of Wisconsin People & Ideas, and is copyrighted to the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. WisContext is a partnership between Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and Cooperative Extension.

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Previously in Wisconsin:

* Wisconsin Cheese Production Continues To Grow.

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

* Tips For Growing Blueberries In Wisconsin.

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

* The Top 10 Wisconsin Insect Trends Of 2016.

* Wisconsin's Penokees Are A Geologic Gem.

* Wisconsin Researchers Aim To Make Cows Happier.

* Wisconsin And The Extinction Of The Passenger Pigeon.

* The Life Of Land After Frac Sand.

* Blueberry Maggot Fly Poised To Expand In Wisconsin.

* Efforts To Boost Marten Numbers In Wisconsin Meet Ongoing Failure.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:14 AM | Permalink

Another Advantage Of Being Rich In America: Grade Inflation

PITTSBURGH - Monet Spencer remembers traveling to affluent suburban high schools when she was a member of the marching band at Brashear High School in this city's low-income, high-crime Beechview neighborhood.

The suburban band members' uniforms were brand new, Spencer noticed - not passed down and worn out like hers. So were their instruments, unlike the scratched and tarnished castoffs her school loaned her and her bandmates, including the secondhand flute she played.

The experience sticks in her mind as a symbol of the gulf between the opportunities she had compared to those enjoyed by students living in the suburbs just a few miles away.

"Everyone knows they're treated differently," said the soft-spoken Spencer, 19, who was left homeless when her mother died but continued taking herself to school and is now entering her sophomore year in college.

Here's the latest, more profound way in which wealthier students have an advantage over lower-income ones: Those enrolled in private and suburban public high schools are being awarded higher grades - critical in the competition for college admission - than their urban public school counterparts with no less talent or potential, new research shows.

It's not that those students have been getting smarter. Even as their grades were rising, their scores on the SAT college entrance exam went down, not up. Nor are those in some schools more intelligent than those in others.

It's that grade inflation is accelerating in the schools attended by higher-income Americans, who are also much more likely to be white, the research, by the College Board, found. This widens their lead in life over students in urban public schools, who are generally racial and ethnic minorities and from families that are far less well-off.

monetspencer.jpgMonet Spencer/All photos by Max Petrosky for The Hechinger Report

"This is just another systemic disadvantage that we put in front of low-income kids and kids of color," said Andrew Nichols, director of higher education research at The Education Trust, a nonprofit advocacy organization.

The grade-point average of students at private high schools who took the SAT climbed between 1998 and 2016 from 3.25 to 3.51, or almost 8 percent, the College Board found in research to be published early next year.

In suburban public high schools it went from 3.25 to 3.36.

In city schools, it hardly budged, moving from 3.26 to 3.28.

"If there were a uniform upward drift, then we would have one problem," said Michael Hurwitz, senior director at the College Board, who led the research. "But this drift causes another problem: The variation does seem aligned with wealth in a very troubling way."

gradeinflation-600x0-c-default.jpg

Troubling, but not surprising, said Richard Weissbourd, director of the Human Development and Psychology program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Private schools in particular, Weissbourd said, "to be attractive to parents, need to be able to tout how many of their students went to selective colleges. So they're incentivized to give better grades."

The same concern about college admission drives parents of students in suburban schools to pressure principals and teachers, he said. "It becomes very high maintenance for schools to deal with aggressive parents. So that can also push grades up."

Then the cycle repeats.

"This is one of those things that works like a contagion," Weissbourd said. "If you're an independent school or a suburban school and you're giving B's and the school in the next community is giving A-minuses, you start to feel like those kids are going to get a leg up. So you start giving out A-minuses."

Public schools in urban areas seldom seem to feel the same pressure. When her mother calls the public high school in Pittsburgh where Olivia Hall is entering her sophomore year, the 15-year-old said, "They put her on hold and tell her the principal and guidance counselor are busy."

oliviahall.jpgOlivia Hall

All of this throws up yet another barrier in front of urban public high school students, who already face an obstacle course of challenges to getting into college.

GPAs rose from 3.25 to 3.51 from 1998 to 2016, for students in private schools who took SATs; for those in city schools, GPAs stayed almost flat.

The problem takes on even greater consequence as growing numbers of admissions offices make ACT and SAT tests optional and rely still more on GPAs. (As to whether the College Board, which administers the SAT, is acting in its own interest by drawing attention to these trends, Hurwitz said the organization simply has the greatest access to test and grade data.)

"People say, all things being equal, that a 3.8 is stronger than a 3.6," said Philip Ballinger, associate vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions at the University of Washington. "But all things aren't equal."

Some institutions adjust for this. Universities and colleges that recruit in limited areas of the country usually enroll enough graduates from particular schools to gauge the relative accuracy of students' GPAs, said Ballinger.

But many admissions offices don't have the resources to do that level of analysis.

"This is especially an issue for the big universities and colleges that can't really dig into the context of a kid's high school experience," said Weissbourd. "And that's where most people are applying - big state schools that are dealing with 50,000 applications. They can't make these judgments. They can't say, 'There's grade inflation here but not there.' They're just looking at the GPAs."

Even if they do have the capacity to look more deeply into the records of students whose grades may not reflect their effort or intelligence, universities are rewarded by college rankings for accepting applicants whose GPAs are highest.

"We've been giving these students the short end of the stick for a long time," said Nichols.

Many of those rankings use a formula that also factors in SAT scores, for example, prompting colleges to favor students from private and suburban high schools whose families can afford test-preparation services.

Wealthier schools are more likely to have college-preparation courses, too. Just under 90 percent of the wealthier districts in a study of the nation's 100 largest school systems by the Center for Law and Social Policy offer calculus, for instance, compared to 41 percent of high-poverty schools.

"Everybody tells us to follow our dreams, but they're not teaching us what we need," said Makeiya Bennett, 15. Like Hall and Spencer, Bennett - who is entering her sophomore year in high school - was attending a college-level summer program at Carlow University, run by an organization called the Neighborhood Learning Alliance, for Pittsburgh Public School students to get a head start on their higher educations. ("Being in a city school where I don't get as much help, I wanted to grab a hold of this opportunity," Bennett said.)

Urban students are also more likely to come from low-income homes and have parents who did not themselves go to college and don't know how to navigate the complexities of the application and financial aid processes - or the credential-building that precedes them.

That leaves these students more dependent on their college counselors. But according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the typical college counselor in a public high school is responsible for 358 students - more than in private schools (323 students) and far more than the ratio recommended by the American School Counselor Association (250-to-1).

The caseload rises to 510 students per counselor in the largest schools, many of them in cities. One in five high schools has no counselors at all, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights found. And counselors in public schools report spending less than half as much time on college advising as their counterparts in private schools.

Students in schools that serve low-income populations even get less instruction time, a new study by researchers at UCLA suggests. It found that students in high-poverty high schools in California spend the equivalent of nearly 10 fewer days a year learning than their more affluent counterparts, because of emergency lockdowns, teacher absences, testing, a lack of computers and noisy or dirty conditions.

"It's a terribly uneven playing field," Weissbourd said.

Disadvantages like these and others mean that students from the lowest-income families today are roughly nine times less likely to earn bachelor's degrees by the time they're 24 than students from the highest-income ones, according to the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education.

Nichols, at The Education Trust, suggests that college admissions officers adopt a "socioeconomic index" that gives extra points to applicants who come from certain socioeconomic backgrounds or types of high schools, to offset the effects of grade inflation in the places where the wealthiest and whitest students go.

But he acknowledges that this is hard to do, considering the emotions involved in parents' aspirations for their children - even when they know that trying to get an edge for their kids may result in inequitable treatment for other people's.

"A lot of people are going to do what's best for their own kids," Nichols said. "They're trying to set things up to give their kids the best opportunity they can have. And that doesn't lead to particularly good public policy."

joshfaust.jpgJosh Faust

Back at the Neighborhood Learning Alliance summer program, another student, Josh Faust, said "it's discouraging" to find that their counterparts in more affluent schools get higher GPAs than he and his classmates at the public Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, from which he graduated in the spring.

"They have the same ability that we do, but get better grades just because of what high school they go to," said Faust, 17, who is also about to enter college.

But Precious Jackson, 18, an incoming freshman planning to major in bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh, said these hurdles only make her more resolved to overcome them.

preciousjackson.jpgPrecious Jackson

"I feel like people have low expectations of us," Jackson said. "I feel like I have to work harder. But that builds character."

She and many of her friends have another motivation to move on and earn degrees: They want to leave behind their low-income status. "If you look at where a lot of people come from, you don't want to live there. It's not just about succeeding; it's about taking your life in another direction."

gaffar.jpgShahada Ghaffar

That's what Shahada Ghaffar intends to do, too. A 16-year-old Pittsburgh high school junior, Ghaffar said she thinks many of her classmates are discouraged from even trying to get into the best colleges.

To them, "I would just say, reach for the stars," she said, and apply to the best colleges. "The worst they can do is say no."

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:10 AM | Permalink

Chicago International Table Tennis

"The Edgeball Chicago International Open is a table tennis festival, fun-filled weekend with music, cheerleaders, dancers, magician, games and raffles."

The event was held in Libertyville earlier this month.

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Highlights of the open singles final of the 2017 Edgeball Chicago International Table Tennis Open between Joao Monteiro (POR) and Thiago Monteiro (BRA).


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The women's final.

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Plus:

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Mudit Dani.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:30 AM | Permalink

August 21, 2017

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Paper Bullets at Township on Saturday night.


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2. Faintlife at the Tonic Room on Friday night.

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3. Pretty Lights on Northerly Island on Saturday night.

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4. Sonny Landreth at FitzGerald's in Berwyn on Friday night.

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5. KISS at RiverEdge Park in Aurora on Sunday night.

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6. Carl Palmer and the ELP Legacy at the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin on Saturday.

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7. Yes at the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin on Saturday night.

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8. Mystery Actions at Township on Saturday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:44 AM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

Eclipse Fest.

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#adlereclipsewatch #equippedtoeclipse #eclipse #chicago @adlerplanet

A post shared by David (@david.brossard) on

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We out here (with an impossible to inflate sofa). ๐ŸŒ™

A post shared by mirachelle (@irachelly) on

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Beachwood Photo Booth: Cloudy Gate
Welcome to Chicago.

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How Subversive Artists Made Thrift Shopping Cool
From Goodwill to grunge.

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The Plot Against America - And Me
"If this is what terrorism looks like, then I'm affected," our very own Roger Wallenstein writes in this week's White Sox Report.

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Resist With Panache
In support of eight arrested for toppling a Confederate statue, hundreds turned themselves in.

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Feds Warned Of White Threat In May
Homeland Security notes that members of white supremacist groups were "responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016, more than any other domestic extremist movement."

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Can Anyone Stop Sinclair?
Just months ago, this sort of merger would have been illegal.

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Bears Psychosis Grips City
Apparently all is forgiven. On this week's Beachwood Radio Sports Hour.

Also including: This Just Does Not Seem Like The Cubs' Year; Kenny, Ozzie, Jerry & Ricky; Chicago's Best Sports Columnist Somehow Under The Radar After Long, Distinguished Career; and Schweinsteiger!

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Is in pre-production, as is the tardy Week In Chicago Rock which was due last Friday.

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BeachBook

Confederate Statues Were Built To Further A 'White Supremacist Future.'

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The Lonely Struggle Of Lee Ching-yu.

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How Wells Fargo Totally Fucked Over This Guy And Many Others.

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It's A Total Eclipse Of The Brands.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Great balls of fire.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:20 AM | Permalink

The Plot Against America - And Me

It's just baseball, but I take these weekly communications fairly seriously. Over the course of seven seasons, regardless of whether I'm here in Chicago, California, in Seattle visiting grandkids, or in Northern Wisconsin enjoying the north woods, I have managed to string together enough information, facts, history and stories pertaining to our White Sox in order to entertain whoever chooses to read these words.

This week is different. The insidious, gnawing thoughts in the back of my mind as I write this, and as I tune into Sox games, stir an uneasiness which was foreign to me just seven days ago.

These feelings have little to do with baseball. Instead I've been asking myself, "Should I feel guilty if I become wrapped up watching a ballgame after a band of despicable people chant 'Jews will not replace us' half a continent away? How can I ignore what happened in Virginia in order to see if the White Sox can win a road game?"

The fact is I can't.

Being Jewish and having lived in parts of eight decades, I've encountered little anti-Semitism. There were a couple of incidents during college in Iowa, one over the phone and another face-to-face. Of course, I have no sense of what's been said behind my back, but I consider myself fortunate when it comes to others who hate me based on religion and ethnicity. Other people, especially people of color, can't make the same claim. Tell me I've lived a charmed life, and I wouldn't argue.

However, the video of what transpired in Charlottesville feels very personal. What could these people have against me, a 70-something guy who's basically never hurt anyone, pecking away at his computer, writing about baseball?

Up until now, whenever I heard news of vandals defacing a synagogue, or neo-Nazis spewing hate against Jews, I ground my teeth, more because of sadness than despair or fear. My family celebrates some holidays, but other than funerals and bar mitzvahs, I can't recall the last time I was in a synagogue.

Friends who are far more religious than I cite the rise of anti-Semitism and the threat we face from the deranged haters. To ignore these developments is folly, according to some of my friends who are Jewish. I have listened with more than a small dose of cynicism.

From my earliest memories and experiences as a child, a time separated 10 years from the Holocaust, I never thought I wasn't safe. It never occurred to me that anyone would hate me because of who I am. My parents shielded me from ideas that my Jewishness was a liability. Assimilation was their game, complete with a Christmas tree.

I also believed that our country's leaders were symbols of good and righteousness. Ike was a war hero who helped defeat the Nazis. In my young mind, he stood for justice, virtue and honor. I never considered that less fortunate people might look at everyday life from a very different vantage point. If anyone asked, I was sure that good would triumph over evil.

I stopped being that boy long ago, but the past week has pushed me to a place I can't recall ever having been. Unless you've been in a coma, you know that we were told that there were some "very fine people" in Charlottesville marching with the crowd that spewed so much hatred against Jews and other minorities. In my life experience, I always felt that the Leader of the Free World and lots of other people in power positions would stand up for me.

I've read Philip Roth's The Plot Against America, which I failed to take seriously. His admonition about hate and fascism was fiction. It couldn't happen to me or anyone I know. My beliefs haven't totally vanished, but they certainly have been shaken.

A few weeks ago a friend e-mailed me a link to a video of George W. Bush throwing out the first pitch for Game 3 of the 2001 World Series. The country was seven weeks removed from the horror of watching the Twin Towers collapse, killing almost 3,000 innocent people.

I may not be a W. fan, but I got chills hearing the thunderous welcome at Yankee Stadium for the president as he strode out of the home team dugout and walked confidently to the mound. After throwing a perfect strike, the baritone reverberations of legendary Yankee PA announcer Bob Sheppard, were clear. "Thank you, Mr. President," and the chants of "USA! USA!" poured down from every corner of the ballpark.

Of course, that particular saga which began almost 16 years ago appears never-ending, but the juxtaposition of that specific moment in New York and the aftermath of Charlottesville is unsettling. Regardless of what one might think of Bush's subsequent decisions, he was vocal about hate and violence directed against Muslims for the acts of a cadre of zealots.

Can you imagine if our current leader was in charge then?

Over lunch last week with my pal Tom, we talked about growing up Jewish and never having to be seriously concerned about prejudice and hate directed against us. And he said that Trump's time is limited.

I'm not so sure. Few people thought a black man would ever be president, let alone be elected for two terms. And who took the reality TV huckster seriously when he first announced his candidacy? I question the assumption that he won't finish four years in the White House. The fact that approximately 63 million people voted for him speaks volumes. The White Sox won't draw that many people in the next quarter-century.

CNN and MSNBC keep up their redundant drill of reporting the historically low approval figures for a man who daily degrades critics and foes along with those who should be his allies. Well, guess what? Thirty-something percent still represents millions of folks who vote, and they're not going away.

Furthermore, his ratings, while historically low, have been consistent. You might assume that a man who lies, boasts about abusing women, and hypes his successes where there are none would have approval ratings in the single digits. That isn't the case.

Do we have seven-and-a-half more years of this degenerative lunacy in store for us? Can a leader who receives the plaudits from the former head of the KKK - an avowed anti-Semite, white nationalist, Holocaust denier - remain in power until 2025? These are the piercing questions roiling in my brain. I'm not paralyzed, but I am compromised. If this is what terrorism looks like, then I'm affected.

At the same time, I understand that black and brown people have lived with these realities all their lives. Immigrants have far more to worry about than the old Jew you're reading. I have it lots better than most.

However, I care about what happens when I'm gone. Not just for my grandchildren but for all of us. And, by the way, watching a ballgame or going to the park used to be more enjoyable until very recently. I miss those days.

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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 7:15 AM | Permalink

Federal Agencies Warned of White Supremacist Threat in May

A government intelligence report obtained by Foreign Policy shows that federal law enforcement agencies expressed concern earlier this year about the domestic threat white supremacist groups posed and would continue to pose.

While President Donald Trump spent much of his campaign and the first six months of his presidency warning Americans about the dangers posed by immigrants from Central America, refugees from majority-Muslim countries, and the street gang MS-13, the joint intelligence bulletin compiled by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security notes that members of white supremacist groups were "responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016, more than any other domestic extremist movement."

According to the two agencies, "racial minorities have been the primary victims of [white supremacist] violence. The second most common victims were other Caucasians . . . and other white supremacists perceived as disloyal to the white supremacist extremism [WSE] movement."

whitesupremacist1.jpgKarla Cote/Flickr

The report is dated May 10, five days before prominent white supremacist Richard Spencer led protests over Charlottesville, Virginia's plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee - a demonstration that was quickly denounced by city officials and offered a preview of the bloody protests that erupted in Charlottesville this past weekend.

The report details several attacks by white supremacists that took place over the last year, including one in which an extremist allegedly stabbed a black man for kissing a white woman in Olympia, Washington, and one in which a black man was murdered by a white supremacist in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The bulletin also says that the FBI and DHS are primarily concerned with attacks by lone offenders and small groups of white supremacists, "due to the decentralized and often disorganized status of the WSE movement." It also mentions "the often spontaneous and opportunistic nature of these acts that limits prevention by law enforcement."

Following the violence in Charlottesville over the weekend, some officials signaled a move toward recognizing white supremacists for the threat they pose to Americans and encouraging law enforcement agencies to fight harder against them.

On Monday, the Illinois State Senate passed a resolution calling for police in the state to designate white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups "as terrorist organizations, and to pursue the criminal elements of these domestic terror organizations in the same manner and with the same fervor used to protect the United States from other manifestations of terrorism."

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:48 AM | Permalink

August 19, 2017

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #166: Bears Psychosis Grips City

Apparently all is forgiven. Plus: This Just Does Not Seem Like The Cubs' Year; Kenny, Ozzie, Jerry & Ricky; Chicago's Best Sports Columnist Somehow Under The Radar After Long, Distinguished Career; and Schweinsteiger!


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SHOW NOTES

* 166.

:47: This Just Does Not Seem Like The Cubs' Year.

* Could Lat Injury Sideline Cubs Ace Jon Lester Rest Of Regular Season?

vs.

* Cubs Place Jon Lester On DL But Don't Expect Him Out Long.

* Just now?

* Lester Mum On Heated Dugout Discussion With Pitching Coach.

* Cubs Are Getting A Lot Right - But Aren't Plating Runners From Third.

23:34: Kenny, Ozzie, Jerry And Ricky.

* White Sox Recently Extended Kenny Williams, Rick Hahn.

* Nightengale: White Sox Owner Jerry Reinsdorf Wants To Repay Fans With A Winner, featuring the "wildly popular" Ricky Rentamanager.

28: Bears' Low Bar.

* Coffman: The Kid Is In The Picture.

* Ha ha.

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vs. 11 days later . . .

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* Speedy Kevin White Doesn't 'Play Fast.'

* This Just Doesn't Seem Like Kyle Long's Year.

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* Ryan's Reprieve: Access journalism in reverse!

* All is apparently forgiven!

* We live in a world where six wins in John Fox's third year will be considered progress.

53:05: Bernie!

1:08:10: Schweinsteiger!

* The Impact, The Fire, The Dogs.

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STOPPAGE: 10:14

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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 9:32 AM | Permalink

Can Anyone Stop Trump's FCC From Approving A Conservative Local News Empire?

President Trump's Federal Communications Commission, under chairman Ajit Pai, has been clearing the way for a merger between Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media, two television companies that together own hundreds of local news stations.

Just months ago, this sort of merger would have been illegal. For years, FCC rules prevented any one owner of local news stations from reaching too many Americans, or from owning more than one station in a single community.

But Pai, who spent the day before Trump's inauguration with Sinclair's CEO, has been moving quickly to clear these regulations away so that Sinclair can move forward with its plans to grow larger.

Media watchdog groups are pretty certain that Sinclair will use these relaxed rules to do exactly what the rules were intended to prevent: The company's new, nationwide network, they predict, will present a single viewpoint under the guise of local news.

Sinclair already does this, and has a long history of selective programming, including commentaries that, notably, are in line with Pai's own conservative, pro-corporate political leanings.

In the last few months, some of these commentaries have been presented by Boris Epshteyn, a former Trump adviser and college friend of Eric Trump who, despite his new position as chief political analyst for Sinclair Broadcasting, remains close with the White House and has been questioned as part of the U.S. House of Representatives' Russia probe.

After the $3.9 billion acquisition is complete, however, Sinclair will be America's largest television conglomerate. The company will own 230 stations and will be able to reach 72 percent of homes in America.

Rupert Murdoch Has An Opinion

However, the situation may soon become more complicated for Sinclair and its ally at the FCC. The company's competitors, such as DishTV, are speaking out.

Perhaps more important to the Trump administration are other conservative news outlets, who, recognizing the threat that Sinclair could pose to their business, are taking a stand.

Newsmax, a conservative website, has filed a petition with the FCC opposing the merger. Its CEO, Chris Ruddy, is a close friend of President Trump, and is often tapped by television bookers to fill viewers in on the sorts of things that might be running through the president's mind.

One America News Network and Glenn Beck's The Blaze, two other prominent voices within the constellation of conservative media, have also spoken out against the merger.

But the most prominent opponent of the merger is, perhaps, Rupert Murdoch, who owns Sinclair's most direct competitor, Fox, and who recently dined with Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner and chief of staff John Kelly.

During the meeting, The New York Times reports, Murdoch unloaded on Steve Bannon.

According to sources close to the president interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter, the president's relationship with Murdoch had hit a rough patch in July because of the Sinclair merger. (At one point, Murdoch had hoped to buy Tribune Media himself.) The White House dinner may have been an attempt to ease the friction between the president and the media mogul = which means the issue of the Sinclair merger may have come up.

Full Speed Ahead?

So perhaps there is a chance that Trump's friends who own Sinclair's rivals will succeed, and delay the merger. Perhaps not. As this crony capitalist drama plays out, watchdog groups, meanwhile, are looking for holes in the Trump administration's approach. Trump's EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has stepped onto legally shaky ground in his deregulatory fervor; Craig Aaron of Free Press says Pai might be making a similar mistake. "This administration has been really sloppy in how it's carried out its policies. So whether it's this media ownership approach or it's their attack on the free and open internet, they aren't necessarily doing this in legally sustainable ways. In some cases it's hard to tell if they care," he said with a laugh. "They're scoring their political points."

But even if groups like Aaron's succeed in challenging Pai's policies through the courts, victory may not come until after the merger has gone through.

"Once they move down that road it can be pretty difficult to unwind, which is obviously a real shame," he said. "People are clamoring for better coverage of their communities. They want more local news. They want a diversity of opinions at the local level. They want to hear a variety of voices. Sinclair's model is the same conservative cookie-cutter content wherever they go."

This post originally appeared at BillMoyers.com.

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Previously:
* Item: Former Trump Aide Joins Sinclair.

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

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

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

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

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

* Tribune's Disastrous Sale To Sinclair.

* Lawmakers Demand Answers About FCC's Favoritism Toward Sinclair.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:10 AM | Permalink

August 18, 2017

Beachwood Photo Booth: Cloudy Gate

Welcome to Chicago.

highway.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING; CLICK TWICE EVEN!)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:30 PM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Ester Drang at the Burlington on Monday night.


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2. Belle & Sebastian at the Chicago Theatre on Wednesday night.

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3. RealBadRealFast at Liar's Club on Thursday night.

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4. Punch Brothers and I'm With Her at Ravinia on Monday night.

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Catching up with . . .

Mark Fosson at the Empty Bottle on August 11.

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The Yolks at Auxiliary Arts on August 12.

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Jollys at Auxiliary Arts on August 12.

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Chris Twist at Auxiliary Arts on August 12.

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Slaughter at the Arcada on August 12.

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Hot Tuna at the Arcada in St. Charles on August 6.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:52 AM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

For completists, there was no column on Thursday.

Where we're at.

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In Production
Beachwood Photo Booth, The Week In Chicago Rock, The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour and more - including new Charlottesville-related material - are all in production and will be posted today and/or through the weekend

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BeachBook
A sampling.

Trump Lawyer Forwards E-Mail Echoing Secessionist Rhetoric.

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This Woman Hung A "Second Place" Banner On A Confederate Memorial.

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Republican Platform 'Reads As If It Were Written By A Klansman.'

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Overdue.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:41 AM | Permalink

In Support of Eight Arrested for Toppling Statue, Hundreds Turn Themselves In

More than 200 Durham, North Carolina residents stood outside a jail on Thursday, attempting to turn themselves in for the removal of the city's Confederate Soldiers Monument to protest the arrests of eight people who have been accused of dismantling the monument. The group chanted, "Thank you, we love you," in support of those who were arrested.

Takiyah Thompson was detained Tuesday evening after climbing the statue to knock it down, and faces both felony and misdemeanor charges for disorderly conduct, damage to property, and inciting a riot. Four other activists were arrested on Wednesday as well, followed by three who turned themselves in on warrants.

The statue was toppled days after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which neo-Nazis gathered under the pretense of protesting the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. A coalition of racist groups carried torches and chanted "Jews will not replace us!" and "Blood and soil!" on Friday night while a man identified as a neo-Nazi was accused of driving a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others.

Many who supported the counter-protesters questioned the arrests of Thompson and the other activists on Wednesday, while no arrests had been made in the case of a group of suspected white supremacists who severely beat a black man, Deandre Harris, in Charlottesville on Saturday.

Most of the people in Durham who lined up to turn themselves in were doing so symbolically and in solidarity with those who had taken the statue down, according to a report in the News & Observer. Police declined to allow people into the detention facility unless warrants had been issued for their arrests.

durhamstatue.pngIn an act of civil disobedience and solidarity, more than 200 citizens offered to turn themselves in for toppling a Confederate monument in Durham, North Carolina/@pharris830

Durham is one of several Southern cities grappling with a debate over taking down Confederate symbols from public spaces.

Thompson spoke out about her actions before her arrest, saying, "Everyone who was there - the people did the right thing. The people will continue to keep making the right choices until every Confederate statue is gone, until white supremacy is gone. That statue is where it belongs. It needs to be in the garbage . . . That statue glorifies the conditions that oppressed people live in and it had to go."

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:26 AM | Permalink

How Subversive Artists Made Thrift Shopping Cool

National Thrift Shop Day exists alongside other quirky holidays like National Play Your Ukulele Day and National Rice Krispies Treat Day. Though intended as a lighthearted celebration of an acceptable commercial habit, the process of making thrift stores hip involved unusual advocates.

As I describe in my recent book From Goodwill to Grunge, thrift stores emerged in the late 19th-century when Christian-run organizations adopted new models of philanthropy (and helped rehab the image of secondhand stores by dubbing their junk shops "thrift stores").

Today, there are more than 25,000 resale stores in America. Celebrities often boast of their secondhand scores, while musicians have praised used goods in songs like Fanny Brice's 1923 hit "Second-Hand Rose" and Macklemore and Ryan's 2013 chart-topper "Thrift Shop."

Yet over the past 100 years, visual artists probably deserve the most credit for thrift shopping's place in the cultural milieu.

goodwill.jpg

From sculptor Marcel Duchamp's ready-made urinal to "pope of trash" film director John Waters' popularization of a trash aesthetic, visual artists have long sought out secondhand goods for creative inspiration, while also using them to critique capitalist ideas.

Glory In The Discarded

During World War I, avant-garde artists started using discarded objects - stolen or gleaned, or purchased at flea markets and thrift stores - to push back against the growing commercialization of art. André Breton, Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst were among the first to transform cast-aside objects directly into works of art known as "readymades" or "found objects," or to channel inspiration from such goods into their paintings and writings.

Coinciding with (and emerging from) the anti-art art movement Dada, which fiercely rejected the logic and aestheticism of capitalism, the movement surrounding that elevation of pre-owned items would soon have a name: Surrealism.

In his 1928 semi-autobiographical work Nadja, Breton, the "father of Surrealism," describes secondhand shopping as a transcendent experience.

thrift.jpgJay LaPrete/AP

Discarded objects, he wrote, were capable of revealing "flashes of light that would make you see, really see."

Exiled by the France's Vichy government in the 1940s, Breton settled in New York City, where he sought to inspire other artists and writers by taking them to Lower Manhattan thrift stores and flea markets.

While Duchamp's "Fountain" is perhaps the most well-known piece of sculptural art derived from a found object, his ready-made "Bicycle Wheel" (1913) appears even earlier.

Man Ray's "Gift" (1921) featured an everyday flatiron with a row of brass tacks secured to its surface.

While men did seem to dominate Surrealism, recent sources highlight the importance of the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, whom scholars suggest may have gifted Duchamp his famed urinal, making the "Fountain" collaboration. The eccentric and talented baroness created "God" (1917), a cast-iron metal plumbing trap turned upside down, the same year Duchamp displayed "Fountain."

An Aesthetic Of Imperfection

Surrealism enjoyed its greatest renown throughout the 1920s and 1930s, with its precepts covering everything from poetry to fashion.

Then, in the 1950s and 1960s, New York City witnessed the rise of an avant-garde trash aesthetic, which included discarded goods and the resurrection of bygone themes and characters from from the "Golden Age" of Hollywood film. The style became known as "camp."

In the early 1960s, the Theatre of the Ridiculous, an underground, avant-garde genre of theater production, flourished in New York. Largely inspired by Surrealism, Ridiculous broke with dominant trends of naturalistic acting and realistic settings. Prominent elements included gender-bending parodies of classic themes and proudly gaudy stylization.

The genre notably relied on secondhand materials for costumes and sets. Actor, artist, photographer and underground filmmaker Jack Smith is seen as the "father of the style." His work created and typified the Ridiculous sensibility, and he had a near-obsessive reliance on secondhand materials. As Smith once said, "Art is one big thrift shop."

He's probably best known for his sexually graphic 1963 film Flaming Creatures. Shocking censors with close-ups of flaccid penises and jiggling breasts, the film became ground zero in the anti-porn battles. Its surrealist displays of odd sexual interactions between men, women, transvestites and a hermaphrodite culminated in a drug-fueled orgy.

According to Smith, Flaming Creatures was met with disapproval not because of its sex acts, but because of its aesthetic of imperfection, including the use of old clothes. To Smith, the choice of torn, outdated clothing was a greater form of subversion than the absence of clothing.

As Susan Sontag points out in her famous assessment of camp, the genre isn't merely a light, mocking sensibility. Rather, it's a critique of what's accepted and what isn't. Smith's work rebutted the reflexive habit of artists to strive for newness and novelty, and helped popularize a queer aesthetic that continued in bands like The New York Dolls and Nirvana. A long list of artists cite Smith as an inspiration, from Andy Warhol and Patti Smith to Lou Reed and David Lynch.

Beglittered And Begowned

In 1969, items from Smith's enormous cache of secondhand items, including gowns from the 1920s and piles of boas, found their ways into the wardrobes of a San Francisco psychedelic drag troupe, The Cockettes. The group enjoyed a year of wild popularity - even scoring a much-anticipated New York City showing - as much for their thrifted costuming as for their quirky satirical productions. The term "genderfuck" came to signify the group's aesthetic of bearded men, beglittered and begowned, a style encapsulated by the Cockettes' storied leader, Hibiscus.

The Cockettes split the next year over a dispute about charging admission, but members continued to influence American culture and style. Former Cockettes member Sylvester would become a disco star, and one of the first openly gay top-billing musicians.

A later Cockettes member, Divine, became John Waters' acclaimed muse, starring in a string of "trash films" including Hairspray, which grossed $8 million domestically and very nearly took Ridiculous theater mainstream.

By then, a queer, trash aesthetic that relied on secondhand goods became a symbol of rebellion and an expression of creativity for countless middle-class kids.

For many today, thrift shopping is a hobby. For some, it's a vehicle to disrupt oppressive ideas about gender and sexuality. And for others, thrifting is a way to reuse and recycle, a way to subtly subvert mainstream capitalism (though some mammoth thrift chains with controversial labor practices tend to reap the greatest monetary benefits).

Leading the charge, artists have connected secondhand wares with individual creativity and commercial disdain. What started with the surrealists continues today with the hipsters, vintage lovers and grad students who celebrate the outré options and cost-saving potential of discarded goods.

Jennifer Le Zotte is an assistant professor of material culture and history at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:22 AM | Permalink

August 16, 2017

The [Wednesday] Papers

Heather Heyer's mother is the president we don't have.


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Police Stood By As Mayhem Mounted In Charlottesville
"Standing nearby, an assortment of Virginia State Police troopers and Charlottesville police wearing protective gear watched silently from behind an array of metal barricades - and did nothing."

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Why Colin Kaepernick Matters
"Colin Kaepernick has brains enough, it is clear, and heart enough. But the flesh of a football star is evanescent, and at age 29, his blacklisting may well amount to a life sentence, for no crime other than having a social conscience."

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TrackNotes: The Meaning Of The Million
"[T]he disparity of the facility to the racing itself is like hitching up all eight Clydesdales in full tassel and brush to hit the 7-Eleven for a single Budweiser tallboy."

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Fish Unboxing
He waited all summer for this.

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Needles//Pins, Backwordz, Tarantula, No Time, Fuerza Bruta, Narita of High Rise, ONO, Jackson Browne, Mew, Vixen, Vanna, Gideon, and Wage War.

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Catching up with . . .

Last Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Bella Morte, Centavrvs, Youssou N'Dour, Aurelio Voltaire, Cheap Trick, Gold Paint Boy, Parent, Tony Bennett, Cyndi Lauper, Rod Stewart, Richard Album, and A+E.

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BeachBook

Donald Trump, Billy Corgan Favorite Alex Jones Says Nazis In Charlottesville Were Jewish Actors.

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How quickly this went out-of-date.

White House Memo Urges GOP To Say Trump Was 'Entirely Correct.'

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Really?

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A Copy Editor In Ohio Was Looking At Early Charlottesville Images When He Made A Big Realization.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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He's been quite clear, congressman.

He should say pretend words!

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There are few true moments of truth for most people in life. This is one of them for a lot of people - and most of them seem to be failing. We no longer have to ask how Nazi Germany happened - and that's not hyperbole. In fact, our own history also illustrates how individuals comply and societies commit atrocities.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: One side.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:30 AM | Permalink

Fish Unboxing

"I waited all summer to get another discus order in and this time I ordered mature adults so I can restart breeding discus. I hope you are as excited as I am to receive these beautiful fish and hopefully get them to spawn soon!"


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See also:

* Wikipedia: "They are sometimes referred to as pompadour fish."

* The PlantedDiscusFishTank YouTube channel.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:35 AM | Permalink

Why Colin Kaepernick Matters

Every year at about this time, I veer away from most of the liberal aesthetes with whom I mingle in the chattering classes. My newspaper reading and smart-phone clicking takes an unexpected detour from politics, opinion and arts. The pro football season is approaching, and my guilty pleasure, my second religion, must be indulged.

By now, into my early 60s, I know all the logical reasons why my usual comrades refuse to share my passion. Football uses strategies and lexicon straight out of the military. Going back to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, conservative politicians have appropriated the sport as their own. Elaborate presentations of the national colors by honor guards and flyovers by fighter jets have long been standard parts of pregame festivities. And now an epidemic of dementia and other brain injures among former players has left the National Football League with a medical scandal on its hands and a massive financial settlement on its balance sheet. Hardly any young parents of my acquaintance would let their child play organized tackle football, as I did in middle school.

So I don't expect that the name Colin Kaepernick will mean a great deal to a great deal of you reading this essay. Or perhaps it will provoke some head-scratching, a game of charades with yourself, as you wait for that next clue that will lead you to the answer. But you ought to care about Colin Kaepernick. Colin Kaepernick matters, for reasons that have everything and nothing to do with football.

First, to answer the trivia question: Kaepernick is a quarterback who played six seasons for the San Francisco 49ers. He took his team to the NFL championship game twice and the Super Bowl once. Entering this year, Kaepernick's contract expired and he became a free agent, meaning that he is able to be signed by any team in the league. Despite Kaepernick's formidable record - and we'll delve into the metrics a bit later - none of the 32 teams in the league has signed him, not even to be a benchwarmer.

To understand why, before we even go into the intricacies of the pro football industry, it helps to think back to the "Hollywood 10," figures like Dalton Trumbo and Ring Lardner Jr., left-leaning writers and directors who were blacklisted from the film industry during the McCarthy era. No movie executive could possibly have doubted the talent of such artists, but none would hire them for years. The association with an accused communist, or someone who had been in the party during the Popular Front years, was bad for business. We like to think that such quarantines do not happen anymore, that gifted people are not deprived of their livelihood simply for having exercised their right to free speech.

Almost exactly a year ago, on the night of August 26, the 49ers were getting ready to play an otherwise desultory preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. When the "Star-Spangled Banner" was sung, and virtually everyone on the field and in the stadium stood, Kaepernick dropped to one knee in protest. Questioned by reporters after the game, Kaepernick said, "I'm going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change. When there's significant change and I feel that flag represents what it's supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way that it's supposed to, I'll stand."

As an African American, Kaepernick especially wanted to signal his support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

In previous years, other black players in the NFL, as well as the National Basketball Association, had engaged in vocal or symbolic protests of the police killings of unarmed African-American men, particularly the slaying of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Game after game during the 2016 season, Kaepernick knelt when the national anthem was played. He grew his hair into a billowing Afro that seemed like an evocation of the Black Power movement a half-century earlier. And meanwhile, as the quarterback of an abysmal team, he put up very respectable statistics and was selected to win an award by his teammates.

He was also roundly reviled by many pro football fans, including the president-to-be. After that preseason game, Donald Trump went on a conservative talk show in Seattle to call Kaepernick's gesture "a terrible thing." Trump went on, "Maybe he should find a country that works better for him. Let him try. It won't happen."

By one theory, the drop in the NFL's television audience during 2016 resulted from mass disgust with Kaepernick's actions. Considering that the hapless 49ers were only rarely on the major nationally televised games - those on Thursday, Sunday and Monday nights, and in the late afternoon slot on Sundays - I found that kind of causality doubtful. In a broader sense, however, the polling firm Remington Research did find that about two-thirds of respondents opposed professional football players using "the NFL as a stage for their political views." The number was significantly higher for men than women, whites than blacks, Republicans than Democrats, and conservatives than liberals.

The NFL, in fact, has been anything but a politics-free zone, as I pointed out at length in a New Yorker essay earlier this year. Donald Trump's divisive campaign for president meshed with the overarching political culture of the league's coaches and owners - one often at odds with its disproportionately black players. Such prominent current and former coaches as Mike Ditka, Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick, the latter of them a five-time Super Bowl winner, endorsed Trump. According to Sports Illustrated, the owners of six NFL franchises contributed $1 million apiece to Trump's inaugural, while several others and the league itself made six-figure donations. One of the big givers, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, was rewarded by Trump with the plum appointment of ambassador to Great Britain. Meanwhile, only one person in the league's top echelons, head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, had contributed to Hillary Clinton's campaign. Not surprisingly, Tomlin is African American.

Now, if you will, fast-forward to the spring and summer of 2017, when the free agent market in the NFL is going full swing. Politics aside, there is an argument to be made that Kaepernick probably cannot be a starting quarterback anymore. His recent seasons have not matched his best ones, in 2013 and 2014, and defensive coaches around the league have learned how to better control Kaepernick's explosive running. But a team in the NFL cannot count on just one quarterback. There's a truism, which might even be true, that a team is no better than its backup quarterback.

During the 2016 season, the statistics-crunching website Football Outsiders calculated that starting quarterbacks missed a total of 92 games with injuries or other causes. With there being two quarterbacks in each of the 256 regular-season games, the starter needed to be replaced almost one-fifth of the time. You don't care about pro football? Imagine being a theater producer, director or diehard fan: Wouldn't you want a high-quality understudy on hand if the odds were that your star would miss one performance of every five?

Pro football is full of data, and that data supports one clear conclusion: Colin Kaepernick easily meets the standards of a second-string quarterback. Just to keep it relatively simple, Kaepernick finished 17th among 30 starters in the league last year in the major computerized ranking. The Sporting News recently did a detailed comparison of Kaepernick to every backup quarterback for the 2017 season, and it showed him to be a better choice than many of them.

Yet Kaepernick barely received so much as an interview from any NFL team. The most revealing comment during the past few months came when the Baltimore Ravens were on the verge of signing Kaepernick. That decision would have made a lot of sense. The Ravens' general manager, Ozzie Newsome, is African American. The head coach, John Harbaugh, is the brother of Kaepernick's coach during his best years in San Francisco. The Ravens' starting quarterback, Joe Flacco, is recovering from a major injury.

Then, at a forum with Ravens fans, the franchise's owner, Steve Bisciotti, opined that he hadn't much cared for Kaepernick's protests. And he didn't really think Kaepernick could help the team win - an analysis that contradicted what Newsome and Harbaugh reportedly believed. Beyond such personal feelings, Bisciotti said he had to consider how sponsors and top-dollar ticket-buyers might react. "We're very sensitive to it and we're monitoring it," he said cryptically. Needless to say, Kaepernick went unsigned and has remained unsigned.

Certainly, any business owner ought to weigh the implications of hiring or firing a polarizing individual. The tender constitutions of the fan base, however, have never stopped NFL teams from employing players on their return from prison terms (quarterback Michael Vick and wide receiver Plaxico Burress) or after having turned state's evidence and plea-bargained to a lesser count after being charged with murder (middle linebacker Ray Lewis). Perpetrators of domestic violence, such as running back Ray Rice and kicker Josh Brown, were protected from suspension by their teams or the league until the evidence proved impossible to rationalize or sweep away.

Incredibly - or, perhaps, fittingly - Vick and Lewis balanced some public sympathy for Kaepernick with chastisement. "Get back on the football field, and let your play speak for itself," Lewis advised. Vick commented, "The first thing we got to get Colin to do is cut his hair. I don't think he should represent himself in that way in terms of the hairstyle. Just go clean cut. Why not?" (To which Kaepernick tweeted a definition of the Stockholm Syndrome, in which kidnap victims develop affection for their captors.)

One of the most politically astute players in the NFL, defensive end Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks, started the obvious: "There's the elephant in the room why Kaepernick isn't signed, and most people know why. I've said this several times, and I'm not afraid to say it: I think race and politics in sports is something people don't want to hear about, nor do people want to be a part of."

Around the league during this preseason, a few players like Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles and Marshawn Lynch of the Oakland Raiders have raised a fist or sat during the national anthem. Overall, activism among NFL players is increasing. One of the hubs is the organization RISE, which was founded by Stephen M. Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins.

But Ross is the woke anomaly among NFL owners. And outspoken players like Bennett, Jenkins and Lynch are the exception that proves the rule. As starters, indeed as stars, they are too valuable to be punished for their political opinions. Kaepernick falls on that vulnerable border - not essential enough to be permitted his public voice, but prominent enough to be made an example of.

The NFL season opens on September 7, and the first game features the New England Patriots. The defending Super Bowl champions just happen to have an owner, head coach and quarterback - Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, respectively - who all support Trump. I do not mention that fact to suggest causation, only to note the deep roots of Trumpism among the NFL's aristocracy.

On the day when white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia, and one of their true believers killed an anti-racist activist and injured nearly 20 more by racing his car into a group of nonviolent marchers, Colin Kaepernick was paying close attention. He retweeted video and photos of the atrocity, as well as commentary from Linda Sarsour and Shaun King, among other progressives. Scrolling a bit farther down into Kaepernik's Twitter account, I saw a photo of him wearing a T-shirt with a photo of Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X.

Ali, of course, was banned from professional boxing in 1967 for his refusal to be inducted into the military during the Vietnam War, even though a celebrity draftee like himself surely would have been given a cushy, public-relations sort of duty. "I ain't go no quarrel with them Viet Cong," Ali famously said, referring to the Communist guerillas. "No Viet Cong ever called me nigger."

Nearly four years later, the Supreme Court restored Ali's boxing license. Ali retained enough of his skill, even after the enforced hiatus, to twice more reclaim the heavyweight championship.

The clock incessantly ticks, however, on any professional athlete. And if you're not a sports fan, think of what the passing years will do to your favorite ballerina. In one respect, the Hollywood Ten were fortunate. After a decade in professional exile, most were still able to return to writing and directing; the relevant cells were in their brains rather than their muscles.

Colin Kaepernick has brains enough, it is clear, and heart enough. But the flesh of a football star is evanescent, and at age 29, his blacklisting may well amount to a life sentence, for no crime other than having a social conscience.

Samuel G. Freedman, a journalism professor at Columbia University and former columnist for The New York Times, is the author of books including Breaking The Line: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Sport and Changed the Course of Civil Rights. This post first appeared on BillMoyers.com.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:20 AM | Permalink

Police Stood By As Mayhem Mounted In Charlottesville

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - There was nothing haphazard about the violence that erupted in this bucolic town in Virginia's heartland.

At about 10 a.m. on Saturday, at one of countless such confrontations, an angry mob of white supremacists formed a battle line across from a group of counterprotesters, many of them older and gray-haired, who had gathered near a church parking lot.

On command from their leader, the young men charged and pummeled their ideological foes with abandon.

One woman was hurled to the pavement, and the blood from her bruised head was instantly visible.

Standing nearby, an assortment of Virginia State Police troopers and Charlottesville police wearing protective gear watched silently from behind an array of metal barricades - and did nothing.

It was a scene that played out over and over in Charlottesville as law enforcement confronted the largest public gathering of white supremacists in decades.

We walked the streets beginning in the early morning hours and repeatedly witnessed instances in which authorities took a largely laissez faire approach, allowing white supremacists and counterprotesters to physically battle.

Officials in Charlottesville had publicly promised to maintain control of the "Unite the Right" rally, which is the latest in a series of chaotic and bloody racist rallies that have roiled this college town, a place deeply proud of its links to Thomas Jefferson and the origins of American Democracy.

But the white supremacists who flooded into the city's Emancipation Park - a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee sits in the center of the park - had spent months openly planning for war.

The Daily Stormer, a popular neo-Nazi website, encouraged rally attendees to bring shields, pepper spray, and fascist flags and flagpoles. A prominent racist podcast told its listeners to come carrying guns.

"Bring whatever you need, that you feel you need for your self defense. Do what you need to do for security of your own person," said Mike "Enoch" Peinovich on The Right Stuff podcast.

And the white supremacists who showed up in Charlottesville did indeed come prepared for violence. Many wore helmets and carried clubs, medieval-looking round wooden shields, and rectangular plexiglass shields, similar to those used by riot police.

Clad in a black, Nazi-style helmet, Matthew Heimbach told ProPublica, "We're defending our heritage."

Heimbach, who heads the Traditionalist Workers Party, a self-declared fascist group, said he was willing to die for his cause and would do whatever it took to defend himself.

He was surrounded by a brigade of white supremacists, including members of the League of the South and the National Socialist Movement.

By the time Heimbach and his contingent arrived in downtown Charlottesville shortly before 11 a.m., what had started hours earlier with some shoving and a few punches had evolved into a series of wild melees as people attacked one another with fists, feet, and the improvised weapons they'd brought with them to the park. White supremacists and anti-racists began blasting each other with thick orange streams of pepper spray.

The police did little to stop the bloodshed. Several times, a group of assault rifle-toting militia members from New York State, wearing body armor and desert camo, played a more active role in breaking up fights.

Shortly before noon, authorities shut down the rally and the related demonstrations and marched the white supremacists out of the park and into the streets.

Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy defended the police tactics.

"I'm not in the business of throwing our police department under the bus, because they're doing the best job they can, " said Bellamy. "I don't think the police officers were just twiddling their thumbs."

The skirmishes culminated in an act of domestic terrorism, with a driver ramming his car into a crowd of anti-racist activists on a busy downtown street, killing one and injuring 19 according to the latest information from city officials. Charlottesville authorities reported that a 20-year-old Ohio man had been arrested and had been charged with murder.

Two state police officers also died in a helicopter crash.

At a brief press conference Saturday evening, Virginia officials declined to answer questions about the police response, but said they were not taken surprise by the violence or the number of protesters.

"This could have been a much worse day," said Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, "We planned for a long time for today's incidents."

Charlottesville police Chief Al Thomas said at least 35 people had been injured - many of them from violent encounters between white supremacists and the counterprotesters. He said nobody had been wounded due to confrontations between police and the public.

In the weeks leading up to the protest, city and state officials put together a detailed plan for the rally, mobilizing 1,000 first responders, including 300 state police troopers and members of the National Guard.

Judging from how events unfolded, it appears that the strategy was to avoid direct confrontations with the protesters.

Miriam Krinsky, a former federal prosecutor who has worked on police reform efforts in Los Angeles, said it was too early to assess the law enforcement response in Charlottesville. But she said a strategy of disengagement generally works to embolden unruly crowds.

"If things start to escalate and there's no response, it can very quickly get out of control," she said. "Individuals can and will get hurt."

But an overly forceful response, she said, can also make the situation worse. Krinsky said attempts to seize weapons might have led to more clashes between police and protesters.

"Trying to take things away from people is unlikely to be a calming influence," she told ProPublica.

A good strategy, she said, is to make clashes less likely by separating the two sides physically, with officers forming a barrier between them.

"Create a human barrier so the flash points are reduced as quickly as possible," she said.

A.C. Thompson and Karim Hajj reported from Charlottesville, Va. Robert Faturechi reported from New York. ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.

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Comments welcome.


Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:16 AM | Permalink

August 15, 2017

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Needles//Pins at Quenchers on Sunday night.


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2. Backwordz at Beat Kitchen on Friday night.

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3. Tarantula at Skylark Heights on Friday night.

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4. No Time at Skylark Heights on Friday night.

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5. Fuerza Bruta at Skylark Heights on Friday night.

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6. Narita of High Rise at the Empty Bottle on Friday night.

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7. ONO at the Empty Bottle on Friday night.

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8. Jackson Browne at the Copernicus on Sunday night.

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9. Mew at Park West on Saturday night.

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10. Vixen at the Arcada in St. Charles on Saturday night.

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11. Vanna at Beat Kitchen on Friday night.

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12. Gideon at Beat Kitchen on Saturday night.

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13. Wage War at Beat Kitchen on Saturday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:34 PM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

Please watch this Vice News Tonight report from inside the Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville. The correspondent is Elle Reeve.


*

The Rising Homegrown Terror Threat
It's on the right - as it so often is.

*

Chicagoetry: Ozymandias In High Definition
Between flags in the War Room.

*

Trumps FCC [Hearts] Sinclair
Alt-right TV coming to WGN?

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BeachBook

Can An Employer Fire A White Supremacist?

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Heartlight.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:51 AM | Permalink

Lawmakers Demand Answers About FCC's Favoritism Toward Sinclair

As the New York Times published a scathing new report Monday detailing how Sinclair Broadcast Group "is ridding itself of regulation," three ranking Democrats on relevant House of Representatives committees sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission chairman about his agency's alleged "preferential treatment" of the conservative-leaning local television behemoth.

In the 12-page letter sent to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump, Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), and Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) rely on recent news reports to outline four ways in which the FCC, under the Trump administration, "has taken a series of swift actions that have benefitted Sinclair."

The Democratic lawmakers outline reports that the FCC:

  • Reinstated an outdated "UHF Discount" that would enable Sinclair to bypass a FCC restriction that prohibits one company from owning enough stations to reach 39 percent of the nation's audience - a decision that critics say "directly paved the way for Sinclair's proposed $3.9 billion deal to purchase Tribune Media, which is awaiting FCC approval," according to The Hill;
  • Established an expedited timeline to review Sinclair's proposed merger with Tribune, which Motherboard reported "would create a national broadcasting juggernaut with more than 230 stations reaching 72 percent of households across the country";
  • Allowed Sinclair to spend millions to purchase stations from the Bonten Media Group shortly after revoking 2014 guidance that would have required the agency to more closely scrutinize the deal;
  • Has taken steps to allow television broadcasters, including Sinclair, to use the Next Gen TV transmission standard "with very few consumer protections in place."

The legislators - who serve on the House Commerce Committee, the technology and communications subcommittee, and the oversight and investigations subcommittee - also presented a bulleted list of interactions between Pai and Sinclair, as well as the Trump administration and Sinclair, that they said seems to "suggest a favorable relationship."

Among these allegations are that Pai met with Sinclair's then-CEO David Smith while attending a conference for the company's general managers in November; Pai met with Smith as well as new Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley in January; Sinclair "struck a deal" with the Trump campaign, exchanging access to the then-candidate for better coverage; and former Trump official Boris Epshteyn's on-air political commentary segments, which have been called "propaganda" by critics, are sent to Sinclair stations as "must-run" programming.

"We hope this letter will serve as an opportunity to respond to reports suggesting that you have failed to exercise adequate independence as FCC Chairman and that may have resulted in the agency giving unusual and possibly preferential treatment to Sinclair," the Democrats wrote to Pai, requesting a response by August 28 - the day before the final deadline for the public to file comments with the FCC regarding Sinclair's proposed merger with Tribune.

The Democratic lawmakers' allegations, which are sourced with dozens of footnotes, are further bolstered by reporting published Monday by the New York Times that details Pai's "deregulatory blitz, enacting or proposing a wish list of fundamental policy changes advocated by Mr. Smith and his company."

Relying on hundreds of pages of e-mails and other documents that the Times accessed via the Freedom of Information Act, the article describes a "rush of regulatory actions [that] has been carefully aligned with Sinclair's business objectives," including regulatory rollback that critics say "undermines the heart of the FCC mission to protect diversity, competition and local control in broadcast media."

The Times also outlines Pai's cozy history with the company, and quotes Ripley as saying on a phone call with Sinclair investors in February: "We do expect this new FCC to tackle the ownership rules . . . We're very optimistic about this new FCC and the leadership of Ajit Pai."

pai_flickr.jpgPai/FCC, Flickr

If the Tribune merger is approved by the FCC under Pai and the Trump administration, Sinclair would add another 42 stations to its already vast reach, as the Times mapped:

times-sinclair-trib-merger.jpg

The Times also details the histories of the company and Pai, noting other recent deregulatory actions by the FCC chairman that have provoked intense criticism: "Mr. Pai also froze a program for broadband subsidies for low-income families and began a rollback of net neutrality rules that ensured internet traffic was equally available to all consumers, acting on regulatory issues that will reshape other multibillion-dollar businesses under his watch."

As Common Dreams has previously reported, concerns over Pai's opposition to net neutrality protections have motivated Open Internet and free speech advocates, as well as Democrat lawmakers, to sound alarms and organize nationwide protests.

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

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Previously:
* Item: Former Trump Aide Joins Sinclair.

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

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

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

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

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

* Tribune's Disastrous Sale To Sinclair.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:56 AM | Permalink

TrackNotes: The Meaning Of The Million

I paid my annual visit to Arlington Park on Saturday for the 35th Arlington Million, but for those of you who gang TrackNotes and consistency in the same sentence, I did not Metra up there. Thank the magic of television, which turned out to be a real trip itself.

I'd finished setting up the new Forbidden Fruit BozoPuter which, I'll tell you, becomes real murder when you can't remember or find your WiFi password. I should at least get some free DeVry credit.

Ready for HORSE racing, NBCSportsNet pops on with B-level NASCAR road racing from Pocono. Rant as I did, we have to swallow the fact the ponies don't have the clout for a no-preemption clause if things run late somewhere else.

And don't forget, Churchill Downs Inc. didn't care and Arlington had no pull, so The Million had been relegated to local WGN-Channel 9 in some sort of time-buy deal for a number of years previous to the 2017 jump to NBC. We suffered through Dan Roan, Rich King and AP shill Howard Sudberry for what can be called Chicago's Very Own Dark Ages. "For those of you new to the game, this is a horse," we often heard.

NBC took over as part of the Win and You're In program for the Breeders' Cup. The Beverly D. winner earns a berth in the BC Filly and Mare Turf and the Million winner the BC Turf.

As NBC fawned over the hood logos of the winning car, the Beverly D. (Grade I, 9.5 furlongs, turf, fillies and mares three and up, $600,000) went off. Dacita, an up-and-downer who had run into the hot filly Hawksmoor in her last two, relaxed, saved some ground and roared up for the 6-1 victory over Dona Bruja, the race favorite, and Grand Jete, who both dead heated for Place. The Chilean Dacita is a very nice horse, but not top shelf. She finished ninth in her Breeders' Cup race last year. Hawksmoor finished seventh Saturday.

Subjected over the years to multitudes of politicians, lifestyle columnists, restaurant critics and Olympics kowtowers blithely tossing around the inherently cheap term "World Class"- almost always as if they invented it - not like manhole covers, but like the plugged nickel it's ultimately worth per invocation, this year's exodus from local TV to niche cable sports and the NASCAR interruption spared us the parochial cringe. When the four-leggeds finally cut in, all we heard from Laffit Pincay III was " . . . of the finest facilities in the nation."

It's easy to trust Laffit, and I do, because he's not from around here.

In both the context of its own sport and the all-around category, Arlington Park is the finest venue in Chicagoland. Wrigley Field was never world-class and will now never be with what the Ricketts have done up there. Comiskey Park (it's carved into the stone, so I can say it that way) is more comfortable. For what it is asked to be, United Center comes close. And I'll always love Hawthorne, for reasons outside this comparison.

But the disparity of the facility to the racing itself is like hitching up all eight Clydesdales in full tassel and brush to hit the 7-Eleven for a single Budweiser tallboy. And you've heard my rants on the PolyTrack main track at Arlington, still there in all of its blackened, cooked glory. It was difficult to declare, but I really thought I saw a lot of empty seats up in the main grandstand, even right after the big race.

And if you watch any of these videos, notice how the view of up to 25 percent of the race is blocked by those damn trees. Arlington has always been this way. Hoiberg, we're going to play the second quarter with the lights off. Thankfully, NBC had plenty of cameras and switched around the trees.

We did see Mike Ditka on the rail looking as if he was on the bow of the lead destroyer steaming to Guadalcanal. And Coach J. Quenneville, looking like a kid in a candy store, stood in the background wide-eyed as the winning connections morphed into the circle.

Bottomed out in the Barcalounger, it became clear that NBC, rather than diving into full celebration of the Arlington International Festival of Racing, was more honoring its commitment to cover the Breeders' Cup qualifiers. Plus, it was a relative hole in the schedule vis a vis Saratoga and Del Mar.

Pincay, relegated to the paddock or barn areas when the first string lands, was joined by British broadcaster Nick Luck on the anchor desk. Britney Eurton, TVG racing personality and daughter of trainer Peter Eurton, handled the roving microphone.

That's it. Skeleton crew, although Eddie Olczyk would certainly have been there if not for his recent health problems. But it seemed just right, of the correct proportion. Just because it's Arlington's biggest day doesn't mean it's big in the grand scheme of American racing - especially a turf-centric program in a dirt-racing nation.

But what of this Arlington Million? Just how big or important is it, this year and for all time?

Saturday, Beach Patrol, the son of the very successful Lemon Drop Kid, stayed on or near the lead the whole race, surrendered the lead to the 9-5 favored Deauville, but took it back and beat 56-1 Fanciful Angel just less than a length. Deauville had every chance clear on the rail, but couldn't get it done and finished third. Under Joel Rosario, Beach Patrol's win came 364 days after he won his last, the Secretariat here at Arlington on Million Day.

Of the other notables, eight-year-old The Pizza Man, a Million winner in 2015, finished 12th and Divisidero, who beat Beach Patrol and Million runner Oscar Nominated two back at Churchill Downs, finished seventh.

Does this spell Breeders' Cup Turf glory for Beach Patrol? Almost certainly not.

The only horse who has won the Million and the BC Turf in either the same year or in staggered years was Little Mike with both in 2012. The Pizza Man took fifth in the Turf in 2015, probably the best you could have hoped for him.

One of the greatest horses to ever win the Million, Gio Ponti in 2009, ran in it three times, also finishing second in 2010 to Debussy and 2011 to Cape Blanco. Gio Ponti had a brand of Breeders' Cup success himself, but never won, running into the legendary Goldikova in the BC Mile in 2010 and losing the mile to Court Vision in 2011. I remember his connection confusing 'Ponti's inner odometer, racing him at varied distances, he had such guts.

The Steel Drivin' Horse John Henry, of course, won the first Million in 1981, before the Breeders' Cup existed, and then won it again in 1984. He was scheduled to run in the BC Turf Cup in 1984 but was found to have ligament damage and was retired. He won the Jockey Club Gold Cup in 1981, when that race was considered THE season-ending championship race, what the BC Classic is now. Meantime, all John Henry was was turf horse of the year four times and overall horse of the year twice.

At first, it was the million dollars that put Arlington's race on the map, but after the first one was over, it was John Henry who had carved it into stone. And bronze. His photo finish win over The Bart is still argued by the oldtimers and it's even hard to tell by the statue of the two in the paddock at Arlington.

Other notable winners of the Million, at least to me, are Beat Hollow in 2002, one of the late Bobby Frankel's greatest training jobs, Powerscourt in 2005 and The Tin Man in 2006.

It is unfair to link any two races as proof positive whether a horse is great or not. Still at $1 million, the Arlington Million is a great race to win and has built a good reputation in its 35 years, which is really a short life as esteemed races go.

But it is not an international showcase of the top turf horses. And many of these same types were in the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga the same day.

My wish is that Arlington would install and take care of a real dirt track of the same quality as its turf course; maybe move one of its turf races to that dirt and work towards building it into a Grade I; either lower or freeze for a decade it entry price; improve the lousy food; get rid of the damned trees and build a hedge maze where the baby strollers can get lost for the full length of the card; and stop hating on Hawthorne.

If they did a few of those first things, well, you might call that world-class behavior.

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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:53 AM | Permalink

The Rising Homegrown Terror Threat On The Right

This piece was originally published on May 28 at The Conversation.

The murder in College Park, Maryland of Richard Collins III, an African-American student who had recently been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and was days away from his graduation from Bowie State University, underscores the violence of America's far-right wing. Sean Urbanski, the University of Maryland student who allegedly stabbed Collins to death, belongs to a racist Facebook group called Alt-Reich: Nation.

It makes sense that the FBI is helping the police investigate this incident as a suspected hate crime. But my 15 years experience of studying violent extremism in Western societies has taught me that dealing effectively with far-right violence requires something more: treating its manifestations as domestic terrorism.

While attacks such as the recent suicide bombing in Manchester that left 22 people dead and several dozen injured will probably continue to garner more headlines, this growing domestic menace deserves more attention than it's getting.

Domestic Terrorism

Terrorism is a form of psychological warfare. Most terrorist groups lack the resources, expertise and manpower to defeat state actors. Instead, they promote their agenda through violence that shapes perceptions of political and social issues.

Collins' murder, if it was motivated by racist sentiments, should be treated as an act of domestic terrorism, which I define here as the use of violence in a political and social context that aims to send a message to a broader target audience. Like lynching, cross-burning and vandalizing religious sites, incidents of this kind deliberately aim to terrorize people of color and non-Christians.

I consider domestic terrorism a more significant threat than the foreign-masterminded variety in part because it is more common in terms of the number of attacks on U.S. soil. For example, my report published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point identified hundreds of domestic terror incidents per year between 2008 and 2012.

Another report initially published in 2014 by the New America Foundation on domestic incidents of extremist violence shows that excluding the Orlando nightclub massacre, between 2002-2016, far-right affiliated perpetrators conducted 18 attacks that killed 48 people in the United States, while terrorists motivated by al-Qaeda's or the Islamic State's ideology killed 45 people in nine attacks.

The Orlando mass shooting, given its mix of apparent motives, is hard to categorize.

A Spontaneous Appearance

In briefings with law enforcement and policymakers, I have sometimes encountered a tendency to see U.S. right-wing extremists as a monolith. But traditional Ku Klux Klan chapters operate differently than skinhead groups, as do anti-government "patriot" and militia groups and anti-abortion extremists. Christian Identity groups, which believe Anglo-Saxons and other people of Northern European descent are a chosen people, are distinct too.

Certainly, there is some overlap. But these groups also differ significantly in terms of their methods of violence, recruitment styles and ideologies. Across the board, undermining the threat they pose requires a more sophisticated approach than investigating their criminal acts as suspected hate crimes.

In an ongoing study I'm conducting at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell with several students, we have determined that, as apparently occurred with Collins' recent murder in Maryland, many attacks inspired by racist or xenophobic sentiments may appear spontaneous. That is, no one plans them in advance or targets the victim ahead of time. Instead, chance encounters that enrage the perpetrators trigger these incidents.

Sporadic attacks with high numbers of casualties that are plotted in advance, such as Dylann Roof's murder of nine African-Americans in a Charleston, South Carolina church, are always big news. More typical incidents of far-right violence tend to draw less attention.

homegrownright2.jpgThe widow of Clementa Pinckney, a pastor and South Carolina lawmaker slain in the mass murder at Charleston's Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, hugs her daughter during a 2015 memorial service for victims of that attack/AP, Carolyn Kaster

The fatal stabbing of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche and Ricky John Best aboard a train in Portland, Oregon on May 26 seems to be emerging as an exception. The alleged killer of these two white men, Jeremy Joseph Christian, attacked them with a knife after they stood up to him for haranguing two young women who appeared to be Muslim, police said. A third injured passenger is expected to survive. Much of the media coverage is focused on Christian's violent and racist background.

Given the spontaneous nature of so much far-right violence, U.S. counterterrorism policies should, in my view, target the dissemination of white supremacist ideology, rather than just identifying planned attacks and monitoring established white supremacy groups.

An Iceberg Theory

The number of violent attacks on U.S. soil inspired by far-right ideology has spiked since the beginning of this century, rising from a yearly average of 70 attacks in the 1990s to a yearly average of more than 300 since 2001. These incidents have grown even more common since President Donald Trump's election.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit that researches U.S. extremism, reported 900 bias-related incidents against minorities in the first 10 days after Trump's election - compared to several dozen in a normal week - and the group found that many of the harassers invoked the then-president-elect's name. Similarly, the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit that tracks anti-semitism, recorded an 86 percent rise in anti-semitic incidents in the first three months of 2017.

Beyond the terror that victimized communities are experiencing, I would argue that this trend reflects a deeper social change in American society.

The iceberg model of political extremism, initially developed by Ehud Shprinzak, an Israeli political scientist, can illuminate these dynamics.

Murders and other violent attacks perpetrated by U.S. far-right extremists compose the visible tip of an iceberg. The rest of this iceberg is under water and out of sight. It includes hundreds of attacks every year that damage property and intimidate communities, such as the recent attempted burning of an African-American family's garage in Schodack, New York. The garage was also defaced with racist graffiti.

Data my team collected shows that the significant growth in far-right violence in recent years is happening at the base of the iceberg. While the main reasons for that are still not clear, it is important to remember that changes in societal norms are usually reflected in behavioral changes. Hence, it is more than reasonable to suspect that extremist individuals engage in such activities because they sense that their views are enjoying growing social legitimacy and acceptance, which is emboldening them to act on their bigotry.

Budget Cuts

Despite an uptick in far-right violence and the Trump administration's plan to increase the Department of Homeland Security budget by 6.7 percent to $44.1 billion in 2018, the White House wants to cut spending for programs that fight non-Muslim domestic terrorism.

The federal government has also frozen $10 million in grants aimed at countering domestic violent extremism. This approach is bound to weaken the authorities' power to monitor far-right groups, undercutting public safety.

How many more innocent people like Richard Collins III - and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche and Ricky John Best - have to die before the U.S. government starts taking the threat posed by violent white supremacists more seriously?

Arie Perliger is the Director of Security Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:43 AM | Permalink

Chicagoetry: Ozymandias In High Definition

Ozymandias in High Definition

Yul Brynner in a black skirt
As Rameses II, Prince of Egypt, literally
And figuratively leaning into Edward G. Robinson,

Proffering a ring of gold from the tip of a spear
For some solid intelligence
On the slaves' Deliverer:

"You have a rat's ears and a ferret's nose."
Robinson, as Dathan: "To use in your service, son of Pharaoh."
Then later, in a black mourning gown

Finally surrendering to Charlton Heston
After ten plagues,
His own young son about to succumb.

The Greeks

Called him Ozymandias,
His fame renewed in a 19th-century poem
By Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Here: Ozymandias in 70 millimeter,
Revivified from stele and papyrus,
Styled perhaps on

The visage in Shelley's poem (which, some say,
Is his take on Napoleon): frown, wrinkled lip,
Cold sneer.

Now: Bryan Cranston
In goatee and pork pie hat, as
Drug Kingpin Walter White,

Narrating time-lapse film
Of lone and level sands
In New Mexico

With the famous poem:

"Look upon my work,
Ye mighty, and despair!"
Generation by generation,

The song remains
The same. What lasts
Of the fleeting glory of kings but

Wasteland boundless
And bare? Must we
Go over this again?!

Yet Pharaoh indeed transcends
Death. "By god,
There he is again!"

At another press conference
Between flags
In the War Room.

He keeps returning,
This Technicolor despot,
This digital hegemon, emperor

Of naught but
Mournfully repeated history.
He sneers, he preens, he ravages,

He falls.
Old a story as we know.
Bedazzled, who bows?

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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 12:21 AM | Permalink

August 14, 2017

SportsMonday: The Kid Is In The Picture

I will go to my grave believing that Ryan Pace ridiculously overpaid to move up a spot and take Mitch Trubisky at the draft a few months ago. And to all the people who say "It won't matter if he turns into a star," well, get back to me after the Bears have an injury or two this year and are exposed as having no quality depth at virtually any position.

Oh and while we're here, they still don't have good enough starters at multiple positions in the defensive backfield, receiver, linebacker . . . you hear what I'm saying. The Bears overpaid because Pace got paranoid and they will pay a price for it, this year and beyond. And there is a great chance that the Bears' myriad weaknesses will impact the speed at which Trubisky can develop.

But hey, the kid looks like he can play!

After Trubisky's debut performance last week, a performance that gave a hope-starved fanbase a desperately needed boost, it is already clear the quarterback has skills. The accurate passes throw nwhile he was on the move, well, those will work no matter who is playing D.

While it is still too early to anoint Trubisky the team's starter, that doesn't mean he can't get at least some reps with the first-teamers during the next week. And if Trubisky outplays Mike Glennon again on Saturday in Arizona, he should get a shot at some time with the starters in the third preseason game.

What should be happening here is simple competition. You know, the kind that is taking place in every other Bears position group. You wouldn't think that would be a big controversy.

Give Trubisky and Glennon plenty of chances to show what they can do and start the guy who plays best. It worked for Seattle when they shocked the league and made Russell Wilson a rookie starter five years ago despite signing free agent Matt Flynn and it is the best way to go.

The most important thing that happened at practice Sunday is that Mark Sanchez (what the hell is he still doing around here?) apparently suffered a very convenient injury and didn't take any practice reps.

One thing I know we can all agree on is that Sanchez must not take any snaps in the next few weeks in practice or preseason games. Keep him around if you must as a veteran presence (he is a veteran losing presence but I guess he can be a security blanket), but that's enough.

A few finals words about the Bears big draft trade and then I promise to stop talking about it for a while: It wasn't a good one but at least it wasn't a total disaster like the one the Bulls made a few months later. That one was so bad, it makes the Trubisky trade look like genius even if the guy is a complete bust.

Always remember that that wasn't just the Jimmy Butler trade after all, it was the Jimmy Butler and a mid-first-round pick trade. John Paxson and Gar Forman couldn't get what they got in that trade - a player coming off a serious injury, the biggest rookie bust in the league last year and a tall jump shooter - for just a top-12-player (Butler) in the NBA. They had to toss in their first-round pick as well!

Like I said, nothing like the doings of an utterly lost franchise to put the machinations of another, at least only half-lost organization in a much better light.

Next Saturday's Bears-Cardinals game in Arizona has become Must-See Television. The Bulls found out last week they will barely get on national television at all next season. They will not play on Christmas Day for the first time in a half dozen years. And there is every reason to believe they won't be back as a team anyone in the larger NBA cares about for years.

The Bears have screwed up all sorts of stuff, but they have given their fans at least a glimmer of hope. In context, that passes for major progress.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:35 PM | Permalink

Windy City Blues

For the 7th year in a row, Chicago will mark Jewish Book Month with One Book | One Community, in which a single title is selected for discussions and activities across greater Chicago.

This year's selection is Windy City Blues by Chicago author Renée Rosen (White Collar Girl and What the Lady Wants). Set in 1950s Chicago, it follows the musical and social revolution through the eyes of a young Jewish woman working at the legendary Chess Records.

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Spearheaded by the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, this local initiative of the international Jewish Book Month kicks off with a reception on Sunday, November 19 at 2 p.m. at Spertus (610 S. Michigan Ave.). Until then, readers can visit spertus.edu/OneBook to sign up for program details, book and ticket giveaways, and a range of resources related to the book.

Windy City Blues features both fictional characters and real-life figures who were key to the rise of blues music in Chicago, from Leonard and Phil Chess of legendary Chess Records to Muddy Waters, Chuck Barry, and Etta James.

This fast-paced and thoroughly researched novel gives readers a front seat to key events of the Civil Rights movement, touching on topics that continue to resonate including immigration, discrimination, and the power of music to cross communities.

Windy City Blues - released earlier this year - is available in paperback, e-book and audio.

About Windy City Blues
In the middle of the 20th century, the music of the Mississippi Delta arrives in Chicago, drawing the attention of entrepreneurs like the Chess brothers. Their label, Chess Records, helps shape that music into the blues, the soundtrack for a transformative era in American history.

Leeba Groski is offered a job at Chess Records, after her passion for music and her talented piano playing captures the attention of her neighbor, Leonard Chess. What begins as a position answering phones and scheduling studio time becomes much more.

Leeba finds love with a black blues guitarist named Red Dupree. With their relationship unwelcome in segregated Chicago and shunned by Leeba's Orthodox Jewish family, Leeba and Red find themselves drawn into the Civil Rights movement. There they discover that, in times of struggle, music can bring people together.

About Jewish Book Month
Jewish Book Month is an annual event on the American Jewish calendar dedicated to the celebration of Jewish books. It is observed during the month preceding Hanukkah, which begins this year at sundown on Tuesday, December 12.

About Spertus Institute
The Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership offers dynamic learning opportunities rooted in Jewish wisdom and culture and is open to all. Graduate programs and workshops train future leaders and engage individuals in exploration of Jewish life. Public programs - including films, exhibits, speakers, seminars, workshops, and concerts - take place at the Institute's Michigan Avenue facility, in the Chicago suburbs, and online.

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See also:

"Her best."


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'The only thing wrong is the way the book is marketed.'

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:23 AM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

Re-enacting history.

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White Supremacy In The Age Of Trump
Never forget that this country has a long history of upper-class whites using racism to their advantage.

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North Korea vs. Trump
Pie & Brand.

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Windy City Blues
"Leeba finds love with a black blues guitarist named Red Dupree. With their relationship unwelcome in segregated Chicago and shunned by Leeba's Orthodox Jewish family, Leeba and Red find themselves drawn into the Civil Rights movement. There they discover that, in times of struggle, music can bring people together."

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The White Sox Report: South Side 'Stros
Model A.

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SportsMonday: The Kid Is In The Picture
Coach Coffman catches Mitch Fever.

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Is in pre-production. Last Week In Chicago Rock is behind.

-

BeachBook

Report: Americans Now Getting Their News While Peeking Out Between Fingers.

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Must-Read: Fools, Cowards Or Criminals.

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Another Massive Wells Fargo Fraud.

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A Letter To The Left On Getting Your Shit Together.

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Thousands Of Europeans Are Among Chicago's Undocumented.

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Dear White People And Politicians.

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Please Note Obama's Tone.

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Wherever He Goes, Jay Cutler Never Gives A Sucker An Even Break.

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Journey May Break Up Because Of Donald Trump.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Turn the beat around.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:55 AM | Permalink

South Side 'Stros

We love underdogs. Especially when they're right in our backyard on the South Side. Watching the White Sox, the American League's worst team, sweep the league's top ballclub, the Houston Astros, in three games last week was a welcome antidote for the losses that have been piling up in near-record fashion.

Houston invaded with a 71-40 record, while Rick Renteria's outfit crawled along at 41-68. Only the Phillies and Giants have performed worse than the Sox this season. Nevertheless, the Sox won all three games with a combination of timely hitting, improved defense, and strong starting pitching, a commodity lacking in availability this season.

On Tuesday, the Sox jumped on former Cy Young Award winner (2015) Dallas Keuchel for three first-inning runs, building a five-run lead after four innings en route to an 8-5 triumph. Miguel Gonzalez pitched eight innings of one-run ball on Wednesday in a 7-1 blowout, and Thursday already has been designated The Moncada Game as the rookie second baseman homered to tie the game at 2 in the ninth before his walkoff single won it in the 11th.

Add in a 6-3 victory over Kansas City on Friday, and you have a most unlikely four-game winning streak from a club that needed the previous 24 games to notch four wins. Talk about underdogs. May as well omit the prefix.

While Houston was in town, the comparison between their rebuilding process and the White Sox current situation was inevitable. The Sox are on a pace to lose 99 games this season. Houston endured greater hardship just a few years ago.

In the three seasons, 2011-13, the Astros lost a total of 324 games or an average of 108. In 2013 they dropped 111 contests, despite having current Astros Jose Altuve and pitchers Keuchel and Brad Peacock, who exited Thursday's game in the seventh inning with Houston ahead 2-1, on the roster.

Meanwhile, outfielder George Springer was percolating four years ago at Triple-A where he hit .321 with 37 home runs while 2012 first overall draft choice shortstop Carlos Correa - he missed last week's games while nursing torn ligaments in his thumb - was tearing up A-ball with a .320 batting average. Springer debuted the following season while Correa's first games actually were at Sox Park in early June of 2015. Correa registered his first major league hit and his first home run at The Cell in that three-game series which, incidentally, the White Sox also swept.

Marwin Gonzalez, who is having a breakout year this season with a .314 average and 20 homers, shuttled back and forth between the minors and the Astros in 2013. Now 28, Gonzalez can play just about anywhere in the infield or outfield, making him a valuable asset for the Astros.

Once the Astros began to turn things around - they finished 70-92 in 2014 and 86-76 the next season - they became buyers and traders rather than sellers. Players like Jake Marisnick, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Evan Gattis and Josh Reddick came over to Houston either through trades or free agency. Cuban Yuli Gurriel was signed at age 31, and he's become the regular first baseman, slashing .293/.321/.803 this season.

Apparently this is the way a successful rebuilding movement works, but it's doubtful if the Sox process will take as long or include the successive 100-defeat seasons that Houston racked up.

Sox general manager Rick Hahn is well along with the departure of his best players other than Jose Abreu. If you look as recently as Opening Day of this season, four of the starters - Melky Cabrera, Todd Frazier, Cody Asche and Jacob May - are not on the team, although the latter two remain with the organization at Triple-A Charlotte.

Opening Day starter Jose Quintana is gone, as are relievers Michael Ynoa, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Dan Jennings. Nate Jones and Zach Putnam are injured and out for the season, while Anthony Swarzak, who started the season at Charlotte before becoming a bullpen stalwart, now is pitching in Milwaukee.

While Correa has more than lived up to his billing, there have been misses for Houston draft picks. They selected pitcher Mark Appel with the first choice in 2013 and he's never thrown a pitch in the majors. The Astros traded him to Philadelphia prior to the 2016 season.

Contrast that to the White Sox debut Friday night of 23-year-old Reynaldo Lopez, a member of the Sox courtesy of the Adam Eaton swap with the Nationals. Lopez pitched six innings, allowing four hits while walking three and striking out six. Mike Moustakas reached him for two solo home runs as Lopez displayed a fastball in the upper 90s along with a changeup and slider that kept hitters off balance.

Young pitchers who throw as hard as Lopez sometimes have a tendency to try to overpower the hitters, but Lopez displayed savvy and intelligence as he mixed up his offerings. Sure, it's just one game, but the buzz among the 18,137 in attendance was palpable. I mean, Lopez was taking the place of Mike Pelfrey. That in itself was cause for elation.

Friday also marked the return of Melky Cabrera, who acknowledged the standing ovation with his endearing smile when he came to bat in the top of the first. The Sox showed the predictable video tribute to Cabrera in the middle of the inning, adding to the embraceable warm feelings of the evening.

Cabrera accounted for the conclusion of the modest White Sox winning period on Saturday night by taking a 3-2 Aaron Bummer pitch with a runner on and depositing it into the second row of the left centerfield bleachers. His third homer as a Royal gave the visitors a 5-4 victory.

And Sunday marked a return to the slipshod play that has characterized much of the season for the South Siders. A couple of errors and another ineffectual start by Derek Holland (two innings, seven runs, seven hits, three walks) put the Royals up 8-0 after three innings. From that point the Sox played to a 6-6 tie. Big deal. They lost 14-6.

Last week's streak wasn't the season's best for the Sox, who won six straight back in April. Even those Astros of the 111 losses won six in a row at one point. The 'Stros were 51-96 near the close of the 2013 season when disaster of sorts struck. They lost their last 15 in a row.

Even as the White Sox of 2017 continue to develop their young talent, going into a 15-game tailspin any time the next seven weeks seems unlikely. Or is it?

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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 12:58 AM | Permalink

SHOWDOWN: North Korea vs Donald Trump

There is nothing funny about North Korea.

Well, actually there is . . .


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Trumpageddon: Can It Happen?

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Previously in Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter!:

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Explains The Economy.

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

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

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

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

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Merry Fucking Christmas.

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

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Sexy Skype.

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

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

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

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

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

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Charter Wankers International.

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

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

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Snapchatting The Environment.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Election Fever!

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

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

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

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

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

* Pie's Brexit.

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

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

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! The Pie Olympics.

* Occupy Pie.

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

* Progressive Pie.

* The BBC's Bake-Off Bollocks.

* Pie Commits A Hate Crime.

* Pie Interviews A Teenage Conservative.

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

* President Trump: How & Why.

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

* Happy Christmas From Jonathan Pie.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! 2016 In Review.

* Inauguration Reporting.

* New Year: New Pie?

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

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

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Strong And Unstable.

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

* Socialism Strikes Back!

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Election Carnage.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Papering Over Poverty.

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

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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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Previously in The Trews, like the news if the news were true:

* What Should We Think About CIA Torture?

* CIA Torture: Guantanamo Bay Prisoner Lifts Lid.

* Coca-Cola's Christmas Commercial.

* The Sainsbury Christmas Ad.

* Who Is Our Real Common Enemy?

* Budweiser's Super Bowl Commercial.

* About Those Super Bowl Ads.

* Government Spying: Who's The Biggest Threat To Your Security?

* Ferguson's Minstrels.

* If Politics Is Dead, Is The Election Its Funeral?

* Is Rupert Murdoch More Powerful Than Your Vote?

* What Does It Mean To Support The Troops?

* Am I Mad Enough To Crash A Plane Into A Mountain?

* The Trews' Final Episode: On Cyclical, Scripted Journalism.

Note: Not so final; The Trews has been rebooted!

* Obama's Kinder, Gentler Machine Gun Hand.

* The Trews About Manning, McCain & O'Reilly.

* The Trews: How Did Trump's Muslim Ban Happen?

* The Trews: Cozy Propaganda.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:54 AM | Permalink

White Supremacy In The Age Of Trump

Since before the election, poor white voters largely have been blamed for the rise of Donald Trump. Although their complicity in his election is clear and well established, they're continually targeted as if their actions are the primary reason Trump won. But in fact, higher-earning, college-educated whites supported him at even greater rates.

It's quite easy to brand the working class as the most rabidly xenophobic and racist group of whites. Whether they're brandishing Confederate flags or vociferously vowing to "Make America Great Again," their beliefs about white supremacy are completely exposed for the world to witness. It's much harder to see how those atop the economic pyramid not only greatly benefit from white supremacy but actually use racism to their advantage - generally from behind the scenes.

In short, when we hold the working class responsible for white supremacy, other whites are absolved of racial wrongdoing. By allowing the spread of civic ignorance, by propagating historical lies and political untruths, and by engendering an insidious form of racism, upper class whites are undoubtedly just as culpable - if not more so - than working class whites in the quest to maintain white supremacy.

Certainly, there is no apology for the racism of working-class whites, nor any excuse; but we should seek to understand the ways in which white supremacy and power are completely intertwined. Throughout American history, the economic elite have used vile forms of racism to perpetuate the current hierarchy - politically, socially and economically. White supremacy is most commonly conceptualized as a way for lower-class whites to feel socially superior to people from other ethnic backgrounds. More important, though, white supremacy is a tried-and-tested means for upper class whites to grow their wealth and power.

Whether pitting laborers of different races against each other, stoking racial fears through a sensationalistic and profit-driven media or politically scapegoating entire nationalities, America's white elite have successfully modernized age-old strategies of using racism to prevent the formation of a broad coalition of people along class lines.

To be sure, the concept of white privilege must seem far-fetched to working-class whites who come from generations of cyclical poverty. They constantly are told that African Americans are the primary recipients of welfare and social benefits, and that policies like Affirmative Action are greatly detrimental to all whites. By controlling key aspects of the economy - especially education, politics and the media - the white elite often very easily manipulate less affluent whites.

First, by governing and managing the education system in this country, the upper classes remain in control of the equality of opportunity. While much of America is plagued by an underfunded, failing public school system that gets exponentially worse the deeper the area's poverty, the affluent live in areas with higher property taxes, and thus, better local school systems. Despite this disparity, the rich also are always able to send their children to private (and increasingly, "charter") schools, escaping the bleak educational realities that most Americans are left to suffer.

As the abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher wrote about the lack of public education in the slave South, "[I]gnorance is an institution. They legislate for ignorance the same way we legislate for schoolhouses." Today, as Republicans continue slashing education funding at the federal, state and local levels, they legislate for ignorance. They fear statistics and facts, realizing what may follow the political enlightenment of the lower classes. "Knowledge is not only power," Beecher aptly concluded, "but powder, also, liable to blow false institutions to atoms."

Second, elite authority over the educational system also means regulation over the teaching of subjects like history, government and civics. An overwhelming majority of Americans have shockingly little understanding of our own past and our own government, often leading to lower-class political apathy.

Third, a small number of extremely wealthy white men control and operate much of the American media. With just a handful of corporations owning the majority of our country's media, it is worth remembering that news is essentially a product to be sold, a commodity. Trump himself has created a political firestorm by branding certain news outlets as "fake news," but the media monopoly obviously presents valid concerns about fair and balanced reporting. Each of the few very powerful, rich men have their own reasons for deciding what qualifies as "news."

Finally, business owners and corporate leaders have historically sought to keep workers segregated, either physically or by job. Since antebellum times, masters attempted to engender racism between poor white laborers and enslaved blacks, trying to keep each side distrustful of the other. By perpetuating and encouraging a vile form of racism, they attempted to establish psychological segregation, ultimately thwarting the prospect of an interracial coalition. Today, elites use white supremacy as a powerful tool in preventing unionism - as just witnessed with the failure of the United Auto Workers election at a Nissan factory in Mississippi.

Thus, even though working-class whites certainly support Trump and his policies, it is important to remember why. Indeed, poorer whites may be the ones branded as hardened white supremacists, but let's not forget who benefits the most from racism: the white economic elite.

"You are kept apart that you may be separately fleeced of your earnings," the famous populist leader Tom Watson once told a gathering of white and black laborers. "You are made to hate each other because upon that hatred is rested the keystone of the arch of financial despotism which enslaves you both." With a few short breaths, Watson had laid bare the most important reason why white supremacy has always thrived in this country, especially during times of severe economic inequality.

Many vestiges of the past - including a long history of upper-class whites using racism to their advantage - have re-emerged in Trump's America. As our nation impetuously tumbles toward a very uncertain future, we must take heed that the racist rhetoric and divisive political issues have only just begun. The millionaires and billionaires of this country literally have a fortune to protect, and white supremacy has always helped assure their place at the apex of society. As Watson rightfully crowed to his interracial crowd, "You are deceived and blinded that you may not see how this race antagonism perpetuates a monetary system which beggars both."

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Keri Leigh Merritt is the author of Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South. This post first appeared on BillMoyers.com.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:41 AM | Permalink

Black Food

"Through interviewing Chicago residents and black professionals within the food industry, FSM News Reporter Yasmeen Scott explores the history of black food and how it's celebrated within the black community of Chicago."


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See also: Black Chicago Eats/Taste Of Black Chicago.

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Previously in Free Spirit Media:
* Teen Lives Matter.

* Free Spirit Media On The Road.

* Chicago Public Schools: Closed.

* Chicago Producers On The Rise.

* Kay Kay & Von Von.

* Free Spirit Local TV News.

* Senioritis.

* Free Spirit Local TV News: Gangs, Oscars & Money.

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See also:
* Free Spirit Media's YouTube channel.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:01 AM | Permalink

August 12, 2017

The Weekend Desk Report

For completists, archivists and historians, there was no column on Friday.

Around the region.

Sears. #midwest #mall #street #streetphotography

A post shared by @gboozell on

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Beachwood Photo Booth: The Classy Oogle Queen
Words of the prophets.

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Beachwood Sports Radio: Mitch Madness!
Plus: Cubs' Mojo Missing; South Side Tank Job; and Schweinsteiger!

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Is in production.

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Weekend TweetWood

As it was during the campaign. Every day. Did some people not notice?

*

*

Good, because CPS is assuming that money in its budget.

*

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The Weekend Desk Tronc Line: All that jazz.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:16 PM | Permalink

August 11, 2017

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #165: Cubs' Mojo Missing, South Side Tank Job & Mitch Madness!

No more Maddon magic.

Plus: Cardiac Cutler & Schweinsteiger!


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SHOW NOTES

* 165.

:32: Cubs' Mojo Missing.

* SportsMonday: Cubs Back - To Shaky.

* Contreras Injury Might Not Be Season-Ending.

* Imrem: Signs Not Looking Good For Cubs.

* Tommy Time!

* Brian Duensing: The Unsung Hero Of The Cubs' Bullpen.

28:03: South Side Tank Machine.

* Reynaldo Lopez.

* Yoan Moncada.

* Carlos Rodon.

30:21: Mitch Madness!

* USA Today: Mitchell Trubisky Wows, Mike Glennon Flounders In Bears Preseason Debut.

* Mike Glennon, everybody.

* Settle down, Beavis.

* Floyd Flashes.

* Cutting Kyle Fuller.

* Cardiac Cutler.

* The real meaning: Bears should've hired Gase as head coach.

* Colin Kaepernick still unemployed.

54:09: Schweinsteiger!

* Four beautiful goals.

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STOPPAGE: 1:22

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:36 PM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Bella Morte at Cobra Lounge on Thursday night.


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2. Centavrvs at Millennium Park on Monday night.

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3. Youssou N'Dour at Millennium Park on Thursday night.

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4. Aurelio Voltaire at Cobra Lounge on Thursday night.

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5. Cheap Trick on Northerly Island on Wednesday night.

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Catching up with . . .

Gold Paint Boy at Pinky Swear on August 1.

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Parent at the Hideout on August 3.

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Tony Bennett at Ravinia on August 4.

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Richard Album at Pinky Swear on August 1.

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Cyndi Lauper at the Tinley Park shed on August 5.

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Rod Stewart at the Tinley Park shed on August 5.

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A+E at Pinky Swear on August 1.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:58 PM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: The Classy Oogle Queen

Words of the prophets.

bathroomgrafpb.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:33 PM | Permalink

August 10, 2017

The [Thursday] Papers

For completists, there was no column on Wednesday. Sorry, distractions this week.

"Chicago will hire 20 more food inspectors and three more supervisors to bolster a restaurant inspection team so 'seriously understaffed,' it has undermined public trust and jeopardized state funding, Inspector General Joe Ferguson said Wednesday.

"After auditing 2015 inspections, Ferguson concluded last fall that the city's Department of Public Health Department was falling so far short of state mandates, it would need to hire 56 additional food inspectors to catch up."

So, um, won't that still leave Chicago 36 inspectors short?

Will there be 36 restaurants we shouldn't go to?

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"On Wednesday, Ferguson released a 'follow-up inquiry' that should reassure skittish foodies in a city just voted the nation's best restaurant city by Bon Appetit."

Um, I'm kind of left more skittish.

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Also, why is the inspector general announcing this instead of City Hall?

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From last November:

"Less than 44 percent of Chicago restaurants and 24.8 percent of bars are being inspected as often as state law requires - undermining public trust and jeopardizing state funding - because the city's Department of Public Health is 'seriously understaffed,' Inspector General Joe Ferguson has concluded."

So more than half of the city's restaurants have been going uninspected?

Assignment Desk: use data to determine which restaurants those are!

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Field Notes
Meanwhile . . .

Food sold at Wrigley Field rated eighth safest among 28 baseball stadiums reviewed in a Sports Illustrated study.

SI analyzed health department inspection records and other data to determine which ballparks have the safest concessions.

Wrigley's most recent inspections turned up 36 total violations and eight critical violations, which pose the highest safety risk to fans.

SI noted: "The critical issues involved either foods at improper temperatures . . . or improper rodent- and insect-proofing measures on kitchen doors. No rodent activity was observed. Inspectors did ultimately dispose of 25 pounds of food."

The White Sox's Guaranteed Rate Field, ranked 18th, had 28 critical violations, according to Sports Illustrated's findings.

"Dozens of mice droppings in multiple locations? Flies under prep tables? The mid-June inspection at Guaranteed Rate Field revealed a plethora of violations - many critical - in Chicago."

I'm sure there's a rebuilding joke in there somewhere, but I'm also sure it's not really a very funny one.

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Also, I would've led with the Guaranteed Rat - I mean Rate - findings.

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Here's the Sun-Times' version of the story.

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Good Luck, Dayton
"Parts of Main Street in downtown Dayton may start to look more like they belong in downtown Chicago following a series of sidewalk and streetscape upgrades," the Dayton Daily News hallucinates.

"The city of Dayton will be improving the sidewalk along Main Street between Fourth and Fifth streets, as well as a perpendicular stretch of Fourth Street, bordering Dave Hall Plaza.

"The plan is to remake Main Street to be more like Chicago's famous section of North Michigan Avenue, called the 'Magnificent Mile.'"

Dayton: City of Dreams.

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As long as I'm on the Dayton Daily News site . . .

"Dayton Education Association members will vote on a tentative agreement with Dayton Public Schools today following 18 hours of talks that ended early Thursday."

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Our Brand
"When you think of gun violence, you think of black boys in Chicago."

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BeachBook

Anne Frank Center Lists 'Alarming Parallels' Between Trump And Hitler's Germany.

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Tomasulo's Classic On The Olympics.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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No photos allowed. God forbid other teams learn all the Bears' awesome secret plays.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Shine on.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:30 AM | Permalink

August 8, 2017

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Capitalist Kids at Quenchers on Sunday night.


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2. The Pony's at the Hard Rock Cafe on Saturday night.

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3. The Districts at the Vic for a Lollapalooza preshow on Thursday night.

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4. Temples at Lincoln Hall for a Lollapalooza preshow on Wednesday night.

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5. Tegan and Sara at Lollapalooza on Friday.

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6. alt-J at Lollapalooza on Saturday night.

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7. Noname at Lollapaooza on Sunday.

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8. Ryan Adams at the Vic for a Lollapalooza preshow on Thursday night.

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9. Alphaville at the Chicago Theatre on Sunday night.

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10. George Ezra at Lollapalooza on Thursday.

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11. Machine Gun Kelly at Lollapalooza on Sunday.

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12. Royal Blood at Lincoln Hall for a Lollapalooza aftershow on Friday night.

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13. Live at the Park West for a Lollapalooza aftershow on Friday night.

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14. Foo Fighters at the Metro for a Lollapalooza aftershow on Friday night.

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15. Blossoms at the Park West for a Lollapalooza preshow on Wednesday night.

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16. Lorde at Lollapalooza on Thursday night.

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17. Foster The People at Lollapalooza on Friday night.

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18. Three Dog Night at the Rialto in Joliet on Friday night.

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19. Mutlu at SPACE in Evanston on Wednesday night.

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20. Mac Demarco at Lollapalooza on Saturday night.

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21. Justice at Lollapalooza on Sunday night.

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22. Blink-182 at Lollapalooza on Friday night.

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Catching up with . . .

Jeff The Brotherhood at Beat Kitchen on July 29.

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Art of Anarchy at the Wire in Berwyn on July 20.

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Sleep In. at Township on July 26.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:36 PM | Permalink

Illinois Photographer's Work Is Now Forever

Hi,

I'm with the Postal Service and wanted to give you a heads up that Illinois photographer Justin Fowler beat the odds by having his photo appear on a Forever stamp.

The Postal Service receives about 40,000 suggestions for stamp ideas each year, but only about 20 to 25 topics make the cut.

To have your work immortalized on a stamp is quite rare. In this case it's Fowler's photo of a Monarch and a goldenrod. Please feel free to reach out to Justin. He's a great interview.

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Here's the link to the news release.

Here's his background in his own words.

It is truly an honor to have an image on a USPS stamp that is also raising the public's awareness of a topic such as the importance of pollinators.

I grew up in Columbia, Ky. and studied photojournalism/political science at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Ky. Throughout my studies there I had internships at the Lexington Herald Leader in Lexington, Ky., The St. Louis Post-Dispatch in St. Louis, Mo., The Naples Daily News in Naples, Fla., and the State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., the last of which is where I have been a photojournalist at for the past eleven years thanks to my photo editor, Rich Saal, offering me a position at the end of that internship in 2005. My work has been recognized by College Photographer of the Year, Illinois Press Photographers Association and the National Press Photographers Association. I was also was named Illinois Sports Photographer of the Year for 2010.

As far as how the images came to be is just like any other day as a photojournalist. My job involves daily assignments that run the gamut of subjects from news and politics to sports and sometimes a butterfly assignment. The migration of the population of monarch butterflies that makes the two-way journey from the northern U.S. and Canada to Mexico makes it's way through Central Illinois. They travel by day and congregate in areas to roost at night.

In September of 2015 a local property owner in Sangamon County contacted my photo editor, Rich Saal, to let us now that the monarchs had roosted in a piece of former farmland that they had converted back to a natural prairie habitat. According to the owner there were thousands of the butterflies on the property so I was the lucky photographer that got the assignment to go and see if it would make a picture for the paper.

The owners were gracious enough to lead me to the piece of property that was tree-lined from what used to be an old railroad line on a late afternoon that September. Beyond the trees was an area that looks like the illustrations you see of what Illinois prairie used to look like before much of it was converted to farmland.

When we first walked out into the area I was a bit worried because I didn't see any of the monarchs the owners were referring to, but once we made our way around the perimeter along the tree line, you just needed to pause and look up to see them congregated in packs with very little movement. It was then that pockets of orange among the green leaves of the trees appeared as the groups would flap their wings in unison as one left or returned to the group. It was a rather magical thing to see.

The longer I stayed the more active they seemed to become with one or two leaving the groups at a time to venture out to the various plants to feed. What I had hoped to be the "golden hour" of light that afternoon didn't really work out as some clouds moved in and muted the sunset, but the light was even and I spent about an hour or so chasing the monarchs.

You can see more of the images from that assignment here.

How the image came to be on a stamp . . . I got a phone call on my personal cell phone from a really nice lady who was asking me about the photographs of the butterflies and was interested in the rights to the images.

As a staff photographer for the State Journal-Register I don't personally own the rights to the images I take; the company owns the copyright. I get requests for images for various purposes often and I'm usually pretty quick to give them the proper person to contact and I don't spend too much time with it. After I had given the information she needed, she stopped to ask me, "Well don't you want to know what the images are for?"

It was then she told me that they were interested in using them on a stamp. I must say it was pretty neat to hear that an image I took was going to appear on a USPS stamp. I still get excited to see my photographs on the front page of the Journal-Register; that has never gotten old. But to know my photograph is on a stamp is truly a unique moment in my career.

As far as the camera info:

The main background image of the page of stamps - Canon 1DX w/ 70-200mm IS II F2.8 handheld at 200mm, shot at ISO 3200, 1/1000 sec at f2.8

The image that is on the stamp - Canon 1DX w/ 70-200mm IS II F2.8 handheld at 200mm, shot at ISO 2500, 1/1600 sec at f2.8

It's all natural light, just muted sunset. I may have lost the golden hour light due to clouds moving in, but It also worked out in my favor that the edge of the tree line where the butterflies were congregated was still getting light. The tree line behind them however was dark which allowed for clean backgrounds as the exposure of the tree line was a few stops under that of the butterflies.

My work can be found at the State Journal-Register and on Instagram at justinlfowler.

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INSTRUCTIONS FOR REPRODUCING STAMP IMAGES: The stamp design must be reproduced in its entirety, including denomination and perforations. If the stamp design is reproduced within 75-150% of stamp size, a line must be placed through the denomination to 'cancel' the reproduction and prevent its use as actual postage. The appropriate USPS trademark and copyright notices must be included: ©2017 USPS.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:47 AM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

For completists, there was no column on Monday. And there will barely be one today!

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Capitalist Kids, The Pony's, The Districts, alt-J, Temples, Tegan & Sara, Noname, Ryan Adams, Alphaville, George Ezra, Machine Gun Kelly, Royal Blood, Live, Foo Fighters, Blossoms, Lorde, Foster The People, Three Dog Night, Mutlu, Mac Demarco, Justice, Blink-182, Jeff The Brotherhood, Art of Anarchy, and Sleep In.

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America Has Never Had A Merit-Based System For College Admissions
We've never admitted students strictly based on test scores. But we have on race and gender.

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The White Sox Report: Exit Velocity
Kids really do have it tough these days.

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SportsMonday: Cubs Back - To Shaky
So Joe Maddon busts out the motorcycle vests, ugh.

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Chicagoetry: Bike On A Tightrope
I can indulge in false bravery!

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Illinois Photographer's Work Now Forever
"I must say it was pretty neat to hear that an image I took was going to appear on a USPS stamp."

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BeachBook

Jim Plunkett's Painful Journey: "My life sucks."

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Wealthy Teen Nearly Experiences Consequences.

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Here We Downsize Again.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Leaky.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:54 AM | Permalink

America Has Never Had A Merit-Based System For College Admissions

New Orleans native Elizabeth Thomas will attend Georgetown University this fall as a legacy student - of sorts.

Georgetown granted Thomas preferential admission because of her family's historic connection to the university.

Almost 200 years earlier, the college's president sold Thomas's great-great grandparents Sam Harris and Betsy Ware Harris, along with 62 other slaves, to help pay off crippling debts.

As part of a new program to make amends for its historical reliance on slavery, Georgetown now extends preferential admission to the descendants of the 272 individuals it sold over time, acknowledging the burdens caused by slavery, segregation and discrimination.

Elizabeth Thomas told the New Orleans Times-Picayune, "I'm definitely grateful for the preferential status. It's not something they had to do, but the fact that they did it is amazing."

But from a moral, ethical and financial perspective, it's hard to argue that Georgetown shouldn't offer preferential admissions or some sort of affirmative action program for descendants of the enslaved.

To paraphrase the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, affirmative action is defined as any policy or practice that permits the consideration of race, national origin, sex or disability, along with other criteria in order to provide opportunities to individuals who have been historically denied. Just as blacks, women and other ethnic minorities couldn't earn a seat at many universities.

The historic denial of education to African Americans, like other manifestations of racism, didn't magically end when slavery was officially abolished, and black people today still carry the financial, social and political burden of the past.

But while black students were being denied admittance to their choice of college, white people were being ushered in on the basis of privilege, not necessarily fairness or merit. This is what makes the U.S. Justice Department's new duplicitous plan to redirect money from its civil rights division to fund efforts to protect white people from being discriminated against absurd.

America has never had a merit-based system for college attendance. We've never admitted students strictly based on test scores, but we have on race and gender.

According to internal correspondence to the civil rights division obtained by the New York Times, the Justice Department seeks lawyers for "investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions."

The administration is simply trying to change, through the executive branch of government, what the courts and most of society have already decided is a proper way to level the racial playing field.

In the latest of a string of U.S. Supreme Court decisions on affirmative action, the ruling on June 23, 2016 in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin narrowly "reaffirmed the compelling governmental interest in promoting student-body diversity in higher education" and upheld its constitutionality, according to the American Educational Research Association.

But colleges aren't the only institutions to support affirmative action. The U.S. military filed an amicus (or "friend of the court") brief in the Supreme Court case in support of diversity, as did 57 corporations. The court, in fact, received a raft of such briefs, a total of 73.

What's ironic is that Abigail Fisher, for whom the case is named, is a white woman, and white women have actually been the greatest beneficiaries of affirmative action policies.

After affirmative action was formalized in the private sector, one study found white women are disproportionately represented among New York business owners; another in California that they have more managerial jobs in the private sector than African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans; and a third that women as a whole were getting a majority of graduate and post-graduate degrees in 2009.

Just so we're clear: Affirmative action isn't just for black people. In fact, it works very well for white people, white women chief among them.

An attack on affirmative action only peddles the false belief that white achievement is being displaced by black and brown mediocrity. As New Yorker columnist Jelani Cobb wrote, "The dominant theme in the history of American populism, from the days of Tom Watson through those of George Wallace, is that resentful whites understand their economic status not in absolute terms but relative to the blacks whom they perceive as the true barometer of their standing."

The illogical assault on affirmative action only makes sense in the mind of someone who desperately wants black and brown people to know their place. Actually, psychological insecurity stemming from the competition that a diverse field poses is a more substantive reason for white underachievement.

But racism always ends up cutting the nose off an already spiteful face. We weaken our society when we don't protect the rights of those who've really been discriminated against. More importantly, we fall far short of authentic democratic ideals and values.

We all have a stake in whether our institutions become more inclusive. After all, a rising tide lifts all boats. Policies of exclusion keep America from creating more opportunities for everyone. Limiting opportunities for advancement in college worsens individuals' abilities to seek certain kinds of jobs, and diminishes community prosperity. Going after programs that seek to include historically disenfranchised people is not a solution - it's injustice.

This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education.

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Previously by Andre Perry:
* Black And Brown Kids Don't Need To Learn 'Grit,' They Need Schools To Stop Being Racist.

* Why Black Lives Matter Should Take On Charter Schools.

* Don't Be Surprised If Colin Kaepernick Prompts More Schoolchildren To Sit For The Pledge Of Allegiance.

* "Wraparound" Services Are Not The Answer.

* Youth Aren't Props.

* NOLA's Secret Schools.

* Poor Whites Just Realized They Need Education Equity As Much As Black Folk.

* Letting Our Boys Onto The Football Field Is A Losing Play.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:13 AM | Permalink

August 7, 2017

SportsMonday: The Cubs Are Back - To Shaky

Willson Contreras is good enough to play a big role in the Cubs doing some damage in the 2017 playoffs. The rest of the team - not so much.

Sunday's 9-4 loss to the Nationals, the one that gave the squad from the District a 2-1 series win and wrapped up the Cubs' 2-4 failure of a homestand, showed again that Contreras can raise his game and do big things against big-time opponents. He bashed two more home runs on Sunday, giving him 10 since the All-Star break (and 21 overall).

It would be great if at least one teammate would start to significantly raise his game as well.

If that doesn't happen, the Cubs won't do anything in the playoffs. Hell, they'll be hard-pressed to make the postseason, what with the Brewers refusing to give up after their rough series the weekend before and still trailing in the Central by only a half-game going into this week.

The Brewers are even starting to make the battle for the wild cards interesting. After Sunday's action they were five games out of the second wild card spot. Perhaps the Diamondbacks and the Rockies won't be able to keep their monopoly over those playoff spots after all.

Um, I'm sorry, did I just hear that JAY CUTLER SIGNED WITH THE DOLPHINS! I'm not going to write about that this week but when the Bears lose their first five, six, seven games in a row, Jay's games with Miami will be one of the many delightful options for NFL entertainment for the rest of the season.

OK, so I actually will probably try to make watching Dolphins games a priority from the moment he steps on the field for them.

This will be great stuff - what with many locals still of the mind that Cutler could have been great in Chicago if he'd just had enough support. My guess is he won't excel for the Dolphins but I've been wrong before, and wrong before that. For one thing, I was sure that Dusty Baker's insistence on trotting out ridiculous lineup after ridiculous lineup over the weekend with none of his four-man Murderer's Row in the first two spots would come back to haunt him. But the Cubs failed to take advantage.

Of course the Nationals lineup would have more success with, say, Daniel Murphy in the leadoff spot and Anthony Rendon batting No. 2 followed by Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman. That would mean more at-bats for the his team's most dangerous hitters. But Dusty refuses to think that way. On Saturday he had guys in the first and second spots hitting .260 and .242 going in and the ninth inning was a perfect illustration of what we are talking about.

The batting order turned over with the Cubs clinging to a three-run lead and here came Wilmer Difoe and Brian Goodwin to theplate instead of Murphy and Rendon. The rally stalled. Murphy and Rendon were buried in the fifth and sixth spots again on Sunday but Carl Edwards gave the game away in the eighth.

And here we are back in Cubsville, where none of the regulars other than journeyman Jon Jay has a chance to hit .300 this year. Heck, no one other than Contreras is over .280, and while of course OBP is more important than batting average, those numbers aren't that impressive either. For one thing, neither Kris Bryant nor Anthony Rizzo seems capable of pushing his on-base plus slugging into the .950-plus neighborhood inhabited by all four of the Nationals' studs.

And oh by the way, did anyone other than Joe Maddon think it was a good idea for the Cubs to bust out matching leather vests and have a dim-witted Easy Rider road trip heading out of Wrigley after a highly disappointing Sunday? I didn't think so.

The good news is, Maddon said Sunday he hasn't spent as much time thinking about these sorts of hijinks this season, what with his having to presumably focus on the team not playing very well until the two weeks after the All-Star break. Now another week has passed and the Cubs are still in shaky territory.

Let's hope they can find their way again this week on the West Coast.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:33 AM | Permalink

Exit Velocity

Kids really do have it tough these days. Much tougher than we had it.

All we had to do was memorize batting averages, RBIs, home runs, pitching won-loss records and ERAs. If anyone wanted to know what Nellie Fox was hitting, we could immediately answer. Was Maris going to break Ruth's record? We had the up-to-the-minute information. Was it possible that Denny McLain could win 30 games? We were the guys to ask.

The kids I hung out with, for the most part, struggled with the Periodic Table, but we sure knew how close Ted Williams was to .400.

Pity the youngsters of today. They are deluged with Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP), slash lines, Rbat (runs batting), Rfield (runs from fielding), and WHIP. We thought WAR meant the Russians were going to nuke us. Kids today ponder the real meaning of WAR: wins above replacement.

Baseball has always been a statistical smorgasbord, but the sabermetricians have gone slightly nuts.

Consider this year's All-Star game played in Miami a few weeks ago, won by the American League 2-1. The game reflected the character of Major League Baseball today in the sense that two of the game's three runs came via home runs, the second a game-winner off the bat of Robinson Cano in the top of the 10th. Keeping with a current theme, hard-throwing pitchers struck out 23 batters.

MLB.com described Cano's blast: "Connecting on a 1-1 curveball, Cano's drive was projected by Statcast at 395 feet with an exit velocity of 105.6." Not where it landed or whether it was a line drive or towering fly ball. Everything is codified, leaving nothing to the imagination.

The Statcast technology, not surprisingly, was created at MIT using a system of Doppler radar and cameras. However, every time exit velocity or pitch speed is revealed during a televised game, we're informed that Statcast comes to us via AWS which - also no surprise - stands for Amazon Web Services.

I like Amazon. I order stuff from them. I get it the next day. In fact, according to Business Insider, Amazon accounted for 43 percent of e-commerce in 2016, and that number is rising daily. However, the way this behemoth has infiltrated baseball to disseminate information about home runs and fastballs is a bit unsettling. I'd feel better if it was a 400-pound guy sitting on his bed. Why not let someone else have a chance other than Amazon?

In addition, exit velocity is vastly overrated. A hard liner caught by the third baseman who moves not an inch is hit just as hard - maybe harder - than a line drive that ends up in the bleachers. It helps to hit the ball hard, regardless of the result.

Yankee rookie Aaron Judge has accounted for the four hardest hit balls of the season. Two were homers, the others were a single and a double. Judge also won the Home Run Derby the night before the All-Star Game.

The kid has amazing power, and overall he's having an outstanding year, one which will result in him being named Rookie of the Year. His 35 home runs are second to the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton, who has 36. However, 30 of Judge's homers came before the All-Star Game. Since winning the home run contest, Judge is hitting .182, dropping his average from .326 to .299. You also don't hear much about his 144 strikeouts, which rank third in MLB. But you sure hear about his eye-popping exit velocity.

Then consider Houston second baseman Jose Altuve, who will lead his Astros in a three-game series against the White Sox beginning Tuesday night on the South Side. He's also leading MLB in a few categories, like hits (154) and batting average (.364). He's fourth in doubles with 33, and his .424 on-base percentage is the same as Judge's. (It's a credit to Judge that he is a discerning hitter; he's second in drawing bases on balls with 79.)

Altuve just had one of the most offensively productive months in memory during July. He hit .485 with 48 hits in 99 at-bats. He reached base at a .523 clip, and his OPS was 1.251.

Sure, the little guy - he's 5-foot-6, 165 pounds - only hit four home runs, and, get this, not one of the balls he's hit this entire season has registered in the top 50 in exit velocity. When Judge was slugging monstrous shots prior to the All-Star Game, the distance and exit velocities of his home runs was national news. But singles and doubles, getting on base, and making contact aren't as tantalizing, image-producing, or as attractive as the big boys launching baseballs far into the night. Amazon can bring those to fans' attention, but who measures a bloop hit down the right field line in the late innings of a close game that sends a runner home from second?

In addition to heretofore statistics like exit velocity that weren't documented in the past, consider BABIP. Similar to their on-base percentages, Altuve is hitting .391 on balls in play while Judge's average is .390. Of course, the difference is that Altuve puts many more balls in play since he has struck out just 57 times this season.

In looking at the White Sox' current six-game losing streak, the boys simply aren't putting enough balls in play. In the six games, they struck out 65 times - or about 40 percent of their at-bats. Of course, this takes a whole lot of pressure off the opponents' defense, which needs to handle about 16 chances per game. A couple of pickoffs and a caught stealing eliminated three baserunners during their four-game sweep in Boston. A team like the White Sox, who have lost 23 of 27 games since July 4, can't afford to lose any baserunners.

They also can ill afford to lose any more players in addition to people like Melky Cabrera, who was traded along with his .295 batting average to the Royals a week ago. Matt Davidson hasn't played since last Tuesday after being hit on the wrist by a pitch against the Blue Jays, and Avi Garcia continues to nurse a sore thumb. Garcia, whose last game was July 25, took batting practice in Boston but remains on the disabled list.

The brightest news of the week was the promotion of Nick Delmonico from Charlotte to take Cabrera's place in left field, a position not all that familiar to someone who played primarily third base during six seasons in the minors. Delmonico led the team in hitting last week, going 8-for-23 with a homer and five RBI.

MLB.com doesn't list Delmonico, 25, among the Sox's top 30 prospects. Jose Altuve, who at 27 is in his seventh big league season, was ranked No. 28 among Astro prospects after the 2010 season. Just saying.

The big news this week appears to be the impending arrival of right-handed pitcher Reynaldo Lopez, rumored to be summoned from Charlotte to face Cabrera and the Royals on Friday night. Over 121 innings this season, Lopez, 23, easily has been the most effective pitcher for the Sox's top farm club.

Assuming that Lopez becomes a member of the Sox the final two months of the season, one of the current starters will experience his own exit velocity, one which won't be measured by Statcast.

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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 7:41 AM | Permalink

Chicagoetry: Bike On A Tightrope

Bike on a Tightrope

Mid-summer sun almost directly
overhead makes a shadow
of telephone lines, like

a black tightrope,
right down the center
of a neighborhood alley.

Like a prism, perspective
tapering slightly upward,
this tunnel of blue-white light,

this circus of air,

welcomes the leisurely biker:
more kids, less cars, privileged
as though backstage

at an open air theater.
The alley is straight
but not flat, concave,

angling up and out from center
to channel rainwater, white concrete
patched with grey asphalt,

redolent of silver dust.

I concentrate on keeping the wheel
on the shadow line as though
biking a tightrope.

To stray is failure,
but not disaster. There is fail

but no fall. I can indulge
in false bravery!
A trick of the mind,

another means of distraction
while running errands,
momentarily free from

folly, fugues and funerals,
crushing regrets between wheel and shadow,
manufacturing fresh dust.

Trying for perfect balance,
riding the lines like
sentences in black ink

on a white page, often
two or three lines curving
and intersecting.

On either side, garages
like trailers for the circus folk,
or terracotta warriors

on eternal watch,
creating a false gauntlet,
another imaginary threat

conjured in the midst
of the all-so-real.
In control

of a make-believe world,
pretending to overcome,
all the while wondering

what the telephone lines are for
anymore.

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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 1:55 AM | Permalink

August 5, 2017

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Suicideboys at the Bottom Lounge on Wednesday night.


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2. Porter Robinson at Lollapalooza on Thursday night.

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Porter Robinson at the Mid for a Lolla afterparty on Thursday night.

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3. Liam Gallagher at the Park West on Wednesday night.

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4. Migos at Lollapalooza on Thursday.

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Catching up with . . .

Calling All Cars at Kelly's in Blue Island on July 28.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:53 AM | Permalink

The Weekend Desk Report

For completists, there was no Papers column on Friday.

Bruce Rauner is making the rounds of the state's editorial boards complaining about his opponents' spin, but the reporting shows that he's the one who is lyin'.

*

*

*

It's a pattern. I wish more journalists would call out the governor's credibility. I've written that Rauner ran the most disingenuous campaign I'd ever seen, which is saying a lot. He's been caught lying repeatedly, from Trump-like mythical phone calls and conversations with state legislators to his infamous Walter Payton dodges.

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CPBS
Speaking of lying, here's the latest bullshit from CPS.

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Beachwood Photo Booth: Sal's Barber Shop
Sal came to Chicago in 1955. He was 17.

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Don't Lie To Poor Kids About Why They're Poor
It just makes their lives that much harder - and can help trap them in their poverty.

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Beachwood Sports Radio: Cubdumb, Sock Bottom & Peak Bears
Steve Bartman, Crane Kenney and Dusty Baker - the gang's all here! Plus: White Sox Suckage On Schedule; and Bizarro Bears.

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Suicideboys, Porter Robinson, Migos, Liam Gallagher, and Calling All Cars.

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Weekend TweetWood

Some of us tried to warn y'all.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Clampdown.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:47 AM | Permalink

August 4, 2017

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #164: Cubdumb, Sock Bottom & Peak Bears

Steve Bartman, Crane Kenney and Dusty Baker - the gang's all here! Plus: White Sox Suckage On Schedule; and Bizarro Bears.


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SHOW NOTES

* 164.

:20: Cubdumb.

* Gonzalez:

There's a myth that the Cubs can't identify and draft major-league caliber starting pitching.

As cold evidence, they watched one of their former draft picks throttle their offense in a convincing manner Wednesday night.

Zack Godley limited the Cubs to three hits in six innings to help the Diamondbacks to a 3-0 victory at breezy Wrigley Field.

-> Zack Godley spent one season in the Cubs organization; he's in his fourth season in the Diamondbacks organization.

* "It changed everything, to be honest," Contreras said of Montero's departure. "Now I know I'll be playing every single day and have nobody looking at me the whole time."

* Pronunciation: \a-VEE-la\

* Pedro Strop is Up:

* Carl Edwards is Down:

* Theo Epstein: Cubs Were One July Skid Away From White Flag Trades.

* Jake Arrieta 'Trending In The Right Direction.'

* John Lackey Is Proving His Worth.

* Cubs Prolong Steve Bartman Story.

* Former Tribune Sports Editor Is Just Plain Wrong.

* Crane Kenney Is Still Employed By The Cubs.

* Joe Maddon Is Now Dusty Stupid:

* Cubs Kill 3:05 Friday Start Times.

32:21: Sock Bottom.

* No More Melk Man.

* Knocking On The Door: Reynaldo Lopez.

* Wallenstein: Keeping Moncada Company.

* Willy Garcia Suffers Broken Jaw In Collision With Moncada.

36:30: Peak Bears.

* Biggs: Eight Observations From Training Camp.

* Mays: Marshal Yanda Is An NFL Legend Hiding In Plain Sight.

* But Was The Story Wrong?

-> Jahns: Kevin White's Good Day At Camp Overshadowed By College Film Contention.

-> Hoge: Azzanni Might Actually Be Pushing Right Buttons With Kevin White.

* Peak Sanchez.

- The Score's Matt Spiegel this week on the Bears' quarterback situation: I want Mike Glennon to be a Top 10 quarterback this year and maybe then deal him for a fourth-rounder, like McNair and Chandler, and then maybe Mark Sanchez will want to return as a backup next year too. It's what I want to happen, not what I believe will happen.

* We are at Peak Fuller.

* We are at Peak Leno.

* We are now at Peak Massie.

* Coffman: "All this stuff continues to be what it is."

* Rhodes, Assignment Desk: Players who were in the wrong position in college because it served the interest of their coaches, not the interests of their futures.

* Trubisky Struggling With Fumbled Snaps During Training Camp.

* Dissident Smuggles Pictures Out Of Bears Camp:

59:36: Schweinsteiger!

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STOPPAGE: 3:08

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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 2:40 PM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Sal's Barber Shop

He came to Chicago in 1955. He was 17.

salsbarbershop.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:44 AM | Permalink

Don't Lie To Poor Kids About Why They're Poor

Work hard and you'll get ahead - that's the mantra driven into young people across the country.

But what happens when children born into poverty run face first into the crushing reality that the society they live in really isn't that fair at all?

As new research shows, they break down.

A just released study published in the journal Child Development tracked the middle-school experience of a group of diverse, low-income students in Arizona. The study found that the kids who believed society was generally fair typically had high self-esteem, good classroom behavior, and less delinquent behavior outside of school when they showed up in the sixth grade.

When those same kids left in the eighth grade, though, each of those criteria had degraded - they showed lower self-esteem and worse behavior.

What caused this downward slide?

In short, belief in a fair and just system of returns ran head-on into reality for marginalized kids. When they see people that look like them struggling despite working hard, they're forced to reckon with the cognitive dissonance.

This problem doesn't afflict the well-off, who can comfortably imagine their success is the result of their hard work and not their inherited advantage.

Erin Godfrey, a psychology professor at New York University and the study's lead author, explains that for marginalized kids who behave badly, "there's this element of people think of me this way anyway, so this must be who I am." She points out that middle school is the time when many young people begin to notice personal discrimination, identify as a member of a marginalized group, and recognize the existence of systemic discrimination.

The existence of a permanent and rigid system of inequality can be hard to grapple with at any age. The United States leads the world in overall wealth yet is also near the top in childhood poverty, with one in five kids born into poverty.

Despite an often-repeated myth about social mobility - the ability of the poor to become rich - the United States lags behind in this category. Canada now has three times the social mobility of the United States.

The gap between the rich and poor starts early. A 2016 study by the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund reports: "From as early as the age of 3, children from more affluent backgrounds tend to do better in cognitive tests." By age 5, children from poor families are three times more likely to be in the bottom 10 percent in cognitive ability.

It's a complex problem. But the solutions to this deep structural inequality are actually fairly straightforward.

In short, we need major investments in universal public programs to rebuild the social safety net, ensure early childhood education as well as debt-free higher education, and good-paying jobs.

In other words, we need to help those born without inherited assets to get the same shot at education and employment as everyone else - and also reassure them that if they fail, they won't end up homeless.

Those who claim the country can't afford such programs should look at the massive subsidies lavished out to the ultra-wealthy. In 2016, half a trillion dollars were doled out in tax subsidies, overwhelmingly to the already rich.

But before we do all that, we simply have to tell the truth: Our economic system is far from fair. It's tilted heavily against marginalized communities.

Teaching that to kids, rather than perpetuating a myth about "fairness," is an important step forward.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Originally published at OtherWords. Josh Hoxie directs the Project on Opportunity and Taxation at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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See also, The Atlantic: What Happens When Poor Kids Are Taught Society Is Fair.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:36 AM | Permalink

August 3, 2017

Efforts To Boost Marten Numbers In Wisconsin Meet Ongoing Failure

We hear about the success stories of transplanting - translocating in technical talk - animals to protect endangered species, improve genetic variability and reestablish populations in areas where they've disappeared. Among those successes: moose reintroduced into Michigan's Upper Peninsula from Ontario in the 1980s and the Florida panther.

The process is called augmentation, and the goal is for translocated individuals to deepen the gene pool and produce abundant offspring. It's been labeled a valuable tool for conservation biologists.

We also hear about translocation controversies, including whether the National Park Service should reintroduce wolves onto Isle Royale now that virtually all the national park's wolf population has died.

We don't hear much about the failures.

Now a study published in the March/April 2017 issue of the journal Conservation Letters has examined one such project that fell short of the hopes of conservation biologists -- the translocation of American martens (Martes americana) into Wisconsin's Chequamegon National Forest.

greatlakesecho-animals-endangered-augmentation-americanmarten.jpgWisconsin Department of Natural Resources (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Martens are North America's most frequently translocated carnivore, with projects in 16 states and six provinces from the 1800s until the present. They were wiped out in most of the Great Lakes region after European colonization and later re-established in some states.

Efforts to restore Wisconsin's marten populations began in the Apostle Islands in the 1950s in a bid to restart the fur trade, said lead author Philip Manlick, a doctoral student in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Several factors contributed to the decision to rebuild marten populations, he said, including a desire to rebuild the fur trade for economic purposes and a "general understanding that apex predators do serve important ecological functions." In addition, the marten is a culturally important clan animal to Native Americans in the state.

They remain on Wisconsin's list of endangered species - as the state's most endangered mammal - despite extensive restoration activities, according to the study which looks at one such effort: moving 130 martens from Superior National Forest in Minnesota to northwest Wisconsin's Chequamegon National Forest between 1987 and 1990.

"We've done five or six reintroductions across 40 years," Manlick said.

martens2.jpgAn American marten stands alert in the snow in the Superior National Forest/Bearskin Lodge (CC BY 2.0)

Did it work in the Chequamegon National Forest?

"It doesn't look like it. Densities are pretty low. The propensity of extinction is still pretty high," said Manlick, whose research partners were the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission and the U.S. Forest Service.

Their study found that martens transplanted to the Chequamegon National Forest contributed only nominal genetic variety and, in fact, had a high rate of inbreeding that could lead to reduced - not greater - genetic variability.

"Our findings show that augmentation had limited effects on future viability, indicating that the recovery of Chequamegon martens has not been achieved," the study indicated. Therefore, although augmentations may improve the odds of avoiding short-term extinction, the martens' long-term survival in the national forest probably won't happen without addressing such environmental factors as the need for better habitat connectivity with established populations in neighboring Ottawa National Forest in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Nicolet National Forest in northeast Wisconsin.

By contrast, in the Nicolet National Forest in northeastern Wisconsin, research suggests that natural immigration and greater connectivity with the Upper Peninsula may benefit martens, according to Manlick.

Despite the shortcomings found by Chequamegon project, translocations are likely to continue.

As the study noted, "Due to their excessive top-down effects, mammalian carnivores are of particular conservation concern and among the most frequently translocated species. Unfortunately, the continued decline of carnivores has necessitated calls for enhanced restoration efforts."

Manlick said, "The two principal criteria for an augmentation should generally be: Is there any sort of inbreeding or genetic limitation? Second, we know doing it with a social animal like wolves is more likely to succeed than with a solitary animal like the marten."

Essential to help ensure success are sufficient habitat and the availability of sufficient prey - Wisconsin's martens eat primarily shrews that they kill and deer that they scavenge - to sustain a growing population. Those factors can be modeled before undertaking a translocation to "optimize the likelihood of this succeeding," he said.

This article was originally published on Aug. 1, 2017 by 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. WisContext is a partnership between Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and Cooperative Extension.

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Previously in Wisconsin:

* Wisconsin Cheese Production Continues To Grow.

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

* Tips For Growing Blueberries In Wisconsin.

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

* The Top 10 Wisconsin Insect Trends Of 2016.

* Wisconsin's Penokees Are A Geologic Gem.

* Wisconsin Researchers Aim To Make Cows Happier.

* Wisconsin And The Extinction Of The Passenger Pigeon.

* The Life Of Land After Frac Sand.

* Blueberry Maggot Fly Poised To Expand In Wisconsin.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:27 AM | Permalink

Lottery Trainwreck

"Here's an interesting clip [from 1988] - the Illinois Lottery drawing on WGN Channel 9, where on this particular night, the balls did not drop into the mixing chamber for the 'Cash 5' game and the winning numbers had to be selected off-camera and given via an on-screen scroll about 20 minutes later, during the 7 O'Clock Movie airing of Vertigo."


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Previously from The Museum of Classic Chicago Television:
* Carleton The Mime.

* The Ground Round.

* Dance Fever Christmas Special.

* Into The Valley Of The Space Invaders.

* Help Save Classic Chicago TV!

* Monstrous Movie Flashback Starring Bag O'Laughs.

* Help Save Classic Chicago Television!

* Dominick's Holiday Turkey With Pop-Up Timer.

* The Safety Elves Of Northbrook.

* Smoking Stinks.

* Good News TV: When Crime Was Down And Nazis Weren't Bugging Us.

* When Gary Coleman Pitched Harris Bank.

* Sword Of Justice!

* Jobs In Chicago.

* When A Chicago TV Show Interviewed The San Diego Chicken.

* Paul Lynde vs. Halloween.

* Tom Turkey Cake.

* A Classic Chicago Television Christmas.

* Rainbows Of Flavor & Fun.

* A Good Old-Fashioned Tastee-Freez Commercial.

* When What's Happening!! Happened.

* Classic Chicago Thanksgiving TV.

* Groundhog Day: 1972 Newscast Ripped From Today's Headlines.

* Bozo's 4th Of July Spectacular.

* 'Why Is This Station Promoting The Desegregation Of Chicago Schools?'

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See also:
* The Museum of Classic Chicago Television YouTube Channel.

* Fuzzy Memories TV.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:15 AM | Permalink

The [Thursday] Papers

This seemed like a timely reminder: Here's Bruce Rauner Lying In Multiple Ways About How He Got His Unqualified Daughter Into Payton High School.

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

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The Chicago Latin Jazz Festival
Celebrating Dizzy Gillespie.
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Lottery Trainwreck
Something went wrong one night in 1988.

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Football: Bad For Boys
"I really want to be a great father to my son - so I can't pass on the parenting lessons I received from sports."

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The Problem With Welfare's Work Requirements
They can do more harm than good.

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Martens Fail In Wisconsin
Most endangered mammal in that state.

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BeachBook

I Don't Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People.

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Trying To Understand 'What Made Maddy Run.'

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Year over year.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:00 AM | Permalink

Here's Bruce Rauner Lying About How His Daughter Got Into Prestigious Payton High School

File under Reminder.


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That statement, among many shifting Rauner statements on the matter during the 2014 campaign, contains several lies. Count them!

"Outgoing CPS Inspector General James Sullivan said publicly for the first time Wednesday night that the daughter was not qualified and was admitted only after her father called then-CPS CEO Arne Duncan's office," ABC 7 reported in 2014.

"There was a phone call made to the CEO's office by Mr. Rauner," Sullivan said. "Somebody in the CEO's office called Walter Payton and his daughter was admitted to the school."

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"Sullivan also says Rauner's daughter wasn't on a principal's discretion list as Rauner indicated," the Springfield State Journal-Register noted at the time.

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"Sullivan told The Associated Press [in 2014] that Rauner didn't use the formalized principals' process. CPS policy says that principals of selective high schools can use discretion for up to 5 percent of incoming freshmen.

"Sullivan said Rauner contacted then-CEO Arne Duncan's office, had at least two conversations with a chief aide, and the admission status was changed after the aide called the principal."

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"David Pickens quit Friday following a series of Tribune reports in which he confirmed that he kept the logs at the request of then-schools chief Arne Duncan, who is now the U.S. secretary of education," the paper reported in 2010.

"The Tribune revealed earlier this week that Duncan ordered admissions requests tracked over several years, creating a lengthy and detailed compilation of politicians and influential business people who intervened on behalf of children during his tenure."

Duncan, of course, went on to become Barack Obama's Secretary of Education.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:15 AM | Permalink

The Chicago Latin Jazz Festival

"The 11th Annual Latin Jazz Festival celebrated the centennial birthday of the legendary American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and singer 'Dizzy' Gillespie and Cuban conguero Mongo Santamaria."


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Who played:

July 14 | Humboldt Park, 1301 N. Humboldt Dr.
6:30 p.m. Papacho Savon Ensemble (Cuba) - Tribute to Mongo Santamaria
7:30 p.m. Chicago Latin Jazz Collaborative - Tribute to Dizzy Gillespie
8:30 p.m. Charlie Sepulveda & The Turn Around (Puerto Rico)

July 15 | Humboldt Park, 1301 N. Humboldt Dr.
1:30 p.m. Kreyol Roots (Haiti)
2:30 p.m. Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras Steel Drum Ensemble
3:30 p.m. Segundo Ruiz Belvis After School Jazz Band
5:30 p.m. Claudia Perez Brown Ensemble (Canada)
6:30 p.m. Ruben P. ALvarez Raices Profundas Ensemble (Mexico)
7:30 p.m. Carlos Adames Group (Panama)

July 16 | Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.
3:00 p.m. Chicago Latin Jazz Collaborative
4:30 p.m. Charlie Sepulveda & The Turn Around (Puerto Rico)

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:55 AM | Permalink

Rose's Story: How Welfare's Work Requirements Can Deepen And Prolong Poverty

After "Rose" lost her low-wage job in a Southeast Michigan nursing home, the single mother of four sought Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits.

People who are eligible for this federal, time-limited welfare program for very low-income families must be working or looking for work, a feature the Trump administration and other politicians want to spread to Medicaid and other similar programs that support low-income Americans.

Rose obtained the benefits but lost them after finding that the program was doing little to help her get a job and interfering with her parenting. This fairly common experience suggests that these restrictions can prolong and worsen spells of poverty. Like many experts on American poverty relief, I don't see why that punitive strategy makes sense.

3a_AbandonedFamilies.jpg

Work Requirements

When Rose told me her story while I was researching what happens to women like her, she started by saying, "I'm ashamed." But it sounded like she wasn't to blame. She was embarrassed about how she had lost her job, but her explanation showed just how tough a spot she had been in.

After working double shifts for a week straight and completing her duties on a Friday night at about 2:30 a.m., "I dozed off. Me and a coworker," she said. "It's documented that it wasn't even 20 minutes that we had dozed off, and a supervisor walked in. We were suspended at that time." She got fired shortly thereafter.

Rose enrolled in a local job search program. Some of these programs sent participants on job interviews, but Rose, like many of the 22 women I interviewed, said few got hired. The program wanted her to return to the training site after interviews at the end of the day.

"By that time, the kids are getting out of school. You've got to get back home, or you've got to go pick the kids up from daycare, and I thought that was pointless to do that," Rose recounted. "If you didn't come back, you were considered 'noncompliant,' so you'd be cut off just like that."

After months without securing a job and struggling to pick her children up from school on time, Rose opted for the noncompliant label. This meant losing $440 a month in TANF payments, her only source of cash income until, six months later and through her own efforts, she found another low-paying job in a different nursing home. During those six months, Rose sometimes couldn't afford diapers, which meant her youngest child sometimes went without them. When she ran out of food a couple of times, she would send her children to relatives to eat while she went hungry.

Rose's experience illustrates the downsides of inflexible work requirements. Instead of getting help finding a new job during those six months, she joined the swelling ranks of families with no cash from welfare or jobs, some of whom wind up scraping by on incomes of $2 a day or less - a common metric for poverty in developing countries. Typically headed by single mothers, these families are cut off from or otherwise unable to access welfare while also having no earnings.

Harsh Labor Market

Working on a team with researchers from the Urban Institute, an independent think tank, I found that almost two-thirds of the mothers we interviewed were able to rely upon partners or family members for help.

Yet this can strain the resources of people who are not much better off than them.

Some may lose housing, which leads them to double up with friends, send children to live with relatives or stay in shelters.

Although more research is needed before we know whether lacking access to welfare makes poor families prone to homelessness, families living in extreme poverty are nearly twice as likely to report housing instability as other low-income families.

You could say that Rose was reaping the consequences of bad choices because she broke a rule. But as I argue in Abandoned Families, my book about the economic and political changes that have thwarted opportunities for upward mobility, the low-wage labor market is harsh.

National data on workplace conditions are scarce, but studies of cities and certain occupations have found that unsafe workplace conditions, irregular and unpredictable scheduling, and wage theft are common.

For example, more than 30 percent of low-wage workers in Syracuse told researchers that their jobs caused a health problem.

Many of the women I profiled in Abandoned Families told me they worked for employers who violated their rights, and mistakes were greeted with threats of or actual termination.

Should Rose have made arrangements for afterschool care for her children? Perhaps, but it's not fair to presume that this was a viable option for her.

The demand for care after classes end for the day far outstrips its availability: An estimated 18.5 million more children would be in such programs were they available in their community.

Yet funding to help low-income parents pay for it is declining. The federal government spent $11.3 billion on child care in 2014, down from $12.9 billion in 2011.

A Poor Model

The frustrating experiences of women like Rose should make policymakers pause before considering extending work requirements to other programs serving low-income families.

Consider the situation with SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program more widely known by its pre-2008 name, food stamps. More than 60 percent of the households getting SNAP benefits that have children and what budget director Mick Mulvaney likes to call "able-bodied" adults have at least one employed member.

Others are led by working-class people who are hunting for a new job.

About one-third of all households with SNAP nutritional benefits earn at least some money from work, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank.

snap.pngMy study showed that work requirements don't always help people find jobs. Ultimately, the penalties imposed for failure to meet these rules can wind up punishing low-income kids and prolonging hard times.

Kristin Seefeldt is an assistant professor of social work in the School of Social Work and an assistant professor of public policy in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:41 AM | Permalink

Letting Our Boys Onto The Football Field Is A Losing Play

As a former athlete in high school and college, I thought sports would play more of a role in my relationship with my son.

Athletics provided the father that I didn't have. The daily routine of going to practice didn't just enhance my physical abilities; I had a structured place to go when school wasn't in session. Sports taught me how to communicate with others, especially with other boys, and instilled an appreciation of fitness that has stayed with me to this day. I learned the values of teamwork, loyalty and preparation with every practice and drill I completed, with every mile I ran. And where I'm from, it's much better to learn courage on the field than in the street.

I played basketball and football, did track and field. Football in particular taught me how to overcome obstacles much larger than my diminutive frame could initially handle. It was coaches more than my guidance counselors who paved the way for me to go to college.

But I won't allow my son to play football.

My son goes to school so he can use his brain to contribute to society, not so that he can eventually donate his brain to scientists who study brain trauma. The more brain research that emerges on the long-term effects of playing football, the more disgusted I become with parents cheering on their children as they knock skulls in youth leagues across the country. We don't allow kids to drink alcohol until they're legally adults. We shouldn't encourage students to be punch drunk either.

In a recent study of the donated brains of 202 deceased football players, scientists diagnosed the presence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as CTE, in 177 players across all levels of play (87 percent), including 110 of 111 former National Football League players (99 percent), according to findings published last week in the medical journal JAMA. CTE is a degenerative disease that results from repeated blows to the head, and causes memory loss, aggression, depression and suicidal thoughts, among other symptoms.

The researchers found that the proportion of those diagnosed with CTE increased with every successive level - high school, college and professional. That's clear evidence of the cumulative effect of brain trauma. And it's why we need to take our children out of the pinball machine. Researchers believe the most effective way to prevent the disease to limit the number of blows to the head. And that's especially true during periods when the brain is still developing.

Approximately 1.23 million youth between the ages of 6 and 12 participated in tackle football in 2015, according the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, a trade association that conducts participation studies in various sports. Involvement in youth football increased slightly from the previous year, but there's been an overall decline over the past decade.

Kids naturally know not to use their heads as battering rams. Adults condition them into it. To satisfy our morbid, masculine fantasies of sport, we unnecessarily put our children at risk by allowing them to play football. The mounting evidence of the harm it causes means we can't ignore it anymore, and we should alter our own behavior accordingly - because our kids learn their fascination with the sport from us. Every time we buy a cap or jersey from that team in Washington, D.C., every time we make a big event out of the Super Bowl, our kids are learning that we value football, that society reveres it.

But brain injury isn't the only risk parents should worry about with football.

When we put our sons in football, we pledge them into a culture of toxic masculinity, the very worst incarnation of manhood. Sports may have given me a father, but football was an abusive one. I learned that in order to be a good football player, I had to be physically aggressive but otherwise unemotional. Yelling was so normative that many of my fellow athletes responded exclusively to a raised voice. Coaches regularly used tactics of teaching courage not out of place in gangs.

Embattled quarterback Colin Kaepernick's continued unemployment is the NFL telling the world, and its players, what place an upright black man has in football (which is to say, none). No sport teaches black men how to genuflect to unwarranted authority more than football. Since the players can't lash out against their coaches, they project their anger onto the women in their lives. We have video of Ray Rice's 2014 vicious attack on his now wife Janae Rice. He is no longer in the league, but Rice's absence can't make up for the many other assaults against women, some of which police helped to sweep under the rug.

I really want to be a great father to my son - so I can't pass on the parenting lessons I received from sports.

Take away football, or sports in general, and you leave so many fathers flat-footed; without a ball or a bat or a glove as a prop, we're unsure how to interact with our sons. Sports for some is as much a parenting tool as it is a set of physical skills to develop. We men have to admit that without it, we really don't know how to express our love for our sons in a healthy way. Too many of us don't know how to communicate, love and nurture our children because we've been baptized in athletics.

I will forever be grateful to all my coaches, teammates and the unknown fans who cheered me on throughout my sporting career. However, I will show my gratitude by not only forbidding my son from playing football but also by applauding non-athletic pursuits.

I won't let my son learn how to be a man from the NFL.

This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education.

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

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

* The College Football Report: Dementia Pugilistica.

* Blackhawks Playing Head Games.

* Jay Cutler Should Consider Retiring.

* Dislike: Friday Night Tykes.

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

* Chicago Soccer Player Patrick Grange Had CTE.

* Sony Softened Concussion To Placate NFL.

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

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

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

* More Bad Concussion News For Young Football Players.

* NFL Tried To Fix Concussion Study.

* The Week In Concussions: Another Enforcer Down.

* Teen Concussion Rate Rising Significantly.

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

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

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

* Youth Football Finally Listening To Coach Coffman.

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

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

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

* More Teen Knowledge About Concussion May Not Increase Reporting.

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

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

* Nearly All Donated NFL Brains Found To Have CTE.

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

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

* Study: CTE Affects Football Players At All Levels.

* Dan Jiggetts Is Right About CTE.

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Previously by Andre Perry:
* Black And Brown Kids Don't Need To Learn 'Grit,' They Need Schools To Stop Being Racist.

* Why Black Lives Matter Should Take On Charter Schools.

* Don't Be Surprised If Colin Kaepernick Prompts More Schoolchildren To Sit For The Pledge Of Allegiance.

* "Wraparound" Services Are Not The Answer.

* Youth Aren't Props.

* NOLA's Secret Schools.

* Poor Whites Just Realized They Need Education Equity As Much As Black Folk.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:28 AM | Permalink

August 2, 2017

The [Wednesday] Papers

This sort of thing still inspires me - and gives me chills.

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Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 1.23.34 PM.png

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The Neo Story
"The club was open for nearly four decades as a late-night 4 a.m. bar where goths, punkers, and more gathered to escape the sports bar crowd."

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Leveling The Playing Field For Women
"Research suggests that coverage of women's sports has actually become more sexist over the past four years - [female athletes] report feeling pressured to 'show their arse' rather than 'kick arse.'"

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BeachBook

Monsanto's Sway Over Research Is Seen In Disclosed E-Mails.

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How To De-Objectify Women In Comics.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Daily Lie. (Though there's more than one a day, I'll just choose the "best" one.)

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Lies are for the weak.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:11 PM | Permalink

The Neo Story

"It's been almost two years since Neo, the pioneering dance club hidden inside a Lincoln Park alley, has closed. From the ashes, a documentary maker has been working on a film chronicling the venue's importance. Filmmaker Eric Richter on Sunday dropped the first teaser trailer for 2350 Last Call: The Neo Story," Eater reports.

"The club was open for nearly four decades as a late-night 4 a.m. bar where goths, punkers, and more gathered to escape the sports bar crowd."


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See also:
* Serving Chicago's Underground Since 1979.

* Neo Closing Lincoln Park Location After 36 Years.

* @NeoChicago.

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Neo's Last Two Songs

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:51 AM | Permalink

Leveling The Playing Field For Women

Female athletes and leaders are undeniably more visible and increasingly successful in sport - putting in incredible performances both on and off the field.

But these achievements still occur in a male-defined sport sector where female stars have to tackle marginalization and sexualization of their sporting performance and leadership skills.

Recent research also suggests that coverage of women's sports has actually become more sexist over the past four years - making it clear that in the current age, everyday sexism characterizes the culture of sport.

Elite sportswomen who gain public visibility and acceptance tend to embody a femininity that appeals to white, male heterosexual audiences (and TV producers). This means that women and girls can be subjects of unparalleled achievements in sport, but at the same time, they will be looked at as sex objects - and often applauded for their commitment to heterosexual domestic mothering roles.

Take Jessica Ennis-Hill, undoubtedly one of the world-leading heptathletes of all time, yet reports and pictures claiming her "golden girl" status are based more on her looks, model poses and domestic relationships than her athletic achievements.

EnnisHill.jpgJessica Ennis-Hill/PA Images

In surfing, women have increased recognition by the World Surf League via media coverage of women's events and increased prize money. Yet imagery of the female surfer is still highly sexualized and objectified.

Professional female surfers highlight that the industry is sexist and sponsors ignore surf talent in favor of model looks. Many struggle to find sponsorship and report feeling pressured to "show their arse" rather than "kick arse."

Alana Blanchard, for example, remains the highest-paid female surfer via sponsorship and endorsements. She is a darling of social media and tops polls for being the "most popular athlete," or "best photo" among male and female surfers. But she did not make it into the world top 30 in 2016.

Female athletes, including the boxer Nicola Adams, have highlighted the fight for sporting equality. Adams has called for boxing to have more female ambassadors - like herself.

NicolaAdams.jpgNicola Adams (left) in action against Maryan Salazar during their International Flyweight bout at the First Direct Arena, Leeds/PA

Casey Stoney, a footballer who plays for Liverpool in the English FA Super League, has also spoken about the difficulty of being female and being a sports star. She has openly identified the struggle in coming out and being a mother in sport.

Meanwhile, Heather Rabbatts - the FA's first female non-executive director and board member - has been vocal about the restricted professional roles for women in the male culture of sport.

A Man's World

So it's good news then that some governments and international organizations are beginning to address the inequalities that female coaches and administrators face in sport. The recent UK Government's Women and Sport Report also recognizes the scale of the problem.

The International Olympic Committee has additionally claimed that the "real" problem for gender equality in sport is not simply fewer numbers of female athletes and events, but the lack of women in leadership and decision-making roles more generally.

In our forthcoming book, we highlight how every sporting era is characterized by gender regulation, discrimination, sexism and misogyny. Yet throughout history, feminist work has helped to challenge the sexualization of female athletes - helping to open up the sporting world for females, while at the same time transforming gender-related rights and athlete welfare.

It is in this way that men and women across the sporting sector can continue to help to challenge and change the everyday sexism in the culture of elite sport. This is something that is vitally important - because, for women, pathways to power are invariably littered with reminders that sport is still very much a man's world.

Louise Mansfield is a senior Lecturer in Sport, Health and Social Sciences at Brunel University London; Belinda Wheaton is an associate professor in Sport and Leisure Studies at the University of Waikato; Jayne Caudwell is an associate professor in Leisure Cultures at Bournemouth University; and Rebecca Watson is a reader in Sport and Leisure and Studies at Leeds Beckett University. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:26 AM | Permalink

August 1, 2017

The [Tuesday] Papers

Governin'.

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Dan Jiggetts Is Right About CTE
And so is Martellus Bennett. But is the media now overstating the risk?

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Guided By Voices, Kendrick Lamar, Autumn Kid, The Magpie Salute, Roger Waters, Young Rochelles, The Ridgelands, The Studs, Vicious Dreams, Rahsaan Patterson, Converge, Ultimate Painting, Bear Claw, Goddamn Gallows, American Speedway, Andy Ortmann, Anthony Janas, and Jason Soliday.

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BeachBook

The "Radical Edits" Of Alexandra Bell.

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The Worst (Or Best?) Things You Can Eat At Chain Restaurants.

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Worst. Collection. Ever.

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The Illusion Of Choice In Consumer Brands.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

Chicago as epithet.

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Same guy, different frame ("pugnacious" vs. "short fuse").

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Welcome to The Resistance. We saved a seat for you next to Teen Vogue and Cosmopolitan.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Periodic.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:57 AM | Permalink

Dan Jiggetts Is Right About CTE

It's about repetitive hits - and linemen are the ones most at risk, as our very own Jim Coffman keeps pointing out.

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Plus:

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But:

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

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

* The College Football Report: Dementia Pugilistica.

* Blackhawks Playing Head Games.

* Jay Cutler Should Consider Retiring.

* Dislike: Friday Night Tykes.

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

* Chicago Soccer Player Patrick Grange Had CTE.

* Sony Softened Concussion To Placate NFL.

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

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

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

* More Bad Concussion News For Young Football Players.

* NFL Tried To Fix Concussion Study.

* The Week In Concussions: Another Enforcer Down.

* Teen Concussion Rate Rising Significantly.

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

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

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

* Youth Football Finally Listening To Coach Coffman.

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

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

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

* More Teen Knowledge About Concussion May Not Increase Reporting.

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

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

* Nearly All Donated NFL Brains Found To Have CTE.

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

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

* Study: CTE Affects Football Players At All Levels.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:58 AM | Permalink

MUSIC - Christgau Loves Chicago Neonatologist.
TV - Amazon & The Way Of The World.
POLITICS - Yes On Vouchers For After-School Programs.
SPORTS - The Ex-Cub Factor.

BOOKS - Writers Under Surveillance.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Original Warrior.


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