Sunday, January 31, 2010
Frankly, I am sick of the campaign season. I am sick of getting pummelled by campaign ads.
Since we can't help but hear them, now we know that Andy McKenna is an "outsider" even tho he was the State Chairman of the Republican Party and his megabucks daddy knows and is shaking down every corporate high roller in the five county Chicago area to pay for those ads.
And we now know that every Republican candidate is going to hold the line on taxes and every Democrat is going to clean up the corruption in Springfield and transform Cook County government into a pristine model of good governance to rival that of the ancient Greek city-states.
We hear that big-spender Elizabeth Coulson has newly discovered the joys of opposing tax hikes and that Toni Preckwinkle will cut her own salary, if elected, even tho she voted 4 times to raise her salary before.
And how is it that all the Lt. Governor and comptroller candidates are now going to become jobs creation czars? Last I heard the job descriptions for those useless posts called respectively for going to funerals in the Governor's absence and putting the right check into the right envelope.
Anyone who believes even of tenth of the campaign blather we're hearing probably was excitedly nodding his head in agreement when the hellish Nixon solemnly declared, "I am not a crook," and when the absurd Jimmy Carter heaved up, "I will never lie to you."
The true believers probably felt Chris Matthew's girlish excitement and leg quivers when Geo. Bush The First somberly pronounced, "Read my lips. No new taxes!!" Or when Obama the Magnificent promised to close Guantanamo no later than Jan. 21, 2010.
But we must vote Tuesday. It is our civic duty -- especially if we ever want the Alderman to give us a new garbage can or to patch a gaping pothole. You see, they keep track.
So as long as we must vote, we might as well have a few laughs.
I say, vote for the candidate who has the funniest name when you rearrange all the letters.
Herewith is the Chicago Lampoon's sample ballot of anagramatic candidate names. If you don't believe me, just check out all the letters and you'll see that they all add up. Vote early and often for the ones that make you bust a gut. You may take this with you into the polling place.
U.S. SENATE (Vote for 1)
Alexi Giannoulias --- (Asexual Ani Oiling)
Robert Marshall --- (Rambler Harlots)
Cheryle Jackson --- (Shy Jock Cleaner)
Jacob J. Meister --- (Ejects a Rim Job)
David Hoffman --- (Hid Off Mad Van)
GOVERNOR (Vote for 1)
Pat Quinn --- (Nut Pan Qi)
Daniel W. Hynes --- (Had Nils Weeny)
Congress 10th District (Vote for 1)
Daniel J. Seals --- (A Endless Jail)
Julie Hamos --- (He Jam Oil Us)
U.S. SENATE (Vote for 1)
Kathleen Thomas --- (Make Health Snot)
Mark Steven Kirk --- (RE: Mark's Vet Kink)
Andy Martin --- (Tinny Drama)
Donald (Don) Lowery --- (Worn Addled Loony)
John Arrington --- (Tinhorn Jargon)
Patrick J. Hughes --- (Chap Her Jugs, Kit)
GOVERNOR (Vote For 1)
Bill Brady --- (Blab Drily)
Kirk W. Dillard --- (Wild Lark, Dirk)
Adam Andrzejewski --- (I Jerk Amazed Wands)
Andy McKenna --- (Damn Any Neck)
Dan Proft --- (Fart Pond)
Jim Ryan ---(In My Jar)
CONGRESS 10th District(Vote For 1)
Arie Friedman --- (Nerdier Mafia)
Paul Hamann --- (Anal Ham Pun)
Dick Green --- (Cinder Keg)
Robert Dold --- (Border Dolt)
Elizabeth Coulson* --- (A Sullen Ethnic Bozo)
*Elizabeth Coulson provides too many wild anagrams to list here including many that would be offensive to children or sensitive readers. So here they are:
(The Ozone Bacillus, Cuties Blazon Hole, A Bullies Hot Cozen, Too Sizeable Lunch, Baize Colon Sleuth, Colonize Able Tush, Absolute Zinc Hole, A Schizo Bone Tulle, The Sizeable Uncool, A Bluenose Loch Zit, Incubates Zoo Hell, A Biz Counsel Helot, A Blueish Clot Zone and many many more.)
The anagramatic analysis of the Cook County Board(Toady Bunco Crook)Presidential candidates is proffered in the preceding post where, on the strength of her anagrams, Toni Preckwinkle (New Pinko Tickler) narrowly edged out Dorothy Brown (Born Rowdy Hot)for endorsement.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Most newspaper endorsements are fashioned by a process whereby the candidate goes before an austere editorial board, which pummels him or her with finely honed, incisive questions on the important issues confronting the office in question.
I find that boring.
Consequently the Chicago Lampoon will base its endorsements on the far more dependable and interesting system of looking at the candidate's name in anagram and choosing the funniest.
An anagram, of course is the rearrangement of all of the letters in a word so as to make some other word or words.
In the heated Democratic primary race for Cook County Board President the choice is very difficult indeed. All the candidates provide anagramatically amusing constructs.
MWRD President, Terrence J. O'Brien, for instance, becomes Born Cretin Jeer. His letters also translate into Bone Reject in Err. Not bad, but not exactly knee slappers.
Incumbent President Todd Stroger's name spells out Red Dog Trots. That can be funny if you view it in the context of the colloquialistic term that Wisconsinites use for diarrhea, i.e. the trots.
But the ladies in the race offer far better anagramatic possibilities.
County Clerk of Courts, Dorothy Brown's letters heave up Born Rowdy Hot, Horny Bod Wort and Thrown by Odor. Those are pretty good, indeed.
Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, however, narrowly, has her beaten with a wealth of wonderful anagrams: Wet Pinko Clinker, Nice Twinkle Pork, New Pinko Tickler and my personal favorite -- Twin Knocker Pile.
So after long and arduous deliberation, the editorial board of the Chicago Lampoon endorses Toni Preckwinkle for Cook County Board -- or Wet Pinko Clinker for Toady Bunco Crook.
On the Republican side, the choice is considerably easier. We recommend former State Sen. Roger Keats (Rage Stoker or Gators Reek) over Retired Chicago Policeman, John Garrido (Jarring Hood.)
You may take this voters guide with you to the polls.
Friday, January 29, 2010
While the infidel women shamelessly paraded their near-nakedness at the Miss America Contest in "Sin City" Las Vegas today, these modestly attired Islamic beauties competed in the 1st annual Miss Sharia Chicago pageant. Here, contestants take a break from the competition for a photo-op. The pageant is being held on Western Avenue in Chicago's West Rogers Park, where empty commercial storefronts are being filled by Muslim places of worship at the rate of about 2 a month.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
All four Democratic candidates for Cook County Board President appeared together this past Sunday in a West Rogers Park forum, moderated by WTTW's Carol Marin.
The event was sponsored by a new group calling itself, "The Rogers Park Organization," and it printed handbills announcing the event on paper which showed the computer signature of the local Alderman, Berny Stone's, campaign organization.
Before a predominately Jewish audience at Temple Menorah on California Ave., the four Democratic hopefuls spouted the predictable political pablum and then answered questions written by the audience and submitted to Marin for review.
Most were about the well publicized scandals surrounding the four.
County Board President, Todd Stroger lamely defended his nepotistic hiring practices saying that he only had two relatives on the County payroll and that he couldn't order them not to take 6 figure county jobs.
Ald. Toni Preckwinkle said that she hadn't taken any more money from shady developer, Tony Rezko, since she found out he was letting his properties run down in her ward.
County Clerk, Dorothy Brown said that funds from her "blue jean day" shakedown of her employees all went to charity.
Water Reclamation Board President, Terry O'Brien said that he had no patronage employees and had no control over the stink that wafts down Birchwood Ave. from his water treatment plant and wondered why Preckwinkle had voted to raise her own pay four times.
With the scandal explanations out of the way, Marin, to her great credit, passed along to them a substantive and seldom asked question.
She asked them: "Do you believe that Cook County taxpayers should be expected to underwrite the costs of non-emergency medical treatment for illegal aliens at Cook County's Stroger Hospital.?"
Without so much as batting an eyelash, all four essentially said yes.
(Are you taking notes, Roger Keats?)
The question is an important one given the Cook county's woeful fiscal situation. It's a salient one given the county's highest in the nation sales taxes and the new 5% property tax increases that county homeowners are now getting in the mail.
Due to the strictures of political correctness and the desire of these four candidates to pander to the Latino vote, it is a seldom asked question.
But it is the 800 pound elephant in the room.
Back in 2007, the chief of Cook County medical services, Dr. Robert Simon, was almost run out of town on a rail when he dared to testify that uncollectable services to illegal aliens were a major cause of the county medical system's budgetary problems.
"The taxpayers are paying the entire bill for all these undocumented aliens and our primary concern should be for the taxpayers and citizens," he told the Daily Southtown.
He said that the county was providing long-term care to nearly 30 illegal aliens at its Oak Forest Hospital facility at a cost of $800 per patient per day.
By my calculations, that alone comes to almost $3 million in services to just these few indigent people, who aren't legitimately even supposed to be in the country.
And immigration control activist, Rosanna Pulido, said at the time that nearly 40% of all services rendered by the Cook county medical system went for the illegal alien population.
But in that same year, 2007, the County Board voted to make Cook a "sanctuary county," meaning that hospital admissions personnel were then precluded from even inquiring as to the legality of one's presence in the country.
So we really can't know how massive the problem may be. But Dr. Simon, the man with day-to-day oversight of the system sure thought it was significant.
So the bottom line is -- anyone, from anywhere on the face of the earth -- if they can just somehow manage to get to 1900 W. Polk in Chicago -- can receive 1st world medical care, courtesy of the taxpayers of Cook County.
It kind of makes Stroger Hospital the new Lourdes of the USA.
Maybe Daley's office of tourism can cash in by promoting it as such and by sponsoring international pilgrimages to this great healing shrine.
And I want the concession for sales of the sacred statues and relics of patron Saints Stroger, Preckwinckle, Brown and O'Brien. I will sell them to the hordes of pilgrims as they get off the bus on Polk Street.
Haiti has been much in the news lately and I felt obliged to add my commentary on the situation because Haiti is one country that has always been close to my heart.
You see, I had the good fortune to have spent some hours at the Haitian Embassy in Washington, D.C. in 1985 swilling rum with members of the Haitian Air Force.
Yes, Haiti had an Air Force. I am not sure why they needed one. Perhaps to deter the acquisitive tendencies of the imperialist Dominican Republic. But they had an Air Force. It only consisted of a few WWII vintage U.S. surplus Mustang fighter planes and some Korean War vintage U.S. surplus helicopters.
But the 5 foot 1 inch tall Haitian Air Force General with whom I got smashed had a really swell uniform, complete with epaulets, gold braid and more medals than the Red Army's Marshall Zhukov.
So one fine summer day, a friend of mine from the international press corps told me that we were invited to a reception at the Haitian embassy and we went.
Haiti was then, as today, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere but it had a really palatial French-styled greystone townhouse on Washington's chic Embassy Row. And their diplomatic personnel really knew how to throw a party.
I must confess, I really remember very little of that long ago evening other than conversing with the Air Force General in my High School French (altho stationed in the US, he spoke not a word of English.) After the 3rd or 12th fruity rum drink we seemed to have been conversing fluently and generally having an all around swell Caribbean time.
This was all during the waning days of the regime of Baby Doc Duvalier.
Baby Doc was the pudgy son of the black nationalist President Dr. Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier. Unlike his father, Baby Doc never got an MD, but he did spend a lot of time drinking and chasing skirts.
He inherited the Presidency at age 19 and proceeded to piss off his father's devoted black nationalist constituency by marrying a light-skinned Creole divorcee. So with the country on the verge of yet another coup d'etat, the Reagan administration advised him to quietly leave the country.
So just a few months after this Embassy soiree, the 35 year old, Baby Doc took his hot wife and his suitcases, which were stuffed with U.S dollars and gold bullion and flew off to retirement in Paris.
His hot wife soon divorced him and ran off with much of his cash. He is said to live somewhat modestly in Paris today.
I wonder if he still throws such swell parties.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
ANALYSIS & OPINION BY RUSS STEWART
(Russ Stewart (above) is a Chicago attorney and longtime political analyst for the NW Side Nadig newspapers. He regularly appears on WLS-AM's "Political Shootout.")
Contrary to creationists’ insistence that there is “intelligent design” in the origin of the human species, there is no evidence of that phenomenon among Illinois’ Republicans. Because of stupid choices in the 1996 and 1998 senatorial primaries, Republicans unintentionally foisted Dick Durbin and Barack Obama upon America. That’s “unintelligent design.”
However, the upcoming Republican primaries for governor, U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative in the North Shore 10th District are positively Darwinian.
The Republican species is now adapting to the survival of the most electable. The presence or absence of “movement” conservatives in key races is critical. The Feb. 2 winners will be Andy McKenna, Mark Kirk and Bob Dold. Here’s why:
U.S. Senator: Kirk, a bland but credible liberal who supports gun control, abortion choice and gay rights, should be toast in a Republican primary. But he will win. The reason: 2010 is not 1996 or 1998. Beleaguered Republicans want a winner.
Kirk may be another Bob Kustra or Loleta Didrickson. But there is no Al Salvi or Peter Fitzgerald, spending millions of their own dollars, to beat him.
The array of 2010 Republican candidates for Barack Obama’s former seat includes Kirk, a North Shore congressman since 2000, who faces desultory opposition from Hinsdale developer Pat Hughes; retired judge Don Lowery; incendiary blogster Andy Martin, who is attacking Kirk’s sexual orientation; Harvey management consultant John Arrington, who is black; Kathy Thomas, a Springfield school board member; and Bob Zadek, a Rockford realtor.
In 1996, after Paul Simon’s (D) retirement, Republicans were certain they would win his Senate seat. Kustra, then Illinois’ lieutenant governor, was the choice of the Republican establishment, headed by Governor Jim Edgar. Kustra was deemed to be the most electable candidate.
But Kustra was also viewed as a “moderate.” And Salvi, a state representative from Wauconda in western Lake County, spent $1.1 million, positioned himself as a Newt Gingrich-type “revolutionary,” and won an upset by 377,141-342,935 (47.6 percent), a margin of 34,206 votes in a turnout of 791,645. Salvi won 48 of 102 counties, beat Kustra in Cook County by 3,762 votes, and won the collar counties of DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Will by 129,640-107,283, a margin of 22,257 votes. Downstate, Salvi won by over 8,000 votes. The Republicans’ DNA rejected electability in favor of purity.
In the ensuing election, Democrat Dick Durbin excoriated Salvi as an “extremist,” and crushed him by 2,384,028-1,728,824 (56.1 percent), a margin of 655,204 votes. Now Durbin, the Senate’s majority whip, is poised to become the Democratic majority leader, as Harry Reid’s “light-skinned” comments about Obama will sink his already foundering 2010 re-election chances in Nevada. If Reid loses, Durbin takes over. Had Kustra won in 1996, Durbin would now be a college professor.
In 1998, when accidental incumbent Carol Moseley Braun (D) sought a second term, Republicans had another tempestuous ideological primary: Then-comptroller Didrickson, from the party’s “moderate” Edgar-Kustra wing, faced conservative Peter Fitzgerald, a Palatine state senator. In a replication of 1996, Fitzgerald, the big-spending underdog and outsider, beat Didrickson by 372,916-346,606 (51.8 percent), in a turnout of 719,522. In the election, Fitzgerald defeated Braun by 1,709,041-1,610,496 (50.3 percent), a margin of 98,545 votes.
Fitzgerald was a principled, independent-minded conservative, but he refused to spend five years stockpiling money and frenetically campaigning. After one term, Fitzgerald retired. Had Didrickson been nominated and elected, she would have compiled a liberal record, raised $5 million, and sought a second term in 2004. There would have been no open seat in 2004. Obama may or may not have run, and, if he had, he certainly would not have won by 3,597,456-1,390,690 (69.8 percent). Didrickson, as the incumbent, would have been tough to beat.
Rod Blagojevich acknowledged that recent magazine remarks were “stupid, stupid, stupid.” So, too, have been Republican choices for senator. It can plausibly be argued that, but for the 372,916 Illinois conservatives who backed Fitzgerald in the 1998 primary, Obama would not have become senator in 2004 and president in 2008.
Luckily for Kirk, Hughes is no Salvi or Fitzgerald. Hughes has plenty of issues with which to pummel Kirk, but not enough money. Hughes is ripping Kirk as a “reckless spender,” supporter of cap-and-trade and the bank bailout, and a liberal on social issues and the 2nd Amendment. Kirk, however, opposed to the Obama Administration’s health care initiatives and TARP funding.
For conservative Republicans, Kirk is the tough to swallow. They know he will be an obnoxiously liberal senator, but they’ve learned their lesson. Electing a Democrat like David Hoffman, Alexi Giannoulias or Cheryle Jackson would create another liberal monster.
The magic number for Kirk is 60 percent. Any less would be an embarrassment. A December Chicago Tribune poll put Kirk at 41 percent, Hughes at three percent, and 46 percent undecided. My prediction: Kirk will win with 67 percent.
Governor: It only took one Republican to elect Blagojevich in 2002, and that was corrupt Governor George Ryan. In an oust-every-Republican year, Jim Ryan, then state attorney general, got caught in the undertow, losing to Blagojevich by 1,847,040-1,594,960 (52.2 percent), a margin of 252,080. Blagojevich spent $10 million, carried 35 counties, and won Cook County by 468,974 votes. But it was no landslide.
Now, in 2010, Jim Ryan is back, hoping that “voters’ remorse,” coupled with his residual – and still positive – name recognition, will give him the Republican nomination. His foes are state senators Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady, wealthy businessmen Andy McKenna and Andy Andrzejewski, publicist Dan Proft, and DuPage County Board chairman Bob Schillerstrom.
Republican voters are angry and motivated, opposing any state income tax or spending hike. But no gubernatorial candidate has captured their fancy. The Chicago Tribune poll had Ryan at 26 percent, McKenna at 12, Brady at ten, Dillard at nine, the others all under three percent, and 31 percent undecided. Ryan loses if two-thirds of the “undecideds” break entirely for McKenna, Dillard or Brady; and Ryan wins if one-third breaks for him.
The outlook: Brady got 18.4 percent (135,370 votes) in the 2006 primary, largely from Downstate. He won’t crack 20 percent this time. Dillard’s ads feature Edgar’s endorsement. McKenna is spending $500,000 per week on media, and pledges no tax hike, no spending hike. Proft is calling for a “revolution” in Springfield. Ryan and Dillard do not forswear a possible income tax hike to solve the state’s budget problem. Republican insiders fear Ryan’s “baggage” will make him unelectable.
In the 2002 primary, Ryan, as the “establishment” candidate, won with 410,074 votes (44.7 percent), in a turnout of 917,759. Conservative Pat O’Malley, got 260,860 votes (28.4 percent) and liberal Corrine Wood, got 246,825 votes (26.9 percent). This year, Dillard is the “establishment” choice, but he, Ryan, and Schillerstrom are all from DuPage County, and are splitting DuPage’s 100,000 votes.
McKenna, much like Blagojevich in 2002, is unknown, undefined, and has unlimited money. He and Proft are trying to make themselves the “send-a-message” candidates. Dillard and Brady are the I-can-govern-better candidates. Ryan is running on his resume.
My prediction: McKenna has the greatest potential for growth. Hardcore conservatives will break for him. In a turnout of under 700,000, Ryan and McKenna will finish neck-and-neck: McKenna will get 182,000 votes (26 percent), to Ryan’s 168,000 (24 percent), Dillard’s 133,000 (19 percent), Brady’s 105,000 (15 percent), Proft’s 77,000 (11 percent), Schillerstrom’s 21,000 (3 percent) and Andrzejewski’s 14,000 (2 percent).
And the election will be a replication of 2002: Any competent Republican will beat the Democrat.
10th District: The primary field to succeed Kirk includes State Representative Beth Coulson (R-17), wealthy businessmen Bob Dold and Dick Green, and unknowns Paul Hamann and Arie Friedman. Coulson is liberal on social issues, but fiscally conservative; everybody else is more conservative on all issues. Kirk’s predecessor, John Porter, endorsed Coulson. The early presumption was that, with a plethora of conservatives, Coulson would win.
In 2000, with Porter’s endorsement, Kirk won the primary with 31.4 percent (19,717 votes) in a field of 11 candidates, all less liberal. The turnout was 62,805.
Coalescing anti-Obama hostility with high visibility, Dold has emerged as the “movement” conservative. It’s a two-person race. Coulson’s base is about 40 percent. But more than 75 percent of the conservatives are gravitating to Dold. “He (Dold) is a legitimate, electable alternative” to Coulson, said one Republican insider. My prediction: Dold defeats Coulson by 45 to 40 percent.
Cook County Board President: “I’m campaigning; he’s not. I’m electable; he’s not,” said John Garrido of his opponent, Roger Keats, a former state senator. Garrido, a Northwest Side Chicago police lieutenant has backing from police organizations and area Republicans. Keats has been endorsed by the bulk of Republican ward and township organizations.
The Republican nomination is valueless if Democrats nominate Toni Preckwinkle, but golden if they choose Todd Stroger, Dorothy Brown or Terry O’Brien. My prediction: In a turnout of 110,000, Keats wins with 65 percent.
Friday, January 22, 2010
With the jobless rate hitting 11 per cent, with a widespread fear and loathing of the 9 month effort to craft a socialized medicine scheme and with Obama's approval rating hitting an historic low, the Republican candidates for Congress in the Illinois 12th Congressional District have decided to focus their energies and attention on the all important issue of COUGARS!!!
That's right, cougars -- as in middle aged women who lust after younger men.
The issue was raised by Republican candidate, Theresa Kormos (above right), an eminently somber-looking practical nurse who is from O'Fallon, IL and almost certainly wears sensible shoes
She has accused her opponent in the Republican primary, Tea-Party activist, Teri Davis Newman (above left) of being pro-cougar. She bases this worrisome charge on the fact that in 2008, Ms. Newman entered a competition to be the "Ask a Cougar," advice columnist for the River Front Times, a downstate alternative newspaper, which is much like the Chicago Reader in style and appearance.
Ms. Newman did not win the competition to become the Dear Abby of the downstate doyens of inter-generational dating, but Nurse Kormos said that Newman's pursuit of the job showed "extraordinarily bad judgement."
“I don’t want my potential Congressperson embracing the idea of being a cougar, and I hope the thousands of other people within the 12th Congressional District don’t either,” Nurse Kormos said. “I have been happily married for 30 years," she pointedly added.
"She has the personality of a wet sponge," Newman told a downstate newspaper. "The whole thing is crap-ola. A big bowl of crap-ola," she delicately added.
I have seen a photo of Nurse Kormos and I believe that she is telling the truth when she says she, herself, is no cougar. And she very definitely is no MILF, by any stretch of the imagination.
The two women are vying for the right to oppose 11 term incumbent Democrat Congressman Jerry Costello in what is usually a safe Democratic district which comprises the lower Southwest corner of the state, with East St. Louis and Carbondale as its largest cities.
So far, Costello has not weighed in on the cougar controversy.
Both women are self-described conservative pro-life candidates with Nurse Kormos touting her endorsement by the Illinois Federation for the Right to Life and Newman, a wedding planning consultant, endorsed by the IL Conservative Action Network.
The stunning GOP victory in the Massachusetts Senate race last week has reportedly struck fear into the hearts of a good number of Democrat House and Senate members.
The Dems, at least, can rest easy in the Illinois 12th -- once again, saved by the not-ready-for-prime-time Illinois Republicans.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
As we endure yet another grey overcast day in the endless Chicago winter, the rosy protestations of Daley and the legions of Chicago boosters as to how this is "a world-class city," and "the greatest city in the world," tend to run a little thin.
Here are the words of some notables who, over time, expressed an eminently less favorable view:
"Chicago is unique. It is the only completely corrupt city in America."
Charles Merriam, unsuccessful mayoral candidate in 1911
"Satan (impatiently) to Newcomer: The trouble with you Chicago people is, that you think you are the best people down here; whereas you are merely the most numerous."
Mark Twain “Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar,” 1897
"When you feel like tellin a feller to go to the devil — tell him to go to Chicago — it’ll anser every purpose, and is perhaps, a little more expensive."
Mark Twain (”Snodgrass’ Ride on the Railroad”) 1856
"I have struck a city — a real city — and they call it Chicago. . . . I urgently desire never to see it again. It is inhabited by savages."
Rudyard Kipling, 1891
"Germany was the cause of Hitler as much as Chicago is responsible for the Chicago Tribune."
Alexander Woollcott, 1943
"Hell has been described as a pocket edition of Chicago."
Ashley Montagu “The American Way Of Life,” 1967
"Here is the difference between Dante, Milton, and me. They wrote about hell and never saw the place. I wrote about Chicago after looking the town over for years and years."
Carl Sandburg, 1961
"A facade of skyscrapers facing a lake and behind the facade, every type of dubiousness."
"There’s only one thing for Chicago to do, and that’s to move to a better neighborhood."
"Chicago — a pompous Milwaukee."
Leonard Louis Levinson
"Loving Chicago is like loving a woman with a broken nose."
"Chicago is an October sort of city even in spring."
Nelson Algren, Newsweek, August 13, 1984
"Your machinery is beautiful. Your society people have apologized to me for the envious ridicule with which your newspapers have referred to me. Your newspapers are comic but never amusing. Your Water Tower is a castellated monstrosity with pepperboxes stuck all over it. I am amazed that any people could so abuse Gothic art and make a structure not like a water tower but like a tower of a medieval castle. It should be torn down. It is a shame to spend so much money on buildings with such an unsatisfactory result. Your city looks positively dreary."
Oscar Wilde, February 13, 1882
"I suppose Chicago's a nice enough place, but your weather is just so filthy."
"Chicago is a great place to be from."
Friday, January 8, 2010
A little known law went into effect on this past New Years Day. that effectively gave an exemption to Indian-Americans so as to allow them to smoke indoors in the course of their tribal rituals.
In other words, while most Native Chicagoans must shiver outside bars and workplaces to grab a quick smoke, so-called, Native Americans can now puff away at leisure indoors, as long as they say they are doing so to commune with the Great Spirit.
This new exemption to the 2008 statewide indoor smoking ban was prompted by one Larry Cooper, a downstate Illinois Chickamuka-Cherokee. As chairman of something called The Standing Bear Council, he lobbied his local State Senator, John Sullivan (D-Rushville) who crafted a bill to exempt the Indians.
This past fall, the measure passed both Houses of the legislature overwhelmingly. Sullivan's bill was vetoed by Governor pro-tem, Pat Quinn, because it was attached to a larger measure, which limited his Gubenatorial powers. The House and Senate handily overrode Quinn's veto. So now the Indians can smoke indoors.
"Tobacco is a sacred herb to Native Americans," Cooper told a downstate newspaper.
I expected to hear howls of protest to the exemption from the Chicago Lung Association and the rest of the clean air crowd. After all, they have banned the paleface from smoking even in such breezy locales as Chicago beaches and Deerfield parks. But so far not a peep.
Is this yet another malicious genocidal machination on the part of the evil European invaders to kill off the Indian peoples thru lung cancer? So far, no word on that possibility either from the ever-vigilant blame-America-firsters, but it could be forthcoming.
Indians on both the North and South American continents have long used tobacco in their tribal rituals. Customarily it is smoked to signify, I am told, a oneness between man and the Great Spirit. The idea is that the smoke that man consumes can then waft up to the Great Spirit himself, who can then enjoy it second-hand.
In North America, tobacco smoking was sometimes something of a fertility ritual, as well, since ceremonial "peace pipes" used by tribes there had a long phallic stem conjoined to a bowl -- you get the picture.
But in South and Central America, Indian tribes, such as the Nicoya of Nicaragua and the Cuna of Colombia, would smoke rolled, cigar-like tobacco in their rites. The latter would pass around cups of intoxicating cooked cocao while smoking.
This sounds to me a lot like what goes on in Chicago bars (or went on -- before the 2008 ban)-- puffing away at cylindrical tobacco products while consuming intoxicating beverages.
So I am announcing the founding of a new sect to worship the Great Spirit in Chicago.
I will be the first Bishop.
Our rituals will begin with the congregation lighting up their cylindical tobacco products so as to commune with the Great Spirit by offering him up our second-hand smoke.
Then, as Bishop, I will go down the ceremonial communion rail (behind which the worshipers are seated on stools) and proffer the faithful, mugs of intoxicating fire-water. I will have ample quantities of this on draft or in bottles.
Then, during the ceremonies, the juke box will play our sacred hymns. For instance, Cherokee People, by Paul Revere and the Raiders. And Now That The Buffalo's Gone, by Buffy Sainte Marie.
And our final hymn to the Great Spirit will be Indian Lake, by the Cowsills.
"At Indian Lake
it is easy to make
the way the Indian do.
(Indian war whooping)"
This will be the exit hymn sung at closing time, which will be promptly at 2 am -- or 5 am, if we pay off the local Alderman to keep our sacred services going longer.
I forgot to mention. There will be an offering of tithes to the Great Spirit and his Bishophric in Chicago, which will be taken up with the proferring of each mug of fire-water.