Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I never kept a dollar past sunset

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* Our once beloved Bel-Aire made Rust Magazine: The Slumlords We Love:

Ken bursts through the front door of the Bel-Aire office wielding a can of wasp spray. The woman who ran in just before Ken is, to understate matters, distressed, and both are screaming at each other. Ken’s round face is red with shouting, and the contrast of his white beard makes him look like Santa Claus from hell. A black-and-white license plate hangs above the office window: “ILLINOIS ROUTE 66 — GET YOUR KICKS —,” it reads.
The woman thinks Ken stole her clothes from the laundry room, so Ken sprayed her with wasp spray in the parking lot.
The motel clerk leaps up from the desk to intervene, and he’s greeted with an eyeful of insecticide. The much younger, smaller man grabs Ken, kicks him in the groin, and hits him over the head five or ten times.

It gets better, so read on. I never heard of Rust Magazine until today, but I like it.

The administration of the City of Springfield (as in city hall) could go a long way to bringing down the crime rate in, and because of, places like the Bel-Aire, and the cycle of crime in the city, if they cared about things like homelessness, poverty, education. You need only spend some time wandering these streets to realize it. I'm going to write more of my thoughts on this at a another time. It's just too exhausting right now.

* Very well said, Mark Brown: Why I don’t like Bruce Rauner. Hint: It rhymes with funny:

I particularly don’t like a new breed of uber-wealthy bullies who are intent on reshaping Illinois government more to their liking under the guise of reforming it for our benefit.
Theirs is a mindset that money trumps, that money gets what it wants, because in the end, money can always buy what it needs and who it needs.
No longer content to manipulate politicians from afar as wealthy businessmen always have, this new breed wants to run the government directly — and other local institutions as well — apparently to make sure no instructions are lost in the translation.

* Very nice houses.

* It always burned a hole in my pants.

Posted by: Marie at 9:31 PM |

Monday, October 27, 2014

The joint was rocking

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* Follow-up on Dunning: Historian unearths IDs of thousands buried in Dunning mass grave.

* The Making of Ferguson | Long before the shooting of Michael Brown, official racial-isolation policies primed Ferguson for this summer’s events.

* Wednesday-Thursday, October 28-29, 1964: 'T.A.M.I. Show':

Filmed over two days at the Santa Monica (Calif.) Civic Auditorium, "The T.A.M.I. Show" (short for Teenage Awards Music International or Teen Age Music International) featured some of the biggest stars in rock and pop music, including The Rolling Stones, James Brown and the Flames, The Supremes, The Beach Boys and Lesley Gore. It was released in theaters in December 1964.

* Secretary.

* Goin' round and round.

Posted by: Marie at 8:43 PM |

Saturday, October 25, 2014

There's a tramp sittin' on my doorstep

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This ginkgo tree makes me so happy. I'm keeping an eye on it this year. The last couple years, I missed when it turned a bright yellow, which is like having to leave an art show before you see everything.

* How Bruce Rauner makes money from for-profit schools and worthless degrees:

In 1999 GTCR funded the creation of ForeFront Education, a for-profit company offering college degrees and training for jobs including medical assistants, paralegals, and office administrators. As with all of its investments, GTCR was interested in this segment of higher education because of its growth potential—or, as the Chronicle of Higher Education later reported, "because of its high profit margin."
As investors, Rauner and his colleagues were onto something: the for-profit college industry was entering a boom time. By 2010 it was generating $30 billion a year, according to an investigation by Bloomberg News. But it did so "by targeting vulnerable populations—disabled military and veterans, the homeless, immigrants and minorities—with misleading promises of low costs, online academic help, and lucrative jobs after graduation."

* I watched the entire hour and a half of the SJ-R's Friday editorial board interview with Bruce Rauner. For someone who's never been a politician before, he talks a good political game.

* Just one of the points of Bruce Rauner's campaign for Illinois governor is to do away with the almost 7000 units of government in Illinois. Assuming each unit of government has some valid function, I have to question his reasoning, his desire to do away with these units.

Let me explain my own reasoning in simple terms. Illinois has 102 counties. Each county has a county board, a court system, a clerk, a treasurer, a zoning board, an assessor, a tax review board, among other units of government. Each county also has city and township entities and each of those have their own systems for animal control and roads and bridges (think snow removal) to name just a couple units of government. You can see how these units of government start to add up.

If we shed these units of government, who is going to be in charge of snow removal in say, far south Alexander County? Him? From his office in Chicago or Springfield? He's going to do what? Hand out contracts for whoever gets to buy equipment and operate that equipment? That would be the effect of doing away with all those units of government. A more centralized form of government on the state level is what conservative Bruce Rauner is talking about. How unconservative of him.

* And with this, he has swept the endorsement of every major newspaper in the state: SJ-R Our Opinion: Cautiously optimistic Bruce Rauner has clear economic vision for Illinois. (You broke my heart, SJ-R.)

* Me: Bruce Rauner knows how to get rich and he does it very well. It's all he's done. It's what he knows. His experience as venture capitalist, or a salesman as he calls himself, will not translate to all the many jobs the governor of Illinois has to do. Illinois is not a profit making company.

* Tryin' to waste his time.......

Posted by: Marie at 9:37 PM |

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I can't sleep at night

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* Gas price tonight at 11th & Stevenson.

* How Gas Prices Work,

* PBS Newshour: What’s behind the sudden drop in US gas prices?

* Me: Why is no one talking about the effect ISIS is having on gas prices, if any? I mean, everyday we hear in the news how ISIS has taken over oil wells in Iraq. Or is it refineries? Or both. And how they're selling oil on the black market. If that black market oil is not making it to the western world, and it's not a factor, and I'm not saying it is or isn't, the experts should say so. Or something. All I'm saying is I'm not hearing anything about this.

* Finding a Video Poker Bug Made These Guys Rich—Then Vegas Made Them Pay.

* 51 Reasons Living In Chicago Ruins You For Life. (They left one out: The amazing neighborhood system in Chicago.)

* About The Kinks Debut (1964):

The top three bands of the British Invasion are: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and…tied for third, The Who and The Kinks? In articles like these where you are supposed to project a voice of authority, you’re not supposed to speak in subjective, first person terms. However I find this an impossible strategy. Although history has seemed to devalue the legacy of The Kinks, I can’t go along with it. Depending on the day, The Kinks are far more influential to me than The Who, which may be an act of rock sacrilege. On better days, The Kinks beat the Stones too.

* You really got me....

Posted by: Marie at 9:32 PM |

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The telephone is ringing

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* Public Cops for Private Kochs.

* How the Koch Network Exploited the Veterans Affairs Crisis.

* Inside the Koch Brothers' Toxic Empire,

* Poor kids who do everything right don’t do better than rich kids who do everything wrong.

* Sun-Times sidelined reporter after Rauner campaign intervention. Then: Rauner campaign responds to firestorm over Sun-Times reporter’s sidelining.

* I say, "Hi, it's me. Who is it there on the line?"

Posted by: Marie at 10:18 PM |