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« December 2017 | Main | February 2018 »

January 31, 2018

The [Wednesday] Papers

For completists, there was no column on Tuesday. And there's no "real" column today; I have a deadlines to meet. But that doesn't mean I have nothing to offer you . . .

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New on the Beachwood since Monday . . .

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Mom Jeans, Alejandro Escovedo, Tedeschi Trucks, Doum Sound, Mako, Amy Helm, Walk The Moon, John Waite, and Tom Keifer.

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The Flagship University POC Gap
Illinois among worst offenders.

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Manfred Mishandles Wahoo
Ham-handed half-measure.

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Last Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: JJ Grey, Stick Figure and Lever.

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On This Day . . .

In 2012: Exclusive! WBEZ's New Lineup.

THIS IS SO GOOD, PEOPLE.

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In 2015: The Beachwood Radio Hour #42: Debating Race, The Mayor & The Super Bowl.

White-on-white crime is out of control. Starring Ernie Banks, Hub Arkush and Laura Washington. Plus: More false frames! And: Pretenders and contenders take on Rahm. Finally: The Super Bowl is a circus on Mars!

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In 2013: Obama Flip-Flops On Money In Politics - A Brief History.

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Plus . . .

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Chicago 10' x 12 Gauge Hydraulic Box & Pan Brake, HSB1012.

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BeachBook

PepsiCo Concedes Relationship With Indonesia Firm Accused Of Rights Abuses.

What people will do for money, success, careers, ambition, power . . .

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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*

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This kind of maneuvering is a big reason why some people don't like Hillary Clinton; totally fits a pattern of cynicity.

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The comfort peacock we all need right now.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Discomfiting.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:52 AM | Permalink

January 30, 2018

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Mom Jeans at Lincoln Hall on Saturday night.


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2. Alejandro Escovedo at City Winery on Saturday night.

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3. Tedeschi Trucks at the Chicago Theatre on Friday night.

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4. Doum Sound at the Emporium on Saturday night.

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5. Mako at Bottom Lounge on Saturday night.

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6. Amy Helm at SPACE in Evanston on Saturday night.

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7. Walk the Moon at the Aragon on Friday night.

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8. John Waite at the Genesee in Waukegan on Friday night.

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9. Tom Keifer at the Genesee in Waukegan on Saturday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:13 PM | Permalink

University Of Illinois One Of Worst Offenders Among Flagship Universities Leaving Black And Latino Students Behind

Many of the nation's best public universities are enrolling disproportionately few African-American and Latino students.

Flagship universities are the jewels in the crown of public higher education systems - they have sought-after faculty, preeminent research facilities, the most resources and often the highest graduation rates, for all races. They also stand as beacons of affordable excellence for the students of their states. But when it comes to equitably serving the state's residents, whose taxes fund these top-flight universities, many fall far short of their stated missions. Often there are big differences - defined by race - between who's graduating from a state's public high schools and who's getting into its flagship universities.

More than a third of U.S. states had at least a 10-point gap (including eight with a 20-point gap) between the percentage of their public high school graduates who are African American and the percentage of their flagships' freshman class who are African American (in 2015, the most recent data available). For Latinos, 10 states had at least a 10-point gap. New York and Illinois were the only states that had double-digit gaps for both groups.

"It matters who's enrolled at flagships, because they tend to go on to be leaders in their states, particularly in politics and in business," said Andrew Nichols, director of higher education research and data analytics at The Education Trust, an advocacy group that focuses on college access. "It's important for everyone going to these universities that they are diverse."

It's also important for students financially. Most flagships have larger endowments, allowing them to offer more generous scholarships and provide more robust academic and social support to students. And later on, in many states, the average earnings for graduates from flagships outpace those of graduates from most of the state's regional public universities and colleges.

Related: In an era of inequity, more and more college financial aid is going to the rich.

Five of the six states with the largest gaps for African Americans are in the South (the sixth is Delaware). Mississippi leads the way, with a 40-point gap between the African-American percentage of its public high school graduates in 2015 and the African-American percentage of students enrolled at the University of Mississippi that fall. African-Americans comprised 10 percent of freshmen at Ole Miss in 2015, an 8 percentage-point drop since 2010.

AAhech.png

African-American students say their shrinking numbers on a campus that famously resisted integration contribute to a more difficult learning environment.

Orion Taylor visited Ole Miss when he was a senior in high school and fell in love with the campus. He enrolled in the fall of 2013, but soon after he arrived, he began to have concerns. Groups of residents were permitted to march through campus, waving giant Confederate flags and, he said, shouting the "N" word at him and his friends. Later that year, some white students marched up and down his dorm hallway belting out the song "The South Will Rise Again." Other problems were subtler. He said that he felt that faculty members were more attentive to white students, and he didn't get any of the leadership positions for which he applied. He eventually transferred to a historically black university.

"I tell myself every year, I wish I would have chosen Jackson State in the beginning," said Taylor, 23.

Noel Wilkin, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at Ole Miss, said the university is working to increase diversity and to retain admitted students. In the fall of 2015, African-American student retention was 87.2 percent, the highest in Mississippi, he wrote in an e-mail, attributing this to "programs that are geared toward student success, including academic support programs and scholarship opportunities."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Why allow Wilkin to send in an e-mail statement instead of being questioned? Count this as an offensive "refused to comment."

Although it's easy to see Mississippi as an outlier, many other state institutions are also struggling for equity.

The University of South Carolina enrolled the lowest percentage of African Americans in its 2015 freshman class among the 34 colleges and universities in the state system.

The University of Georgia and Louisiana State University both have enrollment gaps equal to South Carolina's (31 points), but LSU, unlike the others, has increased African-American enrollment since 2010.

Related: New research shows Latinos closing the racial gap on college degrees, but still lagging far behind whites.

Among states where at least 10 percent of the graduating high school class was African American in 2015, the University of Kentucky had the smallest African-American flagship freshmen-high school graduates gap, of 3 percent. President Eli Capilouto, who arrived six years ago, was explicit about wanting the student body to be representative of the state, said UK's vice president for institutional diversity, Sonja Feist-Price. She sees greater diversity as creating educational advantages for white as well as black students.

EDITOR'S NOTE: So you have a vice president speaking for the president? Just use one, please.

"We have students here who have not encountered many, or any, students who are different from them," said Feist-Price, a UK faculty member since 1992. "We're all far better off when we understand the ways we are alike and different."

The largest gaps in enrollment for Latino students are, for the most part, at different institutions than those that have large gaps for African Americans, and are concentrated in the western part of the country.

HispanicHech.png

The University of California-Berkeley, has the largest gap for Latino students - only 13 percent of its 2015 freshman class was Latino, compared to 51 percent of the state's public high school graduates.

"We definitely see it; it bothers me every day," said Amy Jarich, Berkeley's associate vice chancellor for admissions and enrollment. "Our goal is to serve the state, and to have conversations in our classrooms that reflect the diversity of the state."

Related: The community college "segregation machine."

One issue is that elite institutions like UC Berkeley try to compete nationally - and internationally - for top students. Starting in 2009, as state budget cuts squeezed resources, out-of-state and international students who could pay full freight became attractive as a source of revenue. Now 24 percent of Berkeley's students are from outside California.

An exception to the western trend is the University of New Mexico. The Latino flagship freshmen-high school graduates gap in 2015 at the University of Texas at Austin, for example, was more than four times the size of the gap at UNM. And the University of Arizona, the University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of Nevada-Reno have gaps three times larger.

UNM administrators say that its success in graduating Latino students is one of the university's biggest selling points.

"Students and families see that there is a culture of support and success at UNM," the university's vice provost of enrollment and analytics, Terry Babbitt, wrote in an e-mail. "Mentoring, cultural celebration, places to find support and comfort, and committed faculty and staff, many who come from similar backgrounds, make a difference."

[AGAIN WITH THE E-MAIL, I'M SICK OF IT. PICK UP THE PHONE!]

Babbitt also said that to reduce inequity, there must be an "institutional commitment" to serving the population in question.

"Everyone has to be on board," said Babbitt. "An ethnic center, minority recruitment office or other siloed group won't get the job done alone."

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:22 AM | Permalink

Mishandled Decision To Drop Cleveland Indians' Racist Logo Doesn't Go Far Enough

News on Monday that the racist Chief Wahoo logo will finally no longer appear on the Cleveland Indians' uniforms starting next year prompted calls for other sports teams to follow suit, and for the Midwest team to go further if there's to be a real shift towards justice.

"Over the past year," Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement, "we encouraged dialogue with the Indians organization about the club's use of the Chief Wahoo logo. During our constructive conversations, [Cleveland Indians owner] Paul Dolan made clear that there are fans who have a longstanding attachment to the logo and its place in the history of the team. Nonetheless, the club ultimately agreed with my position that the logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball, and I appreciate Mr. Dolan's acknowledgement that removing it from the on-field uniform by the start of the 2019 season is the right course."

The statement implies that previous decades of use of the caricature were "appropriate for on-field use."

cleveland-kinda-drop-chiefwahoo.jpgMike Simons/Getty Images

The Associated Press notes that "Every year, groups of Native Americans and their supporters have protested outside the stadium before the home opener in hopes of not only getting the team to abolish Chief Wahoo but to change the Indians' nickname, which they feel is an offensive depiction of their race."

The statement also makes clear the logo won't be eradicated completely. As Cleveland.com notes that "You'll still be able to buy T-shirts and hats featuring the controversial Native American caricature, though according to the New York Times, Wahoo won't be sold on Major League Baseball's website."

As such, the move to ditch the "utterly inappropriate and racist" mascot was met with tepid praise. For example:

From the deputy digital director at Human Rights Watch:

*

From a Washington Post journalist:

While a welcome development, other justice advocates said that it should not be the end of the road for the team.

The Change the Mascot grassroots movement said that while Cleveland's move was good, it should force other teams, including the NFL's Washington Redskins, to take a look in the mirror.

"The Cleveland baseball team has rightly recognized that Native Americans do not deserve to be denigrated as cartoon mascots, and the team's move is a reflection of a grassroots movement that has pressed sports franchises to respect Native people," said Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter, leader of the campaign.

"Cleveland's decision should finally compel the Washington football team to make the same honorable decision" he said. "For too long, people of color have been stereotyped with these kinds of hurtful symbols - and no symbol is more hurtful than the football team in the nation's capital using a dictionary-defined racial slur as its team name. Washington owner Dan Snyder needs to look at Cleveland's move and then look in the mirror and ask whether he wants to be forever known as the most famous purveyor of bigotry in modern sports, or if he wants to finally stand on the right side of history and change his team's name. We hope he chooses the latter."

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

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See also: Arrest Linked To Chief Illiniwek Dispute Leads To Renewed Calls For New U. Of I. Mascot.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:35 AM | Permalink

January 29, 2018

The [Monday] Papers

"While the FCC decided to rollback Net Neutrality protections last month, the fight isn't quite over - Join us once again to write letters to representatives asking them to protect Net Neutrality through the Congressional Review Act. Bloodshot Records will be on hand to set the mood, and Dovetail will provide everything you need to write your rep."

Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 1.14.26 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 1.16.02 PM.png

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Patrick O'Connor Gets A Challenger
Meet Ugo Okere.

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SportsMonday: Hot Tank League
Commissioner Disappointment, otherwise known as Rob Manfred, has the backs of his tanking teams' contemptible behavior.

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As Seen On TV 2017 Product Review Recap
From strength bras to Atomic Lighters, what worked and what didn't.

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Blood Oil
More than half the oil in global trade is stolen goods.

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Chicagoetry: Flight Of The Iguana
I didn't know iguanas lived in trees. And I didn't know they fall when they freeze.

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On This Day In Beachwood History . . .
Told ya so.

2015: Willie Wilson Buys Instant Credibility.

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2013: Replacing Alpana Singh. (Rated F for Funny)

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2014: Barack Obama's Familiar Empty Threat (And The Media's Journesia).

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2016: Bruce Rauner's Elephants And Cornfields.

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

"Every weekend car culture gather in the city. If you're a regular then you know exactly where this location is."

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BeachBook
A sampling.

Copyright Royalty Board Boosts Songwriters' Streaming Pay Nearly 50%.

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How Hedge Funds (Secretly) Get Their Way In Washington.

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We Can't Win In Afghanistan Because We Don't Know Why We're There.

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Trump Launched Campaign To Discredit Potential FBI Witnesses.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Please kill the Grammys next.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Kirky.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:33 AM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Hot Tank League

I was going to write about the Bulls again this week but now that Kris Dunn's concussion has kicked the tank back into gear, I'll take a pass on extended analysis of recent game action and potential roster adjustments. Feel better soon, Kris!

The ultimate football championship happens Sunday, of course, but any assessment of that just reminds me of how much the Bears suck, and we definitely don't need to explore that again until much closer to the draft.

And the Hawks - lots of positive stories in the past few days about how the team is bouncing back. They won one game! Against the lousy Red Wings! The only thing of note that happened this month with the Blackhawks is that they staked out an extended stay in last place (in the division) with one of the worst homestands in team history. Booooooo.

So we are left with the Cubs and the White Sox.

My guess is there won't be much going on with the South Siders before spring training (pitchers and catchers report Feb. 13, exactly two weeks from . . . tomorrow!). Their roster seems just about set, although I wouldn't bet against Rick Hahn getting into the middle of some sort of three-team deal that gets the White Sox a prospect or two in exchange for taking back a bad contract or two. He and Gar Forman should be comparing notes about how best to do that.

As far as the Cubs go, there are still many questions to be answered over the next two weeks.

One thing I want to know from Theo at some point, or I guess Tom Ricketts could also address it, is whether the Cubs (where the pitchers and catchers will also report on the 13th) and other teams that are trying to win are tired of playing the baseball revenue-sharing sucker. The Pirates and especially the Marlins desperately pursue profits rather than competition, and teams like the Cubs contribute to the payments that make that sort of behavior profitable.

There is news that the players union is trying to force Major League Baseball to crack down, but shockingly Commissioner Disappointment, otherwise known as Rob Manfred, has his tanking teams' backs. The word from the league is that the Pirates' and Marlins' contemptible behavior is fine with them.

More importantly, the Cubs still lack a stud closer and a top-of-the-rotation starter. Candidates are still out there, at least for the starting pitcher vacancy, and one would think at some point in the next week, negotiations with various free agents will come to a head.

Fans were hoping that Brewers owner Mark Attanasio's bold moves late last week would start to open the floodgates on the free-agent front. Attanasio's front office moved aggressively to both sign star centerfielder Lorenzo Cain and to trade for up-and-coming star corner outfielder Christian Yelich from the those delightful Marlins.

But all was quiet for virtually every other MLB team over the weekend. So we can spend a bit more time mocking the Marlins. Main man Derek Jeter apparently was able to pull in some decent prospects in return for Yelich. It apparently occurred to him that one of the big parts of Cubs and Astros rebuilds was actually getting returns on trades of existing assets.

The Cubs got Anthony Rizzo for Andrew Cashner and eventually capped things off with a trade that netted Addison Russell in which the primary outgoing asset was holdover Jeff Samardzija. All observers seem to agree that Jeter was absolutely fleeced in his first two deals, getting essentially nothing for superstar Giancarlo Stanton and the same for budding star Marcell Ozuna

The Cubs will need a starter and the smart money is on them getting one. But the bullpen is still a question mark. Don't they need at least one more proven late-inning arm?

Stay tuned.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:06 AM | Permalink

The Best And Worst Of 'As Seen On TV' 2017

Amy Davis tested 31 products last year. What worked and what didn't.


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More recent 'As Seen On TV' testing.

By Dirty Clover.

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This Bra Makes You Stronger.

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Atomic Lighter Review.

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Robo Twist Jar Opener.

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10 'As Seen On TV' Product Reviews Update Part 11.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:43 AM | Permalink

Blood Oil

Donald Trump tweeted something true recently. Responding to the protests in Iran, the president stated that "The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered." Trump's point is correct: what Vice President Mike Pence called Iran's "unelected dictators" really have been stealing oil that belongs to the people and spending the money for their own purposes, including (as Trump's tweet also said) "to fund terrorism abroad."

Though right about Iran, Trump's tweets have been too selective. In neighboring Saudi Arabia, an ally of America's, the elite spends public money gained from selling off the country's oil, too. There, as in Iran and elsewhere, the people's wealth is being "stolen and squandered" by the few who enrich themselves on its profits.

This is the biggest story that almost no one is reporting. In dozens of countries around the world, authoritarian regimes and armed groups are selling off the oil that belongs to the people, and using the money to fund repression, corruption, conflict and terrorism.

Oil is the world's largest traded commodity by far, so the amounts going to these autocrats and militias are gigantic: hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Many of the crises in the headlines over the past few years - coming from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Russia and more - have been powered by money from selling oil stolen from citizens.

bloodoil.jpg

The odd thing about this story is that nearly everyone agrees that a country's oil belongs ultimately to its citizens. In America, this is a bipartisan idea, declared by both George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. And it is easy to find leaders of many other countries saying, "The oil belongs to the people" - the leaders of Britain, Australia, Mexico, Ghana, and even Iran, for example, have declared just this. The principle is also enshrined in dozens of national laws and constitutions. And 98 percent of the people in the world live in a country that has signed one of the main human rights treaties, which says that all peoples have the right to control their country's natural resources.

If the oil belongs to the people, then no one should be able to sell it off without their possible consent. But that's just what the world's autocrats and armed groups are doing. When I investigated this issue for my book Blood Oil I found that oil sold off beyond any possible consent of the people accounts for more than 50 percent of the world's trade. Over half of the oil in global trade is literally stolen goods.

This oil is being stolen not only from headline countries, but also from places like Equatorial Guinea, where the president has allegedly had his political opponents tortured in one of the world's worst prisons, and Angola where the elite live in luxury while the country's children die from poverty at one of the highest rates in the world.

Leftover Laws

The source of the problem is an archaic law left over from the days of the Atlantic slave trade. This is the law, versions of which exist in every country, that makes it legal to buy the natural resources of other countries from whoever there can control them by force. So, to take one example, when Saddam Hussein's junta took over Iraq in a coup years ago, America's law made it legal to buy Iraq's oil from them. And then in 2014 when Islamic State took over some of those same wells, all countries' laws made it legal to buy oil from IS (that's why sanctions had to be imposed: to block legal purchases from IS).

This law is so ancient we take it for granted. But it makes no common sense. If an armed gang takes over a gas station, after all, no one thinks it should be legal for us to buy the gas from the gang. But our laws do put us into legal business with whichever foreigners can control oil by force. Over recent years the average American family has sent up to $250 annually to foreign authoritarians and armed groups, just by filling up their cars.

The obvious solution would be to make it illegal to buy oil from anyone who is not at least minimally accountable to the citizens of their country.

That might sound difficult. But in fact the movement has already started. A senator in Brazil has just introduced legislation that would make it illegal to import oil from authoritarian or failed states - and would prevent its national oil company from signing any new contracts with autocratic regimes.

Brazil is the fifth-largest country in the world. It's a lot poorer than Western countries, and in the midst of a financial crisis and corruption scandal much worse than anything in the UK. If Brazil can discuss a ban on stolen oil, why can't Europe? Why can't Britain? Why can't the U.S.?

Leif Wenar holds a Chair of Philosophy & Law at King's College London. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:27 AM | Permalink

Ald. Patrick O'Connor, Who Opposed Harold Washington As A Member Of The Vrdolyak 29 And Went On To Act As Council Floor Leader for Richard M. Daley And Rahm Emanuel, Gets 21-Year-Old Nigerian Challenger Who Worked On Chuy And Bernie Campaigns

Ugo Okere, a 21-year-old community organizer in the Budlong Woods neighborhood and a senior at Loyola, announced his candidacy for alderman of the 40th Ward at an event Saturday evening celebrating millennial political power.

"As a lifelong resident of Budlong Woods, and a millennial inspired by this political moment, the time is now for a new generation of leadership in the 40th Ward and across Chicago" said Okere. "I am running for alderman of the 40th Ward because after 35 years of disconnected leadership, it's time for a new, progressive change."

An immigrant from Nigeria, and son of a taxi driver and factory worker, Okere's family moved to Chicago and settled on the North Side when he was 3 months old. A graduate of Budlong Elementary and Lane Tech High School, Ugo will receive his diploma from Loyola University this spring. Today, Ugo serves on the Loyola University Senate, and is chair of Fuerza del Sol, a youth community organization that works in issues of immigrant rights and violence prevention.

"As alderman of the 40th Ward, I will fight for ordinances that ensure the rich pay their fair share, and the City of Chicago does not balance its budget on the backs of those of us who have the least to give," said Okere. "I believe that Chicagoans rise and fall together. I will support and craft policies that lift up those most at the margins and bring the city up as a whole."

Okere's governing tenets include co-governance through initiatives such as participatory budgeting and a community-driven zoning process, and a belief in equitable policies that support the most marginalized communities. Ugo supports policies that would benefit the 40th Ward and all of Chicago, including an elected school board, true civilian police accountability through CPAC, increased affordable housing, and a ordinances that support a powerful working class.

"From being on the wrong side of the Council Wars in the 1980s, to being on the wrong side of the Presence corporate subsidy just last week, the incumbent alderman has misrepresented our communities for 35 years," said Okere. "I plan to bring a new and progressive vision to City Council, one that recognizes that the struggles of all people in Chicago are interconnected, regardless of whether you live on the North, South or West Side."

Ugo is a veteran of the Chuy Garcia for mayor and Bernie Sanders campaigns. He has also worked in constituent services for U.S. congressman Mike Quigley, and for the Chicago Federal Executive Board.

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See also:

* 2015 interview: Ugo Okere, Loyola's Brighter Tomorrow.

* 2017: Importance Of Organizing In The Trump Administration.

* Tribune: He Zones. She Sells.

* Ugo on Twitter.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:31 AM | Permalink

Chicagoetry: Flight Of The Iguana

Flight of the Iguana

"They stalk more silently,/And crouch on the limbs of trees,/And their descent/Upon the bright backs of their prey/May take years/In a sovereign floating of joy." - James Dickey, "The Heaven of Animals"

I didn't know iguanas
Lived in trees and I didn't know
They fall when they freeze.

I did not know iguanas
Lived in climates which froze
Nor where they'd doze.

Why would trees
In Florida freeze?
Why would January thunder

Rend the grey Chicago air?
What sort of starry hell is this?!
I've never seen a prickly pear

Or never realized
What I was seeing was in fact
A prickly pear. I would recognize

A grizzly bear;

I would so know
An iguana, especially
If it fell on my head from above.

Lord, I would lose my shit

But I'd recognize the thing.
I didn't know coyotes
Lived in cities. Peregrine

Falcons, too. Now I know.
Now my imagination conjures
A coyote chasing a grizzly bear

Being strafed by a falcon
That snatched an iguana
Who just ate a prickly pear

As a group of constellations

Animating the dead sky.
That's how my mind works
When it works.

Of a hundred starry hills
In hell there are ninety-nine with
Prickly pear trees full of dozing

Iguanas

(Btw the swirling
Black tornadic clouds
Which worry the moon

Are bats rather
Than starlings).
The hot coyotes and

Seething falcons somehow

Seem to thrive.
The grizzly bears coast,
The iguanas slowly roast

And the prickly pears burst
Like little dying stars.

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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 12:27 AM | Permalink

January 28, 2018

TrackNotes: Gun Runner, Gulfstream & Geroux

Gun Runner ran a great race in winning the second Pegasus World Championship Invitational on Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

Bad post? Ain't no thang, as Gun Runner proved he was the best horse in the race and one of the nicest in the world.

As NBC analyst Randy Moss exclaimed, "Gun Runner always gets the great trips because he always makes his own luck."

I'm not going full-metal superlative on Gun Runner. Only West Coast did any running behind him, and Collected ran half a race for the nine furlongs, continuing a concerning downward trend for him. Some of these horses, the stars at least, hadn't run since the November 4 Breeders' Cup.

One of those, Gun Runner, crafted his perfect trip from the get-go, Florent Geroux dashing him up to tuck into second on the first turn, post position be damned, engaging Collected through the backstretch. He ran beautifully the only scenario available to him to win. He worked harder than 2-1/4 lengths to win by that margin, and being so visually impressive, the word "great" will inevitably be applied. Make up your own mind.

Tale of the tape: Gun Runner finished in 1:47.41, just off the 1:46.83 by Arrogate in last year's inaugural Pegasus. At 6-5, he paid $4.20/ $3.00/$2.80; the exacta paid $17.20 and the trifecta $111.00 for two dollars.

As the pack of Gun Runner, Collected, Great Expectations and West Coast separated from the rest, Gun Runner downshifted on the turn and we saw his big head and long neck extend from behind Collected. It was over, right then and there, before the quarter pole.

When NBC's Britney Eurton asked trainer Steve Asmussen, who also trained Curlin and Rachel Alexandra, how he says goodbye to Gun Runner, this being his last race, he just said, "We're not saying goodbye."

Clearly under instructions from trainer Jorge Navarro, Irad Ortiz obviously took back Sharp Azteca, who figured to go to the lead, perhaps never to be caught. Into the backstretch, in fifth, 'Azteca dueled with West Coast, who dropped a bit more inside, and then tailgated up on Great Expectations' butt as the first four then pulled away from him. It was a screw-up of monumental proportions, and If I owned him I'd switch trainers and Ortiz's first ride on him would be his last. Paco Lopez, with two recent wins on 'Azteca, was in the house. Go figure.

I was impressed with Fear the Cowboy, who probably ran the race of his life for fourth, and Great Expectations. He was in the thick of it most of the way, but finished an exhausted ninth from post 12. Gary Stevens was right about him.

Levels Of Hell
Gulfstream Park is a frickin' disaster and a slap to horseplayers' faces, and anyone who knows a horseshoe from a bit can see it.

The casino/mall-centric operation took its late post times to new levels of hell. As long as I have been playing the horses, GP has been notorious at extending post parades, ostensibly to leave the pools open. Five, 10 minutes? Routine. Yesterday? The middle of the card races before national TV were going off a full 22 minutes late from the published posts.

Wagering on the full card was up four percent.

I know a conspiracy when I see one. Both of my betting services stayed open until the bell. Used to be, at least one of them would have closed the race based on the published post. Not yesterday. The time was made up on the first of two NBC races. Before GP going national, the knuckleheads at TVG, who see this every day, didn't say a thing.

Gulfstream has also been known to lollygag its post parade and then, when another track loads for its feature, GP hurries up to open its gates at the same time.

* The Pegasus is not an invitational. It's a buy-in. It's not a world championship, by any means. There were no international horses in the field, except for Toast of New York, who has run on both sides of the Atlantic. It's only nine furlongs instead of the classic 10. It's all hype. Please remind me of all this Gulfstream BS when the Florida Derby rolls around.

* The turf course looked like shag carpeting with bald spots. Some years ago, Churchill Downs Inc. abandoned its role in racing at its Calder CASINO AND Race Track in Miami. Gulfstream took on the Calder dates and runs what it calls the Gulfstream Park West meet there, but most of the dates are run at Gulfstream. It shows.

* I don't know about you, but driving past that statue on a regular basis would give me the willies.

Tee Vee
NBC: Rust everywhere. Almost all indoor, apron and rail camera shots were tight, to hide the fact actually watching the races at Gulfstream is tough to do.

* When Moss and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey start bickering about Collected, let them go. Bailey let out a pffft! and completely tossed the horse. Moss argued that Collected, one of the three 6-1 horses, would be near the lead, be safe and then close. Bailey's half-bald dome turned red and he just said, "No chance!" Moss copped out: "I didn't say he was going to win. Just that he would get his trip." Clearly calling out Moss as a wiseguy, Bailey caught himself and stopped, he was so steamed. Would have loved to see it play out.

* Bad Stat. On the crawl, NBC informed us Arrogate holds the Pegasus record of 1:48.83, set in 2017. This being the second running, you think?

* Eurton needs to get much better. Sure, this wasn't the time or place for such complexities, but when racing has ancient problems like race day medications, wagering integrity, race fixing and even uncoordinated post times, ask Stronach Group's Belinda Stronach what she means by taking racing to the "next level." Where's Jeannine Edwards when you need her?

* Gun Runner is a beautiful horse and you can't help but wish he'd run another year. Being the son of proven sire Candy Ride, this race will most definitely boost his stud fees. Reading Bailey's and Moss's minds too, we all know that ship in this game has sailed.

* TVG, televising before NBC, had a gimmick going where you play eight races over Saturday and Sunday. The cost to play would be your sign-up bonus, or something. Todd "Lily Von" Schrupp and "Sir" Simon Bray, with modest racing bones and that English accent, proceeded to berate viewers who wouldn't sign up. "Unfortunately, they invented this word in my home country, but don't be a DUMMKOPF. You gotta play. It's free!" Playing Lou Costello, Bray said "Yeah, don't be a dummkopf," kindling memories of Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson. Was Schrupp apologizing for Hogan's Heroes? The SS?

Horse's Ass
Gun Runner's jock, Frenchman Florent Geroux, whose father died after a riding accident in late December, popped up to Chicago last week and passed his U.S. citizenship examination.

He was beaming, almost walking on air. All I could think of is what would happen if the horse's ass in the White House snuck up behind Gun Runner, which you know he would do

-

Previously: Pegasus Preview.

-

Comments welcome.

-

1. From Scott Kennedy:

Guflstream is pretty and I don't mind walking through the casino to get to the track, largely because the paddock is such a sight to see, but the tote board royally sucks. It's very small and it's way in the center of the infield, not the near side like usual.

I was at the Florida Derby last year and I couldn't read the board. I had to use an app on my phone because I couldn't see the board. Also, on big days they could use a few more betting windows. There were even long lines to the automated machines.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:47 AM | Permalink

January 27, 2018

The Weekend Desk Report

For completists, there was no column on Friday.

Weekend ChicagoGram

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Weekend ChicagoTube

Prehistoric Chicago.

-

New on the Beachwood . . .

The Beachwood Radio Interview Hour #1: Liz Mason Is Awesome Dot Com
Welcome to this Chicago zine queen's ass-kicking life of ever-evolving freakdom.

*

TrackNotes: Cryotherapy
Last season was so crummy . . .

*

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #185: The Right Way For Owners To Get Richer
Lower prices, more revenue, better food, shorter lines. Plus: The Bears' Front Office Is Injured; I Am Obsessed With Who Will Be The Cubs' Backup Catcher; The Blackhawks Have Been Secretly Rebuilding; The Bulls' Tank Is Over; NFL's Two Worst Fan Bases To Meet In Super Bowl; Schweinsteiger!; and There Is No White Sox News.

*

Illinois Bill Moving Forward To Pull Out Of Controversial Crosscheck
State lawmakers have set a public hearing date for legislation to protect Illinois voter data by pulling state voter data out of the national Crosscheck program.

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On This Day . . .

My long-ago feature on the Doomsday Clock, which is located in Chicago.

*

In 2017: Trump, Wayne Barrett, Ida B. Wells, Sneed, Sean Spicer, Mary Tyler Moore and more!

*

In 2012: Rahm's protesters get paid, everyone else's get jailed.

*

In 2011: About Anne Burke, Illinois Supreme Court justice; her curious definition of conflict-of-interest, and the still-unanswered story of how she got her job.

*

In 2011: Rahm's Rules Part 1: Ballot access for them, not you.

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Weekend BeachBook

Western Wisconsin Led The Nation In Farm Bankruptcies In 2017.

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Weekend TweetWood
A sampling.

An emphatic +1.

*

Keep Minnesota Real.

*

Don't ever forget who Piers Morgan is:

"In 1994, aged 29, he was appointed editor of the News of the World by Rupert Murdoch, which made him the youngest editor of a British national newspaper in more than half a century. He later edited the Daily Mirror, and was in charge during the period that the paper was implicated in the phone hacking scandal."

I mean, there's more (he was a once a contestant on The Apprentice), but you get the idea.

*

And not just ironically.

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The Weekend Desk Tronc Line: Shadow chaser.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:27 PM | Permalink

TrackNotes: Cryotherapy

The old saw is that after a spill, the only thing to do is get right back on the horse.

Although when the horse is going 43.4 miles per hour, you have to try a lot harder.

2017 was that kind of year in Thoroughbred horse racing. Dull, chalky, expectations not met. Arrogate rocketed to wins in the Pegasus and World Cup, but fell prey, hard, to The Dubai Curse and was never the same back home, appearing to tell everyone by the end of the year he didn't want to run anymore. He's retired to stud now.

The good news is that in my last race of the year, I had Breeders' Cup cookie-jar dollars wagered on the Classic and hit Win/Place/Show and the Exacta ($6.80/$4.40/$3.20/$34.00) every which way but loose to boost the bankroll quite nicely for the new year.

But last season was so crummy I've been in cryotherapy. And let me tell you, at almost half a G, it's a ripoff. For a lot less money and the same amount of pain, a beer slushie and sharing a pint of Aristocrat brandy, straight, no apricot, with my little brother, we went nearly all four furlongs of a Bears-Packers game in a sub-freezing blizzard decades ago at Lambeau, outlasting all the rest of the family scattered around the bowl, which is all it was back then. Jim Jr. wasn't close to legal, but dammit, it was cold. You do what you have to do, including a newspaper on the aluminum bleachers so you don't die from the ass up. After his third hit, he didn't wince anymore like the drifter in Miss Kitty's saloon on Gunsmoke. Hmm.

If you're going to do it, go to comparecryotherapyforgullibles.net to get the best price.

Tears wiped away, I'm back up on Old Paint, getting reacquainted, clip-clopping to the next gallop.

But I don't trust him cuz up ahead in the clearing Saturday is the second Pegasus World Championship Invitational (Grade I, nine furlongs dirt, $16,300,000) from dubious Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, Fla.

There's argument about whether these horses are just about the smartest animals you'll find, or if they're dumber than rocks. But this I know: The people who vaingloriously think they can create the instant spectacle are some of the real knuckleheads of racing.

Track owner Frank Stronach's (he also owns Santa Anita, a real racetrack) original concept was to charge any owner $1 million to buy an entry. Shares of an entry could be sold, or two owners could combine two entries and share any winnings, you get the idea. It's a buy-in, not an invitational. At first, the bravado was winner-take-all, like on Bonanza, but they did break down the purse for order-of-finish in last year's inaugural, won by Arrogate.

This year, it's much more complicated, which will make watching the race quite hinky. We'll just have to see who's sitting in what chair when the music stops.

While Stronach said just before Christmas that negotiations were "vigorous" for the last three leases, The Stronach Group ended up buying all three after the January 14 deadline, reach your own conclusions. Owners who put up the cash before the deadline grumbled, so organizers turned state's evidence.

If any of those three entries, represented by Giant Expectations, War Story, and Giuseppe the Great or Game Over (both Also Eligibles) earns over $1 million in purses, Stronach gets his million back and any additional winnings are distributed to everyone. What a guy!

But it's down on the track where things really get ugly. The Gulfstream track, rebuilt in 2006, is supposed to be 1-1/8 miles, nine furlongs around. But it's actually 17 feet longer. To further the screw-up, the track can't get right the calibrations of it's timing when a race is run at that distance - even with Trakus, a GPS system with transmitters tucked in each horse's saddle. But Gulfstream is happier as a casino and shopping mall, and I heard that if you do a day at the races, there are about 13.65 seats where you can actually see the horses run.

There is a "run up" from the gate to where the clockers start timing. Where is that? It caused all kinds of problems last year in Arrogate's win, which was eventually called a track record. You can't trust split times in those races at Gulfstream. Add in chronic timing ineptitude at Gulfstream anyway and you have a real cluster . . .

But wait, there's more. The run from the gate to the first turn in a nine-furlong race is almost instant, in racing terms, making an outside post extremely disadvantageous to horses breaking from the outside. They either empty their gas tanks to get to the front on the turn or are left hopelessly behind.

The Daily Racing Form's Mike Watchmaker explains the ramifications:

There have been 223 horses to break from posts 9 through 14 at the same distance (from 2006 up to 2017's Pegasus), and only 10 of them won. And at the current Gulfstream meet, posts 8 through 14 going two turns on the main track are 0 for 25.

So I'll give you one guess.

Gun Runner, named 2017's Horse of the Year at the Horsey Oscars on Thursday night and 4-5 favorite as of now, drew post 10! Is he so much better that he'll pull a Big Brown and overpower them all? And at what price? 'Runner may conceivably go off at value better than even money or 3-2, but he'd still be a false favorite. Keep an eye on the pools, but I don't see a bridge jumper scenario. Just tasty odds on bums delicious enough to run away like a greyhound from a lucky post, that's all. Watchmaker likes Gunnevera, so after I tossed him, now I have to take another look.

So who do we like? Notice how I said we when it really is just me? Like those hacks who predict 10 wins for the Bears every August.

Your Glamour Profession includes West Coast (post 2), the mare Stellar Wind (3), Sharp Azteca (4), Collected (5), Gunnevera (6) and War Story (8). If you believe the post voodoo, which will affect my bets, this about covers it.

Bob Baffert's West Coast, coming in 6-for-8 including second to Gun Runner's terrific Breeders' Cup Classic win last out, seems to have everything going his way. I like the fact Sharp Azteca ran a little over a month ago in winning the Cigar Mile over the respectable Mind Your Biscuits. Stellar Wind, a daughter of the mighty Curlin, is past her best days but she knows how to win and is new to the barn of Chad Brown, who is, that's right, 24 percent with transfers into his posse.

Collected, who was faster than Paladin coming in, was beaten handily by Gun Runner in the BC Classic and finished third last out in the Grade II San Antonio the day after Christmas. All together now, scratch your heads.

Watchmaker sees Gunnevera closing, but I don't see how. His last win was in a $107K non-graded here and, like a one-hit wonder, he's been living off a Fountain of Youth win 10 months ago. BUT, he seems the closest thing to a horse for the course and does have two triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures coming in so he might be one of those improving four-year-olds that we love so much, as long as we can find them. I'd still like to get more than his 15-1 morning line.

Post nine's Toast of New York is an interesting story, having run just once since 2014's BC Classic, sandwiched in Place between Bayern and California Chrome. But he won a minor stakes at Lingfield in England in prep for this race and has the legendary Lanfranco "Frankie" Dettori aboard. OK, I will.

Gun Runner? He' not a great horse. Strike one. I'm not really impressed with the company he's kept. Strike two. He's got that horrible post. Strike three. He'll still be a horrible price. Strike four. Is that too many strikes? Yeah, that's too many strikes.

Out in the Everglades in post 12, the ageless wonder Gary Stevens, the heartthrob of millions after playing George "The Iceman" Woolf in that real horse racing movie Seabiscuit, promises that his Giant Expectations will come huntin' for bear, ready to run. I believe him, he's earned it, but he's no dummy and Mama always said if you don't have anything nice to say about your post position draw . . . But, c'mon! Did you see how he rocked that hat (free horse tip if anyone can tell me specifically what kind of hat that is) before piloting Seabiscuit against War Admiral, and . . .? Aw, go watch the movie. The 'Biscuit knows.

Your Tee and Vee is the big peacock NBC, 3:30. I can't confirm if Bob Costas is going to be there, and the suspense is in no way killing me.

The Pegasus doesn't really have much impact or context on things, but I'm looking forward to it and, as always, my eyes will be big as saucers on the handicapping roller coaster, without even having to make a wagering account deposit. And, they're off!

* * * * *

You never want to end on a sad note.

So I'll do this: Call it heartwarming and heroic, inspiring, even though there is sadness involved.

When California's Lilac Fire literally swept through northern San Diego County, in its way was San Luis Rey Downs, a vital horse training facility close to Del Mar Race Track and serving Southern California and points outlying.

There are so many stories, even though it happened so fast. These are just things I heard.

In the time it took to run from the front gate, or get out of your car, the flames attacked. The stable workers only had enough time to open the stall doors and get the horses out, if the horses agreed to it. Some didn't.

When you watch the race Saturday and they have video of Gun Runner in his stall munching on a tuft of hay, you'll see how happy he is. That's his home, his safe room, his.

Some of those San Luis Rey horses wouldn't come out, some ran back in to "safety." Many horses died, some, by many accounts, nearly instantly. Many people were badly burned. Trainers Joe Herrick and Martine Bellocq kept going back in, kept going back in, and were severely burned. They wouldn't have done anything else.

The strategy was to depend on the horses' instincts, out of their stalls, to get to the training track, gather on the track, in the infield. Thankfully, many of them did. Some just kept running and had to be found.

The horse racing and horse care community, of America, really, and other people who only love the horses, mobilized faster than a 21 and 2 first quarter split.

Del Mar opened its barns to take them in. Horse vans poured in for transportation. Hay and feed and straw for the stall beds made its way there. Everything from food to money to water to diapers was sent to help the notoriously underpaid and poor backstretch families. Veterinarians with their medicine came in to help the horses, who most definitely needed it.

My impression is that all these people thought about was saving the horses, and then taking care of them afterwards. Famous trainers called in their favors, used their own resources, and tangible assets were tapped into. They knew what they had to do and where the stuff they needed was to do it.

I'll mourn what this did to those horses and I'll keep the best thought I can for the people who helped them to recover.

Yes, there is a lot of sadness. We know we love all the four-leggeds, and it's up to us to take care of them.

But how good do you feel when you see people selflessly rise up to such occasions, with no designs on the idolatry that so many smaller people - we know who they are, but they don't of course - demand these days?

With requisite restraint, that's a really happy feeling.

-

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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:52 AM | Permalink

January 26, 2018

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #185: The Right Way For Owners To Get Richer

Lower prices, more revenue, better food, shorter lines. Plus: The Bears' Front Office Is Injured; I Am Obsessed With Who Will Be The Cubs' Backup Catcher; The Blackhawks Have Been Secretly Rebuilding; The Bulls' Tank Is Over; NFL's Two Worst Fan Bases To Meet In Super Bowl; Schweinsteiger!; and There Is No White Sox News.


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SHOW NOTES

* 185.

* Chris Kennedy, everyone!

-

* Robert Marshall for Governor.

2:08: The Falcons' Win-Win For The Fans (Now Let's Get To Work On Ticket Prices).

* Darren Rovell is . . . Darren Rovell! It is the same guy: Why People Hate Darren Rovell.

(For one, he blocks even those with the slightest bit of criticism or differing opinion, including @BeachwoodReport for reasons he can't even remember.)

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 4.59.31 PM.png

* Rovell, ESPN: Falcons Drop Concession Prices, Make More Money.

* New York Times: In Atlanta, Concessions Prices Go Down and Revenue Goes Up

* 2016 interview with Arthur Blank laying out the plan:

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* The Kent Hrbek Bloody Mary As Served At The Minnesota Twins' Ballpark:

twins-bloody-mary-032914-twitter-ftr_1mnk8b52r3bkw1h88mrqrts56h.jpg

vs.

* The Ricketts Family's Bison Dog As Served At Wrigley Field:

bisondog.jpg

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* Bears Will Not Raise Season-Ticket Prices Next Season.

32:45: The Bears' Front Office Is Injured.

* Jahns: Bears To "Part Ways" With Head Trainer Nate Breske.

* Biggs, May 2015: Bears Hire New Head Trainer.

* Jahns, July 2016: Fueling The Bears' Fire: Meet Nutrition Guru Jennifer Gibson.

42:12: I Am Obsessed With Who Will Be The Cubs' Backup Catcher.

* Baffoe: The Cubs & The Conspiracy Of A Backup Catcher.

* Chris Gimenez, The Latino David Ross!

* Other non-roster catching invites coming to spring training: Taylor Davis, Ian Rice and Ali Solis. (Victor Caratini is on the roster?)

45:10: The Blackhawks Have Been Secretly Rebuilding.

* They have 13 players under 25 this year vs. four last year.

Also:

* Crawford Getting Closer To Returning.

* How The Inner Ear Balance System Works:

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52:00: The Tank Is Over.

* Johnson: Bulls Could Have A Brief Stay In Lottery Land.

57:55: NFL's Two Worst Fan Bases To Meet In Super Bowl.

59:38: The Loyola Ramblers Are Back, Baby!

1:01:08: Schweinsteiger!

1:01:17: There Is No White Sox News.

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STOPPAGE: 2:17

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For archives and other Beachwood shows, including the new Beachwood Interview Hour, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:45 PM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. JJ Grey at the Chicago Theatre on Thursday night.


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Catching up with . . .

Stick Figure at the Riv on January 19th.

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Lever at House of Blues on January 19th.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:23 PM | Permalink

Illinois Bill Moving Forward To Pull Out Of Controversial Crosscheck

State lawmakers have set a public hearing date for legislation to protect Illinois voter data by pulling state voter data out of the national Crosscheck program. The hearing on SB2273, crafted in partnership between Indivisible Chicago and state lawmakers, is scheduled for Tuesday, 1:30 p.m. in Springfield.

"We urge legislators to move quickly to close this door to protect Illinois voters' personal data," said Steve Held, one of the leaders of the Indivisible Chicago team fighting voter suppression. "The news out of Kansas, responsible for protecting this sensitive data, gets worse on a weekly basis. It's abundantly clear that the Kansas Secretary of State's office lacks the will and the expertise to secure their systems."

Indivisible Chicago has been at the forefront of national research that has revealed extensive flaws in the security measures that are supposed to protect personal data for millions of voters in Illinois and across the country. The activist organization is encouraging Illinois voters to call on lawmakers to protect their data by filing a witness proponent slip in support of this legislation. This can be done in just a few minutes, using this link and marking the slip as "proponent:" SB2273 Witness Slip.

Indivisible Chicago commends initial bill sponsors Kwame Raoul and Bill Cunningham, as well as those who have joined, and is urging more legislators to sign on as co-sponsors to expedite passage of this bill.

The hearing is scheduled against a backdrop of increasing evidence that Crosscheck leaves voters vulnerable to identity theft through the insecure handling of sensitive data. In just this past month:

  • Florida election officials acknowledged that the personal data for nearly 1,000 Kansans was compromised as a result of their participation in the Crosscheck program, prompting Florida to offer to pay for LifeLock protection to all impacted Kansans. This data had been shared with a Kansas-based Voters Against Crosscheck as a result of a public records request and subsequently shared with Indivisible Chicago.
  • After months of assurances from Kansas Secretary of State Kobach and Director of Elections Bryan Caskey that Kansas's systems were secure, Netragard, a security research firm, found that the Kansas government's network was "significantly exposed," posing a risk to all Kansas systems, including the Crosscheck database.
  • Gizmodo reported the careless exposure of the last four digits of Social Security numbers for thousands of Kansas state employees, including 90 percent of Kansas legislators and Kobach himself.

Last week, Caskey stated that Crosscheck would again be operational sometime in February but hasn't provided any details about planned changes to the programs security.

Pulling out of Crosscheck doesn't mean Illinois will be ill-equipped to manage voter data, according to Held.

"Illinois is in the much more secure national ERIC program, along with 22 others," he said. "We have the necessary tools to maintain our voter rolls. Proponents for Crosscheck are simply pursuing a highly partisan agenda to perpetuate debunked myths about voter fraud and to further an agenda of voter suppression. It's time to end this charade and get on with the serious business of protecting the integrity of our electoral process."

Efforts to persuade the Illinois State Board of Elections to voluntarily pull data from Crosscheck have been unsuccessful, with a vote earlier this month breaking out along party lines, and all Republican members voting "no. In an e-mail to Indivisible Chicago after that SBE Board meeting, SBE public information officer 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's next monthly board meeting is scheduled for February 21.

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Previously:

* State Board Of Elections Puts Voter Data At Risk.

* Illinois Legislators Urged to Act Quickly to Secure Voter Files.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:25 AM | Permalink

January 25, 2018

The Beachwood Radio Interview Hour #1: Liz Mason Is Awesome Dot Com

Welcome to this Chicago zine queen's ass-kicking life of ever-evolving freakdom.


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SHOW NOTES

(I don't know where that clicking is coming from, people. I'm working on it. It goes away.)

* Quimby's.

* RIP The Quaker Goes Deaf.

* LizMasonIsAwesome.com.

* Cul-de-sac #7: The Adult Geek Issue.

* Ever-Evolving Bastion Of Freakdom.

* NBC's Starting Over.

* Wicker Park: Love, Loss & Booze.

* Rory Lake's Karaoke Dreams.

* Shameless Karaoke.

- 30:00 -

* @CabooseZine.

* The Blue Ribbon Glee Club.

* Dance Dance Party Party.

* Maximum Rocknroll.

* Don't mess around with the guy in shades, oh no!

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Never surrender!

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* KWVA 88.1 FM.

* Fred Armisen's "Wicker Park Girl" at Lounge Ax.

* The Owen Society for Hermetic and Spiritual Enlightenment.

* Borrelli, Tribune: Quimby's At 25: Still A Wicker Park Treasure.

* Quimby's NYC.

* Quimby's NYC on Instagram.

* Quimby's Chicago on Instagram.

* The Found *NSYNC Fan Fiction Radio Hour #17: Kelly vs. Kelly.

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Liz Mason at Beachwood HQ.

LizMason.JPG

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For The Beachwood Radio Hour (on hiatus), The Beachwood Radio International Hour (abbreviated run) and The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour (weekly!), see The Beachwood Radio Network.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:20 PM | Permalink

The [Thursday] Papers

Meanwhile . . .

-

New on the Beachwood today . . .

'Healing Arts Kits' Packing Party
Designed to be administered immediately after an incident of trauma.

*

Extensive Comment By Our Very Own Eric Emery On "Does Spending Big In The Transfer Window Work?
"I appreciate the writer trying to analytically answer the question, but it's rife with limitations . . . "

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

New Chicago Artist Teddy Bear.

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BeachBook

Kimberly-Clark Using Tax Savings To Help Pay For Job Cuts, Investor Returns.

*

Opioid Crisis 'Whitewashed' To Ignore Rising Black Death Rate.

*

Rare Fish With 'Hands' Spotted In Tasmania.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

*

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Define irony.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:47 AM | Permalink

'Healing Arts Kits' Packing Party

Each year, all too many Chicago youths and their families are struck with traumatic incidents stemming from exposure to gun violence, domestic abuse, sexual assault, substance abuse, and other forms of violence and loss; 2016 was the city's most violent year in nearly two decades with 762 murders, 3,550 shooting incidents, and 4,331 shooting victims.

Urban Gateways often engages the very same youth and families who have been exposed to trauma and has witnessed firsthand the importance of combating this trauma. Without intervention, the life expectancy of youth trauma victims decreases by 20 years.

The city of Chicago is in desperate need of healing and of positive, impactful experiences. Arts intervention can provide a tool for recovery and mitigate the impact of trauma on our city's youth.

This is why Urban Gateways has partnered with Artists 4 Israel and Chicago Survivors to pilot the distribution of A4I's Healing Arts Kits throughout the city.

healingkits.png

Developed by Artists 4 Israel as a first response tool to bombing victims in Israel, the Healing Arts Kits are emergency psychological first aid kits, designed to be administered immediately after an incident of trauma.

The purpose of the Kits is to slow or prevent the onset of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by providing the young person with activities that interrupt the trauma, stimulate self-soothing, inspire creative thinking, and otherwise utilize the elements of art therapy.

The Kits were developed by children's psychology experts, psychiatrists, emergency medical technicians, first responders, art therapists, artists, teachers, and parents, stemming from the latest research in health and art therapy practices.

"This collaboration is a necessary response to aid our city's young victims through the healing power of the arts," says Urban Gateways Executive Director Eric Delli Bovi. "We hope that this project will result in a lasting, positive impact in our city by providing creative relief for children and families faced with unimaginable effects as survivors of homicide and trauma."

In its initial pilot, 200 Healing Arts Kits will be deployed for use by Chicago Survivors. Chicago Survivors provides citywide crisis intervention, supportive counseling, comprehensive resources, referral services, and case management to families following homicide in Chicago through trained Crisis Responders and Family Support Specialists; their services are free and open to all families who have lost a loved one to violence.

Healing Arts Kits will serve as a tool for Chicago Survivors to reach youth in the aftermath of a shooting, death, or incidence of violence. The 200 pilot Kits will be available for distribution in February after the Packing Party, with further distributions rolling out as needed to reach Chicago's young people.

"Chicago Survivors is grateful for this important creative tool," says Chicago Survivors Executive Director Susan Johnson. "Healing from personal exposure to violence is hard work, and the Healing Arts Kits bring respite and quiet hope in the midst of chaos and tragedy."

The Healing Arts Kits Packing Party on February 12th will mark the launch of this pilot phase, with staff from Urban Gateways, Chicago Survivors, and Artists 4 Israel, as well as young people who participate in programming at Street-Level Youth Media, present to compile the Healing Arts Kits and prepare them for citywide use by Chicago Survivors.

Our hope is to leverage the power of the arts to help alleviate the impact of trauma on our city's youth and provide healing for young people affected by violence. Please plan to attend the February 12 Packing Party to learn more about this critical initiative. Contact Urban Gateways Director of Communications Abby Prescott, 312-445-2755 / aprescott@urbangateways.org, with questions or to RSVP.

When: Monday, February 12, 5 p.m. -7 p.m.

Where: Street-Level Youth Media, 1637 North Ashland Avenue.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:00 AM | Permalink

January 24, 2018

Michael Flynn, Rogue Star

Titles for the times, New Wave coffee shop, Logan Square, January 24, 2018.

flynnrogue.jpg

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From Publishers Weekly:

"In this sprawling, near-future saga of power politics and space exploration, a sequel to Flynn's well-received Firestar (1996), billionaire industrialist Mariesa van Huyten continues to battle wrongheaded government officials, well-meaning but naive liberals and shortsighted businessmen to put in place an orbital defense against potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroids.

"The novel features a number of interconnected subplots. In one, Mariesa must come to terms with a U.S. president who wants to co-opt her not-yet-completed space station and turn it into an illegal and top-secret weapons platform. In another, a group of colorful blue-collar characters who might easily have come out of an Allen Steele novel build Mariesa's station and live their boisterous, occasionally violent lives. In yet another, the poet Roberta Carson, once Mariesa's disciple but now her sworn enemy, schemes to bring about the industrialist's downfall, supposedly for the good of the people."

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Here's Goodreads on Legacy of Earth (#3):

"Faster-than-light travel to the stars was a discovery of the great Saunder family, and the vast Saunder fortune helped in the colonizing of alien worlds, among strange, nonhuman races.

"But Anthony Saunder had no share in that fortune or heritage. He was only a clone, the illegal result of a cruel woman's whim, not truly human. And the business he had started on Procyon Four, making colonist's emoto-tapes, was on the brink of failure."

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I don't think The Quran needs any explanation.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:57 AM | Permalink

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

Tech giant Apple made international headlines and inspired President Donald Trump to brag overnight about his role in making it all possible after announcing it would pay approximately $38 billion in taxes as it repatriates large sums of overseas cash holdings. But that dollar figure is less than half of what tax analysts say the company should be paying for those earnings.

With the Trump and GOP lowering the repatriation tax rate from 35 percent down to 15.5 percent, the lobbying by powerful and wealthy corporations - including Apple - is finally paying dividends.

The repatriation measure included in the new tax law passed by Republicans and signed by Trump will result in multinational corporations receiving an overall estimated tax cut of $413 billion.

Regarding future investments the company is now promising, reporting suggests that may have happened with or without the tax repatriation windfall.

Besides:

"We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who help make our success possible," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

Will Rice, however, senior writer with Americans for Tax Fairness, challenged that narrative in a blog post, arguing Apple's clear goal in promoting its repatriation "is to curry favor with the Trump administration by creating the mirage of positive economic news closely following the tax overhaul. The goal is to obscure the fact that the new law is a massive giveaway to huge multinational corporations like Apple."

And if Apple's sense of responsibility to "give back" is so deep, why avoid paying U.S. taxes on its earnings at the set rate for all these years? Of course many taxpayers around the world feel their rates are too high, but most pay their taxes dutifully nonetheless - many happily and gladly.

Perhaps, as Jason Rhodes wrote for Salon, it's because Apple's most significant innovation over recent years is not its mind-blowing and fast-selling tech gadgets but its ability to dodge taxes across the globe. As Rhodes argues, it's very difficult to even imagine what a large number $252 billion actually is.

That's more than the foreign-currency reserves of Britain and Canada. A quarter trillion dollars. Sound that out in your mind, and then say it with your mouth. The phrase 'quarter trillion dollars' is 22 letters and six syllables, and I'm afraid it doesn't quite do justice to the amount of capital involved.

And: "When Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Dec. 22, 2017, he rewarded Apple for keeping its money overseas, away from starving Americans and veterans with health problems. And Apple was party to all of this. Last year, the Big Five Tech companies increased lobbyist spending by 24.3 percent. By the third quarter of 2017, Apple spent $2.23 million petitioning Congress."

As journalist David Dayen warned, as he explored how many corporations are enjoying the GOP tax cuts even as they lay off workers or fail to increase wages, "don't let a twisted and dishonest PR scheme by massive companies grateful for Trump's huge Christmas present distort the truth."

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

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See also:

* International Consortium of Investigative Journalists: Apple Claims To Be A Good Corporate Citizen, But Is It Really?

"Apple said it would bring hundreds of billions of dollars in offshore cash back to the United States. But how good a corporate citizen is Apple really being? We dissect the latest announcement by the iPhone-marker."

* A Bloody Decade Of The iPhone.

"The long and complicated supply chain has caused innumerable work injuries, occupational diseases and premature deaths over the past decade."

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Previously in 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.

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

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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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Previously in The Paradise Papers:

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

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

* Development Dreams Lost In The Offshore World.

* Keeping Offshore 'Hush Hush,' But Why?

* Tax Havens Are Alive With The Sound Of Music.

* Today In Tax Avoidance Of The Ultra-Wealthy.

* Go To Town With This Offshore Leaks Database.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:43 AM | Permalink

At The Spertus | Ineluctable Immigrant

The Spertus Institute presents a new, commissioned, site-specific installation by artist Ellen Rothenberg.

Rothenberg prompts visitors to consider connections between past and contemporary issues of migration. The project is inspired by objects and documents Rothenberg uncovered in the Spertus collection - as well as research she pursued in Berlin at Germany's largest refugee camp, housed in the monumental Tempelhof Airport, a disused site that was designed and built by the Nazis.

tempelhof.jpgShipping containers at Tempelhof Refugee Camp/Ellen Rothenberg

Tempelhof's building is a legally protected historic monument with strict regulations that dictate the physical forms of the interior camp spaces. No alterations can be made that will permanently affect the building, leaving the entire camp to exist in a state that Rothenberg describes as "permanently ephemeral." Rothenberg critically approaches the temporality of this site in reference to global issues of migration.

This exhibition is organized by Ionit Behar, Spertus's Curator of Collections and Exhibitions.

Opening Reception
February 1 | 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Meet the artist and learn about the conception and creation of this work. Free but reservations requested.

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Related Events

An Evening of Readings and Performances at the Poetry Foundation
Thursday, March 1 | 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Featuring writer and translator Nathanaël, artist and translator Jennifer Scappettone, and writer and code artist Judd Morrissey.

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Gallery Talk
Sunday, March 4 | 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Artist Ellen Rothenberg and Curator Ionit Behar.
Spertus Institute, 610 S. Michigan Ave.

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Cecilia Vicuña, Performance on Migration and Movement
Wednesday, April 4 | 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Chilean artist, writer, and activist.
Spertus Institute, 610 S. Michigan Ave.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:25 AM | Permalink

The [Wednesday] Papers

"Cook County Board members have missed hundreds of meetings in the past five years, an investigation by the Chicago Sun-Times and ABC7 Chicago's I-Team has found - with four county commissioners absent at least a quarter of the time," the paper reports.

"Commissioner Bridget Gainer had the worst attendance record, records show. The North Side Democrat missed 162 of 504 meetings of the board and its committees - nearly a third of the official meetings she was supposed to attend in the past five years."

Well, Bridget Gainer seems like one of the more enlightened of the bunch over there, and she's often mentioned as a possible mayoral candidate, so I'm sure she has a good excuse.

"Gainer said her hectic schedule as 'a working mother' was the main reason for having the poorest attendance, noting that she is 'the only mom with school-age children on the board.'"

Oh.

"Have I missed some meetings? Sure," Gainer said. "I've missed some of my kids' games, too. And that bothers me more."

But we're paying you $85,000 a year to attend those meetings. It's your (part-time) job! No one forced you to take it.

"In the first three years of her current four-year term, Gainer missed half the meetings of board committees she's assigned to, minutes of those meetings show."

Half! That's a lot of games!

"Gainer also is head of the public affairs group for Aon, the professional services firm but said that hasn't caused her to miss so many government meetings, 'not even a little bit.'"

That's not helping!

It would be one thing if you missed time from your private sector job because of your duties as a public official and parent. It's another to miss time from your public official's job because of your duties in the private sector as well as at home.

You've got it backwards, Bridget!

"So much of the work that happens at the county goes on outside the board meetings," Gainer said.

We get that. But public meetings are the time the public gets to see you and record your votes. Beyond that, your attendance record is far worse at committee meetings, which are often the most important meetings, than full board meetings, which are often the theater of already determined results.

Again, you've got it backwards, Bridget.

"I'm juggling a lot like every other working mother," Gainer told the Sun-Times.

But how many other working mothers are elected, public officials making $85,000 a year plus a private sector salary which is presumably even more than that?

"Gainer, who was an aide to former Mayor Richard M. Daley, has previously said that running against Mayor Rahm Emanuel is 'definitely something I'm thinking about.'"

But how would she have time to be mayor? She's already juggling a lot!

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In the meantime, Gainer is running for re-election to her county board seat.

"Mary Ann Kosiak, a personal injury attorney, has filed to challenge Gainer in the Democratic primary next month. Kosiak did not return calls seeking comment."

Hmmm. Is Kosiak a ghost candidate?

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"Mary Ann Kosiak is a top Chicago woman accident lawyer who has collected millions for her clients in Illinois as a result of car accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, boat accidents, train accidents, plane accidents, truck accidents."

Plus, she's fighting for us!

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Kosiak doesn't even have any endorsements on LinkedIn!

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Gainer did not challenge Kosiak's petitions, though that's most likely because Kosiak isn't a threat. There's no advantage I can see - other than not being see as a bully and/or not drawing attention to her opponent - to Gainer to have Kosiak on the ballot with no other challengers. And yes, I'm presuming Kosiak's petitions are challenge-worthy.

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Kosiak has virtually no online presence.

Here's one of her few Facebook posts:

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Back to Gainer:

I had some questions that were not answered in the Sun-Times report. I found some of those answers on Wikipedia.

-> Gainer has a husband and three kids. (I just wanted to know if she was a single mother. Look, I'm not unsympathetic to the plight of working women - or any working parent - trying to hold down a job and raise children at the same time. But Gainer is voluntarily holding down two high-earning jobs and has a partner. So she may be a "working mother," but she's not a working-class mother. She's rich. In 2013, for example, she and her husband paid $1.2 million for a four-bedroom home in Graceland West.)

-> "Gainer oversees [Aon's] corporate political action committee (PAC) and decides how these funds are spent." (This job description might be outdated, as we will see below.)

I also learned, through the footnotes, that:

-> She was not Mike Quigley's choice as successor, though she was the choice of her friend, media writer and former high-ranking Tribune editor James Warren, yuck.

Warren:

"The newspapers' accounts the next day couldn't quite shake off the assumptions pervading the conspiracy theories. In particular, there was the first reference by both the Tribune and Sun-Times to Gainer as a former City Hall official. In fact, if anybody had checked, they would have learned that she was one of about 30 grunt analysts in the budget office 10 years ago. Describing Gainer as a 'former City Hall official' is akin to calling Dave Bialas, bullpen coach for the 1999 Cubs, a 'former Tribune Co. official.'"

Really?

From Chicago magazine last May:

You had a close relationship with Rich Daley and worked for him when he was mayor. [She also worked for the Park District as lakefront director.] He went from being celebrated as "America's mayor" to being seen as an incompetent who planted flowers but allowed the city to rot in every way imaginable. So has Daley gotten a bad rap?

When I was there in the late '90s, I really feel like it was the golden years. There was so much focus around neighborhoods and how to make them livable. If you went to a meeting with Daley and you said, "We're thinking of doing this at 63rd and Stony," he'd say, "Wait, you mean the corner with the bank? Or the corner with the gas station?"

I think very highly of Daley.

She also backed Rahm Emanuel in 2011. She stayed neutral in 2015; she considers herself an ally of Chuy Garcia.

Also:

You're a county board commissioner, but you have another job as well?

Yes, I work for Aon doing global public affairs, building engagement around the world. We just launched an apprentice program here in Chicago and in London. My time is pretty evenly split. I work 30 hours a week for each one.

The shame of it is that I'm favorably predisposed to Gainer. But she's cheating the public.

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Finally:

"Commissioner John Daley, D-Chicago, also has been at every board meeting during the past five years, and had the best attendance rate for committee meetings. He was marked absent at only two of more than 300 meetings of his committees since 2013 - a 99.4 percent attendance mark.

"You have to be here," Daley said. "I think it's important to be here and listen to the testimony and, if there are questions, ask [administration officials], then ask the department heads questions, and form your own opinions."

Apparently Gainer doesn't think so.

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Sources close to the Beachwood Bookmaking Bureau say that Gainer's 5 percent chance of running and winning the mayor's seat in 2019 is likely to be downgraded a point because of this revelation.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

What Apple Is Getting Away With
"Don't let a twisted and dishonest PR scheme by massive companies grateful for Trump's huge Christmas present distort the truth."

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Michael Flynn, Rogue Star
Titles for the times.

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At The Spertus | Ineluctable Immigrant
"Ellen Rothenberg prompts visitors to consider connections between past and contemporary issues of migration. The project is inspired by objects and documents Rothenberg uncovered in the Spertus collection - as well as research she pursued in Berlin at Germany's largest refugee camp, housed in the monumental Tempelhof Airport, a disused site that was designed and built by the Nazis."

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Does Spending Big In The Transfer Window Work?
Or is it better to just change managers?

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ChicagoGram

#flicksonflash #moschicago2017 #mos2017

A post shared by FLASH ABC MARS (@flash_abc) on

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ChicagoTube

How To Pronounce "Chicago Politics."

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BeachBook

Despite Boston-Centric Ad Campaign, Many Gillette Products Wicked Imported.

You know what is Made in America? Grade-A Bullshit.

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Miller Lite Passes Budweiser - Also Known As "America" - In Big Beer Sales.

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How The U.S. Vote To Extend NSA Program Could Expose Journalists To Surveillance.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Office space.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:17 AM | Permalink

Does Spending Big In The Transfer Window Work?

Football clubs in the English Premier League have found this month's transfer window an expensive experience.

With Liverpool breaking the world record for a defender with the signing of Virgil van Dijk and the sale of Phillipe Coutinho to Barcelona, for a fee rising to £142m - bargains are in short supply. So is it worth spending the money?

Many clubs are finding it a challenge to weigh up their options ahead of the transfer window slamming shut at the end of the month. Should they back their manager and spend? Can they afford it? And, with so much riding on a Premier League place, should they stick with the players they've got or twist and buy more?

Here we make sense of the data from recent seasons to work out what can be done and what could work.

virgil.jpgThe world's most expensive defender, Virgil van Dijk, gets a warm welcome at Liverpool/Peter Powell, EPA

New Manager, Players Or Both?

The clubs at the bottom of the league have already been busy trying to change their fortunes. West Ham United, Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion all made a managerial change before the window opened. Two, Palace and West Ham have seen an upturn in results, climbing out of the relegation zone. Swansea City also decided a change was necessary over the Christmas period, and Stoke City has parted company with manager Mark Hughes following a slump in form which saw them drop into the bottom three and exit the FA Cup at the hands of Coventry City, three leagues below them.

With recent research suggesting that changing a manager mid-season is worth an average improvement of three league positions (assuming the change is made early enough for them to have an impact), it's hardly surprising to see these gains in action. Three positions could be the difference between survival and relegation (which can make or break a club's financial stability). Or a lucrative place in a European competition. Perhaps this was the thinking behind Watford's surprise sacking of coach Marco Silva. His departure was the eighth of the season in the Premier League - that's 40 percent of managers already losing their job.

With this in mind, it is easy to see why clubs are keen to put a new manager in place at the start of the transfer window. Based on current standings, any club in the bottom half can realistically be considered in danger ,and those who haven't yet shown their hand (such as Newcastle, Bournemouth and Southampton) are left playing playing Russian roulette.

So let us consider who could change their fortunes and see whether past windows can help clubs make that illusive, right decision.

relegation.jpgNet Gain/Net Loss (Transfer Spend vs. Relegation or Survival)/Author data

Ironically, Swansea City find themselves in exactly the same position as they were on New Year's Day 2017 - bottom of the table. Two days later, they appointed a new manager and spent £18m on new transfers. These two decisions helped them to a 15th-place finish and league safety (a gain of five places) - a position that equated to £9.7m extra revenue for the club. Even more importantly, by avoiding relegation they retained about £60m in TV money. With this in mind, £18m on transfers looks like a bargain.

Similarly, Crystal Palace spent £30m in the January 2017 window after appointing Sam Allardyce as their new manager shortly beforehand. He led them from 17th position to 14th by the end of the season.

transferspend.jpgTotal winter spend in 16/17 by club and places gained/Author Data

That said, it is not so easy as spending money to survive. Sunderland and Middlesbrough spent around £24m between them in January 2017 and still got relegated, but then neither club changed its manager in sufficient time for it to take effect. Sunderland themselves gambled a year earlier, spending £25m in the winter window of 2016 and stayed up. But the club couldn't repeat this trick with David Moyes at the helm last season.

Yet, crunching the numbers doesn't show any real pattern. For some clubs spending works, and for others it doesn't. What is clear is that, more often than not, increased spending in the transfer window coincides with a new manager at the helm, suggesting that sometimes a shake up of more than one element of the club is needed. Plus, many fans will argue, it is better to do something rather than nothing and just accepting your fate.

Life Is Tough At The Top

With Manchester City seemingly a shoe-in for the the league title, we have paid little attention to the top of the league. They remain fairly active, however, at this time of year. There has been a lot of discussion over the future of Manchester United's manager and the club's need to spend in the winter window - not to have any bearing on this year's title race, but to bed-in new players early enough to hit the ground running next season.

This seems a logical approach. A new manager often takes time to embed their methods and to develop a squad they deem appropriate to win football matches in their style. After all, Pep Guardiola guided City to third in his first season in charge, before spending £221.5m in the summer window in 2017. Now they are 12 points clear at the top of the table.

The winter window throws many clubs into a tailspin, with fans and commentators piling on the pressure to spend. There is no perfect formula, though, and clubs need to consider their options carefully.

It's not a simple case of spending big and hoping for the best and, while we predict another record breaking window, there seems a greater need to make decisions that are planned strategically to maximize their return. Knee-jerk purchases should be kept to a minimum, just like that outfit that is reduced by 70% but will never be worn.

Rob Wilson is a Principal Lecturer in Sport Finance at Sheffield Hallam University. Dan Plumley is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Business Management at Sheffield Hallam University. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Eric Emery:

I appreciate the writer trying to analytically answer the question, but it's rife with limitations. First, the statistic of "teams who change managers move three spots higher on average" is misleading. Most of the time, these teams are already 18th -20th. If you are already 19th, you can move to 22nd. The downside is relatively low. A better ratio might be points/games played.

Second, the sample size is too small to make any meaningful conclusion. I think they realize that, but if we really want to know we'd track this for years.

Third, it's unclear to me if the spending figure they are using is "net spend" or "gross spend." For instance, a team might pay Player 1 30m, but they also might sell a lesser player or two for 2m each, send a few players on loan (and earn a fee), etc. So the net spend overall is a bunch lower.

As a fan, it's just cheaper to fire the manager. Part of it is strategic. To attract players, players want to play on teams that play an expansive, offensive style. Over the past few years, even though teams like Crystal Palace, West Ham, West Bromich Albion, and Stoke City were not exactly known for that, they hired managers to put that sort of system in to improve the team, and consequently, increase the chances of a sustained run in the Premier League. When that is failing, you hire the new manager to turn more defensive. So you might hear the terms "hoof-ball," "park the bus," etc. An easy analogy would be replacing your football coach with a conservative, run/defense coach like Lovie Smith or John Fox.

A few low teams refuse to compromise. That is why I love Bournemouth. Though tactically they will at times play more conservatively, they do not make it their centerpiece. Huddersfield is much the same way. So for them, they need to trust each other and continue to recruit second-level players aged 19 to 22 and develop them into Premier League-level players.

Stupid Everton hired a "hoof ball" manager to survive, which is disgusting. They are rich enough and with enough quality to not go down that road. They just limited their upside for years to come, IMO. (Hiring Sam Allardyce was equivalent to the Bears hiring John Fox.)

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:13 AM | Permalink

January 23, 2018

The [Tuesday] Papers

Meanwhile . . .

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New on the Beachwood today and since the last column on Friday . . .

The Truth About Oprah
"She puts the cult in pop culture."

Seriously, please take the time to read this. I put a lot of work into it, and I want to shout it from the rooftops.

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This Dancer Is 11
Meet Brightyn Brems.

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The Battle Of Forest Park
Let them vote?

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Coffman: Tank The Tank
"The fact is, no true NBA contender, let alone champion, has been built through even a one-year tank, let alone the sort of multi-year job that would probably be required to make it work."

So the Bulls are doing it right - in reverse by accident! GarPax!

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The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #184: Bell & Bulls, Vic & Vikes, Corey's Confusion
Shifting narratives all over the landscape. Plus: The Duensing Principle, and Schweinsteiger!

Yeah, this was recorded (and posted) before the Vikings lost on Sunday. Thankfully I revealed my pre-game fear instead of predicting victory, because I never felt confident therein. But I never thought they'd get blown out like that, sheesh.

I believe I mentioned this on the podcast, btw:

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Slow Mass, Melkbelly, No Age, Uncouth, Inner Decay, Story of the Year, Crown the Empire, Asking Alexandria, and Black Veil Brides.

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Also, caught up with a few weeks of falling behind in our music coverage. Not much missed, though, tbh; it's the dregs of the music year (which isn't to say there aren't some awesome bands here, because there are! It's more a quantity issue than a quality one). In chronological order, starting with January 5th.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Dead Harvest, Tideshift, Lara Bell, M. Levi, and Vehicle Blues.

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: The Kozmic Kicks, TAFKAV, Budokan 77, and My Double Life.

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Nobody!

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Kali Uchis, Jonny Lang, Lana Del Rey, and Golden Donna.

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Blue Dream, October Bird of Death, and The Killers.

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Stephen Baldwin Explores The South Side For RT For Some Reason.

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BeachBook
A sampling.

George Schuyler: An Afrofuturist Before His Time.

I learned a lot reading this. You will too.

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The Bitter Secret Of Wormwood.

Do we ever really learn the truth?

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The Horror, The Horror.

Meet Isaac Babel. Please.

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NYPD Cops Furious That The Union Has Reduced The Number Of 'Get Out Of Jail Free' Cards They Can Give To Their Pals.

1. Chicago Assignment Desk, Activate!

(I seem to remember Cook County sheriff's deputies maybe having something like this? Or maybe that was just junior deputyships, or something like that. Too busy to look up, I can't do it all for you, folks.)

2. Facebook distributed this post to 14 people. That's not unusual, and that's what a joke Facebook pages for media businesses are - it's far more productive to share articles on personal pages. Beyond that, I could have just e-mailed the story to the 900 people who follow the Beachwood Facebook page!

3. One reason the Beachwood's Facebook distribution isn't higher, I'm guessing, is that readers don't engage much with the posts. So what! Not everyone wants to waste their time engaging; I rarely engage with Facebook posts. Doesn't mean I don't read them! Just such a false understanding of how people use Facebook, as well as a privileging the worst readers, just as the news business does, by rewarding an audience of folks with the most time on their hands to spend "engaging." It's so funny, time poverty/competition once drove news organizations (not to conflate Facebook and news organizations, but to extrapolate on the theme) to write shorter and simpler (not endorsing!) and, frankly, dumber, but now news orgs have turned the equation upside-down to cater to those most time-rich . . . none of which contributes to (and in fact, detracts from) an outlet's public policy mission.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Democrats: Always afraid of how the truth will look.

Republicans: Always afraid of the truth.

Us: Never getting the truth.

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They never learn. Some of us have been beating the drum about economic development and tourism numbers for decades, it's such an old con.

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Some good lines in this; nothing so rare or sweet as great rock writing.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Shelter.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:04 PM | Permalink

January 22, 2018

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Slow Mass at Schubas for the Tomorrow Never Knows Fest on Saturday night.


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2. Melkbelly at Schubas for the TNK Fest on Saturday night.

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3. No Age at Schubas for the TNK Fest on Saturday night.

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4. Uncouth at Livewire on Friday night.

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5. Inner Decay at the Wire in Berwyn on Saturday night.

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6. Story of the Year at Bottom Lounge on Friday night.

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7. Crown the Empire at the Riv on Saturday night.

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8. Asking Alexandria at the Riv on Saturday night.

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9. Black Veil Brides at the Riv on Saturday night.

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10. Alvarez, Billington & Rowe at the Empty Bottle on Saturday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:38 PM | Permalink

This Dancer Is 11

Brightyn Brems at Jump Chicago over the weekend.


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Meet Brightyn Brems.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:05 AM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Tank The Tank

Teaching young, potential stars to play winning basketball is slightly more important than a draft pick, even one in the top five. The Bulls continued to tank the tank last week and they sure as hell should keep it going for as long as possible. They are now 15-8 in the second 23 games of the season after going 3-20 in the first.

The reaction from the local sports commentariat to the Bulls spanking the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday was to point to the Hawks and say, "Now that's how to tank!" as if the Hawks' current, crushing season of losing on purpose is the obviously successful way to build a basketball contender.

That couldn't be further from the truth. The fact is, no true NBA contender, let alone champion, has been built through even a one-year tank, let alone the sort of multi-year job that would probably be required to make it work.

The 76ers (there is no city required in front of that nickname is there? Whoever decided on this moniker for the basketball team of brotherly love should get a medal) are the team that is always held up as the example of a successful multi-year tank.

Many people still seem to believe that "The Process" will be proven right; that Philly's four-year tank will be shown to be the wave of the future of building successful basketball teams.

What a bunch of malarkey. The Sixers have a shot at winning a playoff series this year (the three critical stages of basketball greatness are "winning a playoff series," "contending for a championship" and "winning a championship"). But they are still a long way from championship contender status. And even if they do make it, A) no other team is going to do a four-year tank - it is a betrayal of fans that everyone, from NBA commish Adam Silver on down, knows is unacceptable, and B) no one else is even close to making even a two-year tank work.

Why everyone won't go ahead and acknowledge "The Process" ended when Silver felt forced to intervene the off-season before last, well, I guess it is just to big of a violation of a central NBA narrative for them. That was when Silver essentially told the Sixers owner to fire general manager Sam Hinkie, who had overseen the first three years of tank-a-palooza. Silver then arranged the hiring of a supposed guru at the end of his basketball professional line, Jerry Colangelo, to fix what ailed the franchise.

Instead Colangelo took the opportunity to fix his son's basketball management career. Wait, that sort of naked nepotism is not part of any sort of respected "Process!?"

Jerry hired Bryan Colangelo, who had washed out of the GM job with the Raptors a few years prior after one too many disastrous first-round picks, as the new 76er GM.

Colangelo oversaw the obvious drafting (he was the top prospect by far) of Ben Simmons the season before last and then the Sixers actually caught a break when Simmons suffered an injury and missed the 2016-17 season, i.e., he missed what quickly became, again, a forced march of 80 games of management not trying. It was that sort of forced march two years prior that had thrown previous high first-round draft pick and Chicago native Jahlil Okafor completely off track.

The Sixers gave up on Okafor in the preseason last year and finally moved him to the Brooklyn Nets a few months ago for a bargain basement price. The jury is still out on whether he can turn himself back into an above-average low-post contributor. So far, so slow for that different kind of process but at least Okafor is in a place where he has some time to put it together with a team that isn't trying to lose. The Nets are rebuilding but they are not tanking.

Bryan Colangelo then appears to have botched the first pick of last year's draft. He selected Washington point guard Markelle Fultz and, quite simply, no one knows what is going on with him. He suffered a shoulder injury early in the season and a current theory is he has the yips with his jump shot. He seems completely healthy, but when he has been seen putting up shots in warm-ups and practices it looks like he has totally lost his form.

Anyway, the Sixers might be in the the hunt for a playoff series win not because of any silly-assed process but because they got one of their non-obvious high first-round draft picks in the last five years absolutely right. They drafted the injury-prone Joel Embiid and he is a budding super-duper-star.

Very few people have a problem with teams tanking one year in a big way, and I count myself among that number. A general manger comes in after a team has a terrible year, makes the high pick that follows such a season and focuses on rebuilding in the coming year, i.e., moving out veterans, creating cap space and making way for a new generation of players.

But after the high draft pick that results from that transitional season, it is time to start trying to win again. In that process (I cannot escape that word, can I?), you don't do something stupid like trading the next year's draft pick or one of the young players you've drafted for a veteran, or overpaying for multiple free agents. You give your new young team every chance to win within that context.

If you don't, you damage your young players like the Sixers damaged Okafor. The Bulls can do whatever they want with veterans Niko Mirotic, Jerian Grant and Robin Lopez. It would be a shame if they traded Justin Holiday just because he is such a great story. But they will still have their core of three young, wonderfully promising players and no matter what happens with the other guys, the Bulls almost certainly won't lose enough to get back down in the mix for the top five number of ping pong balls at this year's draft.

And they are so much the better for it.

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Tom Chambers:

I've never understood the appeal tanking has to so many teams.

We could have new divisions: Western Tankers Division and Eastern Tankers Division. The problem would be "We're going to lose this game." "NO, WE'RE going to lose this game!"

These teams are impervious to revenue shortages because of television and the attendance of blind sheep fans. That makes it easy for them to tank, and saves them a lot of work. Teams so inept now have a mantra to sell their fans: "We're not losing, we're tanking. Just you wait and see how great the results will be."

After the Bulls dynasty disintegrated through the small minds of management and labor, the teams they fielded, known to us guys as The Steaming Pile, did not really tank. Reinsdorf used the opportunity kill the roster to rake in big bucks, knowing the segment of fans who couldn't get in before would still pack the arena and he wouldn't have to pay the big salaries. Tanking in the NBA is so curious, if only because it is impossible to determine if the sophomore from Meatgrinder U. can even play.

Unless I'm missing someone else, the Cubs success at it and their championship will prove to be an aberration after their World Series win after the years of tanking. It was a slap in the face to the fans and, yet, they came. At what price must these things come? I've got news. These Cubs are not going to win another World Series. Even the White Sox didn't sink so low or, at least, never took outward pride in the tanking.

As you mentioned, the tanking infuses the entire organization with failure, even subconsciously. The attitude of the New York Yankees is that "we win around here." It is so primary to their existence, they win games they're not supposed to win, the World Series is the only goal, besides winning it.

The New England Patriots are so committed to winning that they even get into the heads of their opponents. Winning is a checklist item they don't even have to deal with, while it becomes a huge burden to a Jacksonville Jaguars or Atlanta Falcons team.

Nuts and bolts and all the puzzle pieces are just some of the problems the Bears have. They are also going to have to overcome the menacing heritage of apathy and losing for which they have only themselves to blame. If they even know the problem exists. Or care.

Then again, it'll take only eight wins to keep the fans' furnaces stoked.

P.S.: And what about the GM or director of player personnel who sits there staring at the ping pong balls with a childlike glee on their face. And then gets the eighth pick. That one cracks me up. I wouldn't send anybody.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:58 AM | Permalink

The Truth About Oprah

I've always thought the most essential reading about Oprah was Barbara Grizzuti Harrison's piece in The New York Times Magazine in 1989. It still holds today.

It's not available online, but I found it in an archive and will present excerpts here, along with some other Oprah material afterward. In short, she's a contradictory con woman who thinks both that the universe intended her to be great and that she alone manifested that greatness. Shorter: She's full of hooey, and America's rubes, including its media, are happy to go along for the ride. She's the modern-day snake oil salesperson exemplar.

To wit:

"Her audiences are co-creators of the self and the persona she crafts. Her studio is a laboratory. She says hosting a talk show is as easy as breathing. Here she is, an icon, speaking: ''I just do what I do - it's amazing . . . But so does Madonna. . . . Everybody's greatness is relative to what the Universe put them here to do. I always knew that I was born for greatness. . . .

''If it's not possible for everybody to be the best that they can be, then it has to mean that I'm special, and if I'm special then it means the Universe just goes and picks people, which you know it doesn't do . . . I've been blessed - but I create the blessings . . . Most people don't seek discernment; it doesn't matter to them what the Universe intended for them to do. I hear the voice, I get the feeling. If someone without discernment thinks she hears a voice and winds up being a hooker on Hollywood and Vine, it is meaningful for the person doing it, right now. She is where the Universe wants her to be . . .

''According to the laws of the Universe, I am not likely to get mugged, because I am helping people be all that they can be. I am all that I can be. . . . I am not God - I hope I don't give that impression - I'm not God. I keep telling Shirley MacLaine, 'You can't go around telling people you are God.' It's a very difficult concept to accept.''

Just to be clear, she's not God.

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"Her amber eyes fill with tears. We are talking about the fact of human misery, and about her phenomenal success; and she has adopted a metaphysical theory that encompasses both - several metaphysical theories, actually, partaking of Eastern religion and Western religion and of what is called New Age. She says she has achieved peace and the serenity of total understanding. (She is 35.) Knotty contradictions in the fabric of her belief have not, up to now, impeded the progress of what she calls a 'triumphal' life. If her comfortable truths do not entirely cohere - if on occasion they collide - they are, nevertheless, perfect for the age of the soundbite. They make up in pith for what they lack in profundity.

"She is as likely to rest her beliefs on Ayn Rand as on Baba Ram Dass. She brings the baggage of her contradictions to her television talk show, which she calls her 'ministry.' An avowed feminist, she does not challenge or contradict when a guest psychologist repeatedly attributes lack of self-esteem (a favorite daytime talk-show subject) to a negative ''tape' . . . 'the internalized mother' (talk shows are full of language like this). Her contradictions work for her: they act to establish kinship with an avid audience, whose perplexities they reflect; they insure that she will be regarded as spontaneous, undogmatic."

As far as I know, she's not trained as a therapist, by the way. She just reads a lot of bad books.

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"Her great gift for making herself likable is married to a message smooth as silk: Nothing is random. Whether Oprah Winfrey is in her fatalistic mode ('if you were abused as a child, you will abuse someone else as an adult') or espousing free will ('I was a welfare daughter, just like you . . . how did you let yourselves become welfare mothers? Why did you choose this? I didn't'), she chases away the fear that things may sometimes happen by malicious accident, or by the evil offices of others. In Winfrey's scheme of things, the mugger and the mugged were fated to meet - and they chose this fate . . . the starving man from India chose the path that led to his death. The fact of human suffering she manages to erase by divesting it of its apparent aimlessness. This is what commercially successful television programs do, no matter what the format: in an hour or less, they resolve.

'''I want it to be for a reason, Oprah . . .'' a recovering alcoholic (with four alcoholic children) says, deploring the anarchy of fate. By the time the hour is over, the audience, if not the woman, will be convinced both that it had to be and that it has been for a reason. Oprah Winfrey - sassy, sisterly, confiding - has said so."

Hitler was for a reason too. He manifested his dream; he was fated to meet with six million Jews who manifested their deaths, or simply failed to discern what the universe wanted from them. Oprah (might as well have) said so.

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"She brings a practiced wit, an evangelist's anecdotal flair and a revivalist fervor to the dozens of speeches she gives every year. When she spoke to 6,000 women who attended an AWED (American Woman's Economic Development Corporation) conference in New York in February, the audience - nearly half of whom were black, atypical for an AWED gathering - loved her from the moment she bounded onto the stage in form-hugging black and peach. Her speech didn't bear close scrutiny, as it advanced at least two opposing ideas, which may, in fact, be part of her appeal - her audiences are seldom called upon to follow a difficult path either of reasoning or of action; they seem to be able to draw from her words an affirmation of that which they already believe to be true."

Isn't this what drives some of us nuts about Donald Trump's followers?

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'''There is,' she said, 'a false notion that you can do and be anything you want to be . . . a very false notion we are fed in this country . . . there's a condition that comes with being and doing all you can: you first have to know who you are before you can do that . . . The life I lead is good, it is good . . . people ask me what temperature I would like to have my tea . . . What the Universe is trying to get you to do is . . . to look inside and see what you feel . . . all things are possible.'''

The universe is trying to get you to do things. The universe has a will - beyond its laws of physics. The universe says it's not true that you can be anything you want - while also saying that all things are possible. That's some universe!

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"[S]he is, her flamboyance notwithstanding, deeply conventional in her thinking: a born-again capitalist, she believes goodness is always rewarded, and that the reward takes the form of money, 'if you expect it to take the form of money.'"

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"A rebellious teenager - she was sent to a juvenile detention home when she was 13 and turned away only because there were no available beds - she went to live with her father, Vernon Winfrey, a barber and city councilman in Nashville, and a strict disciplinarian who strongly encouraged her to read a book each week and to write a book report and to learn a word a day.

"This is the story as she has crafted it and as she tells it. Her half-sister and her half-brother have no place in this story. Her candor is more apparent than real."

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"Quincy Jones, in Chicago on business in 1985, flipped the television dial and saw Winfrey. He arranged an audition for the role of Sofia in the screen adaptation of Alice Walker's The Color Purple, a role Winfrey says she coveted from the moment she read the book. Her acting in the film earned her an Academy Award nomination. 'Luck,' she says, 'is a matter of preparation. I am highly attuned to my divine self.'''

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"Members of her staff - who speak in the corporate, adoring 'we' - see these things as a matter of 'divine convergence.'

"Winfrey's interest in herself is vivid. She is inclined to believe - her friend, the author Maya Angelou, has recently suggested this theory - that what got her from there to here is 'obedience.' As a child, she was obedient ''o escape a whipping.' Now she is 'obedient to my calling. One of my favorite Bible verses is: I press toward the mark . . . of the high calling of God . . . .'' (Philippians 3:14) . . .

'''Well, each person gets God at whatever level they're able to accept. That's why there are all these people - Holy Rollers, Episcopalians, Baptists - who can only accept God as a man with a long white beard and a black book checking off the things you can do. And that's really okay, that's okay if that's as big as God is for you and that keeps you under control. Not everyone can be what we want them to be. You still benefit, but your benefit will be as limited as your vision is.'''

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"She is convinced that, had she not attended to the will of the Universe, she'd still be making 'a nice little six-figure income.'

'''Jesus says He knows how much we can bear, and He won't put any more on us than we're able to bear. The slaves used to sing it. And before I had a studio - when I was just talent - I had a slave mentality. He won't give you more than you can handle.'''

He won't give you more money than you can handle?

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"If money has, as she says, a 'deep spiritual' meaning, perhaps ratings have spiritual import, too; that would explain why Winfrey is so remarkably casual about criticism she does not construe as personal."

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"She accepts Stedman's observation that black men - 'I don't see them' - respond to her 'very well.' She is hurt by what she calls 'negativity from black women' . . . 'talks and rumors,' stemming in large part from 'the whole overweight thing. I was overweight and Stedman is gorgeous. It would have been easier on me if Stedman wasn't gorgeous.'''

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"Stedman Graham is president of a North Carolina-based public relations firm called the Graham Williams Group; pressed, he says his corporation 'helps people to become all that they can be.' His firm 'maximizes resources and helps small firms become large corporations and large corporations become multinational, multimillion-dollar corporations.' Whatever this, in real terms, means, it is not surprising that he is a Republican."

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"Stedman works with [Winnie] Mandela in a way he will not precisely define. He says suffering 'has nothing to do with being black or white. It's not a group thing. Each individual is responsible for his own life. All lessons are personal.'"

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"There are set pieces she offers to interviewers. One knows when one is present at the birth of a new set piece -such as The Story of the Keys:

''I lost my keys to the farm. There's a map to my house in circulation, so when I go down the road jogging, one person calls another and the next thing you know, they're out there leaning over the fences - 'Hi Oprah!' So I said to Stedman, 'If the keys are found everybody will know they're my keys. I've got to find them.' He said, 'The question you ought to be asking yourself is why did you lose them.' Other people would just get aggravated, but I saw that I wasn't being aware enough. And that the keys are a way of making me see it. I think the Universe is saying something to me. And so the minute I said that - this kind of thing happens to me all the time - I found the keys. I found the lesson and I found the keys.''

"This story, one feels, will accrete."

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"She wakes up at 5 or 5:30. She runs six miles along Lake Michigan or works out in a gym daily. She gets to the studio about 8. As she is prepared for the camera by her hairdresser and makeup man, she has a 'talk session' - which she terms 'redundant' - with her producer. By 9, she is in front of the cameras. She will have prepared for her show the night before for less than an hour. 'She wings it,' says Debra DiMaio, her executive producer. 'She gets on camera and asks the questions ordinary people would ask.'''

To the intelligent viewer, it shows.

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"That many of the shows are as trivial as reruns of Gilligan's Island does not seem to matter to the ratings; what matters is Oprah's energetic, autobiographical presence.

"On a recent show, Winfrey talked to the mothers of mass and serial killers:

''So . . . this is your son we're speaking of, who boiled people, who tortured them mercilessly . . . and then dismembered them . . . Do you survive by going into some form of denial, even though they found 40 pounds of bones . . .?''

She pushes her questions through her guests' tears: ''Would you want to see the tapes'' of people tortured and killed? She says her shows serve a ''deep, divine purpose.''

"Coming on the show, Winfrey has said, is the first step in turning guests' lives around. Her concern is for the hour. The guests' concern is for their whole lives. The audience's concern is to have an experience. People like to have experiences; it saves them from having to think."

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"Last month, on a show billed as 'Mexican Satanic Cult Murders,' Winfrey introduced a woman pseudonymously called Rachel, who claimed to have a multiple-personality disorder (multiple personalities being a talk-show staple). Rachel, Winfrey said, 'participated in human sacrifice rituals and cannibalism' as a child.

Rachel: ''My family has an extensive family tree, and they keep track of who's been involved . . . and it's gone back to like 1700.''

Winfrey: ". . . Does everyone else think it's a nice Jewish family? From the outside you appear to be a nice Jewish girl . . . And you all are worshipping the Devil inside the home?''

Rachel: '' . . . There's other Jewish families across the country'' ritualistically abusing and sacrificing children, ''It's not just my own family.''

Winfrey's responses to Rachel were feeble: ''. . . This is the first time I heard of any Jewish people sacrificing babies, but anyway - so you witnessed the sacrifice?''

Winfrey several times identified Rachel as a Jew, a washing of hands that served only to distance her from the woman's mad claims, not in any real way to challenge them.

Um, also, where are the dead bodies?

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"When Winfrey was hired for AM Chicago, the station manager was, according to her executive producer, Debra DiMaio, delighted that he had managed to find someone who wasn't an 'Angela Davis type who'd picket the station with a gun in her hair.' But the real danger lay not in political ideology, but in the superficial quality of Winfrey's curiosity. We are as much beguiled by easy questions as we are by easy answers."

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"'What I'm trying to make God know,' Winfrey tells me, 'is that I got it already. I don't need to learn anything new today.'"

God: Hold my beer.

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'''I don't foresee unhappiness coming to me. The chances are, if unhappiness befalls me, its going to be great, severe unhappiness, 'cause the test would be a very strong one, very severe. It would be God saying: Let's see how strong you really are.'''

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Also:

From Conor Friedersdorf's "The Difference Between Speaking 'Your Truth' and 'The Truth'" from the Atlantic:

"And yet, 'in her earnest spiritual seeking, Ms. Winfrey gave platforms to some rather questionable types,' Mark Oppenheimer observed in the New York Times, in another critical evaluation of The Oprah Winfrey Show published back in 2011 as it was ending:

She hosted the self-help author Louise Hay, who once said Holocaust victims may have been paying for sins in a previous life. She championed the "medical intuitive" Caroline Myss, who claims emotional distress causes cancer. She helped launch Rhonda Byrne, creator of the DVD and book The Secret, who teaches that just thinking about wealth can make you rich. She invited the "psychic medium" John Edward to help mourners in her audience talk to their dead relatives.

The Oprah Winfrey Show made viewers feel that they constantly had to "sculpt their best lives," Dr. Lofton writes. Yet in her religious exuberance Ms. Winfrey gave people some badly broken tools. Ms. Winfrey nodded along to the psychics and healers and intuitives. She rarely asked tough questions, and because she believed, millions of others did, too.

"An overlapping indictment appeared in Newsweek a couple years before. One section recounted Oprah appearances by Suzanne Somers, who was advocating for a highly unusual approach to health and medicine to stave off aging:

"Many people write Suzanne off as a quackadoo," Oprah said. "But she just might be a pioneer." Oprah acknowledged that Somers's claims "have been met with relentless criticism" from doctors. Several times during the show she gave physicians an opportunity to dispute what Somers was saying. But it wasn't quite a fair fight. The doctors who raised these concerns were seated down in the audience and had to wait to be called on. Somers sat onstage next to Oprah, who defended her from attack. "Suzanne swears by bioidenticals and refuses to keep quiet. She'll take on anyone, including any doctor who questions her."

"Somers was speaking 'her truth,' as was another celebrity guest, perhaps the most controversial to ever appear on Oprah Winfrey's show. As Newsweek recounted:

In 2007, Oprah invited Jenny McCarthy, the Playboy model and actress, to describe her struggle to find help for her young son . . . "So what do you think triggered the autism?" Oprah asked McCarthy. "I know you have a theory." McCarthy is certain that her son contracted autism from the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination he received as a baby. She told Oprah that the morning he went in for his checkup, her instincts told her not to allow the doctor to give him the vaccine. "I said to the doctor, I have a very bad feeling about this shot. This is the autism shot, isn't it? And he said no, that is ridiculous; it is a mother's desperate attempt to blame something on autism. And he swore at me." The nurse gave Evan the shot. "And not soon thereafter," McCarthy said, "boom, soul gone from his eyes."

. . . Yet researchers have not found a link between the vaccines and autism. Here is what we do know: before vaccinations, thousands of children died or got sick each year from measles, mumps, and rubella.

But back on the Oprah show, McCarthy's charges went virtually unchallenged. Oprah praised McCarthy's bravery and plugged her book, but did not invite a physician or scientist to explain to her audience the many studies that contradict the vaccines-autism link. Instead, Oprah read a brief statement from the Centers for Disease Control saying there was no science to prove a connection and that the government was continuing to study the problem. But McCarthy got the last word. "My science is named Evan, and he's at home. That's my science."

"McCarthy was sharing 'her truth.'"

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From David Gorski's "How Low Can Oprah Go?":

Unfortunately, part of Oprah's equation for success has involved the promotion of quackery and New Age woo, so much so that last year I lamented about the Oprah-fication of medicine, which scored me a writing gig in the Toronto Star.

Whether it be promoting bio-identical hormones, The Secret (complete with a testimonial from someone who used The Secret to persuade herself not to pursue conventional therapy for breast cancer), Suzanne Somers, the highly dubious medicine promoted by Dr. Christiane Northrup, or foisting reiki aficionado Dr. Mehmet Oz or anti-vaccine "mother warrior" Jenny McCarthy onto a breathless public, arguably no one is a more powerful force for the promotion of pseudoscience in America, if not the world.

Truly, the ending of Oprah's TV show in the spring is a very good thing indeed for science and rationality. Or it would be, were it not for the fact that the reason Oprah is wrapping up her show after a quarter of a century is to start up her own cable channel, so that we can have Oprah-branded and -inspired programming 24/7.

The mind boggles.

Still, my dislike for how Oprah promotes New Age mysticism and pseudoscience on a distressingly regular basis aside, I actually did think there were limits to how low she would go. I actually thought there were limits to how egregiously vile a quackery Oprah would endorse. The operative word, of course, is "did," which now needs to be struck off after last Wednesday, which is when Oprah did an entire show entitled "Do You Believe in Miracles?" (Guess what answer was implicitly, if not explicitly, endorsed.) Featured prominently in that episode were several segments on the faith healer John of God.

John of God, of course, is a fraud. But Oprah is known to be devoted to him and his teachings.

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Here's how psychic surgery is done:

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Or, as Andy Kaufman learned, as told in Man on the Moon:

To be clear about that scene, because that clip is abbreviated, from the YouTube comments:

lulubeloo: "in this scene: he sees that these guys were running a scam operation, making people believe they would extract the cancer from their bodies. Andy sees the trick they use and starts laughing at the whole situation, everything in this world is a joke. It's the hilarity of false hope."

Kin Slayer: "his expression was that he was the victim in that prank and that's why he was laughing because he knew time had played the prank on him."

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Also:

No Healing Miracles Found In 'John of God' Follow-Up Investigation.

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"She puts the cult in popular culture," media critic Mark Jurkowitz once wrote.

See: Our Favorite Oprah Moments.

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As for another Oprah favorite, Dr. Oz, let's just say this Washington Post article is being kind: "Half Of Dr. Oz's Medical Advice Is Baseless Or Wrong, Study Says."

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I was on Chicago Tonight the week that Oprah endorsed Barack Obama, and the rest of the panel, along with moderator Carol Marin, expressed no skepticism or even curiosity about Oprah's first foray into politics - after all those years in Chicago. The discussion was focused only on the electoral calculus of such an endorsement. I suggested there were plenty of questions to be asked of Oprah in light of the move. Marin was incredulous. "What questions?" she asked me.

My reply: Has she ever voted? For whom, particularly among presidential candidates? How was it that no other candidate previously engaged her interest? What policy positions of Obama's specifically do you support? I mean, there's tons of questions. Why should Oprah, and no other endorser, get a pass?

Marin moved on.

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See also: Where Was Oprah In 2016?

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And don't get me started on The Secret. I prefer Brian Griffin's Wish It, Want It, Do It.

Bill Maher: Actually, I mean, it seems that these sort of books tend to pander to the Iaziest kind of self-help within the narrowest socioeconomic range.

I mean, yeah, you can wish it, and you can do it, but only if you have the educational advantages, the societal advantages that, Iike, what, Well, yeah, you forgot "want it," which is such a big part of the book.

Brian: I mean, but you know, then again, you just said you haven't read it, so, you know.

Maher: Actually, since I said that, I did read it.

And that's another thing, I have to say, aren't "wish it" and "want it" really the same thing? I mean, your book basically makes three points, and two of them are the same point.

Brian: Well, you know, I mean, it does seem to be helping a Iot of people, Bill.

Maher: Well, "help" is a strong word.

How does this help people, Iike, with cancer or in Darfur? Well, I mean, it's not really for them.

Brian: It's for, Iike, if you want a car.

Maher: How does this help you get a car?

Brian: Well, I mean, it doesn't with that attitude. I mean, you have to do some of the work yourself. That's why there are 50 blank pages.

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In other words, it's all your fault.

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Oprah, speaking truth to power:

"On Monday, Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, told reporters she'd seen the tape. In fact, the Oprah Winfrey Network had provided it to the Senate on the condition that it not be made public."

Even the Reader's Ben Joravsky gave Oprah props instead of daggers for that one, go figure.

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Finally, IPRA vs. Oprah.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:41 AM | Permalink

The Battle Of Forest Park

On December 18, a group of local citizens, organized under the political action committee Let Forest Park Vote on Video Gaming, submitted a petition to the Village of Forest Park to place video gaming on the March 2018 ballot.

According to Illinois gaming law, signatures from 25 percent of registered voters are required to put a binding referendum on the ballot which allows citizens to vote on video gambling in their town.

The Cook County Clerk confirmed on Jan. 17 that Let Forest Park Vote had 2,840 valid signatures, or more than 25 percent of registered voters in Forest Park.

History:

In 2013, Forest Park citizens already voted two-to-one against video gambling in a non-binding referendum. Since video gambling was legalized in Illinois in 2012, only the Village of Winfield has passed a binding referendum (in 2012) to keep video gambling out.

In 2016, a citizen group submitted 2,267 valid signatures, which were found to be just below the threshold of 25 percent. The village council voted to approve video gambling in October 2016.

"We are working to give the citizens a vote on video gambling as provided for in the gaming law and as they have repeatedly expressed a desire to do so," said Jordan Kuehn, president of the group.

"We have been stopped by the local election board as well as our elected officials. More people have signed this petition than voted for the last two mayoral candidates combined. The people want to vote."

The 2018 petition was challenged by James Watts, owner of O'Sullivan's Public House in Forest Park. At the Jan. 17 records exam, the Cook County Clerk certified that 3,522 signatures were submitted, 1,256 objections were submitted, and 2,840 signatures were found to be valid, which is a greater percentage than the minimum required threshold of 25 percent of registered voters in Forest Park.

The process continues at 10 a.m. on January 23rd at the motion hearing before the local election board at Village Hall in Forest Park, 517 Desplaines Ave.

Additionally, in order to reach the upcoming March ballot, the group will seek legal action to remove three nuisance referenda questions that were filed by former village commissioner Mark Hosty on November 8, 2016 to clog the ballot.

These nuisance referenda were filed too early and have since expired. According to state law, if more than three questions are submitted for a particular election, public questions in excess of the three may be certified for the next election if such election occurs within one year of the petitions being filed. The village clerk, also a non-elected member of the election board, has already certified these nuisance questions for the March ballot despite being informed on Dec 27 of the clear language of the statute ruling these questions void.

The events leading up to the inception of this petition drive are chronicled by the Forest Park Review in its 2016 Story of the Year.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:29 AM | Permalink

January 19, 2018

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #184: Bell & Bulls, Vic & Vikes, Corey's Confusion

Shifting narratives all over the landscape. Plus: The Duensing Principle, and Schweinsteiger!


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SHOW NOTES

* 184.

2:28: Vic Fangio Slows Media's Roll.

7:55: Skol, Vikings!

* On Case Keenum and the meritocracy.

16:17: Bells & Bulls.

* Coffman: Bulls' Sample Size No Longer Small.

* Cowley: The Reality About Jordan Bell And The Bulls Just Might Surprise You.

20:00: The Duensing Principle.

* Signs With Cubs For Two More Years.

* Fangraphs: There Are Two Things To Be Said About Brian Duensing.

25:51: The Bulls Change The Narrative.

* Butler trade working out better than expected, i.e., Lauri Markkanen is pretty good even if Jimmy remains a star. But you'd still take Butler over Markkanen and Dunn; we haven't seen Zach LaVine yet. So make no mistake, this trade isn't likely to ever be a "win."

* Niko Mirotic is for real.

* Hoiberg can coach given his kind of roster.

* Thibs time.

* Justin Holiday has played everywhere, man.

53:00: Corey Crawford Confusion.

* Lazerus: Sources: Blackhawks Fear Corey Crawford Might Be Out For The Season.

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

Chicago Blackhawk forward called him the n-word.

1:01:06: Schweinsteiger!

* He's coming back!

* And so is Dax McCarty, more importantly.

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STOPPAGE: 4:02

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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 4:09 PM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Blue Dream at the Empty Bottle on Thursday night.


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2. October Bird of Death at Quenchers on Thursday night. 18

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3. The Killers at the big ol' hockey/basketball arena on the West Side on Tuesday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:44 PM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

The Papers will appear next on Tuesday.

From the inbox.

1. From Common Cause Illinois:

"On Saturday January 20th, leaders and organizers from Common Cause Illinois (CCIL) will host a breakfast rally for volunteers and members before they march together at the 2nd Annual Women's March, The March to the Polls.

"Last year, Common Cause Illinois members joined more than 250,000 women and allies from across the state for the first-ever Women's March Chicago. This year, CCIL is excited to partner with them again for the Women's March to the Polls.

"Attendees will enjoy breakfast, hear from some of the top CCIL advocates from across the state, and meet other activists before walking to the march together at 10:30 a.m."

Where: Columbia College, 624 S. Michigan Ave. (only a block from the start location!)

When: Saturday, January 20th at 9 a.m.

2. From Kevin Davis:

"Reserve your seats now for a special screening of this incredible documentary [Sarajevo Roses] by photojournalist Roger Richards who covered the war in the former Yugoslavia and returns to revisit those he met during the conflict.

"During the almost four-year siege of the Bosnian capital city of Sarajevo, hundreds of thousands of bombs rained upon the city from the surrounding hills. Every shell exploding on a road or paved area left an imprint resembling that of a flower. This is a story of Sarajevo, and of a search for healing and inner peace after war."

3. From the Illinois chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

"The Illinois Chapter of AFSP has a fun event planned on Thursday, February 8 and we hope you will join us! Meet and mingle with fellow supporters of mental health awareness and suicide prevention for A Night of Mind Reading with Mark Toland to support a good cause and enjoy an evening that will amaze you.

"Pizza will be served and a cash bar will be available. There are a limited number of tickets so register today!"

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The Beachwood Wall

Tim: Why not agree to building the Wall? It's a jobs program. It might be shitty symbolism but otherwise it's like Keynes's idea that in a depressed economy it's worth it even to hire one group of workers to bury piles of cash and a second group to dig it up. Unemployment nationwide isn't all that bad right now but why not give the construction sector a boost?

Steve: Or just have Roger Waters play at the border and tell Trump he can then claim to have built The Wall.

Tim: How about hire one team to build the Wall and another one to tear it down?

Steve: Build a different Wall every time and make it a tourist attraction . . . like Alinea, feature a different wall in history . . . in 2019, the Great Wall of China! In 2020, the Berlin Wall! In 2021, Pink Floyd's The Wall! Hey, that's not bad!

Tim: Trumpty Dumpty sat on the Wall. It was amazing, believe me.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

The Problem With Amazon's Short List
The richest man in the world is also about to become one of most taxpayer-subsidized because, well, no good reason but misplaced civic pride and vanity mixed with the selfish ambitions of too many politicians who want to claim a win no matter the real consequences of the contest before us.

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Red Flags Ignored In Nassar Abuse
The sheer amount of complicity involved in the abuse of nearly 100 women and girls is gut-wrenching.

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Winning The SAT Wars
"More than one-third of America's four-year nonprofit colleges now reject the idea that a test score should strongly determine a student's future."

Rahm's CPS, of course, is going in the opposite direction.

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How To Look At Art
A nice, short explainer from the Art Institute of Chicago.

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ChicagoTube

WCLR 102 FM - "Chicago's Choice Is Clear" (1984).

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ChicagoGram

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BeachBook

Artforum 'Shamelessly Joins Forces' With Ex-Publisher Knight Landesman To Try to Squash Lawsuit, Lawyers for Amanda Schmitt Say.

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Freshii's Open Letter In The Tribune To Subway.

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When Rahm Called In A Favor From An Accused Racist To Help Him Shore Up The Black Vote In Chicago.

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When The Chicago City Council Demanded You Shut Up And Sit Down, Just Like They Do.

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When Obama Lied About NSA Surveillance.

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One Texas Woman's Unpopular And Paradoxical Quest To Prove She Owns A Major Work Of Conceptual Art.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

In light of the Pritzker tape, as long as we're gonna play that game . . .

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Now unionized!

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:26 PM | Permalink

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

Critics of Amazon's "race to the bottom" as it searches for a home for its second headquarters said on Thursday that the company's newly released shortlist of 20 cities highlights a crisis in the U.S. economy - one exemplified by the huge incentives offered to Amazon in the bidding war among potential hosts.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) was among those slamming Amazon and the state and local governments willing to give billions of dollars in tax breaks to the extremely wealthy multinational company.

In addition to the incentives mentioned by Ellison, Boston offered $75 million to provide affordable housing to Amazon employees, while Maryland's offer exceeded $5 billion.

Some noted that Amazon's top 20 contenders - also including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Raleigh - are fairly prosperous cities, with the company leaving out areas that could benefit from an influx of jobs and economic activity.

After Amazon announced its search in September, promising to bring 50,000 jobs to the city it chose for its $5 billion headquarters, groups including Jobs With Justice and the Working Families Party released their own set of demands for the company.

As Common Dreams reported, the groups asked the company to "reserve a substantial number of construction jobs for local residents, especially underrepresented people of color and women," protect the right to form unions, pay living wages, and - in light of reports of unsafe conditions at Amazon warehouses - "allow independent, third party organizations to conduct health and safety trainings."

But as Lina Khan of the Open Markets Institute noted last month on Ellison's We the Podcast, Amazon's meteoric rise has been due largely to unfair business practice - leaving critics skeptical of the idea that Amazon's arrival in one of the 20 finalist cities will actually benefit those who call it home.

"In many instances, Amazon has gotten where it is because it has undertaken business practices and forms of conduct that previously used to be illegal," Khan said.

Bezos.jpgThe richest man in the world is also about to become one of most subsidized because, well, no good reason but misplaced civic pride and vanity mixed with the selfish ambitions of too many politicians/Caption by Beachwood, photo by David Ryder of Getty

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

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:32 PM | Permalink

Olympian: 'Red Flags' Ignored In Nassar Abuse

"Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney said in a courtroom statement that Michigan State University, the USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee all ignored 'red flags' in the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal."


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See also:

"Kyle Stephens was the first victim of nearly 100 to speak Tuesday at a sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar. Stephens, whose parents were friends with the now disgraced doctor, said he repeatedly sexually abused her when she was a child."

*

"Nearly 100 women and girls who say they were sexually assaulted by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar testified about his behavior and 'veiled sexual abuse' during a four-day sentencing hearing this week in Michigan."

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Previously:

* When USA Gymnastics Turned A Blind Eye To Sexual Abuse.

* USA Gymnastics Named In New Sexual Abuse Lawsuit.

* Illinois Coach Banned From USA Gymnastics Over Alleged Sexual Misconduct.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:10 PM | Permalink

Art Institute Explainer: How To Look

"How does what you see in an artwork tell you how to look? Using three artworks from the Art Institute's collection, this video unpacks a central theme and uses innovative visual storytelling to highlight the choices artists made to shape form and meaning in their works. Ultimately, it shows that each of us already possesses a powerful tool for making sense of art: looking closely."


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See also: The Art Institute of Chicago's YouTube channel.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:31 PM | Permalink

Winning The SAT Wars: More Colleges Than Ever Have Test-Optional Admissions Policies

Back in the 1980s, Bates College and Bowdoin College were nearly the only liberal arts colleges not to require applicants to submit SAT or ACT test scores.

On Jan. 10, FairTest, a Boston-based organization that has been pushing back against America's testing regime since 1985, announced that the number of colleges that are test-optional has now surpassed 1,000.

This milestone means that more than one-third of America's four-year nonprofit colleges now reject the idea that a test score should strongly determine a student's future. The ranks of test-optional institutions include hundreds of prestigious private institutions, such as George Washington, New York University, Wesleyan University and Wake Forest University. The list also includes hundreds of public universities, such as George Mason, San Francisco State and Old Dominion.

As noted in a book I edited, SAT Wars: The Case for Test-Optional Admissions, critics of the test-optional movement had claimed that test-optional colleges wouldn't be able to select students of merit, standards would collapse and underachieving youths would run amok. The critics were wrong.

SATWars.jpg

At Wake Forest, we've never had academically stronger students with as much racial, ethnic and economic diversity from across America than since 2009, when we went test-optional. As reported in the New York Times, the average high school GPA of our incoming freshmen increased after we stopped using standardized test scores as a factor. Prior to going test-optional, the percentage of incoming freshman who were in the top 10 percent of their high school class was in the low 60s. Afterward, the newspaper reported, that figure rose to 79 percent.

Our students are better because we look at the whole person, not a test score. We emphasize high school grades because they have always been the best predictor of college academic performance.

It is a myth that that standardized scores predict college performance better than high school grades. Even the College Board, which owns the SAT, only claims that the combination of high school grades and test scores together gives colleges the best statistical prognosis of a student's future. For many colleges, the Board's claims are not wrong. But the key questions for those who want to combine GPA with test scores are: How much added statistical power does that give you? And is that extra power worth the costs? Are there negative side effects of putting test scores on the scales?

As I note in my book, extensive research shows that adding test scores to high school GPA increases one's predictive power, if at all, by 1 to 4 percentage points in a statistical model that predicts grades in college. At the University of Georgia, the SAT increased their explanatory punch by 1 percentage point; at De Paul University in Illinois, the ACT did the same. Are 1 to 4 points in a statistical model worth having? I argue no. Our best statistical models capture 31 percent of what predicts academic performance in college. That means nearly 70 percent of what matters to a young person's college grades cannot be predicted by academic variables. College admissions remain more art than science. Fairness and merit are best-served in a holistic review than in a numeric cutoff.

Why should we impose a barrier that deters many, including high achievers from low-income families, from even applying to college? Why should we require a test that is biased against low-income youths, against women, Hispanics and blacks? As noted in my SAT Wars book, math questions in the experimental parts of the SAT where women outperform men and verbal questions where black youths outperform white youths are eliminated from future versions of the test that count.

A chapter of SAT Wars that was written by Jay Rosner of the Princeton Review Foundation documents this practice. He worked with data on two years of SAT questions, 276 in total. Rosner provides multiple examples of experimental questions on the SAT that black youths did relatively better on than white youths and questions on which white youths did relatively better than black youths. Then he asks, how many of the questions that counted were white-advantage questions or black-advantage questions? "Each and every one of the 276 questions were white questions in this white/black comparison," Rosner wrote. Life is unfair enough without the added inequalities imposed by a racist and sexist test.

High school transcripts are where you will find hints about a student's grit, ability and accomplishment. SAT or ACT standardized test scores tell us nothing about creativity, community engagement or which students are striving to achieve meaningful lives. Look at how well admission based on rank in one's local high school works in California and Texas. Both the University of Texas and the University of California admit all who graduate near the top 10 percent of their individual high school. They do so without harm to academic standards, and doing so opens doors to a better life for thousands of young people from low- and middle-income households.

What those college entrance exam scores do reliably convey is the ability that a student's family has to pay tuition fees and living costs. The SAT works better as a proxy for family income than it does as a predictor of college performance. Or, as I argue in a different book, The Power of Privilege, test score selection is selection for bank accounts disguised as selection for brains.

The test industry is about profits, not pedagogy. Standardized testing and test prep in America are worth in excess of $13 billion per year.

The way I see it, testing is like a gold mine for the industry and like a penal factory for America's youths. The energy, anxiety, effort, time and money spent on SAT or ACT tests for college admissions is wasted. The test industry takes time away from real learning, from literature, foreign languages, arts and sciences. It is time to toss admissions tests.

Joseph Soares is a sociology professor at Wake Forest. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Previously:

* Harvard Students And DOJ Will Find Answers Elusive In Quest To Learn About Admissions Decisions.

* Elite Public Schools That Rely On Entry Exams Fail The Diversity Test.

* Top Universities Could Take Thousands More Low-Income Students, Study Says.

* Relevant Excerpt: The Cartel: Inside The Rise And Imminent Fall Of The NCAA.

* The Truth Behind Jared Kushner's Acceptance Into Harvard.

* Jared Kushner Isn't Alone: Universities Still Give Rich And Connected Applicants A Leg.

* Where Is Accountability For The Troubled SAT?

* Another Advantage Of Being Rich In America: Grade Inflation.

* Stop Driving Kids Crazy.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:08 AM | Permalink

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.

-

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

-

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.

-

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.

-

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.

-

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.

-

New on the Beachwood today . . .

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

*

Speak Truth To Power
At the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

*

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

-

ChicagoGram

-

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.

-

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

-

ChicagoTube

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

-

BeachBook

Where The Tribune Stood On MLK.

*

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

*

How Much Sympathy Does Tonya Harding Deserve?

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

Chief Medical Correspondent!

*

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

-

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

*

Just like his presidency.

*

-

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

-

ChicagoGram

-

ChicagoTube

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

-

BeachBook

Meet The Illinoisan Trying To Buy A Wisconsin Senate Seat.

*

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

*

Repeal Of Soda Tax Was A Mortal Mistake.

*

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

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

Rahm winning the cricket vote.

*

*

*

-

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.

-

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?

*

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.

-

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

-

New on the Beachwood . . .

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

*

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

*

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

*

Chicagoetry: Sick
A lovely, longer lease.

*

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

-

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

-

ChicagoTube

Chicago Stand-Up Marvin Phipps.

-

BeachBook
A sampling.

Culture Of Deceit Chapter Eight Zillion: StubHub.

*

The Invention Of The White Working Class.

*

The Brilliant Bernie Lincicome.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

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!

-

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

-

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

-

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.

-

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

-

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.

-

Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:11 AM | Permalink

January 15, 2018

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Kali Uchis at the Concord on Saturday night.


-

2. Jonny Lang at the Arcada in St. Charles on Saturday night.

-

3. Lana Del Rey at the big hockey/basketball arena on the West Side on Friday night.

-

4. Golden Donna at the Co-Prosperity Sphere on Saturday night.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:40 PM | Permalink

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.

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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.

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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!

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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

The Week In Chicago Rock

You didn't need to be there.

(We came up empty this week for the first time in all the years we've been presenting this feature. Apparently no bands played in Chicago this week that were captured on video and uploaded to YouTube!)

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:36 PM | Permalink

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.

*

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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.

*

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."

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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 Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. The Kozmic Kicks at Livewire on Saturday night.


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2. TAFKAV at Livewire on Saturday night.

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3. Budokan 77 at Livewire on Saturday night.

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4. My Double Life at the Wire in Berywn on Friday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:31 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

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

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Dead Harvest at the Elbo Room on Thursday night.


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2. Tideshift at the Emporium on Thursday night.

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3. Lara Bell at Uncommon Ground on Wednesday night.

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4. M. Levi at Studio IC on Monday night.

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5. Vehicle Blues at Yolanda on Sunday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:23 AM | 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

MUSIC - Christgau Loves Chicago Neonatologist.
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POLITICS - Yes On Vouchers For After-School Programs.
SPORTS - The Ex-Cub Factor.

BOOKS - Writers Under Surveillance.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Original Warrior.


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