Chicago - Jan. 18, 2018
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« December 2017 | Main

January 18, 2018

Willie O'Ree's Little-Known Journey To Break The NHL's Color Barrier

Almost everybody knows about Jackie Robinson and the historic role he played integrating Major League Baseball. But mention Willie O'Ree and you'll likely receive a blank look.

That's a shame because 60 years ago O'Ree did his own part bringing down a racial barrier in a different sport.

On Jan. 18, 1958, O'Ree - a 22-year-old forward from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada - became the first black person to play in a National Hockey League game.

willieoree1.jpgWillie O'Ree warms up prior to a game against the New York Rangers in 1960/AP

O'Ree had always known he possessed the talent to play in the NHL. A speedy skater with an intuitive feel for the game, he had played organized hockey since age 5 and had scored 22 goals with 12 assists in his first professional season with Quebec. His big break came when the Bruins invited him to attend training camp before the start of the 1957-58 season. Although he failed to make the final cut, team officials were impressed enough by his overall performance to tell him he needed only "a little more seasoning" to reach the big time.

"They knew what I could do," O'Ree later recalled in his 2000 memoir, The Autobiography of Willie O'Ree: Hockey's Black Pioneer.

Sure enough, that January, the Boston Bruins were short a roster player and called him up from their minor league club for a road contest against the Montreal Canadiens.

O'Ree could barely control his excitement. "I could see fans pointing, 'There's that black kid. He's up with the Bruins,'" O'Ree wrote.

Despite his nervousness, he did nothing to embarrass himself during a rare 3-0 Boston shutout over their hated arch-rivals. "O'Ree is not only fast, but he's a strong skater," Montreal coach Frank Selke said after the game. "He looks as if he could go all night."

O'Ree suited up for only one more game as a Bruin that season before returning to the minors. He was hardly crestfallen. "I'm just happy to get a chance up here, that's about all I can say," he told the Boston Globe.

O'Ree returned to the Bruins in 1960-61 and notched four goals and 10 assists in 43 games. His first NHL goal - a game-winner against Montreal at the Boston Garden on New Year's Day, 1961 - proved memorable. On a breakaway, a teammate fed him a perfect pass, which he deposited under the glove hand of Montreal goaltender Charlie Hodge. For his standout effort, O'Ree received a rousing standing ovation from the home crowd that lasted several minutes.

O'Ree wasn't so well received at other NHL venues. At New York City's venerable Madison Square Garden, for instance, fans showered him with racial insults before he even stepped onto the ice.

In Chicago, he was targeted for abuse for bruising Blackhawks forward Eric "Elbows" Nesterenko. After calling O'Ree a nigger, Nesterenko took the butt-end of his stick and rammed it into O'Ree's unsuspecting face. A broken nose and two missing front teeth later, O'Ree had had enough. He took his stick and smashed Nesterenko over the head with it. O'Ree's teammates came rushing to his aid as both teams' benches emptied. What followed was a classic hockey donnybrook that ended with O'Ree being sent to the Bruins locker room for medical treatment.

"Every time I went on the ice I was faced with racial slurs because of my color," O'Ree told the Anti-Defamation League Youth Congress gathering held in Boston in 2016. "I had black cats thrown on the ice and [people] told me to [go] back to the cotton fields and pick cotton."

O'Ree claimed he didn't mind.

"I didn't let it hurt me," he said. "I let it go in one ear and out the other."

oree2.jpgO'Ree is honored before a game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Tampa Bay Lightning in January 2017/Alex Gallardo, AP

O'Ree's dream of hockey glory was almost cut tragically short. While playing in a junior league game in Guelph, Ontario, as a 20-year-old, he lost sight in most of his right eye after a deflected slap shot struck his face. Ignoring his doctor's advice to hang up his skates, O'Ree continued to play despite being at an obvious competitive disadvantage.

"I was a left shot, and I was playing left wing, but I had no right eye," O'Ree wrote in his book.

He didn't want others to know of his handicap, lest it scare teams away from employing him.

"It was my secret," he said.

The Bruins traded O'Ree to the Canadiens before the start of the 1961-62 season. O'Ree was personally devastated. Montreal was an elite team coming off a string of Stanley Cup championships and had no room for O'Ree on their roster. As a result, O'Ree spent the remainder of his career playing on a series of minor league clubs, including the Los Angeles Blades of the Western Hockey League. He was a major standout for Los Angeles, scoring a career-high 38 goals in 1964-65. But the NHL never gave him a second look.

O'Ree did, however, serve as an inspiration to future NHL players of color like Jarome Iginla and Mike Greer.

"I'm in awe knowing what he went through," Iginla told USA Today in 2008. "There is a lot of trash-talking going on [in the game], and I can't imagine what he must have gone through."

For his part, O'Ree has voiced few regrets. He did, after all, defy the odds. And he'll forever be known as the "Jackie Robinson of hockey."

Thomas J. Whalen is an associate professor of social sciences at Boston University. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:52 AM | Permalink

At The Illinois Holocaust Museum | Speak Truth To Power

The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center presents the Midwest debut of Speak Truth to Power, a major touring exhibition based on the book, Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing Our World, by Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

The photographic exhibition - which will highlight the experiences of more than 40 courageous "Upstanders" and urges visitors to take action against human rights violations - is on display from Sunday, February 4 - June 24.

Through stunning black-and-white portraits by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Eddie Adams featured in Kennedy's book, Speak Truth to Power highlights activists who have worked tirelessly to defend justice in the areas of political rights, freedom of expression, honor killings, demilitarization, environmental activism, mental health, children's rights, national self-determination and more.

Nearly 50 Upstanders will be featured from more than 40 countries across six continents, including Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic, Baltasar Garzon of Spain, Nobel Prize laureates His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, Elie Wiesel, Oscar Arias, Rigoberta Mencha, Jose Ramos-Horta, Bobby Muller, and Wangari Maathai, in addition to everyday heroes.

IHMEC-SpeakTruth-Website.jpg

The Museum will present a series of public events in conjunction with the exhibit, including an opening celebration on Sunday, February 4, featuring a presentation with Kerry Kennedy, who will share insights on the exhibit and her book, as well as a discussion of her family's storied tradition of public service.

In partnership with Lookingglass Theatre Company, a live performance of Ariel Dorfman's powerful drama Voices from Beyond the Dark, based on interviews Kennedy conducted with a wide range of world activists, will take place at the Museum on March 26.

The exhibit follows the grand opening of the Museum's new multi-million-dollar Take a Stand Center, an immersive permanent exhibition with a forward-looking emphasis on multiple areas of social justice.

The Center furthers the Museum's mission of empowering people to stand up for humanity by moving visitors from Knowledge to Inspiration to Action through three interactive galleries: the Abe & Ida Cooper Survivor Stories Experience, which features groundbreaking, three-dimensional technology enabling one-on-one conversations with 13 recorded Holocaust survivors via 3-D holography and voice recognition, preserving their stories into perpetuity; the Goodman Upstander Gallery, a showcase of 40 courageous "Upstander" stories throughout history and today, striving in the areas of civic, social, economic and environmental rights; and the Take a Stand Lab, which provides hands-on tools and strategies for affecting change and becoming an Upstander in local communities.

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Speak Truth To Power: Kerry Kennedy at TEDxLecce.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:30 AM | Permalink

Life In Chicago: Grant Fraud, Boot Bribery & Unnecessary OT

With an assist to the Beachwood Added Value Affairs Desk.

The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General has released its fourth quarter report for 2017 to the City Council. The report summarizes the Office's activity from October 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017.

In his cover letter, Inspector General Joe Ferguson addresses the future of the Office of Inspector General, including the first-generation projects for the new Public Safety Section, a revitalized website that will include an interactive data portal, the establishment of a robust community engagement program; and continued use of technology to expand the reach of the OIG.

This quarter's report includes summaries of concluded OIG investigations, inquiries, and other activities, including:

* Restitution for the former 350Green LLC owner, Timothy Mason, in the amount of $473,395.12 to the City of Chicago for his role in fraudulently obtaining over $1.7 million in federal grants intended for the installation and maintenance of charging stations for electric vehicles. Last quarter we reported that he was sentenced to two years in prison and one year supervised release.

"A grand jury indicted Mason, 59, and [former co-CEO] Mariana Gerzanych, 38, in March 2015 for scamming local governments, including Chicago, out of $2.9 million," the Sun-Times noted in September.

The original 2011 announcement of the grants came with large fanfare, but the company never remotely delivered on what was promised," Green Car Reports reported in May.

The company also ran into trouble in Pennsylvania.

* 16 campaign finance violation matters that involved $66,400 in contributions.

* The sentencing of a Department of Finance booter Leon Brown to 18 months of probation for soliciting and obtaining a $100 bribe from a driver in exchange for not towing the driver's car.

From the OIG's full report: "Brown, who was previously fired by the City for his criminal conduct, was found guilty on two felony counts of bribery and four felony counts of official misconduct, following a one-day bench trial in September 2017.

"Testimony and evidence at trial established that on November 12, 2014, Brown, while on duty and operating a City booter van, told a vehicle driver that unless she gave him $100, he would have her car towed. Brown subsequently followed the driver into a grocery store, waited while she obtained $100 from an ATM, and accepted the cash from her."

* The sentencing of a Department of Streets and Sanitation tow truck driver Lennie Perry to nine years of imprisonment for a bribery scheme in which he relocated automobiles parked on City streets and solicited and received bribes in exchange for returning the relocated vehicles to the victims.

From the OIG's full report: "Testimony and evidence at trial established that on September 19, 2014, in the late hours of the evening, a vehicle owner parked at Columbus and Balboa returned from sightseeing to find her vehicle had been towed. She flagged down a City of Chicago tow truck sitting nearby to ask for assistance. She encountered Perry, who told her that if she paid him $150 in cash, the vehicle would be returned.

"When she told him that she did not have any money, he directed her to his wife, Arica Reed-Perry, who was parked in a vehicle across the street. Reed-Perry drove the victim to a nearby ATM and subsequently dropped her at her vehicle after receiving the requested $150. The victim immediately reported the crime to CPD.

"While the crime was being reported, Reed-Perry was observed driving by and was immediately apprehended by responding CPD officers. She admitted Perry instructed her to drive the victim to an ATM to get money before returning the victim to her car. The evidence at trial further established that Perry and Reed-Perry acted in concert on this, as well as on two other occasions revealed during a broader OIG investigation.

"On the two additional occasions, Perry was identified as having towed the cars of victims (who had also parked their cars in the downtown area while sightseeing) and then solicited payments of $100 and $150 respectively from each for the return of their vehicles.

"Perry's wife, Arica Reed-Perry, separately pleaded guilty to a single count of felony theft for the role she played in Perry's scheme. She was sentenced to 24 months of second-chance probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $150."

Beachwood comment: Nine years to Lennie Perry seems pretty frickin' stiff. This, from the Tribune in December, must explain the sentence, at least in part: "Police previously said Perry was hired as part of a second-chance program run by Streets and Sanitation. He pleaded guilty to felony theft charges in 2008 and was sentenced to two years of probation."

An investigation found Perry had pulled his scam three times. What's sad is the petty greed, because the Trib also reports that "At the time of Perry's arrest, the city of Chicago's employee database listed a Lennie Perry as a tow truck driver with a salary of $70,408 a year.

* An audit of the Chicago Police Department's controls related to regular-duty overtime found that CPD's operational controls do not adequately prevent unnecessary overtime, deter abuse of minimum time provisions, or ensure that overtime is paid in compliance with policies and procedures. The audit also found that CPD management controls do not prevent officer fatigue, control costs or deter or prevent fraud, waste and abuse.

* An investigation which established that a Policy Analyst for the Department of Buildings sexually harassed a 17-year old high school intern under their supervision. The employee made multiple unwanted verbal and physical sexual advances toward the intern while at work and on two unauthorized, extended breaks. DOB discharged the employee, following the OIG's recommendation, and placed the employee on the ineligible for rehire list.

From the OIG's full report: "While at work, the employee engaged in inappropriate verbal and sexual behavior by consistently commenting on the intern's appearance and staring at the intern's body, gripping the intern's hand tightly, and leaning closely over the intern.

"The employee's inappropriate behavior escalated over time. Under the guise of rewarding the intern's hard work, the employee took the intern on a two-hour-long, offsite lunch at the lakefront. While there, the employee:

  • Called the intern "babe" and "baby"
  • Held and kissed the intern's hand, touched the intern's face, and tried to kiss the intern's cheek
  • Invited the intern on a vacation to Miami, offered the intern money to buy a car, and
    offered to take care of the intern
  • Provided a personal cell phone number and e-mail address
  • Commented that the intern looked older than 17
  • Grabbed the intern's hand when the intern tried to walk away

"Eventually, the intern was able to convince the employee to drive them both back to DOB offices. That same day, the intern asked to be relocated to another internship location.

"Throughout the intern's time at DOB, both in the office and during lunch breaks, the intern used verbal and non-verbal cues to tell the employee that the advances were unwanted and unwelcome.

"OIG recommended that DOB discharge the employee and refer the employee for placement on the ineligible for rehire list maintained by the Department of Human Resources.

"In response, DOB discharged the employee and placed the employee on the ineligible for rehire list."

* An OIG investigation established that a Department of Water Management Motor Truck Driver who did not obtain departmental permission to perform outside employment as an Uber driver worked as an Uber driver while on duty disability from August 27, 2015, to October 21, 2016, and then subsequently lied to OIG investigators about the terms of employment with Uber.

* An OIG investigation established that a Department of Law Assistant Corporation Counsel Supervisor misused sick time to attend court dates in a criminal proceeding in which the employee's daughter was a defendant, submitted false sick time certifications, and filed an appearance as an attorney in that criminal proceeding. In so doing, the employee violated multiple City of Chicago Personnel Rules and DOL's policy prohibiting the outside practice of law.

OIG recommended that DOL impose discipline up to and including discharge, commensurate with the gravity of the employee's violations, past disciplinary record, and any other relevant considerations.

In response, DOL notified OIG that the employee had given notice of intent to resign, effective eight weeks later. The employee was not recorded as having resigned under inquiry.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:11 AM | Permalink

The [Thursday] Papers

Today in the Paradise Papers: 'A Fair Tax System Will Be Lost Without Public Pressure.'

Dear Steve,

Today we have an interview with the European Commissioner for tax Pierre Moscovici. He's been trying to fight for a European response to many of the tax scandals exposed by ICIJ projects, including the Paradise Papers.

Moscovici talks candidly about the "shyness" of Europe's new tax haven blacklist and the impact of a new president in the United States. But he also highlights the role individuals have to play and argues we need more public pressure if a fair tax system is to be achieved.

We also have the second in our three-part series on how to explore the mammoth Offshore Leaks Database. You can explore more than 680,000 entities using our tips on how to understand these complex networks.

ICIJ's community of supporters is also growing, and today we're welcoming two new funders, the Swedish Postcode Foundation and the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation.

And, just in case you missed it, last week the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced a $1 million grant to ICIJ at the Golden Globes ceremony.

As a nonprofit organization, ICIJ relies on donations - both big and small - to fund our journalism. If you'd like to join other individuals and organizations in taking a stand to support investigative journalism and ICIJ's mission to safeguard the truth, you can learn more about donating to us here.

Until next week!

Amy Wilson-Chapman
ICIJ's community engagement editor

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Previously in The Paradise Papers:

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

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

* Development Dreams Lost In The Offshore World.

* Keeping Offshore 'Hush Hush,' But Why?

* Tax Havens Are Alive With The Sound Of Music.

* Today In Tax Avoidance Of The Ultra-Wealthy.

* Go To Town With This Offshore Leaks Database.

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

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

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

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

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

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Previously in The Panama Papers:

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

* The Panama Papers: Prosecutors Open Probes.

* The [Monday] Papers.

* Adventures In Tax Avoidance.

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

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

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

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Previously in other tax scammage:

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

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

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

* The Gang Of 62 Vs. The World.

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

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

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

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

* German Finance Minister Cries Foul Over Tax Avoidance Deals.

* Prosecutor Targets Commerzbank For Deals That Dodge German Taxes.

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

* How Milwaukee Landlords Avoid Taxes.

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

* Watch Out For The Coming Tax Break Trickery.

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

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

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

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

* State Tax Incentives To Corporations Don't Work.

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

* Triumph Of The Oligarchs.

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

* Patriotic Millionaires Vs. Carried Interest.

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

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

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

* Carried Interest Reform Is a Sham.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Life In Chicago: Grant Fraud, Boot Bribery & Unnecessary OT
Plus sexual harassment and sick time abuse.

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Speak Truth To Power
At the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

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Willie O'Ree's Little-Known Journey To Break The NHL's Color Barrier
A Chicago Blackhawk called him the n-word.

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ChicagoGram

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Previously in White Mystery:

* No. 9 at the Hideout Block Party in 2011.

* No. 7 at the Empty Bottle in 2012.

* No. 6 at the Cubby Bear in 2015.

* No. 1(c) Miss Alex White with Wire at the Metro in 2015.

* Outside East Room in 2016:

* No. 87 on the BeachFest 2017! playlist.

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See also, by Greg Kot: Redheaded Siblings Play It Loud And Proud In White Mystery.

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ChicagoTube

Cold Snap Converts Lake Michigan Beach Into An Ice Sculpture Park.

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BeachBook

Where The Tribune Stood On MLK.

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When President Obama's Jobs Council Went Its First Year Without Meeting.

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How Much Sympathy Does Tonya Harding Deserve?

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Chief Medical Correspondent!

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Come for Mike Madigan, stay for our crumbling prison schools!

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Blame it on Rio.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:04 AM | Permalink

January 17, 2018

The [Wednesday] Papers

"Woodlawn resident and community organizer Haroon Garel notes that 'the Obama Foundation has been very responsive when concerns were raised by wealthier white neighbors, such as condo associations and preservationists, in agreeing to make millions of dollars of infrastructure changes by moving the parking lot underground. However, when low-income working Black families demand a Community Benefits Agreement and guarantees against displacement we are ignored.'"

- Community Benefit Agreement Coalition

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Just like his presidency.

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See also: Why No Community Benefits Agreement For The Obama Library?

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

The UCLA Marching Band At The 1988 Glenbrook North Marching Percussion Festival.

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BeachBook

Meet The Illinoisan Trying To Buy A Wisconsin Senate Seat.

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'It's A Strange Communion' - Artist Michael Rakowitz On Why He Set Up An Iraqi Food Truck Outside The MCA Chicago.

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Repeal Of Soda Tax Was A Mortal Mistake.

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The Ugliest Building In Illinois And Every Other U.S. State.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Rahm winning the cricket vote.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Tronc it out.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:41 AM | Permalink

January 16, 2018

SportsMondayTuesday: The Bulls Are For Real

The tank is tanking. The idea that the Bulls would be terrible this year to get a great draft pick isn't working out. And thank goodness for that.

Oh, and I've been wrong about just about everything.

The Bulls are 14-7 since starting the season 3-20, and Monday's 119-111 victory over a Miami team that had roared into town with a seven-game win streak was yet more evidence of that. I've had plenty of company, but still . . .

And let me preface this by saying I believe that if I am qualified to write about any sport, I am qualified to opine on basketball. I've written more stories about the sport than any other. I love the game and I love that the city where I have lived my whole life is a basketball city first and foremost.

The small sample size of a couple weeks of improved play has ended. We are well into our second month of the Bulls playing as well or better than any other team in the Eastern Conference and some simple truths must now be acknowledged by the guy who was convinced the Bulls had blown everything in the past few seasons.

Fred Hoiberg can coach. And his system has not only produced successful basketball, it has also produced highly entertaining basketball.

The Bulls got value for Jimmy Butler. Point guard Kris Dunn is no longer the absolute bust he was during his previous, rookie campaign, and while he will still drive you crazy with late turnovers, he is obviously on a big ol' upward trajectory. Lauri Markkanen is even more so. And who doesn't think Zach LaVine is going to be a great player, at least on offense?

Whether the Bulls trade Niko Mirotic, a potentially successful long-term core is in place. A trade would obviously damage this team's chances to keep its .667 winning percentage going this season, but obviously that doesn't matter.

There is still so much work to be done, of course. This team is a ways away from being everything it can be and a ways away from being in contention to win just a playoff series, let alone a championship.

Everyone except Mirotic and Bobby Portis will have to add so much strength and savvy in the coming years. But the potential is obvious.

Against Miami, we saw again how NBA careers so often depend on opportunity. There are hundreds of players who, if they get the chance, can be serviceable NBA players.

Exhibit A on the Bulls is Justin Holiday. At the beginning of the season, he was viewed as - at best - a fringe player. And he still isn't likely to ever be an All-Star. But there he was Monday hitting 7-of-11 threes on his way to 25 points.

Holiday has had all sorts of playing time with the Bulls in part because LaVine had been out all season until a few games ago and in part because the team didn't have anyone else who was even close to being a starting two guard. And he has used the time to establish himself as a solid NBA starter.

The Bulls were fortunate to catch the Heat in the second game of a back-to-back, and still superstar Goran Dragic almost brought his team back down the stretch.

Here come the Warriors on Wednesday and that will certainly be a test. But it won't matter in the grand scheme. The Bulls have turned things around and while there will surely be rough times ahead, fans cannot deny that the potential already in place is exciting.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:56 AM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

On Martin Luther King Day, appearing on WVON radio, Gov. Bruce Rauner refused to call David Duke a racist - and punted on President Trump. Nice goin'.


Should've asked him about Hitler. See where he draws the line.

*

Another problem: Rauner repeats his talking point about the kind of language he says has no place in our political discourse, but does not disavow the viewpoint behind the language. The word "shithole" is not the problem. It's a word, and it is sometimes deployed accurately and effectively. The problem, of course, is using that word to describe entire countries such as Haiti and El Salvador, as well as the entire African continent - while comparing those places disfavorably to Norway. Get the picture?

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In other words, "shithole" has a place in our political conversation as much as any other word, and in fact I'd argue that Trump has every right to use that word. He gave his opinion, which he should do. It's his racism that informs that opinion that has no place in the White House. It can be in our political conversation because, as was pointed out, it exists in our universe. But should it exist in our presidency? That's the question for Rauner. With his utter lack of outrage and cold insistence on repeating a single talking point, Rauner failed quite a big test - not just a political test, but a test of his humanity. On WVON on MLK Day, of all times and places.

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Meanwhile, Rauner primary opponent Jeanne Ives also had a quite an MLK Day. From a Community Renewal Society forum:

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New on the Beachwood . . .

Trump And The Rhetoric Of Dictators
Under President Donald Trump, language is undergoing a familiar shift we've seen before.

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The Myth Of A Litigious Society
The real question isn't why Americans sue so much, but why we don't sue more.

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Does Defense Really Win Championships?
Yes. And so does offense.

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Chicagoetry: Sick
A lovely, longer lease.

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SportsMondayTuesday: The Bulls Are For Real
The sample size is no longer small.

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ChicagoGram

The Rogers Park studio of Sarah Ortlieb. ("Providing affordable and accessible art education to the Chicago community.")

A post shared by sarah ortlieb (@noddpottery) on

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ChicagoTube

Chicago Stand-Up Marvin Phipps.

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BeachBook
A sampling.

Culture Of Deceit Chapter Eight Zillion: StubHub.

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The Invention Of The White Working Class.

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The Brilliant Bernie Lincicome.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Even if they did provide these services, why should they get a penny of taxpayer money? Let's not normalize TIF financing to prosperous companies locating in the Loop!

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Penny lane.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:33 AM | Permalink

The Myth Of A Litigious Society

"Why do Americans seem to sue at the slightest provocation?" the University of Chicago Press blog asks. "The answer may surprise you: we don't!

"For every 'Whiplash Charlie' who sees a car accident as a chance to make millions, for every McDonald's customer to pursue a claim over a too-hot cup of coffee, many more Americans suffer injuries but make no claims against those responsible or their insurance companies.

"The question is not why Americans sue but why we don't sue more often, and the answer can be found in how we think about injury and personal responsibility."

Download The Myth of the Litigious Society: Why We Don t Sue (Chicago Series in Law and Society) | Ebook from cunopa

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See also: America's Litigious Society Is A Myth.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:16 AM | Permalink

Chicagoetry: Sick

Sick

I still have a crush on you, still
comparing thee

to a summer's day:
more lovely, longer lease,
this kind of thing.

But I am sick
of being hurt
and of hurting others.

I believe I have finally
earned the right
to knock it off, perhaps
for good. Mature women do it

all the time, to great kudos
from their peers.
Years don't matter anymore.

You are forever
in my clogged soul.

My kitchen sink
clogs often.
I'm now an expert un-clogger:

Don't follow directions,
forge a new path!

I called a plumber once
and he re-configured the plastic piping
so I can unscrew the front plug
and drain the stalled water myself.

That's critical. Then you pour in
half the goddam bottle of Maximum Strength
Drano, wait a few hours, pour in
the other half, wait overnight

to flush it out
and you're good
to go!

I'm a quick study,
like when my downstairs neighbors
in my century-old West Town two-flat
moved out one December day

and left the back door
propped open so rats
got in, two plump ones.

I had to learn
how to catch rats!
I could do it for you

now. The secret:
glue traps. Of course
you still have to

harvest the shrieking buggers
(work gloves, BBQ tongs),
get them into a garbage bag
then out to the curb or alley can.

The process is harrowing,
enervating, but then you feel
empowered, the rough new skill

an emblem
of liberation.

One cultivates accentuation
of the positives after going Off-Market:
control, routine, comfort,
solitude, freedom,

exhilaration.
You would have had me call
another plumber, an
exterminator.

I get it. That's you.
Here's me: years don't matter.
Don't follow directions.

I'm healing,
I aspire

to heal.

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J.J. Tindall is the Beachwood's poet-in-residence. He welcomes your comments. Chicagoetry is an exclusive Beachwood collection-in-progress.

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More Tindall:

* Chicagoetry: The Book

* Ready To Rock: The Music

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:54 AM | Permalink

Donald Trump And The Rhetoric Of Dictators

George Orwell warns us in his dystopian novel 1984 that authoritarianism begins with language. In the novel, "newspeak" is language twisted to deceive, seduce and undermine the ability of people to think critically and freely.

As authoritarianism gains strength, the formative cultures that give rise to dissent become more embattled, along with the public spaces and institutions that make conscious critical thought possible.

Words that speak the truth to reveal injustices and provide informed critical analysis begin to disappear, making it all the more difficult, if not dangerous, to judge, think critically and hold dominant power accountable. Notions of virtue, honor, respect and compassion are policed, and those who advocate them are punished.

I think it's fair to argue that Orwell's nightmare vision of the future is no longer fiction in the United States. Under President Donald Trump, language is undergoing a shift: It now treats dissent, critical media coverage and scientific evidence as a species of "fake news."

The Trump administration, in fact, views the critical media as the "enemy of the American people." Trump has repeated this view of the media so often that almost a third of Americans now believe it and support government-imposed restrictions on the media, according to a Poynter survey.

Thought Crimes And Fake News

Trump's cries of "fake news" work incessantly to set limits on what is thinkable. Reason, standards of evidence, consistency and logic no longer serve the truth, according to Trump, because the latter are crooked ideological devices used by enemies of the state. Orwell's "thought crimes" are Trump's "fake news." Orwell's "Ministry of Truth" is Trump's "Ministry of Fake News."

The notion of truth is viewed by this president as a corrupt tool used by the critical media to question his dismissal of legal checks on his power, particularly his attacks on judges, courts and any other governing institutions that will not promise him complete and unchecked loyalty.

For Trump, intimidation takes the place of unquestioned loyalty when he does not get his way, revealing a view of the presidency that is more about winning than about governing.

One consequence is the myriad practices by which Trump gleefully humiliates and punishes his critics, willfully engages in shameful acts of self-promotion and unapologetically enriches his financial coffers.

Under Trump, the language of civic literacy and democracy has become unmoored from critical reason, informed debate and the weight of scientific evidence, and is now being reconfigured and tied to pageantry, political theater and a deep-seated anti-intellectualism.

One consequence, as language begins to function as a tool of state repression, is that matters of moral and political responsibility disappear and injustices proliferate.

Fascism Starts With Words

What is crucial to remember here, as authoritarianism expert Ruth Ben-Ghiat notes, is that fascism starts with words. Trump's use of language and his manipulative use of the media as political spectacle are disturbingly similar to earlier periods of propaganda, censorship and repression.

Under fascist regimes, the language of brutality and culture of cruelty was normalized through the proliferation of strident metaphors of war, battle, expulsion, racial purity and demonization.

As German historians such as Richard J. Evans and Victor Klemperer have made clear, dictators like Adolf Hitler did more than simply corrupt the language of a civilized society; they also banned words.

Soon afterwards, the Nazis banned books and the critical intellectuals who wrote them. They then imprisoned those individuals who challenged Nazi ideology and the state's systemic violations of civil rights.

The endpoint was an all-embracing discourse of disposability - the emergence of concentration camps and genocide fueled by a politics of racial purity and social cleansing.

Echoes of the formative stages of such actions are upon us now. An American-style neo-fascism appears to be engulfing the United States after simmering in the dark for years.

trumprhetoric.jpgPresident Donald Trump stands on the field for the U.S. national anthem before the start of the NCAA National Championship game between Georgia and Alabama on Jan. 8 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

More than any other president, Trump has normalized the notion that the meaning of words no longer matters, nor do traditional sources of facts and evidence. In doing so, he has undermined the relationship between engaged citizenship and the truth, and has relegated matters of debate and critical assessment to a spectacle of bombast, threats, intimidation and sheer fakery.

This language of fascism does more than normalize falsehoods and ignorance. It also promotes a larger culture of short-term attention spans, immediacy and sensationalism. At the same time, it makes fear and anxiety the normalized currency of exchange and communication.

In a throwback to the language of fascism, Trump has repeatedly positioned himself as the only one who can save the masses - reproducing the tired script of the model of the saviour endemic to authoritarianism.

There is more at work here than an oversized ego. Trump's authoritarianism is also fueled by braggadocio and misdirected rage as he undermines the bonds of solidarity, abolishes institutions meant to protect the vulnerable and launches a full-fledged assault on the environment.

Trump is also the master of manufactured illiteracy, and his obsessive tweeting and public relations machine aggressively engages in the theater of self-promotion and distractions. Both of these are designed to whitewash any version of a history that might expose the close alignment between his own language and policies and the dark elements of a fascist past.

Trump also revels in an unchecked mode of self-congratulation bolstered by a limited vocabulary filled with words like "historic," "best," "the greatest," "tremendous" and "beautiful."

Those exaggerations suggest more than hyperbole or the self-indulgent use of language. When he claims he "knows more about ISIS than the generals," "knows more about renewables than any human being on Earth" or that nobody knows the U.S. system of government better than he does, he's using the rhetoric of fascism.

As the aforementioned historian Richard J. Evans writes in The Third Reich in Power:

The German language became a language of superlatives, so that everything the regime did became the best and the greatest, its achievements unprecedented, unique, historic and incomparable . . . The language used about Hitler . . . was shot through and through with religious metaphors; people "believed in him," he was the redeemer, the savior, the instrument of Providence, his spirit lived in and through the German nation . . . Nazi institutions domesticated themselves [through the use of a language] that became an unthinking part of everyday life."

Sound familiar?

Under the Trump regime, memories inconvenient to his authoritarianism are now demolished in the domesticated language of superlatives so the future can be shaped to become indifferent to the crimes of the past.

Trump's endless daily tweets, his recklessness, his adolescent disdain for a measured response, his unfaltering anti-intellectualism and his utter ignorance of history work in the United States. Why? Because they not only cater to what historian Brian Klass refers to as "the tens of millions of Americans who have authoritarian or fascist leanings," they also enable what he calls Trump's attempt at "mainstreaming fascism."

The language of fascism revels in forms of theater that mobilize fear, hatred and violence. Author Sasha Abramsky is on target in claiming that Trump's words amount to more than empty slogans.

Instead, his language comes "with consequences, and they legitimize bigotries and hatreds long harbored by many but, for the most part, kept under wraps by the broader society."

Surely, the increase in hate crimes during Trump's first year of his presidency testifies to the truth of Abramsky's argument.

Fighting Trump's Fascist Language

The history of fascism teaches us that language operates in the service of violence, desperation and troubling landscapes of hatred, and carries the potential for inhabiting the darkest moments of history.

It erodes our humanity, and makes too many people numb and silent in the face of ideologies and practices that are hideous acts of ethical atrocity.

Trump's language, like that of older fascist regimes, mutilates contemporary politics, empathy and serious moral and political criticism, and makes it more difficult to criticize dominant relations of power.

His fascistic language also fuels the rhetoric of war, toxic masculinity, white supremacy, anti-intellectualism and racism. But it's not his alone.

It is the language of a nascent fascism that has been brewing in the United States for some time. It is a language that is comfortable viewing the world as a combat zone, a world that exists to be plundered and a view of those deemed different as a threat to be feared, if not eliminated.

A new language aimed at fighting Trump's romance with fascism must make power visible, uncover the truth, contest falsehoods and create a formative and critical culture that can nurture and sustain collective resistance to the oppression that has overtaken the United States, and increasingly many other countries.

No form of oppression can be overlooked. And with that critical gaze must emerge a critical language, a new narrative and a different story about what a socialist democracy will look like in the United States.

Reclaiming Language As A Force For Good

We must encourage artists, intellectuals, academics and other cultural workers to talk, educate, make oppression visible and challenge the common-sense vocabulary of casino capitalism, white supremacy and fascism.

Language is not simply an instrument of fear, violence and intimidation; it is also a vehicle for critique, civic courage and resistance.

A critical language can guide us in our thinking about the relationship between older elements of fascism and how such practices are emerging in new forms.

Without a faith in intelligence, critical education and the power to resist, humanity will be powerless to challenge the threat that fascism and right-wing populism pose to the world.

Those of us willing to fight for a just political and economic society need to formulate a new language and fresh narratives about freedom, the power of collective struggle, empathy, solidarity and the promise of a real socialist democracy.

We would do well to heed the words of the great Nobel Prize-winning novelist, J.M. Coetzee, who states in a work of fiction that "there will come a day when you and I will need to be told the truth, the real truth . . . no matter how hard it may be."

Democracy, indeed, can only survive with a critically informed and engaged public attentive to a language in which truth, rather than lies, become the currency of citizenship.

Henry Giroux is the Chaired Professor for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:11 AM | Permalink

January 15, 2018

Does Defense Actually Win Championships?

Legendary football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant famously said, "Offense sells tickets. Defense wins championships."

Since Bryant's retirement in 1982, his adage has been perpetuated widely in sports media, applied to other sports and debated vehemently.

The thinking goes that while offense may be flashy and exciting, solid defensive play - less noticeable, but more steady and predictable - forms the foundation of successful teams.

So is there any truth to the adage?

In my sport psychology lab at California State University-Northridge, graduate student Travis Miller and I ran our own statistical analyses to see if defense does, in fact, win championships.

Reaffirmation - With A Twist

In our study, we looked at football and basketball, taking different approaches for each sport. For football, we limited our sample size to teams that had made the NFL playoffs during the Super Bowl era, which gave us 515 playoff teams to analyze.

To represent a team's offensive ability, we used regular season yards gained per game; for defensive ability, we used the statistic of yards allowed per game. If defense wins championships, the teams that tend to allow the fewest yards over the course of a season should have the most playoff success.

What did the numbers say? After running some regression analyses, we found that defense, indeed, does win championships. The fewer regular season yards a team allowed in the regular season, the more playoff wins they tended to have.

So there you have it: Coach Bryant is a genius, and we should all head to Las Vegas to bet on the teams with the best defenses.

But as ESPN's Lee Corso would say, not so fast, my friend.

The same analysis revealed that yards gained offensively during the season correlated similarly - nearly identically, in fact - with subsequent playoff success. It turns out we should probably amend the adage to say: "Really good defense wins championships. And really good offense also wins championships."

This doesn't quite have the same ring to it, but it seems to be more reflective of the data.

In a similar analysis of 632 NBA playoff teams since 1971, we arrived at similar findings. Substituting the field goal percentage of teams' opponents for the yards gained by teams' opponents, we saw that regular season defense correlated with basketball playoff success. But regular season offense did, too - again, at a similar rate.

Playoff Pressure Doesn't Discriminate

If you were to look at previous sport psychology research, you might have reason to believe that a good defense was more important than offense when it came to winning a championship.

Most studies of why athletes might either "choke" or be "clutch" under pressure had tested fine motor skills such as field goal kicking in football and free throw shooting in basketball. On the other hand, defensive skills typically require more footwork and continuous movement, and - in the case of a defensive lineman or a linebacker in football - physical strength.

For this reason, it was generally assumed that defensive play might be more stable, and less susceptible to pressure when seasons are on the line. If this were true, then the play of good defensive teams would remain steady during the playoffs, while good offensive teams would be more vulnerable to pressure-packed situations.

So what might explain why our findings suggest otherwise?

It may be that defensive players feel the pressure just as much as offensive players do, with their performance prone to the same fluctuations. After all, most burly defensive linemen aren't just blindly crashing into the line; rather, they're moving with the precision of a ballet dancer. At the very least, when it comes to dealing with pressure, it probably doesn't matter if you're a cornerback or a quarterback; sport psychology research has shown that athletes who feel confident and in control are more likely to give a clutch performance.

Incidentally, our NBA data suggested that three-point shooting may be the basketball skill most vulnerable to pressure - more than defensive skills. For basketball, then, a new hypothesis might be: "Clutch three-point shooting wins championships." In a previous study on baseball, we found that hitting ability may fluctuate more in the postseason than pitching ability. This implied that "clutch hitting wins championships."

Maybe we just haven't looked at football under the microscope carefully enough, and it's worth analyzing whether specific positions or actions - throwing a football, protecting the pocket, covering a wide receiver - are more vulnerable to pressure. Maybe "offensive line play wins championships," or "quarterbacking wins championships."

But for now, I'll make the bold prediction that the best defensive team will win Super Bowl 52 - that, or the one that's best at offense.

Mark Otten is an associate professor of psychology at California State University-Northridge. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Steve Rhodes:

These don't strike me as deep analyses - certainly not as deep as sabermetricians are doing these days. For example, I wonder what the results would be if they looked at points scored/allowed instead of yards - and then adjusted for certain realities such as "when the game was still in doubt."

Also, the focus on clutch playing ignores the sabermetricians' argument that there is no such thing. I'm not convinced that there isn't, but the argument must be engaged.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:58 AM | Permalink

January 14, 2018

The [MLK Birthday 2018] Weekend Desk Report

1. From Chicago Votes:

Dozens of volunteers will gather at Cook County Jail to register Cook County residents currently incarcerated to vote on Sunday as part of a civic engagement program facilitated by Chicago Votes, a non-partisan organization dedicated to building a more inclusive democracy by putting political power in the hands of young Chicagoans.

For the last several months Chicago Votes has led massive voter registration drives in the Cook County Jail. After this weekend, they will have registered almost a thousand new voters.

This effort, being called the Cook County Jail Votes program, has been supported by a coalition of community groups including: The League of Women Voters, Chasing 23, Social Works, Indivisible South Side, Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law, University of Chicago Democracy Initiative, Cook County Sheriff's Department and over 30 volunteer deputy registrars.

"In the spirit of Dr. King, Chicago Votes is working to enfranchise thousands of new eligible voters whose voices have the right to be heard in our democratic process," said Chicago Votes Executive Director Stevie Valles. "Every time Chicago Votes volunteers have entered the jail, we've been greeted with incredible gratitude and enthusiasm from the people we've met there, who are eager to get engaged and participate positively in civic life in our city."

2. From Soul in Chicago:

More than 500 hundred people representing a cross section of Chicago's social, racial and economic justice landscape will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and commit to an increased effort on issues affecting poor and working class communities in the Chicagoland region. The King Day 2018 Commemoration and Public Meeting will be held on Sunday at 2:3 0p.m. at Trinity United Church of Christ, 400 W. 95th St.

Several organizations are sponsoring and/or participating in the public meeting, including Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL), Action Now Institute, BlackRoots Alliance, SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Assata's Daughters, Trinity United Church of Christ, A Just Harvest, and Worker's Center for Racial Justice.

The theme for the event is Reclaiming Our Rights through Justice, Faith & Power.

"If Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr were still alive today he would be celebrating his 89th birthday on January 15th," said SOUL Executive Director Tanya Watkins. "This year also marks the 50th anniversary of his assassination. Both of these historical markers are significant, not just because Dr. King was one of the most significant figures of our history, but also because we now live in an age where everything he stood for is under attack. The historical significance of this moment must be the motivation for the fight against the injustices we are experiencing locally and the blatantly racist, pro-corporate, and anti-worker administration in the White House."

Katelyn Johnson, executive director of the Action Now Institute noted, "We work to build our communities towards our fullest potential because we have faith that a better world is possible. The moral arc of the universe bends towards justice because all of us are reaching up to pull that arc towards our liberation. We are going to keep marching towards the Dream in 2018, and this event is the kickoff to that march."

Several of the issues participating organizations are working on will be addressed, ranging from criminal justice reform to school equity. Elected officials and candidates running for governor have been invited to attend and to speak specifically to the issues raised.

3. From The Rev. Jesse Jackson:

As the nation prepares to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - one of our greatest Americans - on Monday, President Donald Trump offers a stark contrast in leadership.

The best way to react to Mr. Trump's latest decidedly non-Presidential outburst is not with anger at his incendiary, vulgar and racially-charged remarks this week about immigrants from "shithole countries."

The best response is to do what Dr. King fought so hard for. It is to get registered to vote and then to cast ballots in massive and historic numbers. The 2018 midterm elections are just around the corner.

Now more than ever, we must continue Dr. King's movement to "redeem the soul of America."

Hours after the worldwide firestorm ignited by his vile words, Mr. Trump is denying saying them. But Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois was in the room where it happened and said today at Chicago's 32rd annual breakfast celebrating the life of Dr. King that it is "exactly what [Mr. Trump] said and he said it repeatedly."

When it comes to veracity, I'll put my faith in the Senator from the Land of Lincoln.

Mr. Trump's outburst came during a meeting at the White House about immigration reform.

Silence is betrayal. Democrats must demand a vote on a clean Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, bill. They should fight for a reversal of the policy throwing 200,000 El Salvadorians and 60,000 Haitians out of the country.

And Mr. Trump should immediately apologize to the American people for embarrassing our nation before the world and apologize to the countries and the vast continent he insulted - Haiti, El Salvador and Africa.

Perhaps Mr. Trump has no idea that our rich, diverse and powerful nation was built by slaves and immigrants. Perhaps he does not know that 7 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world during the last decade are in Africa and it is the most resource-rich continent on earth, including rubber from Liberia, gold from Ghana, diamonds and uranium from Congo. Perhaps he does not have a clue that African immigrants to the US are among the most educated groups in the United States. They are professors at some of the major colleges, universities, and other institutions across the U.S. They are doctors and elected officials. They serve in the military and some have made the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation overseas and right here at home.

Just two weeks ago, Emmanuel Mensah, an immigrant from Ghana and member of the National Guard, was home for the holidays and lost his life from smoke inhalation while trying to save people from a deadly apartment fire in the Bronx section of New York City.

It is becoming increasingly and depressingly obvious that there is so much Mr. Trump does not know about the world and his own country he purports to lead. Ignorance is a weapon of mass destruction in the hands of the powerful.

Racism must not be normalized. It must be condemned. Every U.S. Senator and member of Congress must do so immediately. On an issue like this there should be no Republicans or Democrats, just Americans coming together and standing up for what's right.

That is the best way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

4. From My Block, My Hood, My City:

We've been working to reduce segregation in Chicago through encouraging citizens to explore and personally invest in Chicago's 77 unique communities. My Block, My Hood, My City invites you to celebrate King Day Weekend by exploring one or more communities. Visit a hidden gem business, artful intersection or a community root. Introduce yourself to someone, see what you can learn from the different sights and sounds around you, take a picture of yourself wearing M3 gear and hashtag #Formyblock #MLKDay

There are so many assets in these communities, you can choose to visit public spaces (parks, playlots, architecture, artful intersections landmarks), events (events that are specific to these communities) or hidden gems (beloved, locally owned businesses and restaurants). The choice is up to you!

Each site you visit increases your social capital and enhances the interconnectivity of the city. Because as MLK stated, "In a real sense all life is interrelated. All persons are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the inter-related structure of reality."

Englewood: Ogden Park, Kusanya Cafe, 63rd & Halsted

Washington Park: DuSable Museum, Currency Exchange Cafe

West Ridge: Walk down Devon, Khan BBQ

Humboldt Park: Humboldt Park, Boat House, La Bruquena

North Lawndale: Douglas Park, The Firehouse, El Gran Burrito

Bronzeville: Harold Washington Cultural Center, Chicago's Chicken & Waffles

Pilsen: Walk down 18th, Plaza Tenochtitlan, Fogata Village

Hyde Park: Promontory Point, Obama Kissing Rock, Mikky's

Chatham: Cole Park, Bungalows & manicured lawns, Dat Donut

In the interconnected Chicago that we envision, all 77 community areas will contribute to the music of the City. If one community area is struggling, the entire piece will suffer and we should all be concerned. I encourage you all to step outside of your comfort zone and explore. You can travel the world without leaving Chicago.

5. From The Chicago History Museum:

The Chicago History Museum commemorates Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s impact in 2018, the 50th anniversary of his assassination, with an exhibition that explores his work in Chicago and around the nation.

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New on the Beachwood since the last column on Wednesday . . .

Taking Short Break From Denouncing Trump Authoritarianism, House Dems Join With GOP To 'Violate The Privacy Rights Of Everyone In The United States'
Renewal of the controversial Section 702 allows government agencies to spy on the e-mails, text messages, and other electronic communications of Americans without a warrant, no big whoop.

*

Chicago vs. Wisconsin
Gout vs. clout; Packers vs. carjackers; Dahmer vs. Rahmer.

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Illinois Legislators Urged to Act Quickly to Secure Voter Files
Vulnerabilities in the interstate "Crosscheck" program are more extensive than election officials have admitted.

*

Beachwood Sports Radio: What's Nagging Us About Nagy
(It's mostly the media.) Plus: There Is No Longer Any Doubt That Ted Phillips Is The Theo Epstein Of The Chicago Bears; The Truth About Nagy's Press Conference; Cubs Stove Still Cold; Rick Hahn Off The Chain; Blackhawks Season Increasingly Looks Lost; Loving Lauri; Saban's Tide; Illinois Still Sucks; and Schweinsteiger!

*

Can The Olympics Save The World?
This may be a global shadow puppet show, or it might help thaw the frozen relations between North and South Korea. It's possible to hold both positions as the complex elements of the long, tragic history of the division of Korea and its exploitation by global superpowers merge and collide.

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ChicagoGram

A post shared by Jon Cook (@jon8283) on

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ChicagoTube

MLK On Hate And Love.

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BeachBook
A sampling.

Uber Uber Alles: A Beachwood Special report. Rated F for Funny.

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"We Don't Consider You A Legitimate Journalist" - How I Got Blacklisted By The Pentagon's African Command.

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"Sport Is A Mechanism Of Control In America."

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What The Laquan McDonald E-Mails Really Show.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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I'd say they're his base, but that's just the media's fabricated narrative; wealthy racists are his base.

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Also funny how the hard-to-get hearing initially got canceled, then was rescheduled for Friday afternoon on a holiday weekend. So the next time you complain about bad-faith Republicans in Washington, take a look at your local Democrats.

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The Weekend Tronc Line: Dream state.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:50 AM | Permalink

January 12, 2018

Illinois Legislators Urged to Act Quickly to Secure Voter Files

Warning that vulnerabilities in the Interstate "Crosscheck" program are more extensive than election officials have admitted, voter rights activists at Indivisible Chicago are praising the Illinois State Board of Elections for confirming that no voter data will be sent to the "Crosscheck" program in January as originally planned. The voter rights activists are urging the SBE to hold firm as the Kansas officials in charge of securing the national Crosscheck voter database continue to struggle with security fixes that will protect 100 million voters' personal data.

In December, Kansas officials assured participating states that they would have the opportunity to review details about proposed security fixes by the end of the year, with a plan to discuss on January 4th. "As of this date, we have received no description of security enhancements from Crosscheck", said SBE executive director Steve Sandvoss in a January 10 letter to state legislators. "We plan to review and discuss those proposed enhancements upon receipt and we will transmit no data to Crosscheck until security issues are addressed to our satisfaction."

In an e-mail to Indivisible Chicago after Thursday's SBE board meeting, SBE spokesperson Matt Dietrich confirmed no voter data would be sent until any security changes are assessed and discussed in a public SBE Board meeting. The SBE board meets monthly.

"Our research exposes the risks to Illinois voters if their personal data is sent to Crosscheck before serious security breaches are repaired," said Steve Held, one of the leaders of the Indivisible Chicago team fighting voter suppression. "This delay indicates administrators are incapable of fixing this flawed system. That's why we're calling on Illinois legislators to take advantage of this time to remove Illinois from the Crosscheck voter suppression system."

A bill to do just that has been introduced by Senators Kwame Raoul and Bill Cunningham. Indivisible Chicago is urging more legislators to sign on to SB 2273 to expedite its passage.

Crosscheck is a program created and operated by Kansas election officials. It collects voter registration information from participating states and "crosschecks" the data to find duplicate registrations. This program is the primary source of the claims by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and President Donald Trump of "millions of illegal voters." The program's algorithm to identify illegal voters has been widely discredited, though, and Kansas authorities who oversee the program have refused to take basic steps to improve the accuracy of the results. Therefore, Crosscheck generates intentionally inflated statistics that exaggerate the instances of actual voter fraud by a factor of over 1,000.

Recent research by Indivisible Chicago has exposed numerous security flaws and raised questions about how the data is used. This includes:

  • Usernames and passwords to critical systems and encrypted files e-mailed in plain text;
  • A lack of encryption protocols for the server used to transmit and store 100 million voter records; and,
  • A misconfigured firewall protecting this voter data is misconfigured.

Illinois is among 27 states that share personal information such as date of birth and partial Social Security numbers directly with Crosscheck, which puts voters at risk of identity theft.

While the SBE has the authority to leave the Crosscheck program, a December vote on the question was defeated when all four Republican SBE board members voted to remain in the program. That's when Indivisible Chicago intensified grassroots efforts to pass a state law to protect voter data from insecure, centralized databases such as Crosscheck.

Crosscheck is known to be misused by some participating states. Indiana currently faces multiple lawsuits alleging violations of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 based on their over-reliance on Crosscheck, because the system is widely known to be highly inaccurate. Indiana purges voters from the rolls without sending proper cancellation notifications based solely on Crosscheck matches. Indiana purged more one million voters from the rolls between 2014 and 2016 and has purged more than 500,000 voters since the 2016 election.

Indivisible Chicago is leading the call for every state, including Illinois, to withdraw from Crosscheck both to protect sensitive data that can lead to identity theft and as a moral stand against voter suppression efforts.

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Previously: State Board Of Elections Puts Voter Data At Risk.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:31 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #183: What's Nagging About Nagy

(It's mostly the media.) Plus: There Is No Longer Any Doubt That Ted Phillips Is The Theo Epstein Of The Chicago Bears; The Truth About Nagy's Press Conference; Cubs Stove Still Cold; Rick Hahn Off The Chain; Blackhawks Season Increasingly Looks Lost; Loving Lauri; Saban's Tide; Illinois Still Sucks; and Schweinsteiger!


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SHOW NOTES

* 183.

1:35: What's Nagging About Nagy.

* Colts Were Reportedly All In On Nagy, But He Thought Bears Were Better Situation.

* If The Media Loves Somebody, Check It Out.

* What Really Happened In Kansas City.

* Morrissey: Matt Nagy Is A Breath Of Fresh Air; Now, Can He Coach?

The one thing you learn when a head coach gets hired in the NFL is that everybody loves him. He has no known natural enemies, never has had a cavity and, if a papal election were opened to married people, certainly would get some first-place votes.

We in the media, seeking to flesh out the man, interview his third-grade teacher, who reports that our guy took the Cub Scout oath more seriously than the other children. High school friends find deep meaning in the way he ate lunch in the cafeteria (''organized and slavishly on schedule''), and his first employer never before had seen anyone sort, collate and file the various rules concerning the break-room refrigerator.

* UPDATE: Fangio retained.

* Rosenbloom: It's OK For Matt Nagy To Admit His Title Is Head Coach Of The Chicago Bears.

* Rosenthal: As Bears Introduce Matt Nagy, A Reminder: You've Heard This All Before.

* We Will Never Forget Lance Briggs' Lamborghini Or Restaurant Opening.

* ProTip: Don't Orient Your Entire Organization Around One Guy!

* Coach Is Still Mad About Mark Sanchez!

* (Who's Gonna Be The Backup Quarterback?)

* Did Nagy Tamper?

24:42: Confirmed: Ted Phillips Is The Theo Esptein Of The Chicago Bears.

* Laurence Holmes 1, Dan Bernstein 0.

26:22: The Truth About Nagy's Press Conference.

29:34: Cubs Stove Still Cold.

Jesse Rogers: Are The Cubs One Pitcher Short As They Play Free-Agent Waiting Game?

* No - they're two short!

* Watching Wade Walk.

* Who Will Back-Up Willson?

42:35: Rick Hahn's Unleashed! Tour Off The Chain.

* Miguel Gonzalez Returning To South Side.

44:55: Blackhawks Season Increasingly Looks Lost.

* Season no longer a fluke.

* Brent Seabrook a health scratch; Richard Panik a healthy trade.

* Coffman: Blackhawks Treading Ice.

(* Coffman: Hit-Averse Hawks Hot.)

56:07: Loving Lauri.

* Coach Climbs Aboard!

58:21: Saban's Tide.

1:00:36: Illinois Still Sucks.

1:03:36: Schweinsteiger!

* Dax McCarty Extended.

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STOPPAGE: 4:18

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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 1:47 PM | Permalink

January 11, 2018

Taking Short Break From Denouncing Trump Authoritarianism, House Dems Join With GOP To 'Violate The Privacy Rights Of Everyone In The United States'

Despite spending much of the last 12 months denouncing the legitimate threat posed by President Donald Trump's penchant for authoritarian policies and behavior, 65 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday joined with 191 Republicans in passing a bill that advocates of civil liberties warn will lead to the wholesale violation "of privacy rights for everyone in the United States."

While the final vote on the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017 (or S.139) - which included renewal of the controversial Section 702 which allows government agencies to spy on the e-mails, text messages, and other electronic communications of Americans and foreigners without a warrant - was 256 to 164 in favor of passage, the partisan breakdown revealed that Republicans in the majority needed a great deal of Democratic support in order to have it pass. (Forty-five Republicans voted against the bill.)

"The House voted today to give President Trump and his administration more spying powers," said Neema Singh Guliani, policy counsel with the ACLU, in a statement following the vote. "The government will use this bill to continue warrantless intrusions into Americans' private e-mails, text messages, and other communications."

wordgamesnsa.jpg

And while "no president should have this power," Guliani stated, "members of Congress just voted to hand it to an administration that has labeled individuals as threats based merely on their religion, nationality, or viewpoints."

Though Democrats have a long history - including under the previous administration of President Barack Obama - of backing mass surveillance and submitting to the demands of U.S. intelligence agencies, critics point out the hard-to-ignore hypocrisy of those who have endlessly warned against Trump's authoritarian tendencies with one hand, while supporting these repressive and anti-democratic surveillance powers with the other. As Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, argued in a tweet:

Members of the Democratic Party, Timm elaborated in his NBC News Op-Ed,

have been all over the airwaves recently accusing Donald Trump of abusing the Justice Department to go after his political enemies - most notably his former opponent Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, which the Department of Justice is reportedly currently investigating based on allegation made during the 2016 presidential campaign. So you'd think they would oppose handing Donald Trump any more power with which he could potentially use against all sorts of Americans who attract negative attention from his administration.

Yet, with the help of some Democrats, the House of Representatives voted today - and the Senate will do so sometime in the next week - to extend a controversial NSA surveillance power that potentially affects millions of Americans' privacy rights.

FAIR's Adam Johnson made a similar argument in a series of tweets:

Sandra Fulton, government relations manage for the Free Press Action Fund, said "the last thing Congress should be doing" is renewing a law that allows U.S. intelligence agencies "to continue spying on the communications of people in the United States, forfeiting the essential privacy rights" of every person in the United States.

"No government entity should have such oppressive surveillance powers," Fulton said. "This unconstitutional legislation will allow the FBI to continue sifting through the data even when those searches don't involve a specific criminal investigation."

In an e-mail sent to the Intercept's Alex Emmons following the vote, Daniel Schuman, policy director for the progressive group Demand Progress, criticized the party's failure to oppose the bill and bemoaned that a "swing of just 26 Democrats would have defeated the measure."

While Timm expressed gratitude to House Democrats who fought to add critical privacy protections to the bill, an amendment offered by Rep. Justin Amash which was supported by many progressives was defeated:

Meanwhile, Democrats like Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who has aggressively opposed Trump on other fronts, were specifically called out for voting in favor of reauthorization of Section 702:

Glenn Greenwald, who consistently slammed the provisions of Section 702 and expansive NSA spying powers under Obama, said that its outrageous how Democrats who oppose Trump at nearly every turn would so blithely vote to reauthorize these powers given their repeated and stated concerns about the president.

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

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Previously:
* Yahoo E-Mail Scan Shows U.S. Spy Push To Recast Constitutional Privacy.

* Snowden: 'Journalists Are A Threatened Class' In Era Of Mass Surveillance.

* AT&T Spying On Americans For Profit.

* ACLU Demands Secret U.S. Court Reveal Secret U.S. Laws.

* Obama's New Era Of Secret Law.

* EFF To Court: Government Must Inform People That It's Accessing Their E-Mails, Personal Data.

* A Plea To Citizens, Websites: Fight The Expansion Of Government Powers To Break Into Users' Computers.

* NSA Today: Archives Of Spy Agency's Internal Newsletter Culled From Snowden Documents.

* U.S. Surveillance Court A Bigger Rubber Stamp Than Chicago City Council.

* Obama Won't Tell Congress How Many Innocent Americans He's Spying On.

* Ruling Unsealed: National Security Letters Upheld As Constitutional.

* EFF Sues For Secret Court Orders Requiring Tech Companies To Decrypt Users' Communications.

* Trying (And Trying) To Get Records From The 'Most Transparent Administration' Ever.

* EFF Urges Appeals Court To Allow Wikimedia And Others To Fight NSA Surveillance.

* U.S. Government Reveals Breadth Of Requests For Internet Records.

* What's The Evidence That Mass Surveillance Works? Not Much.

* Why The Close Collaboration Between The NSA And AT&T Matters.

* First Library To Support Anonymous Internet Browsing Effort Stops After DHS E-Mail.

* EFF Sues For Records About 'Hemisphere' Phone Call Collection And Drug Enforcement Program.

* Snowden Documentarian Laura Poitras Sues U.S. Government To Uncover Records After Years Of Airport Detentions And Searches.

* Obama Secretly Expanded NSA Spying To Internet.

* Court: NSA Phone Program Illegal.

* The Chicago Connection To The Hidden Intelligence Breakdowns Behind The Mumbai Attacks.

* Human Rights Watch Sues DEA Over Bulk Collection Of American's Telephone Records.

* U.S. Secretly Tracked Billions Of Calls For Decades.

* Amnesty International Joins ACLU, Wikimedia In Lawsuit To Stop Mass Surveillance Program.

* Stop Spying On Wikipedia Users.

* EFF Wins Battle Over Secret Legal Opinions On Government Spying.

* The NSA's "U.S. Corporate Partners."

* I Fight Surveillance.

* Illegal Spying Below.

* Smith vs. Obama.

* EFF Sues NSA Over FOIA.

* Stand Against Spying.

* The NSA Revelations All In One Chart.

* U.S. Supreme Court Limits Cell Phone Searches.

* EFF To Court: There's No Doubt The Government Destroyed NSA Spying Evidence.

* House Committee Puts NSA On Notice Over Encryption Standards.

* Which Tech Companies Help Protect You From Government Data Demands?

* Lawsuit Demands DOJ Release More Secret Surveillance Court Rulings.

* Human Rights Organizations To Foreign Ministers: Stop Spying On Us.

* What The Proposed NSA Reforms Wouldn't Do.

* Technologists Turn On Obama.

* Dear Supreme Court: Set Limits On Cell Phone Searches.

* EFF Fights National Security Letter Demands On Behalf Of Telecom, Internet Company.

* Eighth-Grader Schools The NSA.

* You Know Who Else Collected Metadata? The Stasi.

* Today We Fight Back.

* The Day We Fight Back.

* FAQ: The NSA's Angry Birds.

* Jon Stewart: The Old Hope-A-Dope.

* Four Blatantly False Claims Obama Has Made About NSA Surveillance.

* EFF To DOJ In Lawsuit: Stop Pretending Information Revealed About NSA Over Last Seven Months Is Still A Secret.

* Judge On NSA Case Cites 9/11 Report, But It Doesn't Actually Support His Ruling.

* Edward Snowden's Christmas Message.

* Jon Stewart: Obama Totally Lying About NSA Spying.

* Presidential Panel To NSA: Stop Undermining Encryption.

* The NSA Is Coming To Town.

* 60 Minutes We Can't Get Back.

* Why Care About The NSA?

* NSA Surveillance Drives Writers To Self-Censor.

* Filed: 22 Firsthand Accounts Of How NSA Surveillance Chilled The Right To Association.

* Claim On 'Attacks Thwarted' By NSA Spreads Despite Lack Of Evidence.

* Obama Vs. The World.

* How A Telecom Helped The Government Spy On Me.

* UN Member States Asked To End Unchecked Surveillance.

* Government Standards Agency: Don't Follow Our Encryption Guidelines Because NSA.

* Five More Organizations Join Lawsuit Against NSA.

* A Scandal Of Historic Proportions.

* Item: NSA Briefing.

* The Case Of The Missing NSA Blog Post.

* The NSA Is Out Of Control.

* Patriot Act Author Joins Lawsuit Against NSA.

* Obama's Promises Disappear From Web.

* Why NSA Snooping Is A Bigger Deal In Germany.

* Item: Today's NSA Briefing.

* NSA Briefing: It Just Got Worse (Again).

* Song of the Moment: Party at the NSA.

* It Not Only Can Happen Here, It Is Happening Here.

* What NSA Transparency Looks Like.

* America's Lying About Spying: Worse Than You Think.

* Obama Continues To Lie His Ass Off About The NSA.

* The Surveillance Reforms Obama Supported Before He Was President.

* America's Spying: Worse Than You Think.

* Has The U.S. Government Lied About Its Snooping? Let's Go To The Videotape.

* Who Are We At War With? That's Classified.

* Six Ways Congress May Reform NSA Snooping.

* NSA Says It Can't Search Its Own E-Mails.

* Does The NSA Tap That?

* Obama Explains The Difference Between His Spying And Bush's Spying.

* FAQ: What You Need To Know About The NSA's Surveillance Programs.

* NSA: Responding To This FOIA Would Help "Our Adversaries".

* Fact-Check: The NSA And 9/11.

* The NSA's Black Hole: 5 Things We Still Don't Know About The Agency's Snooping.

* Defenders Of NSA Surveillance Citing Chicago Case Omit Most Of Mumbai Plotter's Story.

* Obama's War On Truth And Transparency.

* ProPublica's Guide To The Best Stories On The Growing Surveillance State.

* The Fight To Rein In NSA Surveillance.

* Yahoo E-Mail Scan Shows U.S. Spy Push To Recast Constitutional Privacy.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:32 PM | Permalink

Chicago vs. Wisconsin

"Wisconsin officials have launched a planned multi-million dollar advertising campaign to lure millennials from Chicago," Fox6 in Milwaukee, among many others, reports.

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This got the Beachwood Vs. Affairs Desk thinking:

Chicago: Clout
Wisconsin: Gout

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Wisconsin: Packers
Chicago: Carjackers

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Wisconsin: Dahmer
Chicago: Rahmer

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Wisconsin: Badgers
Chicago: Rats

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Wisconsin: Dells
Chicago: Deals

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Wisconsin: Cheese
Chicago: Cheese

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Wisconsin: Ho-Chunk
Chicago: "Most aldermen, most politicians are hos"

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Wisconsin: Governor Walker
Chicago: Dead Governor Walkin'

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Wisconsin: Door County
Chicago: Danley Garage Doors

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Chicago: Sends pols to Wisconsin's Club Fed
Wisconsin: Hosts Chicago's pols at their Club Fed

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Wisconsin: Tommy Bartlett's Water Show
Chicago: Water Department's Shitshow

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Wisconsin: Foxconn
Chicago: Long con

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Wisconsin: Old Milwaukee
Chicago: Old Style

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Wisconsin: House on the Rock
Chicago: House on the Best-Plowed Block

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Wisconsin: Green Bay
Chicago: Green river

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Wisconsin: America's Dairyland
Chicago: America's Most Uniquely Corrupt City

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Wisconsin: Living in the sticks
Chicago: Will the charges stick?

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Wisconsin: Joseph McCarthy
Chicago: Garry McCarthy

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Wisconsin: La Crosse
Chicago: Double-cross

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Wisconsin: Miller Park
Chicago: MillerCoors HQ

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Wisconsin: Paul Ryan
Chicago: Pat Ryan

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Wisconsin: "On, Wisconsin!"
Chicago: "Are you wearing a wire?"

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Wisconsin: Janesville
Chicago: Jane Byrne

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Wisconsin: Lake Winnebago
Chicago: Joe Maddon's Winnebago

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Chicago: Millennium Park
Wisconsin: Millennial ad campaign

- Steve Rhodes, Tom Chambers, Mike Luce

See also:
* Sweet Home Alabama vs. Sweet Home Chicago

* The Kennedy Curse vs. The Cubs Curse

* Oprah vs. Obama

* Lincoln vs. Obama

* The Ryder Cup vs. NATO

* Chicago 2016 vs. Baghdad 2016

* Tank vs. Troutman

* James Brown vs. Gerald Ford

* Hester vs. Hastert

* Cubs vs. Hawks

* Quinn vs. Quade

* Alexi vs. Everyday People

* BP vs. Big Z

* McCain vs. McRib

* Subway vs. McDonald's

* IPRA vs. Oprah

* Marlon Byrd vs. Robert Byrd

* Lilo vs. Blago

* Rahm vs. Rob

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Previously in Wisconsin:
* Song of the Moment: On, 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.

* RECALL! Wisconsin Pork Sausage Patties.

* Making The Most Of Wisconsin's Autumn Garden Harvest.

* Who Is Stealing Wisconsin's Birch?

* How To Harvest And Process Wisconsin's Edible Tree Nuts.

* Lakes, Cheese And You.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:30 AM | Permalink

Can The Winter Olympics Save The World?

The small South Korean town of Pyeongchang, host of this year's Winter Olympics, has suddenly become the epicenter of one of the most dangerous games in world politics.

Amid escalating tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons program, and just after the United Nations and United States stepped up their already extensive sanctions regime against North Korea, an Olympian-cultivated olive branch has been offered.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's New Year message suggested the country might after all participate in the Winter Olympics just over the border. High-level talks between the parties quickly ensued in the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone.

koreasmeet.jpgReuters

Discussion, though, was not limited to the Opening Ceremony and figure skating. It extended to wider cooperation between the countries (including talks between their respective Red Cross organizations) and, crucially, to mitigating military tensions. A communication hiatus of more than two years between countries still formally at war has been ended by international sporting ties that bind.

Now, a substantial contingent of North Korean delegates - including athletes, coaches, senior officials, cheerleaders, artists, journalists, observers and a taekwondo display team - will enter South Korean territory for the Olympics. This will be a symbolic demonstration of reconciliation, and even of a mood for reunification projected to the world.

This is a classic instance of sport diplomacy - a concept popularized by the "ping pong diplomacy" between the U.S. and China in the early 1970s.

Sport Diplomacy Provides A Path Forward

Suggestions of sport's special capacity to open doors have been around since the Olympic Truce offered safe passage for athletes and their entourages in the Ancient Games. It was also a key plank of the philosophy underlying the Modern Olympic revival.

Sport, though, has long been a manifestation of "soft power."

The Australian Sports Diplomacy Strategy, for example, contains the benign-looking goals of "connecting people and institutions," "enhancing sport for development," and "supporting innovation and integrity." But the other goal, "showcasing Australia," principally concerns promoting the export of the country's sporting and other goods and services.

Despite these doubts about the motivations behind sport diplomacy, in the immediate Korean context it is difficult to imagine many other overtures from outside the formal political apparatus avoiding immediate condemnation as sanction-busting treachery.

This is a significant diplomatic breakthrough considering the conflict-laden atmosphere. North Korea's continual testing of its long-range missiles has destabilized diplomatic relations among countries in Northeast Asia and beyond. The tit-for-tat war of bellicose rhetoric between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump has exacerbated this problem.


Further reading: Five assumptions we make about North Korea - and why they're wrong


South Korea, a U.S. ally and North Korea's estranged sibling, has seized an opportunity by inviting its northern neighbor to the party. Harnessing the notion of the Olympic Truce and describing the event as a "peace festival," South Korean President Moon Jae-in persuaded the Trump administration to postpone joint military exercises scheduled to take place during the Olympics.

No doubt Kim sees diplomatic advantage in being represented at the Olympics and in the myriad photo opportunities provided by the DMZ meeting, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, sport contests, and the North Korean faces in the crowd.

The U.S. is not running the show, and the presidents of the two Koreas may even agree to meet. This would give an impression, however misleading, that the U.S. is reduced to the status of observer.

But it is naive to see diplomacy as a zero-sum game - as if, like the sport event itself, an agreed score and a clear winner always transpires. Diplomacy is as much about theater, performance and impression management as formal negotiations and the texts of treaties.

This may be a global shadow puppet show, or it might help thaw the frozen relations between North and South Korea. It's possible to hold both positions as the complex elements of the long, tragic history of the division of Korea and its exploitation by global superpowers merge and collide.

How Sport And Politics Can Mix

More than half a century of ideological conflict and cultural disconnection has created a deep cleavage, and it is unwise to expect too much of a one-off sporting exchange. After all, the two Koreas did march together at the Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympics.

koreas.jpgNorth and South Korean athletes marched as one at the 2004 Summer Olympics/Mike Blake, Reuters

Former South Korean president's Kim Dae-jung reconciliatory Sunshine Policy toward North Korea won him a Nobel Peace Prize, but it did not prevent the prospect of a nuclear sun for the rest of us.

North Korean officials have refused to discuss denuclearization in their bilateral talks. Kim is undeterred in celebrating his nation's military achievements, including the successful launch of a long-range missile that so disquieted most of the 206 nations affiliated to the International Olympic Committee. But at least those competing in the snowy landscape of Pyeongchang will feel a little safer now.

Ironically, the empty mantra that "sport and politics don't mix," so often used to bludgeon activist athletes, organizations and journalists, has been muted regarding this Winter Olympics.


Further reading: Sport, Sochi and the rising challenge of the activist athlete


Its mixture of sport, politics and diplomacy is a modest but meaningful sign of hope that peace may one day come to the Korean peninsula.

David Rowe is a professor emeritus of cultural research at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. Jung Woo Lee is a lecturer in Sport and Leisure Policy at the University of Edinburgh. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:14 AM | Permalink

January 10, 2018

The [Wednesday] Papers

The next Papers column will appear over the weekend.

To follow up, sort of, on part of yesterday's column, there is a third person in the race for Cook County Assessor: Andrea Raila.

Raila seems like a worthy candidate except for the fact that she got in the race relatively late - after Fritz Kaegi - as noted by the Beachwood Bookmaking Bureau. The Bureau sees things like this:

Joe Berrios gets the Dem nomination for Cook County Assessor: 50 percent. He shouldn't, of course, but he is the Machine.

Fritz Kaegi gets the Dem nomination: 30 percent. Got started early, though hasn't picked up much traction. Still.

Andrea Raila gets the Dem nomination: 20 percent. Her second shot at Berrios; could become the better alternative.

Raila ran against Berrios in 2009. Here's a blog post I wrote about her then, noting, among other things, kind words about her from Ben Joravsky and Studs Terkel.

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Raila didn't get to Election Day back then. Berrios forced her off the ballot.

"The Machine will assess your taxes," I wrote. "Barring a surprise Republican insurgency, Cook County Democratic Party Chairman and Machine Monster Joe Berrios will be the next Cook County Assessor. He will value your property for the purposes of taxing it to fund government operations and Machine shenanigans."

I also argued then for a change in balloting rules, which has not been forthcoming.

For a deeper dive, see one of the pieces I'm most proud of: Rahm's Rules: Part 1.

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The good news today is that it looks like Kaegi will survive a ballot challenge by Berrios.

Raila, too, is expected to survive a challenge by Berrios, according to the Tribune. But Kaegi has also challenged Raila's ballot petition signatures and, in the Trib report, sounds more aggressive about it than the Berrios camp. Of course, it would be to Kaegi's advantage - and Berrios's disadvantage - to get the incumbent in a one-on-one match-up instead of Raila possibly dividing the anti-Berrios vote, as the Trib notes.

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Meanwhile, the Cook County ethics board (yes, there is one) has fined Berrios and Kaegi has filed a defamation suit against him.

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P.S.: I missed this from October, just came across it today: "Berrios Opponent Plagued By Fake Websites."

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Reminder: Joe Berrios is the chairman of the Democratic Party of Cook County. Rahm Emanuel and Toni Preckwinkle and a whole lot of other Democrats continue to stand by him after years of nepotism, cronyism and all-around malfeasance.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Media Hyperreality
If journalists ever engaged in self-reflection, they would show more interest in people like media theorist Jean Baudrillard.

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 10.37.16 AM.png

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Chicago Dude Plays Bongos Over "Everyday I Write The Book."

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BeachBook

One Way Sanctuary Cities Are Safer Than Non-Sanctuary Cities.

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MSNBC Ignores Catastrophic U.S.-Backed War In Yemen.

*

Standard Depression Survey May Not Work As Well For Black Teens.

*

For Some In America, Including Chicago, China's Looming Surveillance Nightmare Is Here.

*

Kadner: Don't Just Close Veterans Home, Close The Whole State.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

Some have said this is a shameless way of denying accountability for a tragic situation and turning it into political opportunity. Let me be crystal clear. It is.

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Who is behind him - Rahm?

*

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If there's ever been a party structured around race and gender, it's the modern-day Republican party.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Hypersurreality.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:49 PM | Permalink

On Media Theorist Jean Baudrillard

Jean Baudrillard has been studied as sociologist, philosopher, cultural theorist, political commentator, and photographer. Brian Gogan establishes him as a rhetorician, demonstrating how the histories, traditions, and practices of rhetoric prove central to his use of language.

In addition to Baudrillard's standard works, Gogan examines many of the scholar's lesser-known writings that have never been analyzed by rhetoricians, and this more comprehensive approach presents fresh perspectives on Baudrillard's work as a whole.

gogan.jpg

Gogan examines both the theorist and his rhetoric, combining these two lines of inquiry in ways that allow for provocative insights.

Part one of the book explains Baudrillard's theory as compatible with the histories and traditions of rhetoric, outlining his novel understanding of rhetorical invention as involving thought, discourse, and perception.

Part two evaluates Baudrillard's work in terms of a perception of him - as an aphorist, an illusionist, an ignoramus, and an ironist.

A biographical sketch and a critical review of the literature on Baudrillard and rhetoric round out the study.

This book makes the French theorist's complex concepts understandable and relates them to the work of important thinkers, providing a thorough and accessible introduction to Baudrillard's ideas.

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From Wikipedia:

"He is best known for his analyses of media, contemporary culture, and technological communication, as well as his formulation of concepts such as simulation and hyperreality."

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Baurillard & hyperreality from MissConnell

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:19 AM | Permalink

January 9, 2018

The [Tuesday] Papers

"The race for the governor's seat is heating up; this time over controversial investments," WCIA-TV reports.

Economic interest reports filed by each candidate in November reveal Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic candidates, J.B. Pritzker and Chris Kennedy, each have financial ties with big oil and gas companies.

It's no surprise candidates with deep pockets and family inheritances have an extensive and elaborate list of investments but Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) says ties with "dirty oil companies" are a red flag. He's calling on his opponents to divest.

Reports show Pritzker and Kennedy each have investments in companies like Exxon Mobile, Exelon and Chevron. Kennedy also listed the largest tobacco company in the country.

Paperwork filed also reveals both Rauner and Pritzker have money invested in a company responsible for constructing the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

This is a legitimate line of inquiry; these investments are one way these candidates build upon their wealth, in some cases profiting off harm to others. None of them, apparently, have had the social conscience to weed out bad actors from their portfolios, or, conversely, don't consider the likes of Exxon as problematic.

See also: Confirmed: Exxon Knew.

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Embattled Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios has attacked challenger Fritz Kaegi for allegedly managing a fund that has invested nearly $30 million in private prisons. PolitiFact Illinois found that charge "Mostly False."

Fun thought: Will Berrios call out Pritzker and Kennedy for investments they own, and not just manage?

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As far as the Kaegi charge the Berrios campaign has made, it seems they got sloppy. (See the PolitiFact piece to see how.) But the room for doubt that leaves the charge's rating as "Mostly False" instead of wholly false is odd:

Berrios said his primary challenger "managed a fund that invested nearly $30 million in private prisons."

Columbia Acorn Fund, of which Fritz Kaegi was one of three managers, reported $29.1 million in stock of the private prison operator CoreCivic on its March 31, 2017, quarterly report.

But Kaegi's active management of the fund ended March 13, as documented in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Kaegi said the CoreCivic investment came after he was gone, and points to two years of quarterly reports and a Feb. 28 holdings summary to back his point.

We were unable to confirm from Kaegi's co-managers, but a scenario in which Kaegi during his final two weeks as a fund manager decides to invest in a controversial private prison stock as a last act before challenging an opponent in a Democratic primary in Cook County borders on absurd.

Now, you should never dismiss something because it seems "absurd." Absurdities happen all the time, especially in politics.

Instead, the Berrios charge falls apart when looking at the timing of Kaegi's involvement in the fund. (Again, see PolitiFact for details.)

But why won't Kaegi's co-managers confirm that timing? That leaves a sliver of a shadow of a doubt on Kaegi.

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Here's something else that is, um, curious about the PolitiFact report:

Our first call was to the Berrios campaign to find out the basis for the ad's allegation. Campaign spokeswoman Monica Trevino provided a quarterly Securities and Exchange Commission filing from March 31 that showed the Columbia Acorn Fund contained 926,513 shares in CoreCivic, a Nashville-based company that manages 91 prisons and related facilities across the country. The shares are valued at $29,111,038, according to the filing.

Trevino also sent an amendment to the Columbia Acorn prospectus dated March 13 that showed Kaegi's oversight of the fund would end on March 14. Because the quarterly report includes time when Kaegi was one of three managers of the fund, he's connected to the CoreCivic investment, Trevino said.

"Kaegi has not (provided) any definitive evidence that when the investment was made he wasn't there," Trevino said in an e-mail.

First, I wouldn't accept an e-mail response. This habit among journalists continues to drive me crazy. An e-mail cannot be questioned. Put it down as a refusal to comment instead.

Second, though, and to the point I'm here to make, Monica Trevino is the spokesperson for Joe Berrios?

Here's why that's odd: Joe Berrios is the grand epitome of the old-school, nepotistic, Soviet-like Democratic Machine. Monica Trevino was, until recently apparently, the chief of staff to democratic socialist, progressive, reform-minded Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa. (And previously a journalist.)

I don't know how someone can go from repping Ramirez-Rosa to Berrios - or, more like, we see it all the time, so I do know - but it's not particularly honorable, no matter how often the full-throated voices of principle chase the dollar and/or the career ladder in the end. And that goes for the candidates at the top of this post, too.

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New on today's Beachwood . . .

Blues Jam Memorial For Chicago Great Arthur "Sambo" Irby
"This will be a historic event to tell your grandchildren about. There will be many old Maxwell Street old-timer musicians there. Bring your cameras and video recorders."

*

At The Chicago History Museum | Remembering Dr. King
"King's work in Chicago illustrated that racism and racialized discrimination were not just southern problems but American ones."

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The World's Greatest College Football Report's Championship Game Preview
Third-place game to determine runners-up to Central Florida!

You might have missed this entertaining late post yesterday, but it's still worth the read even though Alabama beat Georgia last night.

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Chicago-Based Artist Protests Against The Selfie.

Personally, I have nothing against selfies per se, though particular kinds of selfies are beyond irritating. Perhaps that's what she's getting at.

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BeachBook
A sampling.

Tell President Obama To Stop Deporting Refugees.

See also: Sorry, Obama's Still Deporter-In-Chief.

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Secret Evidence Erodes Fair Trial Rights.

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Among 20 Wealthy Nations, U.S. Child Mortality Ranks Worst.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

The New York Times never even corrected its false, front-page reporting (nor its editorial). This was the era when political operatives truly learned - as Rahm Emanuel has articulated - that the media is driven by "narratives" (mostly that confirm their preconceived notions.)

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Assignment Desk, activate!

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Llline up!

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:36 PM | Permalink

January 8, 2018

The World's Greatest College Football Report's Championship Game Preview

To paraphrase Nick Saban, if the College Football Playoff Committee were expanded, debate would still rage over which teams were left out. Even if the bracket allowed for eight, 12, or 60+ (a la March Madness, as Saban called out) slots, we would suffer through weeks of who-is-in-who-is-out blathering.

As you watch - and we highly recommend that you do - the final tonight, beware of commentary on who deserved to play and skepticism driven by this year's bowl (playoff and otherwise) results. The dominating narrative will be "Should Central Florida have made it"? The Knights (#10 in the final AP rankings released - before bowl season - on December 3) finished an undefeated 13-0 season with a solid win 34-27 over #7 Auburn in the Peach Bowl.

Many consider UCF's omission sign that the current system tilts the selection process in favor of the so-called Power Five conferences. (A better name for the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific-12, and SEC may be The Cartel but that's for another Report.) UCF fans, contrarians, and most of Orlando (there's a parade at Disney World!), and, let's not overlook the Governor of Florida, have declared the Knights national champions by the transitive property, as Auburn defeated both teams playing in tonight's final game. No matter. Such arguments are fun but a distraction. Sit back and enjoy the game tonight.

The College Football Playoff National Championship
Alabama Crimson Tide (-4) vs. Georgia Bulldogs
7 p.m. ABC (at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA)

Celebrate saving thousands (the average ticket price spiked to historic levels, exceeding $2,300 today) by picking some prop bets tonight. Of those listed by Covers.com, we like:

* Georgia RB Nick Chubb total rushing yards, UNDER 83.5 (Alabama allowed a nation's-best 91.8 YPG rushing)

* Number of total sacks by both teams, OVER 2.5 (Have you SEEN some of the guys who play defense for the Dawgs? Georgia may hit the over on its own. Seriously, watch this highlight video.)

* Number of @realDonaldTrump tweets during the broadcast, OVER 1.5 (He can't help himself.)

We can't find the odds, but our pick for the traditional Gatorade bath is "Other," equivalent to betting the field in horse racing. (As in, neither yellow, orange or red.) Specifically, we're going with purple. Red would be the obvious choice - being the color of both teams - but we fully expect some Brand Manager sold the PepsiCo CMO on how using purple will propel the sales of Gatorade Fierce Grape into the stratosphere.

CFR pick: Alabama. We don't like The Tide and HC Nick Saban any more than the next guy, and would love to see the Luke-Darth storyline play out with Georgia HC Kirby Smart knocking off his former mentor, but this is betting. The Ewoks are not in action tonight.

The Chicken: 'Bama by 17

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Previously:

* The World's Greatest College Football Report's Bowl Preview Part 1. Keywords: AutoNation, Dreamstyle Remodeling, Las Vegas, Mountain Dew Mouth, North Texas Mean Green, Raycom, Troy Trojans.

* The World's Greatest College Football Report's Bowl Preview Part 2. Executives at Cheribundi no doubt would have preferred a more competitive game. Having signed on as the bowl sponsor until 2019, Cheribundi needed the contest to attract at least some marginal attention to bolster the awareness of its tart cherry beverages nationwide.

* The World's Greatest College Football Report's Bowl Game Preview Part 3. In this world of uncertainty, the Potato Bowl remains our rock.

* The World's Greatest College Football Report's Bowl Game Preview Part 4. Overlapping with the NFL schedule this weekend provides a gift to bettors: putting action on pro/bowl teasers.

* The World's Greatest College Football Report Bowl Game Preview Part 5. Introducing The Fourth Down Stupidity Index, starring Northern Illinois University. Oh, Huskies!

* The World's Greatest College Football Report Bowl Game Preview Part 6. "One of the few remnants of Red Terror appears ingloriously as the name of the school's gameday bus service."

* The World's Greatest College Football Report Bowl Game Preview Part 6. Always one for a seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time last round, the bird was last seen late-night downing Don Julios with Gentamicin chasers.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:19 PM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

"In an interview on WJOL radio in Joliet last week, host Kevin Kollins asked [Gov. Bruce] Rauner what he does to 'kick back' in the winter when it's not Harley-riding weather," Bernie Schoenburg reports for the Springfield State Journal-Register.

"One of my favorite things to do is I like to go skatin,'" Rauner said.

Skatin'.

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In today's Beachwood as well as postings since the last column on Thursday . . .

SportsMonday: Blackhawks Treading Ice
"There is nothing wrong with the Blackhawks that a four- or five-game winning streak won't fix. There is nothing wrong with the Blackhawks that a four- or five-game winning streak won't fix. There is nothing wrong with the Blackhawks that a four- or five-game winning streak won't fix."

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Confirmed: Exxon Knew
"A peer-reviewed study has confirmed 'a discrepancy between what ExxonMobil's scientists and executives discussed about climate change privately and in academic circles, and what it presented to the general public.'"

And the New York Times was complicit.

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Opening: Community In Color
"While some artists rely on the vibrancy of color to convey emotions connected to kinship, others choose to make work that more explicitly references the architectural and landscape elements that create a neighborhood."

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Beachwood Sports Radio: Bears Coaching Search Already A Failure
Ryan Pace hire, too. Plus: Get Bill!; Cubs' Stove Goes Cold; Say It Ain't So, Niko; Q-Less?; Congratulations To The University Of Central Florida, National Champs!; Local College Basketball Teams Still Suck; Rick Hahn Continues His Unleashed! Tour; and Schweinsteiger Is Back!

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Olympic Athletes Struggle To Balance Their Sports With College
"Their stories illustrate how, for older students, getting a degree is like skating uphill."

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TV Guide: That's Entertainment!
Sung by Hot Fudge Show star Larry Santos.

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

"Prison Song" / Chicago Women's Liberation Band

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BeachBook
A sampling.

The Beachwood Radio Hour #38: Lessons In Chicago Crime, Politics & Media. How Rahm Emanuel is both vulnerable and inevitable. Plus: Media Redlining; Cops vs. Civilians; and Convicted In Cook County.

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Obama's Shoddy Human Rights Legacy.

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Cold Weather Hampers Great Lakes Shipping.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Skatin'.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:35 AM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Blackhawks Treading Ice

There is nothing wrong with the Blackhawks that a four- or five-game winning streak won't fix. There is nothing wrong with the Blackhawks that a four- or five-game winning streak won't fix. There is nothing wrong with the Blackhawks that a four- or five-game winning streak won't fix.

This must be our mantra for the foreseeable future. The squad just passed the halfway point of the season! There is still plenty of time for goodness sake after the Hawks posted a rock-solid 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday afternoon!

And sure, the 5-4 loss to the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights two days prior was rough. (And again, for gosh sakes, why the "Golden Knights?" Why not a nickname with some sort of connection to your outrageously unique town? "Golden Knights" is the lamest team name since the Utah Jazz.) After that game the Hawks again found themselves alone in last place in their seven-team division.

Actually, it was more than rough. It felt like the beginning of the end. And there is a great chance it was the end of the fairy tale for goalie Jeff Glass. Glass had made his NHL debut for the Blackhawks at the advanced age of 32 one week prior and had broken in with some solid performances. But he gave up several softies against the Knights and then fellow back-up Anton Forsberg played much better in front of the net against the Oilers.

On the other hand, Glass will almost certainly have at least one more chance to impress. The Hawks have a back-to-back starting Tuesday in Ottawa and then at home versus the Wild. Forsberg figures to get one start and Glass the other.

And with injured starter Corey Crawford still not even skating on the off day Saturday, these are probably the only guys the Hawks have for that same foreseeable future we were talking about earlier.

No matter who plays in goal, the Hawks need to be better defensively in general, not just in front of the net. The latest guy to play poorly enough to earn a trip to the press box (where inactive players spend game days/nights) was Connor Murphy.

Murphy was the highly touted defensive centerpiece who was the primary return of the Hawks' trade of stellar, multi-championship-winning blue-liner Niklas Hjalmarrson this past off-season. And has given the team stretches of solid play so far this season. But it was his brutally ill-advised pinch that sent the Knights on their way to the game-winning breakaway in the third period of the back-and-forth game on Friday.

Coach Q's description of Murphy's benching as just another roster rotation on a team with too many good defensemen simply doesn't pass the eye test. The spotlight will shine brightly on Murphy when he returns to action.

As of Monday, the Hawks had totaled 46 points on the season. They are right behind the Avalanche and the Wild, who are tied for fifth in the Central Division with 47 each. The good news is that while the Hawks are considerably further behind the fourth-place Stars (51) in the Central (the top three finishers in each division automatically make the playoffs), they only have one point less than the Ducks, who are fourth in the Pacific Division.

Finishing ahead of the Ducks (and the Wild and Avalanche) would give the Hawks the eighth and final seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

Wait a minute, you mean we're only a point out of the second wild-card? So what's the big deal? The big deal is the number of teams the Hawks have to pass. There is a ton of work to be done.

But there is plenty of time to do it! That's the spirit! There is plenty of time. There is plenty of time. There is plenty of time.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:23 AM | Permalink

Confirmed: Exxon Knew

A peer-reviewed study has confirmed "a discrepancy between what ExxonMobil's scientists and executives discussed about climate change privately and in academic circles, and what it presented to the general public."

"ExxonMobil contributed quietly to the science and loudly to raising doubts about it," wrote Harvard researchers Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes in their study, published in the scientific journal Environmental Research Letters.

"Even while ExxonMobil scientists were contributing to climate science and writing reports that explained it to their bosses, the company was paying for advertisements that told a very different tale," they concluded in a New York Times Op-Ed.

"Exxon has officially run out of excuses," said Greenpeace USA climate liability campaigner Naomi Ages. "This peer-reviewed study from Harvard is just the latest piece of evidence indicating that the largest oil company in the world knew about the risks of climate change, but concealed them from the public and shareholders."

The study confirmed findings from 2015 reports by InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times, which claimed the company had long known about the risks of climate change but publicly denied them, and triggered probes by the New York and Massachusetts attorneys general as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In their New York Times op-ed, the researchers note that they were pushed to undertake their study by ExxonMobil's response to the 2015 reports:

The company responded that the allegations were false and "deliberately cherry-picked," and that anyone who looked into the matter would see that. "Read the documents," the company said, "and make up your own mind." A year ago we took up this challenge. We have read all of the documents, analyzed them according to established social science methods, and made up our minds . . . Our findings are clear: Exxon Mobil misled the public about the state of climate science and its implications.

Supran and Oreskes examined 187 climate change-related communications from ExxonMobil between 1977 and 2014, including peer-reviewed, non-peer-reviewed, and internal communications, as well as paid, editorial-style advertisements, or "advertorials," published by the New York Times.

They observed that ExxonMobil's Times advertorials "included several instances of explicit factual misrepresentation," and "overwhelmingly emphasized only the uncertainties, promoting a narrative inconsistent with the views of most climate scientists, including ExxonMobil's own."

After Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik wrote about the study, ExxonMobil e-mailed him comment, calling its findings "inaccurate and preposterous."

"ExxonMobil acknowledges the risk of climate change is clear and warrants action," the statement said, asserting that the study "was paid for, written and published by activists leading a five-year campaign against the company."

Supran and Oreskes note in the study's acknowledgments their research was paid for by the Harvard University Faculty Development Funds and the Rockefeller Family Fund, and state they "have no other relevant financial ties and declare no conflicts of interest."

Oreskes further told Mother Jones that ExxonMobil's messaging adapts as its past positions become discredited, but that the company still sticks to its old habits of sowing doubt among members of the public.

"They are promoting a different kind of doubt," she said. "It's a doubt that says, 'There's climate change, but we have to still use fossil fuels because there's no alternative,'" Oreskes explained, stressing that there are alternatives (as outlined in Bill McKibben's In These Times cover story).

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

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See also:

* I Was An Exxon-Funded Climate Scientist.

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

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Steve Rhodes:

What responsibility does the New York Times have for all those bullshit advertorials they published? Providing a platform for corporations, political entities and other organizations to occupy prime Times real estate for the purpose of deceiving readers seems ethically fraught to me!

In my view, all forms of advertising should be vetted as hard as editorial content is (or should be). In the end, it's still information published and therefore tacitly approved on one level or another by a news organization offering access to its readers.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:07 AM | Permalink

At The Chicago History Museum | Remembering Dr. King

The Chicago History Museum commemorates Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s impact in 2018, the 50th anniversary of his assassination, with an exhibition that explores his work in Chicago and around the nation.

"King's work in Chicago illustrated that racism and racialized discrimination were not just southern problems but American ones," said Joy Bivins, director of curatorial affairs at the Chicago History Museum. "We're proud to host this exhibition as King's work in our city, the nation and around the world continues to speak to us today."

Remembering Dr. King: 1929-1968, opens on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 15. The exhibition opening coincides with the Museum's annual family-friendly event that takes place from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Museum admission is complimentary for Illinois residents on this day.

kingchm2.jpg

The exhibition invites visitors to walk through a winding gallery that features more than 25 photographs depicting key moments in Dr. King's work and the civil rights movement, with a special focus on his time in Chicago.

Chicago, like other U.S. cities, erupted in the wake of King's assassination on April 4, 1968. While the center of his activism was focused on dismantling southern Jim Crow, the systems that kept African Americans oppressed in the American South, he spent time in Chicago and often spoke out on the realities of northern discrimination, particularly around the issues of poverty, education and housing.

A timeline will ring the gallery and punctuate the key moments in King's life and the civil rights movement. Important Chicago moments include two keynote speeches he delivered at Soldier Field, and King's participation in the Chicago Freedom Movement in 1966 when he moved his family to a West Side slum to highlight segregation in Chicago.

As visitors exit the gallery, a reflection space will prompt visitors to reflect on King's impact and how his work for equality remains relevant today.

Families are invited to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Museum. Visitors can enjoy a production of The MLK Project: The Fight for Civil Rights by Writers Theatre and a musical performance by the Chicago Chamber Choir along with storytelling and crafts that reflect Dr. King's messages of nonviolence and justice.

Admission to the exhibition is included with regular Museum admission ($16 adults/ $14 seniors and students, and free for children 12 years of age and younger). The exhibition will run through December 2018. For more information on Remembering Dr. King: 1929-1968, visit chicagohistory.org/exhibitions.

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Previously: King In Chicago.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:59 AM | Permalink

Political Odds

For entertainment purposes only. And office pools. Updated as events warrant.

The chance that . . .

Bruce Rauner gets the GOP nomination for governor: 75 percent. Jeanne Ives is nuts, but she'll take a chunk out of Rauner's hide.

Jeanne Ives gets the GOP nomination: 25 percent. She's nuts, but she'll take a chunk out of Rauner's hide.

Bruce Rauner is re-elected: 30 percent. Down five ticks on intra-party dissatisfaction. But the Dem nominee ain't gonna be an especially inspiring figure.

The Dem nominee wins the governorship: 65 percent. It's gonna be a Dem year, let's face it.

Sam McCann, running as an independent, wins the governorship: 5 percent. But let's see if he brings it.

column_pol_odds.gifJ.B. Pritzker gets the Dem nomination: 50%. Dem constituencies falling into place.

Chris Kennedy gets the Dem nomination: 25 percent. Up five ticks; gaining strength as a candidate, but too late.

Daniel Biss gets the Dem nomination: 25 percent. True progressive-ish alternative could roll up the anti-billionaire vote.

Bob Daiber gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. Who?

Tio Hardiman gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. The new Dock Walls.

Robert Marshall gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. The new Bob Daiber.

Ameya Pawar gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. Unless everyone else flames out; he'll work hard, but please. OUT

Scott Drury gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. Wrong year for an anti-Madigan platform; we need him on that wall. OUT

Alex Paterakis gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. Who? OUT

Chuy Garcia gets the Dem nomination to replace Luis Gutierrez for Congress: 65 percent. The fix is in.

Sol Flores gets the Dem nomination: 34 percent. A successful social services leader who happens to be a woman sure sounds good; the grassroots candidate.

Carlos Rosa gets the Dem nomination: 20 percent. An enthusiastic base but, fair warning, he'll come out the race worse off than he went into it. OUT

Joe Moreno gets the Dem nomination: 1 percent. Almost lost his aldermanic seat last time around; the shine is off the hipster fauxgressive. Chuy and Flores would have to get hit by each other's cars for Joe to sneak in.

Neli Vazquez-Rowland: 0 percent. Gold Coast resident unlikely to fare well in this district. OUT

Ray Lopez gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. No-name alderman with no good reason to run.

Richard Gonzalez gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. Police sergeant backed by state Rep. Luis Arroyo unlikely to get traction.

Bobby Rush (D-AT&T) gets the Dem nomination for re-election to Congress: 90 percent. Rush should go, but Howard Brookins unlikely to be the one to push him out. UPDATE 12/26: Brookins has withdrawn.

Dan Lipinski (D-His Dad) gets the Dem nomination for re-election to Congress: 70 percent. Marie Newman will run a spirited campaign, but Lipinski, sadly, always survives in this district.

Mike Quigley (D-Hockey) gets the Dem nomination for re-election to Congress: 90 percent. Sameena Mustafa is an intriguing challenger, one of three, but Quigley is one of the Machine's favorite "reformers."

Danny Davis (D-Moonies) gets the Dem nomination for re-election to Congress: 99 percent. Two no-name challengers, sadly. Like Rush, his time is long past.

Adam Kinzinger (R-Downstate) gets the GOP nomination for re-election to Congress: 99 percent. Two challengers whom are presumably not real threats.

Darin LaHood (R-His Dad) gets the GOP nomination for re-election to Congress: 99 percent. One challenger who is presumably not a threat.

Toni Preckwinkle gets the Dem nomination for Cook County Board President: 95 percent. Some folks may have lingering distaste for the now-revoked soda tax, but Preckwinkle is still miles beyond her competition.

Bob Fioretti gets the Dem nomination: 5 percent. Only if the nexus of racists and soda tax haters is larger than we think - though he found a pigeon in Willie Wilson to bankroll him.

Todd Stroger gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. As if - but that didn't stop some members of our esteemed local press corps from taking him seriously. OUT

Tom Dart gets the Dem nomination for re-election to Cook County Sheriff: 90 percent. Two challengers, including former state Rep. Eddie Acevedo, who have never appeared on 60 Minutes.

Karen Yarbrough gets the Dem nomination for re-election to Cook County Recorder of Deeds: 70 percent. She shouldn't, but the Machine favors her over main challenger Nick Shields, spokesperson for Cook County Clerk David Orr.

Alma Anaya gets the Dem nomination to replace Chuy Garcia on the Cook County board: 60 percent. The fix is in.

Alex Acevedo gets the Dem nomination: 20 percent. Some folks may not like the fix that's in.

Angeles Sandoval gets the Dem nomination: 20 percent. Some folks may not like the fix that's in.

Ricardo Munoz gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. He had a good shot at the job he's longed for, but in the end helped fix it for Anaya. OUT

Joe Berrios gets the Dem nomination for Cook County Assessor: 50 percent. He shouldn't, of course, but he is the Machine.

Fritz Kaegi gets the Dem nomination: 30 percent. Got started early, though hasn't picked up much traction. Still.

Andrea Raila gets the Dem nomination: 20 percent. Her second shot at Berrios; could become the better alternative.

Robert Shaw gets the Dem nomination for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District: 10 percent. Please let's not let this happen.

Todd Stroger gets the Dem nomination for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District: 0 percent. Please let's not let this happen.

Kwame Raoul gets the Dem nomination for state attorney general: 45 percent. Early frontrunner with the best resume.

Jesse Ruiz gets the Dem nomination: 30 percent. Lackluster civil servant whose term on the Chicago school board will not look good.

Sharon Fairley gets the Dem nomination: 20 percent. Big jump from short-lived term leading COPA.

Renato Mariotti gets the Dem nomination: 5 percent. Best known for his Twitter feed.

Pat Quinn gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. Know when your time is up, dude.

Nancy Rotering gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. Big step up from Highland Park mayor.

Aaron Goldstein gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. Former Blagojevich defense lawyer is not a great credential.

Scott Drury gets the Dem nomination: 0 percent. Same chance he had when he was running for governor.

Rahm wins re-election: 70 percent. You can't beat evil with nobody.

Lori Lightfoot gets elected mayor: 15 percent. First she has to decide to do it - and it's way past a little late.

Troy LaRaviere gets elected mayor: 5 percent. Being a spurned principal, no matter how good you were at your job, isn't enough.

Bridget Gainer gets elected mayor: 5 percent. Apparently considering it, and field needs a woman, but willing to challenge Rahm?

Scott Waguespack gets elected mayor: 5 percent. Best council antagonist, but hasn't built citywide appeal.

Garry McCarthy gets elected mayor: 0 percent. 16 shots.

Chance The Rapper gets elected mayor: 0 percent. No.

Propositions

Over/Under on number of aldermen who will be indicted before the next election: 4. Hurry up, feds, transcribe those tapes!

Over/Under on number of aldermen currently wearing a wire: 1.5. There's always at least one.

Next alderman likely to be indicted, three-way parlay, choose from the following, in descending probability: Willie Cochran [done!], Jason Ervin, Howard Brookins, Anthony Beale, Emma Mitts, Walter Burnett, George Cardenas, Carrie Austin, Danny Solis, Patrick O'Connor.

Daley brother most likely to be indicted in descending probability, parlays available: John, Michael, Richard, Bill.

Daley relative most likely to be indicted in descending probability: Patrick Daley, Patrick Daley Thompson.

Emanuel brother most likely to be indicted in descending probability: Ari, Rahm, Ezekiel.

Next city/county officeholder likely to be indicted in descending probability: Dorothy Brown, Karen Yarbrough, Joe Berrios, Stanley Moore, Maria Pappas.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:30 AM | Permalink

Blues Jam Memorial For Chicago Great Arthur "Sambo" Irby

Hi friends and colleagues,

This Wednesday, January 10 at 8 p.m. at the Waterhole (real jukejoint) Blues Club will be a memorial blues jam for the great Chicago Blues musician Arthur "Sambo" Irby. The Waterhole is at 1400 South Western Avenue, across the street from the Union Pacific train yards.

He was a great West Side blues drummer who also sang. He was especially known for playing the harmonica but without a harmonica - he sung the harmonica, bended notes and all.

Sambo helped in many blues protest jams on old Maxwell Street to try to save that area. He is a blues hero.

This will be a historic event to tell your grandchildren about. There will be many old Maxwell Street old-timer musicians there. Bring your cameras and video recorders.

This jam is hosted by Low-reen and the Maxwell Street Market Blues Band, among others. If you are lucky, you may get a chance to see Ms. Rodeo and April dance.

The phone for the Waterhole is (312) 243-7988. Low-reen's e-mail address is blackcatbones@sbcglobal.net.

May Sambo be joining his fellow legends of Maxwell Street Blues in that great heavenly jam session in the sky.

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Sambo on lead vocal.

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Previously by (or including) Steve Balkin:
* The Maxwell Street Muddle.

* Maxwell Street Malfeasance.

* City Needs New Policy For The Maxwell Street Market: An Open Letter To Mayor-Elect Emanuel.

* The Maxwell Street Market Vendors Association Wants You To Like Them.

* The Olympic Bid That Could Have Been.

* Lil Scotty: 'Give Him His Flowers While He Lives.'

* Remembering Lil Scotty: Bluesman, Buttonman.

* Remembering Lacy Gibson, Master Bluesman.

* Here's To Bobby Too Tuff.

* Continuing The Political Revolution.

* Reducing Chicago's Violence: A 10-Point Plan.

* New WPA Stamps Are a Good Reminder To Bring Emergency Public Employment Infrastructure Programs To Violent Neighborhoods.

* Item: Chicago Efforts To Stop Genocide Of Rohingya People In Myanmar.

* Saving The Rohingya: Stopping Genocide And Volunteering In Chicago.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:20 AM | Permalink

January 5, 2018

TV Guide: That's Entertainment!

Sung by Hot Fudge Show star Larry Santos.


This aired on local Chicago TV in January 1985.

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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?'

* Lottery Trainwreck.

* So You Think You Know Chicago . . .

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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 6:15 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #182: Bears Coaching Search Already A Failure

Ryan Pace hire, too. Plus: Get Bill!; Cubs' Stove Goes Cold; Say It Ain't So, Niko; Q-Less?; Congratulations To The University Of Central Florida, National Champs!; Local College Basketball Teams Still Suck; Rick Hahn Continues His Unleashed! Tour; and Schweinsteiger Is Back!


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SHOW NOTES

* 182.

1:30: Get Bill!

* Wickersham: For Kraft, Brady And Belichick, Is This The Beginning Of The End?

* Bears already failed to get the otherwise-top guy: Jon Gruden. Let's play in the big leagues, c'mon!

* Jimmy G, Tommy B.

* McDaniels, Shurmur, Toub.

* Young Mitchell Trubisky:

A reporter then asked Trubisky, "Did it feel like a farewell message, or more like an end of season message?"

The sharp young quarterback fired back immediately.

"End of season message, but you guys can twist it however you want."

23:45: Cubs' Stove Goes Cold.

* We're freezing, Theo!

* Let the bidding wars begin!

* Six-pack.

* Cubs couldn't "afford" Wade Davis.

* Every year, Joe Maddon destroys a Cubs closer.

* Getting Renteria'd.

* Coffman: Ryan's "Rebuild."

40:10: Say It Ain't So, Niko.

* Rhodes believes!

* Fred's Dunn.

* Zach's (Almost) Back.

* The Process.

55:05: Q-Less?

* Lazerus: Joel Quenneville Not Sweating Short-Term Job Security, Long-Term Legacy.

* Say it ain't so, Joel.

1:03:05: Congratulations To The University Of Central Florida, National Champs!

* What happened to you, Paul Finebaum?

1:06:02: Local College Basketball Teams Still Suck.

* Loyola was a mirage.

1:06:26: Rick Hahn Continues His Unleashed! Tour.

* Three-team, six-player trade brings veteran bullpen help and cash to the South Side.

1:08:10: Schweinsteiger! Is Back.

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STOPPAGE: 9:30

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:59 PM | Permalink

Opening: Community in Color

Hi friends, I'm writing to inform you of our next opening reception at Circle Contemporary gallery (at our Chicago studio). We hope you can join us next Friday. Details below.

Community in Color
January 12th - February 23rd

Image 1-5-18 at 12.31 PM.jpg

Chicago ACT Collective

Nikole Heusman. Methodical, astute, Romantic.

Christianne Msall. Peace signs, rainbows, flowers, and stars.

Sarah Nishiura. One-of-a-kind quilts.

Roni Packer. Yellowness.

Kelly Stone. Circles, squares, rectangles, blue, green, purple, yellow, people, trees, planes.

Sadie Woods. Merging curation, art-making and deejaying.

Community in Color, co-curated by Lauren Leving and the Arts of Life Curatorial Committee, features work by Chicago-based artists and artists from both of the Arts of Life studios. This exhibition showcases multiple interpretations of community. While some artists rely on the vibrancy of color to convey emotions connected to kinship, others choose to make work that more explicitly references the architectural and landscape elements that create a neighborhood.

Community in Color is constantly in flux, and imagines community building as an artistic practice in itself, shaped by collaborative projects that evolve over the course of the exhibition. The interactivity that stems from the artwork in this exhibit forges relationships between these artists, simultaneously expanding and unifying Chicago's creative community.

Opening reception:
Friday, January 12
5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Gallery Hours
mon-fri // 9-4
sat // 12-4

2010 West Carroll Avenue

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:30 PM | Permalink

Olympic Athletes Struggle To Balance Their Sports With College

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado - Max Aaron may have been the 2011 men's junior figure-skating champion, 2013 U.S. national champion and 2015 Skate America champion, vying for a spot on the U.S. team in next month's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

But all his grandfather wants to know is when he's going to machan a leibedik - Yiddish for "make a living."

Aaron, who is 25, is working on it. He balanced his grueling training schedule with classes toward a degree in finance at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

A onetime hockey player who switched to figure skating after breaking his back in high school, Aaron took his competitive nature with him to the university, where he was determined to outdo his classmates.

"I look at, they got a 99 - I'm going to get 100," he said during a break from the rink in the World Arena Ice Hall, where aspiring and elite Olympic skaters train.

MaxAaron.jpgMax Aaron/Photos by Matt Nager

That doesn't mean it was easy. Because of his skating career, he hadn't ever taken the SAT or ACT, so he had to start at community college. He worked as a barback and a waiter on the weekends to help pay the tuition. To accommodate his three hours a day at the rink, plus warm-up time, strength conditioning, physical therapy and dance, he typically took his finance classes from 8 a.m. to 10:40 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 10:05 p.m.

"This is like a full day, and going to school at the same time is challenging," Aaron said of his obligations as an Olympic hopeful. "I laid out my entire schedule and these are my breaks and this is when the courses meet and where I can fit them in."

Universities "don't work around you," he said, smiling wryly; "you work around them."

Olympic athletes and hopefuls may comprise only a tiny handful of the nontraditional-age adults trying to get higher educations. But their struggles with finding the money and time to do it, among other problems, offer a surprising, high-performance illustration of the problems legions of older students face in common.

American higher education long ago stopped being the exclusive sphere of the 18-year-old undergraduate right out of high school, tossing a Frisbee on a manicured quadrangle.

Sixty percent of undergraduates today are over 25, working full time, financially independent of their parents, or connected with the military, according to the American Council on Education. That's nearly 16 million people.

As the number of 18-year-olds declines, higher-education institutions and, eventually, employers, are becoming more dependent on this older group to fill classrooms and jobs. And the supply of them is vast. One in five American adults has earned some college credit, but never finished a degree, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences reports.

Yet exactly at the time when more nontraditional-aged adults are needed to go to college, institutional and government policies make that harder than trying to skate uphill.

Those credits often don't transfer, for example, forcing older students to retake courses they've already passed; the average transfer student loses 13 credits, or more than a semester's worth, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Federal financial aid is generally unavailable to students who don't enroll full time, while the annual $12 billion in state financial aid often has age limits, the Education Commission of the States points out. Older students also are ineligible for free tuition at community colleges and public universities in 14 of the states that offer or have proposed it.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has proposed eliminating a $15 million program that provides campus childcare to student parents. This at a time when more than a quarter of college students have kids, up 30 percent since 2004, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, but the proportion of campuses that offer day care has already fallen. (A provision in the House version of the Republican federal tax bill that would have further discouraged people from going back to school by taxing workers on the reimbursements for tuition they receive from their employers did not make it into the final bill.)

All of these things compound the struggles older students have affording college, balancing it with families and jobs and dealing with administrative offices and courses open only during weekday business hours.

Combined with an improving employment market that has drawn some students back into the workforce, such obstacles have helped to steadily erode the number of older-than-traditional age people at U.S. colleges and universities, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. It reported last month that there were 228,000 fewer people over 24 enrolled in the fall semester than in the fall before that, and 1.5 million fewer than there were in the fall of 2010.

Compared to most of them, Olympic athletes and hopefuls have some help. In August, the state of Colorado made them eligible for lower in-state tuition at community colleges and public universities; 56 are already taking advantage of that. There are 500 athletes at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, chosen by the governing bodies of their sports.

The U.S. Olympic Committee also began in 2014 to offer college scholarships, using money it receives from donors. And athletes can take online courses for free from the for-profit DeVry University, a USOC sponsor. Thirty-seven have graduated, and there are another 118 enrolled. (About 1,600 paying students at DeVry have filed claims for loan forgiveness, saying the school defrauded or misled them, according to the Century Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank, and its parent company has reached a tentative deal to sell it.)

"The athletes are a little bit at the forefront of this," said Leslie Klein, the USOC's director of athlete career and education and herself a former two-time Olympian who competed in kayaking and canoeing. "They're just trying to chisel away at their educations [and] we're trying to make it a little easier for them."

LeslieKlein.jpgLeslie Klein

In many ways, it's still tough. The USOC last year awarded $236,000 in tuition scholarships, for instance, but the amount requested was four times that much and only 80 athletes got them out of 120 who applied.

Then there are the time constraints. Many older students juggle families and jobs with school; Olympic hopefuls train so incessantly that their training is often the equivalent of a full-time job. On top of that, they travel often to compete.

A bronze (Vancouver) and silver (Sochi) medalist in bobsledding, Elana Meyers Taylor crawled much more slowly toward her master's degree in sports administration, which took her four years at a pace of two courses a semester. Then she started studying online for an MBA, often stymied by poor wireless service in the tiny ski towns where she competed.

"So you can imagine getting an online degree is pretty difficult," she said.

She'd work on her academics during travel time and at night. "I'd get a couple of hours in and study here and there," Meyers Taylor said. She got her MBA in finance in 2015, which helped her get an internship in finance with the International Olympic Committee and a job with InstaViser, a company that mentors athletes and others enrolled in education programs.

"It's not easy," she said of combining work, study and international competition. "I'm not going to say . . . I wanted to sit down and read about the stock market" after every race. "It's about setting a goal and keeping that long-term perspective."

Jennifer Page, a 2020 Olympic hopeful in women's wrestling, just finished an undergraduate degree in health sciences and strength and conditioning at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

"It was quite difficult," she said, across town at the main U.S. Olympic Training Center. "I would wake up, I'd have class at 8 a.m., I had practice at 10. I'd eat, shower, go back to school from 1 to around 3:30 and then have practice again from 4 to 6 p.m. and I'd go home and eat, shower, do homework and go to bed. And that was my day."

JenniferPage.jpgJennifer Page

Page earned some credits at Oklahoma City University, where she spent a year on a wrestling scholarship but quit to train for London with the Olympic team. Not all of those credits transferred. And to stay in school, she had to take out student loans.

It took her six years to earn her bachelor's degree. She had to study for finals while preparing for a major competition. She's now working online toward an MBA from DeVry, which she hopes to use eventually to help expand her sport in the United States.

Page was amused to hear her younger classmates complain about how hard college was.

"I think how easy it would be if all I had to do was go to school," she said. "Life seems so simple when all you have to do is show up for school and do your homework."

Figure skater Mirai Nagasu, who also hopes to return to the Olympics - she came in fourth in 2010, when she was just 16 - carries with her to the practice rink a three-ring binder with notes from an accounting class and a textbook about business law whose cover has been chewed off by her Australian shepherd dog; important pages are bookmarked with decorative sticky notes she got from a fan.

MiraiNagasu.jpgMirai Nagasu

"Whenever I have a break, I'm back on my computer and studying," said Nagasu, now 24 and in the equivalent of her junior year on her way to a bachelor's degree in international business from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. "It is so beyond difficult to balance it all. During finals week I don't get a lot of sleep and I tell myself, 'I can't do this any more.'"

But she and other Olympic athletes do, because they know their competitive years will someday end.

"An athlete ends up at the pinnacle of a career sometimes as early as their late 20s and they've never known a life outside of sport," said Klein, who interrupted her own education to compete before later earning undergraduate and graduate degrees. "If they haven't gone to school they have nothing to lean on in terms of a career outside of sport."

Meyers Taylor said she was encouraged by her father, Eddie Taylor, a standout football player at Navy who aspired to the NFL but played only exhibition games.

"He always taught me that regardless of what I wanted to do in athletics, education was the most important thing and one day my athletic career would come to an end," said Meyers Taylor, who now aspires to earn a doctorate "in something. I don't know what yet."

Other countries that are part of the International Olympic Committee Athlete Career Program do more for adult learners in general and athletes in particular, Klein said.

"There's a lot more put back on the athletes in the U.S. than in Europe," she said. "In general, having to pay for your education puts Americans at a little bit of a disadvantage."

As for Max Aaron, he hopes to ultimately work in financial services.

"I have met a lot of athletes who were on the top of their sport, and then sat around and did nothing. They just didn't know what to do," he said. "It eventually ends, and that's what I think a lot of athletes forget. It's 10 years after the Olympics and you won the Olympics and that's great, but no one cares."

His graduation ceremony last month was held in the arena next to the rink where he trained. His grandfather couldn't make it, but his parents did.

After he received his bachelor's degree, he went back to the locker room, changed clothes, and got back on the ice to train some more.

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 3:45 AM | Permalink

January 4, 2018

The [Thursday] Papers

Note: The Papers will next appear on Monday.


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"This is evil. It would be more humane to just line them up against the building and shoot 'em as compared to taking away what little they had and then expecting them to fend in this cold for themselves with nothing," Father Paul Kalchik, priest at Resurrection Catholic Church, said.

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ChicagoGram

#CraveArt #whiteface #Collage #cellhead

A post shared by Joël Maximé, Jr. (@cravechicago) on

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ChicagoTube

From Jack to Juke: 25 Years Of Ghetto House.

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BeachBook

Replacing Ronnie.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Bear down.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:35 PM | Permalink

January 3, 2018

The [Wednesday] Papers

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ChicagoGram

#xmas #rural #street

A post shared by @ gboozell on

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ChicagoTube

"Chicago," Technimatic remix.

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BeachBook

We Were Wrong About Stop-And-Frisk.

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Laura Washington: What About Sanctuary For Us?

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Fast-Food Loving Trump's Labor Board Pulls The Rug Out From Under Fast-Food Workers.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Reducks.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:53 AM | Permalink

January 2, 2018

The [Tuesday] Papers

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New on the Beachwood today and since The Weekend Desk Report . . .

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Mystery Actions, Nerves, Guided By Voices, YGN, Les Strychnine, The Dishes, and In Masks.

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SportsMondayTuesday: Ryan's "Rebuild"
While division rivals reload through the draft, Pace squanders his picks - contrary to the narrative.

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The Gilded Hamster Wheel That Is The Chicago Bears
Not a results-based business for the McCaskeys.

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Fox & Friends
Somehow it appears Ryan Pace will survive - as will team president Ted Phillips and team chairman George McCaskey. None should ever be allowed to utter the word "accountability" again.

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The World's Greatest College Football Report's Bowl Preview Part 7
Always one for a seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time last round, the bird was last seen late-night downing Don Julios with Gentamicin chasers.

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ChicagoGram

#DecisionsDecisions #Decide #CraveArt #CardBoardArt @AnysquaredArtStudio

A post shared by Joël Maximé, Jr. (@cravechicago) on

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ChicagoTube

Man's Country, Chicago's Oldest Gay Bathhouse, Closes After 44 Years.

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BeachBook

What Russian Journalists Uncovered About Russian Election Meddling.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Extended.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:58 AM | Permalink

SportsMondayTuesday: Ryan's "Rebuild"

You can't build through the draft when you have half as many picks as your primary rivals.

Is that somehow complicated? Did I miss something?

Last year, Bears general manager Ryan Pace made one of the most ill-advised trades in Bears history when he gave up three valuable picks to move up one spot to No. 2 to make absolutely, positively sure he could draft utterly mediocre-so-far quarterback Mitch Trubisky.

I have said this before and I will now say it again (and again in future columns I'm sure): A good general manager coming off a 3-13 season and needing to build through the draft would have traded down to take Deshaun Watson, the quarterback the Texans took with the 12th pick in the first round.

Watson was clearly much more promising in six games early in the 2017 season than Trubisky was in about twice as much action overall. And yes, Watson was working with two better wide receivers than the Bears have. But if wide receiver talent is everything, why was it that the other Texans quarterbacks couldn't get anything done after Watson went down with a knee injury?

To be clear again, the Bears could have traded down and had at least four more draft picks and Watson. Instead they traded up and left themselves with only five picks in last year's draft. Oh, and they don't have a third-round pick in this year's draft.

This is not building through the draft! Just because Pace says that is what he is doing doesn't mean it is actually happening!

The teams that are building through the draft, such as the Packers, Lions and Vikings (never have all three of the Bear's primary rivals been further ahead of them than they are right now), piled up picks last year.

The Lions had nine, the Packers had 10 and, yes, the Vikings had 11 picks. Reminder - the Bears had five. How stupid does Pace think fans are? The Bears have managed to gather seven total picks in the coming draft. That isn't anything special but it isn't a disaster like last year.

The bottom line is, this team has made no progress during the last three years no matter what chairman George McCaskey and team president/accountant Ted Phillips say. The Bears are supposedly well into a rebuilding process but don't have significant depth anywhere on their roster.

Oh, and there is the small matter of not having playmakers of note, at any position (including quarterback by the way - what plays that Trubisky made in any of his starts stand out as game-changers?). That much was clear after the Bears were shut out of starting spots in the Pro Bowl.

I suppose there is one way to look at all this with some optimism. McCaskey and Phillips were almost desperate in their efforts to pump up Pace yesterday. Phillips managed to make it through his statement without even mentioning the team's now former coach John Fox.

Perhaps there is some accountability for the guys who failed when they hired Phil Emery and Marc Trestman five years ago and failed when they hired Fox and Pace. Perhaps they know that if Pace goes down, they should go down with him. But good luck selling the fan base that version of things after seven straight years of not making the playoffs.

And good luck with the rebuild, through free agency.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:50 AM | Permalink

January 1, 2018

The Gilded Hamster Wheel That Is The Chicago Bears

Like a fine watch, the Stockholm Syndrome set in well before Sunday's game.

On Saturday, the Tribune's David Haugh, as usual, took a swipe at the fans.

"If Fox had connected as well with the public as he did his team, perhaps the embattled coach would have encountered more support in his final weeks than the apathetic acceptance of his fate."

Apathy by who? Except everybody. Wrong word. It's patience, fans waiting for Fox's key card to be confiscated.

"Instead, nary a soul outside of loyal players dared to speak out in defense of Fox as his days in Lake Forest dwindled."

Again, who? Who would? This only reinforces that if the Bears knew weeks ago they were going to fire Fox, they should have done it weeks ago. And I wouldn't want any player loyal to Fox on my team.

"By showing players a side of him Chicago seldom saw, Fox restored the Bears locker room with structure and respect."

In front of the comma, huh? Oh, so Fox was a two-faced hypocrite, basically treating the fans, through the media, like shit, while the writers fell for his charms. Which I heard a lot from electronic and print - Fox is actually a nice guy. The beat boys didn't even have the guts to ask him about his Bizarro World play calls in the final game. After the comma, wrong, the roster turned over in Fox's years, as they do with all NFL teams. They simply got rid of some of the "cancers." These guys always operate under the assumption it's the same team year-to-year.

Haugh: " . . . an interloper who collected big checks from the Bears but produced little in the way of results. It would be fitting if Fox could throw a proverbial red flag to challenge such an unflattering description of his Bears tenure."

Again, no. His tears weren't nearly drowned and the ice in his single malt not even melted when the Bears called just hours after Elway's posse ran him out of Denver. The Bears practically hired him on the phone, a name, a wise old owl they could market. Tom Coughlin was winning in New York and Tom Landry was dead. Otherwise . . .

Then, in today's firing story, the Trib's Rich Campbell should be docked for this lede: "The results-based business of the NFL caught up to John Fox when the Bears relieved the head coach of his duties Monday." Emphasis mine. How much money does Campbell make? Was he partying with Mark Giangreco last night?

Four grafs later in "Fox's" statement: "Today is the tough part of our results-based business but I wish the Bears organization the best for years to come."

Also: "General manager Ryan Pace will immediately begin the upcoming coaching search, guided by his deep-rooted belief in the importance of quality quarterback play."

Really? That's the entire nature of the whole effing league, and how do we know what Pace believes in, besides the desperation of gutting drafting depth to throw a dart at a questionable larger-than-average man on campus? How do you know Pace believes in that? Did he tell you that? If he did, and he didn't, tell us what he told you. Why didn't he draft a quarterback for two years? (McCaskey cheesparing has a lot to do with that, Bears fans.) Then ask him why, by extension, wouldn't he get players for the quality quarterback to throw to?

Not one to procrastinate, Campbell has a jump on 2018 propaganda: "Trubisky started 12 games as a rookie and steadily improved, flashing the potential to develop into an accurate, athletic pocket-passer." He did? Not really, for some reasons not all attributable to young Mitch.

Fox joins the same fraternity as Abe Gibron and Jim Dooley, and even 1969, a season we've been able to forget up until now, rears its ugly head once more. It's obvious our local hacks have no idea the depth of ineptitude we're dealing with in Fox.

I remember 1969 and the Bears' 1-13 that year was true agony. 2017 was 16 games, 1969 only 14. Whew. My uncle screamed at the ineptitude of his beloved Bears, and I was too green to know how badly his bets were going. It just was not good, at all.

Head Coach Dooley, a decent receiver in the 1950s, was a lifelong Bear. Washed out in 1962, he coached the receivers and was then named defensive coordinator in 1966 after Halas jettisoned George Allen for arguing with him. By 1969, Allen was hauling the Rams and then the Redskins into the new AFL-NFL merged reality. Dooley was one of George Halas's "guys" who survived two years after '69.

Gale Sayers made a truly heroic comeback from two devastating knee injuries, rushing for more than 1,000 yards, although it was clear that he had lost a good amount of his truly world-class speed and quickness. Dick Butkus was still Dick Butkus, his knees killing him, shoulders sore, but it was hard to see any falloff.

Brian Piccolo started suffering on the field of the cancer that eventually killed him and played in only nine games. Then, as now, the Bears didn't have a quarterback, with Jack Concannon and Bobby Douglass, who had a rocket arm but could and did overthrow O'Hare from Wrigley Field, sharing the load. So Douglass rushed for 408 yards that year, second on the team. It was a humorous distraction, what's Bobby going to do now? His receivers talked about how hard it was to catch his bullets, and how it hurt when they did.

It boiled down to "Yeah, we're losing a lot of games, but at least these teams know they played the Bears." That's code for beating people up at a time when the game was tougher - and dirtier - than it is now.

The Bears had a truly awful draft in 1969, with Ron Pearson sticking out to me as the only one who did anything, although don't ask me what.

But in 1970's college meat market, they pulled perhaps what Ryan Pace was channeling last April, Bears tradition and all.

The one 1969 win was a 38-7 drubbing of the truly awful Pittsburgh Steelers. But that win would have catastrophic ramifications for the Bears and historical impact on the league as we know it today.

It "dropped" the Bears into a tie for the first pick in the 1970 draft. Then, quaint as it was, the Bears, typically, lost the coin toss to pick first to: the Pittsburgh Steelers. They took Terry Bradshaw, setting the Steelers on a path of glory the Bears haven't seen since The Marshall Plan.

To compound the problem - and don't discount the idea Halas didn't want to pay second-round money when the salary wars were heating up - The Monsters traded their picks in both the first and second rounds!

They picked up has-beens Lee Roy Caffey, Elijah Pitts and Bob Hyland from Green Bay (!) in the first round for what became Mike McCoy, who was a slab of granite for the Packers and Raiders for years to come. In the second round, they got Craig Baynham and Phil Clark from Dallas for second-round pick, which the Cowboys used to draft Bob Asher.

First round, the Bears could have had Bobby Anderson, Bruce Taylor, Jack Reynolds, Duane Thomas or Raymond Chester. Second round, they could have had Jim Mandich or Richard Caster. All told, they could have had Doug Sutherland, Charlie Waters, Gerald Irons, Manny Sistrunk, Billy Newsome, Pat Toomay, Jake Scott, Stu Voight or Tom Curtis. Minnesota, Miami and Pittsburgh were polishing or crafting their dynasties. The Bears were entering their own dark decade: The 1970s.

The Steelers? They drafted Bradshaw, Ron Shanklin, Mel Blount, John Staggers and others.

The Bears, besides picking nobodies, did trade Richie Petitbon to the Rams and drafted Ross Brupbacher, a very capable linebacker (12 interceptions) who spent three years in Chicago, jumped to the World Football League and won a title in Birmingham, and came back to the Bears for one more great season, leading the league with seven INTs. Pursuit of a law degree and a knee injury drove him out of football.

Chicago's Monsters (a nickname they stole from the old University of Chicago Alonzo Stagg teams) were Foxesque for years, mere debris, going 34-63 up to the cusp of disco, when Walter Payton, the most valuable football player of all time, escorted the Bears through what seemed like six tiebreakers and into the 1977 playoffs, where they were murdered 37-7 by the eventual Super Bowl winner Cowboys.

To those of you of a certain age, those still alive, the Chicago Bears' history is a gilded hamster wheel. Running years and decades and going nowhere. The scenery is the same, a train ride in a Twilight Zone toy town.

The only time I ever saw the Bears succeed was when they brought in a football guy and put him in charge. Jim Finks, who had already built those great Vikings team. He built the 1985 Bears and also taught Mugs Halas himself how to do it.

Somehow, I don't see the Bears doing that in the next few weeks. Actually, if they had any guts, they'd tamper, play the sympathy card, lose a fourth-round pick and $500,000, and get a real football guy. Yeah, right. Although Papa George would, and probably did, do it.

So for all you hack sportswriters out there, until you know what you're dealing with beyond the free shrimp cocktail, lukewarm sliders and cheese cubes, I ain't listenin'. I convulse at the mere thought of your paychecks.

I've haven't made a New Year's resolution in years, and I've never kept one. But for 2018, it's gonna be nothing but Beachwood Sports and the Radio Hour, where you learn as much in 57-107 minutes as you ever need, no bullshit. We laugh with Chief and the Coach. Not at them.

Hot Tip
The 1967 Ice Bowl - a well-done piece.

The family had just been uprooted and set down in Northeastern Wisconsin. The game was our first real memory of the place.

I remember how achingly cold that day was, where you needed oil heaters to keep the crankcase warm, plastic on the windows and don't go outside for long.

I asked my dad if they were really going to play. He said "looks like it." We all just shook our heads, and still do.

"These people are crazy!"

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:16 PM | Permalink

Fox & Friends

"There's little doubt Ryan Pace will be 'fired up' when next he meets the media with another major announcement," Barry Rozner writes for the Daily Herald.

The Bears' general manager is always fired up.

At the John Fox news conference announcing the new coach, he was fired up. When he signed Mike Glennon for $18 million, he was fired up. And when the Bears approached the 2017 season with tremendous optimism, he was fired up.

After a 5-11 season, there's little doubt he will be fired up about the future, just as he was after 2015 and 2016.

At 14-34 following three awful seasons, Pace must be the luckiest executive in Chicago sports history.

Pace has compiled the worst three-year stretch at the helm of the football operation since the late '90s, when Michael McCaskey was overlord and de facto GM for player personnel director Mark Hatley, who never acquired the GM title.

Yet somehow Pace's job seems safe - as do the jobs of team president Ted Phillips and team chairman George McCaskey.

I don't ever want to hear the word "accountability" come out of any of their mouths.

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"In what could have been the final game for coach John Fox, who's 14-34 in three seasons, the Bears didn't cross midfield until the fourth quarter and totaled only 30 yards rushing. They were penalized 10 times for 116 yards and went 1-for-14 on third- and fourth-down conversions," AP reports.

"Fox refused to address his status, leaving the podium in less than two minutes after a terse postgame news conference. The Bears are 1-5 against each of their three NFC North foes under Fox.

"'I would love to have him back,' wide receiver Josh Bellamy said. 'I don't feel like we'd get another coach that would be better.'"

Because any coach better than Fox would avoid the job like the plague or because you're delusional?

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Hub Arkush on The Score after the game complains that the Bears organization doesn't get its due - it's the league's most historic franchise!

"This is as primo a job as you can find in the NFL," he says. "Football-wise, it's the No. 1 market."

Oh, Hub. You, too, like the rest of the media, also escape accountability.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:20 PM | Permalink

The World's Greatest College Football Report's Bowl Game Preview Part 7

It's like a real-time update!

The New Years Day Football Smorgasbord kicked off earlier today, led by a round of Bloomin' Onions, followed by some Chick-n-Strips™ and then a full entree board of Citrus, Rose, and Sugar Bowls. You might also consider today to be the 2017 Southeastern Conference Grudge Match. The schedule looks like SEC vs. The World, with one team from the conference active in each game today. (For the curious, an all-SEC parlay bet would pay out at roughly 21:1 on the day. Just saying.)

The Outback Bowl
Michigan Wolverines (-9) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
11 a.m. ESPN2 (at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL)

We'll be keenly tracking the second half of this one as it may or may not be the back half of a two-team tease placed on Saturday . . . for entertainment purposes only. A nine-point spread seemed like a high number for two talented teams that couldn't quite crack the code on defeating superior conference opponents yet boasted records sufficient for The Outback Bowl. Much like the Aussie-Tizers® Menu, the Outback teases fans with a high-calorie match-up to form a substantial base for what will be a glut of gridiron action throughout the afternoon and evening. Much like the Kookaburra Wings®, South Carolina presents a tangy, zesty alternative to the world-renowned house favorite, the Bloomin'. An SC victory looks unlikely, much like the appearance of a sashimi-style appetizer (large size $12.99, and a mere 390 calories for the health conscious) alongside the arteries be-damned offerings such as the Aussie Cheese Fries (1,610 calories and a wee - read, 96 grams - bit of fat), but who knows? It's a New Year, Gamecocks! Let's rally!

CFR pick: We'll chase and take South Carolina +3 in the second half.

The Chicken: original prediction, Michigan by 8

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The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
#12 Central Florida Knights vs. #10 Auburn Tigers (-12)
11:30 a.m. ESPN (at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA)

No one thinks UCF will win this game. No one. How do we know? The line jumped from -9 when the window opened, crested at -12 and settled at a point slightly lower (-11 or so, depending where you look) just before kick. Even more telling: the money line started at Auburn -350 and rocketed up to Auburn -500 by midmorning today. Not exactly tulip fever, but still.

CFR pick: We're right there with John Q. Public.

The Chicken: UCF by 11

Note: The Foremost Fowl may have overindulged on New Years Eve. Always one for a seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time last round, the bird was last seen late-night downing Don Julios with Gentamicin chasers. The "Never Leave a Man Behind Credo," as the name suggests, does not apply to chickens. We're sure he feels bad about himself this morning.

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CITRUS BOWL presented by Overton's
#14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. #17 Louisiana State Tigers (-3)
Noon ABC (at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL)

How did Notre Dame get here? Aren't we all tired of the Golden Domers at this stage? Must we suffer through the annual ritual of an overinflated ND team getting trounced on New Year's Day? It's like the Crab Cake appetizer - it has to be there so your grandmother feels like she can safely order something but no one really wants it.

Also, weren't we just here? This is the second bowl game the Camping World Stadium has hosted this season. Have they ran out of the free carabiner tchotchkes yet?

CFR pick: Louisiana State to put Notre Dame out of its misery. Again.

The Chicken: ND by 15

Don't say you weren't warned. We know the Fates side with the Sacred Free Range Antibiotic Free Chicken, but still, that's a lot of points.

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ROSE BOWL - College Football Playoff Semifinal
#3 Georgia Bulldogs (-3) vs. Oklahoma Sooners
4 p.m. ESPN (at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, CA)

The Granddaddy of Them All, the oldest bowl game (1902 inception, annually since 1916) has summoned fans from all corners of Georgia and Oklahoma. Sooners from the likes of Bowlegs, Greasy, Zeb, and elsewhere in the Sooner State have descended on California. Sunny Pasadena will see Sooner diehards face off with fervent Bulldog faithful from genteel towns like Milledgeville and Dahlonega, the names alone filling us with visions of devastating creeping Kudzu vines and toothless yokels.

CFR pick: Can both teams lose? Is this possible? Can we just have Clemson and Alabama play for the best two out of three? We'll take Georgia, because the SEC is just flat-out too good for the Big 12 and will beat the Okies like a drum, but we don't feel good about it.

The Chicken: Dawgs by 20

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Allstate SUGAR BOWL - College Football Playoff Semifinal
#4 Alabama Crimson Tide (-3) vs. #1 Clemson Tigers
7:45 p.m. ESPN (at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA)

Look, you can go read as much as you want about this game elsewhere. Dithering over this or that minutiae, what's changed since the last time the Tigers and Tide brawled, how Nick Saban keeps his immaculate hair in place, what have you. The fact is, sportsbooks posted Alabama as the 2-1 favorite to win the entire thing as the pairing were announced for the Playoffs. Bear this in mind as you sit through all the hoopla leading up to tonight's game.

We'd rather see odds on how many fans spend the night in the tank. Who had the bright idea of hosting this game on New Year's in New Orleans? We should have invested in Vitamin B-12 shots and sold them on a street corner in the French Quarter.

CFR pick: Until proven otherwise, 'Bama should be picked to win every January. Don't overthink things. Although last year bears mentioning, when the Tide lost to Clemson in the title game. That's a notable exception. Maybe there's something to the hoopla after all.

The Chicken: Roll (just barely) Tide . . . 'Bama by 1

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Previously:

* The World's Greatest College Football Report's Bowl Preview Part 1. Keywords: AutoNation, Dreamstyle Remodeling, Las Vegas, Mountain Dew Mouth, North Texas Mean Green, Raycom, Troy Trojans.

* The World's Greatest College Football Report's Bowl Preview Part 2. Executives at Cheribundi no doubt would have preferred a more competitive game. Having signed on as the bowl sponsor until 2019, Cheribundi needed the contest to attract at least some marginal attention to bolster the awareness of its tart cherry beverages nationwide.

* The World's Greatest College Football Report's Bowl Game Preview Part 3. In this world of uncertainty, the Potato Bowl remains our rock.

* The World's Greatest College Football Report's Bowl Game Preview Part 4. Overlapping with the NFL schedule this weekend provides a gift to bettors: putting action on pro/bowl teasers.

* The World's Greatest College Football Report Bowl Game Preview Part 5. Introducing The Fourth Down Stupidity Index, starring Northern Illinois University. Oh, Huskies!

* The World's Greatest College Football Report Bowl Game Preview Part 6. "One of the few remnants of Red Terror appears ingloriously as the name of the school's gameday bus service."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:59 PM | Permalink

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Mystery Actions at Livewire on Thursday night.


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2. Nerves at the Empty Bottle on Friday night.

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3. Guided By Voices at the Empty Bottle on Saturday night.

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4. YGN at the Forge in Joliet on Friday night.

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5. Les Strychnine at Cafe Mustache on Friday night.

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6. The Dishes at the Empty Bottle on Friday night.

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7. In Masks at Cafe Mustache on Friday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:09 AM | Permalink

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