Saturday, December 16, 2006

Another salad that'll make diners ill ...

Forget E.Coli ... this student tried to spread some love in his school cafeteria: From the Sun-Times: Semen in salad dressing.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Attack of the leafy greens

First it was spinach.

Now, lettuce is suspected in the recent Taco Bell E. coli poisonings. It's time to assign blame.

I, for one, know who is responsible ... the man who encouraged us to eat spinach in the first place ...

Popeye the Sailor Man

T-shirts available for $11.99.

'I wouldn't run if I didn't think I could win'

Ten Barack bucks says he's running ...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

WBEZ announces new program schedule: More talk, less rock

12–4 am Global Overnight Shipping
Blocks of news from trusted global sources, brought to you by our sponsor, UPS. The fastest overnight service with voices and stories from around the world ... and back again. What can Brown do for you?
4 am SBC’s The World Today
International news, analysis and information in English and 32 other languages from the perspective of a telephone company that speaks your language.
5 am Morning Addition
A math show not just for the kids! Join reporters as they count the number of American dead in Iraq and calculate the national deficit.
9 am Eighteen Forty-Eight
A locally produced news magazine focusing on Chicago's 19th century history.
10 am SBC Newshour
11 am Fresh Heir
A daily Q&A with authors, actors, and musicians who will never be in the top ten with your host, the future king of England.
12 pm Girlview
Listen as a panel of girls sits around discussing their world.
1 pm Talk of the Station
Journalist Neal Conan leads an exchange of ideas and opinions on the issues that dominate the radio station's water cooler. From politics and public service to the next fund drive and old jazz records, “Talk of the Station" offers call-in listeners the opportunity to join the discussion. Free water for each caller.
2 pm The Story
Host Dick Gordon brings the news home—through passionate points of view and personal experiences, each day from a different floor of a Chicago skyscraper. His views literally change depending on which story he's on.
3 pm All Things Reconsidered
6:30 pm Marketplace
Find out what's on special at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and our other sponsors.
7 pm The World
A show that reminds us that we are the world, we are the children, we are the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start giving to this station.
8 pm Eighteen Forty-Eight (encore)
9 pm Girlview (encore)
10 pm Fresh Heir (encore)
11 pm BBC Out! Look!
Some of the most powerful and affecting stories come from gay people telling their own experiences of coming out of the closet.
12 am Global Overnight Shipping

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Best graffiti I've seen in a while

On a condom machine in the Hamilton's bathroom:

"For refund, insert baby"

Monday, December 11, 2006

"I have more to give.

More jobs and promotions to give all these friends and family members."
(Chicago Tribune photo by José Moré)

Anyone here want to be president?

Biggest burp wins.
(Chicago Tribune photo by Pete Souza)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

My final snowball

Driving to Jewel half an hour ago, I saw a couple of kids throwing snowballs at passing cars. One came my way but missed. For a fleeting moment, I wondered what the kids would do if I jumped out of my car and chased them. Better yet, what if I did a U-turn and came charging at them? The moment passed, and I went on my merry way.

Heading home a little later, at the intersection where I had seen the kids, I now saw a different scene: A man was holding a 13-year-old boy in a headlock. The man's wife was on a cell phone. Their mini van was pulled over next to them. I quickly did some math, put two and two together. The couple must have pulled over after getting hit by a snowball. They were now calling the cops. "Damn kids," I could imagine them saying. "We'll show these black boys not to throw things in our rapidly gentrifying neighborhood." (Oops, there I go again ...) I saw the kid pleading his case, but the man was having none of it.

I have to wonder what the cops will do about it. Are they going to charge the kid? With what? Mischief? Attempted damage to property? And I thought about all the times I threw snowballs (and other random things) at passing cars. And I decided that it's time to act my age: No more throwing snowballs.

When I think about it, though, I realize this blog is me throwing harmless little snowballs at politicians and other people appearing in the news. What if I connect and someone gets pissed off, grabs me, and calls the cops? Is it really worth it?

I was ready to sit down and write this as my farewell post. I'll continue Teacher Man, I was going to write. At least that one's about something I know about. If you read Daley Show, you can guess that I know very little (and care even less) about local politics. And to be honest, reading the paper every day just to find subjects to ridicule is tiring and somewhat depressing. The more I know the more powerless I feel. Anyway, this was going to be it. But then I saw that I actually had a few comments on my most recent post about the Friday downtown massacre. That's gratifying enough to keep this going ... for a while longer. So ... this is not my final snowball. But the next time I quit, that'll be it.

Have a stupid week. And I'll comment on it.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Can you say OVERREACTION???

There are more than 500 murders in Chicago every year. Does each one get this kind of police response and press coverage? Not!

Then again, I guess when poor people shoot each other in their poor neighborhoods, they don't inconvenience rush hour commuters.

( video)

Friday, December 08, 2006

"I will have a most unhappy Christmas

if I don't get $35 from each city staffer.
No checks, please."

(AP photo)

How to double your frequent flier miles

News Item: A pregnant 42-year-old Mexican woman en route to Chicago on a Mexicana Airlines flight from Guadalajara gave birth to a healthy baby girl with the help of a fellow passenger. ... Whether the baby girl is the United States' newest citizen remains to be seen.
This is just another example of people taking the concept of the Mile High Club a bit too far.

"We'll use invisible paper to take notes of our meetings.

That way, we'll never get busted leaving behind any evidence."
Chief of staff Lance Tyson (center) lays down a new strategy on Wednesday as the Cook County Board of Commissioners met for the first time under new president Todd Stroger (left).

(Chicago Tribune photo by Chuck Berman)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Cheat sheet for citizenship test

News Item: A lengthier citizenship test with more thorough questions, along with electronic filing requirements and increased fees, are in the works for 2008, pending the results of a pilot program in 10 cities that will analyze new test questions and procedures.
The Daley Show is pleased to provide the questions and all acceptable answers.

AMERICAN GOVERNMENT: PART A: Principles of American Democracy
1. Name one important idea found in the Declaration of Independence.
A: People are born with natural rights
A: The power of government comes from the people
A: The people can change their government if it hurts their natural rights
A: All people are created equal
A: These ideas can only be changed by the Bush administration

2. What is the supreme law of the land?
A: The Constitution
A: You're either with us or you're against us

3. What does the Constitution do?
A: It sets up the government
A: It protects basic rights of Americans
A: It makes it impossible to take a poop

4. What does "WE the People" mean in the Constitution?
A: The power of government comes from the people
A: WhitE people have the power

5. What do we call changes to the Constitution?
A: Amendments
A: Bush policy

6. What is an amendment?
A: It is a change to the Constitution
A: Something Dick Cheney does

7. What do we call the first 10 amendments to the Constitution?
A: The Bill of Rights
A: The Will of Whites

8. Name one right or freedom from the First Amendment.
A: Speech
A: Religion
A: Assembly
A: Press
A: Petition the government
A: Not serving in the military if you're rich

9. How many amendments does the Constitution have?
A: Twenty-seven (27)
A: Depends on the day

10. What did the Declaration of Independence do?
A: Announce the independence of the United States from Great Britain
A: Say that the U.S. is free from Great Britain
A: Start a war where armed terrorists defeated the world's greatest military power

11. What does freedom of religion mean?
A: You can practice any religion you want, or not practice at all
A: You don't have to sit next to a Muslim on a plane

12. What type of economic system does the U.S. have?
A: Capitalist economy
A: Free market
A: Market economy
A: Billions in profits for the oil companies

PART B later!

'Whitening' response

Last week I ran this graphic "depicting" the gentrification of Chicago:

Click to enlarge.

Just this morning I realized there was a very serious response to it by George Schmidt. Here it is ...

Whitening requires de-blackening. During the 1960s, people used to say, "Urban renewal is Negro removal" (back when "Negro" was still used). Nowadays, the removal of poor and working class black people is "reform" (as in "school", "welfare" and "housing"). Check it out!

I've been spending a lot of time lately on the South Side (esp., "Bronzeville") documenting the decline in public housing and affordable housing for poor and working class people. This is also a documentatiion of the increase in expensive condo and townhouse development, lucrative to both politicians and politically connected developers, and the expansion of charter schools in Chicago.

Generally, "housing reform" and "welfare reform" have been used to push out poor black families. Then "school reform" is closing their public schools and replacing them with charter schools with admissions requirements. This part of reform requires that the public school buiding be fixed up at public expense, then given away to the private operators. This used to be called racism, but nowadays it's "reform."

Anyone who cares to look at it in the face should walk around the area of 39th and Lake Park (and Cottage Grove), where the Ida B. Wells housing projects (dating back to the New Deal) used to stand.

That area is now "the Arches of Oakwood Shores" (I couldn't make this stuff up) and some other hyped developments, with townhouses and condos starting at $200,000 per unit. The land was cleared ("housing reform") at public expense, then given away. Subsidizing the gentrification of that area, the Duncan administration at Chicago Public Schools (CPS) dutifully shuts down public schools (using whatever pretext comes to mind, from academic "failure" based on test scores -- they are now calling it "underperformance" -- to "underutilization") then gives the school building away to a charter school developer. Check out the Donoghue Elementary School at Lake Park and 38th St., across from "Oakwood Shores." Donoghue once served Ida B. Wells and Maddon Park Homes. Now it's the University of Chicago charter school (north).

This stuff is not limited to "Bronzeville." For three years, the Board of Education has kept Near North Career Magnet High School (at Ogden and Larabee, adjacent to what was once Cabrini Green) closed pending the liquidation sale so the land can be given away to politically connected developers. Trouble with this scam is, most of the other high schools on the north side are overcrowded (with increasing demand on Payton to open more seats, too, despite its limited size).

Out on the west side, Michael Scott, former privatization chief at both the Chicago Park District and Chicago Board of Education, is now a developer, looking to make his second million dollars quickly. Two weeks ago, the Board of Education gave away the Collins High School building (1313 S. Sacramento, in Douglas Park) to a charter high school ("North Lawndale College Prep") that Scott's been touting, and voted to open another charter a mile to the west, in the old Sears power house.

Don't count on reading any of this, let alone an analysis, in the Tribune or Sun-Times. Their editors think it's a great idea, and at both papers the reporters are told to write the "news" that fits.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Professors gone wild: NIU profs duke it out

News Item: An argument between two Northern Illinois University professors turned violent when one allegedly hit the other in the head with a metal bar. "The two professors were having a discussion and apparently one of them didn't like what the other said," according to Lt. Matt Kiederlen of the school's police department.
What could the two professors have been fighting about? Some possibilities ...

  • false Wikipedia entry
  • who's better, Captain Kirk or Picard?
  • broken DNA model
  • missing Dungeons and Dragons game piece
  • who gets to go to the bowl game
  • the best beer nuggets in DeKalb
  • Playstation 3 versus Nintendo Wii
  • whether or not intelligent design is a science
  • Obama or Hillary in '08?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"There ain't no City Hall corruption no more.

Now, where's the bathroom so I can unload some more poop?"

(Chicago Tribune photo by José Moré)

Monday, December 04, 2006

New career for Andy Planet ...

... Christmas elf at the mall.
Click to watch the fool dance.

(Thanks to Debi, a very evil friend.)

Teachers off on a spending spree

News Item: Chicago public school teachers received an early Christmas present in their paychecks Friday -- a surprise $50 gift card to spend on their classrooms.
And what will they spend this windfall on? Let's ask the 2006 CPS "Golden Apple" winners:

Back row, left to right:
Mr. Swanson, math: Number 2 pencils to replace all the old ones currently stuck in classroom ceiling
Ms. Newbee, English: One HP color cartridge for classroom printer so students can print out pretty covers on next essay
Ms. Stanley, computers: Boxes of floppy disks currently on clearance, even though new computers don't have floppy drives
Ms. Brokowski, Spanish: Latest Shakira DVD, great for week before Christmas when kids aren't doing work anyway
Ms. Jacobson, English: Thank-you notes and postage to thank administration for this generous gift
Ms. Watanabe, special education: Five $10 gift certificates for winning students in "let's see who can stay quiet the longest" contest
Mr. Wright, physical education: Cool new whistle
Ms. Bowler, science: Replacement bulb for overhead projector
Ms. Ronnett, education to careers: Resume paper and envelopes
Ms. Phusion, history: Batteries for digital camera
Ms. Ravenswood, home economics: Aspirin, lots and lots of aspirin
Mr. Hand, theater: Three or four cartoon-character neckties at T.J. Maxx
Ms. Flounder, French: Ingredients for classroom food fair

Front row, left to right:
Ms. Drakken, English as a Second Language: Subscription to the New Yorker so children can learn English by deciphering the cartoons
Ms. Rosen, English: Cliff's Notes for the next three novels that I'll be teaching but have never read
Ms. Witt, math: Number 2 pencils to replace all the ones stolen by Mr. Swanson's students
Ms. Kingston, music: A couple of drum sticks
Ms. Stronger, art: Five gallons of paint, so students can paint classroom walls, which are chipping away
Ms. White, physical education: Booze

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Tips for safe winter driving

The Illinois Department of Transportation and the independent research organization FACT offer these tips for driving safely in winter:

Check your vehicle's wipers, tires, lights and fluid levels. If your vehicle does not have any of these items, make sure you sound your horn continuously while driving so others will get out of your way.

Equip your car with a "winter storm Survivor kit," including a cell phone and charger, the new Survivor blanket (made of soft fabric that feels great to the skin), a Survivor auto sun shade, waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water, high-quality, nonperishable food, and the Survivor Universal Pocket 8 in 1 Adventure Kit--Be prepared for anything that might cross your path with this multi- function tool. The tool functions as a whistle, temperature gauge, red light, compass, pill compartment, magnifying glass, pull apart cord and light reflector. Purchase your "winter storm Survivor kit" items here.

If stuck in snow, set hazard lights to flashing and tie a colored cloth, preferably red, to antenna, window or door. Then, make sure you floor the accelerator as your tires spin helplessly, creating heat and smoke until they reach dry pavement. If still unable to get out of your parking spot, alternate between forward and reverse and spin those tires until someone comes along and pushes you out.

Call 800-452-4368 for the latest road conditions of Illinois interstate and freeway systems. For the best Chinese food options in the city, see the fine folks at chicagoist: "We had a craving for some General Tso's Chicken. ... What separated Yang's version of General Tso over others we've had were the crispness of the broccoli and the spice: a pleasant, lingering heat that didn't intensify as we cleared our plate. Coupled with two egg rolls that weren't soaked in grease and didn't scorch the roof of our mouth, the total cost of the meal was $8.95. As po' as we are right now, that was definitely a price we could live with."

Friday, December 01, 2006

Let the spending spree begin

“People working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, earning minimum wage bring home just $13,000. That’s just not enough.” --Gov. Rod Blagojevich, explaining why he'll raise the Illinois minimum wage from $6.50 to $7.50.

Which means they will now make $15,600 a year.

If Wal-Mart decides to give its CEO a dollar an hour raise, he'll make $17,544,800 next year.

I suppose the dollar raise is enough.