Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Haunted House in Rogers Park: My Encounter with a Ghost

I am not the kind of person who wallows in tales of the mystic. I do not dabble in ouija boards nor attend seances. I was never a regular Art Bell listener. I have never seen a UFO. I was imbued with a firm grasp of logic by the Jesuits.

But, I have seen a ghost.

This happened in early 1993.

I had just returned to Chicago, and my old college roomate told me that my dog, Mackie and I could crash at his place, until I found an apartment. In fact, he said that since he was leaving town on business, I'd be doing him a favor by staying there and letting various home remodelling workmen into the house.

It was an old, stately-looking two-flat at 1515 W. Touhy in the Rogers Park section of Chicago. (photo above)

So on the second night that I had the place to myself, I was sitting on a sofa in the living room, drinking a beer (but I was not by any means drunk), listening to some old vinyl records that he still had from our college days. My dog was quietly sleeping in the corner.

At that time, I began to roll my own cigarettes, since I was appalled by the outrageously high price of cigarettes in high-tax Chicago (they were at least 2X the price that I had been paying in Virginia.)

I was not very good at rolling cigarettes, back then, and as I fumbled with the cigarette paper and loose tobacco, --- I am not making this up --- a woman appeared. She had reddish/brown, auburn hair and wore a faded green house dress that had red and blue dots on it.

She was sitting on the coffee table right in front of me and said, "Let me help you with that." She took the cigarrette materials from me, rolled a cigarette and handed it back to me.

That I distinctly remember.

I have vague memory traces of having spoken with her at greater length. I recall that it was amiable, but cannot recall exactly what we talked about.

Then she was gone.

The next thing I remember was a sense of waking up -- as if from a dream. But I had not been asleep. I felt something that was akin to shock as my mind began to come to the realization that something very strange had just occured.

I felt an extreme sense of calmness and wonder -- a strange kind of high.

I looked over and my dog was still sleeping quietly in the corner.

The next morning, that shock-like calmness still permeated my senses. I was, in a word, dumbstruck.

When my former college roomate returned from his trip, a few days later, I asked him if he knew anything about the history of his house. If he had heard of anyone having died there, perhaps.

He told me that sometime in the 1920s, there had been a serious fire in the house. In fact, you could still see burn scars on the brick in back, off of the upper floor.

"So maybe someone might have died in that fire," he said.

Some of it makes sense. Back in the 1920s, cigarette rolling was quite common, as compared to today. And the faded housedress that the young woman wore was not of a style that girls would wear today.

Maybe someone started a fire from errant cigarette smoking on that day in the 1920s.

Maybe the girl died in the fire and came back to help me so that it might not happen again.

I'll never know.

But I can quite sensibly assert that I am one of the 40% or so of Americans who have seen a ghost.

Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bill Foster and Melissa Bean's Immigration Control Ratings: Pitiable, Pitiful

Melissa Bean and Bill Foster are the two Chicago-area Congressthings who slipped into office in traditionally Republican districts due to the flagrant ineptitude of their GOP predecessors.

Bean, who looks more and more like a butch, girls' High School P.E. teacher each year, has a career C for her votes on immigration control from the authoritative Numbers USA ratings.

She was uncharacteristically more conservative on immigration, this past year, getting a B -- obviously in anticipation of a serious GOP electoral challenge. She needed that to crank her career ratings up to a C, so you can imagine her previous years' votes.

Here is the Beaner's voting record.

She voted to include illegal aliens into the Obamacare socialized medicine scheme and to allow illegal aliens to vote in US union elections.

Bill Foster, who resembles a befuddled High School principal, got a C-minus.

He also voted to include illegals into Obama's free health care scheme. And despite making rhetorical noises about supporting border control, he refused to sign a discharge petition to allow consideration of a bill to seriously control the border -- a bill which his dominatrix, Nancy Pelosi, has ordered to be buried in committee.

Here is Milquetoast Bill's voting record.

These Democrat "moderate" poseurs aren't serious about borders, language and culture.

Just think how the immigration control percentages would skyrocket in these two districts, should Joe Walsh and Randy Hultgren replace these two characters.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Amnesty Mike" Quigley is Illegal Alien's Best Gringo Amigo in IL

In the course of squeaking out a victory in the 12 person field of candidates vying to replace Congressman Rahm Emmanuel in 2009, Mike Quigley fashioned himself as the "moderate" in the race.

His campaign manager told me that his boy was the only candidate who could hold off the "radical" Jan Schakowsky clone, State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz.

Quigley also emphasized his independence from the absurd Todd Stroger while on the Cook County Board and his alliance with anti-machine reformer, Forrest Claypool.

His campaign crafted an image as the "reasonable" Democrat -- the voice of moderation.

It didn't take long for Mike Quigley to show his true colors as a rabid open-borders, amnesty enthusiast -- the illegal alien's best amigo in the Illinois Congressional delegation.

According to the Numbers USA report card on Congress, Quigley has managed to chalk up the worst record in the entire delegation on immigration control with a 0% rating -- dead last among the 21 member delegation.

For Chrissakes, even Little Luis Guttierez voted favorably toward immigration control 7% of the time.

--Quigley co-sponsored a bill to grant amnesty to illegal aliens under 35 who had come into the US at a young age.

--Quigley voted to give subsidized college education to illegal aliens.

--Quigley voted to include illegal aliens for free health care under the Obamacare scheme.

--Quigley voted against requiring federal contractors to verify that their employees were not illegal aliens.

"Amnesty Mike" likes to make much of his glory days as a college hockey player.
I think he may have gotten his head slammed into the boards once too often.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mark Kirk on Immigration: Not As Bad as I Feared

I may live to regret this, but I have decided today that I will vote for Mark Kirk for the U.S. Senate.

Today, I unearthed the Numbers USA analysis of Mark Kirk's cumulative voting record on immigration issues. This issue is paramount to me and as determinative of my electoral choices as guns are to an NRA member or abortion to a Right to Lifer.

The Numbers USA analysis is, I think, the most reliable rating system that I have seen on any issue. It considers not only floor votes on final passage, but a number of behind the scenes maneuvers, such as co-sponsorships of bills, signing of discharge petitions to force votes on controversial issues and committee votes. This gives you a more lucid picture of a legislator's actual commitment to immigration control.

And to my great amazement, Mark Kirk got a B rating on immigration control for his recent legislative activities. He voted for immigration control 78% of the time. His career rating is C+. According to Numbers USA, that means he, "leans toward less immigration, less population growth, less reliance on foreign labor."

See Mark Kirk's votes on pivotal immigration control measures: here.

Surprisingly, Kirk was not the worst Illinois Republican on this score. That distinction belongs to the supposed, conservative boy-wonder, Aaron Schock, who garnered a meager C, voting for immigration control only 52% of the time.

But Kirk is running against, Alexi Giannoulias (banker to the mob) who fashions himself a clone of socialist Congresswoman, Jan Schakowsky and lefty Sen. Dick Durbin.

They both merited F- ratings on immigration control.

Giannoulias unabashedly advertises his support for the ridiculously named, "Dream Act," which would give taxpayer subsidized college educations to illegal aliens. Moreover he chided Kirk for not joining him in supporting it.

You can see the complete immigration control ratings of the Illinois Congressional delegation: here.

So as much as I still harbor fears of Mark Kirk's squishy. RINO "moderation", my concern over the very imminent Congressional battles over the protection of our borders and consequent preservation of our language and culture, trump all.

So I will vote for Mark Kirk.

Even tho, I have a lingering suspicion that he will emerge as a Charles Percy-styled, pain-in-the-ass and that I will come to rue this decision.

How's that for a left-handed endorsement?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pollak Ties Down Schakowsky's Cash in the 9th

I find it genuinely amusing that ultra-liberal Congresswoman, Jan Schakowsky is actually being forced to campaign for re-election for a change.

In past election cycles, she was given a de-facto pass by the anemic local GOP organizations who fielded candidates that were woeful, at best, laughable at worst.

In 2006, the GOP opponent to Schakowsky was a clown named Michael Shannon, who said at the outset, money was an evil influence in elections, so he would not take any contributions. He spent his time, selling campaign tee shirts and totebags, and basically, agreeing with Schakowsky on most issues. He got the standard 24% GOP Congressional vote.

Then in 2008, a young, political neophyte small businessman, named Michael Younan ran. He promised to harness the massive Assyrian-American vote in the district and ride that to victory. As usual, the Assyrians were invisible politically and he too got the standard 25% GOP Congressional vote.

But this time, thirty-something, Joel Pollak, an Orthodox Jew who was born in South Africa and went to Harvard, is actually spending money and running an energetic campaign. He looks kind of like the love child that would result from a tryst between Vanessa Redgrave and Howdy Doody.

But he is actually making Schakowsky squirm a bit, and that is good fun.

As of the October 13th FEC filing, he had forced her to spend $1.2 million of her massive campaign warchest. Altho she still has about half a million cash on hand to Pollack's $450, that is money that in previous years she would have been doling out to other liberal candidates across the country.

So Pollak, is performing an admirable service by tying her resources down here, so that more conservatives can win elsewhere.

But the 9th Congressional district has been so gerrymandered that John Wayne Gacy's ghost could win on the Democratic line.

It takes in everything from nominally Republican Park Ridge to the slums of Uptown. It takes in the most liberal North Suburban communities like Skokie and Evanston and the populous gay "Boystown" around Halsted and Belmont.

Even in this promising Republican year, Pollak, despite having spent more than a half-mil and having run a colorfully energetic campaign, would need a miracle to beat Schakowsky.

He'll get more than the standard 25% knee-jerk, Republican vote. He might even break into the 40th percentile. But the aging socialist windbag, Schakowsky will return to Congress. This time, however, in the House minority.

Still it's fun to see Schakowsky squirm a bit for a change.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Richard Crowe: Chicago Ghost Hunter, Renaissance Man and Reagan Conservative

I know Richard Crowe.

Most Chicagoans who watch TV or listen to the radio will surely hear of him or see him in the coming weeks as we approach Halloween -- or as it is called in the Roman Catholic disposition -- All Hallows Eve -- or All Souls Day.

Richard Crowe is the pre-eminent ghost hunter in the Chicago metropolitan area -- if not in the entire nation. And if there is one venue that is awash with ghosts and mysterious entities -- it is Chicago.

I first met Richard Crowe, back in the early 1980s. He was conducting one of his regular meetings of ghost aficianados (a rather strange lot to say the least) at a non-descript bar somewhere in the near Southwestern suburbs.

I was only there because one of my fellow Chicago conservatives knew Richard and he thought it would be amusing to go to his event. So a bunch of us young conservatives tagged along. (Richard, if you're wondering who the ringleader was, let me just say that the initials of Edgar Allan Poe were incorporated into his North Shore given name.)

So we went to this dreary bar -- made eminently less dreary, in our perception, by copious consumption of bourbon-based potables.

There, Richard Crowe was holding court amongst a devoted group of fellow ghost hunters.

There were about 20 of them there -- the throng swelled by about 6 of us fun-loving, booze guzzling, skeptical, Chicago conservatives out for a bit of South suburban slumming.

One woman brought forth a hand-held cassette tape recorder, which she had placed on a grave and told us to listen to the sounds that it had picked up.

She swore that it was saying: "Minnah ---- Minnah"

It sounded like so much tape static to me, but the woman was convinced.

Minnah, is in fact a Jewish woman's nomenclature.

Anyway, the glorified seance ended and Richard repaired to a neighboring pizza joint with us, his fellow conservatives.

I remember that the big-screen TV there was playing an MTV video of the Jefferson Starship singing their new hit, "We Built This City on Rock 'N Roll," and Richard Crowe (more than several years my senior,) commenting on how Gracie Slick was still looking hot after all these years.

I begged to differ.

So anyway, that is my experience with Richard Crowe.

By virtue of his very inspiring example, I, along with a woman named, Sandy Troutman, put together a "Ghost Tour" of Washington, D.C., just for fun, in the early 80's, which was covered by the Style section of the Washington Post.

Thank you, Richard.

The man is truly an interesting Chicago original.

I hope I won't be harming his business by pointing out that he is also a die-hard, Reagan Conservative. We love him for that!

He is also a fellow, fallen-away Roman Catholic, who, I believe, was the first person who ever uttered to me the telling, and quite memorable phrase: "I didn't leave the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church left me."

What is it with we cradle Catholics and ghosts?

(More than 40% of surveyed Americans believe that they have seen a ghost. On All Hallows Eve (Halloween), I will post the story and total account of the ghost that I actually and truly saw, some 16 years ago in East Rogers Park, Chicago.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chicago Sun Times "Writes Want They Want"

Most everyone in Chicago knows by now that the Chicago Sun Times is a mere shade of its former self. These days it runs more pages than some college newspapers -- barely enough paper to take care of a good sized bird cage.

Apparently it has also abandoned the idea of copy editing altogether.

Seen on the front page of today's "Sunday Show" section: a 24 point sub-headline on a story about the Sugarland, country and Western act. It read: "Duo's sound idea is to play want they want."

Apparently they just rely on spellcheck at the CST these days, which, of course, won't catch a glaring error like that -- and in a headline, no less.

The CST's prospects for survival are about as good as those of Nguyen Van Thieu's South Vietnamese regime in early 1975.

I am shedding as many tears about this as I did when Isvestia suffered a massive circulation drop after Premier Gorbachev's ouster.

And when the Sun-Times finally bites the dust, just where will Lynn Sweet be able to pawn off her shamelessly idolatrous puff pieces about her beloved boy Obama? Where will Mary Mitchell be able to peddle her racialist Afrocentric claptrap?

Maybe Barack will be able to find a White House PR spot as a payoff to his fawning devotee, Lynn. Maybe Rev. Jeremiah Wright needs a PR person and can put Mitchell on his "church" payroll.

In both cases, it would be a seamless transition.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

That Zany WGN Radio: Laski Leads In To Prof. Rosenberg's Show With B.O. Discussion

Just what are they thinking at WGN Radio 720 AM?

I am a lifelong Chicagoan. I like to think that I have some modicum of understanding of the provincial character of this city.

But I have to admit that I am truly mystified by the decision of the Chicago Tribune's, clear-channel radio megastation to give a regular 32 state audience to Jim Laski.(above left)

He is the former Democrat Alderman and elected Chicago City Clerk who went to the federal pen for pocketing $48,000 in bribes and telling the bribers to lie to the Feds about it.

This Chicago machine pol, now in his mid-fifties, is out of the slammer and they have given him a radio program on WGN, one of the major radio outlets in the USA, which issues from Chicago's storied Tribune Tower.

His speech is of the “dems and dese and dose” variety often heard at dingy sorts of corner bars on the “Nort-West and Sout-West” sides of the city.

He thinks that discussions of body odor are uproariously good talk-radio fodder.

WGN puts him on the air every weekday night and has him fill in on some weekend slots.

While this is going on, Dr. Milt Rosenberg's, Extension 720 – an evening WGN broadcast of some three decades of standing and national renown, has been relegated to a later hour and sketchy periodic regularity. It is most nights now, pre-empted by Blackhawks hockey or Cubs nightgame broadcasts.

Rosenberg, (photo right) a professor emeritus of the University of Chicago, conducts a program, so uniquely erudite and seriously insightful in character, that every major author in the English speaking world would literally kill to get on it.

His guests over the years have included British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, Henry Kissinger and President Jimmy Carter, to name just a very few.

The other night, Milt's guests were law professors from Northwestern and Loyola Universities, who specialize in effecting the exoneration of wrongfully incarcerated prisoners. They were accompanied by two young black men who were the victims of Chicago police and Cook County State's Attorney prosecutorial misconduct – and whom these pro-bono legal advocates ultimately cleared after years of wrongful incarceration.

The lead-in to this disturbingly cogent, two hour discussion was Jim Laski's show.

Moments before Laski had been guffawing on the airwaves like a giddy high-school sophomore, about people who he encountered at the “Jewels” who had bad body odor.

He was fielding calls from his, I suspect, quite limited audience, about this pressing topic.

I suspect in the coming weeks he will be doing shows which will look into the salient issues of farts and boogers.

I've noticed that when Laski does the intro to Dr. Rosenberg's subsequent show, Milt doesn't acknowledge him as he did personalities who formerly preceded him.

No more than an Arabian stallion would acknowledge the presence of a barn-fly.

I don't blame him at all.

But just what are they thinking over at WGN Radio?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Be Niggardly With Your Jigger

Here is the brain teaser of the day: use the words, jigger and niggardly in a proper English sentence.

I came up with: James Bond instructed the bartender to pour only a tiny jigger of vermouth and not to be niggardly with the gin. (And a proper martini is shaken -- not stirred.)

I bring this up, because the latest PC atrocity to come down in Chicago is, of course, the brouhaha over Illinois U.S. Senate candidate, Mark Kirk's, use of the word, "jigger."

While speaking privately to campaign operatives about the need to send ballot security lawyers into heavily black Democratic districts to safeguard against vote fraud, he used the dreaded word.

Here's what he said:

"These are lawyers and other people that will be deployed in key, vulnerable precincts, for example, South and West sides of Chicago, Rockford, Metro East, where the other side might be tempted to jigger the numbers somewhat".

This immediately brought down the wrath of one Chicago Alderman, Freddrenna Lyle.(photo right)

She said the use of the word "jigger," was racist. She also said she was shocked, shocked that someone would imply that there is ever vote fraud in Chicago, a town known for deceased people voting early and often.

"For him to insinuate that there is some vote fraud going on in these communities is just an insult to the hundreds and hundreds of people who serve as election judges on elections. I find it disgraceful and insulting," said the easily insulted Alderwoman Lyle.

"The problem I had is that it sounds so much like another word," said one black minister, the Rev. Albert Tyson.

So now we learn that the word "jigger," which Webster's defines as: "to alter, re-arrange, or manipulate" has made the lefty PC list of forbidden words.

This reminds me of a case a few years back when an instructor at a Baltimore area community college, was actually fired for using the word, "niggardly."

Webster's defines that as meaning: "grudgingly mean about spending or granting, cheap, miserly."

Everyone who has studied 18th or 19th century English literature had to learn that word so as to be able to decipher the vocabulary of the authors of that era.

But apparently, that too has made the list of liberal banned words.

A poster at a suburban library informs me that this is "Book Burning Month," to inform citizens of the horrors of book burning and censorship.

In Chicago it has become "Word Banning Month" -- courtesy of the black racialist hucksters who are ever alert for inane reasons to be offended.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Naperville YMCA's Monument to Village People's Gay Anthem

Sometimes you just have to wonder what they're putting into the water system out in Naperville.

An ostensibly staid, Republican, white bread community, Naperville has a knack for pulling off the zaniest capers.

Last year, they gave permission to their female cops to appear on the reality TV show,"Female Forces." The women cops then proceeded to use their citizens as props for the show. When short of real action to show the camera crews, they made chickenshit arrests, effectively using their own citizens as props, and proceeded to get the town sued for massive civil rights violations.

This was chronicled on these pages last December. Read about it here.

Now, word comes from the Chicago Tribune, that the Fry YMCA in Naperville is celebrating its centennial by commissioning a sculpture (see above left) depicting 4 little kids dancing to the Village People's gay disco anthem "YMCA."

They unveiled the sculpture this past Sunday.

Make no mistake about it, "YMCA" was a decided tribute to the homosexual lifestyle. It was performed by a concocted singing act called the Village People. The performers assumed the personae of assorted gay fantasy images: a leather-wearing biker, a barechested Red Indian, a hard hat construction worker, a cowboy, a cop and a sailor (see photo right.)

The song, which became a big hit during the waning days of the disco era, became a crowd favorite in gay bars with names like "The Manhandler" and "The Glory Hole," (yes, there actually were gay bars in Chicago in the late 70s that had those names.)

(Why is it that gay men seem obsessed by sex? When I was in my bar-hopping, picking up chicks phase, we frequented bars with places having names like "The Lodge," and "The Third Edition." There were no clubs having names like: "The T&A Lounge," or "Big-Uns," which would have been the hetero equivalent had the same obsession applied.)

Anyway, the song itself reinforced the image of YMCAs of the time as being overt hangouts for closeted homosexuals.

"You can get yourself clean,
You can have a good meal
You can do whatever you feel,"


"They have everything
For young men to enjoy
You can hang out with all the boys
We're going to go to the

Now why the mullahs of the Naperville YMCA would think it a good idea to monumentize this, rather tawdry, part of its institutional past is quite beyond me.

It would be rather like a German trade delegation adopting Mel Brooks' showtune, "Springtime for Hitler and Germany," as its theme song. It was a cute, tongue-in-cheek song, had a bouncy tune, but wouldn't be the kind of association they would necessarily want to bring to mind.

So now we depict little kids dancing along to an unquestionably gay anthem -- and people thinking it's normal-- and cute.

I'm inclined to think that this is the kind of thing that the University of Chicago Professor Emeritus, WGN's Milt Rosenberg, is referring to when he speaks of," the coarsening of the culture."

We've come a long way from the days when CBS TV wouldn't show Elvis below the waist due to his suggestively gyrating hips. And from the days when Rob and Laura Petrie, married tho they were, could only be filmed in separate single beds.

We've come a long way.

By the way. Is it still called the "Young Mens' Christian Association"?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Al Stewart: Time Passages -- Happy Birthday to Me (And to all of us -- Each and Every One)

I didn't care to write this last week, because it was my birthday.

In recent years that has become a day of contemplation -- and confusion.

Birthdays are days of great fun when you're a little kid.

Your mom invites all your friends over -- gives you ice cream and cake -- and your mom and dad give you a great new gift.

Then you get a tad older and your mom says -- it's your birthday -- so you get to tell us whatever you want to have for dinner.

I would always ask for steak and a baked potato and a salad with thousand island dressing (OK I had rather pedestrian tastes as a teenager.)

When I became a college boy, I would ask for a steak and french fries and a salad with thousand island dressing and red onions. (A marginal culinary improvement.)

And then birthdays begin to blur.
They began to take on eminently less importance.

I remember my 30th birthday when a Southern girl -- who had the hots for me -- called me up with about 3 of her girlfriends on the conference call -- and they were hooting and hollering about how I had just turned the big 3-0.

And I quite distinctly remember my 32nd birthday, quite fondly, when a bunch of the girls from my co-ed softball team came over to my office and insisted on taking me out for lunch to a very nice restaurant on the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol.

I was the former superstar of our team, who had become the eminence grise of the team and who played 1st base, batted fifth and managed these younger kids into winning the Congressional League Southern States Tournament.

I was so happy that these girls appreciated what I had done. One of them, a die-hard German-American conservative from Idaho, wanted to marry me. I put her off, because I didn't think she was gorgeous enough for me.

I was an idiot.

So now birthdays are a time for reflection -- sometimes melancholy -- sometimes uplifting.

On this birthday, It has occurred to me that I have lived to an older age than the following people -- who I used to view as scary older guys:

--- I have outlived John Lennon
--- I have outlived James Dean
--- I have outlived President John F. Kennedy
--- I have outlived "John-John" John F. Kennedy Jr. (who was born in the same year as I was)
--- I have outlived Elvis


But, while in previous years this would have been a cause for some modicum of depression, it is not this year.

Did you know that Ray Kroc of Northfield, IL did not start his first McDonald's restaurant, which was in Des Plaines, IL, until he was 56?

Did you know that W. Clement Stone, of the North Side of Chicago, did not start the Combined Insurance Company of North America, until he was in his 60s? (And he did it during the Great Depression.)

So while Al Stewart (see above video clip) only had two great hits in his life, he made millions, became a very nice and quite modest husband and father.

It occurs to me that we all may have had one or two hits in the past -- but we certainly still have a few more -- and perhaps bigger -- hits left in us.

Happy Birthday to us all!!!

"Now I'm not the kind to live in the past
The years run too short
And the days too fast."

Saturday, October 2, 2010

University of Wisconsin Badgers Are The New Cubs -- Loveable Losers

Two little Chicago vignettes about the University of Wisconsin Badgers.

Yesterday, while at the outdoor cafe of the Dominicks/Starbucks at Ridge and Pratt, I saw a yuppiesque fellow in a Mustang ragtop which sported Illinois plates, "ON WI 1."

Obviously, despite his transplantation to Chicago, he was still a die-hard UW Badgers fan, (On Wi, being an abbreviation of the opening words to the University of Wisconsin fight song, "On Wisconsin.")

Later on Saturday, I ran into a recent UW grad in Wrigleyville, who gave me a plastic Bucky Badger beer mug and who expressed great optimism over the Badgers Big 10 opener against Michigan State which was about to commence in several hours.

I told him, that as UW alum, (I did my undergraduate work there) I was a veteran of many more Badger seasons than he. Consequently, I was a bit less sanguine about the Badger's prospects for the coming season.

"The Badgers are always overranked," I said. "Just watch, they'll squeak out 5 or 6 Big 10 wins, creep up in the national rankings and then fall to pieces against some pissant team, like Northwestern or Illinois," I said.

Besides, I have been a Cub fan all my life. I am accustomed to high hopes culminating in massive betrayal.

Well, I hate to say, I told him so, but a mere 4 hours later, the vaunted UW Badgers, ranked # 11 in the nation, were blown away by #24 ranked Michigan State 34-24.

We Cub fans know about great expectations resulting in dashed hopes.

It's something that the cheesehead kids are slowly beginning to fathom in Brett Bielema's 4th season of ambivalent teeter tawter leadership.

Let's face it.

The University of Wisconsin Badgers are the Chicago Cubs of the Big 10.

Oh, well.


(And if the season proceeds any further like this, it will definitely be a a case of Wisconsin Big-10 ennui.)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Children of New Immigrants Torment Gay Rutgers Student to Death

The big sensational news story this morning is about the gay student at Rutgers University who jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge.

Tyler Clementi, a budding violinist, was surreptitiously taped by his roomate on webcam in a gay sexual encounter. The roomate, one Dharun Ravi (above left) in cahoots with a friend, one Molly Wei (above right) then broadcast the explicit images over the internet.

Truly a dirty trick, if there ever was one. Irrespective of what one might think about the nature of Clementi's acts, any decent libertarian-minded person will defend the right of consenting people to do what they will in the privacy of their own rooms.

What strikes me as odd, is the scarcity of photos of the alleged perpetrators, who have been charged with two counts of invasion of privacy.

If the dirty tricksters had been white male athletes or fraternity boys, the mainstream media would have been salivating and calling for a lynch mob. Just recall the outrageous media behavior during the phony rape allegations against the white male members of the Duke LaCrosse team.

But alas, the evildoers here were the children of recent immigrants -- in Ravi's case, from India and in Pei's, from China.

These are people of color. These are beloved "new Americans." In the media's playbook, they're supposed to be perpetual victims of white American treachery.

So when they turn out to be lower than pond scum, the media clams up. Photos of these Asian creeps are hard to find on the internet.

But as the savants at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights chant, "our diversity is our strength."