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« May 2018 | Main

June 22, 2018

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #206: Bulls Draft Safe And Sound

Not the right year for sexy. Plus: Neymar Is Back!; Super Eagles vs. Our Boys; New Three Favorites; Cubs' Blue Wave; The Ex-Cub Factor; Ricky's Boys Don't Quit Clowning; Joe Maddon Is A Lousy Art Critic; and Schweinsteiger!



* 206.

:46: Sometimes The Safe Pick Is The Right Pick.

* Coffman: "That's nonsense!" ↓



* David Haugh, Wednesday: Bulls And Blackhawks Need To Make Bold Moves At Drafts, Bringing Stars To Chicago.

Conventional wisdom says the team will play it safe by drafting a prospect that fits a profile: a high-character, low-risk player who accomplished much at a powerhouse program, a description that makes Duke's Wendell Carter Jr. or Villanova's Mikal Bridges the choices likely to produce a collective response of "Meh."

* David Haugh, Thursday: Wendell Carter Jr. Is Not The Sexy Pick But The Smart One For The Bulls.

Unrealistic expectations diminished this NBA draft for the Bulls, who set their fans up for disappointment a year ago when they traded All-Star Jimmy Butler and tanked last season.

Perception distorted Thursday night's reality.

Both conscious decisions intensified the pressure on the Bulls to select a savior on the date circled on the Advocate Center calendar for 12 months, to draft a transformational player that instantly sells tickets and raises hopes in a passionate sports town.

Wendell Carter Jr., the physical 6-foot-10, 250-pound big man from Duke taken seventh overall, hardly qualifies as that guy in the eyes of many. But avoid rushing to call the Bulls taking the best player available the draft's worst-case scenario. It isn't. Nothing could be further than the truth.

* Woj bomb (vs. K.C. Johnson).

* Maria Taylor.

* Also, No. 1 lining.

* Womp, womp.

27:40: Neymar Is Back!

* Coffman: Ronaldo Is The King Of The World.

* Goal.


* And then with the crying.


33:33: Super Eagles vs. Our Boys.


* Nigeria's population is about 186 million.


* Bret Stephens: Our Real Immigration Problem.

* Paul Krugman: Return Of The Blood Libel.

39:30: Who's The Favorite Now?

* Brazil.

* Croatia.

* Belgium.

43:48: Blue Wave.

* Featuring: Jason Heyward's Turning Point.

54:45: The Ex-Cub Factor.

* Featuring: Rafael Palmeiro (!), John Lackey, Hector Rondon, Edwin Jackson, Tim Federowicz, Wade Davis, Starlin Castro, Clayton Richard, John Jay, Jorge Soler, Pierce Johnson, Chris Coghlan, Dan Vogelbach, Chris Volstad, Jacob Turner, Zac Rosscup, Dan Haren, Matt Stairs, Kosuke Fukudome, Koji Uehara, Tommy Hunter, Ryan Kalish, James Farris, Jeff Samardzija, Matt Szczur, Jeimer Candelerio, Leonys Martin, and Trevor Cahill.

56:43: Ricky's Boys Don't Quit Clowning.

* If Anybody Actually Cared About The White Sox, This Would Be A Big Deal.

* Wallenstein: Real Prospects.

59:36: Schweinsteiger!

* Fire Advance To USOC Quarterfinals With Win Over Atlanta United.

1:01:13: Joe Maddon Is A Lousy Art Critic.




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


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:27 PM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

For completists, there was no column on Thursday.

"During the presidential campaign, National Enquirer executives sent digital copies of the tabloid's articles and cover images related to Donald Trump and his political opponents to Trump's attorney Michael Cohen in advance of publication, according to three people with knowledge of the matter," the Washington Post reports.

"Once Enquirer editors sent a story or cover image, sometimes a request for changes came back, according to two of the people with knowledge of the relationship. Stories about Trump were positive in nature, and changes related to the stories were not dramatic, according to one person with knowledge of the matter, who said most of the changes in stories sent to Cohen resulted in more flattering cover photos or changes to cover headlines.

"Trump suggested stories to Pecker on a regular basis, one of these people said, and had access to certain pieces - including one about Hillary Clinton's health - before publication."


Ah, Hillary's health.

During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump played card after card out of the authoritarian's handbook, and one of the most effective among his supporters was his constant assertion that Hillary Clinton was hiding a myriad of health issues - that she was weak and sickly, while he was strong and virile. This spawned an alt-right narrative that almost wholly went under the mainstream media's radar - until she actually fell ordinarily ill and the media decided that validated an examination of the wholly specious claims being made. Just click on the hashtag John Kass provided in this tweet at the time to get a whiff of it.


Back to the Post:

"During the campaign, in addition to stories written about him, Trump was particularly interested in stories about Clinton's health, two of the people said. They cited two cover stories: the one published in September 2015 that declared she had 'SIX MONTHS TO LIVE!' and another a year later that purported to disclose her secret medical file. The cover on the latter issue portrayed Clinton as so pale and aged that she looked, in the words of one former AMI employee, 'like a zombie.'"


Chicago's Border Children
From the Beachwood, May 31:

The Texas case involves a Brazilian referred to only as "Ms. C" in court documents. She arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border last summer and was approached by a federal border agent within seconds, court documents state. She explained she was applying for asylum, passed a credible fear interview, but was subsequently placed in custody after being prosecuted for illegal entry. Her minor son was sent to a facility for unaccompanied children in Chicago. She completed her 25-day criminal misdemeanor sentence in September and was sent to an immigration detention facility in El Paso, the filing states."

Boldface mine. Assignment Desk, activate!

From that same Beachwood column:

This February article from the Los Angeles Times (which appears to have run on the Tribune's website, though I can only find it in Spanish, therefore the translated version) appears to be about the same case:

"[T]he case of a Brazilian woman and her child illustrates what immigrant advocates call a harsher approach to immigration enforcement, which aims to separate parents and children.

"Currently, the woman is detained in Texas, while the child was taken to a shelter in Illinois. The unspoken goal, advocates claim, is to discourage parents from crossing without permission or attempting to seek asylum.

"The Brazilian mother - who asked to be identified only as Jocelyn, because she fled domestic violence - entered the United States. last August with his [sic] 14-year-old son, who, he [sic] claimed, was being threatened by gangs. Both expected to apply for asylum . . .

"Jocelyn was charged with a misdemeanor, and her son was transferred to a shelter in Chicago."

From June 20:

From June 21, Tribune:

"A group of attorneys is suing the U.S. attorney general and a Chicago-based nonprofit that houses immigrant children on behalf of two Brazilian children who were separated from their fathers after they were apprehended crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, according to court documents.

"The two separate lawsuits were filed Wednesday in federal court against Jeff Sessions and Heartland Alliance, a nonprofit that assists immigrants with housing and legal assistance, after two unrelated boys, ages 9 and 15, fleeing violence in Brazil were removed from their fathers' care last month, according to the complaint.

"Officials at a border facility told the fathers that they would be separated from their children for a few days, but now both men are being held in different detention centers in the Southwest and facing criminal charges while their children are being held in one of Heartland's nine shelters in Chicago, court documents show."


"The suits allege the separation and holding of the children violates a 1997 consent decree detailing the protocol for detention of minors and the children's right to due process.

'The children have the right under the Flores settlement to challenge their placement because Flores requires an individualized determination of care, respect and dignity, and sensitivity to the particular vulnerabilities of a child,'' said Amy Maldonado, a Michigan attorney representing the children. 'There's a hierarchy of places they're supposed to try for: No. 1 is always family reunification and placement with a parent; No. 2 is other relatives; No. 3 is a licensed facility; and last resort is an immigration detention facility.

"'The government is flagrantly violating this all over the place,' Maldonado said."

Boldface mine.

From the Beachwood, June 5:

"Likewise, in Flores v. Johnson, the court held that defendants could not refuse to release accompanied children (i.e., children who cross the border with their parents) and their parents on the grounds that not releasing them would deter other families from attempting to cross the border. The court reasoned that DHS had offered no evidence to support its deterrence rationale. (This is, of course, the same rationale the Trump administration is purportedly relying on to separate families.)"

From the Beachwood, June 7:

"Some legislative context to both section 279 and section 1232 further helps to highlight the understanding that those sections, particularly section 279, do not make a child 'unaccompanied' if ICE detains the child's parents. Rather, parents who were in immigration detention facilities were considered parents or guardians in the United States who were able to provide for care and physical custody. Both 279(g) and 1232 were enacted on the heels of a settlement in Reno v. Flores, a case that challenged the then-Immigration and Nationality Service's policy of detaining minors for immigration-related reasons."

Note: Reno vs. Flores became Flores vs. Johnson.


Back to the Tribune:

"The Heartland Alliance confirmed this week that some of the children separated from their parents are staying at its Chicago shelters. While the activists continue to fume about the Trump administration's approach that led to the separations, Heartland has distanced its shelter from policymakers.

"'Heartland Alliance has nothing to do with the decision to separate kids from their parents at the border, but we have everything to do with keeping children safe while they are in our care,' a statement said. 'Children and families who arrive at our borders are seeking safety. They are fleeing violence and unrest in their home countries. Heartland Alliance stands with them. And we ask you to stand with us.'"

A statement? If Heartland refused to otherwise answer questions, please say so.


From the Sun-Times:

"The Heartland Alliance, a nonprofit that has resettled unaccompanied migrant children in Chicago and across the Midwest for more than 30 years, earlier confirmed that it 'recently' provided 'safe shelter and care' for children who have been separated from their families at the border. However, it did not say how many children are currently being held in its facilities."

Did not say, or would not say?


Back to the Trib:

"On Thursday, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, along with 10 other attorneys general, announced she will file a lawsuit challenging the federal administration's policy of forced family separation on the U.S. border. The lawsuit will be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington."


Naturally, we wonder what the candidates running to succeed Madigan in November have to say about this.



Back to the Trib:

"And Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined the chorus of public officials denouncing the Trump administration's stance on caring for immigrant children.

"'The tragic repercussions of President Trump's terrible policy are real, and this is further proof of the heartbreak he has caused families,' Emanuel said in a statement. 'What every child deserves and what every child needs is the loving arms of their parents, not to be stripped apart, flown away and housed alone - with no family. I am confident Chicago's social service agencies are doing their best to care for these children, but these children should never have been taken from their families in the first place. This heartbreak will be a hallmark of the Trump administration, and a stain on our nation.'"


In a November 1996 memo on national policy, Emanuel advised Clinton - then starting his second term - to add more immigration hearings across six states, Illinois included, so that he could "claim and achieve record deportations of criminal aliens."

He wrote: "The GOP Congress wants to fight the immigration issue out on government benefits. You want to take it to them on the workplace. The INS should be directed to expand the VIS to key industries, beyond meat-packers and poultry. Halfway through your term you want to claim a number of industries free of illegal immigrants."

Emanuel encouraged the president to extend National Guard presence "along the border" and halt immigrants' naturalization proceedings for one month in order to "review past files for criminal misconduct."


New on the Beachwood . . .

The Sinclair Sham
"Sinclair's proposed divestitures are, as we predicted, nothing more than a sham built on deceptive shell games and loopholes. They're part of the broadcaster's ongoing efforts to dress up its takeover of the public airwaves while undermining the public interest. These new divestitures do nothing to mitigate the many legal concerns surrounding the Tribune takeover.

"Sinclair has yet again concocted a suite of shady contractual arrangements with its so-called sidecar companies to maintain functional control over many of the supposedly divested stations. In a new deceptive twist, Sinclair's even using these sham agreements to hide the actual extent of the broadcaster's national reach. Like the entire proposed transaction, these proposed divestitures violate the spirit and the letter of the law and the Commission's rules."


The Ex-Cub Factor
Featuring: Rafael Palmeiro (!), John Lackey, Hector Rondon, Edwin Jackson, Tim Federowicz, Wade Davis, Starlin Castro, Clayton Richard, John Jay, Jorge Soler, Pierce Johnson, Chris Coghlan, Dan Vogelbach, Chris Volstad, Jacob Turner, Zac Rosscup, Dan Haren, Matt Stairs, Kosuke Fukudome, Koji Uehara, Tommy Hunter, Ryan Kalish, James Farris, Jeff Samardzija, Matt Szczur, Jeimer Candelerio, Leonys Martin, and Trevor Cahill.



Yay CTA - @octochi

A post shared by Allison Grote Gerlach (@allisugerlach) on



I am not Illegal. Náhuatl Artist Nicolás De Jesús. Chicago.



Bruce Springsteen's Remarks Before "The Ghost Of Tom Joad" The Other Night.


Demolition Begins At Star Plaza Theatre In Merrillville.


A sampling.










The Beachwood Tronc Line: Pirate skulls and bones.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:02 AM | Permalink

June 21, 2018

The Sinclair Sham

Free Press filed a petition Wednesday to deny Sinclair Broadcast Group's proposed takeover of Tribune Media, calling the broadcaster's latest plan to divest some stations to gain approval for the deal a "sham" and a "shell game" designed to dodge longstanding media-ownership limits and undermine the public interest.

Free Press' petition continues its earlier legal challenge, filed in August 2017, seeking to halt the transfer of broadcast licenses that would give Sinclair control of more than 233 local TV stations reaching 72 percent of the country's population, far in excess of congressional and FCC limits on national and local media ownership.

The broadcaster has proposed 23 station divestitures as part of its latest tactic to make the Tribune transaction appear to comply with both the Federal Communications Commission's local broadcast ownership limits and the congressionally mandated national-audience reach cap.

Free Press's filing exposes Sinclair's efforts to transfer ownership of these stations in name only while devising various schemes that allow it to maintain control over their finances, content and operations.

Free Press explains that the assignment of Tribune's licenses to Sinclair would cause a permanent loss of diversity of viewpoints in communities across the country, a dangerous decrease in competition in local news, and a variety of related harms to diversity of ownership and localism in news coverage. The petition also calls out the FCC majority for "reinventing math" and removing safeguards to clear a path for approval of the deal.

Free Press Policy Analyst Dana Floberg made the following statement:

"Sinclair's proposed divestitures are, as we predicted, nothing more than a sham built on deceptive shell games and loopholes. They're part of the broadcaster's ongoing efforts to dress up its takeover of the public airwaves while undermining the public interest. These new divestitures do nothing to mitigate the many legal concerns surrounding the Tribune takeover.

"Sinclair has yet again concocted a suite of shady contractual arrangements with its so-called sidecar companies to maintain functional control over many of the supposedly divested stations. In a new deceptive twist, Sinclair's even using these sham agreements to hide the actual extent of the broadcaster's national reach. Like the entire proposed transaction, these proposed divestitures violate the spirit and the letter of the law and the Commission's rules.

"Its plan gives Sinclair control over multiple stations in a single market, which will lead to fewer stations producing original news, and more stations rebroadcasting the same cookie-cutter programming handed down from Sinclair's corporate headquarters. Such arrangements are particularly harmful to people of color and low-income families who rely on free, over-the-air television news more than other communities, and who will bear the brunt of the harms caused by the waves of newsroom closures and job cuts that go hand in hand with Sinclair-style consolidation.

"For the FCC to approve this transaction on the basis of dramatically weakened ownership rules - including the UHF discount currently under litigation - would be a serious affront to the public interest. This would also raise additional concerns about an improper relationship between Trump FCC officials and a broadcaster with a pro-Trump political bias.

"Even with Sinclair's proposed divestitures, the transaction would result in a broadcast combination reaching 58.8 percent of the national television audience with its owned stations alone, far exceeding the congressionally mandated 39-percent national cap. In an effort to pave a path for Sinclair, the Trump FCC has opened a rulemaking to consider modifying or eliminating that national cap - despite the fact that the agency has no statutory authority to do so.

"Regardless of how the FCC majority may try to reinvent math or redefine ownership, the proposed divestitures do nothing to mitigate the overwhelming harms of greenlighting a merger of this size."


* Item: Former Trump Aide Joins Sinclair.

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

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

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

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

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

* Tribune's Disastrous Sale To Sinclair.

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

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

* Sinclair's Flippant FCC Ruling.

* FCC Presses Sinclair For Answers On Tribune Merger.

* Trump FCC Eliminates Local Broadcast Main Studio Requirement In A Handout To Sinclair That Will Harm Local Communities.

* Trump's FCC Chairman Announces Plan To Scrap Media Ownership Limits Standing In Way Of Tribune-Sinclair Mega-Merger.

* Lisa Madigan et al. vs. Sinclair-Tribune.

* Local TV News Is About To Get Even Worse.

* Trump's Secret Weapon Against A Free Press.

* With Massive Handouts To Sinclair, FCC Clears Path To New Wave Of Media Consolidation.

* Trump FCC Opens Corporate Media Merger Floodgates.

* FCC Wraps New Gift For Sinclair.

* FCC Inspector General Investigating Sinclair Rulings.

* Behind Sinclair's 'Project Baltimore.'

* Don't Be Fooled By Sinclair's Shell Games.

* Free Press Sues The FCC For Dramatic Reversal Of Media Ownership Limits That Pave Way For Media Mergers.

* Thanks, Tribune Media, All You Did Was Weaken A Country.

* Sinclair-Fox Station Deal Enabled By FCC Is Dangerous For Democracy.


See also:

* Sinclair Broadcast Group Solicits Its News Directors For Its Political Fundraising Efforts.

* FCC Plans To Fine Sinclair $13.3 million Over Undisclosed Commercials.

* Sinclair's New Media-Bashing Promos Rankle Local Anchors.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:37 AM | Permalink

The Ex-Cub Factor

One in an occasional series tracking the movements of those who have worn Cubbie blue

1. Rafael Palmeiro.

"Long removed from the national spotlight after seeing a 20-year major league career end unceremoniously shortly after a 10-game suspension due to steroids, the 53-year-old Palmeiro is attempting a comeback with the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association," the Times of Northwest Indiana reports.

2. John Lackey.

"The Diamondbacks made a minor league offer to right-hander John Lackey this offseason, writes USA Today's Bob Nightengale, but the veteran righty passed on the opportunity," MLB Trade Rumors noted on June 13th.

"Coincidentally, Lackey's friend and former teammate, Clay Buchholz, ultimately wound up in the D-backs organization on a similar deal and is now thriving in a rotation that has been hit hard by injuries. 'I don't bring that up to him now,' joked Buchholz, who still keeps in touch with Lackey, 'because he's a lot bigger than me. I don't want to make him mad. But Lackey is a bulldog. I fully expect him to be with some club at some point this year. I know for a fact that he still works out and keeps his body ready.'"

3. Jorge Soler.

"Two weeks ago Saturday, Royals outfielder Jorge Soler traipsed off the Kauffman Stadium field, drenched in water that Salvador Perez had dumped over his head in celebration," Maria Torres writes for the Kansas City Star.

Soler had launched a game-winning home run that afternoon, a two-run blast that he almost didn't believe had left the ballpark until he saw A's outfielders stop tracking the ball.

Soler rounded the bases for the ninth homer of his resurgent season - he hasn't experienced such a steady campaign since his first full season with the Cubs in 2015, when injury limited to 101 games - and experienced relief . . .

The script has flipped in the 14 days since.

The Royals will be without Soler, who now owns crutches and can't skip off the field in victory, for at least the next six weeks because of a fractured left first metatarsal. A CT scan on Saturday confirmed the injury, which happened as he tripped running out of the batter's box in Friday's loss at Kauffman Stadium.

Although it's not severe enough to require immediate surgery, the Royals will re-evaluate the break in a week.

There's a chance the bone might heal on its own, a process that would require more time than inserting a pin or screws to repair the break. But if next week's CT scan reveals further separation of the bones, they would opt for surgery.

At any rate, the Royals will place Soler on the disabled list on Sunday. He won't see game action until August at the earliest.

4. Pierce Johnson.

Former Cubs hurler Pierce Johnson surprisingly won a roster spot on the Giants after a strong spring training, but was recently sent out to Triple-A Sacramento after compiling a 5.46 ERA in 31 1/3 innings this season.

Now he's back with the big club to fill in for Hunter Strickland, who just landed on the 10-day DL with a broken right hand.

5. Chris Coghlan.

Coghlan isn't so much an ex-Cub these days as a returning Cub, albeit for Triple-A Iowa Cubbies. But he was an ex-Cub in the interim so we'll include him here.

Via the Des Moines Register on June 11th:

"Veteran outfielder Chris Coghlan still hasn't made his 2018 debut after signing a minor league with the Chicago Cubs back in March. The reason? Coghlan is recovering from a shoulder injury that has slowed his return, Jaron Madison, Chicago's director of player development, said."

6. Clayton Richard.

"Richard (6-6) gave up two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out six over six frames to pick up his sixth win [for the Padres]," CBS Sports reported on Saturday.

"The southpaw has been in a groove of late, producing four consecutive quality starts. Richard's career-high 7.4 K/9 is a big reason why he has seen improved results, but his 4.31 ERA is a reminder of why he is tough to trust on a regular basis."

Six days earlier, Richard took a no-hitter into the seventh inning.

7. Jon Jay.

On June 6th, the Royals traded Jon Jay to the Diambondbacks for two minor league pitchers.

"Since joining the Royals, Jay ha[d] made himself known at the top of the batting order. In 46 games as the Royals' leadoff hitter, he batted .304 and scored 26 runs. In all, he was batting .307 with nine doubles, two triples, a homer and 28 runs scored."

8. Edwin Jackson.

Jackson signed with the A's on June 6th - the 12th organization he's played for over 15 years, one shy of the record held by Octavio Dotel.

9. Tim Federowicz.

The journeyman catcher was called up by the Astros briefly but sent back down to Triple-A on June 10th to await someone getting hurt somewhere.

10. Dan Vogelbach.

Vogey's up-and-down season with the Mariners is down again as he was sent out on June 14th.

11. Chris Volstad.

"Volstad has a 3.96 ERA, functioning mostly as a multi-inning reliever" for the White Sox, Southside Showdown notes.

12. Jacob Turner.

"[B]ack With Mud Hens After Interesting Journey."

13. Zac Rosscup.

Placed on the 60-day DL by the Rockies with a left middle-finger blister.

14. Wade Davis.

"Wade Davis allowed one hit in an otherwise clean ninth inning to convert his 21st save of the season [for the Rockies] in Wednesday's 10-8 win over the New York Mets," Fantasy Pros notes.

"Davis had allowed a combined five earned runs over his previous two outings, including a four-run implosion against the Rangers over the weekend, so Wednesday was a needed step in the right direction.

"His ERA is now at 4.55 on the season but was at 3.29 before his last two appearances, and his 21 saves are tied for the third most in all of baseball."

15. Dan Haren.

Haren is now a "pitching strategist" for the Diamondbacks.

16. Kosuke Fukudome.

KF is slashing .249/.351/.389 for the Hanshin Tigers.

17. Koji Uehara.

KU is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA for the Yomiuri Giants.

18. Matt Stairs.

Stairsy is in his first season as the hitting coach for the Padres.

19. Tommy Hunter.

"In 25 appearances this season, Hunter has a 4.79 ERA, hardly what the Phillies expected when they signed him to a two-year, $18 million contract. But [Phillies management] believe a deeper dive is required for an accurate picture. Let's take that plunge."

20. Ryan Kalish.


21. James Farris.


(The Cubs traded Farris to the Rockies before spring training in 2017 for Eddie Butler. The Rockies also acquired international bonus money slot No. 28 for international bonus money slot No. 94 in the deal.)

22. Jeff Samardzija.

The Shark has a second rehab start scheduled tonight for Triple-A Sacramento; he's been laid up with shoulder tightness.

He's 1-4 with a 6.56 ERA in eight starts for the Giants so far this season.

23. Starlin Castro.

Castro is slashing .262/.319/.376 for the Marlins, and is a potential mid-summer trade candidate.

24. Matt Szczur.

Matty Caesar is the Padres' fifth outfielder, used mostly as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement.

His slash line is just .191/.267/.279 in 68 at-bats.

25. Jeimer Candelario.

"Candelario went 2-for-3 with two walks, one RBI, and a run scored [for the Tigers] during Wednesday's 5-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. He hit a solo home run to left in the first inning and it was his 11th of the year," Fantasy Pros notes.

"Candelario might have taken another step forward to playing like he did at the beginning of the season. He finds himself hitting .252/.358/.483 through the month of June."

26. Leonys Martin

"Martin went 3-for-3 with two walks, two RBI, a double and a run scored in Tuesday's loss to the Reds," CBS Sports notes.

"Martin filled up the stat sheet with a pair of singles and a pair of walks along with a two-run double in the ninth inning to cut Cincinnati's lead to 9-3. The 30-year-old outfielder is now hitting .292 this month and .266 for the season, as he's been a solid contributor atop the lineup for the Tigers all year."

27. Hector Rondon.

"Rondon has taken over as the closer in Houston, converting three straight save chances. He's having an excellent year, pitching to a 1.44 ERA, 1.81 FIP and 1.04 WHIP with 30 strikeouts in 25 innings," Sports Illustrated says.

28. Trevor Cahill.

"Cahill is on DL because of an Achilles' injury, but don't let that dampen your enthusiasm for the veteran [A's] righty just yet. He has been great this year, totaling a 2.77 ERA, 3.03 FIP and 0.99 WHIP with 47 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings," Sports Illustrated also says.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:38 AM | Permalink

June 20, 2018

Coffman: Ronaldo Is The King Of The World

Everyone has now played at least one game. I think Cristiano Ronaldo just scored again, and maybe again. The World Cup is off and soccering. And then some.

At this point, I defy anyone to step up and say with any sort of certainty that this favored team or that favored team is more likely to win than anyone else. Other than host Russia, which has benefited from one of the easiest draws in World Cup history, no team - not Brazil, not France, definitely not Germany - has stepped up and said this tournament is theirs. And Russia finally has to play a real team - Uruguay - next time around.

We are, of course, only one game in for the majority of teams played over a two-week stretch. Senegal and Poland were the last teams to play their first game and they did so on Tuesday. (Everyone starts the event with three pool-play games - the teams that post the best results in those games advance to the round of 16.)

But there has been a heaping helping of extraordinary stuff.

Ronaldo made it four goals already when he knocked one in to give Portugal an early lead in its Wednesday morning contest with Morocco:


He had played the best game of anyone in the tournament in the first go-round, posting a hat trick against talented Spain in a game that ended up tied 3-3.







While the 33-year-old Ronaldo is showing yet again that he is the king of world soccer, Lionel Messi is floundering at yet another World Cup.

Here he is blowing a penalty kick in Argentina's shocking 1-1 tie with tiny Iceland:


Meanwhile Neymar is limping around for Brazil with an ankle injury.


The biggest win of the tournament so far was scored by . . . Mexico. Who knew El Tri had it in them? Despite rolling through World Cup qualifying after barely, barely squeaking in four years prior, many a Mexican had not been shy about calling for the head of coach Juan Carlos Osorio for this perceived shortcoming or that one.

Hopefully all those folks will shut up for a while now that Mexico has shocked the soccer world by beating Germany in its opening game.

To Osorio's and his team's great credit, Mexico did not play it safe early against the defending champions. The team's work rate was outstanding as it put together scoring chance after scoring chance, until their efforts culminated in Hirving "Chucky" (you cannot make this stuff up) Lozano's 35th-minute goal, which stood up as the winner:


Meanwhile, Japan and Senegal broke through for victories that were not only big for their countries but also their continents. No Asian team had ever defeated a top team from either Europe or South America in a World Cup before the Samurai Blue knocked off Columbia 2-1 on Tuesday. Columbia was done in by an intentional handball in the third minute of the game that not only gave Japan a penalty kick and the early lead but also resulted in a red card for defending Carlos Sanchez:


A Yuya Osako header in the 72nd-minute put the game away:


Senegal notched the first victory for an African team in this tournament after there was nothing but disappointment for the continent during its first four matches. The Lions of Teranga outplayed Poland to win 2-1 but they also benefited from the worst bit of officiating of the tournament thus far.

It is customary for temporarily injured players (and the guys who fake it) to go to the sideline and wait until the referee waves them back in. The referee knows to do so during moments in the game where a fresh player racing in, like a hockey player coming out of a penalty box, will not impact the game (like when the ball goes out of bounds).

In the 60th minute, with Senegal leading 1-0, M'Baye Niang was waved back into the game a moment before a Polish midfielder played a pass back to his own end to preserve possession. Niang was able to race in, kick the ball away from the onrushing goaltender, and then walk it into the net:


The final extraordinariness to come out of the first time through the tournament's pools was the highly successful implementation of video replay. The games I watched featured several video replays, including one that resulted in a penalty kick that Peru subsequently squandered, that were done smoothly and quickly. I desperately hope baseball, football and basketball officials in the U.S. are paying attention.

Let the games continue!


Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:48 AM | Permalink

World Cup VAR: Technology Is Transforming The Beautiful Game

You may have noticed something different in the 2018 World Cup. For the first time ever, the Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR) system is being used to help make decisions during games. And already we are seeing it cause controversy.

It's no surprise that VAR has caused debate, considering the furor that surrounded VAR in the English FA Cup and the Bundesliga. But although VAR receives huge attention, we should not forget that it is only the most visible example of the digitalization of soccer, where data and technology are used to improve performance and decision-making. And digitization is already transforming the game of soccer. But it is also leading many people to fear that the game is changing too fast and leaving fans behind.

Decision-Making On The Field?

VAR is a form of technology that is supposed to help referees make near-accurate decisions. As the game progresses, assistant referees away from the stadium watch instant replays of incidents. Over wireless headsets, they communicate with the referee, advising them on any game-changing incident. VAR is supposed to only assist referees in four main areas: goals, penalties, red cards and mistaken identity. But ultimately, the referee still has the final decision.

In 2017, VAR was introduced into the FA Cup for the first time. It was quickly blamed for ruining "the beautiful game," by players and by managers alike.

Specific matches, especially between Tottenham and Rochdale in the FA Cup quarter final, caused particular ire after a Tottenham goal was reversed by VAR for reasons that were unclear.


There were remarkable scenes in the Bundesliga also. At halftime, during a game between Mainz 05 and SC Freiburg, the teams were ordered back onto the pitch so that a retrospective penalty could be given after a VAR decision. Fans and players alike were less than happy.


VAR has already made its mark on this year's World Cup. Although it has received positive feedback by some, it continues to cause intense debate.

The technology was criticized for not flagging a penalty that allowed Switzerland to score against Brazil.

And others criticized its role in the awarding of a French penalty against Australia.

Many England fans also questioned the technology when the referee did not award a penalty after Harry Kane was wrestled to the ground by Tunisia's Ferjani Sassi twice. Yet Tunisia scored on a penalty given for a similar foul.


The 'Digitalization' Of Soccer

Over the last few decades, it feels as if every aspect of life has been touched by "digitalization." And it has had a major impact in nearly every aspect of soccer. Whether it be TV coverage, ticketing or, perhaps most revolutionary of all, its capacity for teams to analyze and measure performance.

The unprecedented amount of data and information that is produced through the Internet of Things - objects that are connected to the Internet - enables better customized training. Teams can now collect enormous amount of data on how individual athletes perform in training and in actual matches. Coaches can use this data to give incredibly personalized feedback. It can also enable managers to make tactical decisions based upon live data, such as how far someone has run, where on the pitch they have been playing, and how many passes they have made, during the game. The future of soccer might be one in which teams are picked and play in a certain way "because of what the data says."

Digitalization is one of the major reasons why sport has transformed from a game played for entertainment and leisure into an industry worth more than $1.5 trillion globally. You only need to look at eSports, now a $400 million industry, to see how digitalized sport has become.

But with VAR, many feel that digitalization has gone a step too far and made soccer feel unnatural. There is something strange when fans have to hold off celebrating a goal until they receive confirmation from VAR.

Many sports, particularly soccer have a rich and symbolic heritage which some see as being under threat due to digitalization. And it is not going to stop, with the Internet of Things, virtual reality and augmented reality increasingly being used in training grounds.

VAR might be getting the decision right (or not) and digitalization might be making soccer more lucrative while improving the performance of players and the tactics of managers. But such "progress" also threatens to hamper the excitement and the spirit of the game. The fear is that as the relentless progress of technology continues, soccer might just lose the magic that made it so special.

Olatunbosun Olaniyan is a PhD Candidate in Business and Management Studies at the University of Huddersfield. This post was originally published on The Conversation.


Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:21 AM | Permalink

Gravity Of Precedent Fuels Challenge To Foxconn's Lake Michigan Bid

Wisconsin's decision to let Foxconn draw water from Lake Michigan may set a precedent for water use that resonates across the Great Lakes region and beyond.

But an emerging challenge to it is really a battle over how to interpret the Great Lakes Compact, the 10-years-young eight-state agreement that governs access to one of the world's most voluminous supplies of freshwater.

Madison-based law firm Midwest Environmental Advocates is leading a challenge.

Instead of going straight to court, the firm and a coalition of Wisconsin- and Minnesota-based environmental groups it represents have appealed the matter to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which approved the diversion in April 2018 and has decided to hear the appeal.

An administrative law judge will be assigned to the case and set a schedule for hearings; if the challengers aren't happy with the administrative law judge's eventual decision, they can then file a lawsuit in state circuit court.

However, the specific language of the Compact has ambiguities that are at the source of the dispute over the diversion to serve a factory the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer is building. It states that diverted water "shall be used solely for Public Water Supply Purposes."

The language goes on to define "Public Water Supply Purposes" as "water distributed to the public through a physically connected system of treatment, storage and distribution facilities serving a group of largely residential customers that may also serve industrial, commercial, and other institutional operators."

The Compact specifies that industrial users can have access to diverted water - and it's routine for businesses to buy water from public utilities - but that water must "largely" supply residential customers to drink, bathe in, cook with and so on.

The dispute over the diversion intended to supply Foxconn comes down to how flexible the term "Public Water Supply Purposes" is, and in what context "largely" is used.

The Racine Water Utility is the utility that submitted the diversion application to source additional Lake Michigan water to supply Foxconn.

In asking the DNR to allow a diversion, utility made it clear that all the water it wants to pump across the Great Lakes Basin's boundary - up to 7 million gallons per day - will go toward the massive manufacturing complex and related adjacent businesses. Neither the utility nor any of the diversion's supporters are claiming that one drop of that water will be going into someone's home.

han-water-greatlakes-compact-diversion-foxconn-racine-basin-map.jpgWisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Foxconn will use the diverted water in the village of Mount Pleasant, a municipality that is located partly in and partly out of the Basin; to use Lake Michigan water outside its boundary, Racine's water utility needs state-level approval pursuant to the Compact.

Racine officials assert that this planned use qualifies as "Public Water Supply Purposes" because even if it's sending millions of gallons to the Foxconn factory, the utility's service area as a whole will still be largely residential. That argument treats water used inside and outside of the Great Lakes Basin as one big aggregate, and the DNR cited that rationale in its approval.

The question at issue in the challenge, then, is in order for a diversion to qualify as "Public Water Supply Purposes," does the diversion area itself have to be largely residential, or is it satisfactory for a utility to make big withdrawals for industrial purposes outside the Basin so long as it's selling more water to residential households overall? The Great Lakes Compact doesn't say one way or another.

Also, exactly what does "largely residential customers" mean? Is there a specific level or percentage that qualifies, or some cutoff where industrial water use is considered too much? It's not in the text of the Compact. And since the agreement was ratified in 2008, there hasn't been much opportunity for state or federal courts to parse how the language should be applied. The Compact's text is less than 30 pages long - a beach read, in legal terms.

The ongoing tussle over the Foxconn diversion might be the first real chance to formulate answers to these gray areas - or perhaps just plain blank spaces on the legal map.

In a June 8 interview with Wisconsin Public Television's Here & Now, Midwest Environmental Advocates attorney Jimmy Parra asserted that the Compact's language doesn't cover the Foxconn diversion.

"I think on a sort of common sense level, most people have a sense of what that means, and it's not to send water to one private industrial customer for their exclusive use," Parra said. "The city of Racine and all the residential users that it currently serves are in the Great Lakes Basin. And what we think the Compact says is you have to look at the area outside of the Basin, and look at the area where the water's being sent."

Here & Now invited the DNR to share its perspective about the diversion, but the agency declined to issue a statement or provide an official to be interviewed. In a statement to Here & Now, Racine Mayor Cory Mason affirmed the DNR's interpretation of the Compact's language on "Public Water Supply Purposes."

"Racine's water utility certainly meets that definition and would continue to meet that definition if the small part of [Mount Pleasant] outside the Basin were served with Great Lakes water," said Mason.

Meanwhile, Parra and the law firm base their argument on the Great Lakes Compact's requirements for diversions that specifically states "all the Water so transferred shall be used solely for Public Water Supply Purposes within the Straddling Community." That language suggests that when sussing out how "public" a diversion is, the state should simply consider the specific area served by the diversion.

Since the Compact was ratified, only two other parties have applied for diversions. The Milwaukee suburb of New Berlin, which straddles the basin line, received DNR approval in 2009 to use Lake Michigan water. The city of Waukesha, which is located wholly outside the Great Lakes Basin but can apply for water access under certain terms because it's in a county that straddles its boundary, had to seek the unanimous consent of the governors of the eight Great Lakes states, and got it in 2016. (Some terms of the Compact requires the involvement of a regional body where each state has a voice, but much of its enforcement is left to to state-level regulators.)

Both New Berlin and Waukesha sought drinking water for residential users first and foremost. Waukesha's bid for Lake Michigan water has been controversial for a variety of reasons, but its opponents are not saying the city is making a massive water grab on behalf of a single company.

Parra told WisContext in a phone interview that the New Berlin and Waukesha diversions provide an example of how "Public Water Supply Purposes" language of the Compact should be applied, and noted they may bolster the argument that the reasoning behind the Foxconn diversion approval misinterprets it. The way the DNR currently interprets the Compact, he told Here & Now, opens the door for industrial users outside the Great Lakes Basin to take advantage.

"In Minnesota there's a number of mines or mineral deposits that are close to the Basin line in the Iron Range," he said. "Under the Wisconsin DNR's interpretation, it's possible that Great Lakes water could now be used to supply that very water-intensive industry. It's not this project, it's what comes next."

The seven million gallons Foxconn and Racine are asking for is indeed a lot of water, though not very much relative to the Great Lakes as a whole. But it's the longer-term significance of the diversion that is at the heart of this debate. What kind of precedent would the Foxconn diversion set, and how that will affect the Great Lakes as a freshwater resource over the long run? What if more industrial users set up operations in Great Lakes states with an eye toward using that water?

Several of Wisconsin's fellow Great Lakes states have raised concerns and questions about the Foxconn diversion, though none have yet launched a formal effort to block it. But the entire region will be affected by the outcome, as states and local communities contemplate the future role of water resources in their economies.

This post was originally published on WisContext which produced it in a partnership between Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and Cooperative Extension.


Previously in the Great Lakes:

* Great Lake Warriors.

* Song Of The Moment: The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald.

* Chicago's Greatest Jinx Ship Headed To Drydock.

* When Great Lakes Ice Doesn't Melt.

* Great Lakes Segregation.

* Researchers Seek Warning System For Destructive Waves On Great Lakes.

* Great Lakes Endangered Shorebird Has Record Year.

* Why EPA Region 5 Director Is A Disaster For The Great Lakes.

* Cold Weather Hampers Great Lakes Shipping.

* The Battles That Shaped Great Lakes Water Politics.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:43 AM | Permalink

Separated Migrant Children Are Headed Toward Shelters With A History Of Abuse And Neglect

Taxpayers have paid more than $1.5 billion in the past four years to private companies operating immigrant youth shelters accused of serious lapses in care, including neglect and sexual and physical abuse, an investigation by Reveal and The Texas Tribune has found.

In nearly all cases, the federal government has continued to place migrant children with the companies even after serious allegations were raised and after state inspectors cited shelters with deficiencies, government and other records show.

Since 2003, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department has awarded nearly $5 billion in grants through the Office of Refugee Resettlement, mostly to religious and nonprofit organizations in 18 states, to house children who arrive in the country unaccompanied.

The program grew quickly in 2014, when around 70,000 children crossed the southern border alone.

Now this web of private facilities, cobbled together to support children with nowhere else to go, is beginning to hold a new population: the more than 2,000 6,000 children who arrived with their parents but were separated from them because of a Trump administration policy.

In Texas, where the resettlement agency awarded the majority of the grants, state inspectors have cited homes with more than 400 deficiencies, about one-third of them serious.

Allegations included staff members' failure to seek medical attention for children. One had a burn, another a broken wrist, a third a sexually transmitted disease. In another shelter, staff gave a child medicine to which she was allergic, despite a warning on her medical bracelet. Inspectors also cited homes for "inappropriate contact" between children and staff, including a case in which a staff member gave children a pornographic magazine.

In October, an employee appeared drunk when he showed up to work at a facility operated by Southwest Key Programs in San Benito, Texas. A drug test later found the he was over the legal alcohol limit to drive. That was among the 246 violations state inspectors found at Southwest Key's facilities, including rotten bananas, and shampoo dispensers filled with hand sanitizer.

Representatives for Southwest Key Programs, which also operates a converted Walmart in Brownsville as a shelter for more than 1,000 children, did not return phone calls and an e-mail seeking comment.

Last year, a youth care worker at a Florida shelter for migrant children was sentenced to 10 years in prison after she admitted to trading sexually explicit photos and text messages with minors at the shelter. That facility later closed but recently reopened under a more than $30 million contract to house 1,000 children.

In New York, a Guatemalan boy was sexually assaulted by an older boy at a shelter in 2013, according to a doctor's report, and was treated at a hospital. After he was reunited with his mother, she received a hospital bill but, she later said, was told only that there had been "an incident with a boy."

At a facility in Maine run by a behavioral and mental health nonprofit, a social worker remained on the job for months after state regulators received a complaint in 2016 accusing him of having sex with an adult client.

In those cases and dozens of others reviewed by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and The Texas Tribune, federal officials continued sending children who crossed the border to the shelters after the incidents came to light. Since 2014, 13 organizations that faced serious allegations or citations shared the $1.5 billion total - nearly half of what the federal government spent to house immigrant children in that time.

Records reviewed indicate only two cases in which the agency terminated an agreement with one of the 13 shelter providers. One occurred after state regulators cited a Texas company, International Educational Services, with more than 100 deficiencies at its nine operations, including inappropriate sexual contact between staff and children, harsh punishment and lapses in medical care.

A spokesman for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission said it was not up to the state to make licensing decisions for a facility that cares for migrant children.

Texas "is not a party to the contract between ORR (the Office of Refugee Resettlement) and the shelters and any questions on the operation of this program should be directed to either ORR or the facilities themselves," spokesman John Reynolds said in an e-mail.

Occasionally, facilities changed names, switched locations or voluntarily closed some branches after problems were identified.

The sudden addition of thousands of children is straining these shelters, heightening the risk for neglect and abuse. In the summer of 2014, federal officials faced a similar rush to increase capacity for thousands of children. One contractor compared that period with "changing the tires on a moving school bus."

That comment was in response to a federal audit that found that His House, a shelter in Florida, "might not have followed" the resettlement agency's policies for 724 children regarding medical care, providing "appropriate clothing" and running background checks on adults accepting custody of children.

The audit also found that the shelter "might have placed federal funds totaling 9 million dollars at risk of mismanagement or misappropriation."

Images in recent days show children warehoused in a tent city in Tornillo, Texas, guarded by Department of Homeland Security officers dressed in body armor and carrying long guns. But that facility is a temporary way station. From there, immigrant children resettled through the Office of Refugee Resettlement often are sent into the messy reality of foster care and shelters designed for unaccompanied minors.

Homes With Worst Issues Keep Getting Grants

A case in point is the Shiloh Treatment Center, a mobile home complex-turned-child care center. Located in rural Manvel, Texas, the center was founded in 1995 by Clay Dean Hill, who is now 69. In 2013, the resettlement agency began funding the shelter, sending more than $25 million in grants over five years.

Manvel_Treatment_Center_Shiloh_7_PYH_TT.jpgShiloh in Manvel/Pu Ying Huang for The Texas Tribune

In 2001, Stephanie Duffield, 16, died after being restrained by staff. Following her death, Shiloh was found to be "in compliance" with state requirements, according to the refugee resettlement office. Since then, Shiloh has been dogged by allegations of child abuse, leading Brazoria County's district attorney, Jeri Yenne, to call for increased monitoring of the shelter.

Children have died at two other programs affiliated with Hill, Behavior Training Research Inc. and Daystar Residential Inc. Between 1993 and 2010, three children died after being restrained at those facilities. In 2002, Latasha Bush, 15, died from asphyxia. Eight years later, Michael Keith Owens, 16, died after being restrained inside a closet. Both were ruled homicides.

Daystar closed after Owens' death. Behavior Training Research remains registered as an active domestic for-profit corporation

Over the last three years, Texas inspectors found eight deficiencies at Shiloh, including poorly supervised medication inside the facility and overdue background check renewals for staff.

Maribel Bernardez's 9-year-old son landed at Shiloh after being referred for what staff viewed as psychological issues. Reveal and The Texas Tribune are not publishing his name at his mother's request.

Bernardez, a 34-year-old asylum seeker from Honduras, had spent nearly a year in the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Texas before she was transferred and later released, in February 2016.

During that time period, she had gone on on a hunger strike to demand her release while awaiting her asylum hearing and eventually was allowed to post bond. But Bernardez says she never fought as hard as she did during the nearly six months that her son was housed and drugged at the Shiloh Treatment Center.

Bernardez's son had lived with her sister in Honduras but made his way north last October with a cousin to ask for asylum and reunite with his mother, who now lives in New Orleans. He said he made sure to present a copy of his birth certificate with contact information for his mother. After a short stay in a shelter in the Houston area, he was referred to a psychiatrist for evaluation.

Between November and April, medical records show that Bernardez's son was administered psychotropic drugs. She said she repeatedly objected and did not sign any consent form.

The Shiloh Treatment Center has not responded to a request for comment about the case. The federal resettlement agency has not responded either.

Meanwhile, a caseworker assigned to the boy's case asked Bernardez to wire her money, saying she would give her son things he wanted from the outside world. And her son says he and other Central American immigrant children routinely were physically assaulted - including in front of other staffers.

"There was the man that hit me," he said.

Bernardez_TT.jpgMaribel Bernardez's son outside of his home near New Orleans earlier this week/Aura Bogado

Shiloh has been awarded $26 million in federal money since 2013 from the Office of Refugee Resettlement to operate a residential treatment center for unaccompanied minors. The agency contracts with Shiloh to house, educate and medicate children.

Records indicate that staff noted that Bernardez's son often talked about wanting to leave the shelter. On at least one occasion, he tried to run away to find his mom. And staff members noted what they called sexual behavior: One time, he used a Fruit Roll-Up to simulate a penis.

Multiple text messages indicate that Bernardez was in frequent contact with her son's caseworker, who used WhatsApp video calls to allow Bernardez to see her son. Bernardez says she noticed that he looked and acted markedly different.

"He was completely hypnotized and lethargic," said Bernardez, who said she asked for a list of the drugs he was being given. Another person associated with Shiloh sent her a screenshot of the psychotropic drugs her son was being administered.

In April, Bernardez learned her son would be going to court, and she made it clear that she wanted desperately to attend and provide him counsel. Bernardez never heard from any attorney, however, and it appears no attorney was assigned to the case.

Bernardez's son was released to her on April 21. Eight months pregnant at the time, she drove from New Orleans to Manvel to pick him up. Since then, she's worked with a psychiatrist to try to taper her son off drugs.

Bernardez said she doesn't have an attorney to represent her or her son in their upcoming asylum cases. And she doesn't know whether talking about what her son went through will change anything.

Sexual Abuse Allegations

Several companies that house migrant children have employed workers accused of sexual misconduct and abuse, Reveal and The Texas Tribune found.

KidsPeace National Centers for Kids in Crisis, a nonprofit headquartered in Pennsylvania, faced troubling allegations at its branches in Minnesota and Maine.

In 2016, KidsPeace employed social worker Kelly F. O'Rourke, then 51, even though state regulators in Maine received complaints accusing him of having a sexual relationship with an adult client. O'Rourke continued practicing six months after the complaint was filed with the Maine State Board of Social Worker Licensure.

In a Portland Press Herald interview, a corporate spokesperson for KidsPeace said the organization routinely performed criminal background checks on potential employees and declined additional comment.

O'Rourke pleaded guilty in January 2017 to sexual assault involving his client and of violating the conditions of his bail by contacting her.

Between 2009 and 2016, KidsPeace Mesabi Academy in Buhl, Minnesota, received 64 complaints regarding staff, care and the treatment of the children housed at the center. Internal and external investigations were carried out on Mesabi Academy in 2016 following reports of three boys being sexually abused.

St. Louis County confirmed that the center had not reported several allegations of sexual abuse to the authorities over the years. Mesabi Academy closed its doors in July 2016.

In late 2013, an 11-year-old Guatemalan boy and his sister arrived at The Children's Village, a short-term residential care center for youth almost 25 miles outside New York City. Their mother had been waiting for a "coyote" - someone paid to bring immigrants across the border - to safely bring her children to her in Atlanta. Instead, they were caught by Border Patrol agents and placed in the care of the refugee resettlement office.

Not long after their arrival in Dobbs Ferry, New York, the young boy was sexually assaulted by one of the older children at the shelter, according to his mother in an interview with Public Radio International.

The mother received a phone call that her son would be flown to Atlanta after spending the night in a New York hospital. The mother told PRI that shelter officials told her that there had been "an incident," but her son was "fine" and they would give her son a police report detailing what happened. But the son arrived in Atlanta without any records.

When the mother spoke to her son, he told her that he was in pain. She took him to an Atlanta hospital, which she said concluded that he had been sexually assaulted.

The only other documentation on the incident the mother received was a bill for $800 from the New York hospital.

Last month, His House Children's Home - a faith-based nonprofit program in Miami Gardens, Florida - was at the center of another refugee resettlement office scandal. Evin Daly, a court-ordered guardian for children, reported his concerns to the Florida's child abuse hotline that staff at the 10-cottage facility treated children like "virtual prisoners in a compound with a fence and a locked gate" and "caregivers sometimes have sex with each other while on duty."

According to a review by the federal government, His House served 1,900 children during 2014. The resettlement office found some cases files "lacked evidence of background investigations on sponsors" and others "had other documentation errors" in a report published in December 2017.

Reveal reached out to His House's founder, its executive director and the director of its Unaccompanied Alien Children program. None responded.

Merice Perez Colon, an employee of a temporary shelter in Homestead, Florida, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in November for engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior with minors housed at the shelter. In one case, she asked a 15-year-old boy for a pornographic video of him, which he provided.

The shelter, which shut down suddenly in April 2017, reopened in February after the federal health agency awarded it a contract of $20 million, which grew to more than $30 million after the number of children housed doubled from 500 to 1,000.

Few Companies Lose Grants

Of about 70 entities that won grants from the Office of Refugee Resettlement, only two did not have their contracts renewed following a series of confirmed complaints.

At the end of March, the resettlement agency did not renew grant funding to International Educational Services Inc., a resettlement program with several shelters across Cameron County. The company closed operations but never publicly acknowledged the reasons why.

Yet between 2016 and 2018, the Texas health department reported 116 deficiencies following 349 inspections of the company's shelters, which included unsupervised firearms left around foster homes, inappropriate contact between a teacher and a child in care and a child in care sustaining a second-degree burn, the cause of which was unknown.

Almost six hours northeast, the Galveston Multicultural Institute, Galveston's branch of Children's Center Inc., had all children in its care removed by the Administration for Children and Families following complaints of child abuse and neglect issued to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services in March 2016. The resettlement agency stopped its funding that same year.

In suburban Washington, D.C., the resettlement agency had contracted with the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center to house migrant children in a secure, jail-like setting. The federal government paid $7.3 million to house children there until 2016.

In early 2017, with a dip in local juvenile crime and no more federal money coming in, local officials considered cutting its budget entirely.

Instead, in August, the resettlement agency came back with a $4 million contract to house 30 more migrant children in the secure facility for one year. The agency cited "an unusual and compelling urgency" for the contract, adding that it was "at capacity for secure beds."

One way these shelters continue to receive government funding has been to voluntarily close any subsidiaries or strategically rebrand themselves following any allegations tied to the mistreatment of children in their care.

In the case of KidsPeace, the parent company closed operations at Mesabi Academy but not at its other shelters across the U.S.

With Clay Dean Hill's programs, it was a more complex rebranding of the Daystar Residential and Behavior Training Program following the deaths there. Hill subsumed all properties and facilities under another one of his registered nonprofits, the then-lesser-known Shiloh Treatment Center.

In 2013, Lutheran Social Services of the South, a nonprofit subsidiary of Lutheran Social Services Inc., was suspended by the state following the death of a baby at a foster home in Cedar Park. After implementing better protocols and accountability measures, the company rebranded itself as Upbring.

Despite this, the company still raised several concerns in state inspections between 2015 and 2018 after reports that "a caregiver had allowed an individual with an extensive criminal history background that posed immediate risk to children in care to live in the home and have unsupervised access to children in care" and that a former case manager had signed documentation to allow a child to live in a foster home where a person who had a serious criminal history also lived.

Another inspection found children's personal items and other areas in the home infested with roaches.

New grants to be awarded

The Office of Refugee Resettlement currently pays most of these organizations under grants awarded in 2016. In May, the agency announced its latest round of three-year grants to house migrant children.

This offers another opportunity to remove grantees from the program - as well as a window into the agency's plans for the program. The deadline is June 29.

The agency wrote that it anticipates paying $500 million for low-security shelter placements, up from $100 million in 2016, and doubling the number of grant winners.

For the more secure, jail-like settings, the agency plans to more than double its spending, from $9 million to $20 million.

Following its rekindled relationship with the agency this year, the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Commission had planned to hire a coordinator for its unaccompanied minor program. Those plans abruptly changed this week.

On Tuesday, local officials announced they would stop participating in the resettlement agency's shelter program when their current contract runs out at the end of August.

Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg called the family separation policy "unacceptable" and said she'd been assured that no children had been housed at the facility after being separated from their parents.

That, which followed local outcry against the contract, may be the first case in which a facility has ended its partnership with the resettlement agency in response to the Trump administration's new family separation policy.

Sohyeon Hwang, Susie Neilson and Matt Smith of Reveal, John Sepulvado of KQED, and Paul Cobler of The Texas Tribune contributed to this story.


The Texas Tribune is investigating how families on both sides of the border are being impacted by the "zero tolerance" policy. We'd like to hear your stories. E-mail investigative editor Dave Harmon at


Previously on the Beachwood:

* Immigration Raids Send Chill Through Little Village.

* This Is What A Deportation Raid Is Like.

* Illinois Immigrant, Labor, Legal Leaders Condemn ICE Raids.

* Chicago Activists Tell Undocumented Immigrants Not To Open Their Doors.

* A Shameful Round-Up Of Refugees.

* U.S. Government Deporting Central American Migrants To Their Deaths.

* Tell President Obama To Stop Deporting Refugees.

* Immigrants Arrested In U.S. Raids Say They Were Misled On Right To Counsel.

* Obama Planning Huge Deportation Sweep Of Immigrant Families.

* Immigrants Deported Under Obama Share Stories Of Terror And Rights Violations.

* Chicago Family Sues ICE & City Over Raid, Gang Database.

* Immigrants In Detention Centers Are Often Hundreds Of Miles From Legal Help.

* Chicago And The Deportation Machine.

* Immigration Sins Of The Past And The Forced Separation Of Families.

* Law And Farce: The Forced Separation Of Families.

* Jennings v. Rodriguez And The Forced Separation Of Families.

* Forced Separation Of Families & Forced To-Term Pregnancies.

* Here's A List Of Organizations That Are Mobilizing To Help Immigrant Children Separated From Their Families.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:17 AM | Permalink

The [Wednesday] Papers

"In scrambling to ramp up production of its Model 3 electric car, Tesla has run into trouble with robots and automated machinery, a need for more workers and a shortage of battery packs," the New York Times reports.

"Now Tesla's chief executive, Elon Musk, suspects his company might have a more unusual problem: sabotage.

"In an e-mail sent to employees late Sunday night, Mr. Musk said a disgruntled worker had broken into the company's computer systems in an attempt to disrupt manufacturing."

Was it a rambling e-mail? Usually those are rambling e-mails.


"Tesla seemingly has no shortage of customers ready to buy the car. It took $1,000 deposits from nearly 400,000 people even before it began making the Model 3 last summer. A large portion of those customers, however, were expecting to buy a basic version that is priced at $35,000 but has not yet gone into production. For now, the company is making versions that sell for $50,000 and more."


2021: Tesla told Chicago he could build the O'Hare Hyperloop for $1 billion, but so far he's only built half of a $3 billion Hyperloop. Why?

'Cause what you see, you might not get
And we can bet, so don't you get souped yet
Scheming on a thing, that's a mirage
I'm trying to tell you now, it's sabotage


See also: Elon Musk's Long Obsession With Sabotage.



"At least three fatal accidents have occurred in the United States involving Tesla vehicles that were operating with the company's Autopilot driver-assistance system engaged, drawing scrutiny from federal safety officials and raising questions about the system's reliability. Mr. Musk also overestimated Tesla's ability to mass-produce the Model 3; he once expected the company to churn out several hundred thousand in 2018."

He has not, however, overestimated Rahm Emanuel's ego, electoral needs and one-man rule.


"One constant since Tesla was founded in 2003: the company has lost money every year."

When the CTA does it, they're emblematic of public sector bureaucratic bumbling. When Tesla does it, they're emblematic of private sector innovation.


"Earlier this year, Moody's Investor Service cut Tesla's credit rating."

Moody's now rates Tesla's credit as B3, which in Chicago stands for Barbara Byrd-Bennett but in financial circles means Beware Bullshitting Billionaire.


Meanwhile, Moody's is calling Rahm's $8.4 billion O'Hare nip-and-tuck "credit negative."

I feel like when they plug in the final Hyperloop pod all the lights at the airport are going to out.


"Just last week, Mr. Musk announced that Tesla was eliminating the jobs of about 3,500 people to cut costs."

Hey Elon, you've got the job! Stop trying to impress our mayor!


Previously: Elonorail.


We hired the wrong Tesla.


New on the Beachwood today . . .

Separated Migrant Children Are Headed Toward Shelters With Histories Of Abuse And Neglect
"Taxpayers have paid more than $1.5 billion in the past four years to private companies operating immigrant youth shelters accused of serious lapses in care, including neglect and sexual and physical abuse."


Gravity Of Precedent Fuels Challenge To Foxconn's Lake Michigan Bid
"Several of Wisconsin's fellow Great Lakes states have raised concerns and questions about the Foxconn diversion."

See also the item Foxconn Job.


From the Beachwood World Cup Desk . . .

Coffman: Ronaldo Is The King Of The World
Messi and Neymar not so much.


World Cup VAR: Technology Is Transforming The Beautiful Game
And already causing controversy.





Artists of the Wall Festival, Rogers Park.


A sampling.



Awesome thread.



The Beachwood Tronc Line: Still official.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:36 AM | Permalink

June 19, 2018

Here's A List Of Organizations That Are Mobilizing To Help Immigrant Children Separated From Their Families

It's been nearly two months since the Trump administration announced its new "zero tolerance" policy regarding illegal immigration, which federal officials say has led to about 2,000 undocumented immigrant children in government custody being separated from their parents.

The first tent city that'll house immigrant children opened in El Paso on Friday. Some families have been separated for months; some parents have been deported without their children.

We've compiled a list of organizations that are mobilizing to try and help children that have been separated from their parents at the Texas-Mexico border:

What are we missing? Let us know at

Related Texas Tribune coverage:

* Listen to crying children who've just been separated from their parents at the Texas-Mexico border.

* What's happening at the border? Here's what we know about immigrant children being separated from their families.


Previously on the Beachwood:

* Immigration Raids Send Chill Through Little Village.

* This Is What A Deportation Raid Is Like.

* Illinois Immigrant, Labor, Legal Leaders Condemn ICE Raids.

* Chicago Activists Tell Undocumented Immigrants Not To Open Their Doors.

* A Shameful Round-Up Of Refugees.

* U.S. Government Deporting Central American Migrants To Their Deaths.

* Tell President Obama To Stop Deporting Refugees.

* Immigrants Arrested In U.S. Raids Say They Were Misled On Right To Counsel.

* Obama Planning Huge Deportation Sweep Of Immigrant Families.

* Immigrants Deported Under Obama Share Stories Of Terror And Rights Violations.

* Chicago Family Sues ICE & City Over Raid, Gang Database.

* Immigrants In Detention Centers Are Often Hundreds Of Miles From Legal Help.

* Chicago And The Deportation Machine.

* Immigration Sins Of The Past And The Forced Separation Of Families.

* Law And Farce: The Forced Separation Of Families.

* Jennings v. Rodriguez And The Forced Separation Of Families.

* Forced Separation Of Families & Forced To-Term Pregnancies.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:14 AM | Permalink

The Acoustic Cool Breeze Pot Head Test

The pot shops in Los Angeles have the kind of punny names that make the monikers of barbershops - and pornos - such a delight: Hollyweed. Best Buds. Rolling Stoned. Green Mile. Wake & Bake. Exhalence. The Pottery. Hollywood High Grade. Mile High Club. The Green Team. Litt. Cannajuana Releaf. The Reefinery. Cannacierge. Stone Age Farmacy.

After googling which one of these glorious establishments was most geographically desirable to the day's activities, we tasked the mission to secure legal pot to our pal Cool Breeze, so named as an homage to Tom Wolfe, who had just kicked the Electric Kool-Aid Bucket. We came up with MMD, quite possibly the lamest name among all of LA's dispensaries (MMD standing for Medical Marijuana Dispensary, though to be sure Cool Breeze was buying recreational marijuana, legal in California since January 1.) Now it's true that MMD was recently named one of the area's best pot shops by High Times magazine, but for our purposes the key data point was that it was 305 feet from Amoeba Music, where the rest of us would cool our heels scouring the record racks while Cool Breeze did the deed.

I should probably explain what I mean by "we" at this juncture. We are "The Men of a Certain Age Crew" Crew, ages 56/7, met in high school in Illinois when 16/7, now gathered in LA for a weekend reunion. Not used to buying pot legally. Not having ever bought pot legally.

Instead, our crew was used to the old-fashioned way of buying pot - on the street, through friends, at parties, knowing someone who knows someone. Now that there is a legit market for pot developing, the old-fashioned way is being described as the Black Market. It used to just be The Market.

This new way - the legal way - it freaked Cool Breeze out. He couldn't help but think at some point the authorities would stop the sale and roust the shop. It was all too . . . clean. Cool Breeze felt dirty.

* * *

MMD, like all these newfangled pot shops these day, has an entry on Yelp.

It's a bit unsettling, all this . . . legitimateness.

"So fresh and so clean every single time," one reviewer wrote in March.

"This is a very professional established business," wrote another last December.

The reviews on Weedmaps, the Yelp for weed, are less forgiving, but JBoneSpookman wrote about a month ago that "We don't have anything like this where I'm from. This is like some kind of sci fi movie. Very nice service. The whole operation is very slick and professional and put my girlfriend and my minds at ease."

Cool Breeze not so much. His mind was not at ease. But in he went, through the front door into a tiny, spartan lobby.

In 'Breeze went, through the front door into a tiny, spartan lobby. The receptionist, a young Hispanic woman with a pierced nose sitting behind a glass partition, asked for his ID.

"First time?" she said.

Yes. Yes it was.

Legally, that is.

Cool Breeze had been caught with pot three times in the past by various authorities in Illinois, but he'd never been charged. His police record was clean. He passed the background check and sat down, as directed, on a bench in an otherwise bare room, save for the TV blaring ESPN and a few other waiting customers. Younger. Of color. First question to all: "First time?"

The wait lasted only seven minutes. Cool Breeze's named was called, along with one of the others there, and they were led down a set of stairs into a room running about 20 feet by 20 feet. It was like being in a small jewelry store, with stock displayed in glass cases in chewing tobacco-like tin tops.

Seven young, Hispanic, female Customer Service Reps were at ready - as were three burly, uniformed security guards.

Cool Breeze was hardly cool; he was nervous. "I didn't want to come off like Albert Brooks in Modern Romance, who walks into the athletic store to buy workout gear, and starts with 'I just broke up with my girlfriend and I want to make a new start . . . '"

* * *

The counter girl was polite and professional.

"First time? What would you like?"

Cool 'Breeze could think only of a time he saw Seth Rogen on Stern once and stuttered, "Do you have k-k-k-kush?!"

"Yes, we have OG Kush."

"How much?"

Now remember, Breeze only knows from what we now call the Black Market. That means ounces (eighth, quarter, half). She started in with grams.

Cool Breeze bluffed and asked to see two standard portions.

The counter girl pulled out two small, plastic, shrink-wrapped folders.

It looked good. So far. But he still felt like the whole thing was Too Good Too Be True. Surely the cops are gonna bust down the doors and start 'cuffing people up. Surely.

Now Cool Breeze had another dilemma. Having bluffed to give the product a look-see, he found he couldn't see through the labeled bags the counter girl handed to him.

"Let me feel it," he asked.

He knew he could guess the amount by feel. That much he knew.

He estimated each packet turned to be the equivalent of a relatively large, old-school dime bag.

Now he was in business. Almost.

"Wait, I need a lighter and a pipe as well, please."

"Oh, we don't have lighters but we have pipes."

"I want a glass pipe that requires no screens."

The counter girl found two glass pipes she thought would do the trick.

"This pipe is $10, this one is five," she said.

Cool Breeze chose the $5 pipe.

Then to the register. He braced for the total. He guessed the street value of his buy to be around $60, maybe more.

"With the $5 dollar pipe, and two bags, that'll be $16.75."

Cool Breeze was stunned. He pulled out his debit card.

"We should probably say this in advance, but we only take cash."

No sweat; 'Breeze had the cash.

"Less than twenty bucks?!"

Breeze nearly wept with joy and relief.

He checked in with the security guard to show his receipt before exiting, just like you do at Walmart.

He walked out with two bags of Eighth Brother OG Kush, grown locally, 100% organic, no pesticides or chemicals, bagged 5/20/18 "by fully licensed 2nd generation farmers obsessed with quality."


Cool Breeze met up with the rest of at Amoeba wide-eyed and freaked out, after what we thought was a surprisingly short time. We were expecting to hear the Worst. Instead, we heard the Best.

We chewed on that little buying episode for the rest of the weekend. Like, "Did that really happen?!"

It did, my friends. It did.

"Compared to my former Black Market experience, this was a dream come true," Cool Breeze says now. "The pot was fresh, potent, clean and locally grown. Better quality, better price, no crimes committed in the process. And, I presume, fully taxed."


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:15 AM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

"Since June 1, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos' net worth has grown over $5B and now totals $141.9B, according to the Forbes World's Billionaires list.

To put it another way, Jeff Bezos's net worth in the last 18 days has grown by more than double the amount Chicago is offering in tax breaks to land Amazon's "second headquarters."

In fact, Bezos is making so much money that the only way he can figure out how to spend it is to launch it into space.

Maybe we've got the incentives all wrong. We need to come up with a list of of really expensive projects Bezos can spend his money on, not ways to help him save money. He's got so much money in the bank it's stressing him out!


Seemingly related: Chicago's "incentive package" for Amazon is more than twice as much as Elon Musk says he'll need to spend to build his high-speed express doohickey to O'Hare.


Note: Yes, I get that Chicago's offer to Amazon includes state tax breaks as well. Just accept the shorthand so I don't have to keep writing "Chicago and Illinois."


Let It Ride
"After the U.S. Supreme Court tossed a federal ban on sports betting last month, a Chicago-based casino operator is touting favorable odds of cashing in," Crain's reported earlier this month.

"Rush Street Gaming, the Neil Bluhm co-owned operator of the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, points to New Jersey, where it has penetrated online gambling faster than expected

"It credits a customized tech platform - the only U.S.-based gaming firm to build its own, giving it a 'huge advantage' over competitors licensing technology from vendors, it says.

"'We have a sportsbook that's ready to launch,' says Greg Carlin, CEO of Rush Street. Its interactive unit is outgrowing space at 900 N. Michigan Ave. and is looking for larger quarters in the Loop."

We, for one, would like to welcome our new sportsbook overlords.


Foxconn Job
"The Gurnee village board joined the county by raising the alarm that the proposed $10 billion Foxconn manufacturing plant in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, will significantly harm flooding in the village," the Daily Herald reports.

"The village board unanimously passed a resolution urging Wisconsin to enforce environmental regulations on the project."

Get in line.


"Wisconsin officials lured Foxconn - the world's biggest contract manufacturer of smartphones, computers and other technology products - to their state with a $3 billion incentive package last year."

Hey, you could build three Hyperloops to O'Hare with that kind of money! Or, if you're Jeff Bezos, you could just sit around for 18 days and watch it magically appear.


"One of the terms of that deal was that it waived some environmental requirements.

"Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik said she is concerned that they haven't seen any sort of stormwater management plan for the project, which is set to break ground later this month.

"Kovarik said the project will turn hundreds or thousands of acres of farmland into impermeable surface that if not properly managed could increase the amount of rain that runs down the Des Plaines River."

Y'all shouldn't have moved there knowing there could one day be a Foxconn nearby! Just like people who live near the airport (which you'll soon be able to get to very, very quickly from the Loop) and complain about the noise . . .


Forced Family Separation: How You Can Help
A starter list from the Texas Tribune.


New on the Beachwood today . . .

The Acoustic Cool Breeze Pot Head Test
Illinois' Men of a Certain Age crew blows their mind in Los Angeles's new world of legal recreational marijuana.






Lake Street Funk.


A sampling.




The Beachwood Tronc Line: Time is short.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:14 AM | Permalink

June 18, 2018

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. The Voidz at the Empty Bottle on Friday night.


2. Moonwalks at the Empty Bottle on Friday night.


3. The Sueves at the Empty Bottle on Friday night.


4. Lucille Furs at the Vic on Saturday night.


5. Snail Mail at Subterranean on Saturday night.


6. Bonny Doon at Subterranean on Saturday night.


7. Star Tropics at Bric-a-Brac for its 5th anniversary on Saturday.


8. Glyders at Bric-a-Brac on Saturday.


9. Robert Plant at Millennium Park on Sunday night.


10. Brandi Carlile at the Chicago Theatre on Friday night.


11. Brandon Niederauer at Martyrs' on Friday night.


12. Thirty Seconds To Mars on Northerly Island on Friday night.


Catching up with . . .

Mt. Joy at the Hideout on June 8th.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:34 PM | Permalink

Dress Coded: Rules And Punishment For Black Girls Abound

"In middle school, I had a dress code and they always dress coded people," a Washington, D.C, student identified as Beatrice told researchers as part of a recent study published by the National Women's Law Center. "Dress coded" is what happens when a school administrator or teacher issues someone a dress code violation. "Sometimes, they made you miss class because you didn't have the right shoes or right sweater," Beatrice said.

Dress codes, which are supposed to build community cohesion by removing signifiers of class and race, are singling out children and removing them from classrooms across the country.

Restrictions on some designs, shorts, dyed hair and other asinine rules governing what students can wear give educators permission to harass, discriminate and pull students out of class when they slip up. Paired with harsh discipline, these rules set students up to miss valuable instruction time.

In our nation's capital, 81 percent of the public schools require a uniform; 65 percent regulate the length of skirts; 58 percent forbid tank tops; 42 percent ban tights and/or leggings; and 45 percent require students to wear belts, according to the findings of the report, which was published by the National Women's Law Center.

You might notice that almost all of the restrictions listed above are aimed toward female or female-identifying students. Girls are often forced to think about what they can and can't wear, and perhaps even buy additional clothing, to abide by the rules. Gender norms are policed. Boys' masculinity is protected while girls' sexuality is targeted, putting an additional mental, emotional and financial burden on them.

The report found that school uniforms and dress code policies reduce time in the classroom through the real stories of 21 black girls who attend 12 different public schools, including charters, in Washington, D.C.

Some of the rules they describe are just plain silly. For instance, the charter school KIPP DC forbids "pants, shorts, or skirts that have patterns, lace, polka dots, stripes, holes, or words."

KIPP also prohibits "brightly colored tights, leg-warmers, knee-high socks or fishnet stockings" - you know, garments that many adult women wear to work, the gym and to class at the university.

Other rules are patently based on stereotypes. At Achievement Prep Wahler Middle School, "boys are not allowed to wear earrings to school. Gentlemen with earrings will be asked to remove their earring(s) prior to entering the building. NO EXCEPTIONS," the study reports. Yet there is no mention of girls not being allowed to wear earrings.

"For trans students and non-binary students, dress codes are just another form of restriction," the report quoted 17-year-old Sage Grace Dolan-Sandrino as saying. "They also normalize cisgender and traditional roles and views. It's traumatizing to be forced into clothes that don't match your identity."

In our nation's capital, 81 percent of the public schools require a uniform and 65 percent regulate the length of skirts.

If boys are expected to dress in traditionally masculine ways, girls are punished for not being ladylike. "We're not allowed to wear shorts, but we're allowed to wear skirts," said Phina Walker, 17, of Thurgood Marshall Academy in Washington, D.C. Are we back in the 1950s?

It's clear that many dress codes seek conformity and control as a way to "unify" (read: manage) students. And they use dress codes as a tool to punish their way to cohesion (read: compliance). Dress codes that reinforce racial, sexual and class-based stereotypes put black girls particularly at risk.

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that "a higher percentage of schools where 76 percent or more of students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch required school uniforms than did schools where lower percentages of students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch." Girls are punished for their hairstyles and head wraps. Their bodies are policed supposedly because they pose too much of a distraction for boys, "instead of teaching boys to respect girls, correct their behavior and be more responsible," according to the NWLC report. This double standard encourages sexual harassment and does nothing to ameliorate rape culture.

At their best, uniforms and dress codes help enhance students, parents and teachers' sense of school community, that feeling that we are all in this together, and are a way to obliterate very obvious class differences. In this regard, uniforms are in line with school songs, traditions and rituals that build cohesion, a sense of belonging and school spirit among the community. They help distinguish one school from another - a kind of branding.

I've always been in favor of dress code policies that mandate certain colors but are much less restrictive on kinds of clothing. Schools should have mascots and sports teams and students should represent those colors. But particularly for elementary school students, it's much more important that students are as comfortable as possible while learning. My 7-year-old hates blue jeans and khakis and loves what he calls "soft pants" (aka terry trousers) for this reason.

For many school leaders and parents, uniforms are the manifestation of what we believe private schools that instill the fear of God in students are supposed to be. Likewise, in today's schools, there's an assumption that students are inherently disobedient and they need to submit to be in the position to properly learn.

An aside: As a former charter leader I saw some of the biggest proponents of school choice also apply very restrictive dress codes and harsh, "no excuses" discipline policies. Clearly, giving students the ability to pick their own clothes isn't included in this philosophy of choice. This hypocrisy is overwhelming.

When did this need for uniformity come about? The rise of dress codes in public schools coincided with the crack cocaine epidemic and the outcry that students were preying on other students with Air Jordan basketball sneakers beginning in the mid-'80s and early '90s. Some may remember the infamous Sports Illustrated cover "Your Sneakers or Your Life."

Around this time, uniform advocates said they were more convenient for parents, saved money and reduced the potential for crime. The NWLC report dismisses many of these myths. But now we know that dress codes also coincided with a rise in no-tolerance disciplinary policies that engendered distrust in and among black students and families by portraying us as "super-predators."

But I also know that teachers and principals don't believe that the personal choices of black children are sound ones. This is why I don't endorse uniforms because they tend to create more opportunities to punish students than to teach and nurture them.

Remember, the substance of a school community is in teaching and learning. When teachers are engaging, rigorous and validating and students are excited, attentive and participating, it doesn't matter what students wear. Putting boys in bow ties and girls in knee-length skirts won't make lessons any better. Girls and boys can learn how to deal with our hypersexual culture, and look beyond it. In addition, students will only develop a sense of responsibility when they are allowed to make decisions for themselves.

Great teaching meets students where they are. Limiting what students can wear says something about teachers' confidence in their abilities to instill values like accountability, restraint and appropriateness. If we really want to improve public schooling, educators are going to have to trust their students. A dress code in an urban public school reveals more about our negative views of children than it does how they dress.

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


Previously by Andre Perry:
* Black And Brown Kids Don't Need To Learn 'Grit,' They Need Schools To Stop Being Racist.

* Why Black Lives Matter Should Take On Charter Schools.

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

* "Wraparound" Services Are Not The Answer.

* Youth Aren't Props.

* NOLA's Secret Schools.

* Poor Whites Just Realized They Need Education Equity As Much As Black Folk.

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

* America Has Never Had A Merit-Based System For College Admissions.

* Don't Ever Conflate Disaster Recovery With Education Reform.

* Black Athletes Can Teach Us About More Than Just Sports.

* Charter Schools Are Complicit With Segregation.

* When Parents Cheat To Get Their Child Into A "Good" School.

* Any Educational Reform That Ignores Segregation Is Doomed To Failure.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:52 AM | Permalink

Real Prospects

There's hype, and then there's reality. And when it sets in, you start to lose faith in all the ratings of top prospects, exit velocities, 100-mph fastballs, scouting reports, interviews of minor leaguers during major league games, and visions of five-tool players.

The flashes of brilliance kindle hope, but the day-to-day results tend to extinguish the vision of prospects turning into stars who in a couple of years will lead their teammates to greatness.

Nowhere is this more apparent than the curious case of White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada. A near-perfectly sculpted athlete who looks as though he could play point guard or defensive back in addition to middle infield, the 23-year-old is struggling mightily both at bat and in the field.

Manager Ricky Renteria even benched him (along with young shortstop Tim Anderson) last Thursday for what Renteria called a lack of "focus and concentration."

"This game humbles you," Renteria said. "If you are not ready for every pitch defensively, it can also get you, just like if you are not ready in the box or on the base . . . You have to be ready for every pitch. This is a game in which focus and concentration are really required of you."

Let's applaud Renteria for delivering a direct, potent message to his young players, but wouldn't it be lovely if Moncada's poor performance was simply a reflection of his approach to the game?

Checking the numbers, since Moncada got three hits on May 17 in a 4-2 win over Texas, he has just 20 hits in his last 118 at-bats for a .169 mark. A switch hitter, Moncada is hitting .164 from the right side. His batting average has plummeted from a season high of .270 to .221. His 97 strikeouts represent 36 percent of his plate appearances. Over the 124 games of his major league career, Moncada is a .225 hitter.

Only former Cub top prospect Gleyber Torres of the Yankees has made more errors at second base this season than Moncada's seven. But Torres is hitting .283 with 13 homers.

I'm not picking on Moncada. I try to stay away from using the description "athleticism" because it tends to be used to describe a player of color - in fact, I can't recall an instance when this tag has been applied to a white guy in any sport - but that's the image that he emits. He's an athlete, and I'm mystified that he isn't better. Like right now.

Can this be a situation where a lack of confidence is the biggest factor in a player's performance? With each strikeout and error, is Moncada's belief in himself shaken? If so, this would be natural. None of us enjoys failure, but the ability to bounce back is the key.

Was Renteria's move last Thursday another blow to his confidence or a wake-up call? What if Renteria and his boss, Rick Hahn, sat Moncada down and said, "Look, this can't be any fun for you, and we can't let you go out there day after day and play far below your ability. We want you to go to Charlotte. Relax. Have fun. Find your swing and take off the pressure. We have faith in you. Once you get back to the player we know you can be, you'll be right back here."

That's probably about what they said to pitcher Carson Fulmer, another top prospect, when they evaluated his 8.07 ERA and inability to throw strikes (24 walks in 32-plus innings) and sent him to Triple-A about a month ago. Unfortunately, Fulmer has had as much trouble throwing strikes at Charlotte as he did with the big club.

The decision to demote Fulmer wasn't difficult since there is a huge difference between a pitcher who puts his team in a big hole after an inning or two compared to a guy like Moncada who can go 0-for-4 and still have his team win a ballgame.

Consider that last year centerfielder Adam Engel played regularly the last four months of the season despite a shocking .166 batting average. However, Engel is a more-than-competent centerfielder, and the team had no reasonable replacement. With a .213 average so far this season, Engel has improved, but he's still not going to be walked intentionally any time soon.

If Moncada departed for Charlotte, Yolmer Sanchez could play second, and Matt Davidson could be the everyday third baseman. So there are options, whereas in Engel's case, he's been the best choice for more than a year.

Returning to the world of hyperbole and publicity, maybe the White Sox need a different approach. Their so-called No. 2 prospect Michael Kopech has been featured during telecasts by being interviewed by Jason Benetti and Steve Stone. Fans have become more familiar with Kopech than many of the journeyman bodies occupying the team's bullpen.

Fans know that Kopech came over from Boston in the Chris Sale deal. They know that his fastball has been clocked in triple digits. Hahn is non-committal about the timing for Kopech's major league debut, and the kid is well-rehearsed when he says, "I can't control that."

Perhaps the Sox should just leave him alone and let him pitch. Judging from his 2-5 record, 5.20 ERA, and a tick more than six walks per nine innings at Charlotte, it might be best to let Kopech concentrate on finding the strike zone rather than reaching for his cellphone and calling Benetti and Stone. Only the Cubs have walked more hitters than the White Sox this season. Hahn needs guys who throw strikes, and until Kopech can do so, he should remain exactly where he is.

What's interesting is that non-prospect players who go about their business with little fanfare, such as Daniel Palka, Charlie Tilson and Dylan Covey, have been performing better than the guys whom the team has thrust into the spotlight.

Palka, a left-handed power hitter in the minor leagues with as many as 34 home runs in a season, was picked up on waivers last November after the Twins gave up on him. When Avisail Garcia went on the DL at the end of April, Palka was promoted from Charlotte and has performed admirably with six homers and 22 RBI while being a middle-of-the-lineup fixture. A below average outfielder, Palka provides some pop as a DH against righthanders.

Tilson got his chance when the other Garcia, Leury, was shelved in late May. Once a promising Cardinals prospect - the Sox got him in a deal for relief pitcher Zach Duke at the trade deadline in 2016 - Tilson has worked through injuries and shown that he can patrol left field better than anyone else on the roster, while slashing .269/.306/.619. Those are not astounding numbers, although the kid rarely strikes out so he's moving runners along and making the defense work rather than swinging and missing. Refreshing to say the least.

And then Covey, after being absolutely horrible in his Sox debut last season, has arguably been the team's most effective starting pitcher since he entered the rotation last month. The 26-year-old is 3-1 with a 2.29 ERA. His fellow hurlers should watch carefully because Covey also doesn't walk people, averaging just 2.8 free passes per nine innings.

All three of these guys make the major league minimum salary. None has been featured on the team's top prospect list, nor were they adored at SoxFest. The interviews they've given have occurred once they joined the White Sox. They're simply survivors; ballplayers whose dream is to play in the big leagues and who have worked hard to get there.

One thing is certain. There will be roster moves this week as both Garcias have been on rehab assignments at Charlotte and appear ready to rejoin the major league club. Chances are Trayce Thompson and Jose Rondon will either be released or sent to Triple-A, although maybe Moncada will be part of the conversation.

After being swept last weekend by the Tigers, a team the Sox have beaten just once in nine tries, Covey will get the nod this evening at Cleveland where the fellows open a three-game set. Then it's back home for four matches with Oakland.

And you can hype that.


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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:39 AM | Permalink


Well, sir, there's nothing on Earth
Like a genuine, bona fide
Teslafied, airport Elonorail
What'd I say?

What's it called?
That's right! Elonorail


I hear those things cost an awful lot
We'll use money from taxing pot
Is there a chance the tunnel could collapse?
Not on your life, you buncha saps

What about the right-of-ways?
The city council will have zero nays
Were you sent here by the Devil?
No, good sir, by Rahm Emanuel

The lid came off my garbage can
Tell it to the committeeman
I swear it's Chicago's only choice
Don't go beefin', making noise

What's it called?
Once again

But Western Avenue's all cracked and broken
Sorry, mom, the mob has spoken


Elono, d'oh!


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:36 AM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

"Fishing piers and floating gardens welcome anglers to the Chicago Riverwalk, but a few blocks upstream is a little-known threat to fish and other aquatic life in the city's steadily improving waterway: Trump International Hotel & Tower," the Tribune's estimable Michael Hawthorne writes today.

State records obtained by the Tribune show the president's glass-and-steel skyscraper is one of the largest users of Chicago River water for its cooling systems, siphoning nearly 20 million gallons a day through intakes so powerful the machines could fill an Olympic swimming pool in less than an hour, then pumping the water back into the river up to 35 degrees hotter.

Like other large users that draw water directly from rivers or lakes, Trump Tower is required to follow federal and state regulations detailing how facilities should limit the number of fish pinned against intake screens or killed by sudden changes in pressure and temperature.

Yet of the nearly dozen high-rises that rely on the Chicago River for cooling water, the decade-old skyscraper developed by Donald Trump is the only one that has failed to document it took those measures, state records show. Trump's Chicago managers also haven't conducted a study of fish killed by the luxury hotel and condominium complex - another step required five years ago by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in a permit for the building's water intakes.

To be clear, this is not only negligence by Trump Tower, but by the regulatory authorities who are supposed to ensure compliance with the laws. (Not fake laws, but real ones!)

"I can't keep a library book checked out for more than two weeks without getting a fine," said Albert Ettinger, an environmental lawyer challenging the permit on behalf of the Illinois chapter of the Sierra Club and Friends of the Chicago River. "Why should Trump Tower get special treatment?"

Citing the state's lack of enforcement, Ettinger and Mark Templeton, director of the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Chicago, notified Trump Tower's managers on Friday that the nonprofit groups are preparing a federal lawsuit accusing them of repeatedly violating the 1972 Clean Water Act.

All links by the Tribune, by the way; thank you!


"Trump Tower representatives did not return telephone calls."

Perhaps they were too busy separating kids from their parents in the lobby, putting them in cages in the boiler room and blaming the Chicago Democrats forcing them to do so.


"Trump Tower's developers initially failed to get a permit for a new cooling-water intake on the former site of the drab, low-slung Chicago Sun-Times Building. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office filed a complaint in 2012, three years after Trump opened his glistening Chicago high-rise at 401 N. Wabash Ave., and a year later the corporation in charge of the hotel and condo tower agreed to follow the law and pay a $46,000 fine.

"In settlement documents, the state said the fine would 'serve to deter further violations and aid in future voluntary compliance.'

"All of the other users of river water have filed documents with the state outlining how their cooling systems limit fish kills. Most draw substantially less water than Trump Tower and slow the velocity of their intakes to increase the chances fish can swim away safely, records show."

When have settlements ever deterred future violations and aided in future voluntary compliance? When?



"As a presidential candidate, Trump repeatedly condemned environmental regulations and vowed to abolish the federal EPA. The anti-regulation agenda he has pushed since taking office is carried out in part by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma attorney general scaled back enforcement of environmental laws and sued the federal agency 13 times to block or delay clean air and water rules.

"Last year the American Public Power Association urged the Trump administration to add the cooling intake regulations to its list of environmental rules to overhaul or abolish.

"For now, at least, the rules are still in effect."


Husker DuSable
"The DuSable Museum of African American History, which has the largest collection of African-American historical artifacts in the country, is facing a crisis of underfunding and management at a time when it should be getting ready for the arrival of the Obama Presidential Center, an entity that will bring international attention and visitors to the South Side," Crain's reported earlier this month.

I'm just catching up to this weird-ass story. Something's going on at DuSable, but we know not what it is.

"In recent weeks the museum has lost a third of its board, including high-profile names such as Chance The Rapper, artist Theaster Gates and physician/investor Eric Whitaker. Chance tweeted about not having time to serve on the board; the others have not publicly addressed their reasons for leaving. Nor has [CEO Perri] Irmer released a public statement about the departed trustees, some of whom she personally recruited. DuSable's major funders, McCormick Foundation and MacArthur Foundation, decline to comment on the museum's future. In the absence of information, rumors swirl about board members and management."

Paging Perri Irmer: This is not our idea of being fierce.


"Why does this matter? DuSable is not a private company. It is a public charity that exists on public land and receives $1.4 million in tax money annually, given its status as one of the city's Museums in the Parks. 'First thing, we need some transparency,' says Eric Weinheimer, CEO at Forefront, a Chicago nonprofit that represents the entire philanthropic community. 'With these stories coming out, I think people are left to wonder what's really going on there.'"

And how.

"Chance, whose full name is Chancelor Bennett, along with his politically connected father Ken Bennett and Obama family friend Dr. Eric Whitaker, all have submitted their resignations, said 6th Ward Ald. Roderick Sawyer, chairman of the City Council's Black Caucus," the Tribune reported last month.

"Also resigning are board Chairman Joyce Johnson-Miller and Trustees Wilbur Milhouse III, Kimberly McCullough-Starks and Michael Gibson, Sawyer said, adding that several of those resigning called him to let him know. The alderman, however, said he could not discuss the reasons for their departures, which were first reported by Crain's Chicago Business."

Whatever the big mystery is, it's gonna come out. And when it does, it'll be 10 times worse for having become a big secret instead of just leveling with everybody from the outset.


They Get The Cloaks, We Get The Dagger
"Amazon toured five potential Chicago sites as part of the company's search for a second North American headquarters and 'really liked' two of them, Mayor Rahm Emanuel disclosed Monday," the Sun-Times reports.

"The mayor did not name the two sites for fear of alienating Amazon, which is evaluating 20 finalists for the 50,000-job motherlode of an economic development prize known as HQ2, for which the city and state have offered a $2.25 billion incentive package."

A motherlode of bullshit. Which, by the way, you can ward off with this product found on Amazon.


"[S]ources said the two finalists are likely to come from the following three: a Chicago River district where Tribune Media wants to build 15 office and residential towers; 'The 78,' a 62-acre site at Roosevelt and Clark once owned by convicted felon Tony Rezko, where Rauner dreams of building an innovation center led by the University of Illinois; and the Lincoln Yards site, which includes the old Finkl Steel plant among 100 acres along the River.

"The other two sites toured by the Amazon site selection team in March under cloak-and-dagger secrecy were Fulton Market and the Burnham Lakefront, an area that includes the old Michael Reese Hospital site."

To keep their visits undercover, Amazon's folks were going to pose as EPA regulators, but that wouldn't have been believable. EPA regulators never come around. Instead, they pretended they were from Google.


OTD In . . .



New on the Beachwood today . . .

Is there a chance the tunnel could collapse?
Not on your life, you buncha saps



Dress Coded: Rules And Punishment For Black Girls Abound
"Some of the rules they describe are just plain silly. For instance, the charter school KIPP DC forbids 'pants, shorts, or skirts that have patterns, lace, polka dots, stripes, holes, or words.'"


The White Sox Report: Not Who We Thought They Were
"What's interesting is that non-prospect players who go about their business with little fanfare," our very own Roger Wallenstein writes, "have been performing better than the guys whom the team has thrust into the spotlight."



City of Chicago Pipe Band taking 4th in Grade 3 MSR at the 2018 Chicago Highland Games.



#flicksonflash #classiccruisers Fiestas Puertorriquenas en Chicago

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



Over 160,000 Eligible Illinois Low-Income Students Denied Grants Designed For Illinois Low-Income Students Last Year.


A sampling.







The Beachwood Tronc Line: Brew 'n' view.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:17 AM | Permalink

June 16, 2018

The Weekend Desk Report

"Kirstin Roberts was on Craigslist recently when she saw a posting that caught her eye: 'Leftover furniture from the 49 public schools closed in 2013,'" Linda Lutton reports for WBEZ.

Go read/listen.


Reminder: "Chicagoans have never gotten a clear accounting of where everything from the closed schools went."


From that link, a 2016 BGA article by Sarah Karp:

"For more than six months, the Better Government Association pressed Chicago Public Schools to detail the location of the materials, presumably worth many millions of dollars.

"Only recently did CPS acknowledge that it simply doesn't know where much of the classroom equipment is - blaming the school system's disgraced former CEO, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, for poor record keeping."


Also from Karp's story:

"The school closings were supposed to save $43 million annually in operating expenses, and hundreds of millions of dollars more in future capital costs. But CPS has never fully itemized that projected savings, so the totals are questionable, especially with the lack of accounting of equipment that had been in those 50 schools.

"Former ComEd CEO and Chairman Frank Clark chaired a mayoral commission that in 2013 concluded CPS had the capacity to close as many as 80 schools. In 2015, Emanuel appointed Clark president of the Chicago Board of Education, and more school closings could be on the horizon as early as next year.

"Clark did not respond to repeated requests for comment."


Related 2015 article from that BGA page: Emanuel's $1 Billion Savings Claim For CPS Is Suspect.

"The BGA asked many months ago for a breakdown of the cuts used to justify the $1 billion figure, but CPS refused to provide records or answer many questions.

"However, the BGA ended up obtaining a CPS summary report of the cuts from another source, and between those records and other research, CPS made incorrect or questionable claims. For instance, the district claimed $42 million in savings from special education cuts, $17 million in savings by firing janitors and privatizing cleaning with Aramark, and $13 million in savings by 'reducing Chicago Police Department expense.'"

Since then the state has taken over administering the district's special education services "after a WBEZ investigation found the state systematically delayed and denied services to needy students."

And the janitorial privatization has turned out to be an abject failure.

As was the mayor's mass school closings in the first place.

And those police savings? A shell game.


By the way, this happened last night:


And, of course, there's the sexual abuse scandal that towers over everything:

A Tribune analysis indicates that hundreds of students were harmed.

Drawing on police data, public and confidential records, and interviews with teens and young adults who spoke out, a Tribune investigation broke through the silence and secrecy surrounding these cases and found that:

When students summoned the courage to disclose abuse, teachers and principals failed to alert child welfare investigators or police despite the state's mandated reporter law.

Even in cases where school employees acted swiftly, they subjected young victims to repeated interrogations, inflicting more psychological pain and defying basic principles intended to preserve the integrity of an investigation.

Ineffective background checks exposed students to educators with criminal convictions and arrests for sex crimes against children. And CPS failed to disclose to other districts that past employees had resigned after investigators found credible evidence of abuse and harassment.

Whether the sexual attacks were brutal rapes, frightening verbal come-ons or "creepy," groping touches, the students often felt betrayed by school officials and wounded for years.

There are good things going on at plenty of Chicago schools, those well-resourced and those desperately piecing it together bound by the passion of teachers and the will of the students.

But overall, CPS is a massive system fail. Overall, CPS has harmed too many children - while enriching too many adults. (And by that, I don't mean union teachers; I mean, mostly, contractors and administrators.)

In a city different than this one, a mayor, given control of the school system expressly to provide accountability, could not survive such a record. In a city different than this one:


FYI regarding that tweet:

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel has quietly agreed to build a new school and a school addition to ease severe overcrowding on the Southwest Side but the good-news announcement was cloaked in secrecy," the Sun-Times reported in May 2016.

The decision to build a 16-classroom annex at Byrne Elementary, 5329 S. Oak Park, and a new school at 65th and Nottingham to replace Dore Elementary, 6108 S. Natoma, was unveiled at invitation-only meetings at the respective schools last Saturday.

Ald. Mike Zalewski (23rd), whose ward includes the two overcrowded schools, was among the VIPs in attendance.

Zalewski said the mayor gave no details about the cost of the school and school addition or the where the money would come from at a time when the nearly bankrupt Chicago Public School system is bracing for devastating classroom cuts . . .

Zalewski said the news that Southwest Side residents will welcome was made at a "very quiet announcement" at the two schools.

"There was NO press there . . . No concrete information. No $ amounts given," he wrote.

The mayor's office had no immediate comment on the expansion plans or source of funding.

Byrne was overcrowded, by all accounts, and needed relief. But so do a lot of schools. The process by which Byrne won a golden ticket is known only to the mayor. Which brings us back to Sarah Karp, now at WBEZ, who reported this on Monday:

Hundreds of Chicago public schools collectively need more than $3 billion in repairs - including leaky roofs, unreliable boilers, and decaying windows that are made worse year after year as critical needs are deferred.

And yet, school staff, parents, and students have no way of knowing when - or if - their buildings will ever get attention from the cash-starved school district.

At the same time, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who oversees the school district, is actually spending money on facilities. But relatively little of it goes to building upkeep and repair. About 60 percent of the $3.4 billion budgeted for Chicago Public Schools facilities since his election in 2011 has gone for new building, for additions, to improve technology, or to renovate schools to bring in new programs, according to CPS data.

Most of the $3.4 billion comes from issuing bond - debt that CPS will be using taxpayer money to pay off for decades.

Advocates have long pushed for more transparency in how these decisions are made. They say it is frustrating when Emanuel announces a new project out of the blue when so many basic repair needs go unmet, especially when it crops up during re-election season.

The mayor didn't want attention drawn to Byrne in 2016, but for some reason wants it now!

And that, my friends, is the problem.


I favored bringing CPS under the auspices of the mayor's office. But it's clear that such a structure needs to be paired in some way with an elected school board. Otherwise, the system is at the whim of a single person, unfettered. (We should also be able to count on the city council to provide robust oversight, but that seems so far beyond reality it hasn't really crossed anyone's imagination.)

Sadly, in the psycho-ecosystem of Chicago politics, the same person who controls CPS is the same (and only) person who would have to decide to give up such power. Parents, if referendums are any measure, overwhelmingly want an elected school board. Both houses of the General Assembly overwhelmingly passed an elected school board bill. And yet, remarkably, that bill has not been sent to the governor for signing. Because one person - the one currently in charge of CPS and its board - doesn't want to cede control. If he did, things could get messy. He wouldn't always get his way. He wouldn't always get to manipulate the doings at CPS for his own political benefit. Fewer photo ops, more democracy.

Then again, we can hardly get elected aldermen around here.




New on the Beachwood . . .

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Meg Myers, JoJo, Francis and the Lights, Chance The Rapper, Exegesis, Panic Priest, Trashcan Sinatras, Chon, Eric Nam, Ralph Foreign, The Monkees, Lewis Capaldi, GBH, Steve Miller Band, ZZ Top, John Fogerty, Anity Baker, Emily Tate, Geoff Tate, Bishop Briggs, Diana Ross, Cheap Trick, and Poison.



The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #205: Did The Cubs Keep The Right Guys?
Not sayin', just sayin'! Plus: International House of Soccer; The White Sox Are Still Playing - And Not Totally Badly; And With The 7th Pick, The Bulls Select . . . ; and Schweinsteiger!



Weekend ChicagoGram


Weekend ChicagoTube

Mission Impossible Challenge, SafeHouse Chicago.

I don't feel so well. I'm also kind of disgusted.


Weekend BeachBook

Sarah Huckabee Sanders On Family Separation At The Border.


Weekend TweetWood
A sampling.



Note: The IG report basically concluded that James Comey screwed Hillary Clinton.



Includes $5,000 from a person in Los Angeles named Sean Penn. Assignment Desk, activate!


The Weekend Desk Tronc Line: Do you remember?

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:07 AM | Permalink

June 15, 2018

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Meg Myers at Subterranean on Tuesday night.


2. JoJo at Lincoln Hall on Sunday night.


3. Francis and the Lights at the Metro on Thursday night.


4. Chance The Rapper at the Metro on Thursday night.


5. Exegesis at Reggies on Sunday night.


6. Panic Priest at the Empty Bottle on Monday night.


7. Trashcan Sinatras at SPACE in Evanston on Sunday night.


8. Chon at House of Blues on Thursday night.


9. Eric Nam at Thalia Hall on Thursday night.


10. Ralph Foreign at Refuge on Wednesday night.


11. The Monkees at Copernicus on Thursday night.


12. Lewis Capaldi at Park West on Tuesday night.


13. GBH at Cobra Lounge on Sunday night.


14. Steve Miller Band at Northerly Island on Thursday night.


15. ZZ Top at Ravinia on Tuesday night.


16. John Fogerty at Ravinia on Tuesday night.


17. Anita Baker at Ravinia on Sunday night.


18. Emily Tate at House of Blues on Sunday night.


19. Geoff Tate at House of Blues on Sunday night.

Catching up with . . .

Bishop Briggs at the Metro on June 2nd.


Diana Ross at Ravinia on June 2nd.


Cheap Trick in Tinley Park on June 9th.


Poison in Tinley Park on June 9th.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:41 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #205: Did The Cubs Keep The Right Guys?

Not sayin', just sayin'! Plus: International House of Soccer; The White Sox Are Still Playing - And Not Totally Badly; And With The 7th Pick, The Bulls Select . . . ; and Schweinsteiger!



* 205.

* Fowler Hopes To Get Hot Like Heyward.

1:14: International House Of Soccer.

* How Russia Beat Saudi Arabia In The Opener.

* World Cup Heartbreak For Egypt As Salah Sits And Team Falls.

* Senegal's team: The Lions of Teranga.

* World Cup Politics: Fixed Matches, Fascism & FIFA.

* The 2026 World Cup Is Coming To The U.S., But Not To Chicago.

* Business Insider: No One Wants To Host The Olympics Anymore.

* Field of Schemes.

* The Ringer: Own Goal: The Inside Story Of How The USMNT Missed The 2018 World Cup.

40:04: Schweinsteiger!

* A draw.

40:40: The Cubs Are Weird.

* Kyle Schwarber: goat.

* New band name: Stat Distortion.

* Did they keep the right guys?

* Another grind.

* Tribune: Cubs Move Pitchers Between Mound And Outfield.

* Joey Mads!

* Tribune: After Four Starts, Mike Montgomery Proves He Belongs In Cubs Rotation.

58:08: The White Sox Are Still Playing - And Not Totally Badly.

* Tribune: Carlos Rodon Goes 5 Innings And Gives Up 2 Runs In White Sox's 5-2 Loss To Indians.

* Tribune: No Longer 'Scared' To Attack The Plate, White Sox's Dylan Covey Showing He Belongs.

59:53: And With The 7th Pick, The Bulls Select . . .




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


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:04 PM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

"Hundreds of Chicago public schools collectively need more than $3 billion in repairs - including leaky roofs, unreliable boilers, and decaying windows that are made worse year after year as critical needs are deferred," Sarah Karp reports for WBEZ.

That's three times as much as Elon Musk says he needs to spend to build the O'Hare HyperLoop (which is what I'm going to call it, though I considered Hype o' Loop). Which means it's about equal given Chicago's penchant for change orders, delays, kickbacks and fuck-ups that basically triple the cost of any project around here.


I'd rather see those schools fixed than indulge a fantasy of getting folks from downtown to O'Hare in 12 minutes. I'd rather see those schools fixed even if Musk's plan turns out not to be a fantasy. But where's the fun - and campaign content - in that? Where's the ego gratification of a mayor whose signature projects (the largest mass school closings in U.S. history; the Infrastructure Trust; and, um, well, that's it) have been busts.

It's not as if the travel time to O'Hare on the Blue Line is one of the city's most pressing problems. Or even one of the city's 100 most pressing problems.

And yes, I understand the Musk project will purportedly be financed without tax dollars (LOL). It's not a perfect equation. But it does show where the mayor's head is at.

But I digress.


"And yet, school staff, parents, and students have no way of knowing when -- or if -- their buildings will ever get attention from the cash-starved school district.

"At the same time, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who oversees the school district, is actually spending money on facilities. But relatively little of it goes to building upkeep and repair. About 60 percent of the $3.4 billion budgeted for Chicago Public Schools facilities since his election in 2011 has gone for new building, for additions, to improve technology, or to renovate schools to bring in new programs, according to CPS data.

"Most of the $3.4 billion comes from issuing bond - debt that CPS will be using taxpayer money to pay off for decades."

Sure. But that debt will be cutting edge!


"Just last month, Emanuel announced plans to spend $75 million for new and renovated high school science labs.

"We are going to the Tesla era from the Sputnik era," Emanuel said as he announced the investment, which was not included in the $189 million capital repair budget the school district had released just two weeks earlier. Emanuel and school district officials say they plan to borrow more money in coming months.

He said having state-of-the art labs will help students envision careers in the sciences.

CPS CEO Janice Jackson stood by the mayor during the announcement. She said providing new labs across the district is an issue of equity.

But balancing the mayor's dictates with the critical needs in existing buildings is becoming increasingly difficult for school district officials. At the May Chicago Board of Education meeting, a group of students from Washington High School on the Southeast Side confronted board members about the sorry state of their school.

"The roof has been leaking for years, and at this point, is falling apart," Kimberly Esquivel told board members. The school's temperature control system is so out of whack, she said, that on the day juniors took the SAT college entrance exam some were sweating, while others were shivering.

Real governing is the mastery of the mundane. That's where people live - repaired roofs and clean classrooms and the details of daily life. Grand gestures is where politicians live - alongside the moneyed class where schools are already pristine and there's no time to waste getting to the airport for a European vacation or a business trip where every minute lost is one less minute of opportunity to rip off workers, taxpayers and/or consumers.


"Rothschild and others also point out that Emanuel will announce projects, like the science lab renovations or recent news of plans to accommodate universal full-day preschool, that are not mentioned as a priority in the master plan.

"The plan doesn't even lay out how CPS is going to address overcrowding. Looking at the top 10 most overcrowded schools in 2013, two have gotten new modulars, and one has gotten an annex. The rest have gotten nothing.

"Meanwhile, several schools lower down on the overcrowding list have gotten additions."

Sure, but Rahm's priorities are not the same as everyone else's. He's got his own list.


Well, It Is 'Concealed' Carry
"The state police know nothing about the nearly 40 shootings by people with concealed carry licenses since Illinois became the last state to allow them four years ago," the Tribune reports.

"A Tribune review found that most of the shootings have been in public places in the Chicago area, and half the cases have involved concealed carry holders firing to defend themselves or someone else from robbers. At least 11 people have been killed, including a man with a license who tried to fend off carjackers on the West Side.

"The state police have not collected any information that might improve the training of license holders and possibly better protect them and the public - a reform suggested by police and gun instructors interviewed by the Tribune."


FYI: "In Illinois, more than 265,000 people have licenses, about 2 percent of the adult population."


Depo Men
"Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson recently said under oath that he was unaware of any 'code of silence' in his department that shields officers from the consequences of misconduct," the Tribune reports.



The real news, though, was buried at the end of the article.

"Lawyers also asked Emanuel about the suit the city's lawyers filed late last year that sought to shift blame and some financial liability for Jones' death from the city onto LeGrier's estate. After the Tribune reported on the suit a few hours after it was filed, the city quickly dropped it. Emanuel apologized, saying he did not know of the litigation beforehand but found it 'callous.'

During the deposition, Emanuel did not directly answer questions as to whether he ordered lawyers to drop the suit and said the questions would be better put to Siskel.

Asked why he felt it was insensitive for the city to sue LeGrier's estate, Emanuel said, "Look, I'm not a - I'm not a lawyer, as I think we've well established by now, and I don't understand the litigation process."

So under oath, Emanuel refused to repeat what he told reporters at the time - that he wasn't aware of the (astonishing) lawsuit the city filed against LeGrier's family in the death of their son.

That's your lead.


Also, Rahm claims that - after seven years as mayor - he doesn't understand the litigation process.

I'll tell you what, he understands it well enough to know how to give a bullshit deposition.


New on the Beachwood today . . .

Recall! Winter Sausage Poultry & Meat
The Official Sausage of the Detroit Tigers! Distributed in Illinois.


The Week In Chicago Rock
Is in pre-production.


The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour
Is in pre-production.



#screenprinting #AnySquared #LoganSquare #chicago

A post shared by Tim Inklebarger (@timinklebarger) on



"Ethiopian Airlines has become the first African carrier serving Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. The airline began nonstop service between O'Hare International Airport and Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport on June 11, 2018."


A sampling.








The Beachwood Tronc Line: Visualize whirled pee.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:54 AM | Permalink

RECALL! Winter Sausage Poultry And Meat

WASHINGTON - Winter Sausage Manufacturing Co., an Eastpointe, Michigan establishment, is recalling approximately 28,346 pounds of poultry, pork and beef products due to misbranding, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The poultry products were slaughtered under religious exemption, which is not declared on the product label.

The poultry, pork and beef items were produced on various dates from March 9, 2018 through June 4, 2018.

The following products that are subject to recall can be found here.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number "P-10158" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

These items were shipped to retail locations and distributors in Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

The problem was discovered on June 12, 2018 by FSIS during routine labeling verification.

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

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

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify that recalling firms are notifying their customers of the recall and that actions are being taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

Consumers and members of the media with questions about the recall can contact Ron Eckert, vice president of Winter Sausage Manufacturing Company, at (586) 777-9080, ext. 224.


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

The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at:

NOTE: Access news releases and other information at FSIS' website at

Follow FSIS on Twitter at or in Spanish at:


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:45 AM | Permalink

June 14, 2018

World Cup Politics: Fixed Matches, Fascism & FIFA

There is an old tradition in England that sport and politics do not mix. This carried over into FIFA when it was established in 1904, sought to take control of the Olympic soccer competition and then organized its own professional World Cup.

Yet, as Bill Murray, my co-author on The History of Soccer in Australia: A Tale of Two Halves, has pointed out, it was the British home nations (England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales) who brought politics into soccer when they refused to play Germany, Austria and Hungary in the aftermath of the first world war. They expected everyone in FIFA to follow suit, and when this didn't happen, they temporarily withdrew from the organization.

Since then, politics have regularly intruded into the soccer world, including recently with the controversial selections of Russia and Qatar to host the next two World Cups. As one of the most politically charged World Cups gets set to kick off in Moscow today, we look back at five other moments in history when politics did mix with soccer internationally.

1. Benito Mussolini Predicts Victory On Home Soil

In the 1930s, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini discovered that the game had a greater pull on his subjects than his fascist ideology.

After Uruguay hosted and won the first World Cup in 1930, Mussolini was determined that Italy would do the same four years later. He did everything in his power to make this happen, too. Argentina was denuded of star players who were "persuaded" to play for Italy, while Italy's own players were threatened with immediate conscription into the army if they failed to win.

Il Duce may or may not have entertained match officials on occasion, but the tournament had some very strange refereeing decisions that reinforced Italy's "home ground advantage." The 1934 tournament was so contentious, in fact, the UEFA website's story of the event is entitled "1934: Mussolini Pulls The Levers. Mussolini got his victory, albeit a tainted one.

ItalyWorldCup.jpgItaly's 1934 World Cup-winning team/Wikimedia Commons

Italy repeated its victory in 1938 in France with a much stronger team. But even here, political pressure was not absent. According to one popular story, the Italian players received a message before the final against Hungary: "Win or die."

2. Hungary Fails To Show, Soviets Claim Gold

At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s and '60s, the Soviet Union was determined to make its mark through the game as well.

Winning a World Cup against full-time professionals was beyond their capacity at the time, so the Soviets set their sights a bit lower: the nominally amateur Olympic Games. They came up short at the Helsinki Games in 1952, however, when Yugoslavia knocked them out and Hungary's "Golden Team" won the tournament.

HungaryWorldCup.jpgHungary's 'Golden Team' didn't have a chance for gold in 1956/Wikimedia Commons

The Soviets were determined not to fail again. At the next Olympics in Melbourne in 1956, the Hungarians were conspicuously absent. There is strong circumstantial evidence that the Soviet Union pressured the dominant Hungarian team to stay home, clearing the way for it to win gold. The Soviets did just that, getting revenge on Yugoslavia in the final.

3. A Stadium Filled With Political Prisoners

In the lead-up to the World Cup in West Germany in 1974, a playoff was held between the Soviet Union and Chile for the last qualifying spot.

Just before the first leg of the playoff, the leftist government of Salvador Allende was overthrown in Chile in a bloody coup by a junta led by Augusto Pinochet. The first match went ahead in Moscow and resulted in a scoreless draw, giving Chile a small advantage. If the Chileans could win the second leg at home, they would go to West Germany.

The second match was never played. Following the coup, thousands of Allende supporters were rounded up and taken to Estadio Nacional in Santiago, where they were imprisoned and tortured. According to official estimates, 41 people were killed.

FIFA is said to have inspected the stadium and deemed it fit to stage the match, despite the fact many of the prisoners were still being held there. However, the Soviets refused to play out of respect for the dead. The Chilean team took to the field and walked the ball into the net for the victory and one of the most shameful qualifications in World Cup history.

4. Peru Throws A Match In A Deal With Argentina

In 1978, the World Cup returned to Argentina, where another rapacious military junta was in control.

There were many bizarre elements to the World Cup that year. First, the Netherlands tried to organize a boycott in protest of the Argentine junta, to no avail. The world's greatest player at the time, the Dutchman Johan Cruyff, did refuse to go, though it wasn't clear at the time if this had to do with the junta or the Dutch coach. (Cruyff later claimed a kidnapping attempt in Spain influenced his decision.)

The most controversial moment on the pitch also had a political element to it. In a critical match, the hosts routed Peru by an inexplicable 6-0 to leapfrog mighty Brazil and clinch their spot in the final. The final group matches were supposed to have been played at exactly the same time, but Argentina had managed to delay its match so the team knew exactly what it had to do to progress.

It later emerged there was a deal between the juntas in the two countries to fix the match. In 2012, former Peruvian Senator Genaro Ledesma said that Argentine dictator Jorge Videla had agreed to accept 13 Peruvian political prisoners in return for ensuring the hosts progressed to the final at the expense of Brazil.

Argentina ended up beating the Netherlands in the final to become the fifth host to win the World Cup at home.

5. Charlie Dempsey Skips Out On The Vote

While political interference affected the results of matches and tournaments in FIFA's early days, the greatest political scandals in recent times have occurred over the bidding to host the World Cup.

One of the biggest scandals was in 2000, the year FIFA's executive committee met to decide the host for the 2006 tournament. FIFA President Sepp Blatter believed at the time that if post-apartheid South Africa were to win, he or FIFA would be in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize. (He was still trying to win the prize right up to his dismissal from the organization.)

The executive committee was expected to be deadlocked at 12-all when it voted in Zurich, with Blatter then casting the deciding vote in favor of South Africa. But Charles Dempsey, the president of the New Zealand Federation, mysteriously disappeared before the vote took place, giving Germany a shock 12-11 victory.

In his book, The Dirty Game: Uncovering the Scandal at FIFA, the investigative journalist Andrew Jennings revealed Dempsey had been paid $250,000 to change his vote. Dempsey later claimed that he had been under intolerable pressure from both German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and South African President Nelson Mandela and had been a "nervous wreck."

His non-vote ended up sending the World Cup to Germany, but Blatter got his prized South Africa World Cup four years later. Just not the Nobel Prize.

So, politics has always been part of the World Cup - sometimes overtly, more often covertly - and yet FIFA still insists that there shall be no political interference in the game under its auspices. Those who misinterpret this notion can find their country suspended from competition, but the FIFA ship will sail on.

Until, that is, it runs into the United States tax authorities, just like Al Capone.

Roy Hay is an Honorary Fellow at Deakin University. This post was originally published on The Conversation.


Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:25 AM | Permalink

Report: 44% Of Cannabis Consumers In Legal Recreational States Identify As Medical Users Seeking Pain Relief, Anti-Anxiety & Sleep Aids

Editor's Note: Esteemed Beachwood college football correspondent and consumer and market research analyst Mike Luce is embarking on a new business venture, High Yield Insights. Mike is really smart, y'all. And he writes college football like a dream. Now he's the King of Pot Intel. Hit him up for all your market research needs.

Chicago - Even in states where recreational use has been legalized, nearly half (44 percent) of cannabis consumers self-identify as using cannabis for medical purposes, including for pain relief (69 percent) and sleep assistance (65 percent), and to manage anxiety (54 percent), according to a new report from consumer behavior experts High Yield Insights.

In a first-of-its kind survey of medical cannabis user behaviors and product preferences, High Yield Insights' report found medical users are twice as likely to check CBD levels when they purchase cannabis, with 47 percent verifying CBD concentrations versus 25 percent of recreational users.

The Medical Cannabis User report also found that medical users express demand for convenient or discrete cannabis product forms, such as edibles, topicals, oils and tinctures. Notably, medical users are twice as likely as recreational consumers to use topicals (22 percent vs 11 percent) and over three times as likely to use tinctures (17 percent vs 5 percent).


"The industry generally understands that the adult use consumer differs significantly from the medical user. We saw an opportunity to quantify this customer segment's behaviors and preferences in a way to yield deeper understanding and reveal untapped market opportunities," said Mike Luce, co-founder of High Yield Insights and a 15-year veteran in consumer and market research.

"Flower will always play a significant role, but medical users are seeking solutions that feel familiar and accessible. With edibles, we're seeing a demand for low- dose, fast-onset options that meet users' needs for discretion and convenience. CBD-focused companies also have an opportunity for growth if aligned with medical cannabis users' interest in what today are niche product forms."

High Yield Insights' report is the first to shed light on micro-level medical industry demographics, product and form preferences. The report provides proprietary intelligence based on exclusive feedback from current medical marijuana users in fully legal states.

By limiting results only to current users, the findings best represent the mindset of today's medical cannabis consumer.

In addition to preferences on products, strains and forms, High Yield Insights uncovered valuable data on consumers' perspectives on the social impact of legalization and associated changes in usage and behavior.

This report is the second installment of U.S. cannabis consumer analysis from High Yield Insights, following on the heels of its widely received Recreational Cannabis Consumer report.

Later this summer, the firm will issue the first true deep dives into key cannabis categories with reports on Edibles, Smoking & Vaping, and Topicals.

About High Yield Insights
High Yield Insights is a Chicago-based market research firm fostering constructive discussions in the cannabis market that produce well-grounded strategic decisions. From consumer behavior and product design to market viability, High Yield Insights provides customers with actionable intelligence and strategic recommendations. Founded by leading executives with 30+ years of combined experience working with consumer brands, pharmaceuticals, retail, and financial services, the firm is the first of its kind to focus on micro-level consumer behaviors and preferences.


See also:

* Lessons In Marijuana Legalization For Illinois (Part One of Two).

* Marijuana Business Daily: Report: Rec Marijuana Consumers Use Less Alcohol, Pain Medications, Sleep Aids.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:39 AM | Permalink

Report Reveals Rampant Wage Theft Among Top U.S. Corporations

A "jaw-dropping" wage theft report out this week reveals that many top U.S. corporations - from Walmart to Bank of America to AT&T - "have fattened their profits by forcing employees to work off the clock or depriving them of required overtime pay," based on a review of labor lawsuits and enforcement actions.

Grand Theft Paycheck: The Large Corporations Shortchanging Their Workers' Wages, produced by Good Jobs First and the Jobs With Justice Education Fund, found that hundreds of firms have collectively paid billions of dollars in wage theft penalties since 2000.

The report identifies several wage theft practices such as off-the-clock work, job title misclassifications that unfairly exempt workers from overtime pay, and uncompensated clothing purchase requirements, as well as overtime, minimum wage, meal break, and tip violations.

wagetheftjawdropping.jpgWalmart employees picket outside of a Walmart store in Los Angeles in 2013/Aurelio Barrera, Flickr, cc

Researchers uncovered more than 1,200 successful collective actions challenging large companies' bad behavior. Those cases cost top corporations a total of $8.8 billion. A review of actions by the U.S. Department of Labor and eight state regulatory agencies uncovered another 4,220 cases against major corporations, which produced $9.2 billion in penalties.

"Our findings make it clear that wage theft goes far beyond sweatshops, fast-food outlets, and retailers. It is built into the business model of a substantial portion of Corporate America," said Good Jobs First research director Philip Mattera, the report's lead author.

The employers who paid the most penalties for wage theft violations ranged from retailers and banks to insurance and telecommunications companies, the report highlights:

Among the dozen most penalized corporations, Walmart, with $1.4 billion in total settlements and fines, is the only retailer. Second is FedEx with $502 million. Half of the top dozen are banks and insurance companies, including Bank of America ($381 million); Wells Fargo ($205 million); JPMorgan Chase ($160 million); and State Farm Insurance ($140 million). The top 25 also include prominent companies in sectors not typically associated with wage theft, including telecommunications (AT&T); information technology (Microsoft and Oracle); pharmaceuticals (Novartis); and investment services (Morgan Stanley and UBS).

Kilian Colin, who worked for Wells Fargo from 2013 to 2016, said that "aggressive sales quotas based on exploiting vulnerable customers forced me into 12-hour shifts with no breaks and no food allowed - and threats to withhold my paycheck if I didn't sign off on working extra hours for free."

The report suggests such experiences are common among those who work for major American companies. Demos Action researcher Tamara Draut, who was not involved in the study, said the report's documentation of stolen wages provides "one more reason for unions."

Jobs With Justice Education Fund senior policy analyst Adam Shah, who contributed to the report, said that in light of the findings, there's also a need for crafting stronger policies to protect workers, and that recent developments in government have renewed energy to address the issue of wage theft.

"We see increased urgency for policymakers to step up with solutions," Shah noted, "because the U.S. Supreme Court recently made it harder to bring collective action lawsuits to stop wage theft and the Trump Administration may weaken federal enforcement."

Pointing to California's enhanced labor protections as a potential blueprint, Shah concluded, "While wage theft is pervasive, it is also preventable."

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


Previously in wage theft:

* Wage Theft: Unregulated Work In Chicago.

* Wage Theft In America.

* Report From The Wage Theft Front: Little Village Car Wash.

* ProPublica 'Temp Land' Investigation Nails Little Village Check Cashing Store.

* McDonald's Faces Global Crackdown In Brazil; Chicago Worker Testifies.

* CyberMonday, Amazon & You.

* Rose's Story: How Welfare's Work Requirements Can Deepen And Prolong Poverty.

* Politico: 'Shady Bosses' Stealing $15 Billion In Wages From Low-Income Workers.

* McDonald's Breaks Promise To Raise Wages.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:32 AM | Permalink

Challenging The Media's Distorted Images Of Incarceration

"Essays in this volume illustrate how shows such as Orange Is the New Black and Oz impact the public's perception of crime rates, the criminal justice system, and imprisonment.

"Contributors look at prison wives on reality television series, portrayals of Death Row, breastfeeding while in prison, transgender prisoners, and black masculinity.

"They also examine the ways in which media messages ignore an individual's struggle against an all too frequently biased system and instead dehumanize the incarcerated as violent and overwhelmingly masculine."


"Together these essays argue media reform is necessary for penal reform, proposing that more accurate media representations of prison life could improve public support for programs dealing with poverty, abuse, and drug addiction - factors that increase the likelihood of criminal activity and incarceration.

"Scholars from cultural and critical studies, feminist studies, queer studies, African American studies, media studies, sociology, and psychology offer critical analysis of media depictions of prison, bridging the media's portrayals of incarcerated lives with actual experiences and bringing to light forgotten voices in prison narratives."


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:24 AM | Permalink

The [Thursday] Papers

We were promised jetpacks, not hyperloops.


More like hype on a loop.


"There are two standard, rage-inducing ways to reach O'Hare International Airport from downtown Chicago," the New York Times reports.

"You can ride the L, a sluggish crawl on a train that meanders through neighborhoods and down the middle of an expressway.

"Or you can attempt driving on the expressway itself, which tends to be clogged with traffic and even slower."

Really, New York Times?

I've taken the El ("El" is Beachwood style) to O'Hare innumerable times and not once has it been a "sluggish crawl." It's been an El ride. It's fine.

It also hardly "meanders" through neighborhoods. It's pretty much a straight shot!

I also don't get why the fact that the Blue Line travels down the middle of an expressway is a problem. It's actually pretty cool - and is designed to avoid having to . . . meander through neighborhoods.

Try it sometime.


The vast majority of my rides to O'Hare, by the way, have been traveling on assignment. So, you know, for business. Breaking business. Not once did I feel rage.


I've also taken cabs to the airport and, more frequently, driven there. You know what? It's never been slower than the El - sometimes faster - even though, yes expressways tend to be "clogged" with traffic. Avoid rush hour, to be sure. Big deal.


Now, the El in just about every other direction on every line - that's a different story. That's rage-inducing.


In fact, the El to O'Hare is just about the most speedy leg of the entire system!


Of all the transportation problems in this city, getting to O'Hare faster - particularly from downtown - is not even close to the top 100.

Can we please question the premise that this is even an issue, apart from maybe a few spoiled richies who could just take a company helicopter or travel in a luxurious limo and get some work done along the way?



You know where the fantastical plans of Elon Musk would make sense? On the way to Peotone.


New on the Beachwood today . . .

The New Pot King Of Chicago . . .
. . . is our very own Mike Luce.


Challenging The Media's Distorted Images Of Incarceration . . .
. . . in Demystifying The Big House, the latest from SIU Press.


World Cup Politics: Fascism, Fixed Matches & FIFA
The ugly side of the beautiful game.


Report Reveals Rampant Wage Theft Among Top U.S. Corporations
"Our findings make it clear that wage theft goes far beyond sweatshops, fast-food outlets, and retailers. It is built into the business model of a substantial portion of Corporate America,"





Chicago Dinners (Original Mix).



What Real Business News Should Look Like.


Remembering The Triple Lindy, Y'all.


A sampling.






The Beachwood Tronc Line: Hyperlooped.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:23 AM | Permalink

June 13, 2018

The [Wednesday] Papers

"With exquisitely strange timing, the Department of Homeland Security [Tuesday] unveiled a 'Northern Border Strategy' to protect the United States against threats originating in Canada," Secrecy News reports.


There's never an egg-timer around when you need one.


Nothing to not like about this:

"Get a FREE large coffee when you buy any two fresh burritos and scan your 7‑Eleven® app with purchase."

I know the coffee's not really "free," and I know the burritos aren't really "fresh," but dammit, give me this one. Some delusions we need to get by.


From the office of the Chicago inspector general:

"OIG found one or more problems in 99 of the 228 (43.4%) change orders it reviewed, including proposals that lacked the necessary detail and instances where contractors overbilled PBC clients."

If only OIG stood for Office of Inspector Gadget. That'd be the kind of city I'd like to live in.


PBC, of course, is the city's Public Building Commission. If only it was Public Burrito Commission. That'd be the kind of city I'd like to live in.


"The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to spend $10.8 million of its Volkswagen settlement money on electric school buses, a larger carve-out than any other state," Midwest Energy News reports.


"An Illinois state judge [last week] tossed a lawsuit brought by the state of Illinois seeking more than $1 billion from Volkswagen AG for installing devices and software that cheated emissions tests, finding that the state claims are preempted by the federal Clean Air Act," Law360 reports.


"Illinois is scheduled to get $108 million as part of the Volkswagen diesel scandal settlement, but critics of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, who are preparing to disburse the funds, say Illinoisans are not getting enough input on how to apply the funds," the Tribune reported in May.

"They purported for over a year on their website that they were going to have public meetings, public hearings to decide the best way to spend this money," said John Walton, chair of Chicago Area Clean Cities, a group of government and corporate organizations that works toward reducing pollution. "There have been zero public meetings. There have been zero public hearings."

Adding: "Illinois EPA's process has been much less than was promised," said Susan Mudd, senior policy advocate at the Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center. "The process the Illinois EPA has used has not been inclusive. If one knew enough to ask, and was persistent enough, one could get a private meeting with the IEPA to discuss what IEPA might do in terms of planning for the $108 million Illinois might receive."


How are other states planning to spend their VW settlement money? Look it up yourself! But here's one I came across quite painlessly:

"Rhode Island plans to use the $14.4 million it's getting from the national Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal settlement to replace public buses that run on diesel fuel with electric vehicles, and to install high-speed electric vehicle charging stations," AP reported in May.


From Dan Morain's CALMatters newsletter:

The opposing campaign managers in the race for head of California schools gave a preview of the campaign at a panel I moderated that was hosted by the California Target Book.

Bill Burton, representing Marshall Tuck, a former aide to then LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and charter school executive: "Education in this state is not great . . . Unless you get leaders in place who can help lead on some of these issues and [say], 'The status quo isn't good enough,' you're not going to get change."

Sean Clegg, representing labor-backed Tony Thurmond, a Democratic Assemblyman from Richmond: "The worst thing that happened to Marshall Tuck is the election of Donald Trump, and the appointment of Betsy DeVos" as education secretary. "He is now running in the face of an education reform movement that is now somewhat brand damaged."

Backstory: Burton was press secretary for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign and worked in the Obama White House. Obama's education department embraced charter schools. That didn't endear itself to public school unions.

Burton managed the successful 2017 school board campaigns for two charter school supporters who won seats on the Los Angeles school board in the most expensive school board race in U.S. history.

Extrapolate from this what you will.


I thought IHOB was going to be International House of Beachwood. But that's not the world we live in.


I actually thought it would be International House of Breakfast. For real. Like, a real change, not just a gimmick.


I secretly hoped it would be International House of Beer, but that too is not the world we live in.


International House of Bullshit is the world we live in, and in fact the new name of the United States of America. Without the International part.


Local angle:

I propose CapitolFacts. We can still keep saying it (virtually) the same way, but it eliminates the reference to outdated technology.


On the other hand, I don't mind the reference to outdated technology. It's part of the site's story.


From The National Affairs Desk:






"Chicago (That Toddling Town)" by Jazz-Bo's Carolina Serenaders 1922 played on an Edison C-150.



How 'Implicit Bias' Works.


Hip-Hop's Cross-Stitch Gawd.


A New Company That Calls Itself The "Indie Party" Is Trying To Crash Texas's U.S. Senate Race.


Shane Campbell Looks To File $15 Million Class Action Lawsuit Against Frieze For "Unbearable" Heat.


A sampling.





The Beachwood Tronc Line: Stately.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:57 AM | Permalink

June 12, 2018

The [Tuesday] Papers

I can't keep up. Something's gotta change.


I read a ton of news every day. I save articles, file articles, make notes on articles. I have tons to say about all of them!

By the time it comes to write this column, though, my energy has dissipated. I no longer have enough brain power left each day when the time comes to write in this space to follow through with the required research and thinking to properly say what I want to say.

I guess my coverage and creative ambitions have expanded as my will has weakened. I have other things to do too - like make a living.

So much bad politics. So much bad media. So much comedic potential. So much anger and outrage.


Bruce Rauner is disingenuous as fuck. Rahm Emanuel is just a cynical, bad human. So is Michael Madigan. The city council is a joke. The president? Duh. The media? Ugh. The evidence is in. What's the point anymore?


CPS did another cuppa two-tree horrible things. CPD remains the most reform-resistant branch of local government - and all Rahm wants to do is be seen surrounded by cops so they know he "has their backs." I don't think anyone even covers CHA - and their huge surplus - anymore. Investigative reporting is experiencing a golden age, but in the general scheme of things, the media never learns. Folly overflows from every corner.

My read-later app is longer than an NBA season. My e-mail inbox is fuller than Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin at an all-you-can-eat buffet. My notes files - digital, analog and mental - are more voluminous than Spinal Tap on 11. I'm trying to do too much and, in turn, doing too little.

Something's gotta give.


Also, Joe Maddon is driving me crazy. I wouldn't mind his moves so much if he wasn't so damn sure of his own genius and unwilling to ever acknowledge a mistake. He oughta run for office!


I also still can't believe that the finding that Rahm's historic, massive school closings that tore the city apart in his first term was essentially a total failure was a one-day story at best. Really?

I mean, I know the story has been overtaken by more recent horrors at CPS, but those school closings were all Rahm - a one-man production. There is no going back; no fixing.

(Which isn't to treat the absolutely horrific sexual abuse uncovered there by the Tribune lightly, believe me. It's all almost too much to absorb.)

After all, we still talk about Daley's parking meter fiasco (as we should). What is wrong with this city?

Oh yeah, we needed a "tough" mayor who could run it. If that's your shitty criteria, Rahm is still a failure.


I was planning to discuss this article by WBEZ's Sarah Karp today. Maybe tomorrow.

(By the way, how great of a reporter is Sarah Karp? Longtime fan.)


Beachwood Reporter for sale, will take best offer!


New on the Beachwood . . .

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Aweful, Frank Raven, Liz Phair, The Detroit Cobras, El Fantasma, Cold Cave, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Tech N9ne, Aversions Crown, Shadow Full of Intent, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Whitechapel.



Last Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Mdou Moctar, Moon Taxi, Paul Simon, Bon Iver, Angel Du$t, Gatecreeper, Matt Sams, Alt J, Primus, Post Malone, and From Ashes to New.







"Artists from Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane María will be painting a total of three murals in collaboration with local artists in Hermosa (4049 W. Armitage Ave.), Logan Square (The 606 / Humboldt Blvd.), and Humboldt Park (Paseo Boricua) commissioned by Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center with the generous support of the Chicago Community Trust, Foundation for Puerto Rico, and the Fund for Safe and Peaceful Communities. Their first visit to Chicago will be marked by an art installation at The 606 on June 23, 2018 and four community events surrounding the concept, creation, and execution of these murals."


A sampling.

Note: That's Tom Ricketts in the photo, but it's his brother Todd who is the subject of the article.





The Beachwood Tronc Line: Relatively speaking.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:22 AM | Permalink

June 11, 2018

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

Spring Awakening, Gospel Fest, Blues Fest, and Ribfest will be featured in a separate post or posts this week.

You shoulda been there.

1. Aweful at the Empty Bottle on Saturday night.


2. Frank Raven at Phyllis' Musical Inn on Saturday night.


3. Liz Phair at the Empty Bottle on Saturday night.


4. The Detroit Cobras at Do312's Rock 'n' Roll Market outside the East Room on Saturday.


5. El Fantasma at the Rosemont arena on Saturday night.


6. Cold Cave at Thalia Hall on Friday night.


7. Fleshgod Apocalypse at House of Blues on Friday night.


8. Tech N9ne at House of Blues on Saturday night.


9. Aversions Crown at House of Blues on Friday night.


10. Shadow Full of Intent at House of Blues on Friday night.


11. The Black Dahlia Murder at House of Blues on Friday night.


12. Whitechapel at House of Blues on Friday night.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:43 PM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Bullpen Beware, Maddon At Work

Let's sink our teeth into this week's Cubs intrigue shall we?

We are coming up on three-and-a-half seasons into the CCC Era, i.e., the one featuring Consistent Cubs Contention. And this team continues to almost never disappoint as far as dramas unfolding on top of dramas.

This past week was another successful one on the diamond, although it was ridiculously tenuous. But for Jason Heyward coming up with a two-strike, two-out, ninth-inning grand slam to save the Cubs from what looked like sure defeat (a 5-3 deficit going into that pitch), the Cubs go 3-3 against the mediocre Phillies and Pirates at home. In other words, they disappoint. Instead they went 4-2 and picked up ground on the division-leading Brewers (who they trail by a half-game after Sunday's action).

The biggest development of the weekend has not been fully explored.

Joe Maddon irresponsibly had Brandon Morrow warm up to possibly pitch in the ninth inning of Friday's 3-1 win over the Pirates. The plan had been to let Pedro Strop finish the game but when Strop gave up a baserunner, Maddon gave in to his worst instincts (again) and had Morrow get up for a third consecutive night.

Strop steadied the ship and finished the game. But just warming up Morrow after he had pitched the previous two ninth innings had consequences. Morrow did not close on Saturday and on Sunday the manager announced the Morrow had told him he was tired.

Joe, Joe, Joe. And Jim, Jim, Jim. Once again let me attempt to remind pitching coach Jim Hickey - this is why you are here! To stop the manager before he burns out another reliever with classic closer stuff! And warming up Morrow on Friday was an obvious, stupid mistake. If Morrow goes on the DL, will that be enough of a spur to you to step in and challenge the manager in the strongest possible terms when he goes to make moves like this?

Maddon wasn't done.

Sunday afternoon played out as another chapter in the "Overusing Relievers Does Damage" songbook. Just as over-used Steve Cishek gave up a huge hit earlier in the week, the one that sparked the Phillies comeback that resulted in the aforementioned 5-3 lead in the ninth, over-used Brian Duensing struggled on Sunday. These guys are going to burn out physically when they are used this much and opposing teams are developing ever-better scouting reports on them, giving hitters ever better chances to take advantage.

Am I cherry-picking here? Of course I am. Maddon has done an amazing job with this team over the long haul of regular seasons. But he has a blind spot regarding bullpen usage, and while it is infuriating at times, the overall package that he brings as a manager means that Theo et al must continue to try to work through things with him. But there is so much more season to go and it would be a shame if this pitching staff were to be fatally diminished by the manager not handling things better.

The other thing that drove people crazy Sunday was the Cubs' fifth inning at the plate. I must admit I was cautiously optimistic about the Cubs' chances when they sent up Tommy La Stella to pinch hit with two on and nobody out. And yes, Hendricks probably could have given them another inning on the mound, but it made sense to take the shot with La Stella, who is only the best pinch-hitter in the league. And the analytics definitely say at this point that in that situation, a baseball team gives itself its best chance at success by having a great pinch-hitter hit away (rather than bunt).

What killed me was what happened after La Stella hit into a double play - Javy Baez strode to the plate. That happened because Maddon had inexplicably inserted Baez into the leadoff spot on Sunday after Kris Bryant had two great games in that spot on Friday and Saturday. Javy has had a knack for big hits this season but he is still more likely to strike out than virtually anyone else on the team, and sure enough he struck out here.

One can kind of understand the manager moving Bryant out of the leadoff spot because of match-ups, but moving Javy in? Come on, man.

The Cubs head north to Milwaukee for what should be three games of fun starting tonight at 7:10. I am oh so looking forward to it.


Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:28 AM | Permalink

Ricky's Boys Run

Two innings last week provided as good an indication as any why the White Sox have won six of their 10 games in the month of June.

The first came on Wednesday against the Twins in the top of the sixth inning as the Sox turned a 2-1 deficit into a 5-2 advantage in a game they eventually won by the same score. Speed, execution, and a little help from the opposition were the keys.

With the bases loaded and one out, Yolmer Sanchez scampered home on a wild pitch to tie the game. Tim Anderson, who easily leads the team in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) with 1.6, singled in two more, and then the speedy Anderson stole third and came home on an excellent bunt by Adam Engel, who was nabbed by an eyelash at first base.

The White Sox were nursing a 2-1 lead on Sunday at Fenway Park when Red Sox starter Rick Porcello walked Anderson, whose 20 walks already surpass the 13 he drew in each of the past two seasons.

Anderson is one of the league leaders with 13 stolen bases - he's been caught stealing only once - but in this situation, manager Ricky Renteria had Charlie Tilson, a fundamentally sound young player, lay down a perfect sacrifice bunt on the first pitch to advance Anderson to second.

Trayce Thompson, he of the .122 batting average, managed to make contact, grounding to first baseman Mitch Moreland.

This is where the fun began, and you can credit the Sox speed and daring with making it so. Moreland ranged to his right as Thompson raced toward first. Porcello barely beat Thompson to the bag but in doing so, he tripped over the base and then rolled into first base umpire Quinn Wolcott. Had this been the NFL, a flag would have been thrown for Porcello's chop block. Meanwhile, Anderson hesitated for a split second at third. Seeing Porcello's dilemma, he sprinted toward home, beating the throw and becoming the answer to the White Sox trivia question, "Who scored from second on a grounder to first base?"

Anderson's run made it 3-1, and a two-run ninth-inning double by Daniel Palka provided breathing room in the 5-2 victory, giving the White Sox a most unlikely series win against one of the elite teams in all of baseball.

For those who wager on these contests and others who might be thinking of doing so once sports betting becomes legal throughout the land, consider Friday's game in which former White Sock Chris Sale faced off against unheralded Dylan Covey. The loyalists at Fenway never heard of Covey. The oddsmakers installed the Red Sox as 3-1 favorites, which might be the most lopsided line of the season. No way the White Sox were going to win this one. The perennial Cy Young candidate Sale pitched admirably against his former mates. He covered eight innings, yielding a run on six hits with 10 strikeouts. However, Covey was even better. He allowed the Red Sox just three hits over six innings, fanning seven. Jace Fry, Nate Jones and Joakim Soria finished the job over the final three innings without giving up a hit.

Furthermore, it was Thompson's one-out base hit to right field that scored Kevan Smith for the game's lone tally in the top of the seventh. The same Trayce Thompson who's been released three times this season, who's been playing regularly only because of injuries. Thompson gets a hit approximately once every 10 at-bats, and chances are he'll either be released again or sent to Charlotte once Avisail Garcia is activated in the next 10 days. Yet Sale couldn't get him out late in the game on Friday.

Returning to the topic of the White Sox team speed, the fellows continue to lead all teams this season with 53 stolen bases. They've been thrown out just 11 times for a success rate of 83 percent compared to the MLB average of 72 percent.

That's only part of the story. For instance, on Sunday in the first inning, Yolmer Sanchez was running on a 3-2 pitch to Jose Abreu, who slammed his 25th double off the Green Monster, giving the White Sox an early lead. If Sanchez isn't going with the pitch, he doesn't score.

According to Fangraphs and much of the sabermetric world, unless a team's stolen base percentage is at least 75, run expectancy isn't enhanced in the least. Looking at specific situations with no outs this season, the Sox have swiped second base nine times in 11 attempts. Six of those runners scored. Was it worth the risk?

According to SB Nation, runners on first base with no outs score 44 percent of the time. That increases to 63 percent with a runner on second, so the Sox do somewhat better than average when they successfully steal second with no outs.

Stealing second with one out, as the Sox have done 21 out of 25 attempts, increases the chance of scoring from 26 to 40 percent, which is roughly the rate that Sox runners have crossed the plate this season.

If your head is spinning with all this minutiae - congratulations, you've read this far - we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that stolen bases add flavor and pizzazz to the game. The Sox hit only five home runs in their recent 10-game splurge, but, as mentioned, the running game has created more than its share of excitement.

The Sox have a history of this. After stealing a franchise-low 19 bases in 1949, the arrival of Minnie Minoso and the birth of the Go-Go Sox began the following season when the team swiped 99 bases. In the pennant-winning year of 1959, led by Luis Aparicio with 56, the Sox accounted for 113 stolen bases. Comiskey Park came alive with chants of "Go Go Go" each time Aparicio was on first base.

Rudy Law stole a franchise record 77 bases in 1983 when the Sox won 99 games. The team that year had 165 stolen bases and a 77 percent success rate, slightly lower than this season's edition. Making that squad more complete was the fact that power hitters Greg Luzinski, Ron Kittle and Carlton Fisk stole few bases but bashed the ball out of the park, helping Tony LaRussa's crew to score 800 runs, tops in the AL.

The present ballclub obviously is developing, and even in the running department there are glitches. Runners have been picked off eight times so far, a few in crucial situations which extinguished potential rallies like against the Cubs at Wrigley Field when Matt Davidson was picked off second with two runners on and no outs.

But they've also executed four double steals, which always is thrilling to witness.

And before departing for another week, let's mention the vast improvement by the pitchers over the past 10 games. The starters have posted a 3.18 ERA in this recent surge. Carlos Rodon returned on Saturday after being shelved since last September, capping an injury-filled season when he pitched in just 12 games. Against a formidable Red Sox lineup, Rodon threw 97 pitches over five innings and gave up just a couple of earned runs. He struck out seven.

Meanwhile, the heretofore undependable bullpen has posted a 1.89 ERA over the last 30-plus innings, including shutting out the opposition in the last 12 frames.

Up until recently the Sox theme song for the season might have been Jackson Browne's "Running on Empty." Maybe it's time to reach back to the '60s for the Newbeats' "Run Baby Run."


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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:03 AM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

For completists, there was no column on Friday and no Weekend Desk Report. Sorry!

"You may already know the Bureau's work on drones," the Bureau of Investigative Journalism says in its morning e-mail today.

"We've covered strikes and their impact on civilians since 2010, producing an award winning body of work and contributing to a push for greater US military transparency. Now we have launched a new project - Shadow Wars. It will expand our reporting focus beyond drone strikes, although we will still be tracking them. We felt that the changing - and increasingly murky - nature of US military and counterterrorism engagements required a broader approach.

"We began this project to follow new developments in US military engagements under President Donald Trump. In some ways, these are a continuation and evolution of trends seen under President Obama. The same reluctance to deploy American troops applies, and so does the impetus to respond militarily to radical groups around the world. But as radical groups spread and metastasize, the US's military engagements are becoming ever more widespread, and complicated. You can read our thinking on this here."


"Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is traveling to Singapore for the upcoming summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un," CNN reports.

I'm not exactly a Billy Corgan fan, but his tales of hanging with Dennis Rodman - and what a physical freak he is - are worth listening to. From last November on Joe Rogan's show:


Also, Rodman from 2014:

Dennis Rodman says he was "absolutely" drunk in his fiery, finger-pointing interview from North Korea earlier this month, but does not regret his trip to visit the man he calls his "friend:" the country's infamous leader, Kim Jong Un.

"I don't know him as a dictator," Rodman told CNN's Chris Cuomo Friday in an interview from a rehab facility where the former NBA star is being treated for alcoholism. "I know him as a 31-year-old guy, I call him 'kid' all the time because he's my friend."


Rodman reported frequent drunkeness during Bulls practices was tolerated because he performed during games. And this, from Sports Illustrated in 1997:

[Jud Buechler and Steve Kerr] have hangovers the size of the Liberty Bell, courtesy of an all-night romp with Bulls forward Dennis Rodman on a rented tour bus. Following the Bulls' 108-104 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers the previous night, Kerr and Buechler accompanied Rodman and his entourage, which predictably included several voluptuous women, on a jaunt to an Atlantic City casino. Beers were chugged, chips were lost, and a good time was had by all - except one woman in the group who was carted off by casino security after she was caught by surveillance cameras stealing a $1,000 chip from Rodman.

The bus didn't get back to the team's hotel until 9:30 a.m., at which time Kerr and Buechler went straight to the lobby-level restaurant and walked right into Bulls coach Phil Jackson and his assistants. Jackson asked Kerr how late he had been out, but before Kerr could tell "my bold-faced lie," Jackson said, "I saw the bus pull in." Other than making Kerr and Buechler endure a late-morning practice, Jackson did not punish his players.

"That's how cool Phil is," Kerr says. "Dennis had sort of been away from us, in a spiritual sense, and Phil felt that we needed to bring him back in, which in Dennis's case means going out and getting hammered. Not only did he encourage me and Jud to go, he was telling [second-year forward] Jason Caffey, 'You ought to go on the bus. It will be a good experience.' How many other NBA coaches would tell one of their young players to go out and get shitfaced with Dennis Rodman?" Caffey, however, thought better of the idea and skipped the trip to Atlantic City.


A truncated version of my personal Rodman story, from the Beachwood vault (see the item "Dice Man"):

I can't afford to gamble much anymore, but when I am in Vegas, craps is my game.

And like many others, I once found myself at a table with Dennis Rodman. He was on a hot streak and we were all doing quite well until he rolled a six. That was his point. "Give me a Pippen! Give me a Pippen!" he screamed. Scottie Pippen's number was 33.

Rodman crapped out and it was over. Good times, though.


Art Basel's Marc Spiegler On Why Art Fairs Aren't To Blame For The Current Gallery Crisis.

Spiegler, a University of Chicago alum, was my predecessor as the political writer at Chicago magazine.


New in separating families at the border . . .

Jennings v. Rodriguez And The Forced Separation Of Families
Prior administrations, in arguing for expansive authority over immigration and immigration detentions, created environments that were ripe for abuse, and have enabled some of this administration's abuses.


Forced Separation Of Families & Forced To-Term Pregnancies
"[O]ur institutions are capable of producing evil. We know this because they have produced evil in the past, including evils we now recognize as legally wrong.

"At the time, people (including those who imagine themselves to be good) did nothing to stop it and remained silent. Sometimes, they even enabled it. It is easier to imagine that we would have done the right thing then, but harder to understand that we might not be doing the right thing now."


New from the Beachwood Sports Desk . . .

TrackNotes: Justified
Justify's Triple Crown was a perfect storm of breeding, training and riding. But his legacy is yet to be written.


The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #204: George McClownsky And His Media Acolytes
That's a clown column, bro. Plus: Crazy Uncle Joe's Overmanaging Like It's Going Out Of Style; The Capitals' Blackhawk; Warriors Came Out To Play; White Sox Tips; TrackNotes Tips; The Unbelievable Money In eSports; Bet Delaware; Schweinsteiger! and The Minnesota Lynx Dunk On Donald Trump.


The White Sox Report: Ricky's Boys Run
The new Go-Go Sox.


SportsMonday: Beware Bullpen, Maddon At Work
Is Brandon Morrow the next victim?





Don Wolff.


A sampling.

Own Goal: The Inside Story Of How The USMNT Missed The 2018 World Cup.


Guitar Center Warranty Horror Stories.


A Muslim Among Israeli Settlers.


A sampling.

This might be the most important thread you've ever read.





The Beachwood Tronc Line: Baked on.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:42 AM | Permalink

June 10, 2018

Forced Separation Of Families & Forced To-Term Pregnancies

This post is the fourth of a series on the Trump administration's policy of separating families at the border. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

In a prior post, I drew a connection between the administration's refusal to release undocumented minors from its custody so that the minors can obtain the abortions they are entitled to under state law and the recent news that the administration has been unable to follow up on the whereabouts of over 1,000 children who it has released into the custody of private sponsors.

As I noted, it is odd that the Trump administration might be unable to follow up on the location of children it releases to sponsors while also insisting on releasing minor women to sponsors before allowing the women to obtain abortions. The oddity is further underscored by the fact that the administration has insisted, with the agreement of two judges, that releasing the women into the custody of private sponsors is a way to put the women in "better places" to obtain their abortions. As I wrote, "The apparent reality of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's sponsor process is not one that reliably puts minor children in 'better places.' It does not even reliably guarantee the basic safety of minor children."

The administration's policy of forcibly separating children from their parents, even when the parents present at the border with viable asylum claims, also highlights some of the shortcomings with the legal justifications for the administration's position in Azar v. Garza.

Garza is the case challenging the administration's refusal to allow shelters to release from custody undocumented, minor women so that the women can obtain abortions.

In Garza, the government has avoided taking the position that the young women have any due process rights at all. But that argument has made its way into an amicus brief in support of the administration, as well as other legal arguments on its behalf.

One version of the argument is that undocumented persons who are recently apprehended at the border have some due process rights, but not all of them. In particular, they either have procedural due process rights, but not substantive ones, or they have "negative" liberty rights but not "affirmative" ones.

In either case, however, it is hard to distinguish the administration's forced separation of families from its refusal to release women from the custody of private shelters. As the oral argument and briefing in the case challenging family separation highlights, the constitutional challenge to forced family separation includes a substantive due process challenge.

Just Wednesday night, the district court in Ms. L. v. ICE rejected the government's motion to dismiss and ruled that the plaintiffs had stated a substantive due process challenge, reasoning that the administration's forcible separation is "brutal, offensive, and fails to comport with traditional notions of fair play and decency."

But if persons apprehended at the border have no substantive due process rights at all, as some of the administration's defenders in Garza argue, then that would have resolved that particular challenge to the administration's forced separation of families.

In Garza, as in Jennings v. Rodriguez, we are told not to worry about the implications of the government's position that undocumented persons have no substantive due process rights, because the government would never do anything that bad. The testimony in the family separation case (Ms. L v. ICE) and photos of detention centers notwithstanding, I guess.

The forced separation of families also highlights some of the slipperiness with the claim that persons apprehended at the border have negative liberty rights but not affirmative ones.

In Garza, of course, it is far from clear why the young women are asserting "affirmative" liberty rights, when all they are asking is for the government to release the women from its physical custody (the women have transportation, money, and doctors lined up; they just need to get out the door).

And yet the administration's defenders argue that the women are seeking an affirmative entitlement - access to a procedure, and to health care.

We can play that same game of words with respect to family separation: Are the children asking for a negative liberty right (not to be stripped away from their parents), or an affirmative one (to remain with their parents at a family detention center, or to be released on recognizance with their family)?

In portions of DOJ's opposition to the permanent injunction in Ms. L, DOJ attempts to frame the plaintiffs' request as an affirmative liberty right. From page 17 of the opposition to the motion for an injunction, for example: "Ms. L . . . is unlikely to succeed: there is no constitutional right of arriving aliens to be detained with their children."

Or on page 14 of the motion to dismiss: "Plaintiffs ask this Court to recognize a constitutional right of immigration detainees to be detained with their children."

The slippage between the two categories does not suggest the dividing line is a stable or coherent one, or that it is likely to ward off some grotesque, untoward results.

One last point: Part of the outcry over the administration's forced separation of families has included the claim that forcible family separation is something that happens in The Handmaid's Tale or Nazi Germany, and not America.

That's not quite right; as Martha Jones vividly made clear, forcibly separating parents from children is part of our history. It was done to slaves and to Native Americans, among other groups.

That fact helps to underscore a few themes that have been covered on Take Care and elsewhere.

One is a point that Richard Primus made with respect to the entry ban - our institutions are capable of producing evil. We know this because they have produced evil in the past, including evils we now recognize as legally wrong.

At the time, people (including those who imagine themselves to be good) did nothing to stop it and remained silent. Sometimes, they even enabled it. It is easier to imagine that we would have done the right thing then, but harder to understand that we might not be doing the right thing now.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.



* Immigration Raids Send Chill Through Little Village.

* This Is What A Deportation Raid Is Like.

* Illinois Immigrant, Labor, Legal Leaders Condemn ICE Raids.

* Chicago Activists Tell Undocumented Immigrants Not To Open Their Doors.

* A Shameful Round-Up Of Refugees.

* U.S. Government Deporting Central American Migrants To Their Deaths.

* Tell President Obama To Stop Deporting Refugees.

* Immigrants Arrested In U.S. Raids Say They Were Misled On Right To Counsel.

* Obama Planning Huge Deportation Sweep Of Immigrant Families.

* Immigrants Deported Under Obama Share Stories Of Terror And Rights Violations.

* Chicago Family Sues ICE & City Over Raid, Gang Database.

* Immigrants In Detention Centers Are Often Hundreds Of Miles From Legal Help.

* Chicago And The Deportation Machine.

* Immigration Sins Of The Past And The Forced Separation Of Families.

* Law And Farce: The Forced Separation Of Families.

* Jennings v. Rodriguez And The Forced Separation Of Families.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:41 PM | Permalink

TrackNotes: Justified

Justify, commanding winner of Saturday's Belmont Stakes and with it American Thoroughbred horse racing's Triple Crown, will forever have moons of numbers orbiting his planetary

The son of the late Scat Daddy, out of Stage Magic, a daughter of the you-should-have-seen-him fast Ghostzapper, won the 150th Belmont Stakes to become the 13th Triple Crown Champion, the second in three years after 2015's American Pharoah. He's the second undefeated horse to take the Crown, after 1977's Seattle Slew, and the first horse ever to win it without racing at two-years-old.

Bob Baffert is the second trainer to sweep the Triple Crown, after Jim "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons, who did it with 1930's Gallant Fox and 1935's Omaha. The trainers both did their Crowns consecutively.

As post time approached, the obvious shouted as super trainer Bob Baffert, who also trained 'Pharoah, seemed to have a certain calm about him, and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith might have been floating off the floor when he said he couldn't wait to get the race started.

As it turned out, it was a perfect storm of breeding, training and riding.

The weather good with sunshine battling for the upper hand, historic Belmont Park was in all its glory, in marked contrast to the monsoon at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby and more rain and sock-in fog at Baltimore's Pimlico for the Preakness Stakes.

If Justify's break was less than perfect, as some said, he corrected it in about a step-and-a-half.

"He was leaning back when the gate opened," Smith said.

Like a gaggle of teenagers snickering off to the side, six of the others ganged up forwardly, two or three of them nosing in front of Justify, who simply kept to his mission on the rail. Baffert's other horse, Restoring Hope, jumped up to the "lead," albeit veering out to at least the eight path. He came back in at the start of the first turn and pretty much ran interference for Justify most of the way. By then, Justify had a lead he would never lose.

The first quarter clocked in at 23.37, nice but not burning, which meant Smith and Justify had all the control of the pace they could desire. With a :48 half and 1:13 and one at the half, Justify was in full command of the pace. He finished in 2:28 and one, just over four seconds slower than Secretariat's record 2:24 flat.

Restoring Hope stuck with him, left eye to Justify's right haunch. Justify was running exactly the way he needed to, body fully extended, white-blazed head way out in front, taking full advantage of his long stride of champions, his tail fully extended and not flickering all that much.

Mid-turn, Restoring Hope shifted into reverse gear as Bravazo, on the rail with no room to pass Justify inside, and Vino Rosso made chase. If Vino' and John Velazquez had any thoughts of truly challenging here, Justify's supremely consistent stride dashed it as he turned a half-length lead into two in a blink.

Concurrently, Hofburg chose the three lane and made his move, just ahead of the turn into the stretch. He didn't have it.

There, lurking on the rail, was the big Gronkowski. If Justify had tired, or hung or otherwise fallen apart . . . but the race was over. Probably decided a mile earlier.

In the stretch, Justify's tail kept waving straight out, its tip doing curlicues like Errol Flynn swordplay in a swashbuckler movie.

Horse and jockey entered the runout pristine, untouched by any blowback by the others at Big Sandy, Smith in the China Racing Club silks of red with yellow stars.

Tale of the tape, Justify prevailed by one and three quarters over a surprising Gronkowski, who ran like the Euro he is, rock down the hill, full momentum at the end. Hofburg was third behind Gronkowski by the same margin. Vino Rosso was fourth. Justify paid $3.60, $3.50 and $2.80. Gronkowski $13.80 and $7.00, Hofburg $3.70. The exacta paid $89 for two dollars, the Trifecta $114.87 for $.50. The $.10 Superfecta paid $105.15 and the $2 Pick Six $81,026.

I hit the Exacta, figuring Gronkowski, winner of his last four, knew how to win. This may sound funny, but lacking a superhorse like Justify, his style was perfect for the likes of these. He also had trainer Chad Brown in his corner.

In the relative quiet at the head of the backstretch, the screams of the 90,000 fans seemingly far away in the enormous Belmont grandstand finally reaching him over the sparse lawn of the infield, Smith was silent.

Keeping a watchful eye, the outrider said "How good this can be for you brother." Smith, whose facial architecture is pretty much a smile anyway, said "I don't know what to do!" like a kid thinking he got away with something but being told it was okay.

Once NBC's Donna Brothers got to them on her pony, she referenced an earlier feature where the 52-year-old Smith's mother said little Mike might have been riding horses, rocking or otherwise, before he learned to walk.

After praising Jesus, Smith told how he couldn't describe his feelings and then immediately gave a loud shoutout to disabled jockeys and Marlon St. Julien, who was seriously injured in a spill in May at Prairie Meadows.

"Justify was so relaxed in the gate, I was wondering if he was going to break today. I mean, he left there like he was going 440 yards at Ruidoso New Mexico. YAY New Mexico," Smith shouted of his home state.

An emotional Baffert admitted he had Triple Crown thoughts about Justify. "He was showing me the same signs (as American Pharoah). The way he was today, he could have won every race on the undercard too."

Where does Justify fit into the pantheon of Triple Crown winners? It's too early to tell.

We've been through the light racing tab argument. As I said a few days ago, Justify is now a legitimately great horse, mainly because he simply did it, compressed his entire career so far into one half-season and won the Belmont in as grand a fashion as you could ask.

He might possibly run only two or three more times. As American Pharoah did, his legacy shines more if he wins the Breeders' Cup Classic. A Whitney, Haskell or Travers win along the way would be huge. Through pure mathematics, he can't be in the same breath as Secretariat, Seattle Slew or Affirmed.

On the other hand, Bob Baffert, whose 2012 heart attack in Dubai has humbled him in my opinion, is fully capable of doing it again, given the right horse, which he would be the first to admit. He said more than once that Justify showed him many of the same things 'Pharoah did, primarily intelligence.

While the odds of getting another horse like these are astronomical, Baffert has a better chance than most, success the magnet for the best horses. The same goes for Mike Smith, despite the fact the aggravations on NBC kept saying he's "on the tail end of his career."

Baffert might not get such a horse, but if he does, he'll know it when he sees it.

Media Notes
* I'll keep saying it until they get better. NBC's racing coverage blows peacock feathers.

Mike Tirico is nothing but Admiral Obvious as he reads the same graphics we see with ESPN-honed seriousness. He is infecting Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey down to his level of incompetence.

Did you know Justify was trying to become the 13th Triple Crown winner? Your TV set turned off, you would have known that just by walking by, they said it dozens and dozens of times.

Target B has to be Bob Costas. What did she do to deserve this assignment, Carolyn Manno reported from the Long Island Railroad platform just outside the grandstand to tell us New Yorkers take the train.

"Bob, do you have an LIRR monthly pass?" "No, I'm what you'd call a turnstile jumper, I jump right over the turnstile," he explained, the fuzzy hair hat getting fuzzier. Hey Bob, meet you in St. Louis.

My mind's image is little Bobby, imperceptible in the vast expanses of the limousine's back seat, squeaking to the driver because they're stuck in crosstown Manhattan traffic. "Why aren't we moving?"

They ruined a special moment, damn them to hell.

Showing Baffert running the gauntlet of handshakes and high fives after 'Pharoah's win in 2015, this guy grabs Baffert's shoulder, stops him cold and turns him around. He then finger points to his left. Sitting there was racing legend Penny Chenery, Secretariat's owner and protector.

I didn't recognize her, she seemed smaller, but Baffert stopped and backtracked to shake her hand and . . . CUT VIDEO. We never saw what happened. Ms. Chenery passed away last September.

The only good things NBC has done all year were two biographical features about Smith and Baffert.

We learned that when Mike's mother dropped him off at school, he went in through the front door and right down the hallway through the back door where his uncle would take him to the farm.

Baffert's family business was Baffert Farm in Nogales Arizona, relative yards from Mexico, a poultry and egg operation where his father wondered if they should race their quarter horses, simply because they had a few.

Second undefeated since Seattle Slew. How about a feature about the maligned Crown winner Slew who Mt. Rushmored his reputation as a four-year-old.

Howzabout a snippet on Affirmed and Alydar? One of the fiercest rivalries of any kind in the history of sports.

How about a can't-get-enough full replay of Secretariat's historical Belmont?

The people on NBC who know the most about racing are shunted to the background. Tirico doesn't know and doesn't give a shit about horse racing, stars in his eyes when he does the promo about Dale Earnhardt joining the NASCAR announcing team. Wouldn't you think that, knowing his assignment to the upcoming Triple Crown, he would do some homework, bone up? He doesn't care. For the money they pay him, he deserves Tuesday night radio in the Midwest League.

* As hammered home by Daily Racing Form's national handicapper Mike Watchmaker, the structure of the Triple Crown does not need changing, as so many knuckleheads, for the selfish aggrandizement of their own massive egos and self-satisfaction strongly suggested just a few years ago. Including long-time turf writers.

One of the big arguments was that because today's horses are so lightly raced, there would never be another Triple Crown horse. And, DAMMIT, I DESERVE my Triple Crown(!) was the tantrum.

Well, we now have two in three years.

I've never subscribed to the theory that "Boy, does that Johnny Pigskin or Trey Gunnar deserve a championship." Often because they've simply been around a long time. No. If all circumstances are right and you work and act accordingly when the time comes, great. Enjoy it. You give every NFL or NBA team entry into the playoffs, and it's still the same old LeBrons or Patriots.

In racing, it's all about the horses, folks. You get one, you try. You have one, go for it. Nobody owes anyone anything.

It's the same with Justify and 'Pharoah. They are the horses to do it. Truly wondrous horses have tried and failed. You don't dare dream of a Triple Crown. If you're a fan, you just hope you're there when it happens.

And then enjoy it. A lot.


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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:25 PM | Permalink

June 8, 2018

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #204: George McClownsky And His Media Acolytes

That's a clown column, bro. Plus: Crazy Uncle Joe's Overmanaging Like It's Going Out Of Style; The Capitals' Blackhawk; Warriors Came Out To Play; White Sox Tips; TrackNotes Tips; The Unbelievable Money In eSports; Bet Delaware; Schweinsteiger! and The Minnesota Lynx Dunk On Donald Trump.



* 204.

:43: The Capitals, The Cup & Kempny.

* USA Today: Clock Freezes In Final Minutes Of Stanley Cup Final As Capitals Hold On To Win.

* ESPN: What Does The Future Hold For Barry Trotz?

* Washington Post: Washington Has A New Hero. His Name Is Devante Smith-Pelly.

(Black Chicago Blackhawk Reacts To Racist Blackhawks Fans.)

* Heh.

* Washington Post: Alex Ovechkin Is One Of Putin's Biggest Fans. The Question Is, Why?

* Does It Bother Anyone Else That This Robert Mueller Pronounces His Name Muller?

* TSN: Caps' Kempny Could Be One Of Best Value Trades In History.

* Rocky Wirtz Hints At Leadership Changes If Blackhawks Struggle.

22:21: Warriors Came Out To Play.

* FiveThirtyEight: Is Kevin Durant The Finals MVP?

* NBC Sports: LeBron James Loses It When Tyronn Lue Tells Him Cavaliers Had Timeout Left At End Of Game 1 Regulation.

27:38: Bears Media, Donald Trump And George McCaskey Are Clowns, Bro.

* Fanboy Media In Fine Form.

* Chase Daniels Is The New Mark Sanchez.

* Mike Sielski, Philadelphia Daily News: An Absurd Afternoon At The White House With Donald Trump, And Without The Eagles.

* Haugh: Bears Chairman George McCaskey Balances Respect And Tradition On Anthem Issue.

That's a clown column, bro.

* Also clowning it up: Brad Biggs, Patrick Finley.

46:24: Your Crazy Uncle Joe Maddon Overmanaging Like It's Going Out Of Style.

* Crazy lineups! Crazy bullpen churn! Crazy refusal to ever admit being wrong! Bring back the pajama parties!

* Bosio in Detroit.

* Jesse Rogers, ESPN Chicago:

Phillies hitting coach John Mallee is back at Wrigley Field where he had the same job with the Cubs from 2015-2017. He was fired despite helping them to the playoffs 3 straight years as the team wanted to get better in situational hitting -- though Theo Epstein said he was only dismissed because current hitting coach Chili Davis became available: "He felt they needed to take the offense to another level and there was someone else better equipped to do that than me.," Mallee said. "Do I agree with it? No. Do I accept it? Absolutely." Mallee also said he is fine with Epstein but paused and showed some awkwardness when asked about Joe Maddon. Maddon has been critical of teaching the use of "launch angles" from youth levels all the way up to pro baseball -- something Mallee stressed often -- though he said on Tuesday the goal is always for a good line drive.

* Paul Sullivan, Tribune:

Davis had been under fire in Boston for the Red Sox's lack of home runs and his aversion to the "launch angle" philosophy.

* Joe Maddon on launch angles: 'They sound good, but they don't help you.'

So there you have it.

(Cubs Insider: Mike Bryant Explains Everything, Pt. 1: Dispelling Myths About Launch Angle Revolution.)

1:04:52: Roger's Tips For Watching The Rest Of The White Sox Season.

* "No. 1: Be not disappointed if Ricky's Boys do, in fact, Quit, or at the very least get outscored by a bunch of runs."

1:05:24: Tom's TrackNotes: Justify? Justify.

* "For the second time in three years, there's a real chance the church ladies will have to add another square to the quilt, number 13."

1:05:36: Video Gamers May Soon Be Paid More Than Top Pro Athletes.

* "As a spectator sport, video games generate viewership at least on par with professional leagues."

1:06:27: Full-Scale Sports Betting Arrives in Delaware.

* "The state now has legal wagering within driving distance of three major East Coast cities."

1:07:06: Schweinsteiger!

* Stakes High As Revolution Take Aim At Chicago Fire.

* 23andMe Wants You To Find A New World Cup Team In Your Blood.

"With the US soccer team eliminated, the genetic testing company and Fox Sports get together to drum up interest in the tournament."

1:08:42: The WNBA Champions Weren't Invited To The White House. Instead, They Gave Shoes To Kids.




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


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:57 PM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Mdou Moctar at the Old Town School on Wednesday night.


2. Moon Taxi at Subterranean on Wednesday night.


3. Paul Simon at the Bulls/Blackhawks arena on Wednesday night.


4. Bon Iver at Millennium Park on Sunday night.


5. Angel Du$t at Cobra Lounge on Tuesday night.


6. Gatecreeper at Cobra Lounge on Wednesday night.


7. Matt Sams at Elbo Room on Monday night.


8. Alt J at Northerly Island on Thursday night.


9. Primus at Northerly Island on Wednesday night.


10. Post Malone on Northerly Island on Tuesday night.


11. From Ashes to New at Bottom Lounge on Thursday night.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:44 AM | Permalink

Jennings v. Rodriguez And The Forced Separation Of Families

This post is the third in a series on the Trump administration's policy of separating families at the border. Part 1. Part 2.

In this post, I want to highlight some connections between the administration's policy of separating children from families and another policy this administration (and the previous one) defended - indefinite detention, without individualized bond hearings, of persons detained for immigration purposes.

In Jennings v. Rodriguez, the U.S. Supreme Court held that immigration statutes did not provide for individualized bond hearings for persons who are detained for immigration reasons for longer than six months. The Court did not, however, address whether the statutes, by allowing indefinite detentions with no individualized bond hearings, are consistent with the due process clause. Although the Supreme Court requested briefing on that question and set the case for re-argument, it ultimately opted not to address it.

Part of the government's argument in Rodriguez for why the statutes do not offend due process was that some of the persons who are detained (specifically, asylum seekers apprehended at the border) have no due process rights at all. At oral argument in Rodriguez, Justice Kagan highlighted some of the problems with this position:

JUSTICE KAGAN: Mr. Stewart, is - is your argument about the new admits, the people who are coming to the border, premised on the idea that they simply have no constitutional rights at all?

MR. STEWART: It is premised on that . . .

JUSTICE KAGAN: Okay. If it is premised on that, I mean, Justice Scalia in one of his opinions talked about, surely, that - ­that can't be right; could we torture those people, could we put those people into forced labor? Surely, the answer to that is no. Is that right?

MR. STEWART: Yeah, I should have been more precise in saying they have no constitutional rights with respect to the determination whether they will be allowed to enter the country.

JUSTICE KAGAN: Okay. So - but they do have some constitutional rights, not to be tortured, not to be placed in hard labor . . .

In other words, if individuals who are apprehended at the border have no due process rights at all, then the government could apparently subject the individuals to medical experimentation, among other things. The rejoinder to that line of argument has occasionally been that there is no reason to fear that would occur; the government would never be so cruel. The fact that the administration is purposefully separating children from their families - families who are fleeing persecution and violence - without any apparent plan for their reunification should make us hesitant to dismiss the possibility of government cruelty so lightly.

Even beyond that concern, however, the government's position in Rodriguez shares some other things in common with its policy of separating families: In Rodriguez, the government is arguing that persons apprehended at the border are not "persons" for purposes of the due process clause. And with respect to family separation, the government is arguably treating them that way, potentially in violation of international law - acting as if persons apprehended at the border are not people who are entitled to decide, for themselves, whether family detention would be better for their families.

Another point of overlap is the propriety of litigating certain claims as class actions. Rodriguez, for some reason, went out of its way to include in dicta the suggestion that the challenges to the administration's detention policies should not be litigated as a class action. As commentators noted, Rodriguez's language was quite broad, and in tension with other cases in which the Court has permitted class-wide litigation. The government is (unsurprisingly) seizing on the language from Rodriguez in opposing class certification in Ms. L.

Another potential point of overlap is that DOJ is relying on Rodriguez to justify not only its authority to detain children and their families as it sees fit, but also to argue that courts cannot even review questions related to the AG's detention decisions. From DOJ's opposition to the plaintiffs' motion for a permanent injunction in Ms. L:

The Supreme Court recently explained that there is no judicial review of ICE's custody decisions regarding arriving aliens: "As we have previously explained, 1226(e) precludes an alien from 'challenging a discretionary judgment' by the Attorney General or a 'decision' that the Attorney General has made regarding his detention or release."

The Supreme Court decision that DOJ is referring to is Rodriguez. Of course, Rodriguez ultimately concluded the plaintiffs' challenges were reviewable.

Rodriguez's statement also concerned the AG's authority to detain persons apprehended at the border, not challenges to the conditions in which persons are detained.

It is one thing to say the pertinent statutes prohibit challenges to the AG's decision about whether to detain an individual; it is another to say they prohibit challenges to the AG's decision to detain someone without food or water, for example.

Even the two justices who would have held that "no court has jurisdiction" to review whether the pertinent statutes allow for indefinite detentions without bond hearings carved out an exception for claims pertaining to the conditions of detention. From Justice Clarence Thomas's concurrence (joined by Justice Neil Gorsuch):

The plurality dismisses my "expansive interpretation" because it would lead to "staggering results," supposedly barring claims that are far afield from removal. See ante, at 9 (describing lawsuits challenging inhumane conditions of confinement, assaults, and negligent driving). But that is not the case. Unlike detention during removal proceedings, those actions are neither congressionally authorized nor meant to ensure that an alien can be removed. Thus, my conclusion that §1252(b)(9) covers an alien's challenge to the fact of his detention (an action taken in pursuit of the lawful objective of removal) says nothing about whether it also covers claims about inhumane treatment, assaults, or negligently inflicted injuries suffered during detention (actions that go beyond the Government's lawful pursuit of its removal objective). Cf. Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U. S. 520, 536-539 (1979) (drawing a similar distinction).
* * *

The overlap between Rodriguez and the administration's forced separation of children is striking. But it also underscores two important points - one is how prior administrations, in arguing for expansive authority over immigration and immigration detentions, created environments that were ripe for abuse, and have enabled some of this administration's abuses.

Take Rodriguez, which sought to impose bond hearings for immigration-detentions that lasted more than six months. (Many detentions during the Obama administration lasted that long, with some lasting several years.) As I wrote last spring, the Trump administration, under then-DHS Secretary John Kelly, promulgated several executive orders announcing its intention to detain many more people for immigration-related reasons. And, in doing so, it was going to prolong detentions even further:

[T]he Trump administration's policies will cause even more delays and more backlog as ICE seeks to both remove more persons, and detain more persons who are removable or inadmissible. As ICE attempts to effectuate these policies, the number of cases pending before immigration courts will rise. So too will the length of detentions.

Rodriguez will address whether the deficiencies in the current system require the government to offer bond hearings every six months to justify prolonged immigration-related detentions. Trump's executive orders make that question, and the Court's resolution of it, even more significant.

One implication of the Trump administration's policies was gutting many of the existing protections that immigration law affords. As Britany Riley and I noted:

The administration's position on the "solution" to lengthy immigration detentions - go home - offers another way to think about the separation of powers issues in the case. Their position illustrates how the structure of immigration law allows an aggressive executive branch to render meaningless the few protections that immigration law affords, simply by overwhelming the immigration system and making it too painful and difficult for noncitizens to avail themselves of the protections contained in immigration law.

The other point that Rodriguez drives home is that courts, and the Supreme Court in particular, have played a part in enabling an abusive and excessive immigration system.

Courts signed off on gross expanses of power, even when there were indications that that power was being abused, or at least that there were risks that the power would be abused.

The government has long said to courts, in the immigration context, "Trust us; it won't be that bad."

The Obama administration initially argued Rodriguez, and its position was that indefinite detentions of persons for immigration-related reasons are consistent with both statutes and the Constitution.

Their argument, like so many arguments of prior administration, have traded on the implicit promise that they would exercise their powers responsibly and humanely, which laid the groundwork for those powers to be abused by administrations without those qualities.

If the Trump administration accomplishes one thing, it should be that courts take more seriously the possibility that deferring to the executive branch on immigration, or expanding the executive branch's power over immigration without sufficient checks, will lead to worst case scenarios.

It arguably already has.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.



* Immigration Raids Send Chill Through Little Village.

* This Is What A Deportation Raid Is Like.

* Illinois Immigrant, Labor, Legal Leaders Condemn ICE Raids.

* Chicago Activists Tell Undocumented Immigrants Not To Open Their Doors.

* A Shameful Round-Up Of Refugees.

* U.S. Government Deporting Central American Migrants To Their Deaths.

* Tell President Obama To Stop Deporting Refugees.

* Immigrants Arrested In U.S. Raids Say They Were Misled On Right To Counsel.

* Obama Planning Huge Deportation Sweep Of Immigrant Families.

* Immigrants Deported Under Obama Share Stories Of Terror And Rights Violations.

* Chicago Family Sues ICE & City Over Raid, Gang Database.

* Immigrants In Detention Centers Are Often Hundreds Of Miles From Legal Help.

* Chicago And The Deportation Machine.

* Immigration Sins Of The Past And The Forced Separation Of Families.

* Law And Farce: The Forced Separation Of Families.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:40 AM | Permalink

June 7, 2018

TrackNotes: Justify? Justify.

We've had the royal U.S. Army veteran Sir Barton. The dervish Whirlaway, aka "Mr. Longtail." The imperial War Admiral, typecast as literary and celluloid antagonist decades later.

Wartime's Count Fleet, deserving of racing's Purple Heart if it had one. Says-it-right-here Citation, the first Million Dollar Baby. Penny Chenery's authoritatively named Secretariat. And American Pharoah, traditional Thoroughbred zeitgeist in our new global millennium.

For the second time in three years, there's a real chance the church ladies will have to add another square to the quilt, number 13. His name?



Justify, Scat Daddy's big little boy.

Oh, Just a Game, the eighth race is named in his honor.

No. Justify.

Oh boy, we're going to need a hook. A nick. An angle.

Because if we don't get one, even remembering his name might be tough, despite the mental skills bestowed upon me by Jerry "Dr. Memory" Lucas, the NBA Hall of Famer who memorized the Treasury number on a pre-Broadway Hamilton and spit it right back at us middle-schoolers three seconds later, as if whipping out a new sawbuck wasn't impressive enough. Luke sold his system in the offseason, a few of its tidbits apt for handicapping, not that I knew it then.

But conjure we must, because Justify has an excellent chance to win the 150th Belmont Stakes (Grade I, 12 furlongs Dirt, $1.5 million) on Saturday, which would give him the second Triple Crown in 36 months. 'Pharoah, the first horse to even run in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont since 2005's Afleet Alex, broke a Crown-less streak of 37 years.

Sired by Scat Daddy, out of the Ghostzapper mare Stage Magic, even a mundane derivative of his parents' names would be more exciting everywhere than "Justify." Except maybe down at your local Internal Affairs Unit.

Johannesburg was his grand sire and he's got luminaries Storm Cat, Nijinsky(!) and Relaunch in the DNA. He couldn't be better bred for this race but gosh, that name! There are 20 alternatives just in these two grafs.

I have no right, it's not up to me and the Jockey Club has strict rules about these things. But I would promise not to be too Colloquial about it, because that name was already taken and our superstar would never have wanted to be that horse, of course.

With the legal match between his lip tattoo and the name Justify, what about a cool nickname?

Though he'll never top John Henry, who was The Steel Drivin' Horse.

Justify's office nickname is Big Red, the third I know of. The other two were Man o' War and Secretariat, so superstition dares not blow through supertrainer Bob Baffert's barn. Arrogance? Lack of creativity?

Maybe we could call him "Apollo's Creed." After all, our boy did become the first since that one, in 1882, to win the Derby without racing at two.

Yo, JUST(ify) beware of the closer! It can be a real hazard in The Belmont. Ask Smarty Jones or, better yet, his jockey, Stewart Elliott. But Mike Smith is no Elliott, grazie a Dio, the wiseguys on Taylor Street would say.

Or "Soupy Sails."

We'll have to wait on that one, because there's only a 50 percent chance of rain at Big Sandy, Elmont, New York. But if it comes at the right time . . . soup! With bread, and a tiptoe skip down the long Belmont stretch.

Although always remember it's more than just a spa tour to sample mudpacks. "Every racetrack mud is different," legendary trainer D. Wayne Lukas said at Pimlico, before the Preakness. "This mud, Churchill's mud, Saratoga's mud, they're all different. You just don't know." D. Wayne's got Bravazo going Saturday.

Justify's been a storm chaser this year. One time, no biggie, in the bad and getting worse weather at Churchill Downs in the Derby. But all eight lanterns were lit to see the horses home in the Preakness at Baltimore's Pimlico. Worst weather in the first two gems, the oldtimers said.

While Belmont can and does dry quickly, if Hall of Fame jockey and California kid Mike Smith gets his quagmire this weekend, his memoir will include the chapter "The Effect of Climate Change on Racing Luck."

With truly menacing weather, we could call him "Old Thunderbolt." But, nuts, that name is already taken too.

"Don't Call Me Slew!" would backfire, because this horse will not ever be Seattle Slew, the only horse to win the Triple Crown undefeated, as Justify is trying to do. Absolutely no confusion there.

Unlike "Big Jake" or "Big Bad John," we can all see "Big Justify" or "Big Bad Justify" would be ridiculous.

Even though the horse is big, very large, which will be a major factor on him getting all of the 1-1/2 miles Saturday.

Justify is 16.3 hands and weighed in at 1,280 pounds before the Derby. That compares to Secretariat's 16.2 hands (66 inches) and 1,130 pounds, roughly the same as Man o' War. For full triangulation, Zenyatta, who wreaked havoc on the game with a 19-race win streak, stood 17.2 hands and tipped the scales at a Rubenesque 1,217 pounds.

Let's see if the folks at NBC can come up with something.

* * * * *

The questions remains: Can Justify win? Will he win? Another Triple Crown in three years?! The answers are: Yes. And, as always, maybe.

Don't know if this means anything. I always create a new, separate computer folder for a big race, or raceday or weekend. In 2015, I created the folder "2015-TripleCrown" that had individual folders inside for each leg. That was the only year I've ever done that. Could this be an A&E mystery special?

But then, it's always about the handicapping. In post position order:

1. Justify (4-5 morning line odds)

Forget "the dreaded one post." As Ol' Red at Jackson Street always mumbled, long race. The post alone will not determine the outcome, but it does present some complications.

Justify has always - all of five races - been a near-or-on-the-lead type. Will he and/or Mike Smith attempt to scoot away from the others? Twelve furlongs at Belmont is only once around, so the first turn is a ways away. At what energy cost? Or it could just "happen," Justify tries to wire it and is toast at the 31-length pole monument they erected to 1973's Big Red. Then, as every jockey in this race has ever said, Smith will "try to get him to relax" on the long backstretch. This is where Smarty Jones (with Elliott's help), ran faster inner fractions than Secretariat and fashioned his own doom. We're not really sure if the horses immediately outside him, especially Free Drop Billy, will be able to cut off Justify for the early lead, which might be the best thing that could happen to Justify. But will this confuse Saturday's Big Red? Remember, his first race was only February 18.

Justify took the early lead in the Preakness and then traded nose leads with Good Magic in the backstretch on a pace not as hot as the Derby's, but respectable. Bravazo and then Tenfold, both trying to upend Justify here, overtook a tiring Good Magic. Good enough for 9.5 furlongs, but Justify would have finished third or worse at 12 panels.

Energy. It's not only going to take enough energy and stamina to get around the track in front, which we have no way of knowing, but it will also take extra energy for Justify to have some sense of where he is and to obey Smith's commands. If the lithium ions are charged, there's no way he loses this race. If he is in a downward, fatigued form drop that includes the Preakness, as many believe, he won't win.

As for wagering, no value, so you may have to include him and extend out another horse in the exotics. If you think he Shows or finishes out of the money, you have a chance to score. Watch the Show pool, just in case. Trifecta, Superfecta, you gotta include him.

We joke about the weather, but it will be a factor in one of three ways at a track that truly does dry out quickly. Sloppy, self-explanatory. Fast track, same. But if it comes up wet or muddy, it could get sticky. Whether a horse loves or hates it, that takes more energy.

As for Justify, it's one thing to be young and hot and win the first two legs of the Crown, but his entire, very short career has been based on pure precociousness. That won't get it done in The Belmont, which is why they call it The Test of Champions. If he wins, almost no matter how, he will become that champion. As a runner, he will have become a man.

2. Free Drop Billy (30-1)

I'm sick of this horse. I only really learned of him this year, his being exposed in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile not registering with me. But he came in with buzz off of slow but good placings at two. He's been Michael Jackson Moonwalking backwards all season. They sent the Coast Guard with umbrellas out to find him 41 lengths back in the Derby. I like Robby Albarado, did some great things in Chicago, but this one's Beyer Speed Figures stink. A 79 in his last win, three weeks before Halloween! Dale Romans should know better.

3. Bravazo (8-1)

D. Wayne Lukas goes for his fourth Belmont. The problem I have here is that Bravazo, the only other horse to run all three legs, seems like a typical Lukas horse these days. He makes enough of a - pardon me - splash to make people think he can overtake Justify on this day if the big boy tires. He took second in the Preakness. Good Magic gave way. Justify didn't. Although Bravazo did neck Tenfold. Other than that, he's beaten nobody, was blasted in the Louisiana Derby by more than 21 and hasn't sniffed a triple-digit Beyer. He's gotta be tired too. He'll probably take too much money. Listen to what Jerry Bailey says and if he contradicts himself, as he sometimes gets caught up, use your judgement.

4. Hofburg (9-2)

Ladies and gentlemen! Step right up! See it to believe it! Believe it without seeing it! Chosen-annointed-by every wiseguy from Louisville to Elmont, with no stops in between. I present to you, the horse, the wonder horse, who will reject, rebuff, deny that pretty boy's designs on the elusive Triple Crown. You say he ran into Audible in Florida's Derby? Just an unfortunate day for the youngster. I remind you of his traffic jams in Kentucky, and, racing fanatics, was he not running to the wire just so well to join the six in front of him that rainy, messy day? Believe me when I say, he's exquisitely bred. Has the wizardly William Mott behind him and Irad Ortiz in the saddle. Only four races in his young life you say? Breeding, boy, breeding. That's what you pray to. And he practices hard, real hard. Can this long closer close into Belmont glory? Not any way on this earth or this circuit to know, just close his door in front of or behind you. Your choice today.

5. Restoring Hope (30-1)

Hope in what? Did they give Baffert feed vouchers for the week for this one? To keep Justify company on the trip over? Okay, 70-1 to Show only if there's a bridgejumper pool is no sin. Anything more is. Father Aristides will be hearing confessions after the trophy presentation.

6. Gronkowski (12-1)

Bad: He's named after the football player. He's never gone longer than a mile. Has never run on dirt, only turf and synthetic. The real danger is that his Shindig appearance will convince American teenybopper bettors this Australian-sired Derby contest winner with an NFL name is the real cat's meow, which will drum down his odds. Named after and part-owned by the football player. Good: He's a horse. Won four straight. Chad Brown trains and Jose Ortiz rides. He's had two decent workouts at Belmont. Pick: If you're going to go for it, make sure you have a good play designed.

7. Tenfold (12-1)

Son of Curlin with the all-important Tapit on the damside, this one's getting some of the tout splashing off of Hofburg. He got pinched on the entrance ramp into the stretch at Pimlico and ran out of real estate to get Bravazo or perhaps Justify. Maybe he should have done better in the Arkansas Derby, where one of his cylinders missed down the stretch. Or maybe he just wasn't ready. He too has only raced four times, but his Beyers, on an upward trend, are better than Hofburg's. Arkansas was nearly two months ago. He needed the Preakness and got a lot out of it, which doesn't always happen. You cannot say Steve Asmussen is "wheeling" him back for this, but Tenfold figures to be on the muscle and ready to go. Nervous me will cross my fingers for a price, but I think I'll get one. Hot-enough Roberto Santana rides. Oye como va? Ganar por favor.

8. Vino Rosso (8-1)

In 2014, when California Chrome was running for the Crown, Belmont and the Long Island Railroad couldn't handle the crowds, which clocked in at 102,000. Since then, they've limited the crowd to 90,000. Can't this country, especially New York, do anything anymore? This horse, owned by full-blooded New Yorkers Vinnie Viola and Mike Repole, is touted as the local boy. This is his turf, we've been pointing to this, in our own 'hood. New York, New York, baby! Talk, anywhere, is cheap, and there are doubts. This son of Curlin has been inconsistent. He'll have to run right back to, and more, his 98 Beyer win in Aqueduct's Wood Memorial prep for the Derby, in which he beat nobody. He's never run at Belmont. He's getting major props for picking up five lengths in finishing ninth in the Derby. Saturday would be an up in an up-down Beyer cycle, but an up was a third in the Sam Davis and a down a fourth in the Tampa Bay Derby. Because the other poop is that Todd Pletcher skipped the Preakness just for this occasion, Vino is locked and loaded. I believe he'll take too much money. The Derby slop is a huge monkey wrench in his handicapping, so at least try to get a price you can live with.

9. Noble Indy (30-1)

This is the same "Pletcher skips the Preakness" m.o. Todd pulls off the blinkers this time, a 31 percent move for him, and he's been working very well at Belmont. He did well in Louisiana, notching a 95 Beyer in winning the Louisiana Derby to two Kentucky Derby afterthoughts. I can't say yes, and I can't say no. If Justify's coin toss comes up tails, you might want to have included this one.

10. Blended Citizen (15-1)

I've seen this one touted and trashed. Touted off his win on synthetic in the Grade III Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway and another in the Peter Pan here at Belmont. His Beyers are bad for this race and mediocre overall. But he'll have the best view of the nine horses' asses in front of him.

Please remember that if Justify wins this Belmont and the Triple Crown, it in no way diminishes American Pharoah's accomplishments and will never mean the Triple Crown is becoming easier or more winnable.

The three of the '70s, Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed, had legendary careers all their own, three of the greatest of all time, individually, who just happened to come along in the same decade. Really.

We could wait another 37 years out from 'Pharoah, or we could see another one Saturday. Diametrically opposed to the tired old Warriors or Cavaliers or Patriots, so very few of these horses get just one shot at immortality.

One quote I read said there's a reason it took 37 years to win a Crown - it's hard.

Not every great balling team wins, and not every winning ballteam is great.

But for these 12, and perhaps a 13th, greatness is unquestioned. Ever.


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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:14 PM | Permalink

The [Thursday] Papers

Someone I don't know well but is in my orbit has been having scary mental health issues to the point that an intervention is clearly needed. He's been harassing others and seems like he could be a danger to them or himself. I've discussed with others what the appropriate response is. An obvious course of action is to call the police. I've been afraid to do that because he's an African American and I fear in an interaction with the police he could end up dead when he really just needs help.


"A Chicago cop wearing a Trump jersey was jeered as he tried to explain an incendiary remark about why he opposes oversight of Chicago police, while a woman with her grandson on her hip surrounded by young men claiming to be victims of police abuse raised her voice as she vowed anything short of comprehensive civilian control over the maligned department won't be tolerated," the Tribune reports.

"Officer John Catanzara, who wore a baseball jersey emblazoned with 'TRUMP' on the back and 'USA' on the front, said he wanted to clarify remarks he made at a previous hearing. If community oversight passed, he had said, 'We're coming for you.'

"Catanzara tried to explain the remark to the jeering crowd Tuesday night, saying it was 'ridiculous' to think he was trying to incite a riot. Later in a telephone call, Catanzara said that his original remark was a warning of plans to unseat any aldermen who vote for community oversight."




The spokesperson for the Chicago police union believes Jon Burge was railroaded. In fact, he's working on a book with and about him.



New on the Beachwood . . .

Larry Smith Outdoors TV In Winthrop Harbor
The action was hot!


Law And Farce | The Forced Separation Of Families
"This is a problem entirely of DHS and ICE's own creation."


Full-Scale Sports Betting Arrives in Delaware
"The state now has legal wagering within driving distance of three major East Coast cities."


Video Gamers May Soon Be Paid More Than Top Pro Athletes
"As a spectator sport, video games generate viewership at least on par with professional leagues."





"In 1998, Clay Millican made his Top Fuel debut at Route 66 Raceway in the Chicago White Sox dragster . . . last weekend he took home the Wally!



Abuse Is Daily Reality For Gap, H&M Female Garment Workers.


Girl Power: Fighting Gender Discrimination In The Music Industry.


The Defeat Of Reason.


A sampling.



The Beachwood Tronc Line: Smothered and covered.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:13 AM | Permalink

Full-Scale Sports Betting Arrives in Delaware

"Less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for sports betting, Delaware has taken advantage of the rule, putting legal wagering within driving distance of three major East Coast cities."



* The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #31: Sweet Action! A Special Report On Sports Gambling.

* Welcome, Sportsbooks!

* States Getting Ready For U.S. Supreme Court To Legalize Sports Gambling.

* Supreme Court Delivers For Sports Bettors. Now States Need To Scramble.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:48 AM | Permalink

Video Gamers May Soon Be Paid More Than Top Pro Athletes

Your interest in sports may have started out as a hobby when you were just a kid. You were better at it than others, and some even said you were gifted. Maybe you had a chance to develop into a professional athlete.

Colleges would soon line up to extend full scholarships. If you pushed hard enough, practiced countless hours and kept a cool head, lucrative contracts and international fame awaited.

This fantasy plays out for many kids who dream of "making it to the big leagues."

Whether they play hockey, football or basketball, even the most remote possibility of turning their love of the game into a respected career is worth sacrificing for.

Enter video games.

esportspro.jpgThe Finnish R6 eSports Pro League team, winners of the Rainbow Six Pro League Championship in Sao Paulo/Ubisoft

In less than a decade, the realm of professional sport has been taken by storm by the rise of eSports (short for electronic sports). These video game events now compete with - and in some cases outperform - traditional sports leagues for live viewership and advertising dollars.

For the top eSports players, this means sponsorship contracts, endorsements, prize money and, yes, global stardom.

Games On TV Still Command High Ad Dollars

Starting Friday, dozens of professional video game players will descend on Toronto during NXNE, an annual music and arts festival, to compete in different games for prizes of up to $1,000. Not a bad payday, perhaps, but still chump change in the eSports scene.

For example, Dota 2, a popular battle arena game published by Valve, recently handed out $20 million to its top players during its finale.

What does this mean for traditional sports? And sports TV viewership?

The lasting broadcast success of sports leagues games can be explained by the fact that they are meant to be shared happenings and are best experienced live. As such, they have been resilient to disruptions within the media landscape and somewhat spared by the advent of on-demand streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The ability to capture a sizable number of "eyeballs," long enough and at a precise time, is the reason why professional sports leagues still command huge TV rights and advertising dollars.

In the past few years, the "Big Four" North American sports leagues have all struck new deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Shifts In Sports Culture

Some leagues like Major League Baseball, and their once subsidiary Advanced Media division (MLBAM), have long embraced technological innovations to enhance audiences' experience.

Meanwhile, media and telecommunication giants have been slower to catch on.

In 2016, John Skipper, then president of ESPN, referring to cable TV packages said: "We are still engaged in the most successful business model in the history of media, and see no reason to abandon it."

This attitude, at the time, was not only symptomatic of a lag or inability to adopt technological innovations, but also raised concerns about the company's future.

But the decline of the traditional linear broadcast, and the risk of losing relevancy in this digital, broadband and tech savvy media landscape is inevitable, and forces these media giants to question their traditional business models and to focus on online audiences.

Along with this shift, a new, popular and expansive trend for the new generation has emerged - eSports.

Whether eSports are actual sports or not is a whole other debate; however, the emergence of the global video game competition field demands attention and strategic investment.

Why eSports Is Doing So Well

As a spectator sport, video games generate viewership at least on par with professional leagues.

Take, for instance, 2016's League of Legends tournament that drew 36 million viewers, five million more than the NBA Finals, in front of a sellout crowd at the famous Bird Nest stadium in China.

esports2pro.jpgeSports events regularly draw sellout crowds like major professional sports leagues/Ubisoft

eSports mimic traditional sports leagues principles: Exciting content, likeable stars, catchy team names, slow motion highlights, intense competition and an uncertain outcome.

These video games attract audiences as they are no longer simply designed to be played, but increasingly to be visually pleasing for audiences.

Age-wise, compared to traditional sports that struggle to diversify their audience demographics, eSports have successfully attracted younger viewers.

The fan base is pretty young, with 61 percent of fans falling in the 18-34 age range. Young men, in particular, are a desirable market for many advertisers.

eSports Attracts Advertisers

The economic outlook for video gaming sports is staggering. According to NewZoo, eSports "on its current trajectory is estimated to reach $1.4 billion by 2020." And a "more optimistic scenario places revenues at $2.4 billion."

Companies like Red Bull, Coca-Cola and Samsung, all usual suspects when it comes to advertising and young people, are flocking to eSports.

In recent years, eSports have made efforts to monetize across traditional revenue streams, such as merchandise sales, subscriptions plans, ticket sales and broadcast rights. It is, once again, taking a page straight out traditional sports leagues' playbook.

So, what can established leagues and media giants do? Given the choice between fighting eSports or joining them, many appear to have chosen the latter. Recall ESPN resisting change in 2016. Then fast forward to their recent strategic investments in the digital platform BAMTech, once MLB Advanced Media, in order to launch ESPN streaming services.

As a result, Disney, the 100 percent owner of ESPN, now has a say in League of Legends streaming because its publisher Riot Games had signed a seven-year $350 million broadcast deal with BAMTech.

FIFA just partnered with Electronic Arts on a online tournament that drew 20 million players and 30 million viewers. Also hoping to create platform synergies and to reach new audiences, Amazon recently announced the acquisition of Twitch, the leading game-streaming service.

These examples show that eSports are not just popular with gamers, but also among sports leagues and media giants. Both stand to learn from each other. No wonder Activision's CEO said that he wanted to "become the ESPN of eSports."

This popularity also opens up more opportunities to compete on the professional level and earn huge endorsements, prize money and salaries just like LeBron James, Serena Williams, Danica Patrick and Sidney Crosby.

In fact, higher education eSports programs are already launching across the country and college scholarships are now commonplace - a further acknowledgement of the economic viability and social acceptability of this phenomenon.

So it turns out that our parents were wrong all along: You can stay glued to your console in the basement all day and still make it pro.

Louis-Etienne Dubois is an assistant professor at the School of Creative Industries at Ryerson University. Laurel Walzak is an assistant professor at the RTA School of Media at Ryerson. This post was originally published on The Conversation.



* Rosemont Teen A Million-Dollar Evil Genius.

* Are eSports The Next Major League Sport?


Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:43 AM | Permalink

Law And Farce: The Forced Separation Of Families

This post is the second part of a series on the Trump administration's policy of separating families at the border. You can read part one here.

In part one, I gave some historical context to the Trump administration's policy of separating children from families. Today I want to debunk the administration's position that it is required, by law, to separate children from their families once ICE detains their parents.

To understand the issue in Ms. L v. ICE, it's helpful to underscore that children might enter the United States under different circumstances. One circumstance is where a minor enters the United States alone, in which case the Office of Refugee Resettlement would assume custody of the minor. ORR was formally created in 1980, and its responsibilities, as its name suggests, include assisting refugees with settling into the United States.

The Homeland Security Act, which restructured the Immigration and Nationality Services, expanded ORR's authority to encompass minors who enter the United States alone. That decision ensured that minors who entered the United States alone would not be left to the mercy of the Department of Homeland Security, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement in particular.

ORR offers a more humane and holistic means of dealing with minors who are alone, in part because ORR has a sponsor system, under which it can release minors to approved sponsors, including a child's parents, who may already be in the United States. By way of comparison: ICE is the enforcement arm of DHS that polices violations of immigration laws, whereas ORR is designed to help certain vulnerable populations with their lives in the United States. Giving ORR custody over minors who entered the United States alone was a way of recognizing that children who enter the United States alone encounter even more difficulties and face even more challenges in the U.S. immigration system than adults do.

Alternatively, however, an entire family might enter the United States together, either claiming asylum or perhaps without any grounds for entry at all. The question in Ms. L. v. ICE is what should happen to children in those families, including when the government chooses to put the parents in a very unforgiving ICE detention facility that is not set up for "family" detention.

The Justice Department's view is, apparently, that the law mandates only one answer: DHS and ICE must transfer the child into the custody of ORR, who can then release the child to a sponsor. But the law doesn't compel that answer, for some somewhat technical reasons I'll describe below. The harder question, as I suggested yesterday, is whether the law might permit separating children from their families when ICE takes a child's parents into custody and places the parent or parents in a non-family centric detention facility.

I should note, first, that this is a problem entirely of DHS and ICE's own creation: If ICE did not detain a child's parents, there would be no question about whether ICE had to separate a child from his or her parents. And if ICE detained a child's parents in a family detention facility (and DOJ has not argued that it lacks the capacity to do so), that would also obviate the question of what to do when ICE detains a child's parents in a non-family centric detention facility.

But back to the administration's legal position. Two weeks ago, the President tweeted:

Two weekends ago, two of the President's persistent enablers, Marco Rubio and Mark Meadows, repeated the same claim on Face The Nation, that some law purportedly required the separation of families.

The president's DOJ is also making this argument in its briefs. But DOJ fails to mount a convincing argument that the law requires it to separate families. DOJ's brief contains some version of the following sentences as to all of the plaintiffs:

When ICE detained [the parent], there was no parent or guardian available to provide care or physical custody for [the child], and [the child] therefore became a UAC [unaccompanied alien child] and subject to the provisions of the TVPRA that required ICE to transfer her into the custody of ORR. See 6 U.S.C. 279(g)(2); 8 USC 1232(b)(3)."

Here is the full text of the two statutes DOJ cites.

Section 279(g)(2) defines "unaccompanied alien child." It reads, in full:

(2) the term "unaccompanied alien child" means a child who

(A) has no lawful immigration status in the United States;

(B) has not attained 18 years of age; and

(C) with respect to whom--

(i) there is no parent or guardian in the United States; or

(ii) no parent or legal guardian in the United States is available to provide care and physical custody.

Section 1232(b)(3), enacted several years after 279(g), reads as follows:

(b)(3) Transfers of Unaccompanied Alien Children

Except in the case of exceptional circumstances, any department or agency of the Federal Government that has an unaccompanied alien child in custody shall transfer the custody of such child to the Secretary of Health and Human Services not later than 72 hours after determining that such child is an unaccompanied alien child.

In Ms. L, DOJ's argument is that children in DHS's custody are "unaccompanied" once ICE detains their parents. If the children in DHS's custody are indeed unaccompanied once ICE detains their parents, then, DOJ argues, section 1232(b)(3) requires ICE to transfer the children to the custody of DHHS (which houses ORR). ORR can then proceed to place the children in accordance with the statutory directives in section 279. ORR also has the option to release children in its custody to the custody of private sponsors.

But DOJ says little to defend its assertion that children who cross the border with their parents become unaccompanied the moment that their parents are in ICE's custody. There are several decisions suggesting they are not, including Bunikyte v. Chertoff, which was cited approvingly in this FAS report for the proposition that "if a child and parent without lawful immigration status are apprehended by immigration authorities and detained together while awaiting removal, the child is not considered a UAC."

A Fifth Circuit case (Cortez-Vasquez v. Holder) reasoned further that a child was not even "unaccompanied" where "[h]e was accompanied by his adult sister." In that case, however, the child did not meet other conditions for being unaccompanied in 279(g)(2).

In another case, DHS apparently argued that a minor who had crossed the border with his mother was an unaccompanied minor, but the Fifth Circuit upheld that designation on the ground that the child's mother, who was not in ICE's custody, was unable to provide care or physical custody of him, based on a home study documenting substance abuse and domestic violence, among other things.

As I mentioned, DOJ does not flesh out its assertion that children who cross the border with their parents become unaccompanied the moment their parents are in ICE's custody, so constructing its argument is somewhat speculative. Its argument probably rests on section 279(g)(2)(C), the provision stating that a child is unaccompanied if "there is no parent or legal guardian in the United States" or if "no parent or legal guardian in the United States is available to provide care and physical custody." DOJ's argument is probably (either) that persons in ICE's custody are not "in the United States" or are not able to "provide care and physical custody."

Neither conclusion, however, is compelled by the statute, because nothing about the fact of a parent's detention renders either condition unsatisfied. Immigration detention centers are in the United States, and in decent and safe facilities, parents would be able to provide care and physical custody of their children. Physical custody, in the context of family law, refers to the idea that a child lives with his or her parents.

DOJ's argument is also belied by the last decade and more of its conduct, when DHS and ICE have detained children with their parents in family-centric detention centers, rather than transferring them to the custody of ORR.

Some legislative context to both section 279 and section 1232 further helps to highlight the understanding that those sections, particularly section 279, do not make a child "unaccompanied" if ICE detains the child's parents. Rather, parents who were in immigration detention facilities were considered parents or guardians in the United States who were able to provide for care and physical custody. Both 279(g) and 1232 were enacted on the heels of a settlement in Reno v. Flores, a case that challenged the then-Immigration and Nationality Service's policy of detaining minors for immigration-related reasons.

The case has a long and complicated procedural history; the important part for this argument is that the case ultimately resulted in a settlement agreement that applied to "minor[s]," which the settlement agreement defined as "any person under the age of eighteen (18) years who is detained in the legal custody of the INS."

In some litigation, the government attempted to argue that the settlement agreement did not apply to accompanied minors, which it understood to mean minors who traveled with (i.e., were accompanied by) their parents, even though their parents might be detained.

Courts rejected that argument because, by its terms, the settlement agreement (which became a consent decree) applied to "[a]ll minors who are detained," and because the agreement contained specific rules for "unaccompanied minors," such as "The INS will segregate unaccompanied minors from unrelated adults."

The language of the Flores settlement, in other words, was understood in this way: "[U]naccompanied minors" did not include minors who arrived with their parents or guardians, even though their parents and guardians did not have lawful immigration status and would be, or were being, detained.

The settlement and judicial decisions interpreting it make this clear; they repeatedly refer to parent arrivals who may be in detention, or in immigration proceedings themselves.

Some of the opinions explicitly say "accompanied minors" mean minors who arrive with their parents. Flores v. Lynch, for example, refers to the argument that the settlement agreement "only applies to unaccompanied minors . . . not . . . minors accompanied by parents or other adult family members . . . placed in these centers."

Section 279(g), which was enacted on the heels of the settlement decree, should be understood in this light. As the courts interpreting the settlement agreement noted, the settlement agreement did not address issues related to the detention of accompanied minors, and whether the consent decree or any law required juveniles to be detained with their families. But no one thought the law required the juveniles to be separated from, and not detained with their families.

There are other indications that "unaccompanied alien child" does not include a child who arrives with a parent, even if that parent does not have a lawful immigration status and will be detained. The U.S. Sentencing Commission, for example, has promulgated guidelines that are trained at implementing Congress's imposition of penalties for child trafficking under the TVPRA (which include section 1232(b)). Among those guidelines is 2L1.1, which provides for additional penalties:

If the offense involved the smuggling, transporting, or harboring of a minor who was unaccompanied by the minor's parent, adult relative, or legal guardian.

This, too, is some evidence about what unaccompanied means in the context of immigration law; "unaccompanied minors" refers to minors who are not in the company of guardians when they arrived in the United States.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement has also promulgated regulations to define "unaccompanied" minors. Its definition does not align with DOJ's current asserted one. 45 C.F.R. 400.111 provides:

Unaccompanied minor means a person who has not yet attained 18 years of age . . . who entered the United States unaccompanied by and not destined to (a) a parent or (b) a close nonparental adult relative who is willing and able to care for the child or (c) an adult with a clear and court verifiable claim to custody of the minor; and who has no parent(s) in the United States.

Here too, a child was not considered unaccompanied if the child was accompanied by a parent on the way to, and when they entered, the United States.

A few other pieces of evidence about the usage of "unaccompanied" minor or alien child. From an HHS factsheet (HHS houses ORR):

The Division of Children's Services provides care and placement for children who come into the United States from other countries without an adult guardian. These children are referred to as unaccompanied alien children (UAC) in statutes.

The factsheet continues: "The age of these individuals, their separation from parents and relatives, and the hazardous journey they take make unaccompanied children especially vulnerable to human trafficking, exploitation and abuse." ORR's webpage repeats the same.

The statements refer to children who are or were already separated from parents or relatives when ORR took custody of them. The statements also make clear that the children's separation from their family is what makes the children vulnerable. It would be odd if that separation arose from the actions of ORR and DHS when the fact sheets assume that ORR is attempting to remedy the risks that arise from family separation, and not creating them. The statements do not suggest that ORR and DHS are forcing that separation by law.

Likewise, the guidelines interpreting the trafficking victims protection reauthorization act underscore the understanding that children who entered the United States alone were vulnerable to trafficking because they were separated from their families.

It would similarly be quite odd if the TVPRA, which was designed to protect children who are vulnerable to trafficking, made an entire group of other children more vulnerable to trafficking by separating them from their parents.

Some legislative history from 2005 shows that Congress had a similar understanding of the phrase "unaccompanied":

Children who are apprehended by DHS while in the company of their parents are not in fact 'unaccompanied' and if their welfare is not at issue, they should not be placed in ORR custody. The committee expects DHS to release families or use alternatives to detention such as the Intensive Supervised Appearance Program whenever possible. When detention of family units is necessary, the Committee directs DHS to use appropriate detention space to house them together.

House Committee on Appropriations, Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, 2006, 109th Cong., 1st Session, 2005, H. Rep. 109-79. (A committee report echoes the same.)

There are other problems with DOJ's argument that the law requires DHS to separate children from their families once the parents are detained. For example, nothing in the statutes requires ORR to place unaccompanied minors in a detention facility without their parents. (This assumes the phrase "unaccompanied alien child" encompasses children who traveled and arrived with their parents). Other provisions in 6 U.S.C. 279 govern ORR's responsibility over undocumented children, and include the following:

Section 279(b)(1)(A):

[T]he Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement shall be responsible for coordinating and implementing the care and placement of unaccompanied alien children who are in Federal custody by reason of their immigration status.

Section 279(g)(1) then defines placement as "the placement of an unaccompanied alien child in either a detention facility or an alternative to such a facility."

Nothing in these provisions require ORR to place a child in a detention facility (or alternative to such a facility) where the child's parent is not present. Indeed, in the cases cited above, which interpreted the Flores settlement agreement, even after section 279 was passed, children who entered the United States with their parents were placed in family detention centers with their parents. And section 279(b)(1)(A) refers to unaccompanied "alien children who are in Federal custody by reason for their immigration status," not by reason of ICE's detention of their parents.

Section 279(b)(1)(B) also directs ORR to "ensur[e] that the interests of the child are considered in decisions and actions relating to the care and custody of an unaccompanied alien child." It is hard to see how any of these provisions require ORR to house children who arrive with their parents in facilities separate from their parents.

There are other reasons to be skeptical of DOJ's argument that children become unaccompanied the moment that ICE detains the child's parents. As I alluded to above, giving ORR custody over unaccompanied minor children was designed to address the unique vulnerabilities of children who are alone in the immigration system. It would be strange if the law created that very problem - children separated from their families - for children who entered the United States with their parents.

Another reason to doubt DOJ's argument is the realities of ORR's sponsorship program. As recent news has made clear, ORR's sponsorship program is far from perfect: Some children are released into the custody of human traffickers. ORR has also been unable to follow up on the whereabouts of other children. Thus, releasing children who enter the United States with their parents into the custody of ORR risks family separations that are permanent, since ORR and DHS are not keeping track of, or able to keep track of, the location of children and their families. That problem is likely to be exacerbated, as more children are detained and ORR is increasingly overburdened.

Finally, it would odd if the government could use the fact that it maintains unsafe immigration detention centers as reason to justify separating families. If the detention centers are so unsafe and unfit for habitation, then perhaps they shouldn't be detention centers at all, much less detention centers that ICE and DHS are able to use to force the separation of families.

The laws that DOJ cites do not require the forced separation of families, and DOJ has not offered a persuasive argument that they do. The harder question is whether the law permits separation of children who enter the United States with their families, at least in some circumstances where family-centric detention is not available. As I suggested in part one, if the law permits that separation, it is because our immigration system has, for too long, allowed for detention facilities that are both unsafe and unequipped to handle the magnitude of persons that the executive branch shamefully forces into them.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.



* Immigration Raids Send Chill Through Little Village.

* This Is What A Deportation Raid Is Like.

* Illinois Immigrant, Labor, Legal Leaders Condemn ICE Raids.

* Chicago Activists Tell Undocumented Immigrants Not To Open Their Doors.

* A Shameful Round-Up Of Refugees.

* U.S. Government Deporting Central American Migrants To Their Deaths.

* Tell President Obama To Stop Deporting Refugees.

* Immigrants Arrested In U.S. Raids Say They Were Misled On Right To Counsel.

* Obama Planning Huge Deportation Sweep Of Immigrant Families.

* Immigrants Deported Under Obama Share Stories Of Terror And Rights Violations.

* Chicago Family Sues ICE & City Over Raid, Gang Database.

* Immigrants In Detention Centers Are Often Hundreds Of Miles From Legal Help.

* Chicago And The Deportation Machine.

* Immigration Sins Of The Past And The Forced Separation Of Families.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:36 AM | Permalink

Larry Smith Outdoors TV In Winthrop Harbor

"On this week's episode of Larry Smith Outdoors we headed down to Winthrop Harbor near Chicago to fish for salmon! The action was hot and we caught limits of cohos and the ladies had a blast! Check out Kinn's Sport Fishing if you want to get the best salmon fishing experience out there!"


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:00 AM | Permalink

June 6, 2018

The [Wednesday] Papers

For completists, there was no column on Tuesday.

It once looked like issues surrounding CPD would be the ones that would most make Rahm Emanuel vulnerable in his re-election campaign, and that the presence of Garry McCarthy in the race would center much of the campaign discussion on the Laquan McDonald case and everything that has followed from it, including the seeming slow-walking of reform efforts. In such a campaign, Lori Lightfoot, who led a mayoral post-McDonald task force that many, including me, thought would be a whitewash but instead was an excoriating indictment of the city, would emerge as the most potent challenger given McCarthy's own involvement in the McDonald case, as well as his narrow appeal to basically the city's tiny Trump faction.

Now, however, it appears that CPS will take center stage in the campaign - barring whatever awfulness CPD or some other city agency or department engages in over the next 10 months, which is certainly more than enough time for evil to manifest all over the place.

But consider: The mayor's signature "achievement" and most dramatic reshaping of the city remains his massive school closures, and those closures have just been shown to have widely and deeply failed. The district's special education practices were so fucked up by cost-cutting consultants installed by the mayor's third superintendent, the second one indisposed in prison for enriching herself at the expense of some of the nation's poorest kids, that the state has taken over servicing the most vulnerable students in the city. The administration's privatization schemes have left the schools filthy. And now comes the Tribune investigation into widespread, horrific sexual abuse in CPS that the district ignored, kept secret or otherwise failed to properly address.

One might reasonably ask, How does a mayor survive that?

Then one remembers that this is Chicago - and that we asked ourselves that question repeatedly during Richard M. Daley's scandal-ridden 22 years running the city.

Still, Emanuel is a far more antagonizing figure than Daley, fair or not. Nobody really likes him - even his friends. He's in more electoral trouble than Daley ever was.

At the same time, as we also learned in the Daley years, a mayor here can get away with murder - at least figuratively, but maybe even literally depending on how far you stretch the meaning of the word (see the 1995 heat wave) or how you assess responsibility - and still win re-election if the opposition is nothing but clowns.

Now, one might think that the emergence of CPS as the central issue - and again, that could change - might elevate the candidacy of former schools chief Paul Vallas. I don't think so. For one thing, Vallas represents the past - and a past that might have been marginally better than the present, but one that isn't remembered fondly in many quarters of the city. For another thing, where do his votes come from? It's almost impossible to imagine - and correct me if I'm wrong - a challenger beating Emanuel without the support of the CTU and the SEIU. That eliminates Vallas.

Who else?

Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown may have the church ladies, but her hiring is now under the watchful eye of a federal monitor, which pairs nicely with an almost inexcusably long five-year federal investigation into her office. (It better be a blockbuster, y'all!)

Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer might be a credible candidate - why, I don't know, but that's what I'm constantly told - if her sense of entitlement hadn't already boiled over.

Wealthy Willie Wilson will give hangers-on a nice payday and may even notch 10 percent of the vote (if he makes it to the finish line) but he's a joke-and-a-half.

Former superprincipal Troy LaRaviere may seem like a logical candidate to step into the CPS breech, but he has yet to show (or the media has yet to cover, I honestly don't know which) an aptitude for running the rest of the city. (Maybe he's really running to be the next CEO superintendent.)

Tech entrepreneur Neal Sales-Griffin is already a bust.

Police reform activist J'Mal Green will not save us. Chance The Rapper is not running.

That brings me back to Lightfoot. She seems to have the smarts.

Or someone not yet in the race. But it's getting pretty late for that.


And somehow the report about the school closings failure is a one-day story that has come and gone. You'd think by now I wouldn't be so shocked.


Meanwhile, the mayor focuses on ribbon-cuttings.

Sure, as a politician - that is to say, as a psychopath lacking empathy for others - you hardly want to dwell on bad news. As a human, though, you'd think Rahm would be seen calling an emergency meeting at CPS and fixing this now instead of CNA and everywhere else he's been seen this week chuckling and glad-handing.


The mayor today:


If a mayor fails in the forest and no one hears him, did he really fail at all?


New on the Beachwood . . .

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: The Kozmic Kicks, The Skull, Of Wolves, Knee High Fox, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, The Goon Sax, Martin Rev, Inclination, Iron Years, False Figures, Cruz de Navajas, Ingested, Aborted, Merkules, Gretchen Erickson, David Byrne, Los Lobos, Los Lonely Boys, Ozomatli, Depeche Mode, Loverboy, Survivor, Kishi Bashi, and and Sneezy.



Immigration Sins Of The Past And The Forced Separation Of Families
"Our system has largely allowed ICE to detain persons who are potentially removable or excludable, for as long as it deems necessary, and to hold them in shocking, inhumane conditions."



Which Side Are You On? | Donald Trump And The NFL's Rich White Owners Vs. Colin Kaepernick, African Americans And People Against Unjustified Police Killings
"While the master of diversion is using attacks on black athletes to pump up his white base of support for the midterms and diverting attention from the Mueller investigation, we must keep our focus on the indiscriminate police killing of our young black people and the issue of racial justice."

See also: Man Takes Knee At Trump's Super Bowl Winner Replacement Celebration.


Wisconsin Dairy, Wheat & Gender
"A main reason the dairy industry didn't take off until the late 1800s was because it was considered 'women's work,' while growing wheat and other field crops was thought more appropriate for men.

"It took the better part of 30 years for Wisconsin farmers, men especially, to work their minds around the idea that it was appropriate for men to have something to do with cattle. It was a gender issue. I think I'm probably the first person, at least I haven't seen anybody else talk about it as a gender issue, but it was that, in my judgement. It just took a while for men to wrap their minds around it."






"Chicago" - Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra, 1944 (V-Disc version).


A sampling.

When Guns Are Sold Illegally, ATF Is Lenient.

Law and order for some, but not others. Another mark of authoritarianism. A private army lurks in case of, say, impeachment.


Carpentersville Just Repealed Its English-Only Law.


Private Equity Bosses Took $200 Million Out Of Toys R Us And Crashed The Company; Lifetime Employees Got $0 In Severance.


A sampling.

There are far more ways - creative, innovative and exciting ways, including retooling analog methods, like crossword puzzles that have always provided more readership than a certain amount of news stories (and that's okay!) - to make money in the digital world than print. This scratches the surface.






The Beachwood Tronc Line: Finalize.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:57 AM | Permalink

Before Dairy Ruled, Wheat Reigned In Wisconsin

While Wisconsin is known as "America's Dairyland," this nickname would not have accurately depicted the state during its first 50 years. In fact, the early history of Wisconsin agriculture is dominated by other crops - most notably, wheat - that preceded the contemporary dairy industry.

In order to better understand the story of Wisconsin's agriculture, it's also important to look at the history of the state itself. Author Jerry Apps, a onetime University of Wisconsin-Extension agricultural agent and UW-Madison professor emeritus, discussed the roots of agriculture in the state in an Oct. 23, 2015 presentation at the Wisconsin Book Festival. Apps' presentation, recorded for Wisconsin Public Television's University Place, was based on his 2015 book, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, which explored Wisconsin's agricultural history as influenced through factors like climate, geography and settlement patterns.

Dating back to the last glaciation some 10,000 years ago, which left behind a landscape of lakes, rivers and rich soil, Wisconsin has been a fertile location for many types of agriculture. The Native American peoples who first settled the region utilized the land for this purpose, growing crops like maize, beans and squash.

In the early and mid-1800s, immigrants began to settle and begin farming in the state. First came "Yankees" from New England and upstate New York, followed by Germans and Norwegians and, in turn, Belgians, Irish, Poles and Scots. The focus of farmers in the state's early decades was on growing wheat. In 1860, Wisconsin was the second-largest state for wheat production in the United States. By 1870, however, wheat cultivation began to fail, compelling farmers to turn to other crops like hops, tobacco, potatoes and hemp.

A main reason the dairy industry didn't take off until the late 1800s was because it was considered "women's work," while growing wheat and other field crops was thought more appropriate for men. Women were expected to milk and feed cows, as well as make butter and cheese. That assumption changed in the 1880s when William Dempster Hoard, founder of the national Hoard's Dairyman magazine and the state's governor from 1889-1891, encouraged men to rethink their focus, calling "king wheat" a dying industry and "queen cow" an up-and-coming opportunity. Largely due to Hoard's encouragement, entrepreneurs began building cheese factories around the state because the its road system was not suitable to transport milk to major markets.

Several inventions were particularly important in the development of Wisconsin's dairy industry. The tower silo, for example, allowed for airtight storage of cattle feed, or silage, in the winter. Initially, farmers were unaccepting of the idea, but now Wisconsin is one of the predominant silage producing states. Babcock butterfat testers, which separate fat from milk and measure it, was also an early and vital invention in the state. Prior to their invention and widespread use, farmers oftentimes added water to their milk.

uplace-agriculture-history-dairy.jpgPJ Nelson/CC BY-SA 2.0

Key Facts

  • In 1851, the Milwaukee Sentinel published the "Emigrants Handbook," which aimed to attract settlers to the state and was extremely effective.
  • The University of Wisconsin was influential in developing the state's dairy industry. Its College of Agriculture was established in 1889, its Extension service in 1908 and the first county-based agriculture agent started working in 1912. According to Apps, early educational efforts led by UW was one of the best examples of the Wisconsin Idea in action. (Disclosure: The University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension is a partner of WisContext.)
  • The University of Wisconsin Dairy Barn was built in 1898 for $16,000. UW sent an agricultural engineer to France to find an example of what a dairy barn should look like, which is why the structure has a French-style pointed top on its attached silo. The university planned to remove the building in 1951, but students urged officials to reconsider. They were successful and the building is still used today.
  • World War II brought major developments in Wisconsin's agriculture industry, including the development of aluminum, which led to irrigation systems and technology, widespread distribution of electricity, which allowed for milking machines, and greater use of tractors. The era also saw broad changes in rural communities, including the consolidation of country schools, decline of country churches and decline of local hardware stores and lumber yards. These changes led to farms becoming larger in size and fewer in number.
  • In addition to dairy, Wisconsin is also a major producer of canned vegetables, ginseng, cranberries, cherries and maple syrup. Additionally, farmers are increasingly growing grapes to support new wineries in the state.
  • Apps gave a similar speech titled, "A Brief Look at Wisconsin's Agricultural History," on April 23, 2010, which was also recorded for Wisconsin Public Television's University Place.

Key Quotes

  • On Wisconsin being a large producer of wheat in the mid-1800s: "You fly over southern Wisconsin and you see all those little ponds, little mill ponds, and that's because of our wheat industry, because we, farmers and businessmen, found it more profitable to grind the wheat into flour rather than ship to reap kernels. So, there was a lot of flour made in Wisconsin. And each one of those little mill ponds provided water power for a mill."
  • On the dairy industry beginning with women: "It took the better part of 30 years for Wisconsin farmers, men especially, to work their minds around the idea that it was appropriate for men to have something to do with cattle. It was a gender issue. I think I'm probably the first person, at least I haven't seen anybody else talk about it as a gender issue, but it was that, in my judgement. It just took a while for men to wrap their minds around it."
  • On the importance of silos in the dairy industry: "As crazy as it sounds, the history of silos and the history of silage is a very important part of Wisconsin's agricultural history because silage, corn silage in the early days, allowed us to have an alternative feed in the wintertime. And, as Hoard said to all of his neighbors and the Germans and all the rest of them, 'If you're going to dairy cattle milk in the wintertime, you're going to have to feed them.'"
  • On the attraction of Wisconsin's agricultural landscape: "The number one reason was the opportunity to see farms, to see alfalfa growing, to see farm buildings, to see the beauty that is part of our agriculture. I've never forgotten that. That's very important. We always think of the economics of agriculture, and that's important. But we should also think there's an aesthetic to agriculture. There's an inherent beauty to agriculture."
  • On researching his 2015 book, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History: "When I began working on this project, I really discovered that it would probably take 10 volumes to write the history of Wisconsin agriculture. And I also, though, was encouraged that in 1922 a one-volume history was written, and that person at that time indicated that there are more pages to be written, and I would say the same thing today. There are more pages to be written about Wisconsin's agricultural history."

This post was originally published on WisContext which produced the article in a partnership between Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and Cooperative Extension.


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.

* When Oshkosh Was Sin City.

* Wisconsin Workers, Chicago Commuters And The Cost Of Living.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:09 AM | Permalink

June 5, 2018

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Kozmic Kicks at Debonair on Friday night.


2. The Skull at Reggie's for the Doomed & Stoned Festival on Saturday night.


3. Of Wolves at Doomed & Stoned on Saturday night.


4. Knee High Fox at the Forge in Joliet on Sunday night.


5. Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks at Thalia Hall on Sunday night.


6. The Goon Sax at Subterranean on Sunday night.


7. Martin Rev at the Empty Bottle on Friday night.


8. Inclination at Beat Kitchen on Sunday night.


9. Iron Years at the Burlington on Saturday night.


10. False Figures at the Burlington on Saturday night.


11. Cruz de Navajas at the Burlington on Saturday night.


12. Ingested at the Forge in Joliet on Thursday night.


13. Aborted at the Forge in Joliet on Thursday night.


14. Merkules at the Wire in Berwyn on Saturday night.


15. Gretchen Erickson at Jesse's Tavern in Chicago Ridge on Sunday night.


16. David Byrne at the Chicago Auditorium on Sunday night.


17. Los Lobos & Los Lonely Boys at Ravinia on Friday night.


18. Ozomatli at Ravinia on Friday night.


19. Depeche Mode at the Blackhawks arena on Friday night.


20. Loverboy at Ravinia on Sunday night.


21. Survivor at Ravinia on Sunday night.


22. Kishi Bashi at the Old Town School on Friday night.


Catching up with . . .

Sneezy at Martyrs' on May 26th.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:42 AM | Permalink

Which Side Are You On? | Donald Trump And The NFL's Rich White Owners Vs. Colin Kaepernick, African Americans And People Against Unjustified Police Killings

President Donald Trump is an admirer of "strong men" and dictatorships and has little regard for democracy.

Dictatorships don't spring up overnight - they're cultivated and marched forward in a systematic manner with a similar formula: dictators undermine society's institutions of democracy, like constitutions, customs and mores, including the right to protest.

Dictators divide people and pit them against one another, using race, religion and class. Dictators undermine the rule of law and disregard justice, and do it all in the name of "law and order;" dictators systematically lie to their people and have no regard for facts, science or the truth; dictators systematically attack freedom of the press; and rich oligarchs do dictators' bidding, e.g., NFL owners. Many of them gave millions of dollars to Trump's election and inauguration.

NFL owners - a gang of 32 virtually all white men - are some of the richest people in our country.

Owning an NFL team is their status symbol, football players are their playthings and, in one owner's words, "We can't have the inmates running the asylum."

The military is paying the NFL for the field-wide flags, the flyovers and all the military trappings surrounding every NFL game.

The NFL owners are part of the inequality in this country that has reached obscene extremes, with the richest three individuals having as much wealth as 50 percent of the rest of the country combined.

Super Bowl quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem in protest of the police killings of young, unarmed African Americans. His silent, nonviolent protest was and is a First Amendment right, even if NFL teams are privately owned. Now, independent of the NFL Players Association and their collectively bargained contract, the owners have unilaterally ruled such protests in violation of their rules and subject to heavy fines.

Trump consciously, and the NFL owners (maybe) unconsciously, are using race to divide Americans. The league is 80 percent African American.

While the master of diversion is using attacks on black athletes to pump up his white base of support for the midterms and diverting attention from the Mueller investigation, we must keep our focus on the indiscriminate police killing of our young black people and the issue of racial justice.

The flag is America's symbol, not it's substance! America's substance is what it stands for - including the right to protest a wrong or for what's right!

Who is most American? Who most respects the flag? A player who kneels to protest the excessive killing of young African Americans? Or a president who disrespects African-American mothers by calling their sons "sons of bitches?"

Who is most American? A football player risking life and health engaged in a legal but violent sport, or President Trump illegally profiteering off his public office by having foreign diplomats and dignitaries stay at his hotels and resorts in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution?

President Trump can exercise his First Amendment right and call the players SOBs; the NFL owners can exercise their First Amendment right and say, "We can't let the inmates run the asylum," but NFL players will be punished if they exercise their First Amendment right by quietly kneeling in protest of police brutality and racial injustice. As one writer has mused, has the NFL added the First Amendment to its list of "banned substances?"


Links added by Beachwood.



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

* Why Colin Kaepernick Matters.

* Your Turn: Colin Kaepernick's Protest.

* Youth Football Team (8-Year-Olds) Take Knees In Belleville.

* Taking A Knee In Trump Country.

* Black Athletes Can Teach Us About More Than Just Sports.

* A Long History Of Protest For Black Athletes.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:31 AM | Permalink

Immigration Sins Of The Past And The Forced Separation Of Families

This post is the first in a series on the Trump administration's policy of separating families at the border.

After more than a year of suggestions that it would do so, the Trump administration is forcibly separating children from their parents at the border.

Last fall, then-DHS Secretary John Kelly said that DHS was considering separating children from their parents at the border, only to walk back the idea after being pressed by some Senate Democrats.

By the end the year, however, the administration was again purportedly weighing a plan to separate children from their parents.

At the start of this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the threat explicit: "If you don't like that, then don't smuggle children."

Kelly, now Trump's chief of staff, backed up Sessions, suggesting that family separation would deter unlawful border crossings.

There was also a story about the president personally insisting on separating children from their families, as well as reports that the administration considering a proposal to keep children on military bases after yanking them away from their families.

The news that the administration is actually pursuing a policy of taking children away from their parents nonetheless still took some people by surprise. Two weeks ago, MSNBC's Chris Hayes documented the policy in a heart-wrenching, bone-chilling, and gut-punching segment.

In this post, I want to point out how immigration policies and laws that preceded the Trump administration made the separation of families possible, and previously resulted in the separation of families.

babyimmigration.jpgMark Wilson/Getty Images

Immigration law is notoriously broad, and it makes a lot of people both removable and detainable. Immigration detention facilities are also not always family-centric. The combination of those two things - legally permissible mass detentions and facilities that are not family-centric - led to some family separation in the past. And today it has allowed an administration that is both committed to the maximum enforcement of immigration law and has little regard for empathy and mercy to force more family separations.

In tomorrow's post, I will explain why the laws cited by the administration do not require the separation of families. In this post, however, I will explain why and how our unjust immigration laws have permitted it, and may even still permit it, at least in some instances.

To understand this issue, it is helpful to consider different possibilities for how children might cross the border. One possibility is that the minor enters the United States alone. Another possibility is that an entire family enters the United States together. The question in Ms. L v. ICE is what should happen to the children in families who enter the United States together.

Before 2001, families were generally not detained for immigration purposes in those circumstances, particularly where families claimed they feared returning to their home country and thus had credible claims for asylum.

Things changed somewhat after 9/11 when Congress passed some restrictive immigration statutes that, among other things, required the detention of certain persons who were subject to deportation or exclusion proceedings.

Some of the people who were subject to mandatory detentions may have arrived with family. But at the time the statutes were enacted, there were not really "family-centric" detention centers, perhaps because the U.S. policy up until then was to not detain families.

Some litigation had also resulted in policies and agreements that juveniles could not be detained alone with unrelated adults, in part because of the risks and violence and abuse that juveniles might be exposed to under those conditions.

Responding to those concerns, the federal government constructed some juvenile detention facilities. Several cases, which I'll talk more about tomorrow when I discuss the administration's legal position, acknowledge that families were separated based on a lack of family-centric detention facilities.

But, again, that did not include cases where families asserted credible asylum claims. And the prospect of separating families led some jurisdictions to create family-centric detention centers, which reduced (at least contingently, as I'll explain in a second) the need for family separations.

While some statutes impose mandatory detentions, others make detentions discretionary. That is, the statutes allow the attorney general and Homeland Security secretary to decide whether to detain (or not detain) classes of persons, and the AG and DHS Secretary can decide whether to detain (or not detain) individuals on a case-by-case basis as well. An administration's detention policy with respect to those statutes might affect whether an administration has the capacity to keep families together.

Imagine an administration that has a very lenient detention policy, and does not, as a general rule, detain persons who are not subject to mandatory detention, except in rare cases raising public safety concerns or flight risks. In that scenario, the number of existing family-centric detention centers (which is still not large) might suffice to ensure that any families who are detained are not separated.

But imagine an administration that has a harsher detention policy - say an administration that has released several memos announcing it will detain just about anyone it suspects of being removable or excludable. What happens when the administration is detaining more persons and more families than existing family detention centers are equipped to house?

That administration has a choice: It could decide not to detain families in those circumstances (it could, among other things, decide to release families with monitoring devices); it could choose not to detain families until it builds more family detention centers; or it could detain everyone and separate families for whom there is no room in family-centric detention centers.

To be clear, that is not what is apparently happening in Ms. L v. ICE. That is, the administration is not arguing that it does not have the capacity to detain families in family-centric detention centers.

And there are, to be sure, limits on the extent to which an administration can opt to forcibly separate families even though it has the capacity to keep them together.

For example, in January 2015, a group of Central American migrants challenged the government's policy of purportedly not releasing Central American families. In R.I.L-R v. Johnson, the District Court for the District of Columbia granted the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction, holding that DHS could not elect to detain families on the ground that doing so would deter unlawful immigration in the future. The court found that "DHS policy directs ICE officers to consider deterrence of mass migration as a factor in their custody determinations, and that this policy has played a significant role in the recent increased detention of Central American mothers and children," and preliminarily enjoined the government from using deterrence as a factor in detaining the plaintiffs.

Likewise, in Flores v. Johnson, the court held that defendants could not refuse to release accompanied children (i.e., children who cross the border with their parents) and their parents on the grounds that not releasing them would deter other families from attempting to cross the border. The court reasoned that DHS had offered no evidence to support its deterrence rationale. (This is, of course, the same rationale the Trump administration is purportedly relying on to separate families, as I noted above.)

What these hypotheticals illustrate is the idea that the breadth of immigration law, which makes so many people potentially removable and excludable, coupled with the discretion the executive branch has to detain persons for immigration reasons, allows an administration to overwhelm the capacity of family-centric detention centers simply by detaining all of the people it can.

One additional wrinkle: What if an administration has the physical capacity to keep families together in detention centers, but lacks the practical ability to keep them safe? That is, what if the government chooses to put a child's parents in a very unforgiving detention facility that is not set up for family detentions? Or, more sympathetically, what if the government has to put a child's parents in a very unforgiving detention facility because there is no room in other facilities, and the parent is subject to mandatory detention?

There are some grounds on which an administration might try to justify family separation in those circumstances - that is, in individual cases, as opposed to writ large (as this administration is apparently doing).

Assume that a child's parents are subject to mandatory detention, and imagine that the available detention centers are formally family-centric, but have a long history of abuse and violence. Imagine also that there are juvenile detention facilities with no similar risk of violence (this might be pure imagination, as an ACLU report (and subsequent addendum) on ICE's treatment of undocumented children suggests). In those circumstances, an administration might argue that separating a family is in a child's best interest, and that the child's parents can't ensure the child's safety while in the detention facility.

As this Washington Post piece alludes to, there are very good reasons not to leave children in the custody of immigration and customs enforcement and border patrol.

Alternatively, imagine there are policies allowing for the release of juveniles, but not of adults. (There are actually such policies; they include the Office of Refugee Resettlement's sponsorship program.) Here too, an administration might plausibly argue that it is in the best interests of the child not to be housed in detention facilities, and the abuses that have occurred in immigration detention centers might give these arguments a ring of plausibility.

Under circumstances like those described above, families would still be separated, but only in particular cases where there was no room in family-centric or comparatively safer detention facilities. Families would also not be separated in all cases in which parents are being detained (as is purportedly happening now).

Even then, however, one might wonder whether the decision to separate the family should be the family's, rather than the administration's - that is, perhaps a just system would allow the family to decide whether to stay together in a harsher ICE detention facility or be separated.

One might also wonder why ICE can detain a child's parents in a facility that is so unsafe that ICE cannot ensure the safety of persons in it.

It is not clear whether the laws permit an administration to separate families on the ground that ICE has detained the parents in a non-family-centric detention facility, particularly where other options are available to the administration (such as choosing a family-centric detention facility, or perhaps making detention facilities where it can ensure detainees' basic safety).

It is also far from clear that juvenile detention facilities are safe, or safe enough to justify separating children from their families.

There are also serious questions about ORR's oversight of the "sponsorship" program, under which it releases minors to the custody of other persons, and whether it reliably safeguards children's interest.

Consider reports that ORR has, in the past, released some children into the custody of human traffickers, and has also not been able to follow up on the whereabouts of thousands of children as part of the sponsorship program. Under those circumstances, the administration would be making family reunification hard, if not impossible, once it separates a child from the child's parents. And the increase in the number of detentions is likely to over-burden the system more, making it even more difficult to keep track of families and ensure reunification.

To wrap up: The administration is taking the position that laws require it to separate children from their families once ICE takes parents into its custody. For reasons I'll explain tomorrow, that is not the case. The harder question is whether the administration is even permitted to separate families, at least in some circumstances, when ICE takes parents into its custody and detains them in harsh, unsafe detention facilities that are not family-centric.

The reason that question is hard, however, is because, until now, we have largely ducked questions such as: How many people can an administration detain for immigration reasons, and for how long can it detain them? Can an administration detain families in general, and when a member of the family may be subject to mandatory detention in particular? And in what conditions is it permissible for an administration to detain people - families, children, and anyone? Until now, our system has largely allowed ICE to detain persons who are potentially removable or excludable, for as long as it deems necessary, and to hold them in shocking, inhumane conditions.

The Trump administration shows that's more than a bad idea; it's a terrible one.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Professor Leah Litman researches and writes on constitutional law with a particular focus on federalism and federal post-conviction review. Her recent work has appeared or will appear in the Michigan Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, the Duke Law Journal, the Northwestern Law Review, and the Federal Sentencing Reporter as well as several online journals including the Columbia Law Review Sidebar.



* Immigration Raids Send Chill Through Little Village.

* This Is What A Deportation Raid Is Like.

* Illinois Immigrant, Labor, Legal Leaders Condemn ICE Raids.

* Chicago Activists Tell Undocumented Immigrants Not To Open Their Doors.

* A Shameful Round-Up Of Refugees.

* U.S. Government Deporting Central American Migrants To Their Deaths.

* Tell President Obama To Stop Deporting Refugees.

* Immigrants Arrested In U.S. Raids Say They Were Misled On Right To Counsel.

* Obama Planning Huge Deportation Sweep Of Immigrant Families.

* Immigrants Deported Under Obama Share Stories Of Terror And Rights Violations.

* Chicago Family Sues ICE & City Over Raid, Gang Database.

* Immigrants In Detention Centers Are Often Hundreds Of Miles From Legal Help.

* Chicago And The Deportation Machine.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:06 AM | Permalink

June 4, 2018

The [Monday] Papers



A post shared by Emma-Louise Wilson (@elmw17) on


Better luck Tuesday.


New on the Beachwood . . .

Tips For Watching The Rest Of The White Sox Season
No. 1: Be not disappointed if Ricky's Boys do, in fact, Quit, or at the very least get outscored by a bunch of runs.



#lastshopping #chicago

A post shared by Enrique Grande (@drenriquegrande) on



Parking Garage Car Show.



Our Arab.


Chicago's SXE Community, Part 2.




A sampling.




The Beachwood Tronc Line: Stand and deliver.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:21 AM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Javy, Again

Was baseball watching? Did it appreciate the most exciting play in the game executed perfectly by Willson Contreras and, of course, the incomparable Javy Baez on Sunday in New York? And did it remember how great the game can be when played with intelligence and aggression?

Because that theft of home, even though it happened in the middle of a game, was as thrilling as just about any walk-off home run.

And Javy didn't just steal home, he stole it by a mile. And at the same time, Contreras didn't just draw an initial pick-off throw, he then bolted for second as the first baseman relayed the ball home and was safe there without a throw. That base proved critical when Contreras moved to third on an infield hit and then scored on Ben Zobrist's one-out sacrifice fly.

And the Cubs went on to win 2-0 to complete a four-game sweep of the Mets in New York and cap off a 6-1 road trip. Not bad. They enter this week tied with the Brewers in the loss column but the team from Milwaukee has still played four more games than the Cubs.

As he has already done many times in his still young career, Mr. Baez electrified his team and Cubs fans and reminded everyone how exciting good baserunning can be. And baseball needs to pay very close attention.

Because plays like this are becoming less and less frequent (which actually adds to the excitement). I understand the analytics that point out that unless you are successful stealing about 75 percent of the time it isn't worth it to lose the baserunner.

But I would argue that is only in situations when high average players are coming up. And I would argue that, especially in the National League, teams can make hay and increase excitement, with aggressive baserunning in the bottom half of the order.

The perfect scenario for that sort of play arose quickly in the seventh inning after Contreras singled and Baez, who had also singled, went first to third. Baez quickly made eye contact with Contreras, who said after the game that he knew exactly what Javy wanted.

One critical ingredient was that Mets pitcher Steve Matz was a lefty and therefore wasn't looking at Baez at third when he went into his stretch. Another was that the Cubs had apparently worked on a variation of this sort of play way back in spring training but the circumstances for it were never perfect until Sunday.

After the Cubs scored, Jon Lester went out and consolidated the lead with his seventh and final shutout inning on the day. There were worries coming into the season that Lester had taken a small step back last year and was no longer a top-two guy in a winning rotation. He has answered those concerns with a great run of starts over the past month. And his going seven innings was of course especially clutch because the Cubs had taxed their bullpen and then some the night before in a 14-inning win.

If any pitcher in the league would seem to be vulnerable to the double steal it would be Lester, who went into this season with a different strategy for conquering the case of "yips" that has made it very difficult for him to throw to bases for the past half-dozen seasons or so. This year he was going to focus on throwing down toward bases, i.e., not worrying if the ball bounced on its way there. He has had some success with that but of late mostly he has avoided giving up excess base-runners.

The Cubs have a day off today and then welcome the Phillies to Wrigley Field with a game starting at 7:05 Tuesday.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:02 AM | Permalink

June 3, 2018

Tips For Watching The Rest Of The Season

In the interest of being helpful to fans during this season in which the team has lost 38 of 56 games, perhaps a manual of Tips for Watching the White Sox would come in handy at this juncture. So here goes.

Tip Number One. Don't go out to the ballpark or tune in on TV or radio to see whether the team will win or lose. The final outcome is of no consequence. Be not disappointed if Ricky's Boys do, in fact, Quit, or at the very least get outscored by a bunch of runs. When all is decided four months from now, the losses very well may be in triple digits, so what's another setback? If you have not figured out by now that Rebuilds are not about wins and losses, be hereby informed.

Tip Number Two. However, be cognizant of the way the team plays. You know, like many things in life, there is a right and wrong way to do things. The right way includes hitting the cutoff man - the Sox do this fairly well - and running the bases with aplomb and intelligence, a trait that eludes this bunch too often. They do lead the major leagues in stolen bases which might not please the analytic crowd which disdains this statistic, but at least Renteria's athletes are good at something. Now if only they stopped getting picked off and getting hung up between bases, we could laud the coaching staff for teaching this fundamental of the game.

Tip Number Three. Tune in or arrive late. The first inning has been killer for this team. They've been pummeled for 57 first-inning runs, which is 17 more than any other inning so far this season. Meanwhile, the Sox have scored only 26 times in their half of the first. The opposition has scored at least two runs in the opening frame 17 times, putting the South Siders in an early hole on a regular basis. Start watching, say, in the fourth inning, where the Sox have outscored the opposition 39-38. So be an hour late. No worries.

Tip Number Four. If you decide to actually travel to 35th and Shields and you enjoy sitting downstairs - judging by the near-empty and sometimes-closed upper deck especially for weekday games, the lower bowl contains the seats of choice - please know that good seats always are available unless fans from Milwaukee or the North Side show up to see the Brewers or Cubs. The Sox-Brewers series last weekend drew approximately 75,000. But in the handful of games I've attended this season, I can't remember a red-jerseyed usher ever checking my seat location. I'm not complaining. The opportunity of being able to sit just about anywhere makes going to a Sox game kind of nice.

Keep in mind also that starting in Box 119 in short right field and continuing to Box 145 in short left, tickets average about $16-$21 more expensive than those just one box over and continuing to box seats in the corners. In other words, like most parks, you pay more for seats between the bases. The only problem is that whatever the price or seat location, the fan, more often than not, watches the same inept team, notwithstanding last weekend's series win over Milwaukee. And, as I've already pointed out, you can elect to move closer to the action without being hassled. If the Rebuild is successful, that option will quickly disappear.

Tip Number Five. Keeping with the theme of buying a ticket and going to a game, know in advance that you have much less access to video replays than the fans watching at home. Just about every at-bat and many pitches, regardless of how they impinge on the Sox' reputation for proper performance, are shown on television. However, the monstrous centerfield video board only shows replays when the Sox get a hit, make a nice play, or do something that good teams tend to do. Of course, that happens far too infrequently these days. Management could unplug the huge sumbitch overlooking centerfield and little would be lost other than the never-ending fan cams capturing folks of all ages dancing, drinking, laughing, kissing, and just having a grand old time at the ballpark.

Two other items about the scoreboard in centerfield. If you haven't figured out as yet what "MVR" means, it's "Mound Visits Remaining," of which each team gets six. (Changing pitchers doesn't count.) This could be so exciting if that number ever came anywhere near zero. At least in the NBA, keeping track of timeouts can be important, especially if you're J.R. Smith. But mound visits? I say limit them to three or four if the commissioner's office is truly serious about shortening games, or how about requiring each team to have a set monthly number of complete games thrown by starting pitchers?

On that note, Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco and Seattle's James Paxton each have thrown two complete games this season. No one else has more than one. The four complete games of Carrasco and Paxton have averaged 2 hours, 35 minutes, or a half-hour less than the MLB average.

Getting back to the White Sox video board, whoever presses the buttons for balls and strikes is terribly slow on the draw. The lapse between the call at the plate and the posting on the scoreboard is unexplainable, especially when compared to the ballpark across town where the balls and strikes are posted almost instantaneously on a board that was built in 1937. Call it heresy if you must, but Sox bosses should send their personnel to the North Side to witness the dexterity of the Cubs' scoreboard operators and their practice of showing replays of every action on the field regardless of whether the home team looks good.

Tip Number Six. Celebrate players like Daniel Palka, Charlie Tilson, Jose Rondon, Trayce Thompson, Matt Skole, Alfredo Gonzalez and Dylan Covey. These are guys who in almost any other organization would be toiling in the minor leagues. Due to the talent on the White Sox roster and a flurry of injuries, they currently are members of the White Sox.

Thompson, who was released by three other teams earlier this season, owns a .133 batting average over 34 games. Palka, a good hitter whose pinch hit home run Sunday turned out to be the game-winner, is a liability in the outfield. Last Monday in Cleveland with the Sox ahead 5-2 and two outs with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth inning, Palka came running in to capture Edwin Encarnacion's pop fly in short right field. The ball hit him in a vulnerable spot - his glove - before dropping to the ground as all three runners scored. Before the inning ended, a three-run cushion morphed into a two-run deficit. Tilson, the New Trier product, is a feel-good story, playing in front of his hometown friends and family after recovering from injuries that took almost two years to heal. He can't hit like Palka, but he can run and play the outfield, two skills that Thompson also possesses. Skole made his major league debut in the same game as Palka's tribulations, singling in his first-ever at-bat and launching a homer deep into the right field stands in his second plate appearance. Moonlight Graham would have been thrilled.

After appearing in six games two seasons ago for the Padres, Rondon was recalled on May 5th, and the 24-year-old has responded with three home runs in limited action. Gonzalez, who replaced the suspended Welington Castillo, got his first major league hit on Sunday to tie the game at one. Because of injuries, righthanded pitcher Dylan Covey is back for his third try in the big leagues with the Sox after going 0-7 last year with a 7.71 ERA. After five innings on Sunday when he didn't allow an earned run, Covey has covered his last three starts over 16-plus innings on a yield of just three earned runs. No matter what happens in the future, these athletes can tell their grandchildren what it was like to play major league baseball. We can be happy for them. We can share in their joy.

Final Tip. It's only baseball. Lighten up. Easy for me to say. If only I could do it.


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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:57 PM | Permalink

June 2, 2018

The Weekend Desk Report

"Friends of a boater who disappeared Monday, prompting a search that left a Fire Department diver dead, located a body in the South Branch of the Chicago River on Friday while searching for the missing man, they said," the Tribune reports.

"[F]amily and friends were not happy with official efforts to look for the body, leading them to organize their own search.

"We had to do it ourselves," [one man] said. "So we went out and we started looking for him."

That strikes me as . . . unusual? Unprecedented?

"The body was spotted in the river west of Damen Avenue about 1:15 p.m. Friday, and the group called 911, a law enforcement source confirmed . . .

"Clothing on the body appeared to match that worn by Alberto Lopez, 28, who fell off a boat Monday night into the river near Ashland Avenue. During the ensuing search, Fire Department diver Juan Bucio died."


"Four days into the search for Alberto Lopez's remains in the South Branch of the Chicago River, Lopez's friends said they didn't think Chicago police efforts were cutting it," the Sun-Times reports.

So they took a boat out to look on their own Friday afternoon. And it worked.

They say they spotted the body themselves near Damen - barely half a mile from the spot Lopez fell overboard on Memorial Day - and then called police to retrieve it.

"We got sick of waiting and waiting for the police," said Ricardo Sanchez, a friend and coworker of Lopez.

Police, of course, defended their rescue efforts.

"Our officers were out and looked in the river multiple days," CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Sun-Times.


"Lopez had been sitting near the edge of a 16-foot pleasure boat Monday when a larger boat passed, and the wake knocked him in. He was unable to swim and wasn't wearing a lifejacket, authorities said."


United We Fail
"The huge installations United Airlines uses to prepare and cook in-flight food recently got a new addition: some television screens. But rather than just providing news or talk show chatter, they broadcast messages explaining why workers shouldn't unionize," Bloomberg reports.

"Employees at all five of United Continental Holdings Inc.'s kitchens in the U.S. said the screens, installed this year, broadcast a company line urging opposition to hospitality union Unite Here - which is seeking to organize its workers - or touting United's achievements. Among the messages are warnings about the cost of union dues, the potential for workers to lose benefits if they unionize and the difficulty of getting rid of a union once it's been voted in. The last point, the workers said, is illustrated with the image of a forearm with a 'Together Forever' tattoo."

United CEO Oscar Munoz made $18.7 million last year to come up with brilliant ideas like this one. If it seems like Munoz has been a disaster in the job, that's because he has been.

At least he's not yet reached the depths of his predecessor, Jeff Smisek, who resigned amidst a federal corruption investigation. One might suggest that unionized hospitality workers aren't the biggest threat to the airlines.


"In a complaint filed late Wednesday with the National Mediation Board, Unite Here alleged that United has illegally prevented employees from engaging in pro-union activity and subjected pro-union employees to surveillance, harassment and retaliation.

"The complaint, which claims support by 58 sworn employee declarations, also alleges that United officials conveyed 'threats, promises, and misinformation through postings and electronic messages in the workplace,' such as the TV screens, and in small group and one-on-one meetings . . .

"On May 23, when confronted by employees at a shareholder meeting . . . Munoz said United's job was to 'educate' employees about their benefits and how, under collective bargaining, those could be subject to negotiation."

That's what [T]ronc's Jim Kirk tried to tell Los Angeles Times staffers in his failed effort to stave off a newsroom union. But here's the thing: If workers could somehow be worse off by unionizing, management would be the the biggest cheerleaders of organizing!

I've yet to see, however, corporate executives advised to support unionization as a way to negotiate lower wages.


Sure, there are exceptions - like a right-wing billionaire throwing a tantrum and shutting a whole company down.

But unlike, say, DNAinfo, United is a public company and isn't shutting down any time soon - though its continued incompetence could ultimately lead it down that path.


United generated a profit of $2.1 billion in 2017.


United We Stand


New on the Beachwood . . .

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Kooks, American Aquarium, Jose Madero, IAMNOTU, Bucket Brigade, The Crumar Bros., temp., Evasion, The All Night Boogie Band, Lamb of God, Behemoth, Dennis O'Brien Music, and Shania Twain.

Screen Shot 2018-06-02 at 8.56.16 AM.png




Weekend ChicagoTube

Democrats Pick Chicago For 1956 Convention.


Weekend BeachBook

Daddy Kushner, Unfiltered.

Sample: "You want to know what I think about ethics watchdogs? Do you really want to know what I think about those jerks? I think they're a waste of time. They're guys who can't get a real job, ethics watchdog! Who gets a job - ethics watchdog? Give me a break."


Jared is his father's son.

Ivanka is her father's daughter.

Ivanka married her father.


Ivanka's father would like to date her!


One crime family married another crime family.


Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are both Fredo.

Worst Crime Family Ever.


Weekend TweetWood
A sampling.




The Beachwood Tronc Line: Exit strategy.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:25 AM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Ted Leo and The Pharmacists at the Empty Bottle on Thursday night.


2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the Aragon on Tuesday night.


3. The Kooks at the Vic on Wednesday night.


4. American Aquarium at City Winery on Monday night.


5. Jose Madero at the House of Blues on Thursday night.


6. IAMNOTU at the Forge in Joliet on Sunday night.


7. Bucket Brigade at the Owl on Sunday night.


8. The Crumar Bros. at the Owl on Sunday night.


9. Temp. at the Owl on Sunday night.


10. Evasion at Cheers in Midlothian on Sunday night.


11. The All Night Boogie Band at FitzGerald's in Berwyn on Wednesday night.


Catching up with . . .

Lamb of God at the Tinley Park shed on May 25th.


Behemoth at the Tinley Park shed on May 25th.


Dennis O'Brien Music at the Arcada in St. Charles on May 18th.


Shania Twain stinking up the big Chicago arena on May 19th.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:29 AM | Permalink

June 1, 2018

The [Friday] Papers


New on the Beachwood today . . .

Chicagoetry: Bison At The Atom Smasher
I am the soft target here.


The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #203: Done With Joe Maddon
Exposed as a deceptively high-strung, arrogant, patronizing bullshitter. Plus: National Boner Association; Hit Me On The Burner, Prepaid Wireless; The NHL's Medieval Times On Ice; Bears OTAs: Over The Adoration; James Shields Is An Asset, Lucas Giolito Is A Disappointment And Michael Kopech Is In The Major League Witness Protection Program Or Something; and Schweinsteiger!


The Week In Chicago Rock
Is in pre-production.



#springcleaning #sisterchats

A post shared by angela azmitia (@aazmit) on



Trap x art Chicago.



Chicago Justice Project Files FOIA Suit Against CPD.


A sampling.



The Beachwood Tronc Line: That was the river, this is the sea.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:24 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #203: Done With Joe Maddon

Exposed as a deceptively high-strung, arrogant, patronizing bullshitter. Plus: National Boner Association; Hit Me On The Burner, Prepaid Wireless; The NHL's Medieval Times On Ice; Bears OTAs: Over The Adoration; James Shields Is An Asset, Lucas Giolito Is A Disappointment And Michael Kopech Is In The Major League Witness Protection Program Or Something; and Schweinsteiger!



* 203.

:47: National Boner Association.

* ESPN: An Oral History Of The Final Minute Of Regulation Of Cavs-Warriors Game 1.

* New York Times: How The Warriors Won A Wild Game 1 Vs. Cavs.

12:50: Hit Me On The Burner, Prepaid Wireless.

* The Ringer: The Curious Case Of Bryan Colangelo And The Secret Twitter Account.

* ESPN: Sources: 76ers Mull Bryan Colangelo's Dismissal As Twitter-Accounts Probe Focuses On Wife.

21:40: The NHL's Medieval Times On Ice.

* Las Vegas Review-Journal: Stanley Cup Final Prop Bets For Knights-Capitals Game 3.

* The capitol of Kansas is Topeka.

* Washington Post: Alex Ovechkin Is One Of Putin's Biggest Fans. The Question Is Why.

25:25: Bears OTAs: Over The Adoration.

* Sun-Times: Small Issue: Bears' Matt Nagy Not Afraid To Pair Taylor Gabriel With Tarik Cohen.

(We refuse to provide the link. You've seen all you need to see.)

26:28: This Week In The Cubs. This Week In Joe Maddon's Cubsland. As Joe Maddon's Cubs Turn. This Week In Joe Maddon's Cubbieverse. Joe Maddon's Gaslight Theater. I'm Done With Joe Maddon.

* TWIB Notes.

* Willie, Mickey and The Duke.

* Gimenez: I Think Yu Darvish Thinks Chicago Hates Him.

* "Maddon hopes Edwards can begin throwing in two weeks(!)."

That's a long time for a surprise trip to the DL.

* Jayson Stark.

* From my Beachwood Radio Sports Hour notes file:

Screen Shot 2018-06-01 at 4.21.56 PM.png

* "It was (Heyward's) ground ball to second with men on second and third and none out in the top of the seventh inning that [purportedly] got his manager most excited.

"I love the ground ball to second, RBI," Joe Maddon said after the game. "Second and third, I've been waiting for that play. I always call that the double jeopardy. Move 'em over and get him in. That gets so overlooked in the scheme of things. It was outstanding."

* The Slide/s: Joe Maddon is just wrong. The more he lashes out and more stubborn he is the more wrong he is.

* Lineuptista Diva:


"Joe Maddon continues to rotate his players in and out of his lineups. Tonight Ian Happ is in CF while Albert Almora Jr and Addison Russell get the day off: Ben Zobrist is at 2b with Javy Baez at SS: 'I can't emphasize enough, for those on twitter asking these questions, it's really important to balance all these guys' playing time and if you look at their at-bats right now it's pretty even.'"


Now Cubs Twitter getting into the act.


* Coffman: Memorial Cubs.

* Rick Wilkins.

* Joe And Joe Have A Cup Of Joe.

57:57: James Shields Is An Asset, Lucas Giolito Is A Disappointment And Michael Kopech Is In The Major League Witness Protection Program Or Something.

* Tyler Nogood vs. Lucas Suckalotto.

* James Shields Could Pitch His Way To A Contender.

1:01:34: Schweinsteiger!

* Chicago Fire On Brink Of Beachwood Sports Hour Relegation.

1:02:10: Wisconsin Dragons.

* More to come on this breaking story.




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


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:30 PM | Permalink

Chicagoetry: Bison At The Atom Smasher

Bison at the Atom Smasher

I am the soft target here,
I don't quite measure up
To the atom smasher.

Mind you: to me, a particle accelerator
Is an atom smasher and
I'm not even sure

Why I'm here at all.
I know I'm not alone in this.

Here on the low plain of Batavia,
After the memory of Enrico Fermi and
Among the rough prairie grasses,

Perhaps I am a manifestation of
Destiny (that's a little joke!).
Here the Great Plains begin

And some time ago somebody
Slaughtered my ancestors.
Now we just chill

Above the atom smasher.

Again, I don't know ion
From proton, so don't ask.
I'm just trying

To have a good time.
I cherish my wife:

Each morning I tell her
All my dreams.

Last night, I dreamt
I was a buffalo
(That's a little joke!).

My kids are pretty cool.
I try to teach them
Not to be bored.

I worry more for them
Than for me anymore.
Like my huge, fatty heart

Which once nourished the aboriginals,
We are the soft targets here.

The Furies will prioritize
The atom smasher, but goddam
I'm right here, too!

I got no place else to go.
I will steadfastly continue

To show up, come
What may.


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 8:07 AM | Permalink

MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - The Sinclair Sham.
POLITICS - Border Children Sent To Shelters Rife With Abuse.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Bulls Draft Safe & Sound.

BOOKS - Demystifying The Big House.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Foxconn's Dangerous Lake Michigan Gambit.

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