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« August 2018 | Main | October 2018 »

September 30, 2018

The Season In Verse | Has The Rebuild Burst?

Year Two of The Rebuild
Is now part of history.
Rickey's boys show some promise,
But the future's a mystery

We saw some improvement
Which pleases the bosses
The Sox have youth and enthusiasm
Along with a whopping 100 losses.

The mistakes were plentiful.
The misplays were telling.
It's a learning experience.
That's what they've been selling.

Some pieces seem reasonable
Like Lopez and Rodon.
Shields pitches 200 innings
But soon he'll be gone.

Giolito needs consistency.
His ERA soared north of six.
Another season like this one,
And he'll be out of the mix

Dylan Covey got another chance
When Kopech went down.
When the fireballer comes back
Will Covey be around?

When it comes to the bullpen,
These guys made us cry.
Hahn traded all the good ones.
The best now is Jace Fry.

Contending isn't possible
Without a good closer.
Even Soria was better
Than the leftover posers.

The key to this mishmash
Just might be Moncada.
When he makes contact,
He looks like he oughta.

But the strikeouts are appalling
Whether swinging or taking.
This wasn't expected.
We thought he'd be raking.

There were some surprises.
Engel played center without fear.
And he hit 70 points higher.
I suppose we should cheer.

Tim Anderson played better.
He stole 20 sacks.
He made some great plays
And smashed 20 jacks.

Palka was an unknown
When claimed off waivers.
Then he led us in homers.
Can he be a savior?

Davidson started auspiciously
Three homers in KayCee.
But matching last year
Simply wasn't to be.

You gotta love Yolmer.
He's a delight for the fans.
But let's face it, folks,
He's more of a utility man

The Sox have their placeholders,
Guys like Delmonico and LaMarre.
But if they're playing next year,
This team won't go far

Castillo was brought in
For a 15 mil fee.
Then he was sidelined
For using a PED.

Let Welington go elsewhere.
Smith and Narvaez can play.
They both stepped up big time
To hell with Castillo, I say.

Then there's Abreu and Avi
When healthy they're dependable.
Chances are Jose remains
While Garcia's expendable.

The fans wanted Eloy.
Hahn said, "He needs more seasoning,"
Puhleeze, give us a break
For questioning that reasoning.

Take heart, Sox fans.
His arrival is imminent.
But to keep club control,
It won't be immediate.

Two weeks into next season
Jimenez will be an important piece.
Possibly by July
He'll be joined by Dylan Cease.

Enduring this Rebuild
Has created a real test.
No doubt we'll know more
In January at SoxFest.

In the meantime we're fortunate
That this season has ended.
Watching these guys play
Is not recommended.

The snow will be coming
Chicago winters never are short.
We just have to wait for those magic words,
"Pitchers and catchers report."


Roger's previous season-ending poems:
* Ode To 2014.

* The Season In Verse | Could Hardly Be Worse (2015).

* The Season In Verse | Back Up The Hearse (2016).

* The Season In Verse | It Could Have Been Worse (2017).


Plus: Last Year's Cubs Poem: A Season In Verse | They Needed A Nurse.


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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:00 PM | Permalink

September 28, 2018

TrackNotes: Racing Luck

Racing luck, in my game, is a term used to describe almost anything good that happens to a horse and rider in the course of a race.

Saving ground in tight parabolas around the track is great, but being allowed to save ground by horses who don't challenge is racing luck.

Being in the eye of a storm of traffic is bad, but when it's a bubble of protection, like a round flying wedge, you break out and finish forwardly, that's racing luck.

Pestered anywhere on the track, the slow ones fall by the wayside, you slingshot from ginger footwork on the turn on the rail out to the four- or five-hole into the stretch and cruise to the wire. That's not only racing luck, it's also getting, or being handed, a great trip. Woo-hoo.

Or the odds-on doesn't get out of the gate, that's racing luck.

But let's face it, the term is rarely used for the players, the handicappers. Any bettor who doesn't feel at least some luck after a nice win is lying. Granted, your wonderful race-picking know-how is massaged, but there's always a big exhale.

In limited but must-play appearances on just a few race cards recently, I was able to feel the joy that racing luck can bring. Tomorrow's another day, but today is today and it sure is fun.

But there were nagging distractions all during the stint.

There was a boot camp of work at The Real Job that evolved into a monastic routine of shut-eye, sustenance and work. And I don't mean a four-furlong breeze five days out from the big stakes race. Just this week, we knew we had pulled it off.

There's more, Rod Serling.

Proving the theory that fresh air can kill city rats, I inhaled too much of the stuff during a thoroughly enjoyable Kwik Trip to Wisconsin's Fox Valley, came down with a throat and a chest, as Wanny would say, that then became an upper body, as Coach Q would say. Me? I would say that the full barrel of the rib cage hurt so much from coughing - never one Lucky Strike in my life - that it must be what a jockey would feel like if he got kicked in his flak jacket from all four sides by a mean three-year-old colt not yet gelded.

In a Walter Mitty-ish kind of way, with the help of cough syrup that worked quite well but I don't remember it ever making me so dizzy and that's not a complaint, I hallucinated being the tough-as-nails Calvin Borel, Willie Shoemaker or even Red Pollard. Imagine, me and a few of my heroes, all in the same boat!

But maybe I was just like them. Sleeping in the jock's room, with my valet (pronounced VAL-ett in racing) crusty old Emerson C. Radio, waking me just in time to fire up the wagering sites and video feeds, my version of donning the silks, and "riding" the most important stakes races of late summer and this side of Labor Day.

The revered Travers Stakes, the "Summer Derby" from Saratoga on August 25th, was a good day in the TB ward.

In a packed 14-horse field, I eyed Gronkowski, who figured well two off the break including a gutty Place performance in the Belmont Stakes. Fortunately, Vino Rosso was taking stupid Noo Yawk parochial money that rose to 8-1 very late - the suckers lost their money early. Good Magic, Kentucky Derby runner-up - more on him later - was a reasonable 7-5 favorite. Analyst Maggie Wolfendale loved the filly Wonder Gadot, but 'Gadot being a serial bridesmaid in the big Spring stakes for the females I wisely said no, I'm married to others. She finished last.

Way out in the 14-door was Catholic Boy - I'm not gonna say a word about that name. He romped in the Remsen for rookies last December, looked decent, but verklempt, since then and lacklustered (80 Beyer Speed figure) in the Florida Derby in March. But what's this? He won two gradeds at Belmont - his wins had all come at New York tracks - with sneaking-up Beyers of 96 and 99. That is a TrackNotes angle. But those were on turf, you say? Well, um. But JJ Castellano rides again! I also gave Mendelssohn another chance. The way he ran in the Dubai Derby, like the way Kris Kringle spoke Dutch to that girl. I believed.

Bingo! Catholic Boy, wavering some in the stretch, romped by four with Mendelssohn behind him, 7-1 and 14-1. Prices like that, it was across the board both and also $145 Exacta'd.

Fourteen more in the September 1st Woodward Stakes, Saratoga, you had some nice runners, the most famous being Gunnevara, the one-eyed Patch, Discreet Lover and Seeking the Soul.

I liked Japanese-bred Yoshida. He won the Turf Classic on the Derby undercard and was a very respectable fifth in the little-finger-to-the-skies Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. Only fifth in the Fourstardave, I just figured Bill Mott had him ready. I ignored the turf-to-dirt angle again.

Running a nondescript race, Yoshida bided time, swung wide into the stretch and won by two at 6-1. Gunnevara took second. I should probably not scratch my head anymore over Gunnevara, especially on the first weekend in November. It was a more modest payout, but profit nonetheless.

Luck of luck was in an $80k allowance race the same day. Like a Three Stooges - October 21 at the Arcada Theater in St. Charles - through-the-door routine, the 10 was Oreo sandwiched between the 8 and 4 in a most eventful stretch run. The inside 8 drifts out, bumps 10, who drifts out and moves the four outward, then 8 and 4 put a serious squeeze on the 10. They finish 8-4-10. I've got only the 10-8 exacta, objection and inquiry. I'm figuring 4-8-10. But the stewards put 8 down second and DQ 4 to third. Bang! Zoom! Cough, cough. I was puzzled about 20 seconds. Another $80 exacta.

I'm not boasting. I acknowledge the luck and felt good about the absolutely scientific - har har - hunches. As The Great One, Jackie Gleason, once said, "Be nice to the people you meet on the way up, because you're going to see the same people on the way down." A horseplayer can go up and down two, three times a year. Even that might be lucky.

What it means is that the bankroll is healthy, intact and ready for the 2018 Breeders' Cup, November 2-3 at Churchill Downs, home of the evil Churchill Downs Inc. If I say "evil Churchill Downs" one more time in the next month or so, please write in and tell me to shut up. The good thing is that, like the NFL at Super Bowl venues, the Breeders' Cup commandeers and runs the races at the site. I hope they say to CDI CEO Bill Carstanjen just once that weekend: "Shut up! We're runnin' things around here!"

I'm not going to ask for a wellness check tomorrow, although I wouldn't turn it down, because the nest egg is going to be cracked on Jockey Club Gold Cup Day at Belmont Park.

It was championship day before the Breeders' Cup happened. Where scores might be settled, horsey trophies won. But it is a great day of racing with graded stakes peppered throughout including the Vosburgh, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, and Grade III Pilgrim for the kids.

In the feature, we'll see the 4-5 Diversify, Gronkowski and Mendelssohn. I promise to take it easy, be careful.

Wish me luck.

Strange Magic
Good Magic, runner-up to Justify in the Kentucky Derby, has been retired.

If you read the release, Justify was a super horse and Good Magic was a leading runner of his generation. Good Magic won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, beat nobody in the Bluegrass and won the Haskell over the compelling mere money earner Bravazo. Big deal.

Can't believe I'm saying this, but good riddance to him and Justify. Who won the frickin' Triple Crown! Justify is gone even from the rearview mirror and they'll never make his case of greatness either as a Crown winner or down through the generations.

They're saying Justify's stud fee will be higher than 'Pharoah's next year.

But I'll know the Pharoah's runnin'. For a long long time.


Tom Chambers welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:59 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #219: Cubs Abyss, Bears Brink

Theo, Jed > Maddon. Plus: Joe Maddon's Take On The Addison Russell Investigation Quite Senate Republicanlike; Magic Mack vs. Fitzmagic; and Seal vs. Kayaker - Why We're Not Vegetarians.



* 219.

* The evolution of the 2018 NL Central.

* The Cubs' candidate:

"It looks like Tom Ricketts has changed his mind about not being very involved in upcoming Chicago aldermanic races," Greg Hinz reported Thursday for Crain's.

"I reported several weeks back that though Ricketts and his siblings, who own the Chicago Cubs, were contributing to a dark money group that was bashing 44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney, Ricketts' 'goal is not to be heavily involved' in City Council races - including the adjoining 47th Ward, where Heather Way Kitzes, the Cub's manager of government and neighborhood relations, happens to be running for alderman.

"That was then.

"If you care to participate and are ready to write a big check, you can watch tonight's Cubs game at Wrigley Field and hobnob beforehand in the owners' suite along with 'the Ricketts family' and aldermanic hopeful Heather Way Kitzes. The candidate's campaign fund will get all proceeds from the affair, with tickets going from $250 for a 'single' to $5,600 for a 'grand slam.'

* Doing The Bartman:

* Jeff Garlin on The Curse:

"A goat? OK, let's get something straight. It is not a curse to not want a goat at a baseball game, all right? That is not a curse. Nobody wants livestock in baseball games, OK? That is not a curse. You sell Babe Ruth, yeah, OK, maybe that's a curse. You sell the greatest ballplayer ever, OK, I get it. But kicking a guy and his goat out of a baseball game, no, that's is not a curse.

"You know, this was a time when people dressed up. I mean nobody would let a goat into a game now, and people dress like pigs. Back then people wore suits to games, they wore hats. There wasn't a team in baseball that would be like - 'Sure, oh yeah, the goat's fine.'

"And by the way, do we know if this guy had another successful curses? Does he have a list of curses that we can look at? If he had a whole bunch of curses that worked, OK, fine. But I'm not buying that he tried only one curse, and it worked, and it was because they did not let bring a goat into a game."

* Andracki: Lester Has Been Worth Every Damn Penny For The Cubs.

* Butters.

* New York Times: Gary, Keith And Ron: The Magi Of Mets Nation.

30:34: Joe Maddon's Take On The Addison Russell Investigation Quite Senate Republicanlike.

* Joe Maddon's disastrous Bernstein-McKnight interview.

* Ryan: Joe Maddon Sends A Misguided - And Dangerous - Message About The Addison Russell Issue.

* Theo's Response.

* Caputo vs. Powers.

* No, Joe: Your method is bad.

* Sullivan: "Maybe it's Cubs Fatigue, but the number of empty seats at Wrigley the last couple of days, particularly in the exclusive section between the dugouts that includes admission to the 1914 Club, suggests the bloom is off the rose. Attendance remains relatively high - 32,874 on Wednesday - but rows of seats remain empty, a scene unthinkable only a few years ago for such an important game."

* Rosenthal: MLB Has Additional Info On Addison Russell Domestic Violence Allegations.

* Jesse Rogers: Russell's Ex-Wife: 'Wasn't Ready' To Talk Last Year.

45:57: Magic Mack vs. Ryan Fitzmagic.

* Pared-Down Playbook.

* "Turnovers will decide this game."

1:01:35: Seal vs. Kayaker - And Why We're Not Vegetarians.

* Vegans And Vegetarians Think They Don't Kill Animals But They Do.

* Ordering The Vegetarian Meal? There's More Animal Blood On Your Hands.

* Michigan, Chicago.





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


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:59 PM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

For completists, there was no column on Thursday.

"President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines on Thursday said for the first time that extrajudicial killings had happened under his government's brutal war on drugs, an admission that could bolster two cases filed against him at the International Criminal Court," the New York Times reports.

"In a rambling speech before government executives at the presidential palace, Mr. Duterte again touched on the government's drug war that has left thousands dead, a common theme in his two-year-old presidency.

"He said he had challenged the country's military and police brass to remove him from office if they were not satisfied with the way he was running the country.

"I told the military, what is my fault? Did I steal even one peso?" Mr. Duterte said. "My only sin is the extrajudicial killings."

Last I checked, murder was a more serious crime than petty theft.


From the Times last November:

"President Trump said on Monday that he had a 'great relationship' with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, making little mention of human rights at his first face-to-face meeting with an authoritarian leader accused of carrying out a campaign of extrajudicial killings in his nation's war on drugs.

"In a stark break from past practice by American presidents, who have pressed foreign leaders publicly and privately about allegations of human rights abuses, Mr. Trump instead pursued his own transactional style of diplomacy, dwelling mostly on areas of common ground during his meeting with Mr. Duterte. On the sideline of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit meeting, Mr. Trump focused on combating the Islamic State and illegal drugs as well as on trade issues, the White House said.

"'Human rights briefly came up in the context of the Philippines' fight against illegal drugs,' said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary.

"But Mr. Duterte's spokesman denied that the subject of rights was ever broached, even as the Philippine president spoke about the 'drug menace' in his country."


From CNN back then:

"Before their bilateral meeting in Manila on Monday, President Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte posed for pictures. Reporters were late for what is known as the 'pool spray' because, according to the pool report of the meeting, they were held up by security.

"When they finally got into the room, reporters asked questions of the two leaders regarding Duterte's controversial human rights record and whether Trump would raise it with him. Here's what happened next:

Duterte: "We will be discussing matters that are of interest to both the Philippines and . . . with you around, guys, you are the spies."

"Hah, hah, hah," Trump said laughing.

"You are," Duterte repeated.

"Um, what?

"Even after his meeting with Duterte, Trump - in an open session of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting - seemed entirely unfazed by his colleague's view on the press. He thanked Duterte 'very much for the way you treated all of us.'

"'Thank you,' Duterte responded. 'This signifies the end of our open session. I would like to request media to leave us alone.' He quickly added: 'You may leave the room.'

"Context matters here, and shows that Trump tolerating Duterte's behavior - not to mention laughing at his 'joke' - is really bad.

"In June 2016, in the wake of two Filipino journalists being killed while working, Duterte said this: 'Just because you're a journalist, you are not exempted from assassination if you're a son of a bitch. Freedom of expression cannot help you if you have done something wrong.'"


The Guardian:

"President Rodrigo Duterte crooned a hit Filipino love song at a dinner in Manila for leaders from across Asia, explaining later that it was 'on the orders of Donald Trump.'

"The U.S. president and Duterte were among 19 leaders at a gala in the Philippines capital on Sunday before the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit. At one point Duterte took the microphone to sing "Ikaw (You)," in a duet with local pop diva Pilita Corrales.

"One of the song's verses, translated from Filipino, begins: 'You are the light in my world, a half of this heart of mine.'"


See also: Donald Trump Praises Rodrigo Duterte's Death Squads As Trump Tower Manila Is Going Up.


New on the Beachwood . . .

JBTV's Jerry Bryant Fighting Cancer, Making Movie
See the hospital photo and the trailer.


Amazon Training Video: "Unions Are Lying, Cheating Rats"
Instructs company leaders on how to detect "early warning signs of potential organizing," which include workers "suddenly hanging out together" and using "union words" like "living wage."


The Ex-Cub Factor
Lovable Lackey.


Interrupted Odyssey: Ulysses S. Grant And The American Indians
"Situating Grant at the center of Indian policy development after the Civil War, Interrupted Odyssey: Ulysses S. Grant and the American Indians reveals the bravery and foresight of the eighteenth president in saying that Indians must be saved and woven into the fabric of American life."


OxyContin Patients, Then And Now
Revisiting patients used in 1990s marketing testimonials.



I make these wooden maps of various cities-- got around to Chicago the other day, I know it's not the whole city but I got as much as I could fit on a single wood piece. from r/chicago





Ella Lima in Chicago for The Other Art Fair.



Supreme Tantrum.


You Gave Facebook Your Number For Security. They Used It For Ads.


Facebook Also Screwing With WhatsApp, Instagram


The Latest WTF From Inside The Trump Administration, By Michael Lewis.


A Makeshift Refugee Camp In Daley Plaza.


A sampling.






The Beachwood Tronc Line: Cryin' and lyin'.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:57 AM | Permalink

JBTV's Jerry Bryant Fighting Cancer, Making Movie

"Over the past 35 years, Jerry Bryant has defied all kinds of odds to turn his televised music showcase JBTV from a DIY passion project into the longest running rock 'n' roll TV show in history, and a Chicago musical institution. Now Bryant is facing a hell of a new challenge: stage 4 colon cancer," Riot Fest reports.


Share your thoughts on Reddit.


Press release:

"Jerry Bryant, the Emmy award-winning host and owner of the iconic music program JBTV, has been diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer.

"Jerry has undergone two surgeries to remove tumors from both his colon and lung. Jerry's doctors are very optimistic that they have removed all of the cancer and he will now begin a six-month chemotherapy treatment to make sure that he is clean.

"Jerry, who has been producing JBTV for over 35 years promoting new artists through their live performances and interviews, is currently back at work doing what he loves and is dedicated to being a cancer survivor.

"This has been a life-changing moment for Jerry and JBTV is now dedicating new programs including its yearly end of the year marathon to promote "Health and Cancer Awareness" to inform and help save lives of musicians and others like Jerry with little or no insurance to cover exams and get regular checkups.

"Because of his limited insurance coverage, large medical bills are building up and will continue as he wages his fight against his cancer.

"Several fundraising events are currently being put together and Jerry being Jerry is video-documenting his fight against cancer and it will be incorporated into the documentary that is being produced on his amazing life and love of music and the musicians that create it.

"A website has been created to handle donations and document his fight against this disease."


Movie trailer:


Previously in JBTV:

* JBTV Bad, Nationwide.

* Buy A Piece Of JBTV.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:45 AM | Permalink

Interrupted Odyssey: Ulysses S. Grant And The American Indians

"In this first book devoted to the genesis, failure, and lasting legacy of Ulysses S. Grant's comprehensive American Indian policy, Mary Stockwell shows Grant as an essential bridge between Andrew Jackson's pushing Indians out of the American experience and Franklin D. Roosevelt's welcoming them back in.

"Situating Grant at the center of Indian policy development after the Civil War, Interrupted Odyssey: Ulysses S. Grant and the American Indians reveals the bravery and foresight of the eighteenth president in saying that Indians must be saved and woven into the fabric of American life."


"In the late 1860s, before becoming president, Grant collaborated with Ely Parker, a Seneca Indian who became his first commissioner of Indian affairs, on a plan to rescue the tribes from certain destruction.

"Grant hoped to save the Indians from extermination by moving them to reservations, where they would be guarded by the U.S. Army, and welcoming them into the nation as American citizens. By so doing, he would restore the executive branch's traditional authority over Indian policy that had been upended by Jackson.

"In Interrupted Odyssey, Stockwell rejects the common claim in previous Grant scholarship that he handed the reservations over to Christian missionaries as part of his original policy.

"In part because Grant's plan ended political patronage, Congress overturned his policy by disallowing Army officers from serving in civil posts, abandoning the treaty system, and making the new Board of Indian Commissioners the supervisors of the Indian service.

"Only after Congress banned Army officers from the Indian service did Grant place missionaries in charge of the reservations, and only after the board falsely accused Parker of fraud before Congress did Grant lose faith in his original policy."


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:31 AM | Permalink

OxyContin Patients, Then & Now

"Videos of patient testimonials sent to doctors in the late-1990s reveal how marketing trumped science as more and more prescriptions for chronic pain were written. The patients and their families speak out then and now."


See also:

* Los Angeles Times: 'You Want A Description Of Hell?' OxyContin's 12-Hour Problem.

* New York Times: Origins Of An Epidemic: Purdue Pharma Knew Its Opioids Were Widely Abused.

* The Center for Public Integrity/AP: Opioid Makers Paid Millions To Advocacy Groups That Promoted Their Painkillers Amid Addiction Epidemic.

* Belleville News-Democrat: When You Call The Illinois Opioid Hotline, Someone In Boston Answers.

* WBEZ: Chicago's Black Communities Hit Hardest In Opioid Overdoses.

* Reason: A Chicago Tribune Columnist Thinks Helping Opioid Users Is 'Accommodating' Them.

* Kaiser Health News: Giuliani's Consulting Firm Helped Halt Purdue Opioid Investigation In Florida.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:04 AM | Permalink

September 27, 2018

Amazon Training Video: "Unions Are Lying, Cheating Rats"

As Amazon works to combat its public image as a starvation-wage employer by doling out mere pennies in pay hikes and deploying an army of workers to sing the company's praises on Twitter, a video leaked on Wednesday revealed that the trillion-dollar company is continuing to work feverishly behind the scenes to crush any attempts by workers to unionize and bargain collectively for better wages and working conditions.

The 45-minute training video - which, according to Gizmodo, was sent to managers of the Amazon-owned Whole Foods last week - instructs company leaders on how to detect "early warning signs of potential organizing," which include workers "suddenly hanging out together" and using "union words" like "living wage."

In a tweet responding to the video on Wednesday, the AFL-CIO - America's largest federation of unions - wrote: "We like those 'union words' which gave us a middle class. Shame on ⁦Amazon⁩."

While warning managers not to openly threaten workers who they believe are engaged in organizing efforts, the video encourages company leaders to give their "opinions" on unionization.

"Opinions can be mild, like, 'I'd rather work with associates directly,' or strong: 'Unions are lying, cheating rats.' The law protects both!" the video says.

"We are not anti-union," the video's narrator goes on to say, "but we are not neutral either."

Amazon's aggressively anti-union video was sent to Whole Foods managers just weeks after employees of the grocery chain took initial steps toward unionizing in an effort to achieve a higher minimum wage and better benefits.

The training video emerged as Amazon and company CEO Jeff Bezos - the richest person in the world - have faced intense scrutiny from progressive lawmakers like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who last month introduced the Stop BEZOS Act," which would impose a "100 percent tax on large employers equal to the amount of federal benefits received by their low-wage workers."

"While Mr. Bezos is worth $155 billion and while his wealth has increased $260 million every single day this year, he continues to pay many Amazon employees wages that are so low that they are forced to depend on taxpayer-funded programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, and subsidized housing just to get by," Sanders said in a statement.

In what one Amazon employee described as "damage control," the company has reportedly begun handing out wage increases of 25 to 55 cents an hour to workers around the country following increased criticism from Sanders and other lawmakers.

"Jeff Bezos is a villain, plain and simple," Splinter's Hamilton Nolan wrote in response to Amazon's anti-union training video. "His insane fortune is the grotesque manifestation of workplace oppression."

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


Previously in Amazon:

* Amazon Is Thriving Thanks To Taxpayer Dollars.

* Amazon Finally Drops Deceptive Price List Comparisons.

* Who Has Your Back? Not Amazon.

* Chicago's Attempt To Impress Amazon Backfired After It Destroyed A 'Priceless' Graffiti Artwork In HQ2 Bid Clean-Up.

* Amazon, Boeing, Chicago And Cautionary Tales.

Let's face it, the math doesn't matter - Rahm just wants the win. Like Scott Walker and Foxconn (and Richard M. Daley and the 2016 Olympics). It's a helluva thing to campaign on. "I got Amazon!" It doesn't matter how disastrous that might be - it's all about one man's political interests.

* Item: Amazon HQ2-fer.

"Later this year, Amazon will begin accepting grocery orders from customers using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the federal anti-poverty program formerly known as food stamps. As the nation's largest e-commerce grocer, Amazon stands to profit more than any other retailer when the $70 billion program goes online after an initial eight-state pilot," the Intercept reports.

"But this new revenue will effectively function as a double subsidy for the company: In Arizona, new data suggests that one in three of the company's own employees depend on SNAP to put food on the table. In Pennsylvania and Ohio, the figure appears to be around one in 10. Overall, of five states that responded to a public records request for a list of their top employers of SNAP recipients, Amazon cracked the top 20 in four."
the problem with amazon's short list

This is a long, in-depth report that demands particular attention here as Chicago vies for Amazon's "second headquarters" through a combination of begging, pleading, and massive tax subsidies contained in a secret offer we may never see.

Also, let's ask the mayor about this.

* Amazon's Same-Day Delivery Serves Basically All Of Chicago . . . Except The South Side.

* Amazon Insists On Silence From Twenty HQ2 Finalists.

* Lucy Parsons Labs Sues Rahm Emanuel To Jar Loose The Chicago's Amazon HQ2 Bid.

* CyberMonday, Amazon & You.

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

* Last Year, Amazon Paid No Federal Income Taxes. Now, It's Trying To Kill A Local Tax That Aims To Help the Homeless.

See also: About Chicago's Late Head Tax.

* Ralph Nader's Open Letter To Jeff Bezos.

* Jeff Bezos Just Became The Richest Person Ever. Amazon Workers Just Marked #PrimeDay With Strikes Against Low Pay And Brutal Conditions.

* Amazon & The Way Of The World.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:02 PM | Permalink

The Ex-Cub Factor

One in an occasional series tracking former Cubs.

1. Henry Blanco

Popularly known as Hank White, Blanco is the bullpen coach for the Nationals.

2. Jim Riggleman.

Riggs will have to interview to win the permanent job of managing the Reds going forward into next season. While the team has performed better under him than his predecessor, he's not exactly up-to-speed on today's game. Perhaps the team will take a look at Fredi Gonzalez, a formerly old-school manager who has learned his lessons.

3. Dexter Fowler.

Cardinals still owe the dude $50 million. Does he have a future in St. Louis?

4. Justin Grimm.

He's "rebuilding himself" in Seattle.

5. John Lackey.

Was back at Wrigley taking in the game Thursday night.


Does that mean he's on the wagon?





Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:01 AM | Permalink

September 26, 2018

The [Wednesday] Papers

In no particular order.

1. Alleged Chinese Spy Was IIT Student In Chicago.

"A United States Army reservist from China was arrested Tuesday on allegations of secretly providing information about American defense contractor employees to a Chinese intelligence officer, law enforcement officials said. The Chinese government was trying to recruit them as informants, they said," the New York Times reports.

"The suspect, Ji Chaoqun, 27, was arrested in Chicago, where he attended graduate school before joining the Army Reserves, and charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA . . .

"Mr. Ji arrived in the United States on a student visa in August 2013 to earn his master's degree in electrical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago."

2. Markham Mayor Mess.

"Previously barred from office due to a felony conviction, the top vote-getter in 2017's Markham mayoral race was sworn in Tuesday as the city's leader after Gov. Bruce Rauner intervened on his behalf," the Daily Southtown reports.

"The Cook County state's attorney had sued Roger Agpawa after last year's election, arguing his 1999 mail fraud conviction prohibited him from holding municipal office.

"A Cook County Circuit Court judge and a state appellate panel agreed, keeping Agpawa from taking office."

Rauner, however, issued a certificate of some kind overriding the courts. Agpawa's lawyer "said that Illinois' constitution gives the governor such authority, and that it was last used in 1970."

Well, it is an election year.


"It was unclear whether the governor's action indeed makes Agpawa eligible to hold office, and the state's attorney's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment."


Essentially, Rauner pardoned Agpawa (who is currently the fire chief in Country Club Hills, which apparently is a job ex-cons can hold.)


"Agpawa replaces David Webb, who was first elected Markham's mayor in 2001 but did not seek re-election last year amid a federal investigation.

"Webb was charged late last year with taking part in an alleged bribery scheme and pleaded guilty this past January."

Agpawa must have gotten his paperwork into Rauner first.

3. Loews The Latest Biometrics Hit.

"The Chicago Loews hotel violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act when it failed to ask for an employee's consent while using his fingerprints as part of a timekeeping system, the worker said in a proposed class action filed Monday," Law360 reports.

Wendy's was also hit with a BIPA suit this month - see item 1 in Monday's column.

4. Jesse White Tumbles?

"With just over a month to go before Illinois voters can begin casting early votes for the November general election, voting rights advocates would typically be busy with registration drives; Democratic candidates would typically be unified in a get-out-the-vote effort," WTTW reports.

"But Monday, the Just Democracy Illinois coalition and Democratic legislators who sponsored Illinois' automatic voter registration (AVR) law accused Secretary of State Jesse White, arguably the state's most popular Democrat as he runs for a record sixth term, of failing to properly implement AVR."



White via CapitolFax:

"The fact is the AVR program is up and running. It is going very well."

But . . .

Illinois PIRG's Hannah Kim:

"Despite Secretary of State White's claim, automatic voter registration is not up and running in Illinois."

5. Let The Damn Sun Shine In, Illinois.

"Rural counties are facing a lot of heat over Illinois' booming solar power development," NPR Illinois reports.

"The big push started in late 2016 when the state legislature passed the Future Energy Jobs Act. It sets aside between $180 million and $220 million yearly to help fund renewable energies like solar, which will help the state meet its goal of generating 25 percent of its energy from renewables by 2025.

"It seems like almost every day, we see a news article from somewhere around the state of a county board or a county zoning board meeting concerning solar projects" said Anthony Star, director of Illinois Power Agency.

"Star said many get approved, but some don't because of a community backlash."

Why? Who is against solar power? It's as innocuous as mom and apple pie!

"In 2017, less than one percent of the state's energy came from solar, but the state's solar production is expected to grow 20 times larger in the next few years, according to the Illinois Power Agency. Most of the growth will come from giant, utility-grade projects. However, it's the small projects that are causing the most hang-ups.

"At least a few dozen Illinois landowners want to take up community solar projects on their private property. They're built so that people can buy into the projects and possibly cash in on any savings from the solar field. However, this forces counties to not only adopt new solar zoning regulations - which some didn't have before 2016 - but also face arguments between neighbors over whether it should be allowed at all."


"Brian McFadden, Sangamon County's administrator, said the county started planning for solar when the Future Energy Jobs Act passed. Still, he said it has been a challenge balancing the concerns of rural residents who hate to see 'good black earth' going to waste and urban residents who fear a change to property values."


See also:

"A Chicago-based company wants to build what would be Ohio's largest solar power generating plant in the southwestern part of the state," the Columbus Dispatch reports.

"The reason why Hecate Energy wants to build in Highland County near the village of Mowrystown? It's the sunniest part of Ohio."

6. The Truth About Crime Rates.

"Violent crime in the United States decreased slightly in 2017, after a troubling rise the previous two years that became a major talking point in the presidential election," the New York Times reports.

"FBI statistics released this week showed that the rate of overall violent crime decreased by 0.9 percent, and the murder rate decreased by 1.4 percent. The rate of property crimes also declined, by 3.6 percent.

"A separate analysis released last week, by the Brennan Center for Justice, also projected that overall crime and murder rates would decline even further in 2018.

"The numbers remained stubbornly high in some places. Chicago, which has been battered by a high rate of violent crime for years, saw killings fall by 14 percent, to a total of 653. Ranking cities by murder rate - murder and non-negligent manslaughter per 100,000 inhabitants - it came in at No. 10."

Now, again, a citywide crime rate isn't necessarily a useful number because crime is not equally distributed. Neighborhood-level crime data really tells us what we need to know. But I - and a few others - have been fighting this battle about Chicago's murder rate for years now.


The city with the worst murder rate in the country? St. Louis.

Second? Baltimore.



"Overall crime has been steadily decreasing for the last 30 years in the United States. Inimai Chettiar, director of the Justice Program at the Brennan Center, said the F.B.I.'s statistics - and her organization's own projections - showed that the rise in crime in 2015-16 was most likely a blip in that trajectory, not the start of a crime wave."



"[The Brennan Center's report] predicted that the murder rate in the 30 largest cities would fall by 7.6 percent by the end of 2018, with sharp drops in San Francisco, Chicago and Baltimore. The report's authors say their data has tracked closely with national trends in previous years."

That's not to say current levels of violence are acceptable, and certainly that each and every case isn't heartbreaking. It's not to say we should be more dispassionate when discussing murder rates. It's to say that the better we understand what is happening, the better we can craft policies to continue making progress.


Also: It's not up to a phone company to solve gun violence. But a phone company can do its part by paying good wages, paying its taxes, and not screwing customers. Leave the public safety piece to the public safety sector.


As I've written before, I'm not fond of corporate philanthropy. Corporate giving papers over on the back end the damage corporations do on the front end, usually at whim of a CEO's personal interest or as part of a public relations effort that skews policy without a serious evaluation of what needs to be done.

7. Our Home, Our Lead.

"Illinois PIRG Education Fund today released first-of-its-kind analysis of new data obtained from the Illinois Department of Public Health finding that 78% of suburban Cook County schools tested positive for lead in at least one water fixture."

Here's an idea: Challenge Bruce Rauner to drink a glass of water from every county in the state. If he refuses, ask why he's failed to protect us of lead-filled water!

8. Surveillance State.

"Today, the Arab American Action Network, a grassroots community organizing and social services institution based in southwest Chicagoland, filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI to force them to release records about a secretive and controversial federal initiative called Countering Violent Extremism and how it has spread to Illinois

"The CVE initiative is a collection of federal programs and grants, allegedly designed to prevent homegrown terrorism by identifying potentially 'radicalized' people in local communities."


"We're very concerned about the intrusion of federal law enforcement into our local neighborhoods through this highly criticized program," said Muhammad Sankari, lead youth organizer of the AAAN.

"The people of Chicago need to know how and why the federal government funds police departments and community organizations to spy on our neighborhoods, using the very people we should trust: teachers, therapists, and religious leaders.

"The public needs to know what these programs are, how they work, and what information the government keeps about our community members, particularly young men, people of color, and Muslims."


"Every major civil liberties group in the country has raised the alarm about CVE," said Mary Zerkel of the American Friends Service Committee. "But the program has only grown and spread. Now that it's here in Chicago, the government needs to provide the public with records that show what it's doing here and why."

9. They're Laughing At Us Now.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Trump's showing at the UN on Tuesday:

"The world literally laughed at President Trump during his speech at the United Nations.

"Sadly, he wasn't trying to be funny. He gave a narrowly conceived, Red States' stump speech. He talked down to the nations of the world. There was no applause or hope in the august chamber as he spoke.

"Trump threatened immigrants. He threatened China and Iran. He threatened to impose more sanctions on North Korea while at the same time commending the North Korean leader for his recent peace efforts. It was a schizophrenic performance.

"The president also threatened Syria at a time when Russia is moving closer to that nation. Trump is putting America on a collision course with Russia.

"The United Nations is supposed to be a place of healing and building, not for threatening. But Trump sees the world through a keyhole and not a door.

"There are no more foreigners. Science and technology have all but erased distance and time. We must find creative ways to get along and live together in peace. We must choose co-existence over co-annihilation, mutual respect over threats."

10. BREAKING from 7/11:

"Steve, 30 days until your points expire."

This is how they get you.



I made a Chicago suburb name generator from r/chicago





Crystal Lotus Studios Artist Spotlight | Custom Handmade Signs | Chinba of Deft Chicago |



I Was Labeled The High School 'Slut.' It Affected My Whole Life.


The Mass Psychology Of Trumpism.


Facebook Has Removed More Than A Dozen Big Conservative And Liberal Pages Promoting LifeZette.


Swiss Beatz To The Art World: Pay Artists Royalties When Their Work Is Resold.


New York Times Hails MitraClip As A 'Huge Advance For Heart Failure' But Independent Sources Might Have Said Otherwise.


A sampling.


"Tronc is looking for a new director of labor relations, and one of the job responsibilities will be 'maintaining the non-union status of the unorganized employee population.'"


The Beachwood Tronc Line: Make it stop.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:48 AM | Permalink

September 25, 2018

The [Tuesday] Papers

This day has gotten away from me. See y'all tomorrow!



How do I get rid of a gun in Chicago legally and safely? from r/chicago





Gennie "O" and the Windy City Brass.



A Pop-Up Museum In NYC Illustrates The Harmful Effects Of Broken Windows Policing.


A sampling.




The Beachwood Tronc Line: Maddoning.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:17 PM | Permalink

September 24, 2018

A Classic Day At The Crosstown Classic

The kid - well, maybe not a kid, but a twenty- or thirty-something - said his name was Comiskey, and I'll be damned if, without any encouragement, he produced his driver's license to prove the veracity of his claim.

"You the grandson of Chuck Comiskey?" I asked, referring to the last of the long line of the family that owned the White Sox from 1900 until 1959.

"No, I'm his great, great, great nephew," came the robust reply, making me think he was going back to the original Comiskey, Charles A., otherwise known as the Old Roman.

No matter because all the fans, including more than a few of the North Side variety, sitting around us behind home plate in the upper deck at The Grate on Friday afternoon took notice when the guy unfurled the large "L" banner while the athletes from both sides of town were preparing for the first pitch in what was to become an enticing 10-4 White Sox triumph.

L Flag.jpg

Despite a publicized family feud with his sister Dorothy over ownership of the team - Chuck controlled only 46 percent of the stock - Chuck's image was of a refined, you might say elegant, adult. He always wore a coat and tie. His hair never was ruffled. He was polite and well-mannered. Apparently the taciturn gene in the family has weakened over the past few generations.

At least one might make that assumption judging from three hours spent sitting a row in front of the Comiskey described here. Please understand, this is not a complaint. We're talking about White Sox fandom in its most fervent form. The support for the Sox and the disaffection for the team on the other side of town were uninterrupted for the entire afternoon.

With Milwaukee threatening in the background, the game was meaningful for the Cubs. It shouldn't have meant much for the White Sox, but, in actuality, it did. The entire tableau seemed more like Opening Day than a late September encounter for an aspiring team 32 games below .500.

Attending 20 to 25 Sox games this season, we had failed to venture to the upper deck. There has been no need since plenty of good seats always are available downstairs. However, the weekend series with the Cubs drew the season's three largest crowds.

Aside from the Sox's 10 runs and a season-high 19 hits, the lone victory in the three-game set was noteworthy for what was going on in the stands, illustrating the differences between The Grate and Wrigley.

When Daniel Murphy drilled a 3-2 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez just inside the right field foul pole for a first-inning leadoff home run, the ball remained where it landed. Granted, a Cub fan might have caught the blast, but Sox fans simply refrain from throwing the opponents' homers back onto the field. I've been going to ballgames for more than 60 years and never once have I collected so much as a foul ball. I am neither proud of this inadequacy, nor have I ceased to chase a ball today if I think I have any chance of correcting this deficit. Players today toss balls to the fans as though they're doling out lollipops, but a big league ball coming from the field of play remains a coveted prize.

Just about every kid and many grown-ups understand the thrill of leaving the ballpark with a game ball. So do the Cub fans in the bleachers who carry a ball into Wrigley Field in case they need to follow the crowd by returning a foe's home run to the field. Sox fans know a souvenir when they see one, regardless of whose bat produced it.

Perhaps because the White Sox are non-contenders, their fans don't become overly stimulated when a pitcher like Lopez gets two strikes on a hitter with two outs and runners on base. At Wrigley fans get up and down like they're in church or synagogue. Not so on the South Side. In the top of the fourth on Friday, a single and an error put Cub runners on first and second with one out with the Sox holding, for them, a precarious 3-1 lead. Jason Heyward flew out, and Lopez had a full count on Victor Caratini.

Unless a trip to the men's or women's room was required, Sox fans remained seated. Was this because we feared the worst? Was Caratini going to hit one into the gap or, heaven forbid, follow Murphy's lead and put the Cubs ahead? Sox pitchers have walked more batters than any team in baseball. We can be excused if thoughts of ball four danced in our heads.

But this day was special. Lopez fanned Caratini and went on to shut out the North Siders until he departed after the seventh inning.

The game also featured a unique event in the bottom of the sixth with the Sox holding a 4-1 lead. Friends of mine whose allegiance to the Cubs match my feelings for the Sox have told me that Poppa Joe Maddon has lost his touch, and he proved it Friday.

After Welington Castillo singled to lead off the sixth, Maddon strode to the mound to remove former Sox number two Jose Quintana with DH Kevan Smith coming up. Even though Smith had hit a three-run homer, just his second of the year, off Quintana in the second inning, surely Maddon must have realized that Ricky Renteria would counter with Daniel Palka if Poppa summoned a right-hander.

Consider that Palka already had slammed three pinch-hit home runs this season. Of his 26 round-trippers, 24 had come off of right-handed pitchers. In the previous four games, Palka had amassed a quartet of home runs. Yet Maddon decided he liked the match-up of righty Dillon Maples facing Palka rather than Quintana, or another lefty, going against Smith.

Thus, according to form, Palka took a 2-2 pitch deep into the right field stands, and the rout was on. By the way, the ball was not returned to the field. A Sox fan must have caught it.

We all know how Renteria was summarily dismissed by the Cubs in favor of Maddon in 2015. For this one instance, Renteria came out on top.

Of course, the festivities in the upper deck continued on at a jolly pace. Comiskey and friends partied, dropping f-bombs and pistachios on my wife and our friends with regularity. Previously I had not been aware of the inebriating effects of Bud Light. Obviously volume begins to play a role.

The boys must have realized their wayward behavior, offering to buy hot dogs and beer for the ladies which, to my chagrin, were turned down. With a 3:10 p.m. starting time, I was hungry.

By the time shadows engulfed the field, three security guards appeared, warily eyeing the revelers. The ladies gave Comiskey a "heads up" which turned out to be helpful. My friend Terry sitting next to me recalled the yellow-jacketed security guys, many of whom were off-duty cops, at the old ballpark. It was wise not to piss them off. Today's guards have rarely been active during this losing season, and they are nattily attired in black shirts, looking spiffy and officious.

A few fans in the left field bleachers were escorted out of the park in the late innings, but overall folks got along just fine regardless of which Chicago team is their choice.

The biggest winner for the weekend series was the White Sox organization, since the three games drew 113,200, an average of 37,733. The Sox had drawn more than 30,000 just twice during the entire season, Opening Day and Hawk (Harrelson) Day on September 2nd.

No one can be surprised that a weekend September series at The Grate hasn't drawn much interest in the past few years. The final appearance of Paul Konerko on a September weekend in 2014 accounted for an average of 32,614 fans, but not since the seasons surrounding the 2005 champions have the White Sox drawn well at the end of the year.

Konerko's final season also marked the time when the Cubs visited the South Side for just two games in early May. How shameful was that? The two games averaged less than 24,000. Compare that to mid-August 2015 when the Cubs were headed to the playoffs and the Sox were within striking distance of .500. That series outdrew the one last week by 2,000 admissions.

Tonight marks the beginning of the final home series of the year, three games against Cleveland. The upper deck will be near empty. Vendors will be fortunate to sell a couple of cases of beer. Security guards will be kibitzing somewhere out of sight. Things will return to normal.


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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:48 AM | Permalink

SportsMonday: We Will Now Be Subject To Another Week Of Mitch Trubisky Analysis

Did you see Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen stopping to ask his offensive coordinator for a play call as the clock ticked below 40 seconds remaining yesterday? He could not have looked further over his head. He then threw a pick six that was negated by a penalty but that didn't save him. It wasn't long before the Bears ended the game perfectly - with one final sack.

Cardinals starter Sam Bradford may have struggled mightily in the second half, throwing interceptions, losing a critical fumble, but you can't bring in a rookie for his first NFL action with just over two minutes remaining and your team down by two.

Say what you will about Matt Nagy, and he had a rough day for the Bears despite the 16-14 victory, but acknowledge he's got fellow rookie head coach Steve Wilks beat. And be thankful the Cardinals made just enough mistakes to give the Bears the victory and the lead in the NFC North.

Not a good sign that Nagy seemed completely overmatched on several occasions in the second half. In just the sort of game where having three timeouts remaining in the final two minutes can make the difference (the Cardinals had them and used them to earn one final possession), the Bears coach squandered them right and left.

First suggestion: if you are going to be the play-caller, coach, you need an assistant whose job it is to tell you what to do in critical game situations, particularly fourth-and-shorts. Then you need to do what that assistant tells you.

Second, don't make things too complicated, for goodness sake. Nagy squandered his second, second-half timeout in a situation that should have been an easy call. Kick the field goal in the fourth quarter to take the lead. Yikes.

In general terms, this game looked like a classic trap. The Bears were facing a team that hadn't just lost its first two games, it had been embarrassed. The Cardinals didn't just struggle offensively last Sunday, they didn't take their first snap in opposing territory until the last play of the game. It felt as though if they were going to make anything positive happen this season, it had to start on Sunday.

The Cardinals were so bad in those first two games one wondered if the team had adopted a tanking mentality. If that was the case, no one told offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. He was ready for the Bears with several plays in the first 10 minutes that sprung receivers wide open. Before you knew it, the Bears trailed 14-0.

We will be subject to another week of Mitch Trubisky analysis and the shame of it all is that his status should still be viewed as transitional. He has now played three games with extremely inexperienced head coach (never was that more apparent than Sunday) and it takes longer than that for this sort of partnership to come together - a lot longer.

However, so many local sports commentators spent the entire preseason telling us how smart Nagy is and how much potential Trubisky has that it isn't surprising expectations are way out of whack. I'm not sure who was the first to call days like this "Overreaction Mondays," but whoever it was is a genius.

So next up are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at noon. We can all settle in and scout what has been the most surprising offense in the league tonight, when the Bucs battle the Steelers on ESPN with people other than Jon Gruden on the call. Hallelujah.

The Bears clearly are a work in progress. The game yesterday was ugly but not nearly as ugly as the losses suffered by the Vikings and Packers earlier in the day.

Hang in there.


Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:22 AM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

1. Wendy's Watching.

"A class-action lawsuit has been filed in Illinois against fast food restaurant chain Wendy's accusing the company of breaking state laws in regards to the way it stores and handles employee fingerprints," ZDNet reports.

The lawsuit was filed on September 11, in a Cook County court, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by ZDNet.

The complaint is centered around Wendy's practice of using biometric clocks that scan employees' fingerprints when they arrive at work, when they leave, and when they use the Point-Of-Sale and cash register systems.

Plaintiffs, represented by former Wendy's employees Martinique Owens and Amelia Garcia, claim that Wendy's breaks state law - the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) - because the company does not make employees aware of how the company handles their data.



Illinois has the toughest biometric law in the country, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but it is seemingly under constant attack from the business lobby.

"If Congress passes the industry's wish list, it won't just kill the California privacy law," EFF says. "It will also preempt Illinois' biometric privacy law, which landed Facebook in a class action lawsuit for allegedly collecting facial data without permission."


Back to Wendy's:

"[T]he lawsuit claims that Wendy's does not inform employees in writing of the specific purpose and length of time for which their fingerprints were being collected, stored, and used, as required by the BIPA, and nor does it obtain a written release from employees with explicit consent to obtain and handle the fingerprints in the first place."

2. Truckers Trumped.

"Cedar Electronics has been selling CB radios to American truckers since the 1960s, helping connect the workers who keep the U.S. economy rolling. But these days Cedar's business isn't exactly trucking along," the Washington Post reports.

"The Chicago-headquartered company is racing around Asia looking for other countries to host its manufacturing, after the radios Cedar makes in China and brings to the United States were hit with one of the Trump administration's 25 percent tariffs this summer, making them more expensive to import."


Cedar is located at 6500 West Cortland Street. Their brands include Cobra, Escort and Snooper.

3. Latest CPS Bungle: Nurses.

"Background checks that sidelined a number of nurses caring for Chicago Public Schools students at the start of the year have made an already tenuous nursing situation worse, a number of parents say," the Sun-Times reports.

"And recent instructions managers gave to some CPS nurses encouraging them to cut back on care for some kids with diabetes 'due to the significant number of newly diagnosed students who require daily nursing services' adds new worry to families of schoolchildren with chronic conditions."

I mean, really? What is there to say, except, do humans work at CPS?


"Parents say problems keeping nurses who are trained in students' specific needs date back to when CPS shifted many of its nursing needs to private agencies. That led to a revolving door of agency nurses in many schools without a permanent school nurse, turnover which has posed dangers to kids, they say."

Emphasis mine to be clear about what appears to be the root of the problem.


"There were days I pulled them out of school because there was no nurse, or the nurse who showed up knew so little about Type 1 diabetes, I thought there could be danger," said Catherine Diedrich, whose two daughters have the disease that can be fatal without careful and regular blood sugar monitoring.

"Her younger daughter was once severely overdosed by an agency nurse, who overrode the child's pump to give her several times more insulin than her body could stand, said Diedrich, who had to rush to the rescue."


"CPS's press office didn't respond to any questions about its nursing situation, except to update the number of nurses cleared for work after a new round of districtwide background checks.

"Questions included how many students didn't receive services during the first week of school when 37 CPS and agency nurses were benched pending further investigation into their backgrounds. That's when spokeswoman Emily Bolton said district officials began 'adjusting staffing assignments to help ensure students receive necessary services.'

"The number had dropped from 37 to 21 as of Friday."

LOL, Emily Bolton, Democratic Party hack, you are Today's Worst Person In Chicago.


"RCM Health Care Services, whom CPS has paid $13.6 million since 2015, couldn't be reached for comment."

You need to buy the $14 million package for access to spokespeople.


More from Lauren FitzPatrick:


New on the Beachwood today . . .

The Political Odds
Updated to reflect recent developments.


New from the Beachwood Sports Desk . . .

SportsMonday: We Will Now Be Subject To Another Week Of Mitch Trubisky Analysis
"[S]o many local sports commentators spent the entire preseason telling us how smart Nagy is and how much potential Trubisky has that it isn't surprising expectations are way out of whack."


A Classic Day At The Crosstown Classic With A Great, Great, Great Comiskey
"Previously I had not been aware of the inebriating effects of Bud Light. Obviously volume begins to play a role."


The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #218: Maybe Joe Maddon Will Get Fired After All
The truth comes out about Brandon Morrow, the latest reliever the Cubs manager has ruined. Plus: Addison Russell Placed On Administrative Leave; Confounding Cubs; Mitch Trubinsky; NU & The Zips; and Post-Thibodeau Stress Disorder.



My dad driving off the Marina Towers parking garage in 1980. from r/chicago





John Singer Sargent at the Art Institute.



Pastor John Kilpatrick Is Saving President Trump From Witchcraft.


The Game Is Rigged: Congress Invites No Consumer Privacy Advocates To Consumer Privacy Hearing.


A sampling.






The Beachwood Tronc Line: Quantum.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:05 AM | Permalink

September 23, 2018

The Weekend Desk Report

For completists, there was no column on Friday.

1. Paging Elon Musk.

"The Navy Pier flyover, meant to connect Chicago's north and south Lakefront trails, has hit another in a long string of delays that have pushed its completion to the end of 2019 at the earliest," WBEZ reports.

"On Friday, the last day of summer, the project missed another target: The Chicago Department of Transportation failed to award a contract for the third and final phase of the project before the end of summer 2018."

2. Rauner's Latest Lie.

"When we reached out to Rauner's campaign to ask when and where they'd heard Pritzker propose a mileage tax with a government tracking device, spokesman Justin Giorgio did not directly answer," the Better Government Association reports.

"'Pritzker has expressed support for a test program,' Giorgio wrote in an e-mail. 'And in every other case, there has been a government tracking device.'

"Likewise, Rauner chose his words a little more carefully during a debate last week televised on NBC 5. 'He was on the record, proposing, saying we all should look at a driving tax,' Rauner asserted at one point.

"So neither Rauner nor his spokesman now go as far as the campaign's ad to contend Pritzker has actually proposed a mileage tax as part of his tax plan, let alone put forth a specific method for taxing those miles.

"As for Giorgio's suggestion that all other pilot programs have required a 'government tracking device,' that is as misleading as it is sinister sounding."

3. Brett Kavanaugh Rehearsing For Thursday's Play.

Memorizing his lines, getting his tone and body language right, practicing narrow range of emotions.

4. The Latest Lead Lines Lunacy.

"The utilities director for the city of East Chicago said they have halted the practice of partial lead line replacements in the USS Lead Superfund site for the time being," the Northwest Indiana Times reports.

"This comes after the Indiana Finance Authority, the agency that financed the city's water infrastructure projects, informed the city that its hired contractor should no longer partially replace lead service lines because the project is funded in part with Environmental Protection Agency dollars.

"Partial lead service line replacements pose potentially long-term risks to homeowners, according to EPA documents."

5. No Robots In Baseball, Please.

"At this very moment, a small beige robot outfitted with unseen blades is quietly cutting a path across the practice baseball field behind Lake Zurich High School. Unless it's in center field charging its battery," the Daily Herald reports.

"The robot, a prototype, is at the center of a new partnership struck over the summer between Echo Inc. and Lake Zurich District 95.

"Under the deal, the high school's fields will be the test site for Echo's autonomous mowers. Echo, meanwhile, committed to making $20,000 annual donations to the district's education foundation for school robotics teams."

But can the robots do stuff like this?


New on the Beachwood . . .

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #218: Maybe Joe Maddon Will Get Fired After All
The truth comes out about Brandon Morrow, the latest reliever the Cubs manager has ruined. Plus: Addison Russell Placed On Administrative Leave; Confounding Cubs; Mitch Trubinsky (TM); NU & The Zips; and Post-Thibodeau Stress Disorder.



Weekend ChicagoReddit

HUGE Robin Williams tribute mural going up off Milwaukee Ave. from r/chicago


Weekend ChicagoGram

View this post on Instagram

Along Lake Michigan, #chicago.

A post shared by Meg Handler (@meghandler) on


Weekend ChicagoTube

Washed Ashore: Art To Save The Sea (Shedd Aquarium).


Weekend BeachBook
A sampling.

She Reported Her Rape. Her Hometown Turned Against Her. Can Justice Ever Be Served?

One of the most important stories of the year - though sadly not unique except for the telling.


SeaWorld And Kavanaugh's Missing Empathy Gene.

It's not just about empathy; it's about the misapplication (and fundamental misunderstanding) of the law, as well as a willfully naive notion of how the world works, i.e., businesses are sufficiently motivated to protect the well-being of their employees because of the competitive pressures of the free market.


Dinesh Unchained.

A despicable person.


Made In America: Shrapnel In Yemen Ties U.S. Bombs To Civilian Deaths.

What's been happening in Yemen may be the most underreported story of recent years.


Thalia Hall Owners Respond After Social Media Uproar Surrounding Ex-Server's Allegations.

Uproar IRL, too.


Weekend TweetWood
A sampling.







The Weekend Desk Tronc Line: Distressed.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:00 AM | Permalink

September 21, 2018

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #218: Maybe Joe Maddon Will Get Fired After All

The truth comes out about Brandon Morrow, the latest reliever the Cubs manager has ruined. Plus: Addison Russell Placed On Administrative Leave; Confounding Cubs; Mitch Trubinsky; NU & The Zips; and Post-Thibodeau Stress Disorder.



* 218.

:20: Addison Russell Placed On Administrative Leave.

* Melisa Reidy-Russell: You No Longer Have A Secret, You Have A Story.



13:02: Mitch Trubinsky.

* Baker Mayfield's Big Night Leads To Criticism Of Mitch Trubisky.

* Troy Aikman On Baker Mayfield: 'This Guy Can Really Play.'

* Coffman: "[I] is a complete waste of time to make comparisons between [Trubisky's] performance and that of fellow 2017 first-rounders Pat Mahomes and Deshaun Watson . . . let's all try to avoid [that] stuff until at least halfway through the season OK?"

* Scripted plays.

* Resurgent Bears Face Punchless Cardinals.

* "With Sam Bradford at quarteback, the Cardinals have lost 24-6 to the Redskins and 34-0 to the Rams. They have yet to reach opponent territory when the game is within three touchdowns. In fact, they had just one play in Rams territory Sunday - the final snap of the game."

47:20: Confounding Cubs.

* El Mago Number Down To 8.

* Crosstown Classic: Hawk Harrelson Goes Out As Awfully As He Broadcasted

58:20:Maybe Maddon Will Get Fired After All!

* Add Brandon Morrow to the list of relievers he's destroyed.

* Jesse Rogers: "Part of the narrative regarding the two players revolves around who is to blame for the injuries. It's possible to draw a direct line from their issues back to Cubs manager Joe Maddon. On Tuesday, team president Theo Epstein documented the timeline regarding Morrow first feeling pain in his arm. It came in early June, after Maddon used him in three straight games."

"He did say it bothered him after that," Maddon admitted on Wednesday. "You can't dispute that."


"I think that's a lesson learned," Epstein said in regards to the careful intentions planned for Morrow before the season because of his injury history and postseason usage. "Never to stray away from structure."


BERNSTEIN: Doesn't it sound like they're blaming Joe for Morrow being hurt?

MCKNIGHT: It kinda does . . .

BERNSTEIN: Theo doesn't say things without a purpose . . . 'We had a plan to not use him three days in a row.'

MCKNIGHT: Sometimes bullpen management hasn't gone the way they've all planned together.


1:05:00: Northwestern Lets 18-Point Halftime Lead Slip Away In 39-34 Loss To The Akron Zips.

1:05:44: Bulls North Triggers Post-Thibodeau Stress Disorder.




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


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:40 PM | Permalink

September 20, 2018

The [Thursday] Papers

"I was sad to learn of Jon Burge's passing today," Brandon Clark of Logan Square writes in a letter to the editor of the Sun-Times.

(Are these letters really to the editor? They're really to readers, aren't they? Why not label them as such - or just call them "Letters?" Or "Responses?" Or, stay with me here, "Comments.")

Anyway . . .

"Not because I think he was a good man, although John Conroy, the man perhaps most responsible for Burge's public disgrace, once admitted that despite knowing what Burge had done, he found him to be 'likable.'

"Rather, I am sad because I don't believe Burge was ever truly held accountable for the harm he caused this world, and now he never will be. Sure, he lost his job and was eventually convicted of perjury and sentenced to 4-1/2 years in prison for it. But that occurred more than 15 years after it was plain to anyone who cared to know that he had presided over the systematic torture of dozens of detainees at Area 2 police headquarters - and even after serving his time, he kept his pension!"

Indeed. This city has nothing to be proud of in its ultimate punishment of Burge, as it was far too little far too late. Burge also represents a dark mark against Chicago media for its utter refusal to come to grips with the stellar, Pulitzer-worthy reporting of Conroy that occurred under its nose and went ignored for far too long.


On that score, let's detour to a year ago August:

"The Chicago Public Schools on Monday unveiled its new curriculum to teach all 8th graders and high school sophomores about the decades-old torture and brutality by disgraced former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge and detectives who worked under him," the Tribune reported.

"The coursework was mandated as part of the 2015 deal in which the City Council approved a $5.5 million reparations fund for dozens of victims with credible claims of torture by Burge and his so-called 'midnight crew' of rogue detectives."

Teaching Burge in CPS is a big and underappreciated move, I'd say. I'm not sure I've ever heard of such a thing. That's an unusual commitment by the city to ensure Burge's legacy is not forgotten.

The curriculum was developed by social science specialists who worked for months with African-American community leaders, civil rights advocates, law enforcement, academic researchers and the Chicago Teachers Union.

During the last school year, the curriculum was tested at a half-dozen elementary and high schools. As part of that effort, several survivors of the torture told their stories to several classrooms.

According to details of the curriculum provided by CPS officials, high school teachers will use a "talking circle strategy" at the outset to help deal with topics the district expects to be deeply troubling and emotional for students.

Students will be asked to think about factors that "allowed the torture scandal to occur and to persist for nearly two decades," while examining the roles of political leaders, racism and community tensions with Chicago police. High school students will also develop plans for a public memorial on the torture scandal - another condition of the reparations agreement.

My question about the curriculum is if it includes the media's performance as part of its examination of what allowed such abuses to flourish.


The FOP last August in that Trib article:

"The Fraternal Order of Police, which represents rank-and-file Chicago police officers, issued a statement saying it did not believe 'the Burge mythology' should be part of the public school curriculum, citing 'the strong possibility that some wrongful conviction claims are false and some may even be fraudulent.'"


Back to Brandon Clark's letter:

"Think about it: Burge masterminded the full-blown torture of U.S. citizens, within the City of Chicago, and for years we all just shrugged our collective shoulders. When he died, a former FOP president reportedly stated that Burge didn't get 'a fair shake,' and current FOP leadership suggested that the full story of Jon Burge is not yet known. Maybe so, although I doubt it."

Indeed. The truth is Burge got lucky; he served a relatively brief time in prison for perjuring himself about crimes he was never charged with. My question for the FOP right now is this: Has any cop ever done anything wrong? And if so, name them. Because if the FOP isn't going to believe the evidence against Burge, they aren't going to believe the evidence against anyone who ever wore the uniform. As long as the FOP backs its officers to the hilt regardless of facts, it will never have the credibility necessary to establish trusting relationships with the city and its citizens.


Finally, I can't help but recall Conroy's reaction to local media's response to the Guardian breaking a Homan Square story that to this day local media doesn't believe.

From this space in March 2015:

Someone finally asked John Conroy what he thought of the Guardian's reporting on Homan Square. It was WBEZ on Wednesday, and what he said was devastating:

"I don't think I've seen anything like this before where a reporter comes in and there seems to be such anger at the reporter and a few words in his story, which are provocative but nonetheless the basic facts are borne out.

"Seven attorneys have now said they had clients in which they couldn't reach . . . not seven clients - dozens, scores, we don't know.

"I don't know why there was such outrage that this was reported. People get scooped all the time . . . Get over it."

Look, Chicago's media still hasn't acknowledged its woeful performance in covering (or not) Burge. I recall only seeing a stray sentence once, an aside, in a Sun-Times editorial that came close. They've whitewashed themselves out of a story they whitewashed themselves out of in the first place. That's why it's so important that they be included in any curriculum teaching about institutional failures that allowed Jon Burge to happen.








Has anyone else noticed that busses have been way off their estimated arrival times lately? from r/chicago





The Art Institute of Chicago courtyard fountain.


A sampling.

Every day I unsubscribe. Every morning it still comes. I've e-mailed, tweeted, begged and pleaded. All to no avail. The Politico Illinois Playbook always prevails.




As well he should be. Pleased to see justice for incompetence in an industry that usually rewards it.



The Beachwood Tronc Line: Second that emotion.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:59 AM | Permalink

September 19, 2018

The Voucher Program We Really Need Is Not For School - It's For After

At 3 p.m., when most schools let out, some kids will stay back to attend an after-school program, some will be picked up by parents, relatives or paid caregivers to be taken home or to a soccer or swim class, and some others will hang out, on a street corner, or in the playground nearby with friends, or in an empty home. If you are a working parent with regular office hours, the group that your child belongs to depends on how much you can afford to pay for after-school care.

Unfortunately, the free, public part of education ends when the bell sounds.

Turns out that most of those who can't afford to pay private school tuition can't dole out funds for after-school programs either. In 2016, the online education news outlet Chalkbeat reported that only 18 percent of children nationally are served by before- and after-school programs. Many have no choice but to leave children in settings that won't teach them skills that will help them get to college or snag a high-paying job.

The federal government could help. Students' social and economic needs don't end in the afternoon, and neither should the safety net that public schools provide. With the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos so eager to pass out school vouchers like Halloween candy, "to choose the learning environment that is right," why isn't there a voucher scheme for after-school programs?

The duration of school days is a vestige of a past when women were expected to stay at home and be able to pick their children up from school to take them back home. It's long past time schools recognized that in 61.1 percent of married couples, both parents work, and offered after-school programs that meet their demands. School hours - typically between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. - simply don't match a 9 to 5 workday, let alone the more intensive days that come with certain kinds of jobs. What are parents to do with their kids in those in-between hours?

If parents don't want their child to get after-school lessons from the streets or television, they are forced to pay for quality child care and after-school programs. There's not much wiggle room for parents, and aftercare providers, keenly aware of this, charge accordingly.

According to a 2013 report by the U.S. Census, child care costs rose 59 percent between 1985 and 2011, while family income stayed constant, meaning families paid a greater share of their income for child care.

There is wide variability in what parents pay for child care between different states. For instance, parents in Washington, D.C., currently pay roughly $3,000 per month while those in Mississippi pay roughly $665 per month, according to a 2018 report published by Business Broker Network, an online brokerage for businesses that has a stake in franchising child care facilities.

Many families can't keep pace with the rising price of after-school care and lean on siblings, extended family members, friends and family-friendly employers to fill the gap. Some instruct their children to go to unsupervised environments like libraries, playgrounds or shopping malls until they get off of work.

"In 2004, the parents of 15.3 million children said they would enroll their child in an after-school program if one were available," according to findings in the 2014 America After 3PM study from the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to filling out-of-school time with quality options. "[T]oday that number stands at 19.4 million children. And, while the number of children alone and unsupervised after school has decreased over the last 10 years, there are still 11.3 million children headed for an unsupervised environment after the last school bell rings."

The need for after-school care is reflected in the rising number of people who use it. However, far too many can't. Public schools need to step up.

There are still 11.3 million children headed for an unsupervised environment after the last school bell rings.

In its report, the Afterschool Alliance cited not having safe, reliable transportation as a major reason many parents don't enroll their children in a program. And even if parents possess a car, some towns don't offer child care. A child care desert is a term that refers to neighborhoods that are either lacking any child care options or have so few child care providers that there are more than three children for every licensed child care slot. As with the cost of after-school care, there's great variability among states with regards to availability. For instance, approximately 40 percent of the residents of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina live in a child care desert, compared to Minnesota, where only about 25 percent of residents do, according to a 2018 report from the think tank the Center for American Progress.

Meanwhile, wealthy families are spending more on extracurricular activities for their kids, who are outpacing their peers who can't afford these programs. Some children are learning to code while others are being "watched" by a relative or a neighbor. During the 2013-14 academic year in the nation's capital, where a staggering 75 percent of the students are deemed economically disadvantaged, the five wealthiest parent-teacher associations raised a total of over $2.9 million for schools located mostly in the mainly white, affluent northwest section of the city, according to the CAP report. As the institutional voice of parents in a school, PTAs also raise funds for projects that the members and principal deem important for the school.

Not surprisingly, PTAs in low-income schools would like the same after-school programs as upper income associations, but their members don't have the resources to contribute at the levels of their well-heeled peers. The CAP report also found: "Meanwhile, in the district's highest-poverty schools - mostly located in Southeast Washington - schools had to pay for some of these same programs with public dollars, leaving less funding for other resources, staffing, or education or enrichment activities."

If there was ever something families needed a federal safety net for, it is for after-school programs. The federal 21st Century Community Learning Center grant, which helps states fund some out-of-school initiatives including after-school programs, is guaranteed in the budget through 2019. The proposed Trump-DeVos FY19 budget would eliminate the program entirely as part of $7.1 billion in suggested cuts to the Department of Education, causing 1.6 million children across the country to lose programs, some free, the funding currently subsidizes. Even if the grant program continues, it's a drop in the bucket for what states really need to meet the needs of families.

The federal government's budget proposal recommends eliminating the program entirely, due to what it has deemed lackluster progress in improving proficiency in reading or math, as well as low, irregular participation rates based upon a curated group of unfavorable studies.

"Research shows quite clearly that children feel safer when they can be in such programs and their parents overwhelmingly say these programs help them keep their jobs, which is pretty much what these programs were originally intended to do," wrote University of Georgia professors Paula Schwanenflugel and Nancy Flanagan in the magazine Psychology Today.

They also cited research on the educational benefits of after-school programs, as well as their limitations. Regardless of how the academic strength of after-school programs is measured, they certainly come with a host of other benefits: Parents can pick their children up later in the day, kids often get a meal through the program, and children are monitored in safe facilities during the high-crime hours of the afternoon.

Ironically, the U.S. Education Secretary's wish of a large, national voucher-based K-12 school program, which she failed to compel legislators from her own party to put into the budget, could ultimately be reintroduced as means to give low-income families after-school options. Because there isn't a centralized system or district managing after-school programs and care, families need a flexible way to select and pay for services that meet their needs. A voucher system for after-school care makes more sense than for K-12 schools.

In the case of child care deserts, there is not only a need for quality, but also quantity. The possibility of making money will inspire entrepreneurs to set up after-care facilities in the child care deserts.

Unless Secretary DeVos wants to personally watch the millions of children who will lose their after-school placements because of her recommended budget cuts, she should increase the budget for after-school programs with a voucher program that makes sense. That would give hardworking families the choices they actually want and need.

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.

* Dress Coded: Rules And Punishment For Black Girls Abound.

* When High School Officials Suppress Students' Free Speech.

* Disrupting Education The NFL Way.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:35 AM | Permalink

The Ex-Cub Factor

An occasional column featuring the whereabouts of ex-Cubs.

1. Jeimer Candelario.

The Cubs sent the Candy Man to the Tigers last season along with Isaac Parades and some cash in exchange for Justin Wilson and Alex Avila. Parades is still just 19 and not expected in the bigs for a couple more years. Candelario could be Detroit's third baseman of the future, though he has been as frustrating at times to manager Ron Gardenhire as heroic. He's tallied 19 home runs and 53 RBIs this season, though his OBP is just .317.

2. Davey Martinez.

Joe Maddon's former bench coach has had a tough go in his first year as Nationals manager, but the Washington Post reports he is "secure to return . . . at least for now."

But does this sound familiar?

"Martinez has faced criticism over and over this season. The main and most-discussed critique to emerge has been his handling of the pitching staff, particularly the bullpen.

"Grumblings among big league relievers are the rule, not the exception, and most managers are asked to explain their pitching decisions on a nightly basis. But earlier in the season, Nationals relievers seemed extra worried about some of Martinez's tendencies.

"A few veterans worried that he overworked his relievers, or that he was not receiving messages about how they were feeling each day. Some expressed concern that he warmed up far too many relievers on any given night, as if preparing for every possible scenario at the expense of their health."

3. Tony Campana.

No. 1's hitting .332 with a .375 OBP and 24 bases for Rieleros de Aguascalientes of the Mexican League.

4.Gleyber Torres.

GT recently became the 4th-youngest Yankee to reach 100 hits, behind Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and Ben Chapman.

5. DJ LaMahieu.

Our old friend is "set to become a free agent at season's end, and the club may have a successor on hand in prospect Brendan Rodgers. However, [Ken] Rosenthal floats the idea of the Rockies re-signing LeMahieu - who's one of their 'glue' guys, he notes = and trading superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado in the offseason. Although Arenado's obviously far superior to LeMahieu, the former only has another year of arbitration control remaining, during which he'll rake in upward of $20MM. Thus, if the Rockies aren't confident about extending Arenado, Rosenthal posits that it may make sense for them to move the NL MVP candidate for a package of players who'd 'supplement' their roster. That would enable them to re-up LeMahieu."

6. Dan Straily.

Out for the season. (Oblique)

7. Arodys Vizcaino.


8. Aroldis Chapman.

Back soon.

9. Andrew Cashner.

"Cashner is underrated because he seems like he should be way better, but he's been one of the most durable starters in baseball over the last 6 years (averaging 26 starts/season)," according to MLBTR's Jason Martinez.


"[H]e's just not very good, and it's not like you can even say he's an affordable source of 200 innings, because he's not durable either," according to MLBTR's Steve Adams.

10. The A's Triple Threat.

"[T]hanks in part to scrapheap pickups Edwin Jackson, Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill, the A's own one of the majors' best records and are now playoff shoo-ins."


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:24 AM | Permalink

At The National Veterans Art Museum | Original Warrior

The National Veterans Art Museum is proud to announce Original Warrior, an exhibit created to explore the complex Native American relationship between warrior and community, warrior and war, and warrior and service.

Native American nations have a long tradition of honoring and welcoming veterans back into their community after a time of war. Even now, pow wows have kept their focus on celebrating community and culture traditions while evolving fabrics, colors and songs emerge throughout the years.

Many of the artists in the exhibit are military veterans who weave the experiences they had while serving into their current cultural perspectives as Native Americans.

The artists:

rickoriginal.jpgRick Bartow, A View Across the River

Rick Bartow, 1946-2016, (Wiyot) began developing emotionally complex lithographs after his return home from Vietnam in 1972. "When I returned from Vietnam, like so many others, I was a bit twisted. I was a house filled with irrational fears, beliefs and symbols. Wind-blown paper would send me running; crows became many things. During this time, I found a huge pad of newsprint and began to draw, trying to exorcise the demons that had made me strange to myself. My work has never stopped being therapy."


Melissa Doud (Lac Du Flambeau-Chippewa) is a pow wow jingle dancer who served 20 years in the U.S. Army, including one tour in Iraq. Her powerful piece Bullet Dress is composed of 365 spent bullet casings. "Creating this dress after I came back from Iraq was part of my healing journey. Now I dance for others and can display the path I went through to get here."


Lloyd Kiva New (Cherokee) was a pioneer of modern Native American fashion design and a co-founder of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. New earned a degree in Art Education from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1938, before serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II. New was hailed by the New York Times as "a teacher of generations of Indian Artists" upon his passing in 2002.


poolaw.jpgHorace Poolaw, Dorothy Poolaw Ware (Kiowa) Carrying Son Justin Lee Ware (Kiowa), Mountain View, Oklahoma

Horace Poolaw (Kiowa) - who served as an aerial photographer for the Army Air Forces in World War II - is known as one of the most prolific Native American photographers of his generation. His photographs captured over five decades of change and transition in Native American culture in Oklahoma throughout most of the 20th century.


Greeves.jpgTeri Greeves, Prayer Blanket, detail

Teri Greeves (Kiowa) uses the Native American tradition of beadworking to express her creativity and experiences as a 21st Century Kiowa woman.


montylittle.jpgMonty Little, Jackson III

Original Warrior also includes civilian Native American artists who each create works reflecting the identity and roles of the warrior within their own communities.

Co-curator Tom Jones (Ho-Chunk) has been photographing the flagpoles of Ho-Chunk veterans at the Memorial Day Pow Wow in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, for 20 years.

Other artworks in Original Warrior include lithographs by Vietnam veteran T.C. Cannon (Kiowa-Caddo), installation and prints by John Hitchcock (Comanche), watercolors by World War II veteran Clarence Monegar (Winnebago), and beadwork pieces by U.S. Marine Miridith Campbell (Kiowa).


"Statistically, Native Americans send more of their people off to war more than any other group in America," Jones says. "One in four Native Americans are veterans. The role and responsibility of the veteran is still central to our traditional ceremonies. I am in awe of these people, their experiences, their sacrifice and their dedication to community."


The opening reception will be Saturday, October 6th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will feature brief statements from the artists and curators.

The exhibit will be on display from through Saturday, April 22nd in the main galleries of the National Veterans Art Museum, at 4041 North Milwaukee Avenue.

The National Veterans Art Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of art inspired by combat and created by veterans.

No other gallery in the world focuses on the subject of war from an artistic veteran perspective, making this collection truly unique.

The National Veterans Art Museum addresses both historical and contemporary issues related to military service in order to give patrons of all backgrounds insight into the effects of war and to provide veterans an artistic outlet to work through their military and combat experiences.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:02 AM | Permalink

September 18, 2018

The [Wednesday] Papers

"The Chicago police officers clearly do not want to be in court testifying against a colleague accused of murder, with one of them so uncomfortable he couldn't bring himself to point to the man on trial, something witnesses are routinely asked to do," Don Babwin reports for AP.

"But one after another - whether they want to or not - officers at the scene the night of Oct. 20, 2014, when white officer Jason Van Dyke emptied his gun into black teenager Laquan McDonald are being called to testify, as prosecutors seek to chip away at the 'blue wall of silence' long associated with the city's police force and other law enforcement agencies across the country."

This is a remarkable report, reflecting the remarkable opening of the Van Dyke trial this week.

Consider that lead: One of the officers (Joseph McElligott) was so uncomfortable testifying to the facts of what happened that night that he refused to even identify his colleague sitting at the defendant's table. I'm willing to bet that officer has never before refused to identify a defendant.

What happens when it's the authorities themselves who refuse to cooperate with the authorities when it comes to solving a crime?

McElligott nonetheless did no favors to Van Dyke in the testimony prosecutors were able to elicit from him. From the Tribune:

McElligott, testifying in uniform and appearing nervous on the stand, said he got out of the squad car and drew his gun after McDonald displayed a knife. The officer said he was about 10 feet away from McDonald at that point but backed up to keep more of a distance from him. He stayed about 15 feet away as he continued to follow McDonald on foot for blocks while his partner drove their squad car beside him.

They were waiting for other officers to show up with a Taser, he said.

McDonald occasionally turned around to display the knife at his side, the officer said, but he never felt he or his partner was threatened.

When his partner twice tried to cut off McDonald from going farther, the teen stabbed the tire and scraped the windshield, McElligott said.

McDonald then began to run, and other responding squad cars cut off McElligott from McDonald.

Shortly afterward, McElligott heard at least 10 gunshots in succession. As he got closer, he saw McDonald lying in the street and Van Dyke nearby with his gun still in his hand.

"He was looking like in shock," McElligott said.

McElligott confirmed that at no point during the pursuit did he fire his weapon at McDonald.

"We were trying to buy time to have a Taser. He didn't make any direct movement at me, and I felt like my partner was protected for the most part inside the vehicle," McElligott testified. "It was kind of like organized chaos . . . We were just trying to be patient."

McElligott didn't feel threatened. He didn't feel like his partner was threatened - nor, presumably, any other officer at the scene before Van Dyke showed up. They were being patient, waiting for another officer to arrive with a Taser, presumably to take McDonald into custody without killing him. The police were being patient. Here's the heartbreak:


While the officers already on the scene waited patiently - textbook-perfect policing - Van Dyke opened fire on McDonald just six seconds after rushing upon the scene.

"McDonald was knocked to the street within 1.6 seconds of the shooting, but Van Dyke fired for an additional 12.5 seconds until his gun was emptied," the Tribune reports.

[Van Dyke's lawyer, Daniel] Herbert, meanwhile, maintained that an average officer can fire five or six times in just a single second. Van Dyke fired many of the shots before even realizing McDonald had fallen to the street, he told jurors.

Herbert said Van Dyke paused to reassess after firing 14 of the 16 shots.

"He didn't know if they were lethal gunshots. He didn't know if Laquan McDonald had the ability to get back up and attack him," he said. "McDonald holds on to his knife the whole time he's on the ground. Despite being shot 14 times, he starts making movements."

Van Dyke paused to reassess after 14 shots, then fired two more and started to reload. He wasn't through. He only stopped after 16 shots because his partner, Joseph Walsh, told him to.

Walsh never came close to firing a shot on his own - nor did any other officer on the scene. None of them, making their own assessments, felt threatened enough to fire a single shot.


"None of the officers has criticized Van Dyke in testimony over the first two days of his trial, but each has bolstered the contention by prosecutors that what Van Dyke did was 'completely unnecessary,'" the AP's Babwin reports.

In fact, the case against Van Dyke - what a jury might decide notwithstanding - is so strong that officers trying to offer sympathetic testimony failed miserably.

Walsh, who is no longer on the force, acknowledged Tuesday that he "could have" fired, before answering, "Yes," to the question of whether he chose not to.

But he also defended his partner's actions, saying he was "confident officer Van Dyke took necessary action to save himself and myself."

So Walsh didn't feel threatened enough to save his own life, but says Van Dyke was justified in feeling threatened for him.

Walsh's testimony may fairly fall into the genre known as "testilying."

From that AP report:

[Walsh] maintained that he saw McDonald raise his right arm to swing it "in our direction," even though video of the shooting that played as he spoke doesn't show that.

Thank you, Don Babwin, for not merely passing along testimony unquestioningly but vetting it in real time by reporting what you - and the jury - saw with your own eyes.


Clearly, without the video, the one that Rahm Emanuel and Garry McCarthy tried to keep under wraps, we wouldn't be here.

To Phil Turner, a former federal prosecutor who is now a defense attorney in Chicago, the blue wall of silence isn't weakening so much as video evidence is revealing the truth. He points out that some officers are testifying only because they would otherwise be held in contempt of court. He sees police using video as key - not because it will make officers reluctant to lie to cover for their fellow officers but because it renders those lies "irrelevant."

Clearly, to take the matter one step further, the existence of video wasn't enough on its own - it was the release of the video that got us to this point.

"All of those officers had to know there was dashcam video and still they felt safe enough to provide a narrative that wasn't true," the lawyer who freed the video, Matt Topic, told AP.


New on the Beachwood today . . .

Original Warrior
"The National Veterans Art Museum is proud to announce Original Warrior, an exhibit created to explore the complex Native American relationship between warrior and community, warrior and war, and warrior and service."



The Ex-Cub Factor
Including Tony Campana and the Chicago A's.

Screen Shot 2018-09-19 at 10.18.50 AM.png


Yes To Vouchers - For After-School Programs
"Students' social and economic needs don't end in the afternoon, and neither should the safety net that public schools provide."




Question about driving without a catalytic converter from r/chicago





De Los Ángeles a Chicago: Trabajadores de McDonald's protestan contra el acoso sexual



Female Journalists Face Relentless Abuse.


A sampling.




The Beachwood Tronc Line: Have some decency.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:14 PM | Permalink

Writers Under Surveillance

"The FBI files on Hannah Arendt, Allen Ginsberg, Ernest Hemingway, James Baldwin and a dozen famous writers have a lot of stories to tell, and over the past eight years the MuckRock team has been digging through them.

"Today, we're excited to tell those stories in a new format: a 400-page volume that brings the most funny, frightening, poignant, and provocative tales about the intersection of surveillance and freedom to life, as told through those primary source documents."


"The book is now available in MuckRock's online store, as well as Amazon, through IndieBound, Indigo, Powell's, and Waterstones, in addition to bookstores around the country. If you buy through the MuckRock store, you'll get an exclusive free gift with purchase, including FOIA coasters, redacted magnetic poetry, and stickers."


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:16 AM | Permalink

SportsMondayTuesday: Bears Fun Again

As the clock dipped below five minutes remaining in the second quarter of the Bears' 24-17 victory over the Seahawks last night, I found myself almost rooting for the Bears offense to wrap up the drive they were on relatively quickly. That way the Seahawks would get the ball back in the final two minutes and Khalil Mack and Co. could resume their relentless pursuit of quarterback Russell Wilson.

That turned out to be a bit of a mistake when Wilson, who let's be clear is one of the top five quarterbacks in the league at this point, led his team to a 56-yard field goal in the closing seconds. But even as that drive was happening, the Bears' collective defensive menace could be felt on virtually every play.

How cool is this?

And then in the second half, when the Seahawks had rallied to within a touchdown and Wilson seemed poised to lead a comeback similar to the one Aaron Rodgers orchestrated the week before, the defense pounced. The consistent pressure had led to the Seahawks calling a number of plays that had Wilson passing quickly, before the rush could get to him.

He did that one too many times, cornerback Prince Amukamara read it perfectly, grabbed his first interception in forever (none last year, only one early-season pick the campaign before) and took it in for the Bears final, back-breaking touchdown.

But even that wasn't the end of the Bears' defensive heroics. On Seattle's next drive, Wilson was flushed from the pocket and moved up and to his left (the Bears did a great job all night of almost never letting Wilson roll to the right, his strong side). He didn't sense Danny Trevathan coming until it was too late and he had opened himself up to try to make a throw. Trevathan's second sack of the evening resulted in a fumble that was recovered by Leonard Floyd, putting a nice little bow on a great performance.

Speaking of throwing one way while moving another, perhaps Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky's best throw of the evening happened on a pass like that, when he rolled left, reared back with his right hand and threw a perfect, pinpoint, 15-yard pass to Anthony Miller for the score that gave the Bears a 17-3 lead.

So let's talk about the signal-caller and his offense for a little while at least. First of all, it is a complete waste of time to make comparisons between his performance and that of fellow 2017 first-rounders Pat Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.

They are all in different systems with different weapons at their disposal but most importantly, Watson and Mahomes are in their second years with their head coaches and systems while Trubisky is in his first. And yes Mahomes didn't play hardly at all last year but he has the benefit of working with the best play-caller in the business at this point (except for maybe Doug Pederson of the Eagles, who not surprisingly coordinated in Kansas City before getting that job), Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.

Yes Trubisky was disappointing in the first half. That last pass where it looked like two different Seahawks might have picked it off before it fell incomplete was especially disconcerting. But overall Trubisky completed more than two-thirds of his passes and he improved as the night went on.

He and Nagy still have a ways to go to catch up with Reid and Mahomes in terms of experience working together. So let's all try to avoid the Mahomes versus Trubisky stuff until at least halfway through the season OK?

As if.

Anyway, the Bears now head into next week's Sunday afternoon game at Arizona with some confidence. The Cardinals have had perhaps the worst offense in the NFL so far this season but it says here that just makes them more dangerous playing at home with the season essentially on the line. On the other hand, when you pull back a bit more, you see a first half schedule for this team that has to potentially be one of the easiest in the NFL.

Just don't tell the players, who will of course be more susceptible to letdowns the more they hear about how bad foes are. The most promising part of the schedule overall is that other than Tom Brady, who comes to town with the Patriots in about a month, the Bears will not play a better quarterback than they have already for the rest of the season (except for the return engagement with Mr. Rodgers I suppose but at least that one will be in Chicago).

I am really looking forward to this Sunday at noon.


Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:44 AM | Permalink

World Dumpling Fest

The World Dumpling Fest returns to Chicago on Sunday to celebrate dumplings of the world from 10 neighborhood-based ethnic restaurants in the Chicago region, in conjunction with World Music Festival Chicago at Navy Pier's Polk Bros Park Performance Lawns.

The 2017 inaugural event, held at Millennium Park drew more than 6,000 people and sold out of dumplings in the first few hours.

The featured dumplings:

Cafe Tola

Cultural Representation: Mexican

Dumpling Description: Empanadas

Chef/Restaurant Details: A blending of delicacies with colorful Mexican pizzazz and an adventurous menu of daily crafted homemade empanadas and wickedly-delicious coffees guaranteed to rock your world.

tola.jpgLydia Hoover Photography


Dia De Los Tamales

Cultural Representation: Mesoamerican

Dumpling Description: Tamales

Chef/Restaurant Details: Revolutionary tamales from Pilsen, created in a chef-driven, eco-conscious kitchen with a farm-to-fork attitude.


Ethiopian Diamond

Cultural Representation: Ethiopian

Dumpling Description: Sambusas - whole lentil, spinach, and potato and carrots.

Chef/Restaurant Details: Executive chef and owner Almaz Yigizaw welcomes you to her namesake Ethiopian restaurant (Almaz means diamond in Amharic). The Ethiopian Diamond Restaurant & Bar is known for its extensive menu of authentic Ethiopian dishes and is open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. All of the Ethiopian food is served in a welcoming, comfortable, and hip and inviting cultural setting.


Friendship Chinese Restaurant

Cultural Representation: Chinese

Dumpling Description: Chinese Bao and Sui Mai

Chef/Restaurant Details: A long-held Logan Square destination for elegant Chinese dining for more than 20 years, chef/owner Alan Yuen brings new ideas to his dishes, with Chicago's longest running dim sum each weekend, and Hong Kong Street Food each Thursday, with food and cocktail pairings harkening to his childhood in HK.



Herb Restaurant

Cultural Representation: Thai

Dumpling Description: Saku Sai Moo in different varieties.

Chef/Restaurant Details: Herb is Thai redefined. Our dishes are perfect for diners who demand quality, healthy ingredients in their adventures of haute cuisine. Award-winning chef Patty Neumson looks forward to serving you at the best Thai restaurant in Chicago.




Cultural Representation: German

Dumpling Description: Spätzle with grilled onions (vegetarian), bread dumplings with pork mushroom gravy.

Chef/Restaurant Details: Sisters Diana and Carol Himmel's dream started in their mother's North Side kitchen dishing up scrumptious, homemade meals. "For the past five years, we have been blessed to bring you Pizza D.O.C. We've called ourselves an Italian restaurant with a German flair - and we of course have been the German flair. Now, we're settling into our own, creating new from scratch dishes with a personal touch."



Cultural Representation: Japanese

Dumpling Description: Goyza in different varieties.

Chef/Restaurant Details: Kamehachi means "eight turtles" in Japanese. The turtle and the number eight both symbolize long life and good luck in Japan. For more than 40 years, Kamehachi has been perfecting the art of making sushi. And today, the values and traditions established at "Chicago's First Sushi Restaurant" are as strong as ever. With meticulously crafted dishes made with the highest quality ingredients, Kamehachi has earned its reputation as the premier Japanese restaurant in Chicagoland.



Kasia's Deli

Cultural Representation: Polish

Dumpling Description: Pierogi in different varieties.

Chef/Restaurant Details: Kazimiera Bober, better known as "Kasia," is living proof of the "American Dream," as noted by the Chicago Tribune, Crain's Chicago Business, Chicago Public Radio, WTTW and elsewhere. She immigrated to the United States from Poland in 1970s with the dream of a better life for herself and her children. After years of working odd jobs and struggling financially, she decided to pursue something in which she excelled, which was cooking.




Cultural Representation: Brazilian

Dumpling Description: Coxinha de Galinha and Bolinho de Aipim (meat and veggies options).

Chef/Restaurant Details: Sinhá (Seen-yah'), which means "lady of the house," offers you the only opportunity in Chicago to have Brazilian food catered for any occasion. The food preparation is totally authentic and so is the chef. Born, raised and educated in Brazil, Jorgina Pereira began small-scale catering 12 years ago for friends and acquaintances. For her, cooking is a source of personal enjoyment and an outlet for artistic expression. Since then, Sinhá has earned the respect of big-name establishments such as Varig Brazilian Airlines, who have frequently requested Sinhá's contribution.


Tryzub Ukrainian Kitchen

Cultural Representation: Ukrainian

Dumpling Description: 5-color varenyky - white: traditional potato & cheese; red: beet-infused shell with chicken, sundried tomato & red pepper; orange: carrot-infused shell with pork & onion; yellow: turmeric-infused shell with sauerkraut & mushroom; green: gluten-free spinach-infused shell with spinach, white bean & cheese.

Chef/Restaurant Details: Situated in the heart of Ukrainian Village, this trendsetting restaurant and bar showcases traditional Ukrainian fare with a modern twist. Try the Ukrainian-style pierogies called varenyky, handmade daily in our kitchen.



Additional happenings will feature cultural artists and centers selling goods including Trickster Art Gallery, Artenimai, Artes Gemelas, Glass Sense, Sevim Surucu, and Studio 3311, and maker activities for all ages from local cultural heritage museums National Cambodian Heritage Museum, Chinese American Museum, Swedish American Museum, and Chicago Japanese American Historical Society.

The event will feature a number of international bands curated by World Music Festival Chicago starting at 1 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Music highlights include Jupiter and Okwess, playing the Congolese rhythms, funk and rock; Delgres from Guadeloupe, combining their native Caribbean rhythms with delta blues for a deep roots sound of their own; East Meets Middle East, a musical collective across continents, celebrating the rich traditions of the Middle East and South Asia; and the Zhou Family Band from China, entertaining audiences with traditional wind and percussion music.

In between global music acts the Chicago Cultural Alliance will highlight local performers at American Indian Center, Muntu Dance Theater Chicago, Chicago Samba, and PACF Performing Arts & Kapwa Cultural.

World Music Festival Chicago is produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The full schedule of performances happening September 7-23 can be found here.


World Music Festival Meets World Dumpling Fest is FREE General Admission, $10 for a 3-Dumpling Tasting Pass, and $25 for a 9-Dumpling Tasting Pass. For complete details visit


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:56 AM | Permalink

Revealed: The DOJ's Secret Rules For Targeting Journalists With FISA Court Orders

On Monday we revealed - for the first time - the Justice Department's rules for targeting journalists with secret FISA court orders. The documents were obtained as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the Freedom of the Press Foundation and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.

While civil liberties advocates have long suspected secret FISA court orders may be used (and abused) to conduct surveillance on journalists, the government - to our knowledge - has never acknowledged they have ever even contemplated doing so before the release of these documents.

The FISA court rules below are entirely separate from - and much less stringent - than the rules for obtaining subpoenas, court order, and warrants against journalists as laid out in the Justice Department's "media guidelines," which former Attorney General Eric Holder strengthened in 2015 after several scandals involving surveillance of journalists during the Obama era.

When using the legal authorities named in the "media guidelines," the Justice Department must go through a fairly stringent multi-part test (e.g. certifying that the information is critical to an investigation, that it can't be obtained by other means, and that the DOJ exhausted all other avenues before doing so) before targeting a journalist with surveillance. They must also get approval from the attorney general.

With the FISA court rules, there is no multi-part test that we know of. The DOJ only must follow its regular FISA court procedures (which can be less strict than getting a warrant in a criminal case) and get additional approval from the attorney general or assistant attorney general. FISA court orders are also inherently secret, and targets are almost never informed that they exist.


The documents raise several concerning questions:

1. How many times have FISA court orders been used to target journalists? The memo that accompanies these rules strongly suggests that there have been journalists subject to FISA court orders in the past ("Consistent with this determination, such applications [targeting members of the media] shall be reviewed by the Attorney General or Deputy Attorney General") and that it's entirely possible there are such orders active now. How many journalists have been targeted total, and are any currently under a FISA investigation?

2. Why did the Justice Department keep these rules secret - even their very existence - when the Justice Department updated its "media guidelines" in 2015 with great fanfare? FISA Court orders are exempt from the media guidelines yet apparently these rules existed in secret at least since then.

3. If these rules can now be released to the public, why are the FBI's very similar rules for targeting journalists with due process-free National Security Letters still considered classified? And is the Justice Department targeting journalists with NSLs and FISA court orders to get around the stricter "media guidelines?"

We initially filed our FOIA lawsuit in part because we knew the DOJ had already kept the use of National Security Letters against members of the media exempt from the "media guidelines." Those separate - and still-secret rules - are in a redacted appendix in the FBI's Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide. A version was leaked to The Intercept in 2016 and they read very similar to these unredacted FISA court rules.

The fact that these were kept secret during the Obama administration is cause for great concern. Now, President Trump has repeatedly stated his hatred for the media, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has already tripled the amount of leak investigations since the Obama era (when they were already at an all-time high). Has the Trump administration used FISA court orders to target journalists with surveillance? If so, when?

This is critically important information at a time when press freedom has been under threat from the government, and its role in our democracy has never been more important. We hope the Justice Department will answer these questions immediately.

Special thanks to our co-plaintiffs and legal counsel for this case, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. You can read their full analysis of the secret FISA rules here. We hope this is just the first of many documents from this still-running FOIA case about the government's surveillance of journalists we will be able to share with the public in the coming months.

You can read the full rules here.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


See also:

* The Intercept: Government Can Spy On Journalists In The U.S. Using Invasive Foreign Intelligence Process.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:54 AM | Permalink

Amazon And The Way Of The World

"Governments can't make them pay taxes, that's how powerful they are! And they're powerful because they're rich. If you can buy power, that's not a democracy!"


Previously in Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter!:

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Explains The Economy.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! It's Shit Crap News, Tim.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Is Going To Paris.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Grow Some Balls; Tell The Truth.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! MP Is A Wanker Santa.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Merry Fucking Christmas.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! New Year's Rant.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Sexy Skype.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! TTIP Is Boring Shit.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! The Truth About Teachers & Doctors.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Valentine's Day 2016.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! On The 'Environment" Beat.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Political Theater As News.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Charter Wankers International.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! The Panama Papers: They're All In It Together.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Answer The Fucking Question.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Snapchatting The Environment.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Election Fever!

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Day-Glo Fuck-Nugget Trump.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Dickens Meets The Jetsons.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Tony Blair: Comedy Genius Or Psychopath?

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! What Real Business News Should Look Like.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Facts Are No Longer Newsworthy.

* Pie's Brexit.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Real Life Is Not Game Of Thrones.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Labor: The Clue's In The Title!

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! The Pie Olympics.

* Occupy Pie.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Where Is The War Against Terrorble Mental Health Services?

* Progressive Pie.

* The BBC's Bake-Off Bollocks.

* Pie Commits A Hate Crime.

* Pie Interviews A Teenage Conservative.

* Jonathan Pie's Idiot's Guide To The U.S. Election.

* President Trump: How & Why.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! All The News Is Fake!

* Happy Christmas From Jonathan Pie.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! 2016 In Review.

* Inauguration Reporting.

* New Year: New Pie?

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

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! A Gift To Trump?

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Strong And Unstable.

* Pie & Brand: Hate, Anger, Violence & Carrying On.

* Socialism Strikes Back!

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Election Carnage.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Papering Over Poverty.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! The Queen's Speech.

* Showdown: North Korea vs. Trump.

* Time For The Royal Scroungers To Earn Their Keep.

* Cricket vs. Brexit.

* The Real Jonathan Pie.

* A Hostile Environment.

* Jonathan Pie | Trump's America.

* Pie: Putin's America.



If Only All TV Reporters Did The News Like This.



Australia Is Horrific.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:26 AM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

"Chicago needs to join scores of other American cities and begin planning for the removal of toxic lead water pipes, according to a group of aldermen pushing for public hearings despite objections from Mayor Rahm Emanuel," the Tribune reports.

"Nearly 400,000 single-family homes and small apartment complexes - 80 percent of all residential buildings in Chicago - get treated Lake Michigan water from lead service lines that the city required by law until Congress banned the practice in 1986.

"Emanuel administration officials have repeatedly said there is no cause for concern. But the Tribune first reported in April that lead was found in water samples drawn from nearly 70 percent of the 2,797 homes that returned free testing kits provided by the city during the past two years."

That seems like cause for concern.

"Alarming amounts of the metal turned up in water samples collected throughout the city, a Tribune analysis of the results found. Tap water in 3 of every 10 homes sampled had lead concentrations above 5 parts per billion, the maximum allowed in bottled water by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."

I am concerned.


"Results from the city-provided testing kits in Chicago offer the most conclusive evidence yet of widespread hazards that have remained hidden for decades. Yet as Emanuel borrows hundreds of millions of dollars to overhaul the public water system, the city is keeping lead service lines in the ground and brushing aside concerns from residents and aldermen.

"Emanuel's office has said it is up to homeowners, not the city, to decide if it is worth replacing the lead pipes at their own expense, even though the city required the use of lead plumbing for most of the last century."

Why did the city require such a thing - "long after many cities banned them?"

"The answer has a lot to do with political clout, union might, and decades of mayoral inaction," WBEZ reports:


Back to the Trib:

"The same law firm that defends the lead industry in product liability cases represented the Emanuel administration for free in a lawsuit demanding the removal of lead service lines. Kirkland & Elllis fended off the lawsuit in April, but the Cook County judge who ruled in the city's favor also said there is strong evidence that scores of Chicagoans are drinking tap water contaminated with the brain-damaging metal."

So the city is poisoning us - and City Hall and the courts are fine with it!

"In a seven-page decision, Cook County Circuit Judge Raymond W. Mitchell said he dismissed the complaint against the city 'on the narrowest possible grounds' based on other court rulings that limit Illinois residents from seeking damages when government actions cause harm," the Trib reported in April.

"Before delving into the arcane details of case law, Mitchell noted that research has outlined how Emanuel's aggressive overhaul of the water system is increasing the chances that Chicagoans are exposed to lead in their tap water."

So Rahm is personally poisoning us.

"City actions have increased the levels of lead in the water," Mitchell wrote. "The city nevertheless pursues its projects and insists that the water is safe to drink."

This strikes me as a big deal.


Today's Trib:

"City officials advise that residents can protect themselves by flushing household plumbing for three to five minutes when water hasn't been used for several hours. But in 1 of 5 Chicago homes tested since January 2016, the Tribune analysis found, samples contained high levels of lead after water had been running for three minutes.

"Even after water had been running for five minutes, 9 percent of the homes tested had high lead levels.

"Lead is unsafe at any level, according the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."


New on the Beachwood today . . .

Revealed: The DOJ's Secret Rules For Targeting Journalists With FISA Court Orders
"The fact that these were kept secret during the Obama administration is cause for great concern. Now, President Trump has repeatedly stated his hatred for the media, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has already tripled the amount of leak investigations since the Obama era (when they were already at an all-time high). Has the Trump administration used FISA court orders to target journalists with surveillance? If so, when?"



Writers Under Surveillance
FBI files revealed.



Amazon & The Way Of The World
"Governments can't make them pay taxes, that's how powerful they are! And they're powerful because they're rich. If you can buy power, that's not a democracy!"

Screen Shot 2018-09-18 at 11.58.50 AM.png

It's true; the richer you are, the more exempt you are from taxes. That's backwards.


Chicago's World Dumpling Fest
Mmm, dumplings . . .



SportsTuesday: Bears Fun Again
Even if the quarterback is frustrating.

Screen Shot 2018-09-18 at 12.42.05 PM.png


The Political Odds
Continuing to update to reflect recent developments.



The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Really behind on this feature; trying to catch up. (This is Gary Numan joining Beck for "Cars" at Riot Fest.)

Screen Shot 2018-09-18 at 12.09.53 PM.png



Found some interesting mail while remodeling my garage from r/chicago



View this post on Instagram

Super no more

A post shared by Tim Inklebarger (@timinklebarger) on



UCAN Aérospatiale Dauphin [N365UC] Being Pushed Into the Vertiport Chicago Hangar [06.28.2017]



Chicago Museum Free Days.


A sampling.





The Beachwood Tronc Line: Beachinsky.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:14 AM | Permalink

September 17, 2018

The [Monday] Papers

1. Oh My Gawd He's In.




2. Unlike Seemingly Everyone Else, I Am Not Surprised Jason Van Dyke Chose A Jury Trial - Especially With The Jury He Got.

E-mail I sent to a criminal justice expert last Thursday morning:

I'd be shocked if he went for judge. His only hope is a jury, don't you think?


Also, this thread:


3. As I've Already Said, The Next Mayor Of Chicago Will Be A Woman Of Color.


But Toni Preckwinkle is apparently getting pushback from what she probably thought was a campaign that would be hers to lose. Perhaps her time has passed (for a number of reasons), which is why I featured Susana Mendoza more heavily in this column.

(Reports this morning say Preckwinkle will announce later this week. Then again, she was supposed to have announced last Monday with a bunch of supporters standing behind her and that didn't happen.)


This is also a pretty strong interview Lori Lightfoot just gave to Essence, but her task is monumentally harder without Rahm in the race - provided someone other than Bill Daley jumps in. Otherwise it just got easier!


4. When CPS And CPD Get Together It's Twice The Mess.

"More than 70 police officers spend their days in Chicago public high schools, but the school district doesn't keep track of who they are, nor does it have an agreement with the police department dictating how they are chosen, trained and what specifically they should do," Sarah Karp reports for WBEZ.

"These are the findings of a report released Thursday by the City of Chicago Inspector General's office. The office started looking into police officers at schools after hearing from young people that they had 'extreme concerns' about arrests in schools and the potential violation of their civil rights and liberties, said Leigh Anderson, chief performance analyst for the inspector general.

"Anderson said her office was surprised there was so little basic information available about the relationship between schools and police, who have been in schools for decades. Anderson said the inspector general's office received a 2014 list of officers in the schools created by the Chicago Police Department, and it had obvious errors in it."


The Tribune reports that "The Chicago Police Department provides no clear directives on how it selects, trains and evaluates officers assigned to patrol public schools, according to a report released Thursday from the city inspector general.

"CPD doesn't even have up-to-date staffing rosters and legal agreements with the Chicago Public Schools system for its school resource officers, Inspector General Joseph Ferguson's office said.

"The department's lack of guidance and structure over school resource officers underscores what Ferguson's office describes as a 'high probability' that students get unnecessarily entangled in the criminal justice system. The IG said it urged authorities to immediately create formal standards and responsibilities for school-based police officers by the start of classes this fall."


An excellent, must-read on this topic is Yana Kunichoff's 2017 report for the Reader. Really, really good.




5. Spotify This
An e-mail exchange.

Me: Steven Tyler Says No More Aerosmith Songs At Trump Rallies.

Tim: Steven Tyler to Trump: No More No More Playing Aerosmith Songs at Rallies

Me: goddamit

Tim: Steven Tyler Says Playing Aerosmith Songs at Trump Rallies Is Not F.I.N.E.

Me: You should've quit while you were ahead.

Tim: Aretha Tells Trump "You Better Think" About Playing My Songs at Rallies

Me: ha ha we could go all day with this ...

Tim: I think I will!

Tom Petty Tells Trump to Stop Dragging His Song Around to Rallies

Me: oh my god ...

two more and i'm gonna make a post out of it ...

Tim: Trump Under Pressure to Stop Playing Queen Song at Rallies


New on the Beachwood . . .

Hawk Harrelson's Swan Song As Awful As His Broadcasts
Duck snorts all the way down.


Chicagoetry: The Single Greatest Cab Ride In The History Of The Free World
When you work there on busy summer weekends, the best thing about Navy Pier is leaving it.



Does anyone know anything about this oddly erotic building? I've been walking past this marketing consultant (?) for years and Google yields very little information about the building itself. Sure, sex sells and all, but this can't possibly be housing its intended occupants, right? 150 N Clinton. from r/chicago





Global Psychotic Disease.Siquiatlaán. Artist Nicolàs De Jesús. Chicago-Paris-New York. Ameyaltepec.



The Most Honest Book About Climate Change Yet.


How America's 'Most Reckless' Billionaire Created The Fracking Boom.


Rural Pride: What I Learned Growing Up In Rural America.


What Makes A Waif.


The Secret Drug Pricing System Middlemen Use To Rake In Millions.


Volkswagen Discontinues Beetle Again.


Tossing A Baseball To Fans Isn't So Simple Anymore.


How To Become A Cheesehead.


Our Discourse. Brilliant.


A sampling.





The Beachwood Tronc Line: Open and shut.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:55 AM | Permalink

Hawk Harrelson Goes Out As Awfully As He Broadcasted

The close of the Hawk Harrelson Era has been neither sudden nor precipitous. It has been more like a leaky faucet, laboriously dripping drop-by-drop for the past two seasons since the team announced that 2018 would complete his 35-year tenure calling Sox games.

Last season, as he was winding down, he covered only road games. His duties this year have been confined to Sundays at home. He'll describe the three-game series this weekend against the Cubs, and that will be it.

The elongated swan song has been punctuated this month with Hawk Day on September 2nd followed by an hour-long documentary, Hawk, that aired for the first time last Thursday on NBC Sports Chicago, the local network partly owned by the White Sox.

Whereas Frank Thomas was summarily dismissed in 2005, Ozzie Guillen was axed in 2011, and the team cast away Mark Buehrle - Harrelson calls Buehrle his all-time favorite Sox player - to free agency in 2011 at the age of 32, Harrelson's departure has been a lovefest dictated primarily by Hawk himself.

And well it should be. Harrelson was the ultimate homer when it comes to broadcasters. He was castigated a number of times for blasting the umpires. He never ceased to point out that Sox pitchers needed to retaliate when Sox batters were plunked too often by opposing pitchers. Rarely would he come down on the local athletes for their own misplays and ineptitude.

In the film about his career, guys like A.J. Pierzynski, Paul Konerko, Bo Jackson and The Big Hurt - just one nickname for which Harrelson is credited - gushed about Hawk's unique abilities to paint the picture of Sox baseball. He loved the players, and they loved him back.
In explaining in the film the hiring of Harrelson in 1981, chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said, "We had an opening." He certainly did because Harry Caray bolted to the North Side when the Sox instituted Sportsvision, a subscription service, to carry the games. Hawk is fond of saying, "You can tie him, but you can't beat him," and that phrase easily can be applied to his and Caray's egos.

Harry understood very clearly that his voice would have far great exposure on WGN's superstation rather than on a pay-per-view service where Sox fans had to ante up for something that previously was free.

So, yes, there was an opening.

Harrelson and sidekick Don Drysdale filled it until Reinsdorf made the unwise decision to name Harrelson general manager of the ballclub in 1986, which turned out to be a disaster. Hawk's two most notorious moves were to fire manager Tony LaRussa and assistant GM David Dombrowski. By the way, neither were heard from in last week's film.

Harrelson's view of White Sox history is just that: his own. His remarks on Hawk Day included, "This [present and future] era in my opinion is going to be the greatest era possibly in White Sox baseball history."

It would be lovely if Hawk's premonition comes true. However, that is highly unlikely considering that for the 17 seasons between 1951 and 1967 the team never finished under .500. The Sox won at least 90 games in seven of those seasons. They played at a .562 winning percentage for 17 years!

In 1964, the ballclub won 98 games without winning a pennant because of - you guessed it - another group of athletes called the New York Yankees, who were winning at an even greater clip. There was no wild card in those days.

Hawk's history seems to include only the time he's been with the ballclub. On Hawk Day he offered that when Reinsdorf bought the team it was "in shambles," and he said his employer "might be the most loved owner in all of sports." He neglected to mention by whom.

He also failed to mention that Jerry bought the team from Bill Veeck, whose popularity with the fans was notorious. Veeck had a presence at the ballpark and around town while Reinsdorf is seldom seen by anyone other than the people who work for him.

And in an astounding and unexpected outburst on his day at The Grate, Harrelson, in a chronological account of his time with the Sox, angrily said, "Then in '94 something happened that I'll never forgive this man for. [Players Association executive director] Donald Fehr, he's the guy who caused the strike that had the World Series washed out, and I'll never forgive him for that."

Of course, this was directly out of the Reinsdorf playbook. At the time of the strike Newsweek said, "There are the 'hard-liners,' led by Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who seem determined to bury the union and spit on its grave."

If Reinsdorf had imposed his will on the union, today there would be a salary cap costing the players millions. To his credit Reinsdorf's players - Konerko and Jim Thome to name just two - tend to adore him as much as Harrelson.

Hawk, which ironically was co-produced by Matt Dahl, whose father Steve has his own place in White Sox history as the impresario of the infamous Disco Demolition, comes off as a tender depiction of Harrelson, who was raised by a single mom who made $56 a week in Savannah, Georgia. The first segment takes Harrelson back to Savannah where he is very open and honest about his relationship with his mom - his abusive father left for good when Harrelson was eight - and how he dealt with her death while he was broadcasting for the Yankees in the late '80s. There is no hiding Harrelson's tears, and they are exceptionally real.

However, the film is narrowly crafted, sticking to the themes of Harrelson as a flamboyant ballplayer, a dedicated family man, and a passionate, emotional individual. His dual persona of Ken vs. Hawk is emphasized throughout.

So there's not much, if anything, about how the times affected the man. Obviously he was raised in the South at the height of the Jim Crow era. He was 13 when the Brown decision was rendered. He is pictured in the gymnasium of his grammar school where a few kids - some of them black - frolic in the background. Yet Harrelson is not placed historically in terms of what was going on in the country at the time.

The segment about his Boston period as member of the Red Sox in 1967-69 portrays a jock at the height of his prowess in his mid-20s. Harrelson joined the team, which was headed to the World Series, for the final month of the '67 season. He didn't do much then, going 1-for-13 in the Series that the Cardinals won 4 games to 3.

However, the next season he became one of the most popular players in team history, hitting 35 homers and leading the league with 109 RBI. His long hair for the times, cowboy boots, and Nehru jackets landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

There were plenty of side benefits as well. Leading the film crew into a bar he frequented, Harrelson reminisced, "We had so much fun here. Told more lies than you could ever believe. You had to be almost an athlete to get in. [The proprietor] invited all the flight attendants and unescorted young ladies to come in. Tony C[onigliaro] and I used to go around and say, 'You can come, you can come,' and then we'd go up to my place or his place, you know."

Of course, we know. While baseball has changed, the life of a ballplayer no doubt remains much the same as it has been for decades. Harrelson's portrayal of the star's life might have turned off some viewers, but according to his broadcast successor Jason Benetti, this would not concern Hawk.

Benetti's bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, gee-I'm-so-thankful-to-be-here facade went up in smoke when he said, "Hawk's best attribute honestly is that he doesn't give a fuck about anything else that anyone says about him." And then Benetti said it again. Goodbye, innocence.

The final slice of the movie shows the family side of Harrelson at his home in Granger, Indiana. He is surrounded by friends and family, which include his wife Aris of 45 years. Harrelson has frequently described how meeting her rescued him from the depths of alcohol, his temper, and, by inference, womanizing.

Nowhere is it mentioned that he was married previously as a teenager, a marriage that produced four children who remain anonymous.

While this is Harrelson's story, it is in no way unique, regardless of the spin that he and the producers apply to it. Correcting prior sins and dedicating oneself to a healthy, wholesome life is admirable, but certainly not a story that belongs solely to Ken Harrelson.

Numerous times in the film people refer to him as a "family man." I daresay that most, if not all, of the people reading this piece would identify themselves in the same vein. Checking Instagram, I daily see photos of children and grandkids as we marvel and are grateful for the joys of our families. No one family unit has a monopoly on the happiness that families produce. The film narrowly avoids portraying this as an aberration rather than something cherished and practiced by so many of us.

So it is that the 77-year-old Hawk Harrelson assumes his spot in baseball annals. Revered by many fans and criticized by others, he definitely was an entertainer, especially early in his career when we were just getting to know him. But after Sunday's game, He Gone.


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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:57 AM | Permalink

Chicagoetry: The Single Greatest Cab Ride In The History Of The Free World

The Single Greatest Cab Ride in the History of the Free World

When you work there
On busy summer weekends,
The best thing

About Navy Pier
Is leaving it.

When I take the 29 State Street bus
To the Washington Street Blue Line,
I know a good ride

When I get one.
The artistry of getting a bus effectively
Down west Grand Avenue

Then south on State Street
Is a thing of rare,
Delicate beauty.

Accelerating, braking,
Ducking, weaving, feinting;
A highly refined art

in a big-ass bus.

Pay attention next time:
Look for smoothness,
No sudden braking, changing

Lanes with tight tolerances
And no real threat
To the public at large.

Occasionally, I will take
A cab to the Federal Building

To get my ass
The hell off that hectic Pier
And onto my train home west.

Yesterday, I met
A friend after my shift
And we hopped a cab

To West Town.
Straight shot down Grand.
When I'm guiding at the Pier

I always recommend cabs
For city rides.
Cabbies are often savants

With occult knowledge
And true sophistication.
They're not teenagers

From Elmhurst
Relying on GPS.

You get in,
Ask for the Bean,
And they take you there

No questions asked.

Most cab rides are
Workmanlike, but yesterday
Was another glorious thing entirely:

Before we knew it,
We realized we were being hurtled west
By the very spirit

Of Jason Bourne.

It was magnificent!
Accelerating, BRAKING


      Weaving, feinting, changing lanes with

Authority, over bumps
            ding hard,

Horn honking as needed,
       Swerving around

Scrambling careless bicyclists
               And distracted pedestrians

(Sorry, fellas:
I'm on your team
Unless you're cluelessly

Blocking my bus or cab).

Steve McQueen in Bullitt,
Roy Scheider in The Seven-Ups
Gene Hackman in

The French Connection.
Urban automotive professionalism
At its summit.

Older gentlemen
With scant white hair
And full beard,

An accent that I took
To be Mediterranean.
When it was over,

At Twisted Spoke,

I was like, "Dude:
That was a beautiful
Piece of work."

They're always startled,
Cabbies and bus drivers,
When you recognize

Their skills.
After the initial shock
of actually being appreciated,

He's like:
"I've been doing this
For thirty years!"

"It shows!"
Last winter, when I
Had to commute

To Wheaton to see
To my ailing mother,
I couldn't get a cab

From the Metra
To save my life.
Out there?

Downtown, throw a bone
To the virtuosos

Of the streets.
Right now,
More than ever,

They need you.


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


More Tindall:

* Chicagoetry: The Book

* Ready To Rock: The Music

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:36 AM | Permalink

September 14, 2018

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #217: Bears Hold Joe Maddon's Beer

One of the game's best managers turns in perhaps the worst managed game in history. Plus: Call Crane Kenney A Wahmbulance; Matt Maddon's Chicago Bears; Hawk's Doc; Thibodeau Putting Bulls Back Together; NU Worse Than Duke; Elena Delle Donne's Mystics Get Swept in Finals.



* 217.

:12: The Maddening Is Here, Just Like It Is This Time Every Year.

-> Coffman: "Baseball karma is a bitch."






26:56: Call Crane Kenney A Wahmbulance.


* Ricketts Group Ramps Up Attack On Wrigleyville Ald. Tom Tunney.

* Pawar Rips Ricketts-Backed Group As Flyer Furor Grows.


32:40: Sloppy Joe.

* One of the game's best managers just turned in the worst managed game ever in major league baseball history.


46:23: Matt Maddon's Chicago Bears.

* Coffman: Vic Fangio deserves far more scorn than Mitch Trubisky.


1:01:31: Corey Crawford's Complicated Cranium.

(* Abreu translation: Torsión testicular.)

1:04:03: HawkDocTalk.

1:04:10: 3 Takeaways From Northwestern's Loss To Duke.

105:02: It's Always A Bull Market For Tom Thibodeau.

1:06:25: Storm Sweeps Elena Delle Donne's Mystics To Win 3rd WNBA Championship.




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


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:20 PM | Permalink

September 13, 2018

The [Thursday] Papers

1. City Animal Shelter Seeking Help With Influx Of Rescued Cats.

"The number of rescued cats at Chicago's Animal Care and Control shelter reached a high of 300 earlier this week, leaving some at risk of being euthanized if temporary homes aren't lined up quickly enough," Chicago Tonight reports.

"The shelter's cat population is the highest of the year but also normal for late summer, when mother cats are having their second or third (and final) litters of the season."

2. The Most Notorious Towing Company In Chicago - Maybe In America - Gets The Boot.

"In a city known for gangsters, bootleggers and corrupt politicians, residents will tell you the most reviled actor on the North Side is a tow-truck company," Douglas Belkin writes for the Wall Street Journal.

"For more than half a century, Chicagoans have said Lincoln Towing Service - known locally as the Lincoln Park Pirates - has hauled away cars for no reason, overcharged motorists to get them back and taunted owners who complained."

3. Chicago Doesn't Air Council Committee Meetings. That Could Change.

"Chicago's lack of committee broadcasts and recordings seems out of place in this day and age. The Better Government Association's Policy Team surveyed local and national cities. We found both broadcasting, and at the very least, recordings of meetings are done in some of the largest cities in the country, including New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and Dallas. We also found Chicago's neighbors, like Skokie, also were broadcasting, as were other local governing boards like Cook County and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. (Scroll down to see who puts what on the air.)

"Los Angeles' program has been around for about seven years. A spokesperson for the city clerk's office for L.A. said their broadcast program was not just about transparency, it also ensured Americans with Disabilities Act compliance. According to Patrice Lattimore from the Council & Public Services Division, 'the feedback has been positive. The audio streaming allows the public easier access to the meeting . . . (and we are able) to reach more younger crowds.'"

4. Conferences Relocate To Show Solidarity With Striking Chicago Hotel Workers.

"The Democratic Attorneys General Association, which was scheduled to host 200 people at the JW Marriott this week for its fall quarterly policy program, decided to move the event to show solidarity with workers who have been on strike for a week."


"The Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium, which has more than 500 people registered, is also being moved from its original hotel venue to 'stand with workers,' organizer Howard Brown Health announced to participants this week.

"The conference, which takes place Saturday and Sunday, will now be held at Malcolm X College. Howard Brown declined to disclose the name of the hotel that had been set to host the symposium."

That's weird. Why?

5. The Vikings Must Avoid A 'Chicago Choke' Against The Packers.

"While everyone else is talking about quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers' stunning victory on Sunday night, the Vikings should know it was less miracle play than legendary choke on the part of the Chicago Bears," Mike Greizer writes for FanSided. Minnesota should also be careful to avoid the same result."

6. Chicago Police Reform Plan Unveiled.

Make no mistake: The consent decree should be part of Lisa Madigan's legacy, not Rahm's. She made it happen; he was dragged kicking and screaming.

7. Illinois Responds To Hurricane With National Guard Soldiers.

Just 10 of 'em. Hmmm.

8. The Story Of A Headless Pedophile In Aurora Was Fake.

Um, what?

9. Science Proves That Diner Coffee Is Weak And Terrible.

Science can suck it.

10. For Thousands of Years, Humans Coexisted With The Largest Birds That Ever Lived.



New on the Beachwood today . . .

Evidence Of Kavanaugh Perjury Mounts After Durbin Releases More "Confidential" Documents
"This is a theme that we see emerge with Judge Kavanaugh time and time again - he says one thing under oath, and then the documents tell a different story," said Durbin.


Pulitzer Prize-Winning Book Censored In Illinois Prisons
"A superb work of history . . . the film rights have been optioned to TriStar."


Illinois Suicide Prevention Summit
"The summit will cover the four strategies of AFSP's Project 2025: the prevention of suicide in health care systems, in emergency departments, in the corrections system and by firearm owners."





Portrait of a Chicago Professor.


A sampling.

By Barbara Res, Trump's former longtime vice president of construction.




Lettuce Police You.


The Beachwood Tronc Line: Lettuce, cheddar, bread.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:05 PM | Permalink

Illinois Suicide Prevention Summit

The Illinois Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is co-sponsoring the Illinois Suicide Prevention Summit on Friday, September 21, at the Loyola Medical School campus in Maywood.

The summit will cover the four strategies of AFSP's Project 2025: the prevention of suicide in health care systems, in emergency departments, in the corrections system and by firearm owners.

Featured speakers include AFSP's Vice President of Research, Jill Harkavy-Friedman and the Senior Director of Project 2025, Michael Rosanoff.

Registration is $75 and Continuing Education credits are available.

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.



Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:37 AM | Permalink

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Book Censored In Illinois Prisons

Attorneys filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of historian Heather Thompson, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning book Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy was censored by Illinois prison officials.

Attorneys from Uptown People's Law Center and Sidley Austin filed the lawsuit. It alleges that this censorship is "arbitrarily applied," as the book was sent to three different prisons and censored only at Pontiac and Logan Correctional Centers. It argues this censorship is a violation of Thompson's First Amendment right to communicate with incarcerated people, as such communication should only be restricted when there is a legitimate penological interest. The lawsuit also claims that Thompson's Fourteenth Amendment right to due process was violated because she did not receive notice of this restriction, and as such was not provided an opportunity to challenge it.

"Ms. Thompson has a Constitutional right to share her book with prisoners. This right must not be infringed upon at the whims of the Illinois Department of Corrections. What's more, prisoners should be able to read this fantastic, important book. IDOC may not like the book's content, but that is not a sufficient legal reason to censor it," said Alan Mills, executive director of Uptown People's Law Center.

"It is unconscionable that prisons forbid human beings on the inside to read any book, and I am determined to speak out on behalf of the First Amendment wherever it is being violated," said Thompson. "My book underscores the sanctity of both correctional officer and prisoner lives, and covers an important event in American history that I have the right to share with any American who wants to learn about our country's past."

The book provides a thorough history and analysis of the Attica prison uprising, detailing events beforehand, the week-long uprising, ensuing legal battles, and the event's role in perpetuating mass incarceration in the U.S.

Blood in the Water has won high praise and numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy, the Ridenhour Prize, the Public Information Award from the New York Bar Association, the Media for a Just Society Book Award from the National Counsel for Crime and Delinquency, and the J. Willard Hurst Award in Socio-Legal History.

The book was also included on more than a dozen "Best of 2016" lists, including the New York Times' Most Notable Books list, as well as similar lists published by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor, the Boston Globe, and others.


Via Wikipedia:

"Quite unusually, the book was featured and reviewed in three separate sections of the New York Times with one of the reviews calling it a 'gripping . . . remarkable . . . a superb work of history, 'another heralding its research, and the final one, a full-length piece in the NYT Book Review, lauding its passion and power. Reviews is other publications such as Newsweek and the Christian Science Monitor were equally glowing, with the latter calling the book 'a masterpiece.' Author Heather Ann Thompson was herself featured in the New York Times Magazine."


"[The book] provides the first complete history of the Attica Prison uprising of 1971 and details not only the events of the week-long uprising and its brutal ending, but also the protracted legal battles that persisted for decades after the event.

"Blood in the Water reflects the more than a decade of research, including information from interviews, government records, personal correspondence, and legal documents, much of which has never been made public before.

"Thompson argues that the Attica uprising and the state's response represented shifting American approaches to incarceration and policy, the reverberations of which continue to influence America's prison system.

"Film rights to the book have been optioned by TriStar Pictures."


Via the American Bar Foundation:

"In 1971 nearly 1,300 men at the notorious Attica Correctional Facility in New York took over the facility to demand humane conditions. The legal community, including that in Chicago, played a critical role in making sure that those men were protected and paved the way for their story to be told despite the state's attempt to silence them."



* Publisher Files Censorship Suit Against Illinois Department Of Corrections.

* 14 Ways To Keep Youth With Mental Health Conditions Out Of Jail.

* Mentally Ill Prisoners Win Injunction; Judge Declares IDOC's Failure To Provide Mental Health Care An "Emergency Situation."

* Challenging The Media's Distorted Images Of Incarceration.

* Lawsuit Demands Return Of Prison Debate Program.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:05 AM | Permalink

Evidence Of Kavanaugh Perjury Mounts After Durbin Releases More "Confidential" Documents

By releasing new documents late Tuesday previously marked "committee confidential," Sen. Dick Durbin doubled down on accusations that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh committed perjury in his 2006 confirmation hearing for his seat on a federal appeals court.

In defiance of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Durbin shared with the public two pages of e-mails showing that Kavanaugh was involved in discussions regarding the nomination of William Haynes for a judicial seat in 2002.

Four years later, Durbin said, Kavanaugh misled the Judiciary Committee about his involvement while under oath.

"It is clear now that not only did Judge Kavanaugh mislead me when it came to his involvement in the Bush administration's detention and interrogation policies, but also regarding his role in the controversial Haynes nomination," Durbin said.

In an e-mail dated November 15, 2002, Kavanaugh asked other White House officials whether Haynes, who helped form the Bush administration's torture policy while working as general counsel for the Pentagon, would be a sufficiently conservative judge.

kavnomemo.pngIn his confirmation hearing in 2006, Kavanaugh told senators that Haynes' nomination "was not one of the nominations that I handled" while working in the Bush White House.

"This is a theme that we see emerge with Judge Kavanaugh time and time again - he says one thing under oath, and then the documents tell a different story," said Durbin. "It is no wonder the White House and Senate Republicans are rushing through this nomination and hiding much of Judge Kavanaugh's record - the questions about this nominee's credibility are growing every day."

Last week, Kavanaugh told the Judiciary Committee that he had not been involved in the nomination of another judge with far right-wing views, claiming in an exchange with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that he didn't "believe" he had interviewed anti-choice Judge William Pryor for his nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court.

At a 2004 hearing Kavanaugh had also denied that he had "personally handled" the nomination, but e-mails from 2002 and 2003 showed that he had been included in meetings to "coordinate plans and efforts" regarding Pryor.

Following Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings last week, with only 38 percent of the public approving of his nomination, progressives have called not only for senators to reject him for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court but also for him to be disqualified from any federal judicial seat.

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


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:44 AM | Permalink

September 12, 2018

The [Wednesday] Papers

"McDonald's fast-food restaurant workers have voted to stage a one-day strike at outlets in 10 US cities next week, in hopes of pressuring the company to take stronger steps against sexual harassment on the job," AP reports.

"Organizers of the action say it will be the first multi-state strike in the U.S. specifically targeting sexual harassment and that they have been emboldened by the #MeToo movement against harassment and sexual assault.

Plans for the walkout - to start at lunchtime on September 18 - have been approved in recent days by committees of female employees at dozens of McDonald's restaurants. Lead organizers include several women who filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in May, alleging pervasive harassment at some of the corporation's franchise restaurants.

Chicago, naturally, is one of the target cities: 11 a.m. in front of the company's new corporate headquarters at 1045 West Randolph Street.


Here's how Fight for $15 puts it:

"Fed up with McDonald's failure to address groping, lewd comments, propositions for sex and other illegal behavior in its stores, cooks and cashiers in Chicago announced on Wednesday morning they will join the first-ever nationwide strike to combat sexual harassment on Sept. 18.

"Opening up a bold new front in the #MeToo movement, the striking workers will demand the fast-food giant form a committee to address sexual harassment, comprised of workers, representatives from corporate and franchise stores, and leaders of national women's groups. This committee would chart a path forward to make sure nobody who works for McDonald's faces sexual harassment on the job.

"The strike comes four months after McDonald's workers in Chicago and across the country, with support from the TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund, filed 10 charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) detailing widespread sexual harassment at the company."


Also from Fight for $15:

"The upcoming strike will be the first-ever nationwide walkout to protest sexual harassment and the first over the issue since 1912, when garment workers at the Kalamazoo Corset Company walked off their jobs."



"Nearly 20 leading national women's groups joined the Fight for $15 in an open letter to McDonald's in May, calling on the company to address sexual harassment. In the letter, which ran as a full-page advertisement in Crain's Chicago, the groups wrote that McDonald's faces a choice: combat sexual harassment in its stores or face a rejection of its brand by people of conscience. "


Hotel Motel Holiday Inn
"At some of the swankiest addresses across downtown this week, people have been waking up to a cacophony of cowbells, gongs, homemade maracas, whistles, pots and pan lids - as striking hotel workers have been trying to make their displeasure known," the Sun-Times reports.

"The main sticking point in negotiations is the year-round health coverage for employees, who can be classified as full-time but lose benefits if they are laid off during the slow winter months."

Maddening and unconscionable. I wonder if the hotel owners support universal health care so they aren't even put in this bind. After all, why should health insurance be their problem?


"Several guests at the Sheraton Grand and the Wyndham were blunt in their refusal to see things from the workers' perspective.

"I have no sympathy at all," said Steve Evans, who was in town for the week from Vancouver, Canada. "They're ruining holidays for people."

Steve Evans, you are Today's Worst Person Visiting Chicago.


"Chris Moore, staying in the city on a business trip from Denmark, agreed.

"We're in the 21st Century. This is not the way to demonstrate about workers' rights," Moore said, adding, "Those guy are going to damage their hearing."

Chris Moore, you are runner-up, though it's nice of you to be concerned about the hearing of folks who only have health coverage half the year.



This might seem like a weird question, but here goes: When Chicago had two NFL teams, was there a North Side-South South rivalry like with the Cubs and Sox? from r/chicago





Chicago To Finally Get A Steak 'N Shake.


A sampling.




The Beachwood Tronc Line: Roll me away.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:24 AM | Permalink

September 11, 2018

When A Swami Came To Chicago And Introduced Hinduism To The World

"More than 2,500 delegates and 250 speakers from over 60 countries participated in the three-day World Hindu Congress on 11 September 125 years ago, Swami Vivekanand delivered a powerful speech in Chicago at the Parliament of World's Religions.Through his speech, he introduced Hinduism to the world. To commemorate 125 years of the historic speech, the second World Hindu Congress was organised from September 7th-9th, in Chicago."


See also:

* Parliament of the World's Religions.

* Rhodes: Menu For Religion Assembly Is More Than Loaves And Fishes.

* Rhodes: Only Unifying Factor: Vegetarian Pizza.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:56 PM | Permalink

Hothouse Earth Co-Author: 'People Will Look Back On 2018 As The Year When Climate Reality Hit'

Amid a flurry of "breathless headlines" about warnings in a new study that outlines a possible Hothouse Earth scenario, one co-author optimistically expressed his belief that "people will look back on 2018 as the year when climate reality hit."

In an interview with the Guardian, Stockholm Resilience Center executive director Johan Rockström declared that "This is the moment when people start to realize that global warming is not a problem for future generations, but for us now." Rockström's study has received an "unprecedented" amount of global attention - 270,000 downloads in the first week alone.

"Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the new study, while not conclusive in its findings, warns that humanity may be just 1°C away from creating a series of dynamic feedback loops that could push the world into a climate scenario not seen since the dawn of the Helocene Period, nearly 12,000 years ago," Common Dreams reported.

This domino effect of feedbacks loops, the report explains, would pose "severe risks for health, economies, political stability, and ultimately, the habitability of the planet for humans." Though such warnings are chilling, the report authors and climate experts pointed out a major takeaway from the study that much reporting on it failed to highlight: that there is still time for humanity to act.

"Yes, the prospect of runaway climate change is terrifying. But this dead world is not our destiny. It's entirely avoidable," meteorologist Eric Holthaus wrote for Grist. "As the authors of the paper have argued in response to the coverage, implying otherwise is the same as giving up just as the fight gets tough."

Investigative journalist Antonia Juhasz, known for her deep dives on the oil industry, spoke with another co-author of the report, University of Arizona professor Diana Liverman, about actions the international community can take right now to address the climate crisis.

"Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state," the report's abstract declares. "Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System - biosphere, climate, and societies - and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values."

Rockström told the Guardian that he is concerned about the growing gap between scientists warnings and most politicians' docile statements and actions, noting that "politicians prefer small problems that they can solve and get credit for. They don't like big problems that, even if they succeed, leave the rewards for their successors."

However, Rockström added, "once you pile up public pressure, politicians find it hard to avoid taking responsibility." As the Guardian acknowledged, "even in the U.S., which President Donald Trump has vowed to pull out of the Paris accord, public opinion surveys have shown a growing acceptance of climate science," likely helped along by recent extreme weather across the globe, which experts have linked to the climate crisis.

Gallup polling found earlier this year that although there's a notable partisan divide - only 35 percent of Republicans believe human activity is causing the crisis, compared with 89 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of Independents - "majorities of Americans overall say most scientists think global warming is occurring (66 percent), it is caused by human activities (64 percent), and its effects have begun (60 percent)."

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


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:05 PM | Permalink

24 Hours With The Great American Country Channel

10 a.m.: Barn Life - Cedar Barn, Mill, Dairy Barn

11 a.m.: Barn Life - Bank Barn and Stone Barn

Noon: You Live in What?

1 p.m.: You Live in What? New England Castle, Chicago Museum, Alabama Temple

2 p.m.: You Live in What? Bourbon Distillery, Carpet Cleaning Warehouse, Coal Commissary

3 p.m.: You Live in What? Indy Ink Factory, Houston Glass Warehouse, Pennsylvania Schoolhouse

4 p.m.: You Live in What? San Antonio Candy Factory, Chicago Livery, New England Corner Store

5 p.m.: Log Cabin Living - Big Bear Lake Dream Cabin

5:30 p.m.: Log Cabin Living - White Mountains Dream Chalet

6 p.m.: Log Cabin Living - Upper Peninsula Hidden Retreat

6:30 p.m.: Log Cabin Living - Upper Peninsula Hidden Retreat

7 p.m.: Log Cabin Living - Smoky Mountains Dream Cabin

7:30 p.m.: Log Cabin Living - Green Mountains Weekend Cabin

8 p.m.: Log Cabin Living - Fannin County Cabin Hunt

8:30 p.m.: Log Cabin Living - Angel Fire Dream Cabin

9 p.m.: Log Cabin Living - Broken Bow Lake Cabin Hunt

9:30 p.m.: Log Cabin Living - Northern Indiana Dream Cabin

10 p.m.: Log Cabin Living - Colorado Mountain Cabin

10:30 p.m.: Log Cabin Living - Lake Lure Dream Log Cabin

11 p.m.: Log Cabin Living - Smoky Mountains Dream Cabin

11:30 p.m.: Log Cabin Living - Green Mountains Weekend Cabin

Midnight: Log Cabin Living - Fannin County Cabin Hunt

12:30 a.m.: Log Cabin Living - Angel Fire Dream Cabin

1 a.m.: Log Cabin Living - Broken Bow Lake Cabin Hunt

1:30 a.m.: Log Cabin Living - Northern Indiana Dream Cabin

2 a.m.: Log Cabin Living - Colorado Mountain Cabin

2:30 a.m.: Log Cabin Living - Lake Lure Dream Log Cabin

3 a.m.: Paid Programming

3:30 a.m.: Paid Programming

4 a.m.: Paid Programming

4:30 a.m.: Paid Programming

5 a.m.: Music Videos

6 a.m.: Great American Playlist

7 a.m.: Great American Playlist

8 a.m: Flippin' RVs - A Crown Jewel and an Original Masterpiece

9 a.m.: Flippin' RVs - Biggest Trailer Event


* 24 Hours With QVC
* 24 Hours With Tru TV
* 24 Hours With Current TV
* 24 Hours With The Military Channel
* 24 Hours With The Hallmark Channel
* 24 Hours With TVGN
* 24 Hours With Retroplex
* 24 Hours With Penthouse TV
* 24 Hours With The DIY Network
* 24 Hours With BET
* 24 Hours With CNBC
* 24 Hours With WWMEB
* 24 Hours With PRISM TV
* 24 Hours With Al Jazeera America.
* 24 Hours With Fuse.
* 24 Hours With Pop TV.
* 24 Hours With BET Soul.
* 24 Hours With BabyTV.
* 24 Hours With Jewelry Television.
* 24 Hours With XFHS.
* 24 Hours With Freeform.
* 24 Hours With Baby1.
* 24 Hours With RUS-TV.
* 24 Hours With The Esquire Network.
* 24 Hours With Velocity.
* 24 Hours With WYCC.
* 24 Hours With FM.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:04 AM | Permalink

Green Bay Packers Fans Love That Their Team Doesn't Have An Owner. Just Don't Call It 'Communism.'

In July, I was walking with my parents through the newly constructed Titletown District in Green Bay, a new community development across the street from Lambeau Field, where the Packers play their home games. It features a local brewpub, a boutique hotel, free outdoor games like foosball and shuffleboard, and a large practice field where kids can play football.

At one point, I heard my dad say, "I know who this is." He had picked out the Packers' president, Mark Murphy, hurriedly making his way through the swarming crowd of people. Murphy kindly paused to shake my father's hand and then my mother's and then my own.

As Murphy moved on, my dad's next reaction was interesting to me as a political scientist.

"The Packers are the only team with a president instead of an owner," he said, turning to me. "You know, with every other team in the NFL, all that money the team makes, that goes straight to the owner. The Packers don't have an owner. All that money goes back to the community, the fans. It builds stuff like this," motioning toward Titletown.

nflowner.jpgDarren Hauck/Reuters

On our ride home, with Packer talk behind us, my dad started to ask me about my job prospects. I'm training to be a political theorist in an oversaturated job market with an overabundance of Ph.Ds, increasing university administration, increasing reliance on - ahem, exploitation of - adjunct instructors, and what feels like an all-time low in the diminution of the value of the humanities.

My job prospects are not good.

Next he asked why I decided on Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher, as my dissertation topic.

I explained that I had seriously considered Marx, but I didn't choose him because I thought it would limit my job prospects even further.

"Why?" My dad asked.

"Well, you know, because people often associate Marx with communism."

"Communism - no, no, no," he said. "I don't want anything to do with communism. The very idea of it sickens me."

In my head, I thought, "What an interesting cognitive dissonance." Wasn't the principle virtue of the Green Bay Packers based in a communist idea: collective ownership of the means of production? And because there is no owner, doesn't that mean its proceeds go back into its community?

I'm not really interested in the degree to which the Packers are a communist organization. But I am interested in my father's reaction to the word "communism," and how this response conflicted with a real-world example of one of communism's animating ideas.

He has not, to my knowledge, ever read Marx or any genuinely communist literature. But he has obviously adopted a negative attitude to the word.

Capitalist ideology seems to have launched a successful marketing campaign against communism. To be a communist, in my father's mind, is to be against freedom. It is to want total control over the lives and fates of all individuals in society. It is to be a Stalinist.

What he fears isn't communism; it's totalitarianism.

I couldn't bring myself to point this out. I couldn't tell him, "Dad, everything you just said about the Packers - that's communism."

A Special Situation

On August 18, 1923, the Packers became the first and only publicly owned team, selling $5,000 in shares to improve the team's struggling finances.

Owning stock in the Packers is not like owning other stock, however. It pays no dividends. Although fans earn nothing financially by owning stock, this unique arrangement does ensure that profits don't go into the pocket of one or a handful of owners. Profits go instead to Green Bay Packers, Inc. What fans gain - and not just those who own shares - is the assurance that their team will not leave Green Bay, the smallest market of all major American professional sports leagues.

In 1997, fresh off a Super Bowl win, the franchise turned again to its fans as "investors." The team offered more fans the opportunity to join existing shareholders by selling additional shares. For $200 they could "own stock" in the team. Well aware of the fact that being an owner in this instance offers no real financial stake in the team, fans proudly purchased 120,000 shares.

In 2012, the team again expanded its sale of stock, selling an additional 30,000 shares. I remember my uncle excitedly showing me his share, framed and displayed prominently in his otherwise lightly adorned living room.

packersframe.jpgPablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

The Packers are not only unique in the NFL for being a fan-owned, nonprofit team, they are the only team the NFL will allow to be. The 1960 constitution of the NFL states, in what is known as the the Green Bay Rule, that "charitable organizations and/or corporations not organized for profit and not now a member of the league may not hold membership in the National Football League." According to a member of the Packers' board of directors, the model in Green Bay "is truly a special, special situation."

Admittedly, the Packers organization still functions within capitalism. Although it lacks an owner, the team otherwise engages in all the same market-based exchanges as other teams. The Packers do show, however, how one communist principle might float within a capitalist sea. Without an owner, more people overall benefit. The team benefits first to be sure. But its interest happens to be the first interest of fans like my dad as well.

Sensing And Seeing Exploitation

My dad's passion for the game is undeniable. My biased view is that it is unique, even among die-hards.

Otherwise, my dad is a rather typical Wisconsinite of his generation. He was born and raised in Sheboygan, where he still lives.

He grew up in an era when higher education was not the assumed post-graduation trajectory, so he became a laborer in a toilet seat factory.

I'm proud of him for that. I'm proud, particularly, because being a laborer is hard work. I know because I worked with him for two summers in college.

What makes it hard, for starters, is that the factory line always goes at the same pace. This means that if you have energy and would like to work quickly, you can't. If you are feeling tired, sore or sluggish, you must keep up with the brisk, mechanical pace of the line. The job takes a physical toll.

I remember getting home from work one night and sitting down to watch a movie on the couch at 7 p.m. I woke up the next morning, still on the couch, leaving for work in the same clothes because I didn't have time to change. I was 18. My dad has worked there 40 years and will continue to do so until he retires at 65.

As a laborer in a family-owned factory, my dad is well aware who profits when the company does: The family who owns it. Educated entirely on biographies of the American founders and iconic presidents, he has a surprising knack for seeing exploitation and inequality. I saw this in action when he went on about the benefits of the Packers not having an owner.

Like my father, my brother-in-law has a knack for seeing exploitation in action. In a recent diatribe, he railed against the popular view that professional athletes make too much money. According to the argument, athletes make extraordinary sums of money for playing a game, for doing something children do for free. That argument concludes that athletes ought to be paid less.

But my brother-in-law sees the big picture. Despite all the money they make, professional athletes are really making money for the owners - gobs of it.

Even though professional athletes make insane salaries by comparison to my father and my brother-in-law, they make far less than the owners. And this despite the fact that the owners themselves don't do anything except own the team.

Without using any of the vocabulary - with no reference to bourgeois and proletariat, to owners of the means of production, and even without using the term "exploitation" - my brother-in-law has rather accurately described one of Marx's main critiques of capitalism: Labor is fundamentally exploitative. Those who create surplus value are not the ones who benefit from it.

It doesn't take Marx, apparently, to see what's wrong with the owner-laborer, bourgeois-proletariat relation.

Refreshing An Old idea With A New Word?

When I teach Marx to my students, I ask them what comes to mind when they hear the name "Marx." One of the first words listed is "communism," but another is "Russia" or "the Soviet Union."

Once we've assembled a list of associations, we begin to investigate how they came about.

I tell them that if you go to the Museum in the Round Corner, a former German Democratic Republic government office in East Germany's lovely Leipzig, you'll find a photo of a rally.

In a massive stadium, thousands of citizens each hold up a unique placard. Collectively each picture forms one gigantic image that can be seen from above. Organized by the communist government, the image is a blown-up portrait of Karl Marx with the phrase "Wir ehren Marx" - "We honor Marx."

wehonormarx.jpgDelegates meet in East Berlin to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Karl Marx, whose visage is displayed on stage/AP

This display is an example of how the U.S.S.R. worked to make it look like it operated on Marxist principles. But communists such as C.L.R. James did not view Russia under Stalin as a true communist government. Nor did other scholars, like Hannah Arendt, who instead characterized Stalinist Russia as totalitarianism. It's important to remember that Marx did not advocate totalitarian government. My Dad, however, associates communism with Stalinist Russia - and thus associates it with totalitarianism.

So much the worse for Marx.

If my father could dissect the vampirism of football franchise owners, if my brother-in-law could analyze the fundamentally exploitative structure of labor without him, is the biggest source of people's attitudes toward communism the word itself?

If "communism" is too laden with historical failures and semantic difficulties, are "socialism" or "social democracy" better alternatives?

They, too, seem to register similar anxieties in society.

Although Bernie Sanders openly adopts the monikers "socialist" and "democratic socialist" - as do ascendant Democratic Party figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - such politics continues to be maligned.

But attitudes are beginning to change. A recent Gallup poll shows that 57 percent of Democratic-leaning poll-takers view socialism favorably. A deeper look at the demographics is revealing, however. Although attitudes to socialism are becoming more favorable overall, it is quite clear that the working class of my father's generation are among the slowest to come around.

Of my father's age group - 50 to 64 - only 30 percent viewed it favorably.

Perhaps an entirely new word needs to be coined. Hell, why not call it Packerism?

If you want a political movement to work in Wisconsin, that's what to call it. But of course, what might be a successful rebrand in Wisconsin is not likely to be successful across the country as a whole.

So if not by calling it Packerism, how can the left renew an old idea with a new word?

Alan J. Kellner is a Ph.D Candidate in Political Science at Northwestern. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.


Comments welcome.


1. From Steve Rhodes:

The NFL itself has many economic attributes of socialism, such as the profit-sharing of television contracts. The league also interferes with the "free market" by imposing salary caps, has an exemption from antitrust laws allowing it to limit competition, and allows its commissioner autocratic powers, none of which are socialist values but illustrate how a variety of economic theories operate in conjunction and collision within the structure of the league, making it (and other sports leagues) ripe for study.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:50 AM | Permalink

Chicago Neonatologist To Release Second Record

What album do you know features Gary Lucas (Cap'n Beefheart), Robbie Fulks, Peter Stampfel, John Fulbright, Sarangi Celtic, Mexican harps, tuba, theramin, dogs, horns, Mariachis, and great songs? And what do the themes of love, Wittgenstein, Cook County Jail and trapeze artistry have in common? The answer to both questions is Rich Krueger's newest release, NOWThen.

Rich Krueger jumped into the spotlight in 2017 after releasing his first album, Life Ain't That Long, to worldwide critical acclaim, and non-commercial Triple A radio play around the world. Since then he has done numerous interviews in the U.S. and UK and was a finalist in the Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Competition in 2017 and 2018, which he went on to win in 2018.


The 15-song NOWThen is self-produced and self-released, and most of the players from Krueger's first record also play on NOWThen, but there are many others new to this project. Along with those mentioned above, there are appearances from Erik Frandsen (The Colbert Report), Casey McDonogh (NRBQ), Jay Ansill (acclaimed Celtic performer/composer), and Jim Becker (Iron & Wine).

Professionally, Krueger is a clinical neonatologist at the University of Chicago.


"I work 80-100 hours a week as a doctor," he says. "Making music somehow happens on that background. Musical ideas come quickly when I mess around with the piano, guitar or banjo. Keeping my eyes open helps, and writing down ideas as quickly as they come is necessary."

NOWThen is a work of love and of hope, hard work and joy and about having open eyes. Rich Krueger's songs are songs that could only be made by an outsider, and observer. They might make you think, they might make you laugh, and they might even trouble you, but NOWThen is full of real songs that are never ordinary.


Chicago Tour Dates:

-> September 15: Gallery Cabaret. Debut of a monthly residence; also a video shoot this night.

-> September 30: Wishbone solo show with Chris Farrell.

-> October 5: Montrose Saloon.

-> October 20: Gallery Cabaret show with the band for THE NOWTHEN PRE-RELEASE RELEASE PARTY. Lotsa guests.




Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:18 AM | Permalink

Rahm Runs Out Notebook #1: The Polls

"A poll bankrolled by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's close friend, business adviser and largest political donor shows Emanuel in relatively decent shape to win a third-term if he chooses to pursue it," Fran Spielman reported for the Sun-Times on August 20th.

This was an odd - but ultimately unsurprising - report. Unsurprising because, as I've written frequently over the life of this site, Spielman is wholly untroubled by acting as a stenographer to power in the service of "scoops" - and in fact is sought out by City Hall to serve as such even as some of her colleagues praise her "access" to "insiders."

To wit:


Emanuel, I was once told by a person in a position to know, was "obsessed" with using Spielman to shape narratives.


Back to Spielman's story:

"Michael Sacks, CEO of Grosvenor Capital Management, asked New York-based Global Strategy Group to take a closer look at the crowded, 2019 race for mayor to do his own assessment of where things stand.

"With 'lots of polls flying around' portraying Emanuel as virtually unelectable, Sacks turned to a firm he knows and trusts to take another look."

This sounds a bit hinky. "Lots of polls" delivering results Sacks didn't like sparked him to "turn to a firm he knows and trusts," perhaps to deliver better numbers!


"The poll of 600 likely mayoral election voters was conducted July 22 to 29."

So it was nearly a month old before it was delivered to Spielman.


"Results for Emanuel were far from a slam dunk. But, they are encouraging, nevertheless, considering the conventional wisdom that he faces an uphill climb to win a third-term."

That's one interpretation. But is that what the data really said?

For example:

"In a Round One sampling that includes six candidates, Emanuel leads the field with 32 percent of the vote."

So Rahm didn't even come close to the 51 percent needed to avoid a runoff. I mean, 32 percent is pretty pathetic for a Chicago mayoral incumbent and global figure with a massive PR operation nearing the end of his second term.


"Emanuel's share of the vote rises to 48 percent, just shy of the 50 percent-plus-one needed to avoid a runoff, when voters receive 'simulated positive and negative messaging about all of the candidates' akin to television commercials."

So even after reinforcing positive messages about Rahm and negative messages about everyone else, Rahm, a globally known figure with a huge PR operation at the end of his second term, couldn't reach 50 percent of the hypothetical vote. A lot of political professionals would call that pretty damn discouraging.


The rest of the data released to Spielman - it's unclear if she was given entire poll and its entire methodology - is equally as nonsensical.

Such as:

"Emanuel is in even better shape when pollsters simulate negative advertising about him and his challengers. He mauls McCarthy with 60 percent of the vote to McCarthy's 25 percent. The mayor also records landslide victories over Lightfoot [by a 31 percentage point margin] and Vallas [with a 29 percentage point advantage.]"

So when voters heard only negative advertising about everyone, Rahm came out looking pretty good! Of course, he went into such an exercise with years of built-in PR and name recognition. I'd also like to see the negative arguments that were attached to each candidate - for example, did one say that Rahm tore the city apart closing 50 schools in a move that turned out to be of no benefit to students at all? In other words, what negative messages? Without knowing what they were, it was malpractice to report on them and just take the word of Sacks and his favorite, trusted pollster.


I will give credit to Sacks and his pollster for this: They're working awfully hard for their client!


"Sacks said he decided to commission his own poll because, 'I felt like a lot of the poll numbers being thrown around were lacking integrity.'"

Oh. So polls by other campaigns - and, presumably the media, if any such polls have been done - lacked integrity, but not Rahm's!


Here, though, is where the game was really given away:

"I believe the poll shows that Rahm is the clear favorite. He basically clobbers all candidates. I can't imagine that any of the myriad candidates see things differently," Sacks wrote in a text message to the Sun-Times.

First, the poll did not show Rahm as "the clear favorite." They showed a well-known candidate who in the most favorable light is 18 points shy avoiding a runoff - on the even of the Laquan McDonald trial.

Second, the notion that Sacks "can't imagine that any of the myriad candidates see things differently" was absurd on its face - and counter to the polling of some challengers that, fairly or not, showed just the opposite.

Third, "Sacks wrote in a text message." So Sacks wasn't interviewed for this piece? He wasn't asked the basic questions any competent journalist would ask? He had the time to commission the poll and relay it to Spielman - a month later - but not to discuss it?

(This is also on the paper's editors, whose strong suit has never been . . . editing.)

Another question: Was this poll released to any other media? If not, why? Or have we just answered that question? Or did other outlets take a pass?


Pollster Jeff Pollock did answer questions, though I can't say whether they were good ones.

In a telephone interview Monday, pollster Jeff Pollock said the "bottom line" for Emanuel is that he stands "a strong chance" to earn a third-chance from Chicago voters and "starts off in poll position to do so."

"Is it gonna be easy? No. The last one wasn't either. But, there are plenty of numbers here to suggest that he can be victorious," Pollock said.

That may sound good on first glance, but go back and re-read it. Pollock is really saying nothing - or nothing new that the poll gleans. Somehow Rahm stood a "strong chance" of winning re-election but it wasn't going to be easy. Those two things don't mesh; someone with a strong chance of winning doesn't face a tough race.

Starting off in a poll position to win? Hardly bragworthy. Rahm was the incumbent with a huge financial advantage and the support of the business community and political establishment in a town that loves incumbents. Pollock is actually damning the mayor with less-than-faint praise.

"The data shows that he certainly has multiple paths to success. It's really a question of what happens in the first round. Can he push his numbers up before then?"

A Rahm Emanuel who has to push his numbers up for the first round is not a Rahm Emanuel in a strong position. Getting to a run-off wasn't even a given?


To be fair, Spielman and the Sun-Times pushed out polls by the Garry McCarthy and Lori Lightfoot campaigns without proper vetting as well.

In "McCarthy Pollster: Rahm Unelectable, Will 'Embarrass' Himself In Re-Election Bid" last March, Spielman wrote:

The Democratic pollster to whom Rahm Emanuel once famously sent a dead fish on Thursday delivered the political version of a dead fish to the mayor's doorstep: a poll that, Alan Secrest claims, shows Emanuel is unelectable.

The poll of 800 registered and likely Chicago voters - with a 3.5 percent margin of error - was conducted Jan. 23-through-Feb. 1 for former Police Supt. Garry McCarthy. The limited results Secrest shared suggest why McCarthy jumped into the race against the mayor who fired him.

In a "one-on-one trial heat pairing," Emanuel and McCarthy are in a "statistical tie," Secrest said, refusing to reveal the specific numbers.

Let me tell you something: Rahm was not unelectable despite the trouble he was in. That right there is a ridiculous thing to say.

But note also that McCarthy's pollster "shared" "limited results" and "refus[ed] to reveal the specific numbers."

That's when you tell the campaign, "Thanks, but no thanks."


In "Poll For Challenger Lightfoot Shows Rahm's 2019 Re-Election Bid In Big Trouble" last July, Spielman wrote:

"[J]ust 31 percent said they would vote to re-elect Emanuel."

Wait - Sacks' poll said Emanuel led with 32 percent of the vote - the same result! But in the Lightfoot report, Spielman agreed that was bad news for Rahm, while in the Sacks report she agreed that was good news for Rahm!


"Emanuel campaign spokesperson Caron Brookens summarily dismissed the Lightfoot poll.

"In politics, the only people who release months old stale polling are those who don't have a good story to tell today," Brookens wrote in an e-mail.

Sacks' poll for Emanuel, as I noted, was a month old when he released it to Spielman.

Also, Brookens didn't have time to take a phone call - or Spielman didn't have time to make a phone call?


Brookens: "Our CURRENT polling shows the Mayor beating all challengers by double digits."

The Sacks poll hadn't been done at that point, but it now begs the question of why he didn't trust the polls the campaign was already doing, as well as the obviousness of how disingenuous Brookens' claim was. Why not send that data over to Spielman if true? (Did Spielman even ask?)


For the millionth, exhausting time:

A reporter's job isn't to moderate between dueling bullshit. It's to weed bullshit out. You are allowed to take a pass on polling passed along to you by campaigns; better yet, write about how campaigns are trying to influence the campaign by passing off bullshit polls to the media. But then, to do your job you have to know what your job is.


For what it's worth, FiveThirtyEight gives Sacks' pollster, Global Strategy Group, a grade of C+ for its work.

The former firm of McCarthy's pollster, Secrest, also netted just a C+. Apparently Secrest is on his own now.

Lightfoot's pollster, GBA Strategies, earned a B.


Also for what it's worth, from Politico, though I would be just as reluctant to use without seeing the data:

"We have seen multiple polls both citywide and at the aldermanic level where the mayor was in a very difficult position politically," said Jerry Morrison, a political operative with Service Employees International Union. "In some of these wards where he was getting 55 or 60 [percent in 2015], he couldn't get out of the 30s. It was clear his political position had eroded."

Release those polls, Jerry!


So what was the true purpose of the Sacks poll?

Perhaps Sacks was using it to try to convince Rahm to stay in the race. Or perhaps releasing it when he did was an effort, knowing Rahm was going to bail, to pre-empt the narrative that Rahm quit because he couldn't win re-election.

After all, Rahm insisted to every media outlet he spoke with after he dropped out of the race that he could've won easily - by 10 points!

Not even his own pollster made that claim. But Rahm was also able to say that he leaves the political arena - for now - having never lost an election.

That may be a fact, but I don't know if it's the truth. You might say he lost this election - even that, as it was put to me the other day, he essentially resigned the office.

Rahm has not earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to reasons. Neither have his pollsters.


See also: Put Political Polls Out To Pasture.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:28 AM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

"The list of downtown hotels where workers are striking has grown to 26 after employees at the Cambria Chicago Magnificent Mile walked off the job," the Tribune reports.

"Javier de La Rosa, who has worked as a houseman at the Cambria for 10 years, said he and most of his colleagues walked out during lunch in the middle of their shifts Monday to join the strike on its fourth day.

"When we walked out we saw the other co-workers at other hotels waiting for us," said de La Rosa, 47, who was out picketing Tuesday morning. "It is a very good experience when people are out there supporting you. This is one of the days I will never forget."

The Cambria is a 219-room Gold Coast hotel.


"Now that the Cambria has joined the strike, bringing the number of affected hotels to 26, it leaves four hotels with expired contracts where workers are not yet striking: Fairmont Chicago, Hotel Raffaelo, Park Hyatt Chicago and Tremont Chicago at Magnificent Mile."


See also: "Chicago Hotel Strike Closes Some Fine-Dining Restaurants," though the article is less than the headline declares unless you really focus on the word "some."


Me (Monday): "And is it really $300 a night to stay at the Palmer House?"

Tim: That's actually not bad when there's a big convention in town. I've seen rates at similar properties in the $450-500 range.

Me: That's insane. Plus, I would think there would be a discounted rate for conventioneers!

Tim: That's often the case, but $300 may be the discounted rate. Here are nearby Hilton rates for tonight:


Me: Wow, how can any family take a vacation here????!!!!

My family came here for a weekend here or there sometimes in the summer and we stayed in downtown hotels! I think a hundred bucks a night was considered high-end! this seems way past inflation ...

Okay, smartypants, answer me this, then: Where the fuck is my adserver? I mean, I can't remember where ... like, where is it, I feel like it's its own domain, not with the host ... or inside my system ...

Tim: CPI inflation calculator says $100 40 years ago is $383 in today's dollars, so there's that.

They're a lot cheaper in the suburbs. Maybe people stay out there and take the train in. Also the Airbnb thing.

No idea re ad server. Do you mean where is it in space?


New on the Beachwood today . . .

Rahm Runs Out Notebook #1: The Polls
Hinky numbers and massaged media messages.


The Political Odds
Updated (again) to reflect recent developments.


Cheesehead Communism
The strange but instructive case of the Green Bay Packers.


Christgau Loves This Chicago Neonatologist
Wince-inducing brilliance.


Is Hothouse Earth Here?
Yes. But this dead world is not our destiny.


When The Swami Came To Chicago
And when I reported on a slice of the return engagement.


24 Hours With GAC
Lotta log cabin livin' on the Great American Country channel.



Is there a club/organization for ugly people in city? from r/chicago



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A post shared by Lücky Gnomë (@luckygnomechicago) on



Estilo Mentado "De Chicago A California" [Inedita] 2018


A sampling.

Chicago showing? Beachwood field trip?



Now with Deng . . .




The Beachwood Tronc Line: Still just $5.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:20 AM | Permalink

September 10, 2018

The [Monday] Papers

1. Palmer House Jiltin'.

"Hotels across Chicago were scrambling Monday morning as a downtown hotel strike entered its fourth day. Some guests reported dirty rooms and check-in delays, while managers at some locations pitched in to keep operations running," the Tribune reports.

"Kristian Hulgard, in town from Dallas for the International Manufacturing Technology Show, said it took him eight hours to check into his room at the Palmer House Hilton."

Eight hours?!

"The hotel offered free drinks and food to compensate for the trouble, but once he did get in, around midnight, he discovered the room had not been cleaned."


Bless Hulgard for his patience:

"'All in all it's not that big a deal,' Hulgard said Monday morning as he waited outside the Loop hotel to board a bus that would take him and his colleagues to McCormick Place for the convention.

Dear sir, it's a big deal!

"But when you've paid $300 a night, you want something like that to work, of course."

That's more like it. And is it really $300 a night to stay at the Palmer House?


"Guests have to help themselves to clean towels on carts in the hallways, and everything is taking longer, such as the breakfast line, he said. Another conventioneer waiting for the bus said there were people serving breakfast who clearly had never worked as servers before."

It's like Undercover Boss writ large.


Now here's the important part:

"Thousands of housekeepers, doormen, cooks and other hotel employees have been on strike since early Friday morning at 25 downtown hotels as they negotiate new contracts.

"Their union, UNITE HERE Local 1, called the strike a week after contracts at 30 hotels expired Aug. 31, though it had been warning of a strike for weeks beforehand. About 6,000 workers are covered by the expired contracts."


And here's the aggravating part:

"The Hilton did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. On Friday, the hotel chain said the strike would have 'minimal impact' on operations."

Fact-check, aisle 1!


"In addition to the Palmer House, the Hilton hotels where workers are striking include the DoubleTree Magnificent Mile, Hilton Chicago and the Drake hotel. 'We are negotiating with the union in good faith and are confident that we will reach an agreement that is fair to our valued team members and to our hotels,' Paul Ades, senior vice president for labor relations at Hilton, said in an e-mailed statement last week.

"The 25 hotels where workers are striking are listed at [Editor's Note: Link mine!] They include the Hyatt Regency, JW Marriott and Kimpton and Westin brands. The union said workers will be walking picket lines around-the-clock at all the affected hotels until their demand for year-round health insurance is met."

2. Rocky Pot.

"Breakthru Beverage Group, the alcohol wholesale business co-led by Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz, announced plans Monday to invest $9.2 million in CannTrust, a Canadian marijuana producer," the Tribune reports.


Can taxpayers get some of their money back, then? Clearly the Wirtzes have enough.


And yet, Rocky Wirtz was so unhappy with his treatment by Rahm that he contributed $200,000 to Paul Vallas's otherwise financially challenged mayoral campaign.


The Wirtz fortune is incredibly vast. But just like the old joke that banks only lend money to those who don't need it, cities and states only seem to give tax breaks to those who, um, don't need it.

3. Let Them Decorate Cake.

"Wilton Brands, the Naperville-based seller of cake decorating equipment, has agreed to be bought by Dr. August Oetker KB, a private German company that sells baking products and baked goods," the Sun-Times reports.

"Wilton will remain headquartered in Naperville."


From the press release:

"Dr. Oetker is a German based, privately held, global multibillion dollar industry leader in food and beverage which includes baking products and baked goods. Both companies were family-founded and share a long and rich heritage in baking, with a passion for the industry and the millions of consumers around the world who love to bake."

This is an exit for TowerBrooke Capital Partners; I assume they eviscerated the company to prepare for this sale, but unlike the business reporters in town, no one is paying me to look it up!


"Wilton Brands was acquired by investment funds managed by TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. in 2009, and under Buchta's leadership has re-focused the business on its baking and food core while successfully divesting non-core businesses. "


Also from the press release:

"Dr. Oetker is a German based, privately held, global multibillion dollar industry leader in food and beverage which includes baking products and baked goods. Both companies were family-founded and share a long and rich heritage in baking, with a passion for the industry and the millions of consumers around the world who love to bake. The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year."

That's funny, they seem to have plagiarized this Daily Herald story:

"Dr. Oetker is an industry leader in food and beverage which includes baking products and baked goods. Both companies were family-founded and share a long heritage in baking, with a passion for the industry and the millions of consumers around the world who love to bake. The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year."


New on the Beachwood . . .

The Political Odds
Updated to reflect recent developments.


Recall! Caito Foods' Chicken Salad Products
Shipped to Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.


From the Beachwood Sports Desk . . .

SportsMonday: Identifying The Culprits
Vic Fangio deserves far more scorn than Mitch Trubisky.


The White Sox Report: Kopech, Schmopech
Why so glum, South Siders? There have been other setbacks and tragedies. Ahem.


The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #216: Mack Trade Exposes Bears Narrative
Ryan Pace in his fourth year of trying to win now. Plus: This Year's Surprise Team In The NFL Will Be A Surprise; We Don't Care About College Football Yet; Cubs A Total Mindfuck; Eloy Jimenez And Dylan Cease Working On Defense In Their Backyards; and Onto The Mystics.


In production . . .

* Rahm Runs Out Notebook Part 1.

* The Weekend In Chicago Rock.


Pardon our dust . . .

Still cleaning up the remnants of our weekend tech apocalypse, so if anything looks funny to you, besides the usual out-of-whack stuff, we're working on it.



People who live in Park Ridge, Illinois have you met Harrison Ford? from r/chicago





Mexican Independence Day Parade, Little Village.



Restoration Restoring Cranberry Slough Back To Original Glory In Forest Preserves' Palos Area.


It's Prime Time To View Prairie Flowers In The Forest Preserves Of Cook County.


A sampling.




The Beachwood Tronc Line: Check mate.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:04 AM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Identifying The Culprits

It was a last hurrah.

The conclusion of the Aaron Rodgers era is coming fast, and while of course he had to kick the Bears and their fans in the gut at least one more time, the guy will not be around to torment us forever. The end might not be nigh but it will get here faster now that we are in the Mack era. And when it arrives, won't it be awesome not to have to hear any more about how incredible he is?

I should say that conclusion of an era is probably coming faster. Unless the coaches suck and the players don't play better than they did in the second half last night.

Now is the time to vent about that 30 minutes of football. I don't want to hear about any goddamned linings around the Bears' 24-23 loss at Green Bay on Sunday night for at least 48 hours. It was a crushing and incredibly frustrating game. Let's identify the scapegoats most worthy of our scorn.

The defense, led by an experienced coordinator and many returning, at least somewhat talented players, deserves the vast majority of the blame.

Hey defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, what the hell happened in the second half? Sure, the Packers sped things up, made sure Rodgers was releasing passes faster than he had at critical times in the first half. But the Bears also blew up several plays quickly in the first two quarters and then did nothing of the sort after the break.

And then as the half went on, Rodgers held the ball longer more frequently and never paid the price.

The Bears defense failed to put this game away despite facing a gimpy quarterback whose play-making options were severely limited. How the hell did that happen? How the hell did you not send six, seven, eight guys if need be to hit this guy some more? This is not complicated.

Did you let the crushingly stupid "prevent defense" mindset creep into your brain? Because that's what it felt like.

One critical factor seemed to be a lack of conditioning. The Bears ran a half-assed training camp in terms of getting their starters any experience practicing football skills against live competition. But was it also half-assed in terms of fundamental conditioning? Because it seemed apparent early on in drive after drive in the second half that this team was out of gas.

I say "early on" knowing that even well-conditioned teams wear down as drives go on through the third and fourth quarters. I'm not going to slam guys, especially early in the season, if that is what is happening.

But the Bears had no jump on virtually any plays even early in drives after the intermission. Virtually every player in this unit deserved heat for screwing something up but special vitriol must be saved for the secondary.

Kyle Fuller and his $14 million a year salary didn't just miss the interception late in the fourth quarter that would have put the game away, it was as though he was trying to push the ball away from himself rather than pulling it in.

Fellow cornerback Prince Amukamara has what are believed to be the worst hands in the NFL after posting zero picks in 2017 and only one in '16, but Fuller, who dropped six possible interceptions in 2017 versus only two caught, is apparently determined to give Amukamara a run for his money for that honor.

On the final touchdown play, safety Eddie Jackson was right there with Randall Cobb as Rodgers wound up to throw it to him. Jackson needed to contest the pass but mostly he needed to make sure Cobb went to ground if he caught it.

Instead Jackson dove and made a pathetically futile swipe at the ball as it zipped past him into Cobb's hands. Not only did the Packers have a first down, but Cobb was also off to the races and didn't stop until he crossed the goal line. Oh and fellow safety Adrian Amos sucked as well but I'm not going to break that down here and now.

The offense wasn't much better for long stretches but the offense was led by a first-time head coach calling NFL plays for only the sixth time (after doing it as Kansas City's offensive coordinator for five games at the end of last year). The quarterback, who clearly could have made more plays but who also did a great job stepping up in the pocket all night long, did more than well enough.

The only excuse for the defense would have been if the offense had made big mistakes giving the Packers shorts fields with which to work. That didn't happen. The Packers had to go a long way every time they scored and they did that against Fangio's crushing failure of a unit.

Stay away from me for a while.


Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments - in about 48 hours.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:19 AM | Permalink

Kopech, Schmopech

Why so glum, Sox fans? The ballclub to which we swear allegiance has won the World Series exactly once in the past 101 years. If you were born after 2012, you've never experienced a .500 season, which could be a reason why children being raised in a White Sox household don't like baseball. The greatest hitter in team history, Joe Jackson with his .356 lifetime average, will never be in the Hall of Fame.

On the other side of town, "Lovable Losers" was bandied about until a few years ago. Never would a team created within smelling distance of the Union Stockyards be tagged with such a defeatist attitude. With its blue-collar reputation playing in cavernous Comiskey Park, Sox fans have been strong, resilient and realistic. Comiskey Park. Wanna feel better? Write those two words side-by-side. Better yet, say them out loud.

So Michael Kopech can't pitch next season. Big deal!

None of us were around in 1919 when the favored Chicagoans cemented their place in history as the only team convicted of throwing a World Series. Imagine the sadness, disgust and emptiness of young Sox fans upon discovering that Shoeless Joe, Eddie Cicotte and Buck Weaver succumbed to the sirens of the underworld rather than hanging a championship flag on the South Side.

There have been other setbacks and tragedies.

Consider the young 26-year-old right-handed pitcher Monty Stratton, who went 30-14 in 1937-38, surely displaying as much promise as the present-day Kopech. A hunting accident cost Stratton his right leg in the fall of '38. At the time the Sox were on the rise after 10 lackluster seasons, and they actually won 85 games in 1939, finishing fourth. Think what they might have accomplished had Stratton been in the rotation.

The Stratton story, however, continued as he hung around the team, pitching batting practice and offering advice to young hurlers. However, he retained visions of pitching again, and in 1946 at the age of 34, he pitched 218 innings with an 18-8 record for Sherman, Texas in the Class-C East Texas League. A feature-length film starring Jimmy Stewart as Stratton was made about the pitcher's life.


More recently we had Wilbur Wood, a superb knuckleballer, who had as many as 21 saves before manager Chuck Tanner made him a starter in 1971. He won 106 games - he lost 89 - over the next five seasons, pitching as many as 376 innings in 1972. Wood started a minimum of 42 games in 1972-75, leading the league those four seasons as the Sox rebounded from the 1970 campaign when they lost a franchise-record 106 games. Wood once started - and lost - both ends of a doubleheader.

However, a season prior to the South Side Hitmen of 1977, Wood's career basically came to a shocking conclusion when a line drive off the bat of Detroit's Ron LeFlore shattered his right knee cap. Like a true White Sox combatant, Wood came back but never regained his mastery, retiring after the 1978 season.

What if Wood had won another 20 games in 1977 when the team finished 90-72?

Then there was outfielder Carlos May, a promising 20-year-old rookie in 1968. After that season, May blew off most of his right thumb with a mortar round while serving with the Marine reserves. But that didn't stop him. He came back in 1969, hitting .281 with 18 homers and 62 RBI. May went on to play 10 years in the major leagues including nine with the Sox. He twice made the All-Star team before going to Japan where he played an additional four seasons. May's lifetime average was .274. Not bad for a guy with one-and-a-half thumbs.

Let's not forget Joe Crede, one of the stars of the 2005 World Series champions. He became a fixture at third base in 2003 when he was 25. He slammed 92 home runs from 2003 to 2006 and was one of the top clutch hitters in team history. His classic walk-off dinger in late September of 2005 against Cleveland put a dagger in the Indians' drive to overtake the Sox. Joe then hit four homers in the post-season including two in the World Series.

Crede was destined to play third base for the Sox for many years except for one small problem: He had a chronic bad back which forced him out of the game when he was just 31.

So don't lament Michael Kopech's torn ulnar collateral ligament. Those get fixed with great regularity. But try to field a ground ball when you can't bend over. We're talking Joe Frickin' Crede here. Now that's tragic.

To cap off this litany of woe for the White Sox, the scheduled surgery for Kopech bears the name of the left-handed pitcher who wore a Sox uniform from 1965 until 1971. Tommy John won 82 games for the Sox before the historic procedure that idled him for the entire 1975 season. John came back to pitch until 1989 when he was 46 years old. If you're reading this, Michael Kopech, please take note.

While Sox fans were aghast when this news broke last week, it didn't stop them from coming out to the ballpark over the weekend to see the lowly Angels complete a three-game sweep of the even lowlier South Siders. Saturday's 12-3 Sox loss drew 27,146, the sixth-largest crowd of the season, followed by 24,020 on Sunday.

The Sox are averaging 19,388 paid admissions this season, a 6 percent drop from last year. Attendance for all of major league baseball is down 4 percent this season, which will be the sixth straight year of diminishing attendance, although an average of 28,695 fans still show up for a big league contest.

Assuming that the Sox rebuild goes according to plan, things will change rapidly on the South Side. While Sox attendance ranks 26th among all teams - curiously the Sox have outdrawn the season's two biggest surprise teams, Oakland and Tampa Bay. History dictates that the fans will flock to The Grate to watch a winning ballclub.

Sox fans are a discerning bunch. They appreciate a team that can execute and play efficient baseball. There is no mystique surrounding the ballpark or the franchise. If the fans weren't behind the current strategy of piling up prospects for future success, attendance would be much less than it is.

The Kopech news is little more than a speed bump in this process. Once Eloy Jimenez and others assume their rightful positions at 35th and Shields, the repair of a UCL will be but a small glitch in the overall picture.

As mentioned, we've been there before.


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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:41 AM | Permalink

September 7, 2018

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #216: Mack Trade Exposes Bears Narrative

Ryan Pace in his fourth year of trying to win now. Plus: This Year's Surprise Team In The NFL Will Be A Surprise; We Don't Care About College Football Yet; Cubs A Total Mindfuck; Eloy Jimenez And Dylan Cease Working On Defense In Their Backyards; and Onto The Mystics.



* 216.

* Khalil Mack honors Ray Lewis!

* Mack's Ray Lewis Bears jersey flying off the shelves.

2:11: Mack Trade Puts Lie To Bears Narrative.

* Peter King: "The Raiders made a huge mistake in trading Khalil Mack, a state-of-the-art player at one of the game's most important positions."

* Coffman: "Now it's 'Playoffs or Bust.'"

* Tribune: Can The Bears Beat The Packers Sunday night? All Our Writers Say No.

* ESPN Analytics: Bears Favored To Win 4 Games In 2018.

* Campbell: How Mitch Trubisky Is Being Helped On His NFL Climb By The Wall Street Journal's Leadership Columnist.

* Greenstein: 5 Things To Know About Jeremy Larkin, Northwestern's Pigeon-Toed And Goofy New Running Back.

* Ryan: Illinois QB AJ Bush Jr.'s Long Journey To A Starting Job: 'Why Not Keep Trying?'

* Hard Knocks' Brogan Roback Finally Gets His Chance.

26:34: NFL Preview.

* Barnwell: How Every Team Can Win Super Bowl LIII: Making The Case For All 32 - Including The Bears!

30:03: Back To Mack.

* Biggs: A Khalil Mack Primer: Elite Pass Rushers Can Maintain A High Level Of Play Well Into Their 30s.

35:42: This Year's Surprise Team Will Be A Surprise.

* But . . . 49ers vs. Bengals.

42:16: We Don't Care About College Football Yet.

* Coffman: "It's all just ridiculous."

43:33: Cubs A Total Mindfuck.

* An awful lot of clunkers for the best team in the NL!

* Bote's Heroics Vs. The Nats:

* Pedro Strop: Committee Chair.

* Truth:

* Truth:

* Chavez Saves Game In 10th:

* Statcast: Terrance Gore's Speedy Steal:

* Baez's Baserunning Is El Mago:

* Fangraphs: Javy Baez's Other Secret Skill.

* Taylor Davis!

* Justin Time Wilson:

1:08:04: Eloy Jimenez And Dylan Cease Working On Defense In Their Backyards.




1:10:38: Onto The Mystics.

* How Elena Delle Donne Went From Potential Season-Ending Injury To WNBA Superstar Again In 5 Days.




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


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:49 PM | Permalink

RECALL! Caito Foods' Chicken Salad Products

Caito Foods, an Indianapolis establishment, is recalling approximately 242 pounds of fully cooked chicken salad product due to misbranding and an undeclared allergen. The products contain tree nuts (walnut), a known allergen, which is not declared on the product label.

The ready-to-eat, fully cooked, not shelf stable chicken salad products were produced on August 31, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:

15-oz. plastic clamshell packages containing "Derby City Chicken Salad WITHOUT Walnuts" with lot code "GHMW 243 03" and "Sell By: 09/04/18" on the label.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number "P-39985" inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.

The problem was discovered after the firm received a consumer complaint.

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 in consumers' refrigerators. 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 with questions about the recall can call the distributor's consumer line at (888) 449-9386. Members of the media with questions about the recall can contact Meredith Gremel, vice president of corporate affairs and communications, Caito Foods, at (616) 878-2830.


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 12:35 AM | Permalink

September 6, 2018

The [Thursday] Papers

Working on a bunch of Rahm and mayoral race stuff.

Meanwhile . . .



How is security at Northerly Island? from r/chicago





The Start Of Chicago Baseball.




A sampling.






The Beachwood Tronc Line: Lion vs. lyin'.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:01 PM | Permalink

September 5, 2018

Nike's Revolution

Fifty years ago the Beatles released a single that sold over 8 million copies, their highest selling 45: "Hey Jude."

But while "Hey Jude" made the greater impression, it was the B-side, "Revolution," in which John Lennon addressed the global political upheaval of 1968 that has the more interesting story.

The message in "Revolution" attracted fierce resentment within the radical left before re-appearing in 1987 in one of the most seminal and groundbreaking TV commercials ever made.

Lennon wrote "Revolution" in India where the Beatles were meditating with the Maharishi while the Vietnam War and Chinese Cultural Revolution raged on.

There was a major riot in London and Paris was brought to the brink of another revolution in May of that year.

Upon their return to London, the Beatles recorded the song with Lennon lying down to sound serene. In one line he sings: "You say you want a revolution . . . but if you're talking about destruction, don't you know that you can count me out." And then, after a pause, he sings "in" (because he hadn't made his mind up).

The rest of the band argued that the slow bluesy number was insufficiently commercial and that a faster, rockier version with distorted guitars needed to be re-recorded. Lennon reluctantly agreed, despite worrying that the political message would be more difficult to understand.

The first version ("Revolution No. 1") appeared on the White Album, which was released later that year. The faster version, simply named "Revolution," became the flipside to "Hey Jude." A third version, "Revolution No. 9," was also included in the White Album. This was just a scramble of noise, static, and nonsensical phrases - though an early example of electronic mixing.

'A Lamentable Petty Bourgeois Cry Of Fear'

"Hey Jude" was proclaimed as one of the Beatles' best songs by the pop media, which largely ignored Lennon's more political offering. Yet the radical underground media railed, with Ramparts, the American literary and political journal, declaring "'Revolution' preaches counter-revolution."

The New Left Review called it a "lamentable petty bourgeois cry of fear," while the Village Voice wrote: "It is puritanical to expect musicians, or anyone else, to hew the proper line. But it is reasonable to request that they do not go out of their way to oppose it." The Berkeley Barb sneered "Revolution sounds like the hawk plank adopted in the Chicago convention of the Democratic Death Party" and Black Dwarf dismissed the song as "no more revolutionary than Mrs. Dale's Diary."

Then in 1987 the song reappeared when the small advertising agency, Wieden+Kennedy, selected it for a Nike commercial. It was the first major television commercial Nike ever made.

Wieden+Kennedy had previously attracted industry attention by featuring Miles Davis and Lou Reed in their commercials for Honda scooters and were becoming the agency that could deliver coups.

They also managed to secure Yoko Ono's support. She explained that she didn't "want to see John deified" nor for "John's songs to be part of a cult of glorified martyrdom." Instead, she wanted his songs to be enjoyed by a "new generation" who would "make it part of their lives instead of a relic of the distant past." So "Revolution" was licensed for a media campaign that cost between $7 million and $10 million.

The commerical consisted of a jerky black-and-white, hand-held camera film that showed Nike athletes and ordinary people participating in a variety of sports at various levels of seriousness. It became a massive success. Nike sales doubled in two years and the commercial's theme of empowerment and transcendence with a personal philosophy of everyday life formed the basis of Nike's branding for the following years and allowed them to dominate the newly emerging "sign economy" of brand culture (how brands started to gain value at a more cultural and aesthetic level).

By 1991, Nike held 29 percent of the global athletic shoe market and its sales exceeded $3 billion.

Selling Out?

Yet the ad attracted controversy. Time magazine wrote:

Mark David Chapman killed him. But it took a couple of record execs, one sneaker company and a soul brother to turn him into a jingle writer.

The Chicago Tribune described the commercial as "when rock idealism met cold-eyed greed" and the New Republic said that "The song had a meaning that Nike is destroying."

"Revolution," it seems, had apparently morphed from a "petty bourgeois cry of fear" into a sacred text, twisted and spoiled by a sneaker company.

The most significant response was the $15 million lawsuit filed by Apple Records in an attempt to halt the commercial. Apple claimed that the commercial used the Beatles "persona and good will" without permission. The action was reportedly settled out of court after the campaign had run its course, with Apple, EMI and Capitol agreeing that no Beatles version would ever be used again to sell products - truly the Nike Revolution was a one-off.

Yet the critical attention generated by the commercial appears to have had long term consequences for Nike. The negative press coverage on the brand accumulated, focusing on allegations of a "patriarchal culture" and labor abuses. The Nike "Revolution" commercial did not just launch Nike into the stratosphere of brands, it singled it out for critical attention.

Yet it also helped normalize the everyday wearing of sports shoes. Thirty years later, the everyday wearing of shoes designed for professional athletes is a normal part of consumer culture, demonstrating how society can live in the legacy of extraordinary marketing campaigns.

Indeed, the possibility that so many people are wearing these shoes because Lennon, meditating in Rishikesh, decided to address the politics of 1968, is a reminder that the collision of culture and politics in the medium of advertising can often create the most unpredictable outcomes imaginable.

Alan Bradshaw is a marketing professor at Royal Holloway. This article was originally published on The Conversation.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:19 AM | Permalink

The [Wednesday] Papers

I haven't yet read the coverage of Rahm's impending departure and the mad scramble in the field of candidates to replace him, and I have to finish my taxes today and speak to a class at UIC.

So just a bunch of stray thoughts on mayoral race for now.

Before I heard that Toni Preckwinkle was making calls to gauge support, I made the case to a friend that former city clerk and state legislator Susana Mendoza, now the state comptroller, would become the immediate frontrunner if she jumped in the race.

Mendoza has carefully managed her image to maintain an arm's length with the Democratic machine while being relatively enmeshed in the Democratic machine as one of the party's most high-profile bulldogs. Mendoza is not afraid to attack - nor is she afraid to zealously defend and promote, as she did as city clerk for Rahm Emanuel despite leading her first public statement on his leaving the race by noting her supposed many disagreements with him. That was a strategic move.

In the General Assembly, Mendoza was not always a Michael Madigan pet, but neither did she challenge his power. She became a breakout star making the case for impeaching Rod Blagojevich. She's politicized the comptroller's office as a leading antagonist of Bruce Rauner. So she's been an ally, one way or another, of Madigan, Rahm and Pritzker. She's a known quantity to insiders and less "risky" than, say, Lori Lightfoot, who probably scares the regulars and business community.

That's to Lightfoot's credit, and in line with national electoral trends, but this is Chicago, which remains several gradients more cynical than most jurisdictions.

Mendoza, of course, is also a Latina woman.


Preckwinkle would be the mayor today had she run four years ago. In most cases, those jumping in the race now that Rahm is out could make the case - not a good one considering the city's mood - that they had no interest in challenging him because they agreed with his policies. But we know Preckwinkle had many substantive differences with Rahm; the only case she can make for skipping the race four years ago and staying out until now, should she jump in, would be that she simply lacked the courage to do so, or believed so strongly in deferring to the party that she stayed out for the sake of Democratic unity, which has always been a big thing for her. That's a big strike against Preckwinkle because now she has her stubborn backing of Joe Berrios to the bitter end on her record. Preckwinkle would probably have - and would probably still - made a good mayor, but it feels a bit like her time has passed.


The mayoralty is a big step up for Lightfoot and she has to pass the "Is she big enough for the job" test. That task becomes much harder for her if some heavyweights join the race. I liked her chances better with Rahm still on the ballot. The contrast of her with Rahm, Garry McCarthy and Paul Vallas, for example, was to her favor. The contrast of her with Mendoza and/or Preckwinkle, just for starters, shrinks her a bit.


Suddenly Vallas and McCarthy look even more . . . old. And white. And male.


Bill Daley making calls? Dear God, no.

I know he wants to restore his brother's rep (to what it was when his brother was in office and everyone, including the media, loved him, but now realize that us "critics" were right about his godawful reign), but think of the rest of us.


Fringe candidates like Neal Sales-Griffin and Ja'Mal Green become even fringier, as the contrast with potential heavyweights becomes stark. It's hard to see what they're doing in the race besides getting (a tiny bit of) exposure. But then, that's worked out well for Amara Enyia.


Willie Wilson, you are a sideshow, no matter how much money you have.


But Wilson and Dorothy Brown will shave off a relatively significant share of the black vote.


I don't see an alderman capable of winning this race, though Carlos Rosa-Ramirez has some zealous progressive support that could make things interesting, though that's worth next to nothing at the ballot box. Ameya Pawar would be the one most likely to make a real dent. The rest are pretenders, not contenders. Looking at you, Tom Tunney, Joe Moreno, Rick Munoz, and Rod Sawyer.


Then again, maybe the field doesn't expand by much if the money and machine folk unite behind the scenes and make the decision for us.


And then there's the matter of simply getting enough signatures to get on the ballot.


Bruce Rauner calling Ken Dunkin to see if he's available to run.


Can you imagine Rauner's response if Lisa Madigan jumped in? He might jump in himself just to spite her and her family.


Lisa Madigan could've been governor if her father didn't stand in her way by refusing to step down as House speaker. Now the Madigan name has been demonized beyond the normal level of demonization it long carried. Plus, I don't think she wants the job.


Valerie Jarrett? Somehow I think she feels a bit above the job. Do you really think she wants to worry about the jamokes in Streets & San? Then again, that's what I said about Rahm when rumors first started that he would run for mayor.


Where will J.B. Pritzker's millions go? Who wins the Michael Sacks primary? Will Ken Griffin fund a Republican - or go for it himself? So many questions . . .


I'll have to sort more out later.


New on the Beachwood today . . .

New Morning!
The Beachwood Bookmaking Bureau has frozen its board while it reassesses the mayor's race. Update coming.



From "Let's Fucking Kill Him" To "We're In Crazytown," The Most Disturbing Excerpts From Bob Woodward's New Book On The Trump White House
"If one-tenth of it is accurate, we are, in a very real sense, in the midst of a national emergency."



Chicagoetry: The Hate Song Of Walt Price-Friedham
How shall I wear my hair to declare my attitude about the high American noon?



The Ex-Cub Factor
One of 'em's kinda being a dick.

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Nike's Revolution
Morphed from a petty bourgeois cry of fear into a sacred text, twisted and spoiled by a sneaker company.

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Quantum Englewood
A journey through 100 years of South Side musical history.




Is Mariano's more expensive than Jewel Osco? from r/chicago





Street Artist At Work, 87th & Vincennes.


A sampling.





The Beachwood Tronc Line: Serenity later.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:17 AM | Permalink

Quantum Englewood

The Old Town School and its Music Moves Chicago program proudly present Quantum Englewood: A Journey Through 100 Years of South Side Musical History, a 90-minute piece commissioned by the Old Town School and written by renowned Chicago artists Ernest Dawkins and Rahul Sharma, featuring hundreds of Chicago musicians and vocalists gathered on stage, culminating a two year-long learning process.

Quantum Englewood seeks to uncover the unheralded traditions behind contemporary urban music and instruct an intergenerational corps of musicians in these roots and genres.


Among the talents to be featured: Live the Spirit Jazz Ensemble and FUNKADESI, joined by the Soul Children Gospel Choir, Ben LaMar, Phenom & Poetree, Inc., Fernando Jones' Blues Kids, Paul Cotton, Maggie Brown, Foli Dambe, Amyna Love, The Bucket Boys, Idy Ciss, the Emcee Skool, the Lindblom A Capella Choir, the Artemis Singers, and Brother El, plus Music Moves students and community members from Real Men Charities, Let Your Rhymes Inspire Creativity (LYRIC), and I Grow Chicago, plus Michael Miles & the Old Town School Fiddlers, and more!

Quantum Englewood will have its World Premiere in one performance only, at Lindblom Academy Auditorium, 6130 South Wolcott Avenue, Saturday evening, September 15, at 8 p.m. This family-friendly performance is free and open to the public; advance reservations are recommended by visiting

Quantum Englewood is presented by Old Town School's 'Music Moves Chicago' program - an extended partnership with public health, social service and community development agencies in the Englewood neighborhood, explicitly using engagement in arts participation to achieve positive results for youth and their communities.

The piece gathers together a range of Chicago's many youth-centered musical institutions, non-profit arts organizations, community choirs and faith-based groups, in a celebration of their common musical history.

Quantum Englewood's student performers rehearsed their parts in their individual locations, coming together for large rehearsals and performances at the end of the process.

"The richest history of music in Chicago in the last century had its roots on the South Side. In fact, it is the origination point of almost all of the musical traditions that Chicago is most known for: Blues, Gospel, Hip Hop and Jazz," said Bau Graves, Old Town School executive director. "A rich diaspora of world music, particularly from West Africa and the Caribbean, all found its first Chicago home on the South Side, and all of this will be gloriously represented in Quantum Englewood by a multigenerational cast of hundreds."


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:58 AM | Permalink

The Ex-Cub Factor

One in a series of posts catching up with former Cubs.

1. 53-Year-Old Rafael Palmeiro Is Out-Hitting His Son By 50 Points In Independent League.

That's kinda being a dick!

2. Luis Valbuena Released By Angels.

Remains unclaimed.

3. Randall Delgado Designated For Assignment.

Randy D was never actually a Cub because Ryan Dempster vetoed the trade with Atlanta that would've made it happen. Instead, the Cubs got Kyle Hendricks and Christian Villanueva from the Rangers. This will be the last time Delgado appears in this feature unless he does something truly extraordinary down the line.

4. Braves Awarded Rene Rivera Off Waivers From Angels.

I thought the Cubs should've brought him and Alex Avila; instead we got Chris Gimenez and now Bobby Wilson.

5. Dodgers' Zac Rosscup Begins Rehab Assignment.


6. Billy McKinney Getting Good look From Jays.

He's already been in the A's, Cubs and Yankees organizations.

7. Cleveland Announces Leonys Martin Will Miss Rest Of Season.


8. Jacob Turner.

The well-traveled Turner is a Mud Hen now.

9. Cardinals Move Dexter Fowler To 60-Day DL.

Dude's using a scooter to get around.

10. Miami Marlin Starlin Castro Is Hot, But Also Sucks.

Defensive metrics look bad.

11. Padres Say Team HR Leader Christian Villanueva May Be Done For Season.


12. White Sox Activate Welington Castillo After PED Suspension.

Was it "Welly" or Geovany Soto that Len Kasper kept promising was the next Yadier Molina? Probably both.

13. Cleveland Recalls Neil Ramirez From DL.

Back spasms.

14. and 15. White Sox Name Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease Players Of The Month.

They'll need to work on their defense, though, until about 10 days into next April.

16. Rockies' Wade Davis Strikes Out Side For 38th Save.

4.09 FIP, FYI.

17. Phillies' Tommy Hunter Notches Third Save.

"[H]e seems to have worked his way into the high-leverage mix by posting a 2.03 ERA and 0.98 WHIP through 13.1 innings in August."

(He's throwing his cutter more than ever, FYI.)

18. Rangers' Eddie Butler Eats Up Innings In Loss.

"He has a 5.65 ERA over 192.2 innings as a starter and is sitting on a 7.11 ERA in 10 outings since coming to Texas in the Cole Hamels trade."

19. James Russell Sighting.

"Thirty-two-year-old southpaw James Russell has a 2.33 ERA in 84 innings with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League. The former Texas Longhorn made 394 appearances for the Cubs, Braves, and Phillies from 2010-2016."

20. Trevor Cahill Is Part Of The A's Resurgence!

"Signed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract in the winter, Cahill has become one of the biggest bargains in baseball in part by reducing the use of his fastball and generating more swing and miss with his slider, more than doubling its usage. Cahill has a 3.44 ERA, and his 2.1 WAR according to FanGraphs is the second-best mark of his career."

Cahill had once been heavily dependent upon his sinker, but he told FiveThirtyEight that the A's have given him "weighted pitch" data, which he's used to diversity his overall pitch mix. For the first time since 2012, he has four above-average pitches, according to FanGraphs linear weights.

"If you can throw four different pitches, and they are doing different things in the zone, it's tough [for batters] to guess," Cahill said.

The A's also have pitch-tracking Rapsodo technology for use in between appearances, which Cahill uses to monitor his release point and the underlying characteristics of his pitches - like spin rate - between starts.

"I go look at my curveball and see if the spin rate is higher," Cahill said. "I look at where I am releasing it."

21. So Is Edwin Jackson!

"The well-traveled, and perhaps forgotten about, Jackson has given the A's 60 quality innings this season - not bad for a guy playing on his 13th (!) MLB team. Jackson has done this by getting crafty: reducing the use of his fastball from 35.3 percent last season (47.9 percent for his career) to 16.2 percent this season."

22. Knee Surgery Ends Clayton Richard's Season With The Padres.

I always think of him in conjunction with Cahill.

23. Luis Gonzalez Was A Pallbearer At John McCain's Funeral.

23.5. Bob Brenly was also in attendance.

24. Emilio Bonifacio Joins Brewers On Minor-League Deal.

It appears he was then brought up to the big club.

25. Royals' Jorge Soler Unlikely To Return in 2018.

He was injury-prone with the Cubs, too.

26. Twins' Catcher Chris Gimenez Hits HR After Pitching An Inning.

Allowed five runs in his inning of work. Also wears his shirt weird.

27. Yankees Admit They Might Not Get Aroldis Chapman Back This Season.

Left knee tendinitis, which we probably can't blame on Joe Maddon.

28. Braves Send Arodys Vizcaino On Rehab Assignment.

Was once Cubs closer-of-the-future.

29. Daniel Poncedeleon Recalled From Memphis, Returning To Cards' Bullpen.

Drafted by Cubs but failed his physical.

30. Shaky Return For Justin Grimm, Who Sees Actions For Mariners.

Still the Grimm Reaper.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:44 AM | Permalink

From "Let's Fucking Kill Him" To "We're In Crazytown," The Most Disturbing Excerpts From Bob Woodward's New Book On The Trump White House

Bob Woodward has a book coming out next month that details the first year-and-a-half of Donald Trump's presidency, and excerpts published by the Washington Post and CNN on Tuesday depict a White House in the midst of a "nervous breakdown" sparked by a man who top aides have referred to as "an idiot," a "fucking moron," a "professional liar," and "a goddamn dumbbell" who has the understanding of "a fifth- or sixth-grader."

According to the Post - where Woodward has worked as a reporter and editor for decades - the "thrust" of Fear: Trump in the White House "mostly focuses on substantive decisions and internal disagreements, including tensions with North Korea as well as the future of U.S. policy in Afghanistan."

But these substantive decisions and disagreements often produced startling moments in which the president revealed his total ignorance and lack of fitness for office.

"He's an idiot. It's pointless to try to convince him of anything," White House Chief of Staff John Kelly reportedly complained during a small group meeting. "He's gone off the rails. We're in Crazytown. I don't even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I've ever had."

Here are some of the most revealing and disturbing excerpts from Woodward's book, which will be published on September 11th.

"Let's Fucking Kill Him!"

After Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was accused of carrying out a chemical attack against civilians last April, Trump told Defense Secretary James Mattis that he wanted to invade Syria and assassinate Assad, Woodward writes.

"Let's fucking kill him! Let's go in. Let's kill the fucking lot of them," Trump reportedly told Mattis in a phone call.

According to Woodward's account - which he says is based on hundreds of hours of interviews with top White House officials - Mattis told Trump he would get right on it, but then hung up the phone and told a senior aide, "We're not going to do any of that."

"You Don't Need A Strategy To Kill People"

During a meeting last July, Trump's national security advisers attempted to "educate" the president on foreign policy.

The gathering quickly went awry, however, when Trump decided to unload on his generals for attempting to discuss Afghanistan strategy.

"You should be killing guys. You don't need a strategy to kill people," Trump said, according to Woodward.

"Don't Testify. It's Either That Or An Orange Jumpsuit."

Despite Trump's reported insistence that he would be "a real good witness" in an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the president's former lawyer John Dowd - who resigned in March - firmly believed that Trump would commit perjury if he talked to Mueller.

According to Woodward, Dowd explained to Mueller in January that he did not want the president to do an interview because he didn't want to "sit there and let him look like an idiot."

The president's attorney also worried that if a transcript of the interview leaked, as it inevitably would, people would say, "I told you he was an idiot. I told you he was a goddamn dumbbell. What are we dealing with this idiot for?"

Dowd later pleaded with Trump directly: "Don't testify. It's either that or an orange jumpsuit."

"He's This Dumb Southerner"

Trump has a well-known habit of berating Attorney General Jeff Sessions in public, but according to Woodward, Trump uses far more abrasive and offensive language to ridicule Sessions behind closed doors.

"This guy is mentally retarded," Trump said of the former Alabama senator he picked to lead the Justice Department. "He's this dumb Southerner . . . He couldn't even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama."

"An Administrative Coup D'Etat"

Reportedly alarmed by Trump's volatile combination of ignorance and impulsiveness, Woodward reports that top White House aides devised a strategy of stealing documents from the president's desk so he wouldn't see or sign them.

In Woodward's account, last spring former National Economic Council director Gary Cohn swiped "a letter off Trump's desk" the president planned to sign that would have withdrawn the U.S. from a trade agreement with South Korea.

Cohn later told an associate that Trump never noticed the letter was missing.

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


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:23 AM | Permalink

Chicagoetry: The Hate Song Of Walt Price-Friedham

The Hate Song of Walt Price-Friedham

What price freedom?
If God shan't prevail
Perhaps democracy itself

Has failed, like a patient
Upon a table etherized.
How shall I presume?

How shall I wear my hair
To declare my attitude
About the high American noon?

Short back and sides
With a hard right part?
Do I dare?!

I would be a Fool
To let politics over-rule
The judgment of our

Venerated, omnipotent, vengeful God
While outside the women come and go
Gloating of Guantanamo.

Let the coastal elites
Threaten my freedom
To discriminate, hate and oppress?

I shall do my bitter best
To overcome that test.

I shall be free
To own any gun I please,
To reject any indigent riddled

With obvious moral disease,
To protect the sovereign rule
Of Christ's pilgrims

Over pampered rabble
Disseminating Socialist sleaze.

Let the cursed impoverished
Self-deport and self-destruct,
Let them all shriek and starve,

Let them disturb the universe
With their abject lack of
Deferential self-regard.

Perhaps I am just old
And grown afraid, and
Merely think myself bold.

I say what I mean:
God clearly favors the fair
Of skin and hair,

Man as proud man, woman
As humble woman, nationalist native as
Natural heir.

Let the moochers and malingerers

Scuttle toward their
Degenerate lairs.
If I can only kill the mouse,

pinned and wriggling on the wall,

By burning down the house
So might it be.
I shall be free

To despoil, divide, dehumanize,
And dominate; to plunder, profit,
Pander and polarize.

My certainty shall ne'er

Let the simpering snowflakes bicker.
I'll remain steadfast,

Never, ever betraying my fear.

All evil is of the opposition,
All righteousness, without exception -
Resolutely without exception -

Is mine.

Is this a crime?


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


More Tindall:

* Chicagoetry: The Book

* Ready To Rock: The Music

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:06 AM | Permalink

September 4, 2018

SportsMondayTuesday: Bears Rewrite Season's Narrative Arc: Playoffs Or Bust

Football lives. In fact it thrives - especially in Chicago.

That much is crystal clear after the Bears went all-in Saturday on their "Drafts Be Damned" strategy. They traded a giant two first-round picks for the 27-year-old 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack (and a draft upgrade in 2019 - receiving a second round pick from the Raiders for a third, and a possible one in 2020 - a conditional fifth for a sixth). Then they made him the highest paid defensive player in the NFL with a $90-million (the part of the contract that is guaranteed) deal.

Chicago, and the entire league, is still buzzing about this absolute blockbuster three days later and will be for a while longer. In case Oakland doesn't have enough that ails it, now its football team has announced it isn't just moving to Las Vegas, it is tanking all the way there. The ridiculous Raiders, led by legacy owner Mark Davis, paid their coach (Jon Gruden) $100 million but they wouldn't pay their best player. And Bears fans thank goodness for that.

That being said, how giant are those draft picks? So giant that NBA teams are not allowed to make deals like this, i.e., trade consecutive first-rounders. That is due to the "Stepien Rule," named after infamous former Cavaliers owner Ted Stepien. After that genius had traded away five consecutive first-round picks that started in 1982, the NBA was forced to take action to protect owners/general managers from themselves.

A trade like this hadn't been made in the NFL in almost a decade. That was when the Bears traded two first-round picks and a third, plus Kyle Orton, for Jay Cutler and a fifth. I don't recall that going so well for the Bears (except in the first two years - remember that Cutler led the Bears to the NFC championship game in his second season here), but it wasn't like the Broncos got a king's ransom either.

But Ryan Pace doesn't care about all that. The fourth-year general manager made it clear he was going in a different direction than conventional pro football wisdom would dictate when he traded a ridiculous three picks (two thirds and a fourth) to move up one spot in the first round of the 2017 draft.

He then selected quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Pace could have stayed put - heck, he could have traded down at least a half dozen spots and taken a better QB, Deshaun Watson. But he had fixated on Trubisky and many in Chicago still praise him for it, despite the obscene number of valuable draft picks lost. When Watson has a Pro Bowl season for the Texans this year, maybe those people will start to shut up.

Then this season, when the team was starting to recover from having only five picks total in 2015, the impatient Pace traded his 2019 second-round pick for a 2018 second-round pick he used to draft unheralded wide receiver Anthony Miller. The Bears now have only one pick in the first three rounds of the 2019 draft and five overall.

But next year's draft be damned. Most Bears fans just want the team to not finish last again. And this trade is a huge step in that direction. These guys now have a great chance to finish 9-7 or better and it is hard to argue that such an upgrade wasn't worth a huge price. And that prediction has a ton of company.

My favorite thing about the deal was the fact that it stopped the Matt Nagy excuse parade before it started. The head coach seemed to realize last week that it will be tough for the Bears to succeed on offense in his first year at the helm and Trubisky's second. Where the stories had all been about how smart Nagy is and how much potential the quarterback has, the theme changed last week to "this is going to take some time."

The theme changed again on Saturday. Now it's "Playoffs or Bust." The Bills made the playoffs last year, people. The Bears can do it this year.

As for football's popularity overall, the latest greatest example happened toward the end of the preseason, when the Cleveland Browns' scintillating 5-0 exhibition victory over the Philadelphia Eagles earned the best ratings for an exhibition game since 2012. Those ratings were so high they enabled Fox to record a rare weekly ratings win. The game featured the Super Bowl champs versus the team featured on HBO's Hard Knocks this year but still, 5-0!

Football is huge and the Bears have acquired some of that hugeness. Bring it on!


Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:03 AM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers


Rumors that Rahm would bow out had been circulating for weeks, and intensified over the weekend. Still, wow.

Quick thought (I have to do my taxes today): Rahm was a divisive force who failed to effectively manage both CPS and CPD - while successfully delivering for the business community and those in his socioeconomic strata. While that's a record not unlike his predecessor(s), he was also particularly unlikable and ungenuine. Still, he had a shot at a third term despite polls that showed he was vulnerable. It just would've been one helluva fight and maybe he finally ran out of energy for it. We'll see in the days ahead, as I'm sure he'll manage his post-mayoral PR.

2. Cab Crash.

"Nearly half of the city's 6,999 licensed cabs are in foreclosure or idled, leading to an increasingly desperate call for regulatory intervention - including a newly floated idea to cap the number of ride-sharing licenses in Chicago - to keep taxi fleets on the streets," the Tribune reports.

"New York City approved a measure last month that places a one-year moratorium on new ride-share licenses. Support is growing among Chicago cabbies for a similar move here . . . Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th, and Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, have said they are considering such a proposal."

Nearly half of the city's 6,999 licensed cabs are in foreclosure or idled.

3. Hawk Harrelson Wants LeBron James To Just Dribble.

Hawk Harrelson apologists are the worst. He should've been fired a long time ago, but I guess that's Jerry Reinsdorf's infamous (and misguided) loyalty.

4. Sad Statues Saga.

"An Illinois county has approved a memorial honoring three former governors from Kankakee, including convicted ex-Gov. George Ryan," AP reports. (h/t: Rich Miller)

"The Daily Journal reports the Kankakee County board endorsed it in a 10-to-2 vote last week. It'll be on the Kankakee courthouse lawn. It'll also be dedicated to Len Small, governor from 1921 to 1929; and Samuel Shapiro, governor in the late 1960s."

For more, see our very own Ed Hammer's coverage of the sad statues saga:

* The Statues Of Kankakee.

* Now Even Statues Of Dirty Illinois Governors Want Your Money.

* Ex-Con George Ryan To Personally Appeal For Statue.

* Kankakee Statues Saga Takes Mayberryesque Turn.

5. Like I said, I have to do my taxes today. Why today? Because I have a business that's an S. Corp. and blah blah blah . . . More on Rahm tomorrow.


New on the Beachwood . . .

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Monolord, Venom Inc., Cory Wong, Moon Taxi, Vulfpeck, Canvus, Zebra, O.A.R., Culture Club, the B-52s, Jimmy Degenerate and the NotSeez, Giorgio Moroder, Jamiroquai, Knower, and RL Grime.



Bears: Playoffs Or Bust
A trade like this - one so huge it's type isn't allowed in the NBA - hasn't been made in the NFL since the Bears last made a trade like this.

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Don't Just Impeach Trump: Annul His Presidency
"Annulment would repeal all of it - recognizing that such appointments, orders, rules, and records were made without constitutional authority."

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The White Sox Report: He Hits Dingers
Daniel Palka is not exactly a five-tool player. More like one tool.

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The Allure Of Destination Breweries As Rural Economic Engines
The beercation comes into its own.



Last Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Gringo Star, L.A. Witch, Moonwalks, Pussy Foot, Guided by Voices, Tom Walker, Deathrun, Milk Money, Lyle Lovett, Justin Hayward, Five Finger Death Punch, Mega Ran, Fire-Toolz, Tiger Village, and Lord Mute.

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The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #215: Maddon Madness & Magic
He's not going anywhere but the playoffs. Plus: Hot White Sox Screwing Eloy; Fake Bears Finish Fake Pre-Season With Fake Hopes; and NU's Ridiculous Football Palace On The Lake.




Is there a way to tune the alerts you get from the Weather Channel on your TV? from r/chicago





Crayfish In Botany Pond, University Of Chicago.


A sampling.

The University Of Illinois Scientist Who Scrambled Darwin's Tree Of Life.


I Worked With Avital Ronell. I Believe Her Accuser.


A sampling.



The Beachwood Tronc Line: Bullseye.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:40 AM | Permalink

September 3, 2018

He Hits Dingers

You're always looking for that unexpected gem on a rebuilding ballclub, a guy no one ever heard of, a ballplayer devoid of the hype surrounding athletes with names like Jimenez, Kopech and Moncada. General managers' lives are filled with plots, schemes and strategies aimed at building a system that will spit out players who will lead the franchise to the promised land called post-season play.

Every now and then a bit of luck plays a part such as the case of Daniel Palka.

He was unwanted by the Twins, who put him on waivers last November. A product of Georgia Tech originally drafted by the Phillies - he didn't sign - and later in the third round by the Diamondbacks in 2013, Palka was a minor-league power hitter seemingly destined for a career just a step below the big league level.

In six seasons, Palka played on 13 different teams in this country, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. We're not talking about a five-tool player here. More like one tool: He's capable of hitting a baseball a long way at a very fast clip. He doesn't run well, he hasn't hit .300 in five years, and his defensive skills would remind no one of even Melky Cabrera, who patrolled left field for the White Sox a season ago.

In 2016, playing at the Double- and Triple-A levels, he hit 34 homers and drove in 90 runs. The Twins "rewarded" him in 2017 with another season at Rochester, their top farm team, before placing Palka on waivers late last fall.

Sox GM Rick Hahn picked up the muscular outfielder/DH without giving up anything in the deal. Once again Palka opened this season at Triple-A after going 3-for-25 in spring training, and his season began like all the others with a few dingers, a strikeout in about a third of his at-bats, and a .286 batting average.

However, when Avisail Garcia went down in late April with a severe hamstring pull, Palka got the call. It wasn't as though the guy needed more seasoning after 715 games in professional baseball.

The left-handed swinging power man hit his first homer in his third game. Sunday against the Red Sox in a White Sox 8-0 pasting of the 94-44 Bostonians, he slammed his 20th and arguably his most memorable. This blast halfway up into the right field stands, came four pitches after hitting one a wee bit foul which was first ruled a home run by the umpires. Both connections set off the scoreboard, and Palka, accepting the charitable gesture by the umps, circled the bases after his initial "home run."

Palka hits a homer every 17.1 at-bats, which puts him 24th in baseball. (Oakland's Khris Davis is tops at 12.3.) He's also playing with a bit of an edge. When the Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka, by no means diminutive in stature, hit him in the arm with a pitch last Monday, Palka glared toward the mound before catcher Kyle Higashioka stepped in front of him to prevent a skirmish with the potential to register on the seismograph in The Bronx.

What fun! How a team that plays .346 baseball after 107 games before winning 18 of its next 30 contests defies explanation. But that's exactly where the White Sox find themselves after winning four-of-seven last week against the Yankees and Red Sox, the two teams with the best records in baseball.

And the Sox are doing it without their best player, first baseman Jose Abreu, who's been sidelined after surgery - the NHL would call it "lower body;" the Sox say "groin area" - on August 22, and a bullpen, which wasn't very effective to begin with, once again decimated by trades.

While many of the prospects, most notably Eloy Jimenez, won't be around until future seasons, we have placeholders like Palka, Nicky Delmonico, Kevan Smith, Matt Davidson, Adam Engel and others who clearly recognize that this may be their only chance to establish themselves as major league players. They take nothing for granted, working hard and never simply going through the motions that too many times afflict players with guaranteed contracts and veteran status.

Just maybe some of these guys like Daniel Palka will become part of the future.

Count centerfielder Engel in that category as well. Already an accomplished, if not outstanding, defensive player, Engel won the centerfield job by default last season when he slashed an abhorrent .166/.235/.517. Not only has he been exceptional with his glove this season - the theft of would-be home runs have made every highlight reel - but Engel no longer is a sure out. Since the beginning of August, he's hitting .274 to bring his season's mark to .238. Not overwhelming, but inconceivable a year ago.

I suppose the Sox can thank the schedule-makers and their Central Division foes where only the Indians have a winning record for the recent awakening. Being able to play Kansas City, Detroit and Minnesota 19 games apiece each season is enough to get the competitive juices flowing for a fledgling band like the current White Sox. The Twins, Tigers and Royals share a .399 winning percentage this season, and the Sox have taken advantage of their Central brethren by beating them 10-of-14 games in the current streak.

Therefore, we can be forgiven if we were a bit dubious before last week when the Yankees and Red Sox provided the opposition. It's one thing to beat up on lousy teams, but let's see what you do against the big boys.

Tampa Bay and Cleveland completed the list of opponents of the last 30 games. The Rays, Indians, Yankees,and Red Sox have a winning percentage of .603 this season, yet the Sox split the last 16 games against that quartet.

While only two teams, the Phillies and Cardinals, which both have winning records, have committed more errors this season than the White Sox, the South Siders defense has been much improved in the past month or so with 16 errors in the current 30-game streak. The Sox had 82 boots in their first 107 contests.

As mentioned, Engel has been solid in center field, and the defensive progress also has been especially prominent at the shortstop position where Tim Anderson has become as efficient as any shortstop in baseball since the All-Star game. He's been charged with just three errors in that span, one of which was a throwing error. Last year's Gold Glovers Andrelton Simmons of the Angels and the Giants' Brandon Crawford have committed, three and six, respectively.

Not only has Anderson become much more sure-handed on routine ground balls, fielding the ball more in the center of his body rather than on the side, he goes into the hole as well as anyone. The kid has a bullet of an arm, which has been on display for balls hit into the hole. Anderson had one of the greatest games of his career on Sunday with a homer and two doubles along with his stellar defense.

Much has been conjectured about the managing skills of Ricky Renteria, and his future is yet to be determined. However, he and his coaches need to be recognized for the progress of some of the players like Engel and Anderson. They didn't simply improve and mature on their own. It's not a stretch to conclude that they've been listening to their mentors and working hard to get better.

The prognosis for September would seem to indicate that the resurgence will continue. The Sox have 16 games remaining against teams with losing records while meeting Cleveland for six games and the Cubs for three.

While heart rates might not detonate over the Sox' and Tigers' battle for third place in the Central Division - they're tied going into the three-game set beginning Monday - another few homers by Palka and some game-saving catches by Engel will aid in keeping a positive outlook before the autumn colors arrive.

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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:33 PM | Permalink

Don't Just Impeach Trump: Annul His Presidency

The only way I see the end of Trump is if there's overwhelming evidence he rigged the 2016 election, in which case impeachment isn't an adequate remedy. His presidency should be annulled.

Let me explain.

Many people are convinced we're already witnessing the beginning of the end of Trump.

In their view, bombshell admissions from Trump insiders with immunity from prosecution, combined with whatever evidence Robert Mueller uncovers about Trump's obstruction of justice and his aide's collusion with the Russians, will all tip the scales.

Democrats will take back the House and begin an impeachment, and the evidence of impeachable offenses will put enough pressure on Republican senators to send Trump packing.

I don't believe this for a moment.

First, the Senate has never in history convicted a president of impeachment.

Second, even if Democrats flip the House in November, Republicans will almost certainly remain in control of the Senate - and so far they've displayed the integrity of lizards.

Third, Fox News and the rest of the right-wing sleaze media will continue to distort and cover up whatever the evidence shows - convincing 35 to 40 percent of Americans, along with most Republicans, that Trump is the innocent victim of a plot to remove him.

Finally, Trump himself will never voluntarily resign, as did Nixon. He'll lie and claim a conspiracy to unseat him.

He's proven himself a superb conman, an entertainer-demagogue capable of sowing so much confusion and instigating so much hate and paranoia that he has already survived outrages that would have broken any garden variety loathsome president - Helsinki, Charlottesville, children locked in cages at the border, firings and cover-ups, racist slurs, clear corruption.

In all likelihood, we'll have him for another two-and-a-half years.

Don't bet on him losing in 2020, either. A malignant bullying megalomaniac who lies like most people breathe, and who's able to suck the oxygen out of every news cycle, might well pulverize any Democratic opponent.

Even if he loses in 2020, we'll be fortunate if he concedes without being literally carried out of the Oval Office amid the stirrings of civil insurgency.

Oh, and let me remind you that even if he's impeached, we'd still have his loathsome administration - Pence on down.

But lest you fall into a miasma of gloom, there's another scenario - unlikely, but entirely possible.

Suppose, just suppose, Robert Mueller finds overwhelming and indisputable evidence that Trump conspired with Putin to rig the 2016 election, and the rigging determined the election's outcome.

In other words, Trump's presidency is not authorized under the United States Constitution.

Suppose these findings are so compelling that even Trump loyalists desert him, the Republican Party decides it has had enough, and Fox News calls for his impeachment.

What then? Impeachment isn't enough.

Impeachment would remedy Trump's "high crimes and misdemeanors." But impeachment would not remedy Trump's unconstitutional presidency because it would leave in place his vice president, White House staff and cabinet, as well as all the executive orders he issued and all the legislation he signed, and the official record of his presidency.

The only response to an unconstitutional presidency is to annul it. Annulment would repeal all of it - recognizing that such appointments, orders, rules and records were made without constitutional authority.

The Constitution does not specifically provide for annulment of an unconstitutional presidency. But read as a whole, the Constitution leads to the logical conclusion that annulment is the appropriate remedy for one.

After all, the Supreme Court declares legislation that doesn't comport with the Constitution to be null and void, as if it had never been passed.

It would logically follow that the Court could declare all legislation and executive actions of a presidency unauthorized by the Constitution to be null and void, as if Trump had never been elected. (Clearly, any Trump appointee to the Court would have to recuse himself from any such decision.)

The Constitution also gives Congress and the states the power to amend the Constitution, thereby annulling or altering whatever provisions came before. Here, too, it would logically follow that Congress and the states could, through amendment, annul a presidency they determine to be unconstitutional.

After the Trump administration was annulled, the Speaker of the House (third in the order of presidential succession) would take over the presidency until a special election.

As I've said, my betting is Trump remains president at least through 2020 - absent compelling and indisputable evidence he rigged the 2016 election.

But if such evidence comes forth, impeachment isn't an adequate remedy because even if Trump is removed, his presidency - all that he and his administration did when he occupied office - would be constitutionally illegitimate.

It should be annulled.

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


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:00 PM | Permalink

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Monolord at the Empty Bottle on Friday night.


2. Venom Inc. at Reggies on Friday night.


3. Cory Wong at Bottom Lounge on Saturday night.


4. Moon Taxi at North Coast Music Festival on Sunday night.


5. Vulfpeck at North Coast on Saturday night.


6. Canvus at the Wire in Berwyn on Saturday night.


7. Zebra at the Arcada in St. Charles on Friday night.


8. O.A.R. at Ravinia on Sunday night.


9. Culture Club at Ravinia on Friday night.


10. The B-52s at Ravinia on Friday night.


11. Jimmy Degenerate and the NotSeez at House of Blues on Friday night.


12. Giorgio Moroder at Thalia Hall on Friday night.


13. Jamiroquai at North Coast on Sunday night.


14. Knower at North Coast on Saturday.


15. RL Grime at North Coast on Saturday night.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:50 AM | Permalink

The Allure Of Destination Breweries As Rural Economic Engines

Craft beer fans seeking different flavors are accustomed to hitting the road to taste offerings from breweries both near and far from home. Special releases of new and limited-run creations are a big draw, but so too are the breweries themselves.

As the craft beer industry has blossomed over the past decade, so too have options for such visits. The Brewers Association, a national trade association for craft beer-related businesses, reported that in 2017, craft consumers visited three-and-a-half breweries near their homes and two-and-a-half breweries within two hours' driving distance on average.

"Beer tourism" is one label for the phenomenon of people planning getaways around visiting craft breweries, as is the punchier "beercation." In 2016, Travelocity established a "beer tourism index," which identified the top destinations for craft beer in the United States. (Chicago didn't crack the top 20.)

Growing in size and popularity, these "destination breweries" often boast taprooms, restaurants, outdoor spaces and other attractions. Some breweries are even building hotels to attract visitors.

"We've seen people's desire to visit breweries go up a lot in recent years," said Bart Watson, chief economist at the Brewers Association. "There's been a real demand shift in beer. People want fuller flavor and variety, and they want to support small and local breweries."

Watson noted that this phenomenon is not unique to the beer industry, and that consumers are also increasingly willing to travel to wineries and distilleries, too.

While the recent explosion of craft beer has found many new operations clustered in cities, several of Wisconsin's prominent destination breweries are located in more rural areas.

Rural Destination Breweries

Two high-profile craft beer destinations in Wisconsin are New Glarus Brewing and Central Waters Brewing. Based in the villages of New Glarus and Amherst, respectively, communities in rural settings yet not too far a drive from larger cities, both have been drawing increasingly large crowds for the past couple decades. Newer operations around the state are trying to follow in their footsteps.

Driftless Brewing Company has high hopes to build a reputation as a craft beer destination. Established in 2014, it initially operated a one-barrel brewing system out of a former grocery store in Soldiers Grove, a village in Crawford County. It sold their beer out of a makeshift taproom and a few local businesses. But the brewery is set to grow considerably with a $1.2 million expansion to a 15-barrel system and 49-seat tasting room in the works, funded by private investors, bank and business development loans, and a grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

voices-mississippi-economicdevelopment-craft-driftlessbrewing.jpgDriftless Brewing Co./Driftless

The brewery already drew attention from nearby residents and visitors to its corner of the state. But after the expansion, which is slated for completion in 2019, its owners and staff are hoping to spread word of their beers much wider.

"Even though we're in a town of less than 600 people, we're going to succeed in having a bigger brewery to get us out into Wisconsin on a larger basis," said Cynthia Olmstead, business and operations director at Driftless Brewing.

"We'd like to fulfill demand from La Crosse to Milwaukee, and to bring people into town through the taproom. We'll be bringing a huge amount of people into Soldiers Grove, and that's really exciting," she said.

Olmstead noted how she's already seen positive impacts that the brewery has had in the community. Residents are "beyond thrilled to have a small taproom in their tiny town," she said. And visitors are "thrilled to come and support a brewery steeped in values of good environmental practices that uses Wisconsin ingredients," she added.

Olmstead said she's also seen motorcycle groups, car clubs and other groups visit Soldiers Grove just to stop by Driftless Brewing, which gets visitors from Chicago, Minneapolis, Iowa City and elsewhere around the Midwest.

When visitors check out the brewery, Olmstead said they also may take a look at other local businesses, creating economic ripples throughout the small town.

That effect could eventually help attract other entrepreneurs to Soldiers Grove, said Jim Bowman, executive director of Driftless Development Inc., a local economic development organization that assisted the brewery in funding its expansion. In coordination with the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Driftless Development is completing a market study to determine the goods and services are needed in the area.

"We continue to promote and have a relationship" with Driftless Brewing, said Bowman. "Our next job is to find other complementary businesses near them and highlight them as a business expansion."

Brewing Broader Goals

The economic impact of destination breweries can extend well beyond their home communities.

One effect is related to building regional supply chains. Craft breweries increasingly aim to use locally sourced ingredients from around the state in their beers. Driftless Brewing uses 95 percent local or regional ingredients, sourcing most of their hops and malt from inside Wisconsin, as well as fruit, honey and other ingredients for seasonal beers.

"Sometimes we just pick the fruit ourselves," said the brewery's business director Cynthia Olmstead. "Being local is part of our brand now."

Brewers Association economist Bart Watson also noted that locally owned breweries add value to their state's economy, through adding jobs, paying property taxes, and buying locally on the supply chain.

The growth of Driftless Brewing reflects national trends in the craft beer industry.

Starting with the emergence of the homebrewing movement in the late 1970s, followed by a few decades of incremental growth by startup businesses once called "microbreweries," the craft beer movement took off across the U.S. as the 2010s opened. As of 2017, reports the Brewers Association, Wisconsin had 160 craft breweries - 3.7 breweries per capita - up from 73 in 2011. (Illinois has 200 craft breweries - 2.1 breweries per capita - up from 54 in 2011.)

That trend of growth means more competition, but it also makes for more places craft beer fans can visit.

Along with Driftless Brewing, other craft beer destinations in Southwestern Wisconsin, business with both deep local roots and gleaming new facilities, are attracting visitors. Potosi Brewery and the adjoining National Brewery Museum in Potosi, was launched in 2007 and expanded in 2015, though the brand goes back almost to the state's founding. Meanwhile, Vintage Brewing, founded as a brewpub in Madison, opened a large flagship facility in Sauk City in early 2018.

"Craft brewing is creating its own economy," said Olmstead. "Whether it's renovating a neighborhood in an urban area, or places like us that haven't had a whole lot of economic development."

Kristian Knutsen contributed to this report.


This piece 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.

* Before Dairy Ruled, Wheat Reigned In Wisconsin.


Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:48 AM | Permalink

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SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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