Saturday, April 30, 2011

AOL's Patch Hyperlocals Trolling For Unpaid Bloggers

The AOL-owned Patch hyperlocal suburban newspaper chain announced last week that it is looking to enlist local bloggers to supply content -- for free.

This comes just as AOL finds itself in the middle of a raging controversy over unremunerated bloggers who supplied free content for years to its recently acquired Huffington Post website.

AOL bought the Huffington property for $315 million in early March, sparking indignation by an estimated 6 to 9 thousand independent bloggers who had contributed free content to the site, which pulls in some 27 million U.S. visitors a month.

The disaffected bloggers have set up an official site, filed a lawsuit against Ariana Huffington and AOL for back wages, and affiliated with Local 1981 of the National Writers Union.

They also have begun to strike against the Huffington Post site and are urging a reader boycott.

At the very same time, the Patch hyperlocal AOL property put out the appeal for unremunerated bloggers to join them.

In an announcement published in its Patch on-line local newspapers, the AOL property actually invoked the Huffington Post model:

"...bloggers will retain the rights to the content they post and will be allowed to republish it elsewhere, something our staff writers are not allowed to do. Bloggers are unpaid, but similar to the Huffington Post model, they are given a platform and audience for their views."

I don't know who's doing AOL's PR, but that kind of sounds like George Pullman putting out a call for new workers -- on the same terms -- in the middle of the bloody 1894 strike.

AOL operates Patch hyperlocals in 18 states and the District of Columbia. In the Chicago area it has properties in Skokie, Evanston, Highland Park, Northbrook, Glenview, Niles, Morton Grove, Wilmette-Kenilworth, Winnetka-Glencoe and Des Plaines.

Chicago Schlager Saturday: Semino Rossi Sings The (Moody) Blues

Semino Rossi

In our recent forays into the wonderful, sometimes weird, world of Euro Schlager music, we have seldom found anything as --- well --- mystifying as the Semino Rossi phenomenon.

Rossi, an Argentinian born crooner of Italo-Austrian extraction seems to be all over the place in language and style. I'm not really sure he should be termed "schlager" in the conventional Central European sense. Maybe more something like "Euro-eclectic pop."

But the highly flexible Mr. Rossi is very big on the current European schlager circuit. He has maintained a steady output of hit CDs and completed his 3rd concert tour thru Central Europe last summer, drawing over 100k in a number of sold out appearances.

Amidst his seemingly encyclopedic repetoire, he does a German language version of "My Way," a Caruso like "O Sole Mio," and a Spanish language version of the Moody Blues', "Nights in White Satin."

Beginning in high school and lasting on to this day, I have developed a great love and respect for the legendary British rock group, the Moody Blues so I sincerely hope that Semino Rossi doesn't try his hand at, "A Question of Balance," "The Voice" or "Wildest Dreams."

Here is Semino Rossi singing "Nights in White Satin," in Spanish, followed by one of his German language tunes:

Here is Ja ich würd' es immer wieder tun I'd Do it All Over Again, shot in an Alpine setting:

I'm not sure if the Chicago Schlager Music Review will cover Rossi, since he seems to strain the bounds of traditional schlager music.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

How "Fr." Pfleger Pushed Up The Price of Ghetto Booze

Pfleger with Nation of Islam
Leader Louis Farrakhan

News today that Chicago's Catholic Cardinal Francis George finally decided to grow a pair and tell ostensible priest, Michael Pfleger, to take a hike.

It's worth taking this occasion to recall how the St. Sabina's self-promoter drove up the price of booze for people in all of Chicago's black neighborhoods.

In 1990, in while trying to conjure up another way of grabbing the glare of Chicago's compliant TV news cameras, Pfleger came up with the idea of going after booze.

Taking a page from Carrie Nation and the little old ladies of the abolitionist movement of the 1920s, he figured that booze was the bane of the black man.

He began mobilizing his prohibitionists to start defacing liquor billboards. He demanded that Walgreen's, one of the few chain stores left in what black activists call a "grocery store desert," stop selling beer, wine and liquor in black neighborhoods.

Walgreens caved in and ceased liquor sales in its West side and South side stores.

But the exploitative, price gouging corner stores there went right on ahead selling Mad Dog 20/20, high-alcohol Ice Beer and Thunderbird fortified wine by the carload.

Business as usual in the booze trade there. Except then, Pfleger's black folks no longer enjoyed Walgreen's economies of scale and ended up paying up to 50% more for the same things from their corner market profiteers.

Back then, I even met an older Jewish fellow who lived in West Rogers Park, but operated one of the ghetto, corner store fleece markets in Pfleger's area. This guy would regularly buy cases of sale item booze from the Walgreen's liquor department at Howard and Western.

Then he'd truck it down to the South Side and sell it to thirsty black folks there (after tacking on a hefty mark-up.)

A great victory for the moralistic, media-hound, Michael Pfleger.

For the thirsty black folks, not so much.

Good to see that the Liberation Theology, Bolshevik-in-black, Michael Pfleger, finally got his walking papers from the Chicago Cardinal.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Skokie's Cash-Happy Fairview SD 72: Teachers' Salaries Listed

(Editor's Note: The salary list was updated on 9/8/12 to reflect the personnel and salaries for the 2011 reporting period, the latest one currently available. Those who looked at the 2010 salary list will note that despite the economic crisis, they all got nice pay hikes over the past year.)

The little 607-student Fairview School District 72 in Skokie made big news last month when the Chicago Tribune disclosed that it was hoarding more taxpayers cash than any other in the entire state.

Fairview SD 72 has cash in the amount of 161% of its annual operating needs stuffed into its mattress. The Illinois State Board of Education says a school district is in good shape if it puts aside 25% for a rainy day. Fairview is apparently hunkering down for a flood of biblical proportions.

When the much maligned Sarah Palin's State of Alaska has too much tax revenue on its hands it does a very peculiar thing. It sends the excess back to the taxpayers.

Up there, they view the taxpayers' money as being the taxpayers' money.

Not so with the big spenders in Skokie's Fairview education establishment.

They view the taxpayers' money as being their money.

Little wonder given the fat payroll that they have to meet with their top-heavy administration and unionized teachers.

Posted below is a complete list of the 2010 teachers' and administrators' salaries for Fairview SD 72. It was compiled pursuant to a Freedom of Information suit by the Family Taxpayers Foundation.

(A spreadsheet with more details including years of service and teaching specialty can be seen at the FTF website by clicking  on the teacher's name.)

Among the highlights of the salary report:

--- 4 administrators each pulling down more than 6 figures
--- A battalion of 7 "Learning Behavior Specialists" costing $418k
--- A $126k social studies teacher
--- A $94k singing teacher
--- An $85k nurse
--- A $90k guidance counselor
--- 2 Social workers and a psychologist divvying up $130k
--- 4 gym teachers, with one hauling down $90k
--- A $99k reading teacher

Most of these salaries are for 9 or 10 months on the job. Upon retirement, under the union contract's pension formula they will be able to haul down as much as 85% of the average of their highest 3 year's salaries, for the rest of their lives.

Fairview SD 72 2011 Download data

Adamski, Amy$63,140
Alexis, Despina$78,637
Altschul, Miranda$78,033
Aronin, Rachel$62,596
Ashman, Eve$52,024
Berglund, Ryan$51,358
Brotsky, Emily$69,764
Bucur, Maria$74,309
Cara, Erin$100,264
Che, Jenny$59,856
Christopherson, Natacha$37,107
Conner, Nicholas$58,015
Cory, Barry$79,175
Curry, Lauren$59,947
Ebley, Carolyn$55,538
Florea, Sarah$61,706
Glascott, Stacy$59,733
Godfrey, Kristen$68,925
Gonzalez, Bernadette$96,919
Gross, Carly$66,729
Hilgendorf, Lisa$49,767
Hoffman, Rebecca$51,628
Holtzman, Judith$118,066
Hungerford, Cheryl$84,705
Israel, Karyn$98,845
Johnson, Michael$56,994
Kenny, Janet$94,994
Koliana, Arbella$62,114
Kopinski, Lindsay$45,520
Laufenberg, Courtney$56,609
Lopatka, Michael$56,859
MacLennan, Katherine$59,973
Malek, Lisa$76,823
Marcus, Kate$53,410
Mason, Patricia$71,779
Massoth, Grendolyn$81,528
McCarthy, Meredith$78,245
McConnell, Matt$57,564
McLone, Shannon$59,916
Mechling, Nissa$73,673
Melnick, Aaron$95,876
Mendak, Peggy Ann$110,762
Messino, Marion$53,706
Noonan, Kathleen$49,358
Olsen, Rachel$90,857
Page Coles, Michelle$49,528
Perez, Francisco$129,856
Porter, Christine$105,107
Quinn, Pamela$51,295
Raciti, Sandra$72,693
Rodas, Carrie$57,229
Runkle, Amy$77,966
Russo, David$128,425
Russo, Janet$113,334
Ryan, Mary$73,327
Schwartz, Brooke$84,729
Shillington, Patricia$91,870
Stucker, Elizabeth$102,762
Sylvester, Christina$59,627
Toni, Yolanda$75,287
Vande Zande, Evan$56,722
Wagner, Kelly$60,383
White, Laurie$73,089
Whittaker, Cindy$217,52

This completes the 2011 report of teachers' and administrators' salaries for Skokie Fairview School District 72.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday 1916

The Irish Easter Uprising was 95 years ago today.

Chicago Lampoon's Sunday Smoking Lounge: Salem Cigarettes

Introducing Our First Blog Advertiser -- Salem Cigarettes -- Please Patronize Our Sponsors:

Salem Softness Freshens Your Taste!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chicago Schlager Saturday: Austria Has Its Own Jethro Bodine: Andreas Gabalier:

Jethro Bodine
Austria, once home of the mighty Habsburg Empire and birthplace of Mozart has now produced a socio-cultural phenomenon of no lessor import: its very own version of Jethro Bodine.

His name is Andreas Gabalier and he is the biggest pop singing phenom in that little country right now and threatens to spread his appeal to Germany and other parts of the Germanic world.
Andreas Gabalier

Germans consider Austria something of a cultural backwash and the 26 year old Gabalier is from the Styrian region near the border of the former Yugoslavia -- a backwash within a backwash.

I'm told he sings in a Styrian dialect, which would be something like an archaic Appalachian dialect in the US.

His attire is Bodinesque -- only lacking Jethro's trademark rope belt (Gabalier holds up his shorts with suspenders.)

His on-stage exaggerated pelvis thrusting is comic, to say the least. Still, just like the 60s Beverly Hillbillies star Gabalier exudes a kind of innocent, boyish exuberance, which may explain his apparent appeal to the Austrian frauleins.

See more videos and info on Andreas Gabalier at The Chicago Schlager Music Review.

And here, from a 1966 episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, is the original Jethro:

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Misogynist Murderer Who Founded Earth Day: Ira Einhorn

Ira Einhorn mug shots

Today is Earth Day. It is also Good Friday and while the kids at the Catholic schools are reflecting on the passion and death of the Christian Messiah and the kids at the Jewish Yeshivas are reflecting on the Passover deliverance of the chosen people, the kids at the government schools are worshiping the pagan Earth goddess Gaia.

Last year, we celebrated this concocted secular religious event by noting the efforts of Jerome Rodale.

He was the cockamamie founder of the organic foods movement. He croaked before a live studio audience on the set of the Dick Cavett Show after boasting that he would live to 100 because of his healthy diet.

Organic Foods Guru Jerome Rodale

This year, we wish to bring to light the celebrated founder of Earth Day, Ira Einhorn.

He was a 60s radical activist and eco-freak. He gave a rousing inspirational oration to a multitude of tree huggers at his 1st Earth Day rally in Philadelphia in 1970.

In 1978, it was discovered that he had murdered his ex-girlfriend and stuffed her body in a trunk in his closet where it had been decomposing for several years.

Presumably the concerned environmentalist was intent on recycling the girl's organic remains as garden mulch.

After jumping bond and spending 16 years on the lam in Europe, in '97 he was caught in France, extradited and convicted to a life sentence for the murder, which he is now serving in the Pennsylvania State Penetentiary at Houtzdale.

Oddly, the environmental movement has been quite mum over the colorful histories of their iconic Earth Day pioneer and their organic foods guru.

I guess you won't be seeing their bios in the Eco-Religionist's "Lives of the Saints."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Broke Northfield SD31 Won't Touch Fat Teachers' Salaries

Field Middle School

Printed below is the complete list of 2010 salaries for teachers and administrators in West Northfield School District 31.

(Ed. note: They all got nice little pay hikes for 2011, which you can see by clicking HERE.)

The education establishment there just asked voters to pony up an additional $2.2 million in property taxes, but by a 2 to 1 margin they said nuts to that.

Allstate Insurance, one of the largest taxpayers in the little 870 student district, successfully appealed an excessive $3.3 million in tax assessments leaving the one elementary and one middle school way overextended.

Faced with having to tighten their belts, just like their hard-pressed property taxpayers, all the administrators there could think of was to leave vacant the spots of a couple of retiring art teachers and a retiring administrator.

Apparently no one dares ask the unionized teachers to "share the sacrifice," to use Obama's expression.

No one seems to want to ask why 870 grammar school kids need:

--- Five administrators pulling down 6 figure salaries,
--- An army of six "Learning Behavior Specialists,"
--- Three speech therapists
--- Two social workers and one psychologist
--- Five gym teachers, one pulling down 6-figures

And the next time the illegal alien apologists say that immigration doesn't cost the taxpayers anything, it might be noted that this little district is paying more than $250k to 4 ESL/Bi-lingual teachers.

And no one has even thought of asking the union government employees there to consider an across-the-board pay cut as happens at any private business when it faces hard times.

Here is the complete salary list for SD 31 in alphabetical order. The data was obtained by the Family Taxpayers Foundation. A more complete spreadsheet can be found at their website by clicking "download data."

These 2010 salaries are, in most cases for 9 to 10 months of work:

Teacher Salary Database
West Northfield SD 31 2010 - --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ament, Arlene $100,285
Barbanente, Laura $25,697
Baumann, Jackie $56,622
Bergman, Janette $87,060
Blair, Jessica $57,723
Bloss, Catherine $89,785
Boudreau, Mona $54,418
Braje, Barbara $91,285
Brisson, Nicole $57,028
Chinitz, Lisa $67,465
Clark, Karla $13,385
Clark, Kathleen $54,418
Conway, Kay $90,810
Damon, Jonathan $55,520
Delehanty, Paula $50,012
Demitropoulos, Deanne $46,532
Diamond, Stacy $53,317
Doyle, Sean $54,418
Dusilo, Christina $65,957
Fenton, Andrew $52,215
Frega, Martin $79,758
Gebert, Allison $65,681
Gooch, Trisha $52,215
Greenfield, Lisa $61,376
Heller, Stephanie $47,790
Hill, Karen $91,560
Hulting, Mary Beth $70,307
Jenkins, Quincy $58,130
Jeon, Deborah $50,012
Kalant, Maria $135,507
Kalotihos, Kathy $54,360
Kim, Nancy $51,114
Klein, Lisa $53,317
Kolbuk, Christine $68,741
Kondela, David $65,957
Krieman, Kristina $62,826
Lang, Meredith $72,800
Lauter, Trina $61,376
LeBlanc, James $45,431
Leehy, Thomas $88,560
Levin, Rita $55,695
Levy, Kelli $63,621
Loeffler, Kelley $45,431
Magnuson, Elizabeth $46,532
Maher, Elizabeth $79,758
Manos, Kathleen $56,622
Masiarz, Marilyn $92,785
Miller, Michael $75,873
Miner, Nikki $54,303
Moon, Suejin $55,520
Murphy, Erin $100,000
Murphy, Kathleen $69,503
Newman, Sandi $67,291
Nicholson, Alexandra $200,000
O'Connor, Julie $52,042
Panopoulos, Joanne $107,085
Paone, Anne $53,317
Perley, Barbara $83,115
Plotsky, Courtney $55,520
Pokora, Carlissa $51,114
Razes, Daniel $106,717
Reyes, Karen $57,723
Ricordati, Jane $75,873
Rohrer, Beth $96,535
Rudnik, Carol $70,075
Sackley, Michael $46,707
Seegers, Deborah $86,508
Shames, Lori $57,723
Shine, Gary $102,261
Stein, Sharon $65,475
Stodola, Heather $49,837
Styrkowicz, Carolyn $53,317
Suh, Joenn $56,738
Tamillo, Nancy $90,535
Terdich, Catherine $99,535
Tess, Kelly $53,317
Walk, Shay $46,532
Wasielewski, Michael $69,503
Watford, Jennifer $54,418
Weisberg, Sarah $56,506
Wolney, Pamela $62,826
Zeller, Marilyn $38,842

Monday, April 18, 2011

Stop the Presses!!: Kitty Found in Lake Bluff

Lake Bluff's Village Green Gazebo

If what makes the news is any measure of the civility of a given town, then no one can dispute that the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff enclave is a damned civil place.

The Gazebo News, that area's spritely hyperlocal on-line publication carried the following news story last month:

Young Cat Found In Lake Bluff

A Lake Bluff resident wants to report that he found a young, male, black; grey, white-chested tabby who is a very sweet animal.

“The cat wandered into (or was dropped-off in) our neighborhood on Sylvan Road and hung around. We figured if he hadn’t gone home by nightfall he was lost or abandoned,” said Steve, who found the cat. “Based on his over-all appearance (he’s a little round at the girth) we think he’s a well-loved animal from somewhere nearby.”

Please call 847/295-XXXX if you know where this cat belongs!

Contrast this to Chicago proper, where violence has become so commonplace, that even the almost-daily street shootings now go unreported.

And the profusion of stray companion animals in the city overwhelms those few kindly souls who try their best to provide some bit of solace to them.

Take, for example, the ladies of Hyde Park Cats and West Rogers Park Cats.
A group of women in the University of Chicago and the Chicago/Evanston border areas, respectively, have gone to extraordinary lengths to try and rescue as many of the legions of abandoned animals as possible.

But so profuse are the abandoned city cats,dogs and their offspring that these efforts seem like those of Sisyphus, doomed to eternally rolling his stone up the hill.
Hyde Park Cats Volunteer
with recently rescued kitty

(Please check out their blogs and help them out a bit if you can.)

But in Lake Forest/Lake Bluff a missing cat is big news.

And as one who's spent a lot of time in the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff corridor for social and political reasons, I can attest to the fact that it is hardly suffering much from what Dr. Milt Rosenberg has termed, "the coarsening of the culture."

People actually smile at you and say hello on the Green Bay bike trail up there -- and a lost kitty becomes big news.

It's a damned civil place.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chicago Schlager Saturday: The Timeless Heino

Heino, born Heinz-Georg Kramm in Dusseldorf is one of the last schlager stars to have the seal of the 3rd Reich on his birth certificate. Born in 1938, his parents scrimped to buy him an accordian in war ravaged post-war Germany.

His musical talents were discovered in 1955 and he began recording and performing as Heino. In the 60s and 70s he sported a mop-top which with his trademark sunglasses (he has a congenital eye disease)gave him a kind of Germanic Roy Orbison ambience.

He eschewed the rock n roll invasion of the 50s and 60s and has become a pillar of the schlager music genre. Now in his 70s, he is still actively performing and recording and remains extremely popular in Germany.

For a more detailed look at Heino and more videos, go to the Chicago Schlager Music Review.

Here is Heino with Andre Rieu's orchestra performing Rosamunde which you might recognize in its Americanized form as as Roll out the Barrel:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hitmen and Illegal Aliens: Come to Sanctuary Chicago

News today that a Russian Canadian, Dimitry Smirnov, drove to suburban Chicago where he murdered his ex-girlfriend, a Westmont resident, after researching that Illinois had no death penalty law.

And word on April 2nd, that an illegal alien, who had been deported back to Mexico, returned to Chicago where he stabbed his ex-girlfriend at her Albany Park home.

Illinois' Governor Pat Quinn, amid much fanfare, announced on March 9th that he was outlawing the death penalty in Illinois.

More than a decade ago,the Chicago City Council voted to make Chicago a "sanctuary city" for illegal aliens, whereby police can make no active effort to locate illegal aliens and turn them over for deportation.

So one woman is dead and another is nursing serious stab wounds because they were in the Chicago area, where soft-hearted liberals make the laws.

Not only has Illinois become a sanctuary and a safe haven for errant liberal state legislators from Wisconsin and Indiana, but it has now become a sanctuary for methodical murderers.

You Don't Have To Pay Taxes Today

On this tax day, with talk of terrorists plotting to plant suitcase-contained, "dirty" nuclear bombs in our cities, it is reassuring to know that in the event of a nuclear attack, the IRS will be up to the challenge.

This is from the 1976 Internal Revenue Service Handbook:

"During a state of national emergency resulting from enemy nuclear attack, the essential functions of the Service will be as follows:(1)assessing, collecting and recording taxes..."

But then, back in the 70s, Steve Martin figured out a way where you could make a million dollars and still not have to pay the IRS:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Adolf Hitler's Health Obsession: The Nazi War on Smokers

St. Rep. Karen Yarbrough

Illinois State Representative Karen Yarbrough (D-Maywood) and Adolf Hitler are two kindred spirits --- anti-smoking fanatics who think it great public policy to employ the iron fist of the state to deny individuals the free choice to use tobacco.

You see, Liberal Obama-enthusiast, Yarbrough thought she was a great social innovator in promulgating the draconian statewide ban on smoking in 2008. But actually she was just lifting a page from the Nazi Fuhrer's playbook.

Adolf Hitler was a health nut who was a vegetarian and a teetotaler.

And Adolf Hitler was the world's first great anti-smoking crusader.

Ms. Yarbrough's Smoke-free Illinois Act prohibits smoking in virtually all public places and workplaces, including offices, theaters, museums, libraries, educational institutions, schools, commercial establishments, enclosed shopping centers and retail stores, restaurants, bars, private clubs and gaming facilities.

But she was simply plagiarising the original work of the famed Austrian-born mass murderer.

According to Robert N. Proctor in the British Medical Journal (No. 7070, Volume 313):

"The first modern, nationwide tobacco ban was imposed in Germany by the Nazi Party in every university, post office, military hospital and Nazi Party office, under the auspices of Dr. Karl Astel's Institute for Tobacco Hazards Research, created in 1941 under direct orders from Adolf Hitler himself.

Major anti-tobacco campaigns were widely promulgated by the Nazis until the demise of the regime in 1945.

German anti-tobacco policies accelerated towards the end of the 1930s,and by the early war years tobacco use had begun to decline.

The Luftwaffe banned smoking in 1938 and the post office did likewise.

Smoking was barred in many workplaces, government offices, hospitals,and rest homes.
Nazi Anti-Smoking Poster

The NSDAP (National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) announced a ban on smoking in its offices in 1939, at which time SS chief Heinrich Himmler announced a smoking ban for all uniformed police and SS officers while on duty.(15)

The Journal of the American Medical Association that year reported Hermann Goering's decree barring soldiers from smoking on the streets, on marches, and on brief off duty periods.(16)

Sixty of Germany's largest cities banned smoking on street cars in 1941.(17) Smoking was banned in air raid shelters-though some shelters reserved separate rooms for smokers.(18)

During the war years tobacco rationing coupons were denied to pregnant women (and to all women below the age of 25) while restaurants and cafes were barred from selling cigarettes to female customers.(19)

From July 1943 it was illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to smoke in public.(20) Smoking was banned on all German city trains and buses in 1944, the initiative coming from Hitler himself,who was worried about exposure of young female conductors to tobacco smoke.(21)

Nazi policies were heralded as marking"the beginning of the end" of tobacco use in Germany.(14)

Now Ms. Yarbrough is fighting tooth and nail to keep smoking out of Illinois casinos, despite evidence that her smoking ban is killing business there.

Der Fuhrer would be proud.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Trader Joe's War On Easter

We're all acquainted with the "war on Christmas" by retailers who expunge mention of the Christian holiday from their advertising, but now the chic grocery purveyor, Trader Joe's has launched a "war on Easter."

The national chain, with 355 stores in 28 states and $8 billion in annual sales, is currently running ads in the Chicago media market for a specialized mustard that would be, "perfect for your holiday ham."

When I first heard that, I wracked my brain to decipher to which "holiday" they might be referring. The only ones imminent are the Christian celebration of Easter and the Jewish Passover.

But since Jews are proscribed by their dietary laws from eating pork, it could only be the Christian Easter that the ever-politically correct Trader Joe's was afraid to overtly mention.

And on their website, the chain (which despite its trendy, down home pretense is related to Aldi's) won't sell you Easter candy, but rather "Sweet Springtime Surprises." They are Easter candies, but the Trader Joe's trendies dare not concede the relationship of these traditional confections to the Christian celebration.

"We don't call ourselves "Your Neighborhood Store" just because it sounds catchy. We are committed to being good neighbors," gushes Trader Joe's on its website.

It seems that Trader Joe's good neighbor policy extends to everyone, excepting of course, those millions of Americans who overtly celebrate Easter, a traditional Christian holiday.

Alleged Chicago Cop Rape Was An Interracial Crime: WIND-AM

WIND's Amy Jacobson

WIND radio's Amy Jacobson reported this morning that in the alleged March 30th rape of a North Side woman by 2 on-duty Chicago policemen, the purported perpetrators were Latino men while the victim was "a bubbly blond girl."

Jacobson, a former CBS-2 TV reporter, attributed the information to sources within the Chicago Police department. She said that six other women have made allegations of previous sexual misconduct by the, as yet unidentified, Latino officers.

She also reported that the woman, who was picked up by the two policemen near Wrigleyville and driven to her Rogers Park apartment, was taking medication for bi-polar manic depression.

According to WIND's Jacobson, the officers drank Absolut vodka with the woman, while playing strip poker at her apartment, before both of them had sex with her.

One of them had earlier had sex with the woman in their Police SUV while parked near Broadway and Barry, she said.

The incident has been under investigation by Chicago Police Internal Affairs for the past two weeks and Jacobson said that 911 tapes of the woman's neighbors' calls from the morning of the incident won't be released for another 1 to 2 months.

The identification of the two police criminal suspects as Latinos with a white female victim raises questions as to possible future moves by Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez, a Latina feminist.
Paul Clavijo (l) and Juan Vasquez (r)
The 2 Chicago Cops accused of the North side rape

NEWS UPDATE: Jacobson's information was proven correct as on May 11th, 10 year veteran officers Paul Clavijo and Juan Vasquez were charged in Cook County Criminal court with one count each of criminal sexual assault and one count of official misconduct.

They were suspended without pay from the Chicago Police Department and each released on $500,000 bond. Clavijo is also facing a separate criminal sexual assault charge stemming from a March 10th incident.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Niles Township's Tax Gobbling Food Pantry

The Niles Township Government has been busy inventing ways to use tax money ever since its real raison d'etre evaporated with demise of the last farms in Skokie -- sometime around 1930.

With no rural roads to maintain it decided to get into the food giveaway business and has been doing so with a gusto that would make the architects of the Great Society blush. That is to say, it has been busy hiring bureaucrats to give away food.

The anachronistic Government of Niles Township has a food pantry at its building at 5225 Main St. in Skokie. It says it gives away food to some 2,700 North suburbanites who claim to need it each month.

To do this it gets food donations from various governmental and private sources. You would think, then, it would be a fairly simple matter to hand out the food. But not when government is involved.

According to the Better Government Association salary database, the Niles Twp. Government shells out $81k a year to 2 employees to hand out the food:

Cynthia Carranza, Food Pantry Director - $43,680
Lawrence Storts, Food Pantry Clerk - $37,500

In addition it asks the federal government for infrastructure money for their food giveaway project.

Most recently, they got a $5,300 piece of a federal block grant for an emergency back-up generator for their refrigerator.

That is, I suppose, so that in the event of nuclear attack their $81k food bureaucrats will still be able to hand out frozen pizzas to needy suburbanites.

Perhaps next year they'll ask FEMA for a grant for hardened underground bunkers so that their food handouts can withstand a possible Lake Michigan Tsunami.

Meanwhile just down the road on Howard near McCormick in Evanston, the Vineyard Church hands out food to more than 140 families a week -- a greater number of people total than the Niles Township government does.

And they manage to do it all without a paying a single employee anything.

And even without a FEMA-supplied emergency backup generator for their fridge.

Happy Bloggoversary Chicago Lampoon!! Beginning Our 3rd Full Year Today

With the advent of our third year of publication we are unveiling the new Chicago Lampoon anthem.

It is a touching love song about a boy who comes to the sad realization that his love affair never will go so well. So he reluctantly breaks up with the girl, casting her loose in song, ever so gently:

New Year, new look. Thanks to Vanessa Tyler of The "Ness" in Darc Ness for the super new header design.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fat-Salaried Latina Nannies Ban Home Lunches: Little Village Academy Administrators Salaries Listed

Little Village Academy Nanny-in-Chief Elsa Carmona
Elsa Carmona, the $128,000 a year Principal of the Little Village Academy on Chicago's Southwest side pusillanimously hung up on WLS radio talker Cisco Cotto this morning when asked to explain her new dictate against parents packing lunches for their own kids.

Apparently she couldn't take the heat emanating from her lunchroom kitchen.

That's right, the nanny-in-chief of the Latino public grade school says she knows better than parents what their children should ingest. She has banned parents from packing lunches for their own children.

"Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school," Carmona said. "It's about the nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It's milk versus a Coke. But with allergies and any medical issue, of course, we would make an exception."

It wouldn't be about being able to collect the cash-per-pupil that the Federal government doles out to each school for involvement in the school lunch program, would it?

Carmona wouldn't stay on the phone with WLS long enough to answer that question.

But the administratively top-heavy Little Village Academy needs as much cash as it can get its grubby paws on to pay the fat salaries that lavishes upon its army of administrators.

In addition to the $128k in tax dollars that Carmona pulls down it shells out another $600k+ for fatcat administrators.

Here are the Little Village Academy's grammar school administrators salaries as gleaned from the Better Government Association salaries database:

Elsa Carmona - Principal - $127,946
Evangelina Covarrubias - Asst. Principal - $98,188
Ingrid Murillo-Torres - Counselor - $58,269
Melinda Dahl - Literacy Coach - $95,407
Christine Hernandez - Bi-lingual co-ordinator - $71,512
Manuel Juarez - Tech co-ordinator - $71,713
Ned Perisic - Business Mgr. - $69,158
Lilia Gutierrez - Children's Welfare attendant - $31,430
Susan Salinas - Social Worker - $76,389

Put aside the moral consideration as to whether these outsiders should override crtitcal parent-child concerns and just ask, why are there so damned many of these nannies and why are they so extravagantly paid?

And especially why are they getting paid all that taxpayer cash to essentially turn out legions of CPS illiterates?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chicago Schlager Saturday: When ABBA Was Schlager

The Swedish internationally acclaimed pop-group, ABBA actually started out with a number of schlager songs in their repertoire.

Bjorn Ulvaeus, the lead guitarist and co-composer of many of their songs, had his roots in an American-styled folk group in the 60s and easily slid over into the European variant of that.

Ulvaeus co-composed a sentimental schlager tune which they entitled, "Hasta Manana", after their manager Stig Anderson hastily worked up some English lyrics for it.

They almost performed this schlager offering in their 1974 debut performance in the Eurovision competition, but at the last minute decided to go with their soft rock pop song "Waterloo."

They won that competition and Waterloo became their first international pop hit.

But their career almost took a schlager music turn and could have had an entirely different result.

Here is the schlager tune, "Hasta Manana" which ABBA almost performed in the 1974 Eurovision competition:

For a more detailed version of this story with videos of ABBAs 1974 Eurovision performance go to The Chicago Schlager Music Review.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wisconsin Voters Rebuff Teachers Unions In Supreme Ct. Race

Wisconsin voters rebuffed an attempt by labor unions to unseat conservative State Supreme Court Justice, David Prosser by a 7,500 vote margin out of 1.5 million ballots cast.

The vote had been considered too close to call as of Wednesday, but release of 11,000 votes from heavily Republican Brookfield, a suburb of Milwaukee, Thursday gave Prosser the win.

The vote totals for the town had been tallied on election night but inadvertantly omitted from totals reported by the AP.

Clinging to what she believed to be a 204 vote lead on Wednesday, the Big-Labor candidate, JoAnne Kloppenburg declared victory at the time.

Kloppenburg has begun raising money for a recount but says she is uncertain as to whether she will demand one.

The race was considered a critical showdown between supporters of Governor Scott Walker and the powerful Wisconsin teachers unions over the State legislature's recent vote to strip the government worker unions of their collective bargaining privileges.

Big labor spent heavily for Kloppenburg's bid and imported campaign operatives from throughout the Midwest,

Big-labor in Wisconsin has also targeted 14 of the State Senators who backed Walker's reforms, for recall in an election to be held later this year. But voters supported Walker's candidate for Supreme Court in the State Senate districts of 13 of them, likely signalling the futility of labor's recall effort, according to WTMJ-AM radio.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Heeeeres Berny!! :Ex-Alderman Stone To Tryout as WLS Talker

Chicago's WLS-Am radio announced today that it was giving recently defeated Alderman Bernard Stone a radio hosting tryout in its Saturday evening 7 to 9 pm slot.

You've got to hand it to old Berny Stone. The 83 year old ex-Chicago Alderman sure doesn't let the grass grow for long beneath his size 13 wingtips.

After his resounding defeat Tuesday, the last digital ballot scanner hadn't yet been rolled out of the polling places in his North side 50th ward and he was already on WLS-AM trolling for a new gig.

Early on election night, Stone gave a post-mortem telephone interview to WLS election show jocks, Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft. Sounding remarkably chipper after his 62-38% trouncing, he hinted that he might want to try his hand as a radio commentator for the clear-channel Chicago talk station.

Stone said that he had been an actor early on in his career and offered that he could do a better job on-the-air than Rod Blagojevich and some of the other ex-pols who have been given a microphone at WLS-AM.

To that, Proft quipped that he might have to get indicted before getting an offer from them.

For sure, Chicago has a peculiar history of meting out radio gigs to convicted ex-pols.

After being sprung from the federal pen, former Congressman Dan Rostenkowski ended up as an election night commentator on WLS. Indicted ex- Governor Rod Blagojevich was given two Saturday afternoon hours to bloviate on the station before his trial started up in earnest.

Most recently, WGN radio gave an early evening 3 hour slot to the felonious former City Clerk, Jim Laski.

The most successful of this genre was former Chicago City Council President, Ed (Fast Eddy) Vrydolyak (his 3 year run at WLS was before his recent indictment and incarceration.)

Having met Berny Stone and spoken with him one-on-one in his Lincoln Avenue office, I must say that, theatrically, at least, he may bring more to the table than many of the others have.

While he speaks in a gruff Chicagoese, his is more of the old, West-side, sing-songy Yiddish variety than the Milwaukee Avenue "dems and dese and dose" with which Laski polluted the airwaves.

And who knows? Maybe Berny will repopularize Catskills vaudevillian humor during his Saturday evening WLS gig.

If he can stay awake.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 - Long Awaited Movie of Ayn Rand's Epic Work Coming To Chicago Theatres April 15th

Ayn Rand's epic novel Atlas Shrugged was published in 1957 and has become the 2nd best selling book ever in the English language, surpassed by only the Bible.

Do to a combination of Hollywood contempt for Rand's freedom-oriented libertarian world view, Rand's own perfectionist reluctance to allow her message to be sullied by other hands and the legalistic requirements of her estate, it has never been made into a film -- until now.

On April 15th -- appropriately and intentionally on federal tax payment day, the film will debut at a selected 84 theatres nationwide, including 9 in Chicago and its environs.

Here is a trailer from the film, Atlas Shrugged, which is intended to be part 1 in a cinematic trilogy, followed by a list of the area theatres who will screen the film beginning Friday, April 15th:

(Warning: The scenes depicted below may not be suitable for Obamaite socialists, labor union thugs, welfare parasites, federal grantwriters, ACORN community organizers, Jan Schakowsky or other altruistic-minded looters.)


AMC River East 21
322 E. Illinois St.

Kerasotes Showplace Icon
150 W. Roosevelt Road

Chicago Suburbs

Century 21 Evanston and Cine Arts 6
1715 Maple St., Evanston

Lincolnshire Stadium 20 Plus IMAX
300 Parkway Dr., Lincolnshire

AMC Yorktown 17
80 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard

AMC Randhurst 16
101 E. Euclid Ave., Mt. Prospect

Orland Park 14
16350 S. LaGrange Rd., Orland Pk.

AMC S. Barrington 30, South Barrington

Cantera 30
28250 Diehl Rd., Warrenville

More video clips and background information on the film, Atlas Shrugged, can be found here at the Atlas Shrugged (Part 1) official site.

Riverside/Brookfield And Highland Park/Deerfield Voters Tell Big Education To P-Off

Voters in the the Riverside/Brookfield High School District 208 and the Highland Park/Deerfield High School District 113 yesterday decisively told their education establishments they could just forget about higher taxes.

In the Southwest suburban District 208, the margin was a lopsided 77% to 23% against the proposed tax hike, which would have boosted the average homeowners tax bill by about $800.

Even the liberal Democrats in Highland Park/Deerfield District 113 said they too were having none of it by a clear margin of 56% to 43%.

Earlier in the month, we here at the Lampoon were happy to do our little bit by publishing the salaries of all the teachers and administrators in these districts, which proved to be generous at least and opulent, at worst. With the referendum looming, the traffic to those postings on our humble blog was extraordinary.

Apparently, voters in the two areas were less than bowled over by educators pleas of poverty in light of our disclosures of dancing instructors and drivers ed teachers pulling down more than 6 figure salaries for their nine month gigs.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

50th Ward Aldermanic Race: Don't Vote - It Only Encourages Them

The fur is flying and it's raining mud in the 50th Ward Chicago aldermanic runoff between 38 year incumbent Berny Stone and challenger, Mrs. Ira Silverstein.

And frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

Ever since casting my first Illinois vote for Ronald Reagan in the 1976 Presidential primary (he lost to Gerald Ford who was backed by the IL Republican combine)I have found myself constantly reduced to trying to divine which candidate might possibly be the lessor of two evils.

Liberal Judy Baar Topinka v. liberal Rod Blagojevich -- Liberal Mark Kirk v. liberal Alexi Giannoulias. How many times can voting be reduced to coin flippery before one succumbs to abject cynicism?

Now, situated in Chicago's West Rogers Park 50th Ward, I finally have.

I'm not going to vote this Tuesday..

The choices are between Berny Stone and Debra Silverstein. A liberal curmudgeon or a liberal mousewife.

Stone accuses Silverstein of nepotism. She takes a salary from her Democrat Committeeman husband's ward organization.

Silverstein accuses Stone of nepotism. His charming daughter, Ilana, takes a salary from his aldermanic office.

Stone accuses Silverstein of dirty campaign money. She took $10k from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's secretly funded PAC and won't return the cash.

Silverstein accuses Stone of dirty campaign money. He paid $13k under the table to a front group which campaigned for him.

Stone accuses Silverstein of incompetent neglect. She and her husband are running the Democrat organization into the ground and her husband doesn't answer constituent mail.

Silverstein accuses Stone of incompetent neglect. He refers citizen compaints to 311 and doesn't patch potholes.

They are both very, very liberal Democrats who pander to immigrant lobby groups (they each have their own Muslim campaign mascot) and cowtow to Big-Labor.

Siverstein has the backing of ultra-lefty Cong. Jan Schakowsky's machine and the public sector SEIU and AFSCME unions. Stone has the backing of the politically connected building trades unions and two-thirds of his fellow Chicago aldermen.

They are both spending scads of money on mailings, robocalls and e-mail blasts trying to convince me that they would be, at the very least, the lessor evil.

And I'm am staying home Tuesday.

I hear that they each will be spending about $200 for every vote they end up actually getting.

Now if one of them would just send me the cash outright, I might be induced to change my mind.

That would be, after all, the Chicago way.

(Might as well just sit back and enjoy some vintage WHO -- "Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Chicago Schlager Saturday: Hansi Hinterseer

Austrian Hansi Hinterseer is currently one of the biggest stars on the Schlager music scene.

Son of Austrian national hero, Ernst Hinterseer, who won the 1960 Olympic gold medal in slalom skiing, Hansi was a formidable skiier in his own right, winning 6 International World Cup skiing competitions in the 1970s (including the event at Anchorage, Alaska.)

He is a major television personality in Germany and Austria and regularly sells out concerts throughout the region.

Here is his 2008 hit, "The Ski Twist" (Somehow I doubt that you will ever see Chubby Checker imitating Hansi's moves on the slopes.)

For a more detailed article and more videos on Hansi and other Schlager stars, visit:
The Chicago Schlager Music Review.